I’ve been referring to the climate campaigners here as the “Climatistas” to chide their cult-like resemblance to the romantic Sandinista sympathizers of the 1980s, but it should not be forgotten that the real Sandinistas were a pack of nasty thugs. Likewise, the climate establishment behaves more like the Mafia today, telling any scientist or academic who might consider any departure from orthodoxy: “Nice little scientific career you have here; shame if anything were to happen to it.”
This is preface for the latest outrage that ought to be a major scandal in scientific circles (though don’t hold your breath). It was big news a few days ago that Lennart Bengtsson, the former director of the Max Planck Institute in Germany and a widely regarded meteorologist, had agreed to join the board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the London-based climate realist organization headed by Lord Lawson (Margaret Thatcher’s finance minister), Benny Peiser, and David Henderson, former chief economist of the OECD. (I know all three gentlemen; they are very formidable.)
Here’s part of Bengtsson’s interview with Der Spiegel, published just two days ago:
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Bengtsson, why did you decide to join the Global Warming Policy Foundation, an organization known for its skepticism about climate change?
Bengtsson: It is important to allow a broad debate on energy and climate. We must urgently explore realistic ways to address the different scientific, technical and economic challenges in solving the world’s energy problems and the associated environmental issues.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why do you think the GWPF is particularly suitable for that goal?
Bengtsson: Most of the members of GWPF are economists and this is an opportunity for me to learn from some of these highly qualified members who are active in areas outside my own expertise. At the same time, it will allow me to contribute by my own meteorological knowledge, to broaden the debate.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: The people at GWPF don’t exactly have a reputation for reconsidering their opinions. Have you become a so-called climate skeptic?
Bengtsson: I have always been a skeptic and I believe this is what most scientists really are.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: But weren’t you one of the alarmists 20 years ago? Do you think your position at that time was wrong?
Bengtsson: I have not changed my view on a fundamental level. I have never seen myself as an alarmist but rather as a scientist with a critical viewpoint, and in that sense I have always been a skeptic. I have devoted most of my career to developing models for predicting the weather, and in doing so I have learned the importance of validating forecasts against observed weather. As a result, that’s an approach I strongly favor for “climate predictions.” It’s essential to validate model results, especially when dealing with complex systems such as the climate. It’s essential do so properly if such predictions are to be considered credible.
Well, the climate Mafia wasn’t going to let Bengtsson defect, and, to mix metaphors, the Climate Inquisition went into overdrive. Today, Bengtsson transmitted his resignation from the GWPF, describing the intense pressure the intolerant climate establishment exerted on him to recant over the last 48 hours:
Dear Professor Henderson,
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.
I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.
Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.
With my best regards