Amazingly sceptical articles appeared in the Daily Mail 20 September 2017, in the Sunday Times 24 September 2017 and in the Wall Street Journal 19 November 2017
Now that’s an inconvenient truth:
Report shows the world isn’t as warm as the green doom-mongers warned. So will energy bills come down? Fat chance, says MP Graham Stringer
By Graham Stringer Labour Mp And Member Of Commons Science And Technology Committee
PUBLISHED: 01:48 GMT, 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 02:00 GMT, 20 September 2017
Al Gore, the U.S. politician and self-appointed champion of the green cause, famously declared that ‘the science is settled’ on climate change. It was a claim that revealed far more about the intolerance of the environmental movement than the reality of scientific inquiry. Research should be founded on critical analysis of the evidence, not on wishful thinking or enforcement of a political ideology.
Now the hollowness of Gore’s assertion is exposed again by a vital new report that shows how the apocalyptic predictions of the green lobby have been exaggerated.
In a study just published by the respected journal Nature Geoscience, a group of British academics reveals that the immediate threat from global warming is lower than previously thought, because the computer models used by climate change experts are flawed.
According to these models, temperatures across the world should now be at least 1.3 degrees above the mid-19th century average, which is taken as a base level in such calculations. But the British report demonstrates that the rise is only between 0.9 and 1 degree.
That discrepancy is ‘a big deal’, says Professor Myles Allen of Oxford University, one of the authors of the study. He is absolutely right.
The importance of this new investigation cannot be downplayed.
It shows that so many of the assumptions behind the imposition of the fashionable eco agenda — such as the creation of vast, subsidised wind farms or the levying of green taxes — are wrong. Yet the environmental warriors show not a shred of embarrassment over these new findings.
The BBC has given a presenter a dressing down and warned him about his future conduct on his social media accounts following comments on Twitter.
There has been no word of apology, no sign of humility. Remarkably, they carry on preaching their diehard gospel. With their habitual arrogance, they argue that the lower levels of global warming mean that we now have even more time to implement their radical policies.
They don’t seem to have considered for a moment that we might consider throttling back on the extreme measures we’re told must be carried out to ‘save the planet’. They display such certainty because environmentalism increasingly resembles a religious creed.
That has certainly been my experience as a Labour MP, who, because of my own knowledge of science, has long been sceptical about the climate change doctrine.
This outlook has made me a target for green campaigners, who seem to think that no voices should be heard but their own.
A disgraceful example of this impulse towards censorship came recently from the geneticist and BBC presenter Dr Adam Rutherford, who hosts the Radio 4 programme Inside Science.
Taking on the role of latter-day witch-finder, Dr Rutherford recently launched a campaign to prevent my re-appointment to the Science and Technology Committee of the Commons, on the grounds of my scepticism about climate change.
Through social media, he urged his followers to show their ‘righteous indignation’ by writing to their MPs.
‘It is not OK to have science so misrepresented in a democracy,’ he declared.
It was outrageous for a BBC presenter to behave in this manner. The Corporation is meant to be an impartial broadcaster, not a political lobbyist. Dr Rutherford has absolutely no business trying to dictate who sits on independent parliamentary committees.
Moreover, I do not accept his accusation that I somehow ‘misrepresent’ science. I actually have a degree in chemistry from Sheffield University, and before I became a full-time politician I worked as an analytical chemist in the plastics industry.
The BBC has now given him a dressing down and warned him about his future conduct on his social media accounts.
That personalised campaign is not the first time I have had unhappy dealings with the BBC, which has long been a mouthpiece for environmental propaganda.
On one occasion, I made a programme with Conservative MP Peter Lilley and this paper’s writer Quentin Letts about the way the Meteorological Office has succumbed to the green orthodoxy.
Though the programme was broadcast, the BBC Trust subsequently decided it had breached editorial guidelines on accuracy and impartiality, which meant it could not be broadcast again, and cannot be found online.
Like so many other public institutions, the BBC has adopted its eco posture without any genuine scientific literacy. Most BBC executives and reporters would be clueless about the second law of thermodynamics.
In this highly politicised field, adherence to the correct dogma seems to count more than an open mind.
But it was precisely my willingness to question received wisdom that led to my interest in the subject of global warming.
I was particularly intrigued by the infamous scandal at the Climatic Research Unit in the University of East Anglia in 2009, when a series of leaked emails appeared to show that scientists there had distorted historical research to suit the green narrative. As a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, I followed the saga closely.
I was therefore disappointed when my colleagues on the Committee, having conducted an inquiry into the ‘Climategate’ scandal, did not come to a more robust conclusion about the scale of the scientific manipulation at the unit. Too many of them seemed to be following the herd.
But, as the latest report demonstrates, the weakness of the global warmists’ case is now obvious. This is not just a question of misreading data. It is essentially a matter of broken computer models and a determination to ignore any inconvenient truths.
If the environmentalists had it right, we would now be facing global catastrophe, a scorched Earth and rapidly rising sea levels. None of that has happened.
The International Panel on Climate Change warned that the Himalayan glaciers were melting away, a claim that it later admitted was false.
Similarly, it was argued that global warming would bring a new wave of malaria sweeping across the world. The opposite has taken place: global malaria rates are falling.
The triumph of the environmentalists has had an enormous and costly impact on our daily lives. Successive governments have brought in green taxes, hiked fuel duties and pushed up energy bills.
The real price is paid not by the eco justice warriors wallowing in their phoney moral superiority, but by people like those in my Blackley and Broughton constituency, who struggle to meet their household running costs.
An extra £100 a year on electricity and gas might not be much to a BBC presenter, but it is a heck of a sum for someone who lives in the Harpurhey ward of Blackley, which was named in 2013 as the most deprived neighbourhood in England.
Experts also told us we should buy diesel cars because they would help us cut our CO2 emissions. Now the same vehicles are blamed for killing thousands a year with pollution.
Crucially, soaring energy costs for businesses thanks to green initiatives, especially in the manufacturing sector, cause real damage to the British economy by driving jobs overseas to India and China, both countries that are building coal-fired power stations at an astonishing rate.
This week’s scientific report should mark a return to environmental sanity in place of the current dangerous green fundamentalism. But given my own experience, I wouldn’t bet on it.
Rod Liddle. The Sunday Times September 24, 2017
CLIMATE BELIEVERS WONT GO COOL ON WARMING, THEY’VE AN INDUSTRY TO SUPPORT
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 reasons
Nigel Hawkes The Sunday Times September 24, 2017
WE’RE NOT AS DOOMED AS WE WERE LED TO THINK
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.