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Patrick Moore on ‘Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom’

After years of explaining science and chemistry and statistics, and observable empirical manifestations to people who didn’t want to understand science, it dawned on Patrick Moore that it was the mystical quality of their narratives that made the messages of climate doom so attractive.

Millenarian climate-doomers were not so much interested in testing the hypothesis of climate change with real world experiments, as they were in a morbid love affair with a religiously tinged idea of sinners and doom.

It’s a dysfunctional love. A twisted perversion of the very idea of love which combines self-hatred and a need to belong. ‘People are killing the planet, but I’m with the tribe that virtue signals about it.’

For the younger generation and the dupes who have taken up the activism and protest arm of the movement this is not a fake signal, they literally think the world would be better off without humanity. In response we have seen the mutated idea of anti-maternalism which is particularly prevalent amongst the young where eco-anxiety is particularly strong.

This is the climate racket that we see manifesting in self-righteous protest movements and metastasising in movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain.

This is all very frustrating for an empirically-minded scientist like Moore, a former President of Greenpeace, whose life’s work looks to measured evidence to get a comprehension of the physical world. Words and evidence just don’t work to convince people who want to believe in the narrative of impending doom. Empirically driven people like Moore have the impossible task of penetrating the confirmation bias of people who are committed to believing in climate alarmism.

Moore realised that many enviromental warriors are not “following the science” but are instead following a romanticised vision of a pre-industrial utopia. It’s a religious impulse! It has all the psychological architecture of myth, and is impervious to logical discourses.

He noticed a trend in the doom myths. They all told of disasters in some far off place where nobody could see the evidence for themselves. It might be the frozen arctic ocean; it might be a coral reef 200 miles out from the coast; it might be in the middle of the pacific ocean 1000 miles from the nearest inhabited coast. It was always in some far off inaccessible place where virtually nobody ventures, and the entire story could be a complete fiction for all anyone knew. Moore decided to look into this.

In Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom he examines some of these narratives; and in doing so exposes some completely fabricated myths. Through a number of case studies he provides a sharp critique of the “fake news” practices of media and influential lobbyists.

One of the things he describes is an inexplicable imperviousness of a certain type of ‘true believer’ environmentalism to facts or established science that counters the chosen narrative. He puts this irrationally patterned thinking down to a religious fanaticism, and his personal encounters with this type of thinking in the environmental catastrophe movement leaves a firm impression that this is the case. The aptly titled book hosts on its cover a sort of medieval mad prophet archetype holding a sign “YOU WILL PERISH IN FLAMES”.

But this is a book of science, not philosophy; and for hard facts it is a very good resource which rebuts a laundry list of climate catastrophist talking points.

He claims that it is a movement with plenty of petty liars who will attempt to cauterise dissent using ad hominem career wrecking tactics; pointing to activists like the venerable Sir David Attenborough who spin narratives such as the ‘confused walruses documentary’ for Netflix.

Moore says that climate hysteria documentaries are churned out along with statistics that the average news-consumer doesn’t understand.

THE BOABAB TREE

His first case study, a short one, shows how statistics are used to create “fake news” and climate panic.

“Africa’s oldest boabab trees are dying at an unprecedented rate, and climate change may be to blame”, read the headline of a 2018 article in USA Today.

That might frighten a child or a climate alarmist, but should this statement be seen as anything other than a description of the normal course of events for any living thing? “The oldest trees are dying” is undeniably a fact, but the “may” part which links the factual part of the statement to the second speculative half is the switch which makes this fake news.

Just for the fun – and to explain how climate statistics are used by design to tell lies by construction – Moore uncovers the real implication of this statement through an analysis of the data and some proper journalistic research. As Moore explains the article gave no figures about the normal base line of how many Boababs are dying, what rate they die at, how many are alive, or how this is tied to the “evils” of CO2.

The article noted that 8 of the oldest 13 trees died in the past 13 years. Sounds bad, yes?

But as Moore notes “if there were only 10,000 [a very conservative estimate which is actually more likely to be in the 100s of thousands he claimed] boabab trees on the planet and they live an average of 1,500 years, then 6.7 trees would die every year.”

Even a tiny bit of common sense and a little research would see through this story for the fake news that it is, but nearly 150 news outlets ran with it.

There is obviously an appetite and a market for climate doom, as there is for every sort of human perversion.

There are some wonderful resources in this book. Moore is a PhD scientist, an Ecologist, and he has a deep and abiding interest into the interrelationship of environment, geography, life, evolution, and the vast history of life on earth.

One of the very insightful things he says to environmental catastrophists who fret about mass extinction and the end of life on earth, is that every living thing on earth is only here because every single one of its ancestors survived. Moore has a holistic view of life and ecology, and he has a respect for life and human flourishing, which is why he calls himself “the sensible environmentalist.”

CARBON IN CONTEXT

Moore puts carbon in context. He gives a highly relevant paleoclimatological history of the earth including some extraordinary diagrams which put the radical swings in CO2 and historical temperatures in context.

Two things which strike the reader on reading through this analysis. Firstly; that over the 570 million year record we have for atmospheric CO2 and climate temperature, there was no discernible cause:effect correlation between the two. In fact atmospheric CO2 and temperature were sometimes wildly out of sync and moving in opposite directions.

Secondly; every piece of carbon sequestered in the ground, whether that’s in carbonaceous rock, fossil fuels, shale, or soil, was once up in the air. The hard stone bands we see in layers in the earth’s crust which we call limestone was formed through a biological process known as biocalcification; and before that the carbon was in the air and oceans as CO2.

Over the course of the past 570 million years the level of CO2 has risen and fallen and was frequently at levels of over 6000 ppm. When alarmists talk about preindustrial levels of 280 ppm and calling that a base level desirability, they are ignoring the overwhelming majority of Earth’s 4.6 billion year history. In fact, most life on earth as we know it evolved when atmospheric CO2 was at a level of 2500 ppm.

Moore contests that we have dangerously excessive levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and claims that we actually have a dearth of CO2 not an excess. Part of his evidence for this is that as the atmospheric CO2 has gotten richer over the past century, the earth has gotten greener. This was shown in NASA images of the earth between 1980 and 2016 which showed that there was a global increase in biomass of approximately 31%.

The plants like it, it seems!

What Moore highlights with this paleoclimatic review is that the present obsession with the past 200 years, as if that represents how the world has always been, is a trick. A rewriting of history under the leftist mould of the “year zero” principle; a revisionist approach which discounts everything that isn’t amenable to the constructed narrative, and writes off everything before an arbitrary selected date –“year zero”.

Reviewing the present interglacial period, Moore notes that there has been a concerted effort to recategorise the Pleistocene Ice Age (a period that stretches back 2.5 million years) that we are presently in, so as to claim that it has passed. The advocates will say that the understanding has changed and so it is right to change the terminology, but Moore documents how this was pushed by special interest pressure groups, and he carefully reviews the geological evidence and theorems that would seem to counter this new view.

But what is in a name? Why expend so much effort on naming the present age and distinguishing it from the rest of the present interglacial period?

Here Moore’s empiricism arrives at a surprising theological conclusion. The new age was named the “Antropocene” which literally means “The Age of Man”. This evokes a loss of innocence such as Tolkien evoked in The Lord of The Rings when the elves left Middle Earth.  It’s a naming that reaches deep into the subconscious of belief; the sort of nudge of psychology that the science fiction writer Christopher Nolan turned into a box office success with the film, Inception.

Moore correctly sees this as propaganda. If the activists define the terminology they own the discourse and the perception of reality.

The leftist creation of the perception of reality, and the idea that they are on an evangelical crusade, are narratives that Moore is keen to tackle.  Unlike the irrational environmentalists, Moore doesn’t believe that humans are a cancer on the earth and his work has focused on both preservation, and human flourishing.

 

GOLDEN RICE: WHAT HELPS THE POOREST?

His championing of golden rice is a very interesting episode in this book. In fact it was the anti-scientific views of Green Peace on matters such as golden rice that drove him to finally resign from the organisation he co-founded. He championed genetically modified golden rice because it has the power to save the lives of between 1 and 2 million children per year who die as a result of Vitamin A deficiency.

He found that the opposition to this nutritional innovation was a sort of middle-class romanticism about a pastoral idyll. The people who campaigned aggressively for the banning of golden rice were by and large well-off, middle-class virtue signallers. They had no real skin in the game. Their children did not suffer from malnutrition. It was not their children who were dying from lack of vitamin A.

Moore finishes his account of this three-decades long fight with the very poignant observation that environmentalist that clamour about environmental justice invariably are indifferent to the misery of the poor. He asks: why is it that socialists talk about redistributing wealth “when one cup of Golden Rice per day could save millions of the very poorest people in the world from blindness and eventual death.”  “They” – the poor – “die quietly and unnoticed,” remarked Moore.

This is a great book (though like most Amazon prints the cover is of low quality, and there are a number of layout issues where the heading should have been put at the head of a fresh page, but I quibble) and Moore addresses in a scientific way some of the big myths about the climate and the environment.

 

THAT NETFLIX WALRUS DOCUMENTARY

Amongst others he looks at the “great pacific garbage patch”; the worries about nuclear; forestry v deforestation; mass extinction; the future of energy; and ocean acidification. His analyses are, in the main, investigative and are a very useful aid to understanding the issues and separating the science from the myth and the dogma.

He investigates some of the outrages that emanate from environmental persuaders, who deliberately paint a false picture. His dissection of the “Mass Walrus Deaths from CO2” narrative perpetrated by Sir David Attenborough is eye-opening.

Attenborough, in a Netflix documentary, sets the walrus narrative up with the line: “Their natural home is out on the sea ice” and “they do so (haul out on the beach) out of desperation, not out of choice”.

Moore debunks the assertions, and then gives the accurate explanation for the stitched together narrative that Attenborough presented in his documentary.

The truth, he says, is that walrus populations cycle through boom and bust periods. Mass haul-outs such as the one Attenborough’s team came to film, happen when the population reaches these population peaks and they result in extraordinarily crowded congregating grounds. The walrus population has been at this level for the last ten years.

The loss of sea-ice matters little to walrus populations who are bottom feeders and need to be close to shallow water. When the sea ice retreats and leaves open shallow water close to the coast, its happy feeding days for walruses.

This brings the attention of polar bears, who love walrus meat.

Attenborough knows what Moore knows, and yet he told this story of confused walruses who, looking for ice, fell off a cliff.

Behind the editing it appears the footage was pieced together from different locations and some of the most salient information was omitted.

It’s a story that has been examined and completely discredited by experts such Dr. Susan Crockford who knew exactly what happened to the walruses . A complete investigation of the narrative is documented here

 

Netflix, Attenborough and cliff-falling walruses: the making of a false …

The evidence concludes that the walruses (of whom there are plenty) were  stampeded by a group of polar bears (of whom there are a plethora) over the cliffs of Cape Kozhevnikova in the Siberian arctic.

It’s difficult to believe that Attenborough doesn’t know what the real cause of the falling walruses was.

There’s another environmentalist myth – the vanishing polar bears. It’s resilient myth that defies the published evidence of growing polar bear populations

In a talk to the Heartland Institute recently, Moore jokingly referred to a new scientific term he has come up with to define the singular obsession with climate-catastrophic thinking. In much the same way that obsessive ideologies like to attribute all problems to one cause or person –such as all bad comes from Donald Trump/capitalism/socialism/religion/climate change- he uses the holy grail of Physics to contextualise this and name it.

In Physics the Holy Grail is ‘Unified Theory,’ a sort of Relativity 2.0 -a single equation that explains everything.

Moore thinks of Climate hysteria as the “The Unified Theory of Scare Stories.” Once you have watched the Corporate Media’s treadmill of climate catastrophe stories, you can’t help but agree with him.

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