Paris 2015 : No Al Gore and Fellow Scaremongers, Climate Change Science is NOT Settled
Back in 1993 David Siegel, author of several bestselling works, wrote his first book on the environment, a section of which was heavily influenced by Al Gore’s, “Earth in the Balance” which described the Keeling curve and how CO2 would cause warming that could threaten life on earth.
Twenty two years later, this consultant and self professed liberal, now questions the increasingly extreme efforts by climate change advocates to keep their red-button scare-mongering at the top of the agenda. He has become, as he says, “anti-decarbonisation.”
In a well-researched, 9000-word essay just published at ClimateCurious.com, he punches hundreds of holes in the arguments used by those who insist “climate change science is settled”.
The essay is the result of eight months of work. He launched it on October 16, just 50 days before Paris hosts the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) or Paris 2015, and Siegel says he hopes it will “cause some trouble” as “believers” fly into the French capital for the expensively-staged climate circus.
So what happened to change David Siegel’s mind? Here in 10 short statements designed to challenge liberal assumptions on climate change, he explains how and why he so radically changed his view.
1 Weather is not climate. There are no studies showing a conclusive link between global warming and increased frequency or intensity of storms, droughts, floods, cold or heat waves.
2 Natural variation in weather and climate is tremendous. Most of what people call “global warming” is natural. The earth is warming, but not quickly, not much, and not lately.
3 There is tremendous uncertainty as to how the climate really works. Climate models are not yet skilful; predictions are unresolved.
4 New research shows fluctuations in energy from the sun correlate very strongly with changes in earth’s temperature, better than CO2 levels.
5 CO2 has very little to do with it. All the decarbonisation we can do isn’t going to change the climate much.
6 There is no such thing as “carbon pollution.” Carbon dioxide is coming out of your nose right now; it is not a poisonous gas. CO2 concentrations in previous eras have been many times higher than they are today.
7 Sea level will probably continue to rise — not quickly, and not much. Researchers have found no link between CO2 and sea level.
9 No one has shown any damage to reef or marine systems. Additional man-made CO2 will not likely harm oceans, reef systems, or marine life. Fish are mostly threatened by people, who eat them.
10 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others are pursuing a political agenda and a PR campaign, not scientific inquiry. There’s a tremendous amount of trickery going on under the surface.
David Siegel agreed to an exclusive interview on his just-published essay with French News Online which follows below:
You once believed Al Gore’s claims on climate change, what changed your mind?
I read the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, and other publications. I go to TED conferences. In these circles, it’s all you hear – be afraid, be very afraid, the carbon dragon is going to send us all to hell unless we repent! But earlier this year, a friend challenged my assumptions. At first, I was annoyed, because I thought the science really was settled. As I started to look at the data and read about climate science, I was surprised, then shocked. As I learned more, I changed my mind.
We are now in the final stage of French efforts to get a consensus on the issue during the COP21 conference that starts November 30th. What do you suggest those like you who are not disciples might do to counter the propaganda?
It’s not easy. The de-carbonisation lobby has been working on this for decades and has largely succeeded in monopolising the media. My main goal is to educate people. I don’t think we can really have a huge impact at COP21, but we can start to raise doubts about the validity of the science. I have two goals: 1) to give anyone interested a platform for conducting their own research and asking their own questions, and 2) to try to reach a few well known people (celebrities, business people, politicians) who might come to Paris asking rather more questions than they would have otherwise.
Your essay suggests a deal will be done in Paris, how might they pull it off given the previous flops?
I’m not an expert on these negotiations. It does seem like there’s a lot of momentum for an agreement, though that may not mean much. I recommend people follow Matt Ridley’s blog, he’s keeping up on the day-to-day and I respect his opinion.
Your essay is highly critical of powerful interest groups and the climate change lobby which has been at this since the 1970s, way before Al Gore’s now discredited 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth reinvigorated their campaigning. Who can you offer as convincing alternative sources for those wanting to argue against the single issue lobbyists?
I don’t think liberals think that Gore’s movie has been discredited. I have extremely intelligent friends who took one look at my essay and decided they never want to talk to me again. It’s a very emotional, partisan issue. What is “clear and obvious” to each side is “absolute junk science” to the other. I list many many sources in my essay. I hope people will come read it through and then use those resources to learn more. I also highly recommend a book called “Climate Change: The Facts,” by Alan Watts and many other authors I have come to respect.
You are a strong advocate of action on this effort to undo the entrenched wisdom, what do you suggest people who agree with you might do?
People who agree with me are already doing what they can. My small (hopefully pivotal) role is to try to change people’s minds from the default setting of liberal de-carbonisation to a more critical stance that wonders if we’re spending billions of dollars correctly. I would rather have Bill Clinton or Bill Gates read it than thousands of readers coming from conservative blogs. I hope in some small way my work will give others encouragement to “come out” and really talk about the science, rather than going along with the party line.
David works on corporate culture, change, critical thinking, management, and improving decision making. He has been a high-level management & strategy consultant to companies like Sony, Hewlett Packard, Amazon, Office Depot, Lucent, CSC, Intel, NASA, and many start-ups. He has written five books about the Web and business, four of which have been bestsellers. He started one of the first web-design and strategy firms in San Francisco. He has given over 100 professional speeches, many of them keynotes at tech or business conferences around the world. David has been published by Forbes.com, The Harvard Business Review, and profiled in Fast Company. You can learn more about David on his LinkedIn page. His website is here.
Story: Ken Pottinger
NOTE: The award winning Al Gore film mentioned above and which has had a significant influence on the climate change debate, was judged by an English court in 2007 to contain nine scientific errors. Mr Justice Burton ruled that the nine errors included:
- Mr Gore’s assertion that a sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting of ice in either West Antarctica or Greenland “in the near future”. The judge said this was “distinctly alarmist” and it was common ground that if Greenland’s ice melted it would release this amount of water – “but only after, and over, millennia”.
- Mr Gore’s assertion that the disappearance of snow on Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa was expressly attributable to global warming – the court heard the scientific consensus was that it cannot be established the snow recession is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.
- Mr Gore’s reference to a new scientific study showing that, for the first time, polar bears had actually drowned “swimming long distances – up to 60 miles – to find the ice”. The judge said: “The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm.”