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Sunday 28 August 2011

Del Boy And The Cloud Seed

It was one-time Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel who said that a good crisis should never be allowed to go to waste. For the climate change denial lobby, though, a crisis can be whipped up from a far lesser event. A report from CERN on a study on cloud formations will do just as well.

Looking at the reportage from the Guardian, one could not imagine the faux outrage about to be deployed: their article tells how the scientists deduced that something other than water, sulphuric acid and ammonia was influencing the formation of clouds. Also, cosmic rays could influence the formation rates of what are known as “aerosols”, particles of those substances.

George watches Del Boy engage auto-sneer

All manner of possibilities follow, but the researchers agree that more study is required, and that no conclusion can yet be drawn. But over at Maily Telegraph blogland, James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole has concluded that what the research really means is that the supposed great global conspiracy is once more bust, especially because his pals say so.

So who does Del Boy cite in support? First, inevitably, is Anthony Watts, whose expertise is so unassailable that he is happy to champion Steven Goddard, someone who cannot distinguish between temperatures and temperature anomalies. The Watts cite is backed up by one from Andrew Orlowski of The Register, whose place in the pantheon of denialism is well known.

But Delingpole has offered more evidence, so perhaps there is someone there who isn’t in the denialist camp? Doubtful: these consist of Lawrence Solomon (who has even complained about Wikipedia’s treatment of him), Nigel Calder (who took part in the now discredited documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle), and Lubos Motl, another denialist, who is, like Del Boy, always right.

Thus assembled, this cast of echo chamber inhabitants is duly congratulated, while the dastardly BBC is denounced for being “dutifully on-message”, which in the land of Del Boy means that the Beeb has dared to serve up the news in a form which he finds less than totally ideologically acceptable.

Delingpole may believe that he is striking a blow for, well, something, but in reality, this practice of taking a piece of research and twisting the remarks of anyone connected with it in pursuit of producing more howling denouncements of the scientific establishment will get him nowhere.

Which may, paradoxically, be no bad thing.

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