Climategate: Just Sign on the Dotted Line

The mainstream media were convinced of global warming theory's legitimacy by the warnings supposedly signed by large numbers of the world's climate scientists. The propagandists in this effort were led by the now-discredited Dr. Phil Jones of Britain and former Vice President Al Gore.

Several of the recently leaked Climategate e-mails reveal backstage manipulations to produce a propaganda tool, the Statement of European Climate Scientists on Actions to Protect Global Climate, intended to be unveiled at the Kyoto Climate Conference. Members of the Jones Gang from East Anglia University organized efforts to get just about anyone to sign this statement to push up the numbers. In an e-mail dated 9 October 1997, Dr. Joseph Alcamo admonishes other members of the Jones Gang to forget credentials and just get signatures.

I am very strongly in favor of as wide and rapid a distribution as possible for endorsements. I think the only thing that counts is numbers. The media is going to say "1000 scientists signed" or "1500 signed". No one is going to check if it is 600 with PhDs versus 2000 without. They will mention the prominent ones, but that is a different story.

Alcamo clearly has no respect for the media, implying that they are either lazy or stupid. Operating under this premise, Dr. Alcamo goes on by saying the following:

Conclusion -- Forget the screening, forget asking them about their last publication (most will ignore you.) Get those names!

Is he suggesting that his gang members go to skid row and have homeless winos sign this document? Maybe he was suggesting that they go to a Chicago cemetery for names? "Get those names!"

Simultaneously, the folks at Greenpeace were also working to get signatures on a document of their own to manipulate the media. Their formula is tried and true: Don't read the fine print -- just sign. To showcase this subterfuge, Greenpeace was organizing a media event ahead of the Kyoto meeting to display the document signed by concerned "scientists." The Jones Gang wanted to make sure that maximum media manipulation was accomplished by coordinating media events as is detailed from the same e-mail:

3. If Greenpeace is having an event the week before, we should have it a week before them so that they and other NGOs can further spread the word about the Statement. On the other hand, it wouldn't be so bad to release the Statement in the same week, but on a different day. The media might enjoy hearing the message from two very different directions

Different directions? Maybe he meant something like left and far left. I hope he never helps a little old lady across the street.

But one of the Jones Gang was looking the other way before he crossed the street, and that was Professor Richard Tol. In an e-mail dated 12 of November 1997, Prof. Tol pointed out the dirty little secret: There is not a consensus among scientists.

I am always worried about this sort of things. Even if you have 1000 signatures, and appear to have a strong backup, how many of those asked did not sign?

But why was so much energy put into a propaganda campaign for the media to see that there was a "consensus" among the scientific community? The answer dates back to 1992, when the Jones Gang was caught by surprise right before the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At that time, a group of notable and respected scientists began circulating a document known as the Heidelberg Appeal for signatures. By the end of the 1992 summit, 425 scientists and other intellectual leaders had signed the appeal. This document stated that the science of climate change was uncertain and that the theory of carbon dioxide (CO2)-induced global warming was an unproven theory. The document appealed to policy makers to avoid making policy based on uncertain science.  The document explicitly stated the following:

We do, however, forewarn the authorities in charge of our planet's destiny against decisions which are supported by pseudoscientific arguments or false and non-relevant data.

The original Heidelberg Appeal document was presented at the Rio conference, but it was largely ignored by the media and a pseudoscientific community that was more interested in seeking grant funding than seeking the truth. To date, more than four thousand scientists and intellectuals from 106 countries, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, have signed it.

The Jones Gang knew that this would likely happen again before the 1997 Kyoto Climate Conference. If they were right, they were hopeful that they could deliver a counter-document to lend credence to their cause and steal the spotlight.

Another document urging caution was circulated among reputable scientists in the wake of the Kyoto Climate Conference. This document is known as the Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change. The document expressly states the following:

As the debate unfolds, it has become increasingly clear that -- contrary to the conventional wisdom -- there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide. In fact, most climate specialists now agree that actual observations from both weather satellites and balloon-borne radiosondes (i.e. weather balloons) show no current warming whatsoever -- in direct contradiction to computer model results.

Among the signatories of this declaration are scientists from NASA, the Max Planck Institute, one of the former Presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, and many members of the American Meteorological Society. These people are not lightweights in the field of science. Clearly the so-called "consensus of scientists" so often referred to by Mr. Gore is not a consensus at all.

In addition to these two powerful and well-considered public statements calling for restraint, there is also the Oregon Petition. To date, over 31,000 American scientists have signed this document. The petition explicitly states the following:

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of Carbon Dioxide, Methane or other greenhouse gasses is causing, or will in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate.

Unlike the uncovered e-mails from the Jones Gang, these statements of caution are in the public domain and have been for years. By contrast, the Jones Gang engaged in an effort to misinform nations by hiding the facts and overstating the "consensus" -- but then, secrecy is essential for propaganda to be effective and ensure that the checks continue to be signed.
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