Sponsored by the free market fundamentalist Heartland Institute, up to 600 elderly men gathered at the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change to refresh their convictions that the International Panel on Climate Change is wrong, and that they are right.
The keynote address was delivered by "Lord" Christopher Monckton. He begins:
"Where are they all today, those bed-wetting moaning Minnies of the Apocalyptic Traffic-Light Tendency--those Greens too yellow to admit they’re really Reds?"
Such a well argued question clearly demands a response. They are to be found here, if it please your lordship, and their conclusions are here.
More to the point for the Noble Lord, Lord Monckton is, where are they today, those doughty sceptics of received scientific "wisdom", the Flat Earth Research Society? Their present location is not certain, but their arguments are set out as clearly as those of the climate change sckepticks, in this location here. The climate change denialists (preferable term, as some self-styled english speakers have such trouble spelling "sceptic") would be well advised to contact the rump of flat earthers as fertile recruiting ground since they are going to need recruits in a few years' time. Maybe they should contact the Immortalists while they are at it, given the advancing age of International Conference on Climate Change attendees...
The last few months have not been kind to the climate change sckepticks. "large corporations like Exxon Mobil, which in the past financed the Heartland Institute and other groups that challenged the climate consensus, have reduced support. Many such companies no longer dispute that the greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels pose risks.
From 1998 to 2006, Exxon Mobil, for example, contributed more than $600,000 to Heartland, according to annual reports of charitable contributions from the company and company foundations.
Alan T. Jeffers, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil, said by e-mail that the company had ended support “to several public policy research groups whose position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion about how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner.”
To round off their unhappiness, Al Gore, still in control of his bladder despite months of name calling activities on the part of the AGW-septics, is delivering a non-moaning, up-beat message, arguing that a political tipping point is about to happen, with a massive global effort to decarbonise the economy.
This is not to say that we should not seek out and contradict influential septicks like Melanie Phillips and Christopher Hitchens.
Just copy and paste the following into their comment slots. It doesn't take more than a few seconds, and it can help save humanity:
In the end, this is not an academic debate, because we and our children are part of the experiment. The consensus among scientists (yes, with a few exceptions, as is always the case in science) that we should decarbonise our economy as a matter of urgency.
Say we decarbonise our economy, and it turns out that AGW theory is wrong? Well, we will have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in insulation and manufacturing and taken thousands out of fuel poverty. Not bad, but that's not all. We will also have reduced the shock of Peak Oil and Peak Gas. And addressed our energy security problems. And prosperity in hot countries. Not bad.
Say we go the way of the denialists/sceptics? We will have problems with energy security, Peak Oil, Peak Gas, fuel poverty, unemployment, poverty, civil unrest and finally, massive, catastrophic climate disruption from droughts, floods, crop failures, disease, and war. With massive migration caused by environmental collapse. Not good.
If I were a betting man, I would put my money on decarbonising the global economy.
I'm sure Pascal would agree.