The aftermath isn’t yet upon us. We are still in the in situ-math. But I thought it would be fun anyway to make some definite, testable predictions of what will happen given the CRU-cliimategate / warmergate emails and files release.
These are prognostications, not desires. Obviously, they might not be right.
- Die-hard “activists” will develop a conspiracy theory of how skeptics are deliberately misinterpreting and/or inventing the emails/computer code to confuse the public. A rumor will float that Big Oil, or other “denialist” bugaboo, was involved in the conspiracy.
- The Real Climate folks will be forced to back peddle for some time. There will continue, for about three to six months, a stream of “We didn’t really mean X, although, yes, we said X. We really meant Y” explanations. These will become increasingly half-hearted. Profanity and creative invective will be publicly resorted to.
- The CRU release will change few, if any of the major “stakeholders'” minds. That is, the end of the world types will still watch the skies, and skeptics will still be skeptical. The larger middle-ground, including all civilians, will begin to forget about the whole climate change thing after a year. There will be three or four high level defections. Al Gore will not be one of them.
- Politicians will have to be cagier in what they say and do. They won’t be able to continue to tout the party line of “consensus” directly—in fact, “consensus” will cease being the party line—because they will worry that more revelations could appear, which would make them look like asses—their number-one horror. As a consequence:
- Copenhagen will result in a torrent of frothy, “We Care!” statements countries can sign, but all will be non-binding. President Obama will not go and remain home “to focus on health care.”
- Cap & Trade legislation will still get talked about—too many Congresspersons, and some businesses, want the power associated with the new taxes and regulations, the environment be damned—but it will have to take a different public face. The legislation that eventually passes—for something will pass—will be much watered down from today’s current proposals.
- Papers/studies produced by NGOs and GOs will morph from “Climate Change” to “Environmental Stewardship”. There are too many groups and too much money in the system for them to disappear altogether. Global warming will be deemphasized and pollution, cellphone cancers, excessive water use, GMOs, and other man-made ills will be touted. After two years or so, many will have a difficult time recalling that “climate change” was so important.
- Ordinary politicians will still discuss the “importance” of climate change, but they will point to other legislation that is more immediately pressing. Until, that is, they feel their constituents have forgotten about the matter. Then they’ll move on to other ways to consolidate power.
- No criminal charges of any kind will be prosecuted (some might be threatened and even filed). Phil Jones will announce he is retiring to “spend more time with his family.”
- At least six months from now, some upstart journal papers will begin to appear. “It might not be quite as bad as we had feared” will be the titles of the first of them. The second brigade will be themed, “No, it’s not that bad, but it might be in the future, we just don’t know. We do still need more grants/research if you can spare the money.”
- The old guard will respond with papers like “Pollution is masking warmth, but, boy, wait until the air clears, then it’s really gonna heat up.”
- Some of the CRU crew will suffer TIAs, peptic pops, hives, or worse as a result of the stress. Start an aspirin regime now, gentlemen. Begin a hypertension watch.
The gist is that people have “cared” about global warming—the nomenclature later mysteriously changed to “climate change”—for a long time. Habits are not easily broken. Even failed forecasts, even dismally failed forecasts, do not easily dissuade. For example, look at Paul “Population Bomb” Ehrlich. Going on forty-one years of touring his Chicken Little dance, with absolutely no signs of his slowing. And, to demonstrate the widespread nature of human folly, we can’t even count how many homeopathists there are.
Evidence, of any kind, never fazes the true believer. So it is rational to believe that evidence won’t change the minds of any hard-core global warming “activists.”
Those were my predictions. What are yours?
Don’t miss tomorrow’s story: What is—and what isn’t—evidence of global warming.
Update Thanks to Nervous Tick for correcting my usual appalling typos.