Flashback — James Hansen: Would you buy a used temperature data set from THIS man?



James Hansen

Before we get too worried about NASA’s latest stamping-its-little-feet claims that the world is getting hotter it is it is it IS, let us first remind ourselves why we should trust their temperature records slightly less far than we can spit.

Then let’s have a closer look at the character and motives of the man in charge of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Dr James Hansen. Last year, he was described by his former course supervisor at NASA, Dr John Theon, as an “activist” and an embarrassment.

Or as the Great Booker puts it:

If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore. Again and again, Dr Hansen has been to the fore in making extreme claims over the dangers of climate change. (He was recently in the news here for supporting the Greenpeace activists acquitted of criminally damaging a coal-fired power station in Kent, on the grounds that the harm done to the planet by a new power station would far outweigh any damage they had done themselves.)

Now reader Michael Potts has drawn my attention to yet further evidence of Dr Hansen’s radical, virulently anti-democratic instincts. He has lent his support to an eco-fascist book advising on ways to destroy western industrialisation through propaganda, guile and outright sabotage.

In a scary new book called Time’s Up ? whose free online version titled A Matter Of Scale you can read here ? author Keith Farnish claims:

The only way to prevent global ecological collapse and thus ensure the survival of humanity is to rid the world of Industrial Civilization.

Like so many deep greens, Farnish looks forward to the End Times with pornographic relish (masquerading as mild reasonableness):

I?m rarely afraid of stating the truth, but some truths are far harder to give than others; one of them is that people will die in huge numbers when civilization collapses. Step outside of civilization and you stand a pretty good chance of surviving the inevitable; stay inside and when the crash happens there may be nothing at all you can do to save yourself. The speed and intensity of the crash will depend an awful lot on the number of people who are caught up in it: greater numbers of people have more structural needs ? such as food production, power generation and healthcare ? which need to be provided by the collapsing civilization; greater numbers of people create more social tension and more opportunity for extremism and violence; greater numbers of people create more sewage, more waste, more bodies ? all of which cause further illness and death.

He believes ? as the Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt does ? that mankind is a blot on the landscape and that breeding (or for that matter, existence) should be discouraged:

In short, the greatest immediate risk to the population living in the conditions created by Industrial Civilization is the population itself. Civilization has created the perfect conditions for a terrible tragedy on the kind of scale never seen before in the history of humanity. That is one reason for there to be fewer people, providing you are planning on staying within civilization ? I really wouldn?t recommend it, though.

Among his proposed solutions to this problem are wanton destruction:

Unloading essentially means the removal of an existing burden: for instance, removing grazing domesticated animals, razing cities to the ground, blowing up dams and switching off the greenhouse gas emissions machine. The process of ecological unloading is an accumulation of many of the things I have already explained in this chapter, along with an (almost certainly necessary) element of sabotage.

Needless to say, our friend Dr James Hansen thinks this book is the bees knees. Here is his puff on the Amazon website:

Keith Farnish has it right: time has practically run out, and the ‘system’ is the problem. Governments are under the thumb of fossil fuel special interests ? they will not look after our and the planet’s well-being until we force them to do so, and that is going to require enormous effort.

Puzzled by this advocation of so extreme a book by a supposedly neutral and authoritative public figure,  Michael Potts posted a question on Yahoo. And who should pop up but Keith Farnish himself.

“”Hello.. It’s very interesting to be the subject of a question, and I don’t want to intrude on the discussion because there seems to be some interesting debate going on here ? but just to put the quote into context, it was indeed spontaneous from James and surprised me a little at first. I now suspect, though, that he is only tolerated by the US government because he is such a good scientist; and believe me, some really good scientists have been ousted before ? think of Bob Watson, who was thrown out of the IPCC by George Bush, under pressure from the oil industry, for being stark in his warnings..

James Hansen is certainly a radical in the climate science community, but stays within the system because that’s where he is most effective. Just like me using a computer ? it’s the best way of getting information across in a globalised society; I genuinely wish it was just a local problem that could be dealt with by word of mouth and community action 🙁

Feel free to take on, and challenge my ideas in as forceful a way as you wish; change can happen in the most surprising ways?””

It’s an important thing to remember when we talk about AGW: many of the activist-scientists pushing it passionately want the earth to be getting hotter and it for it to be largely man’s fault. These watermelons certainly don’t want the opposite to be true, because then they wouldn’t have the excuse they so desperately need to destroy the capitalist system and take us all back to the agrarian age.

UPDATE: I’ve just had a very polite note from Keith Farnish, pointing out that when he said that James Hansen’s puff quote had been “spontaneous” he didn’t actually mean “unsolicited.” In fact, he DID approach Hansen for the quote. I suggested to Farnish that next time he uses a word like “spontaneous” he ought perhaps to consult a dictionary beforehand.

He wrote back:

“I am *genuinely*
interested to know where your scepticism arises from ? in my experience it
is generally people not wanting to have to change how they live; money
only comes into it in the most public cases.”

Sounds to me that this is the sort of question which can only be properly answered in a full, Welcome-to-Obamaland-style Delingpole book. What do you reckon, reader chums: you with me on this?