Rex Weyler announced to Patrick Moore that he is about to come out publicly with a critique of Patrick’s new book, Here are a few excerpts of an interview:
Rex Weyler announces to Patrick Moore that he is about to come out publicly with a critique of Patrick’s new book, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist
Rex Weyler: Patrick, I’ve had some requests to comment on your book. So far, I’ve avoided critiquing your ideas in public, out of deference for our friendship. You know from our discussions over beer that I disagree with most of your positions, but now that you’re in print, your ideas bear some scrutiny. As you know, you’re getting plenty of praise from the usual suspects, National Post, Fox News, etc, so you certainly have your backers.
Patrick Moore: My new book, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist, was debuted in the Vancouver Sun, has been reviewed by the Calgary Herald, featured on many radio talk shows such as Mike Smyth on CKNW, and in the Toronto Star, hardly a bastion of the right. I do regular interviews on National Public Radio in the US and with Bloomberg News. I also take interviews with Fox Business News and the National Post. If you refer only to the conservative outlets that are interested, then you are hardly producing a balanced critique.
RW: When you claim, “global temperature stopped rising 12 to 15 years ago,” you confuse a routine fluctuation with an irrefutable trend. You should know the difference. You must know that trend analysis uses running averages (as with stock prices to gauge a trend) and that fluctuations in either direction do not “stop” a trend. Surely you know that since 1880, global running-average temperature has risen from about 13.7C to 14.6C. You must know the data that shows human-waste gases in the atmosphere as the primary forcing, and the solar force fluctuations at about one-thirtieth of the human greenhouse gas force. Even if you had some evidence that these data should be questioned, the scientific thing to do is to reference the prevailing data in your critique.
PM: I am not even slightly confused. Fluctuations in climate are not “routine”. It is true that there has been an upward trend in global temperature since about 1800 when the Little Ice Age ended. There have been ups and downs along the way. As you know the last upward trend was between 1970-1998. Since then there has been no further rise in temperature, perhaps a slight decline. That is all I said.
The main point is that neither you nor I know with any certainty what will happen next. What goes up tends to eventually come down as has been the case with global climate from the beginning of life. I personally believe that it would be much better in balance if the temperature rose 2-3C than if it fell 2-3C. “You should know the difference” is condescending. And despite all this it still doesn’t prove that we are responsible for the recent rise in temperature. Temperature has been rising and falling for billions of years and it had nothing to do with us.
Then what does it take to “stop” a trend? What caused the present Ice Age to set on 2.5 million years ago? And what caused the wild fluctuations of massive glaciations that have come and gone many times since then? Were these “routine fluctuations”? Do you believe that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses are always the main factors that cause the climate to change?
Part of the “prevailing data” is that it hasn’t continued to warm over the past decade despite ever-increasing emissions of CO2.
RW: Still to this day, although I’ve asked you half a dozen times, you�ve never sent me your list of climate forcings (w/m2) selected by level of impact. This is so simple and scientific. Why won’t you send it to me?.
PM: That’s because I do not believe the highly complex subject of global climate can be reduced to “w/m2” so I am not interested in that approach. There is nothing simple about climate but there is something simplistic about thinking you can predict the climate by one little formula. Are you saying that you, personally, have determined the precise causes of global warming? Or are you just relying on someone else�s calculations?
Interestingly, James Lovelock, who, as you know, is a strong supporter of nuclear energy, has recently suggested that perhaps the reason we are putting so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is Gaia’s way of staving off another Ice Age. Again, there is nothing ‘simple’ about any of this, Rex.
RW: You make claims that have been refuted by the people you reference. This may be okay over a beer, but seems reckless in print. You say DDT was “discontinued for use in malaria control by the World Health Organization and USAID.” But surely you know that WHO and USAID representatives have already told George Monbiot that they never stopped using DDT for malaria control. link again where the WHO announces that it is reversing its policy to discontinue the use of DDT after nearly 30 years.
USAID made the same decision in 2006. This reversal stemmed from the negotiations towards the Stockholm Convention on toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative chemicals which, in the end, despite strong opposition from Greenpeace and WWF, provided an exemption for DDT use for malaria control.
I realize there is a major effort at Greenpeace to rewrite the history on this subject as I have been informed by a Greenpeace spokesperson in the UK that “Greenpeace was never opposed to the use of DDT for malaria control.” This has to be one of the most blatant examples of historical revisionism I have encountered. Of course there are other examples, such as their contention that I “played a minor role in the early years” etc. I hope you are not buying into that one. Anyway, if you trust George Monbiot as a reliable source then you’ll get a lot of things wrong, although on nuclear power, he has come a long way in his understanding. Have you noted that George has come out in favor of nuclear energy this week?
And who knows, maybe the WHO and USAID are also trying to cover their tracks. After all it does not look good that health and aid agencies were implicated in the unnecessary deaths of millions of people because they caved into political pressure against DDT in the ‘70s.
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