Oh, the humanity! Internet scammers are creating their own conferences on global warming threats and remedies. They call for papers, and offer air fares and accommodation for presenters. Moreover, papers endorsed by the scammers’ “peer review panel” will be published in “prestigious” fake climate journals.
To secure your room at the five-star London hotel, please pay the hotel a small refundable deposit of 300 pounds by using the (fake) hotel’s payment website. The 0844-prefix hotel phone number involves a re-direction to who-knows-who.
Top-tier scamming emails are signed ostensibly by “Christiana Figueres” – the UN climate body’s real-life executive secretary from Costa Rica. She distinguished herself last October blaming NSW bushfires on global warming – unless some scammer was impersonating her. She also won the Hero for the Planet award in 2001, unless that was another hoax.
Disgruntled would-be climate-science travellers have found the address of one London hotel to be that of a pet shop, and another to be that of the Marylebone Crematorium.
The next fake conference, funded by “the UN”, will begin in London’s “Kings Park Hotel” on January 27 on the theme of an Integrated Global Response to Sustainable Development and Climate Change Proposals. You may even be provided with lifelike air-travel e-tickets.
The scammers have done their homework and get the right inspirational tone:
“The situation in the world’s developing countries, which contributed least to the crisis and are most severely affected , has led some economists to warn of ‘lost decades for development’ which could have catastrophic consequences for rich and poor countries alike.”
Serious climate conference junketeers are indignant. One blogged, “My guess is these folks are unrelated to the typical climate denialists – they’re just con men out to steal money.” That’s what I’d call damning skeptics with faint praise!
Someone else on that thread rudely chipped in:
“Of course they probably reckon that anyone stupid enough to fall for the typical alarmist propaganda put out by the hugely funded AGW bandwagon is probably stupid enough to fall for this sort of transparent scam, and they’re probably right.”
The climate conference scammers have been trolling for warmist authors for half a decade. Using a scam-watch site, I spent half an hour on a rough count of climate conference scams (a good model spawns variants so it all gets a bit rubbery). I counted 23 fake climate conferences and exhibitions in 2011, 10 in 2012 , three in 2013 and one so far this year. They seem, like the warming scare per se, to be on a downward trend.
Often the geography of both scammers and victims is woozy. One “London” conference was supposed to be in a cottage in a Hampshire village. A London hotel address was in Edinburgh.
The scammers have even managed to come up with new acronyms, like WGGW – “Working Group of Global Warming”, with a conference at the Mayfair Hotel in Park Lane.
Invitations, snipped from genuine alarmist conference material, emphasise that these events are not all hard slog saving the planet, e.g.
- “Participants will enjoy shows, attractions, activities, and tours available in host city”
- “Recreation: There would be short visitation to London historical sites and monuments (Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum, Trafalgar Square, Kensington Palace, Albert Memorial, and The Tower of London).”
- Free gala dinner, lunches during the conference and visits to shopping centers in sunny Dubai.
I really liked this spiel for its persuasiveness:
“Perhaps we stand at a crossroads… Climate change is now universally recognized as a significant global environmental challenge and as a consequence, debate over the measures needed to tackle climate change has moved up to the top of the agenda amongst civil society, business and government… In September 2008, the UK raised the bar by announcing a target of cutting CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. The Stern Review underlined that increased investment in R&D and innovation could significantly reduce CO2 emissions and we have seen more than $5 billion of venture capital invested in clean tech worldwide since September 2007 (Source: Ernst & Young).”
It’s worth the scammers’ while since genuine climate conferences are a massive fringe benefit for the climate and activist community.
Just looking at the big shows, the 1988 Toronto climate summit drew more than 500 officials and scientists as delegates, with nearly as many green groupers represented as physical scientists. They resolved that “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war.”
Four years later, attendance at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit ballooned to more than 20,000. The UN-run summit resolved, among other things, that “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”
Kyoto in 1997 attracted 2500 participants, 3000 Non-Government Organisation officials and 4000 press representatives, let alone demonstrators. It enshrined the idea that the First World has to compensate the developing world for CO2 “pollution”, in other words, the West is to become a money tree.
The Copenhagen flop (2009) was the daddy of all the conferences. Think of the number 968 – that’s just how many activists were arrested there. Wiki tells me 40,000-100,000 showed up, including local and globe-trotting ferals.
Among the 100,000 was Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, who I see cost ratepayers $7500 for business-class fares, $7820 for accommodation and $3700 for incidentals.
The latest show was the IPCC’s Warsaw flop last November, attended by a mere 10,000. They were entertained by the Philippines lead negotiator who announced he would stop eating food “until a meaningful outcome is in sight”. This pledge seemed to involve a safe level of wiggle room, and he is not yet deceased.
Between all these biggies has been a plethora of minor conferences. For example, in March 2012 CSIRO sent no fewer than 40 of its reps to the Planet Under Pressure (PUP) conference in London.
Another 40 or so Australian academics, public servants and sinecured activists also imprinted their con-trails to PUP on the long-suffering troposphere. The conference resolved that a form of UN-controlled world government was needed to head off the climate threat, and sent the suggestion off to UN secretary-general Spanky Banky (that’s a Kevin Rudd-ism, don’t blame me). The resolution must still be in his in-tray.
More recently, we had the conference “Radical emission reduction strategies” in London on December 10-11, co-hosted by the Royal Society. One participant elicited a round of applause for proposing that LNG and coal exporters in Australia should be “annihilated”. The topic of Dr. Jane O’Sullivan, of the University of Queensland, was “Reducing emissions through family planning and women’s empowerment.” Two other Australian presenters discussed whether wartime mobilization a la 1939-45 would be feasible to fight the CO2 menace, concluding reluctantly that public support for mobilisation might be lacking.
To sum up, the scam climate conferences are probably more beneficial, or at least less detrimental to sanity and public finance, than the real ones. The individual victims of the conference scams seem to be largely marginal players from Africa and Asia. I feel a bit sorry for them.
I did admire a researcher called Shamsundar who had his abstract selected for the climate conference and, in addition, was offered a fee of 2500 Euros. When they asked him to pay a deposit on the hotel , he sagely told them to pay it themselves by debiting from his 2500 Euro earnings.
In one case only the wit of a wife saved a victim from serious loss. The victim had already paid for his deposit at “Ashley Villa” for five nights, when his wife commented that it was ridiculous that the sponsors were going to pick up the tab for the US and UK visas. “There are two things i have learned,” wrote husband.
“ Google out and verify all the notes. And believe in what your wife has to say !!”
Some were less fortunate. One victim blogged: “Unfortunatelly I have not seen all this stuff before and applied for this Conference in London. I payed everything. Can you imagine?”
“Nazaneen” wrote: ‘I’m a VICTIM… I have paid £459.00 for the hotel reservation in person cash to HSBC bank…will find them and kick their….’
“Lina” replied, ‘You were not the only victim. I have payed for the hotel, for the security deposit, for the health insurance …etc. Total amount …1200 GBP.’
On being advised to contact the London police, she posted on the same day: ‘Maybe we should wait for couple of days to see whether they will refund the money back to us. Don’t you think so?’
One victim, a “Dr Priyanka” from India, paid “a lot” for a Hyde Park Hotel global-warming booking and wanted the perpetrators punished by the UK police. Another confessed to faxing her passport key pages to scammers as well.
The financial intelligence unit of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago put out a special alert last September against the conference scams. But it does raise the question, how many citizens of Trinidad and Tobago really feel qualified to deliver papers to prestigious climate conferences in London? The answer, probably, is “not many”.
That’s not the point. Under the UN and IPCC diversity and gender balance protocols, climate scientists by definition must originate pro-rata from the 1st and LDC world, and must be fairly represented gender-wise. Huh? You thought the IPCC scientists were world-leading experts? That’s certainly what IPCC chair Dr Rajendra Pachauri relentlessly claims and what the ever-gullible mainstream media believes.
To start at the top, as revealed by investigative journalist Donna Laframboise, the IPCC 30-person bureau which oversees all publications – must have five people from Africa and four from North America.[i] In addition, each of its three working groups must now include at least one person from every continent in their eight-person bureau.
I did a quick check and noticed one of the three top-tier IPCC vice-chairs is now Mr Ogunlade Davidson, from Sierra Leone; a Working Group co-chair is Youba Sokona from Mali, and another is Ms Nirivololona Raholijao of Madagascar, along with Mr Amjad Abdulla from the Maldives (Pop. 338,442). I am sure they are all ably qualified to lead the world to CO2-emission-free nirvana.
At the coalface (woops!) IPCC level, less formal criteria ensure that swarms of 2nd and 3rd world people are represented on “the science”, sometimes even as lead authors outranking scientists from blue-chip science institutes. The serious IPCC scientists complained vociferously to the InterAcademy Council’s review of the IPCC in 2010 that drones appointed on diversity and gender grounds were getting in their road and goofing around. They did use more diplomatic language than mine but it’s all on the IAC public record, e.g.
- “There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter in [the 2007 report] we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent.” (p. 138)
- “Sometimes, [lead authors] recommended from developing countries are bureaucrats with little scientific background…” (pp. 261-2)
- “Some [lead authors] simply did not contribute enough but because they were nominated by their governments, nothing could be done to induce them to contribute.” (p. 365)[ii]
So scammers know that even in midget basket-case dictatorships, there are bureaucrats, scientists and hangers-on with great expectations of climate perks and conferences. It’s hardly surprising that scammers cast their nets wide.
Tony Thomas admits to once falling for an eBay purchase scam himself. He blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org