In a graduation season when distinguished guests such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Condoleezza Rice, Christine Lagarde, some state senator from Colorado and a camel in Minnesota have all been bounced from campus by student protests, John Kerry somehow managed to slip through the net and deliver his speech to Boston College students. Can you guess what it was about, boys and girls?
Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduates of Boston College on Monday that they have doom and destruction to look forward to if they don't take climate change more seriously than previous generations.
'And I know its hard to feel the urgency as we sit here on an absolutely beautiful morning in Boston,' Kerry said, 'you might not see climate change as an immediate threat to your job, your communities or your families.
'But let me tell you, it is.'
If the U.S. does not act, 'and it turns out that the critics and the naysayers and the members of the Flat Earth Society - if it turns out that they're wrong, then we are risking nothing less than the future of the entire planet.'
This is apparently the one speech you're still allowed to give at American universities.
Down Under, meanwhile, the Australian Government is gaily "risking nothing less than the future of the entire planet". The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Australia's climate change action has effectively ground to a halt with the budget revealing big cuts to research and renewable energy, moves that critics say sets policy back to the 1990s.
I love the way they put that. Wow, critics say it's so out-of-date, so archaic, so reactionary, so backward, so neanderthal, so squaresville that it sets policy all the way "back to the 1990s". Can you still dimly, vaguely remember - through the blur of the passing decades - those sepia-hued 1990s? That would be the decade global warming stopped - or, as the climate cult prefer to say, "paused". That's how long ago it is.
Greens leader Christine Milne said Prime Minister Tony Abbott had never accepted the science of climate change and his government's view would not have been out of place in the late 1990s.
"The late 1990s". A pause in warming from the late Nineties to now is apparently a barely discernible blip in the remorseless, accelerating roasting of the planet, but in terms of climate policy the Nineties is one giant step for mankind, backwards.
The SMH continues:
Budget papers show funds for climate change-related programs will shrink from $5.75 billion in the current fiscal year to $1.25 billion by 2014-15 and to $500 million by 2017-18. The government will spend more on its national blood program than climate change on all but the first of those four years.
It's not clear to me why that is such an obviously deluded priority, but Peter Hannam and Lisa Cox evidently feel it requires no further explanation. But the point is it will cause the Australian climate-science community to flee to warmer climes:
Mark Butler, the opposition spokesman for climate change, said: "While it barely seemed possible, [Tuesday night] saw Tony Abbott backslide even further on Australia's fight against climate change,"
Todd Lane, president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, said the loss of funds would reduce the ability of scientists to research weather and climate, and many young researchers would likely leave Australia.
"It will take us a decade to recover," Dr Lane said.
Given that most Aussie warm-mongers believe the country will be a broiling desert wasteland with its coastal cities underwater in a decade or three, "young researchers" should be thankful they're on the first planes out.
~Speaking of the Australian climate-science community, the American blogger Brandon Shollenberger has managed to attract the attention of the University of Queensland. I don't know much about Mr Shollenberger except that he thinks Michael E Mann has a case against me and the case ought to be permitted to go to trial. (Shollenberger rests this belief on the quaint assumption that Mann has been "cleared" by "eight different investigations".)
Latterly, Brandon Shollenberger has been exploring a paper that purports to "prove" that there's a 97 per cent consensus in climate science in favor of "climate change". Like Steve McIntyre, I'm not terribly bothered about the "97 per cent consensus" thing myself. Aside from the climate of fear Mann & his fellow Warmanos have ushered in, there seems to be a fair element of genuine groupthink at work. Indeed, the very idea of scientists conducting scientific research to determine scientifically that 97 per cent of scientists agree on the science is itself a bizarre example thereof. The notion of an organization called "Skeptical Science" launching something called "The Consensus Project" is either Orwellian or beyond parody, according to taste.
But the story of what happened to Shollenberger when he attempted to dig into the so-called data behind the 97 per cent reveals, as do Mann's multiple lawsuits and the Lennart Bengtsson hockey-sticking, the peculiar insecurity of this rock-solid consensus. Somebody called Jane Malloch, who describes herself as "a solicitor for the University of Queensland", has sent Shollenberger a cease-&-desist letter. Indeed, it's such a forceful cease-&-desist letter that Ms Malloch demands he cease-&-desist from telling anyone about her cease-&-desist letter:
The University of Queensland owns the copyright in this letter and you are advised that any publication by you of this letter, or persons acting in concert with you, will constitute an infringement of The University's copyright. The University of Queensland reserves its right to take any and all legal action against any person, including you, who publishes this letter.
Well, naturally, I take such legal threats extremely seriously, so I've published the entire letter here. If Ms Malloch wants to have me served or perform a citizen's arrest, I'll be appearing live in Brisbane later this year on my Oz tour and will gladly hold a couple of seats for her.
Aside from the idea that a cease-&-desist letter can be copyrighted anymore than a parking ticket or a receipt from the gas station can, there are several other curious points the University makes. I've written to Ms Malloch seeking clarification, and will let you know as soon as I receive her response. Re the defamation threats, Brandon Shollenberger might like to know that my cracker-barrel legal team was the driving force behind "Rachel's Law", which ensures that no libel judgment from a jurisdiction that does not provide free-speech protections as strong as America's will be recognized by courts here. But note yet again that, for all the complaints that "climate change denialists are suing scientists", it is, in fact, the other way round. In Queensland as in the District of Columbia as in British Columbia, it's the scientists who are suing.
The more basic point is that the 97 percenters are behaving extremely oddly. As the indispensable Iowahawk Tweeted:
Do all scientists keep their data & programs locked inside a boobytrapped Ark of the Covenant, or is that just a climate science thing?
I dunno, but slowly but surely it's killing them. A related thought from Jim Bouldin of UC Davis:
My default position toward Nature (and PNAS for that matter), at least for environmental science papers (including climate science and ecology), has shifted from innocent until proven guilty, to roughly the opposite. I just don't believe what they claim until I've read the paper involved closely, and since I don't have time to do that, that means I basically don't accept what they claim. I've just seen too much bad science and I don't trust them to be fully objective and place scientific veracity over hype and headline. Sorry.
As John Kerry would say, the entire future of our planet depends on Professor Bouldin just shutting up and falling into line. Or as Michael Mann would say: #KochFundedDenialMachineDenier!
~Thanks as always to everyone who's swung by the SteynOnline bookstore in recent days to help fund my end of the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century. Readers from Indiana to Indonesia have chipped in to buy our new SteynOnline gift certificates and our exclusive range of designer courtwear. Don't forget the Kindle edition of my free-speech book Lights Out is also available, and the royalties from any copies you pick up at Amazon.com and Amazon sites worldwide will also go toward inflicting on the climate mullahs a thorough and decisive courtroom defeat.