Saturday, December 20, 2008

‘A lie can race its way around the world, while the truth is tying its shoelace.’ Twain.

A real blogpost is home made. The advantage is authenticity. The blogger, however, is in a vulnerable position: who is he to say the things he says, and what is his underlying motivation.
It is for these reasons and because I think humanity is taken down the garden path on an immense scale, that for once I'll just paste into this blog the end declaration from the 2008 International Climate Conference, not to be confused with the IPCC:

Mar 05, 2008
The Manhattan Declaration - from the 2008 International Climate Conference

"Global warming" is not a global crisis

We, the scientists and researchers in climate and related fields, economists, policymakers, and business leaders, assembled at Times Square, New York City, participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change

Resolving that scientific questions should be evaluated solely by the scientific method;

Affirming that global climate has always changed and always will, independent of the actions of humans, and that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant but rather a necessity for all life;

Recognizing that the causes and extent of recently observed climatic change are the subject of intense debates in the climate science community and that oft-repeated assertions of a supposed ‘consensus’ among climate experts are false;

Affirming that attempts by governments to legislate costly regulations on industry and individual citizens to encourage CO2 emission reduction will slow development while having no appreciable impact on the future trajectory of global climate change. Such policies will markedly diminish future prosperity and so reduce the ability of societies to adapt to inevitable climate change, thereby increasing, not decreasing, human suffering;

Noting that warmer weather is generally less harmful to life on Earth than colder:

Hereby declare:

That current plans to restrict anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a dangerous misallocation of intellectual capital and resources that should be dedicated to solving humanity’s real and serious problems.

That there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.

That attempts by governments to inflict taxes and costly regulations on industry and individual citizens with the aim of reducing emissions of CO2 will pointlessly curtail the prosperity of the West and progress of developing nations without affecting climate.

That adaptation as needed is massively more cost-effective than any attempted mitigation and that a focus on such mitigation will divert the attention and resources of governments away from addressing the real problems of their peoples.

That human-caused climate change is not a global crisis.

Now, therefore, we recommend

That world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as popular, but misguided works such as “An Inconvenient Truth.”

That all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith.

Agreed at New York, 4 March 2008.


ahva-rahn said...

Hi Koos,

an intriguing piece, although it reads with all the dourness of a church bulletin whose editor is really a lawyer by any other day but Sunday...

This would have legs as an intriguing documentary. The title is even mysterious: The Manhattan Declaration. Cool. You average Joe would be much more taken to this well-endorsed argument if they had presented thier stuff in a 'sexier' way. We, the scientists and researchers in climate and related fields, economists, policymakers, and business leaders, assembled at Times Square, New York City, participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, also need an agent.

Be lucky,

Hans said...

A little steeply black & white but I agree to the most that is said in there. But the impact of human activities on the climate must also be taken into the equation, not completely dismissed.

Koos F said...


Thanks a lot for your moderate and reasonable comment.
I agree that the impact of human activities on the climate must be taken into account - and I think this impact is constantly and grossly exaggerated.


At an earlier occasion I used my own words to make my point, and in reply you used only 'arguments' like cynical, smug and the dreaded agenda-word.

This time I just quote, and again you only criticise the wording instead of the message.
The pattern is clear: other than Hans you have a go at the messenger.

I might try a third time, because I think this a very important issue.

You are still invited to comment, but now there is a condition: only arguments about the content.

If you are interested in intriguing documentaries about the subject, you'll find quite a number of them on YouTube.

ahva-rahn said...

Oh come on, Koos, my comment was not attacking the messenger, especially not you, and was meant to add a touch of lightheartedness.

My comment actually agrees the argument is 'intriguing' and a 'well endorsed' message. Is it the truth? I don't know. I'm not a scientist. The truth is the most popular fiction. However, I find the language used to be very cold. Isn't that a reasonable comment? There is such a thing as a 'convincing' argument, and that involves facts and how they are presented. Things need to be presented well. One could assume that the alternative, Inconvenient Truth, has a more popular appeal because of the way it was presented and the Oscar winning documentary (although now I feel I must qualify that by saying that I am not endorsing that point of view, merely pointing out a possibilty on why the message appeals to the public - a good press office is important). I am suggesting in my previous comment that they do the same.

My comment had nothing to do with you, or 'shooting' the messenger.

We take from things what we bring to them.

I have already apologized publicly on your blog for the previous comment that offended you.

Be well,

Koos F said...

Interesting reply, Paul.

'Intriguing' and 'well endorsed' are visible, but hidden under a layer of criticism about the wording.
I have thanked you for saying sorry about the first time, but it happens again: your focus isn't what is said but the way it is said.

But there is hope. You could offer your formidable (I do not exaggeate here) writing skills to clubs like the International Climate Conference, or any other group or individual trying to make themselves heard against the billion-dollar pro-AGW media circus, that tries to stop the debate by claiming the science is settled, and deniers are flat-earthers.

"The truth is the most popular fiction." That is a beautiful phrase I'll remember, although I am a bit less of a relativist.

ahva-rahn said...

I will leave it after this, Koos, as I suspect we’ll disagree on the nature of presentation and how it affects an argument. The “don’t shoot the messenger” argument has been raised several times, but sometimes it’s not what one says, but how one says it that matters. I have been responsible for stating some things that have been misunderstood on several occasions, and I try to be careful in how things are said, but I am not always successful and I recognize that.

I am not sure if the way in which an argument is presented should intellectually influence the argument, and if it does, it could be argued that it isn’t fair or just that presentation influences the argument. I will say this, however, that in my experience the presentation is part of how one views an argument, or how one is influenced to a conclusion (in most cases).

One only has to look at how an individual dresses for a job interview, or how the defendant appears at a trial to see how presentation is meant to influence, or how it augments communication. I am not saying that it is dishonesty (as I don’t know), for there is an equal likelihood that either it enhances the candidates suitability for the job, or in the defendant’s case, underlines their honesty. Presentation has little to do with truth, but it is a factor on how convincing an argument is perceived.

In this case under discussion, if I have 100 scientists who tell me that mankind has an influence on climate change and 100 who tell me that it doesn’t, then I expect that I might have an equal chance of making the right judgment. My original point is that I feel that the Manhattan Declaration folks are missing an opportunity in this debate. That’s about the sum of it. None of it is personal.

In my capacity as some sort of technical consultant during my day job, I am frequently asked to write documents or proposals. Quite often, after review, the language is changed to ensure that the message is delivered with the correct tone, and that it maintains a professional form suitable for the company brand. On occasions like this, I understand why the words I use are corrected and recognize it is valid criticism.

On a personal note, I extend to you, Val and family, my best wishes for a happy holiday season.

Keep warm,

Koos F said...

I don't think we disagree very much about the importance of presentation. I once made a living teaching such skills.

I now owe you an apology. Your comment sounds much milder on second reading. Maybe your message there was even: 'Gee, they might have a point.'?

As I have said before, I think we are being fooled big time, and that worries me.
Your average Joe isn't my problem or my target audience.
It is you, it's Dale, Margie, and a small but dear number of others who read this (Val too. We don't speak any more. We only blog to each other ;-).

I admit I got nasty when the content disappeared behind the form - again.
Sorry Paul. Frustration is a very bad communicator.

Meanwhile here's a nice YouTube link to writer Michael Chrichton. To be enjoyed over a very happy Christmas, which I genuinely wish you.

grace said...

Good piece on Global Warming. A serious situation, I believe.
Blogging - interesting thought to ponder?

Merry Xmas to you Koos.

VallyP said...

I'm glad you and Paul have 'shaken hands' on this one, Koosje.

The issue of 'it's not what you say but the way you say it' is much easier dealt with in the spoken word. In writing, we have none of the other signals that are so important in good communication (another reason why the smiley emoticon has become so useful).

I think we are all, every one of us, misinterpreted at times. It can't be helped but at least we can always (and I hope cheerfully) agree to disagree.

Happy holidays to both Paul and you (but I think part of the latter is up to me ;-))

Koos F said...

Wise words, Val!

Dan L. said...


I believe you already know my thoughts with regards to the global warming issue.

There is much to be said for observations, studies, record keeping, analysis, etc, etc.

There is also much to be said about what we cannot say....that is, what we actually do not know. Mankind, us, often like to place ourselves at the center of all things....especially in these times of political correctness and all. I suggest the following question be a reminder:

Why do we insist that man is at the root of global warming? Yes, we have many fine scientists. We have many fine sciences and diciplines, we are....truly, quite smart about a lot of things. But...we cannot know what we really don't know.

Take for example the volcano...

Read up on that one (Koos likely has)! The distribution of materials from just one sizable eruption is immense. It is also very globally damaging (if "damage" is the correct term?...and that may be the key nature doing "damage"?)

The earth was here before us, without us, in a most remarkable way. We, modern man, had nothing to do with the end of dinosaurs, all the many ice ages, continental drift, etc....


I propose, that by today's standards, had we been there for all of that....we would have blamed ourselves.


Yes, we should watch our ecology, I know, I know. But I stand by the comments made by me, here.

--Dan L.

grace said...

Happy New Year Koos.

Lannio said...

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar

Hope 2009 brings many wonderful things to your life


Anne-Marie said...

Hi Koos,
A belated visit to wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2009!