Some Cracks in the Mainstream Media Dam

Amazingly two sceptical articles appeared in Sunday Times 24 September 2017

Rod Liddle. The Sunday Times September 24, 2017


If you find a spare moment this weekend, check out the online biography of Professor Michael Grubb. He is a busy and hitherto (one would hope) important man:

  • Professor of climate change policy at University College London.
  • Editor-in-chief of something called Climate Policy – hurry, hurry while stocks last.
  • Adviser to the energy regulator Ofgem.
  • Member of the government’s climate change committee.
  • Adviser to the Germans on something to do with climate and to the European parliament’s exciting “progressive economy initiative”.

And ‘more, much more besides.

It’s a wonder Mikey even has time to step outside and see how the weather is looking, so feted has he been on account of his unquestionable knowledge about what is happening to our climate. Unquestionable, because climate change is a “settled science”, and those who question its reality or impact are “deniers”, like those who would deny the Holocaust ever happened.

Early one morning last week, as the dawn chorus began in what has been a colder September than usual, Mikey was roused from his slumbers by his wife, holding the report he’s just written, shrieking in his ear: “Professor Grubb, Professor Grubb, you have to know this: your entire life is a lie. Ha ha hal. All a terrible lie!”

OK, I cannot be entirely certain this happened. I don’t even know if Grubb has a wife. But it should have happened, even if it didn’t.

Last week we learnt from a study co-authored by Grubb in the impeccable and neutral source Nature Geoscience that we have all been taken for a costly ride by the climate change people. The Earth is not heating up anything like they all told us it was. For years they had been telling us we will very soon burn to a crisp, accompanied by the howling of polar bears. Grubb himself suggested in 2015 that we would need to abandon democracy to address the rapid and calamitous rise in the Earth’s temperature. Politicians were dragooned to the cause. Billions were spent in this country alone, subsidising useless wind farms and taxing ordinary people on their energy bills.

People who opposed these strictures – the deniers were called antediluvian and climate change activists demanded that those who challenged their views should not even be allowed to express their opinions.

Only they had the truth. Except, it wasn’t the truth.

So what went wrong? Take a look at Prof Grubb’s CV and you might get an inkling. Science is supposed to be neutral, but it is never so when co-opted for political reasons.

Call it “settled” and it becomes a kind of anti-science, an article of faith deeply resistant to investigation.

Call a university department “climate change” and you immediately sign up to it as-an indisputable fact.

And suddenly a huge and lucrative industry is born, with panels and intergovernmental committees, transnational policy initiatives, world summits and swingeing taxes on the poorest. And the climate change proponents are required to hype up the rhetoric, to provide politicians with suitably scary predictions.

Even after last week’s revelations in Nature Geoscience, the mentalist wing of the climate change lobby was still shrieking – in The Guardian, natch. It will all lead to “the collapse of civilisation”, one daffy woman reported, while a bloke called john “said those who disagreed with him were “elderly white male climate – deniers”.

Ah. John, I am white, male and getting elderly. I don’t deny the climate. I can see it, doing its stuff, outside my window.

And as a layman I would guess that we have probably contributed to the warming of the planet. How much? I don’t know – and nor do you, for that matter. You haven’t a clue. It’s just an article of faith.

And, as Karl Popper might tell you, that ain’t science.

Science is supposed to be neutral. It never is when co-opted for political reasonsRod liddle.jpg


Nigel Hawkes  The Sunday Times September 24, 2017


Climate scientists have admitted their estimates of global warming were wrong. So can we all chill out now? Not quite.

As egg-on-face moments go, it was a double-yolker. Last week a group of climate scientists published a paper that admitted the estimates of global warming used for years to torture the world’s conscience and justify massive spending on non-carbon energy Sources were, er, wrong.

Being wrong is not a criminal offence, especially in science, where in the long run almost everything turns out to be wrong, but the global warmers have adopted such a high-and-mighty tone to anyone who questions them that for sceptics this was pure joy.

The world may still be doomed, but it is not quite as doomed as the climatologists have repeatedly told us.

The admission was overdue acknowledgment of something that has been obvious for years. Despite the climate models predicting rapidly rising temperatures, between 1998 and 2013 temperatures barely rose at all. This was a pause, not a change in the underlying trend, the scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change insisted. Global warming was still going on, even when it wasn’t.

The pause hadn’t been predicted by the computer models, but admitting that wasn’t really an option. Anxiety needed to be ramped up in order to achieve international agreement on cutting carbon emissions. That was achieved ~ at the cost of browbeating doubters and the Paris agreement struck in 2016 committed signatories to limit warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

It couldn’t actually be done, the scientists said. To keep warming below 1.5°C, total emissions from 2015 onwards could not amount to more than 70 ~ gigatonnes of carbon – seven years’ worth at current emission rates.

Last week’s paper in Nature Geoscience recalculates that as 200 gigatonnes, or 240 gigatonnes if great efforts are also made to reduce other global warming gases such as nitrous oxide and methane.

So instead of seven years, we’ve got 20, or maybe 24. The task has gone from impossible to very difficult, said one of the paper’s authors, Joeri Rogelj.

Another author, Myles Allan of Oxford, told The Times: “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.”

Allan’s defence of the models, however, was peculiar. He said that they had been assembled a decade ago, so it wasn’t surprising they had all deviated from reality. Yet these are the very same models used to make predictions for 50 or 100 years ahead which have saddled taxpayers with huge costs to pay -for alternative energy sources. Anybody who doubted their predictive power was labelled an unscientific dolt, a “climate denier” fit to be listed with the Flat Earthers.

As long as there have been computer models, there have been inaccurate forecasts. In the early 1970s the Club of Rome published The Limits to Growth, an extrapolation of population, pollution and resource depletion that concluded that the world was heading for imminent catastrophe. It sold more than 16m copies. I keep one on my shelves to remind me of the folly of Malthusian predictions.

Today the world is richer, cleaner and better fed than it was in 1972, while the club of Rome is forgotten. It still exits headquartered in Winterthur Switzerland, which must be nice.

The global-warming models are far more sophisticated than the Limits to Growth model, but that isn’t entirely a good thing, there is a paradox- in modelling: the more sophisticated the models become, the greater the uncertainty of the effects they predict.

As more parameters are added to the models – the rate at which ice falls through clouds, for example – the more uncertainties are added.

To reach its conclusions in the new paper, the team used actual temperatures today, which are 0.3°C lower than the models said they would be. That provides more headroom for carbon emissions before the 1.5°C target is reached. While the models’ error may seem small, it has big implications for future policy.

For one thing, it makes President Donald Trump’s rejection of the Paris agreement far less worrying. The US emits about 1.5 gigatonnes of carbon a year. Supposing Trump serves only a single term and in that time America reduces mitigation efforts, the effect is going to be insignificant when compared with the 200 gigatonnes the team estimates the world can afford to emit.

However, what the climate-change campaigners fear is that the acknowledgment of error will take the pressure off. Two of them, Lord Stern and Lord Krebs, wrote to The Times to try to head this off.

They argue that the errors do not mean that climate change isn’t happening. There were always uncertainties about its pace and magnitude, Krebs says – though you might not have thought so from the language often used and the efforts to deny airtime to those with doubts, such as Lord Lawson, the former chancellor.

Warming resumed in 2014. The climate warmers aren’t wrong, though a touch more humility would be appreciated.

Nigel Hawkes.jpg


The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal here put out an accurate, concise assessment of how Germany’s “Energiewende” (transition away from fossil and nuclear energies over to green energies) has been faring so far. It’s grade? I’d interpret it as an F for failure.

Quickly turning into a huge embarrassment

Once seen as “a paragon of green energy virtue“, the Energiewende is nothing like it was sold to be by green energy hucksters. In fact things have gotten so bad that we can expect activists to grow totally silent on Germany’s Energiewende as its failure becomes glaring and embarrassing.

The WSJ editorial boards reminds readers that Germany is not even going to come close to meeting it’s 2020 or 2030 targets, despite the hundreds of billions of euros committed to the project so far.

No greenhouse gas reductions in 9 years

The truth is that the lion’s share of the country’s greenhouse gas reductions happened right after 1990 when free market principles were implemented to revamp totally run-down Communist East Germany. Yet since the mass state intervention that is the Energiewende, Germany’s reductions have ground to a halt. In reality the country — under Merkel’s leadership — has not seen its emissions of greenhouse gases fall since the end of the last decade, 2009! Read here.

“Astronomical costs”

By any measure this is an astonishing failure of Communist dimensions. The WSJ editorial board writes of “astronomical costs” in return for nothing.

By one estimate, businesses and households paid an extra €125 billion in increased electricity bills between 2000 and 2015 to subsidize renewables, on top of billions more in other handouts.

Zero impact

One the WSJ does not mention is that the latest estimates project the Energiewende to cost Germans more than 1.5 trillion euros by 2050. The aimed greenhouse gas reductions would translate into maybe a theoretical 2 hundredths of a degree Celsius of less global warning. And here it may surprise some that many experts believe the global warming theory is recklessly hyped. The reduced warming achieved may even be as puny as just a few thousandths of a degree.

This is hardly “saving the planet”.

Merkel flirts with the Greens

The WSJ correctly notes that “Germans join Danes in paying the highest household electricity rates in Europe, and German companies pay near the top among industrial users“. Moreover Germans are seeing their idyllic landscapes permanently scarred and ruined by industrial turbines protruding from forested hilltops nationwide.

And now as Merkel and her party wrangle to form a new coalition government with the Greens, the German chancellor is again flirting with even more disaster as she contemplates giving in to some of the Greens’ drastic demands, among them the rapid shutdown of Germany’s coal power plants and the banning of the registration of fossil fuel automobiles by 2030.

Barely scratching the surface

And although Germany’s wind and solar energy capacity could provide 30% of electricity needs, the lack of sun and the frequent windless days mean far less gets produced, and for now wind and solar are only able to provide a very tiny fraction of the country’s total primary energy needs. This means that despite all the investment, Germany is still only barely scratching the surface when it comes to going all green.

“”Voters in revolt”

The WSJ editorial board writes: “No wonder voters are in revolt” and: “A new study from the RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research finds that 61% of Germans wouldn’t want to pay even one eurocent more per kilowatt-hour of electricity to fund more renewables.”

The editorial board also indirectly accuses the German government of not being honest about the costs of green energies, and warns that we should expect “another voter rebellion in 2021” if Merkel “recommits to soaring energy costs and dirty-coal electricity“.

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