Debunked: "Top climate scientist Tim Lenton admits to ongoing geoengineering"

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
lenton.jpg


James Hodgskiss of "Chemtrails Project UK" recently posted a claim that Professor Tim Lenton of Exeter University "conceded that the geoengineering of our skies was indeed already happening".

Link (currently the site is working only intermittently) http://www.chemtrailsprojectuk.com/cracked-top-climate-scientist-admits-to-ongoing-geoengineering/

The story is mirrored here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/top-br...-ongoing-geoengineering-interventions/5485739

This claim is based on a Q&A session at a conference in Paris in July 2015 entitled Our Common Future Under Climate Change

Here is a transcript of the relevant part of the Q&A session:

* The source transcribes this part as "a small scale uncontrolled [sic] one" but it seems to me that Pritchard says "and controlled", as he intended.


Chemtrails Project UK claim that this represents an admission of ongoing geoengineering, which is not the case at all, if you listen to the Q&A session in context. Colin Pritchard's question was facetiously referring to mankind's current unbridled emissions of carbon dioxide as "an enormous global-scale uncontrolled experiment in geoengineering" (i.e. exacerbating the greenhouse effect), and asking Lenton whether he prefers that to a controlled small-scale geoengineering experiment. Remember, Lenton had just stated his opinion that the risks of solar radiation management would outweigh the benefits.


Professor Lenton has confirmed by email to me that this is what he meant, and that CPUK are misrepresenting his views.

upload_2015-11-3_14-29-33.png


Colin Pritchard, who put the question to Lenton, also confirms that this is what he was talking about:

upload_2015-11-3_14-30-55.png
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
A video of the Q&A session is here. Skip to 1:29:59 for Pritchard's question and Lenton's response.


Note the laughter in the room after Pritchard's question, and from Lenton as he begins his response. It seems that the only ones who missed the joke were Chemtrails Project UK.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Everyone present understood what was being referred to because the effect of large scale carbon emissions on the climate has been commonly referred to as an "uncontrolled experiment" for nearly 70 years. The phrased originating (it seems) with this 1957 paper:


http://uscentrist.org/platform/positions/environment/context-environment/docs/Revelle-Suess1957.pdf


The language continued to be used by climate scientists, adding the word "uncontrolled"
1977
http://www.jstor.org/stable/27847841?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents



2002
https://books.google.com/books?id=fD-9tL1SFfEC&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq="uncontrolled+experiment"+climate+change&source=bl&ots=o7hHXhVX9g&sig=eFS-dFZKeV212HBEDNQyTJiMv60&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CGUQ6AEwDmoVChMI2aqr5cb0yAIVjKKICh3VRQdR#v=onepage&q="uncontrolled experiment" climate change&f=false


The phrase has been used in the context of geoengineering discussion before, with similar potential for misunderstanding:
2009:
http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1916965,00.html
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Great work!
Well actually it was trivially easy. Both Lenton's and Pritchard's email addresses can be found with a quick Google search. I sent a brief email enquiry today and both of them responded within an hour or so. So why did none of those self-professed "truth seekers" at CPUK bother to get a response from the man they claim is blowing the whistle on a great secret? You have to wonder.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
...why did none of those self-professed "truth seekers" at CPUK bother to get a response from the man they claim is blowing the whistle on a great secret? You have to wonder.
Uh...because misrepresenting his comments advances their unsubstantiated narrative? :rolleyes:



(I know you already know this, Trail...but just figured I'd point it out before someone misunderstands your "wonder"...
kinda similarly to CT's willfully misrepresenting Lenton's remarks. Nice work :)...though experience teaches that
it will probably still be spun as
"He accidentally blurted out the secret, and is in 'damage control' mode now.")
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Well actually it was trivially easy. Both Lenton's and Pritchard's email addresses can be found with a quick Google search. I sent a brief email enquiry today and both of them responded within an hour or so. So why did none of those self-professed "truth seekers" at CPUK bother to get a response from the man they claim is blowing the whistle on a great secret? You have to wonder.

Emailing scientists should be one of the very first things done when they seem to be quoted out of context or misinterpreted. I must admit I don't always do it myself, it's easier to type my initial thoughts than to wait for an answer. But I'd encourage people to do it as I got a response from probably 80% or more of the scientist that I emailed, even fairly well known ones.

Not only scientists, you can also email regular people quoted in news stories, and journalists.
 

PCWilliams

Senior Member.
Well actually it was trivially easy. Both Lenton's and Pritchard's email addresses can be found with a quick Google search. I sent a brief email enquiry today and both of them responded within an hour or so. So why did none of those self-professed "truth seekers" at CPUK bother to get a response from the man they claim is blowing the whistle on a great secret? You have to wonder.

No wonder, really. They don't seek the truth, they seek the truth as they see it. :)
 

MikeC

Closed Account
No wonder, really. They don't seek the truth, they seek the truth as they see it. :)

Not even that IMO - they seek confirmation of their preferred ideas.

Those may or may not be "the truth as they see it" - in some cases I think we know that "they" know that it is not any sort of "truth" at all! :(
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Not even that IMO - they seek confirmation of their preferred ideas.

Those may or may not be "the truth as they see it" - in some cases I think we know that "they" know that it is not any sort of "truth" at all! :(
Agreed...and at the end of the day, most of us can even grudgingly admit that
the conspiracy theories are way more fun and entertaining than pesky reality.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.33.18 PM.png
 
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Ross Marsden

Senior Member.
[...] So why did none of those self-professed "truth seekers" at CPUK bother to get a response from the man they claim is blowing the whistle on a great secret? You have to wonder.
You really do wonder when in the paragraphs following the misrepresentation, the author make much of the apparent contradictions between Prof Tim Lenton's statement (misrepresented) and his own research work. Didn't they think, "Hey, there is possibly something not right here. What have I missed?"
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Emailing scientists should be one of the very first things done when they seem to be quoted out of context or misinterpreted. I must admit I don't always do it myself, it's easier to type my initial thoughts than to wait for an answer. But I'd encourage people to do it as I got a response from probably 80% or more of the scientist that I emailed, even fairly well known ones.

Not only scientists, you can also email regular people quoted in news stories, and journalists.
While confirmation is great, obviously. I think showing the critical thinking process, is maybe even more important though. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't".

The general public (all sides) needs to learn about context and to question their own assumptions. Most people arent going to email every scientist quoted in every article. So I'm glad you showed how the term "uncontrolled experiment" is used in climate circles and Trail showed the full context of the quote.
 

skephu

Senior Member.
So I'm glad you showed how the term "uncontrolled experiment" is used in climate circles and Trail showed the full context of the quote.
Indeed. Actually I don't think emailing the scientists was necessary to debunk this. You just show the meaning of the phrase as it is used in climate science, explain it in context, and you're done. Email confirmation is just icing on the cake. The debunk would stand without it.
 

skephu

Senior Member.
Like I predicted, now the author of the CPUK article claims that Lenton and Pritchard have realized they made a mistake and try to back-pedal:
That was so predictable!
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Indeed. Actually I don't think emailing the scientists was necessary to debunk this. You just show the meaning of the phrase as it is used in climate science, explain it in context, and you're done. Email confirmation is just icing on the cake. The debunk would stand without it.
It was pretty clear to me from context what they meant by the "uncontrolled experiment", but I wasn't aware that it was such a stock phrase in climate science, until Mick pointed it out.

So yes, emailing them probably wasn't strictly necessary, but I think when somebody claims "Person X said Y, by which they mean Z", it is good to hear Person X say what they meant in their own words. Bunk claims often seem to be bolstered by quote mining and taking words out of context, so going back to the original source removes doubt. Otherwise Prof Lenton would find his name on the list of supposed "whistleblowers" or "scientists who believe in chemtrails" for ever more.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Like I predicted, now the author of the CPUK article claims that Lenton and Pritchard have realized they made a mistake and try to back-pedal:
That was so predictable!
I left a few (fairly polite) comments on there. Currently "awaiting moderation", although to be fair it is the middle of the night in the UK.

Edit: the comments are being published, which is at least something. It does allow an insight into Hodgskiss's confusion over what SRM is intended to do and what effects it would have.

Suggesting that SRM would be "designed to create contrail cirrus", or that existing condensation trails have "the same effect" as geoengineering proposals shows a serious lack of understanding about geoengineering, which seems incredible for someone who has apparently devoted such vast energies to writing and campaigning about it!

If plain old contrails worked like SRM, we could stop all this wrangling and just go on more long-haul holidays. Job done! :)

Comments on that page now seem to be disabled, although it's hard to tell as the site is very flaky and won't load properly.
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
The CPUK page has now been updated (although it still seems to be broken, with images and style sheets not working)

upload_2015-11-4_18-16-16.png

[bunk]
Update (4th November 2011) [sic]
This article has been subjected to a ‘debunking’ attempt by metabunk – with one or more of their members also posting in our comments section, below.

As you will see, what metabunk have conveniently done is trim down Dr Pritchard’s concerns of “an uncontrolled experiment in geoengineering” to just “an uncontrolled experiment,” thereby opening it up to misinterpretation. They have deliberately done that to try and convince their readers that the two academics weren’t really talking about “an uncontrolled experiment in geoengineering.”

Of course they would now deny it, but if there’s any doubt about what the academics meant by geoengineering, they are using the usual definition that is widely used in climate circles and as ubiquitously defined (i.e., the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming.). We know this because this is the same definition that was clearly implied in Olga Raffa’s initial question, which was then continued by Lenton, then Pritchard, before being handed back to Lenton.

That the definition of geoengineering could have somehow changed (from the ubiquitos definition to some broader definition) during these exchanges is inexplicable and also implausible. We know this because Olga Raffa introduced her concerns about “weather modification and ongoing geoengineering programmes” and “aerosols being dumped into the atmosphere blocking our sun” so it was quite clear she was talking about actual geoengineering. And it was this (usual) definition of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering that we then witness propagate throughout Lenton’s and Pritchard’s subsequent statements on the matter.

It is also clear that the “uncontrolled experiment” that Lenton refers to is the same “uncontrolled experiment in geoengineering” concern raised by Pritchard. We know this because the former is immediately addressing the latter.

So what we are left with is a straightforward 3-way discussion about geoengineering as we all know it, as is ubiquitously defined. In case metabunk come back with an even more obscure argument, please bear in mind Ockham’s razor: Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

Read through the comments, below, and you will see that my claim stands up to logical scrutiny and that, unlike metabunk, I haven’t attempted to twist anything and I haven’t blocked any comments from appearing – postive or negative.

NB – I have now disabled comments on this article, but if anyone has anything new and relevant to add regarding my central claim that Dr Pritchard and Professor Lenton were indeed both talking about the current “uncontrolled experiment in geoengineering” (with geoengineering having its usual definition as the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming) then please contact us via our Contact page and we will review accordingly. (But just give us time, because we clearly don’t have the resources that metabunk have…)[/bunk]

Hodgskiss still appears to believe that he has a better idea of what these two climate scientists were talking about than the scientists themselves, which seems pretty presumptuous!

As for "we clearly don't have the resources that Metabunk have", if he has an email account and an hour of free time, then yes, he does. He could have clarified exactly what Lenton and Pritchard were talking about and saved himself a lot of time and backpedalling.
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
Occams Razor indeed!!!!

I mean what's easier, inventing ludicrous assumptions and making invalid baseless interpretations about what two people may or may not have meant

Or simply emailing them and asking
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
But they're not interested in getting clarification; they know what they 'really' meant and any clarification is back-pedalling because they accidently 'let the cat out of the bag'. It's self-contained and reality-proof.
 

Chuck

Active Member
No wonder, really. They don't seek the truth, they seek the truth as they see it. :)

PC, since I used to be a true believer caught in the paranoia of chemtrail circles, I can tell you that I thought I was being purely objective and intellectually honest. I was so convinced of what I thought was this nefarious plot to poison us from above, that, after "careful study" I sent an email to over 200 friends, warning them of impending doom. I was apoplectic to the point I'd break into a sweat when I'd see the web of "chemtrails" up in the sky. And, I had been inoculated and conditioned by the usual provocateurs like Jones to believe that all the chemtrail debunkers were nothing more than shills and disinfo agents employed by some organization controlled by the NWO.

So with people like I was at the time, there's really no way to have a reasonable dialogue. And therein lies the vicious cycle where truth can only come from sources the conspiratorialist believes confirm his/her worldview. I can't over emphasize enough how confirmation bias within these conspiratorially minded groups, is basically off the chart. Once one develops a conclusion, facts are manipulated, often unwittingly (as in my case), to fit their version of "reality".

So regarding Trailblazer's emailing the scientists, I would never have bothered to do this because I wouldn't have expected an "honest" answer. I have come to believe that conspiratorialism borders on being a mental disorder. Paranoia and ignorance combine to create a rather formidable opposition to truth. So to play off your comment, conspiratorialists think the are in fact seeking the truth. And they would argue, as I did, that they are the most well informed and open-minded as they dare think outside the box. It was a harsh reality when I finally realized that I was the gullible rube in the box. Thanks for the work Trailblazer. Love your Illuminutti site PC.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
PC, since I used to be a true believer caught in the paranoia of chemtrail circles, I can tell you that I thought I was being purely objective and intellectually honest...
Thanks for the input, Chuck. Could you share how you fell into that way of thinking, and what got you out of it? I find former believers' experiences fascinating. (Mick may want to move it to a new thread, so as not to derail this one.)
 

eon_flux

New Member
I had some contact with both Olga and James when I was running my site. The claims made by one of them that they had witnessed commercial passenger sized planes flying very low, slow and making a hissing noise as they sprayed, started to make the whole movement seem slightly suspicious to me.
 

Balance

Senior Member.
Natural news (yeah, I know) have run an article today repeating (and embellishing) this misrepresentation http://www.naturalnews.com/052532_Prof_Tim_Lenton_chemtrails_geoengineering.html#
Chemtrails Project UK are delighted they're getting this exposure.
 
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