Our tame cranks, the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition are trumpeting Royal Society resignee Vincent Gray’s recent update of his seminal paper The Global Warming Scam [PDF], first published on the NZ CSC’s web site in April this year. History does not record if it was first rejected by Nature. In terms of the “science” it contains it’s nothing new. Gray makes muddled (and lengthy) assertions about the impossibility of determining the average temperature of the planet, gets worked up about measurements of CO2 (setting great store by the work of Beck), and is unpersuaded by climate modelling and the IPCC’s use of scenarios. On the positive side, it’s 37 pages long.
In one respect, however, Gray’s magnum opus is most revealing. He devotes a short introduction[2. p3, section 1.1] to the birth of the “scam”:
The global warming scam is the result of the widespread belief in a new religion, based on the deification of a nebulous entity, â€œThe Environmentâ€. “The Environmentâ€ is an extension of the concept of â€œNature” which was held sacred by the Romantics, but it is a much more demanding deity, requiring constant and increasing sacrifices from humans.
That’s pretty standard stuff on the crank fringe, but Gray opens whole new avenues of thought with his next paragraphâ€¦
Environmentalism is just the latest attempt to find a substitute for the theory of evolution and it is paradoxical that it can be so widespread when next year (2009) is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his major work â€œThe Origin of Species as the Result of Natural Selectionâ€.
All of the basic beliefs of Environmentalism are in direct conflict with contemporary understanding of the principles of Darwinism.
This is an astonishing assertion; a genuine breakthrough in crank thinking. Suddenly the people you most despise are not only completely wrong, they’re closet creationists. This novel analysis is worth a paper of its own, and Gray would do crankwatchers a great service if explored this theme in future publications. However, he recognises that the novelty of his thesis might attract objections, so he continues:
Despite this fact, many scientists are supporters of Environmentalist dogmas and some are prepared to claim that they are compatible with Darwinism.
So “many scientists” are Environmentalists, and therefore have to proclaim that evolutionary theory is compatible with environmental action. Or something. Point needs work, I’d suggest.
After a diversion into the biblical roots of environmentalism, Gray then expands his point by providing a considered and provocative insight on current affairs:
The latest and most successful campaign is the claim that the earth is being dangerously warmed by human emissions of greenhouse gases. The widespread restrictions on â€œemissionsâ€ that have followed have led to the collapse of the world energy industry, with soaring prices of oil and electric power and deliberate promotion of world poverty by the use of agriculture to produce â€œbiofuelsâ€ instead of food.
This is massive news. Emissions reductions are working[3. They’re not], the world energy business is collapsing[4. Oil companies are making record profits], and there’s a deliberate campaign to increase global poverty. It’s a pity that in comparison the “science” in his paper is just wrong.
Vincent Gray is 86.