Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.” Mary McCarthy.
In the battle for proper climate science free from politics there are two levels at which bureaucracy is a modern form of despotism. In most countries it is in departments of meteorology, weather, climate or environment. At the global level it is in the United Nations. Regardless of location it is essentially unaccountable and represents the enemy within.
Instead of working for the people by being apolitical and identifying all sides of an issue so people and politicians can make informed decisions, they have pushed an unproven hypothesis and defended it in the face of contradictory evidence. As a result governments everywhere are introducing or entertaining completely wrong policies. Although the issue is weather and climate the implications are much wider because the position taken in the officially responsible departments influences policy in most other departments including energy, agriculture, construction, transport and so on. For example, if the weather and climate departments say warming is the only future then all other government departments will use that as the base for their planning. A perfect example of the pervasiveness of climate-based policy across all parts of a society is cap and trade in the Obama stimulus package and budget.
The takeover of bureaucracies to push a political weather and climate agenda began at the United Nations. Maurice Strong, major architect of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and its dangerous offspring the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was asked by Elaine Dewar in her book “Cloak of Green” why, if he wanted to make change, he didn’t run for political office. He said that you couldn’t change anything as a politician. He realized the United Nations (UN) gave him the power without the accountability. Dewar wrote that he liked the UN because, “He could raise his own money from whomever he liked, appoint anyone he wanted, control the agenda.”
The key phrase is he could “appoint anyone he wanted.” He could select the bureaucracy that would create and expand his policies. It is not surprising that the Chairman of the meeting in Villach in 1985 at which the IPCC was formulated was Gordon McBean, Deputy Minister from Environment Canada. McBean directed and diverted the entire policy of the Canadian government toward global warming. Like-minded senior and junior bureaucrats from other governments were brought into the process. Here is one commentary on the importance.
The Villach conference of October 1985 is widely credited with being critical to the placing of the climate change issue firmly on the international political agenda, and to the subsequent establishment of the IPCC – because at this conference the scientists concluded that the need for government action was far more urgent than they had previously thought.
Most of the 2500 members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are bureaucrats appointed by their governments to push a political agenda. As MIT professor Richard Lindzen, former member of the IPCC said, “It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.”
The bureaucracy is comprised of civil servants who are supposed to be politically neutral. In the United States the Hatch Act of 1939 says specifically that civil servants are not allowed to engage in political activities while performing their duties. Nobody has challenged the intent of this Act more than James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies.
While regular bureaucrats make up the bulk of the IPCC and government departments around the world it is the scientist/bureaucrat that are the most problematic. Hansen is one, as was McBean and several others. Of course, Hansen is only a bureaucrat when it suits him, a behavior that underlies the political nature of his actions. He appears before Senate committees as a private citizen or as head of NASA GISS. In a new twist on February 25, 2009 he appeared before the Ways and Means Committee as a faculty member of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
Bureaucratic involvement and actions identify the dilemmas politicians face when confronted with the climate issue. First, it was part of the new environmental paradigm that correctly changed our view of our planet. As global warming became the holy grail of the new religion of environmentalism, extremists made it political suicide to ask questions that could be interpreted as showing you did not care about the environment. Second, almost none of them understood science let alone climate science. When a bureaucrat/scientist convinced politicians they had to adopt policies to stop global warming they were not in a position to question. Either they didn’t know the right questions to ask or they were challenged to explain how they were qualified to challenge a scientist on the subject. A third technique employed by Hansen was to claim political interference if anyone dared to question.
Dr, John S. Theon, Hansen’s former boss, rejected the claim.
NASA’s Inspector General who made the correct distinction between his research and his other activities also rejected it. This is a logical distinction but it ignores the question of how political the research is. If you have convinced your political bosses and through your office the majority of the public there is a high probability that your research becomes political. Worse, you block scientific research that shows your position is wrong. The IPCC bureaucrats are classic examples of this practice. Their efforts in writing the Summary for Policymakers created false information, as Lord Monckton identified.
The report’s first table of figures – inserted by the IPCC’s bureaucrats after the scientists had finalized the draft, and without their consent – listed four contributions to sea-level rise. The bureaucrats had multiplied the effect of melting ice from the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets by 10.
Of course, the downside is once the bureaucrats have convinced the politicians they are on a treadmill. They have to perpetuate the myth that CO2 and especially human CO2 is causing warming. The number of ways data are ‘adjusted,’ are well documented on Anthony Webb’s web site.
Or the web page of Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit, which has many examples but the following is the one that led to the claim that 1998 was the warmest year in the US when it was actually 1934.
Adjustment of data has a place but how it is done must be disclosed. It is also suspicious when all adjustments serve to support only one side of a hypothesis.
Sadly, many bureaucrats are aware of the conflict between the science about global warming and the truth, but as I discussed in a previous article they are afraid to speak out.
Recently, the United Kingdom Meteorological Office (UKMO) appointed a new Director and appears to be shifting their position. Here is an announcement that would have been unthinkable just a year ago. “‘Apocalyptic climate predictions’ mislead the public, say experts: Met Office scientists fear distorted climate change claims could undermine efforts to tackle carbon emissions.” (link)
Notice this a measured comment that doesn’t admit they are wrong. They are simply warning that crying wolf too loudly is drawing public attention. When this is added to their disastrous seasonal predictions they add up to growing public skepticism. The British newspaper The Guardian, which is a mouthpiece for the apocalyptic view, is also soft-pedaling the problem of extremisms.
Other mainstream media are starting to ask similar questions. Consider this review of events in the Boston Globe.
I hold little hope for accountability of those bureaucrats who have used their position to block the scientific method, disseminate bad information, and convince politicians to take wrong positions from which they produce wrong legislation. They will take their wonderful indexed pensions and walk out leaving the public to pick up the pieces and pay the bill.
Mary McCarthy’s comment about bureaucratic despotism is manifest in the exploitation of global warming. Maurice Strong and his appointed bureaucrats at the UN combined with selected national bureaucrats to achieve their political goal as defined by Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, “Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat’s dream. If you control carbon, you control life.”