Not unexpectedly, Scientific American has gone full-moron with just 4 scientific stories in the Top 10 science stories of 2011.
Of those 4, one is a paid-up baseless list of conjectures about climate change, officially making Scientific American now worse than “New Scientist”.
Incredibly though, it’s the same Scientific American that just allowed a blog post describing vast increases in Alpine glaciers during the Little Ice Age, thereby undermining the magazine’s own scream-in-panic policy on climate change.
Curiously, or tellingly, this piece of news hasn’t hit the headlines: on Dec 20, 2011, “the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced the closure of the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net)“, a 3-year-old effort.
According to the accompanying press release
Members of the web-based platform, which allowed companies, organizations, cities and states to showcase their climate neutral strategies, and to share and access information and ideas with fellow participants, are being invited to approach other similar platforms to continue their climate neutral efforts.Beginning with just 13 participants, the network today consists of 300 members, who have been aiming at different paces and scale to work towards low carbon growth.
Some 10 countries, 7 regions, 19 cities, 156 companies, 40 organizations and 11 universities joined CN-Net.
Highlights of the CN-Net campaign include “A Case for Climate Neutrality: Case Studies on Moving Towards a Low Carbon Economy” – a publication showcasing green business strategies from the network’s members – and projects on eco-tourism in Kenya and Tanzania.
Participants are now being invited “to build on their activities and continue to pursue a low carbon, climate neutral direction by joining other existing initiatives that offer paths that may be now better able to assist in evolving and achieving their long-term goals“.
So what does it all mean? The press release gives the faintest of hints (my emphasis):
In October 2011, UNEP in collaboration with the city of Arendal, convened a ‘webinar’ to discuss options for the future.
Following feedback from members, it was decided to close the platform and present the offer of handing over the campaign to the three platforms in order to better focus international and local efforts in this field.
In fact, the webinar presented some alarming wording already (my emphasis):
The conference will be an opportunity to share CN Net successes and challenges. Most importantly, It will enable the participants to discuss a range of issues concerning the continuity and ongoing viability of the CN Net programme. We strongly encourage CN Net participants to use this opportunity as a platform to share their experiences with other members as well as raise any issues.
The city of Arendal and UNEP had convened a “webinar” to discuss options for the future, but the response by members of CN Net has been disengagement.
In other words, nobody’s interested any longer.
You know things are going down the drain when an English Major interviews a Cartoonist to talk about psychology and the identification of scientific “myths”.
The level of absolute idiocy is reached of course when the owner of a website purportedly debunking 173 climate change “myths” and well-known for its unethical treatment of non-compliant commenters writes:
Debunks that offered three arguments, for example, are more successful in reducing the influence of misinformation, compared to debunks that offered twelve arguments which ended up reinforcing the myth.
Avoid dramatic language and derogatory comments that alienate people. Stick to the facts.
Who knows, John Cook might one day read his “Debunking Handbook” and ditch Skeptical Science completely.
Imagine a junkie given space by the BBC to pontificate about people’s passion for chocolate. Some would laugh, others would despair at the BBC turning into a all-out asylum.
Alas, it is not just a hypothetical situation. Step forward Lisa Jardine, “Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary” (at the University of London, not the inpatient unit at Roehampton Hospital).
Prof Jardine is of course completely stranger to hard drugs, however somehow managed to write an entire essay about “Climate change and craving a cause” absolutely clueless about the way “climate change” has become THE cause for its believers, rather than for the skeptics. We’re treated instead to pearls of wisdom such as:
Instead the climate sceptics have created an intricate web of their own associations and allusions, to produce their version of an alternative story which runs contrary to that of mainstream science. […] Faced with an uncertain future and declining prosperity, without religion for reassurance, what could be more comforting than to join a select band searching for the Holy Grail?
Never mind that Climategate one and two have shown how climate scientists did create an intricate web of their own associations and allusions, to produce their version of an alternative story which runs contrary to that of mainstream science, removing the Medieval Warm Period for example.
Prof Jardine has absolutely no idea about what skeptics are skeptical of, has surely never ever spoken to a skeptic, doesn’t know what climate change is (falling as she does into the old cliché of “climate change predictions“), and bases her point of view on dubious mob rules:
the continued commitment of almost all the world’s nations surely points to the fact that the danger to our planet of high-level carbon emissions is a real one […]
Attenborough’s audience have accompanied him on a personal voyage of discovery on his most recent visits to the polar regions. They have witnessed with him the changing patterns of life there, and shared his reactions to dramatic change that has taken place during his lifetime. They may feel properly in a position to share his disturbing conclusions.
I can’t imagine anything more remote from Renaissance thinking than to follow the herd of the Great and the Good.
ps There is really only one bit that might be saved from Prof Jardine’s essay:
Perhaps a more discursive approach which focuses on observable change backed up by scientific evidence may be more persuasive
Well dear Prof, have you got yourself anything to show about observable change and scientific evidence? I thought so.
NOTE TO ALL READERS
If you see strange trackbacks on websites from “Ocasapiens” in Italian after I post a comment, there is this feckless Italian journalist whose main activity appears to be following me on Google in order to post abysmal bullying attempts at her blog.
I would feel proud of being an inspiration of anything, however if a blog is measured by the quality of its content, a blog where I am the content can’t be that good.
Climategate 2.0 is helping filling some knowledge gaps, for example in the way the IPCC has been slowing killing itself, and several thousands humans to. The following concerns Regional Projections, and it’s a tragedy of communication.
Willingly or not, the IPCC has become a source of deadly confusion exactly because it has provided the information its audience wanted, even if it was scientifically unprepared to prepare that information.
I have a confession to make…it ain’t much fun to talk climate change at a time where AGW and especially Catastrophic AGW are taking blows left, right and center. So in order to keep this blog lukewarm, here’s a heartful “thanks!” to New Scientist for providing the context for planetary temperatures so far:
And yes, our current climate WARMING catastrophe is at the bottom right.