I am a climate change sceptic
There. I’ve said it. In my experience this is a dangerous thing to say. It may alienate a large part of my potential audience and I have known other commentators receive what can only be described as hate mail for suggesting that climate change is not happening or may not be man made, as if they had committed an act of sacrilege.
I am a historian by training and I’ve always been puzzled by the assertions that global warming is man made or exists at all given the so-called Medieval Warm Period with which I am familiar and which shows a far greater warming trend than anything even alleged for the contemporary period, and this was for a period when there was no industrialisation or SUVs.
I should of course explain what I mean when I say I am a sceptic. Climatology is, or at least should be, a science. So if we are to accept that climate change is happening, that it has primarily man made causes, and that the measures being proposed have any hope of stabilising or reversing it, then we should be presented with some facts and we should be allowed to view those facts sceptically. Scepticism is the foundation of all scientific method. Which is why I am worried that the climate change activists or warmists seem to want us to accept a massive diversion of economic resources but seem hell bent on preventing open debate on the subject.
Why do I say that? The most obvious manifestation of this is the recent Climategate revelations in which a server at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit was hacked and released material showed emails that the “scientists” at the CRU had written to each other and others such as Michael Mann of Penn State University and one of the originators of the infamous temperature “hockey stick graph” demonstrating global warming trends. Sceptics have naturally had their suspicions aroused by reference in the emails to the ‘trick’ used in Mann’s graph and the need to ‘hide the decline’ in temperatures.
Climategate has already affected Russia. The Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.
The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory.
Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country's territory, but that the Hadley Center used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports.
Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.
The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.
The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.
On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations.
IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.
The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the world's land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such exaggeration
The fog of battle has now descended on this matter with counter claims that the CRU quotes are taken out of context (aren’t they all?) versus claims that the CRU had taken action to prevent emails and data being revealed in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. But one thing is clear: the climate change activists really are hell bent on preventing any open debate on this subject. How can you tell? Who has been appointed to lead an enquiry into Climategate?
None other than Lord Oxburgh, Chairman of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and the wind energy company Falck Renewables. Oh well, we can rely on him to be objective can’t we? Lord Oxburgh has said that he believes the need to tackle climate change will make capturing carbon from power plants “a worldwide industry of the same scale as the international oil industry today”. No conflict of interest there then!
It is a sign of the sheer arrogance of the climate change lobby that they think it is satisfactory to have an investigation conducted by someone so patently biased. Why don’t they want objective scrutiny if the science of climate change is, as they claim, settled?
But then why should I be surprised by all this, given that Al Gore, the consummate eco warrior and author of the seminal climate change scary movie “An inconvenient truth” has been quoted as saying: ‘I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it [climate change] is.’
Why would you believe anything said by someone with such an ability to mangle the English language? After all, people made enough fun of Al’s sparring partner Dubya on this basis. More importantly, why would you believe anything was a scientific fact from a man who claims that it is necessary to exaggerate? It is the age old stance of our political “betters” who think that democracy can’t be trusted. We can’t be left with the facts to make our own minds up, only they can. But than Al has had problems with accepting the democratic process before, hasn’t he?
If you want to get beyond Al Gore’s mawkish nonsense about polar bears and get to grasp with the facts try this:
Now it requires a bit of work as it’s 111 pages long and doesn’t involve shots of polar bears stranded on ice flows but to help you out, here’s a few of its conclusions for you:
- Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and unidirectionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.
- All of the problems have skewed the data so as greatly to overstate observed warming both regionally and globally.
- Numerous peer-reviewed papers in recent years have shown the overstatement of observed longer term warming is 30-50% from heat-island contamination alone.
- Cherry-picking of observing sites combined with interpolation to vacant data grids may make heat-island bias greater than 50% of 20th-century warming.
- NOAA and NASA, along with CRU, were the driving forces behind the systematic hyping of 20th-century “global warming”.
- Changes have been made to alter the historical record to mask cyclical changes that could be readily explained by natural factors like multidecadal ocean and solar changes.
- Here’s the one I wholeheartedly agree with and so should anyone else who is interested in objectivity in relation to climate change:
- An inclusive external assessment is essential of the surface temperature record of CRU, GISS and NCDC “chaired and panelled by mutually agreed to climate scientists who do not have a vested interest in the outcome of the evaluations.”
Some chance of that. After all if the warmists allowed that, we might get to the truth.
If the climate change lobby is so sure of its facts, why did a Stanford Professor use United Nation security officers to silence a journalist asking him “inconvenient questions” during a press briefing at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen?
It goes on and on. The UK government was not content to waste our money on TV and poster advertising about climate change. The two ads created on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (the name says it all-they’ve really got an open mind on the subject) juxtaposed adapted extracts from the nursery rhymes with prose warnings about the dangers of global warning.
One began: “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. There was none as extreme weather due to climate change had caused a drought.” Beneath was written: “Extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heat waves and storms will become more frequent and intense.”
The second advert read: "Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub — a necessary course of action due to flash flooding caused by climate change.” It was captioned: “Climate change is happening. Temperature and sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heat waves will become more frequent and intense. If we carry on at this rate, life in 25 years could be very different.”
It’s not the waste of our money which is amazing so much as the fact that when the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the adverts made exaggerated claims about the threat to Britain from global warming and banned them, Ed Milliband, the Environment Secretary, said that that his department had been "comprehensively vindicated" by the ASA. Yes, we are truly living in the age of spin perpetrated by third rate nonentities.
Now none of this would matter if it weren’t for the fact that vast economic resources are being channelled towards spurious technologies promoted by the climate change brigade and the financial world is doing what it does best-engaging in fraudulent trading driven by this drivel.
This needs to be read by anyone who thinks that carbon trading under so-called “cap and trade” is the answer to CO2 emissions and climate change. The system is obviously open to massive abuse, and as we saw with the credit bubble, this will be exploited. It already is:
And this is not just a case of the inevitable few rotten apples-it is clear that cap and trade is open to systematic abuse.
Moreover, it is even flawed as a concept. As the idea is to curb carbon emissions, does it help if emitters can pay to continue? Especially if their payment does not actually go to a new carbon reducing project? If we really want to reduce emissions, maybe a carbon tax would be simpler and better.
None of which will stop the US adopting cap and trade and so opening up a vast new seam of business for the fraudsters.
We should also worry about he diversion of resources as a result of the climate change frenzy, with agricultural resources diverted from food production to bio-fuels, for example. The climate change lobbying not only diverts valuable resources, it also leads people to overlook some very real problems:
Source: Dr Tim Morgan
The Energy Cliff chart shown above illustrates a real problem which is being overlooked in the frenzy of climate change propaganda. It charts a concept which is rarely discussed and for which frankly no accepted standard measure exists-Energy Return On Energy Invested or EROEI. How much energy input is required to produce a unit of energy output.
It is fairly clear and intuitive that early coal and oil & gas finds were in areas which were readily accessible, politically stable and close to the sources of demand, but as these early discoveries have been depleted, discoveries have been in less accessible or convenient parts of the world with the inevitable result that it is taking more energy input to find and transport coal, oil and gas than previously so that the worlds’ energy efficiency may be declining.
What is even more worrying is the lack of efficiency of the alternative energy sources-wind power, solar and bio-fuels. The advocates of wind power don’t seem to have spotted that intense cold is often associated with anti-cyclonic conditions (cold, clear, dry days in winter) when wind power is ineffective. As a result some estimate that you need to build back up electricity generating capacity to 95% of the wind power component. None of which has stopped Gordon Brown announcing a £100 billion spend on wind farms
But I guess it’s OK, we can afford to waste the money, after all we only have a budget deficit of £170 billion per annum.
As the EROIE Energy Cliff shows, solar power and bio-fuels are even less effective. The main point is that the blizzard of propaganda on climate change is obscuring an important point about the decline in energy efficiency and indeed exacerbating it.
Given all this it should come as no surprise that a British judge has ruled that belief in climate change is to have the same status as religious belief in employment law when discrimination is being considered:
And in a bizarre way, I agree with him: one thing is for sure, the climate change activists are not approaching this as a matter of science. Rather like the Catholic Church, there is no room for scepticism in climate change circles.
However, if you are not swept away by religious fervour to launch a jihad over global warming and want to get a well argued alternative view on climate change, I recommend this lecture by Lord Monckton:
It takes over 1.5 hours so you will need to be interested in the subject, but I suppose you must be if you have read this far.
What are my own views on climate change? I have two:
- Even if climate change is a reality we may be over-estimating our own importance, as the human race often does. Any change may have more to do with changes in the Sun-the source of all energy on earth than it does with our own puny efforts; and
- I don’t dismiss the possibility that global warming is real and man made, which makes it all the sadder that the liars and cheats involved in the climate change lobby and its business spin offs in alternative energy and carbon trading are stifling real debate about it and hurtling into ineffective solutions which are doing more harm than good.