Last October in the run-up to the UN’s COP15 climate change fiasco in Copenhagen the previous UK “New Labour” Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change ran a £6M advertising “scare” campaign “Bedtime Stories” as part of its Act on CO2 initiative. Accoring to the BBC (Note 1) QUOTE: This was intended “to make adults feel guilty about the impact their carbon emissions are having on their children's future. .. The minute-long ad, which launched on 9 October, features a father telling his daughter a bedtime story about "a very very strange" world with "horrible consequences" for children. It then goes on to show streets and houses underwater, with cartoon animals and people drowning and a jagged-tooth monster in the sky, representing global warming” UNQUOTE..
That campaign back-fired, with the Advertising Standards Authority receiving hundreds of complaints about the ad. QUOTE: An ASA spokeswoman said: "It is not just about the issue of climate change in this particular case. We have had a huge number of complaints about the science but also whether the ad itself is scary for children" UNQUOTE (Note 1).
Eventually the UK’s telecommunications regulator Ofcom investigated (Note 2) QUOTE: “According to the Communications Act, the government is allowed to run advertising of a public service nature .. but is not allowed to run political ads that aim to "influence public opinion on a matter of public controversy". .. Ofcom's investigation comes after two months of allegations that climate-change scientists manipulated and withheld data. .. Some of the complaints argued there is no scientific evidence of climate change. Others claimed there was a division of scientific opinion on the issue and that the ad should therefore not have attributed global warming to human activity UNQUOTE.
In March the BBC announced (Note 3) QUOTE: Two government press adverts which used nursery rhymes to raise awareness of climate change have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). It said the advertisements went beyond mainstream scientific consensus in asserting that climate change would cause flooding and drought. .. The ASA ruled that the banned adverts .. made exaggerated claims about the threat posed to the UK by global warming. .. It noted that predictions about the potential impact of global warming made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "involved uncertainties" that had not been reflected in the adverts. .. UNQUOTE.
It should be noted that not all UK ministers supported the Government’s advertising campaign. In 2009 the Belfast Telegraph reported (Note 4) QUOTE: “Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has banned government television adverts in Northern Ireland warning of the effects of climate change, it emerged today. The DUP man said he was not prepared to allow “insidious New Labour propaganda” about the impact of climate change which would have been screened on UTV UNQUOTE.
That ill-considered campaign is behind us now but the propaganda machine keeps rolling out its distorted version of the facts, with a prime target being our children and youngsters. Al Gore’s “The Climate Project” organisation sponsors the “Inconvenient Youth” organisation (Note 5) which is spreading its tentacles cross the globe “spinning” the truth to those QUOTE: .. between the ages of 13 and 18 — but there are special sections “for adults” and “for educators” .. UNQUOTE in the way Al Gore did in his “An Inconvenient Truth”.
Al Gore and fellow “spinners” James Hansen and Tim Worth know all about spinning things to scare people. They are claimed (Note 6) to have started the process back in 1988 with a clever bit of preparation and “spinning” in their successful efforts to scare US Senators into thinking that catastrophic global climate change was just around the corner. It is suggested that they carefully chose the hottest day of the year and the meeting room windows just happened to be left open overnight so that the air conditioning system failed, ensuring that the audience and speaker were soaked in sweat.
In March Professor Bob Carter wrote an interesting article “Lysenkoism and James Hansen” (Note 7) which makes reference to Hansen’s 1988 presentation and says QUOTE:
Fifteen years later, in the Scientific American in March, 2004, Hansen came to write that "Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic" UNQUOTE
but Hansen has had to revert to type with spinning of the facts following the revelations of the Climategate and other IPCC-gate scandals. I do not see the general public being fooled for a second time. It would be like the UK voters bringing Tony Blair back into Downing Street.
Those of you who have strong stomachs may like to listen to Hansen and Wirth’s July 2008 WorldwatchInstitute audio/visual presentations (Note 8). Just as a warning, in the first one “Stop Using Coal” Hansen starts out with “We need to be honest … ”.
Hansen continued with his “spin and scare” campaign in his 2009 book “Storms of My Grandchildren – the truth about the coming climate catastrophe” (Note 9) published by Bloomsbury. Note that word “truth” then have a look at the extract provided. It really tears at the heart strings, just like the UK’s “Bedtime Stories” adverts did.
There is a beautiful quote claimed to be from Dr. Laurence I Gould, Professor of Physics, U of Hartford, CT, (a sceptic about The Hypothesis) which appears on several blogs QUOTE: Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong UNQUOTE.
Thinking about Gore’s “An Inconvenient truth” and Hansen’s “Storms of My Grandchildren .. ” I found it odd that Bloomsbury, arguably the most successful publisher in the UK, would be interested in publishing books on climate change, considering that this is such a niche market. I recognised Bloomsbury as the publishers of the top-selling Harry Potter stories and other works of fiction but nothing of significance about science. This led me to checking up on recent and past science publications. In the listing (Note 10) I found:
- Merchants of Doubt How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes - August 2010,
- Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity - December 2009 by James Hansen
- Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis By Al Gore - November 2009
- The Hot Topic: How to Tackle Global Warming and Still Keep the Lights On By David King , Gabrielle Walker - January 2009
- Field Notes from a Catastrophe: A Frontline Report on Climate Change By Elizabeth Kolbert - August 2007
- An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming And What We Can Do About It by Al Gore - August 2006.
It is noticeable that all of those books are written by well-known supporters of The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis.
According to the Wikipedia articles (Note 11) “Bloomsbury .. was founded in 1986 by Nigel Newton .. Bloomsbury was originally founded to publish high quality fiction. It has since expanded into non fiction and children's books”. The Independent (Note 12) says of Nigel Newton QUOTE: One of his maxims is: "Out of uncertainty comes discovery" UNQUOTE and I expect that he fully appreciates the extent of the uncertainty surrounding those processes and drivers of global climates. He also appreciates the type of fiction that appeals to both children and adults so why would such a successful publisher invest resources in science (fiction) books that could be expected to make little if any return?
Is it that the company executives are more concerned about the wellbeing of the planet than about profit? (although this is not a common characteristic of ambitious business people). Could there be another reason for promoting The Hypothesis?
Is it just a coincidence that in 2006 (before the publication of Al Gore’s scare story about drowning polar bears etc.) the Environment Agency was considering the merits of allowing the Cuckmere Haven flood barriers to fall into disrepair, restoring the Haven to its natural tidal flood plane status, with the consequent flooding of any properties on that flood plain?
An article (Note 13) from 2006 about The Cuckmere River in SE England advised that “Local opinion is that there should be no hurry to address sea level rise in the Draconian and destructive way EA propose. A planning applications was made to raise the river banks by only 300 mm - one foot - to give roughly 50 years for mature thought as to the long term ‘geological time’ solution. The proposer of this latest scheme, Nigel Newton, suggest this will allow a more informed decision to be made, where, experts will know more about global warming and geostatic tilt. The decision will then be more informed”
Reading a little further we find in 2003 that “Millionaire publisher Nigel Newton, owner of one of the Coastguard Cottages at the Cuckmere Haven, called on the council to refuse permission. He said, 'The Cuckmere Valley is one of the most beautiful places, not just in Sussex, but anywhere on the earth. Let's make sure we all contribute as individuals to saving this spectacular creation of God and man.' Mr Newton said he has independently commissioned a study by maritime engineers ... In their report, the engineers say the removal of the shingle beach defences will result in the destruction of the coastguard cottages. It will also not bring about the environmental benefits suggested by the Environmental Agency (EA), they claim.
Mr Newton, who runs Bloomsbury, .. ”.
Then in 2008 we have (Note 14) suggestions that the valley be allowed to flood and QUOTE: .. Nigel Newton, the chief executive of Bloomsbury Publishing in London, who owns one of the coastguard cottages, sees it becoming a dreary mud flat resembling Passchendaele, the First World War battlefield. “I defy you to name a more beautiful place in the whole of England, but this school-geography-project-gone- wrong will wipe it out,” he says. The row over the Cuckmere valley is not a one-off. It is a harbinger of things to come right round England’s low-lying eastern and southern coastline, from the Humber to the Solent, as the impact of global warming becomes increasingly pronounced. .. Mr Newton disagrees vigorously. He accuses the Environment Agency of destroying beautiful habitats in the guise of returning them to nature merely to save money. “Managed retreat is embracing defeat,” he says. UNQUOTE.
A cynic might interpret concern for damage to property investments as explaining any support that any property owner might offer for scare stories about the impact of catastrophic global climate. If the local authority believed that sea level rise was going to be excessive then they might be persuaded to reconsider allowing the flood defences to collapse.
I have posed several questions here, the final one being does the maxim “if you want an answer follow the money” apply?
My next article will be about another potential “spin and scare” book, this one about “Rising Sea Levels” is being prepared for publication by McFarland & Co.
1) see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8317998.stm
2) see http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/feb/24/ofcom-climate-change-bedtime-stories
3) see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8571353.stm
4) see http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/environment--minister-sammy-wilson-bans-adverts-warning-of-the-effects-of-climate-change-14180104.html
5) see http://www.inconvenientyouth.org/ and http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/computers/stories/inconvenient-youth-is-the-new-one-stop-shop-for-teens-fighting-climate-
6) see http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/17534/stagecraft/chris-horner
7) see http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/03/hansenist-climate-alarmism
8) see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzvegYdEQ8w
9) see http://www.stormsofmygrandchildren.com/
10) see http://www.bloomsbury.com/Books/details.aspx?isbn=9781596916104
11) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomsbury_Publishing & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Newton
12) see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/nigel-newton-is-there-life-after-harry-you-can-bet-your-hogwarts-there-is-497327.html
13) see http://www.solarnavigator.net/geography/sussex/cuckmere_valley_exceat.htm
14) see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3864602.ece