The case against net zero CO2 emissions

A war of words between a concerned layman and the UK political establishment on the vexed subject of climate change.

To: Mrs Andrea Leadsom MP, Business Secretary     enquiries@beis.gov.uk

cc: Mr Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Energy Minister

Dear Mrs Leadsom,

Congratulations on your appointment as Business Secretary.

I emailed Boris Johnson shortly before he was appointed PM advising him against supporting Theresa May’s “net zero emissions” policy but for some inexplicable reason he seems to have ignored my advice!

This brief note is to try to persuade you, as the now directly responsible minister, to reconsider policy in this area. I understand that you are sympathetic to the net zero emissions policy so I’m afraid you may find my note uncomfortable reading. However as you had the good sense to support Brexit I am hopeful that you will have the good sense to understand that pursuing net zero emissions will only be digging a deeper and deeper hole for yourself and your government, and indeed for the whole country.

The recent shocking power failure which affected a million people and caused disruption for hours could prove a blessing in disguise if it gives non-ideological justification for calling time on our futile and damaging decarbonisation efforts.

Yours faithfully,

Douglas S Brodie, BSc

Nairn, sent 19/8/19

Introduction

It is hard to understand why the establishment is so gloomy and strident about alleged man-made global warming when anyone who takes the trouble to look up the latest meteorological facts will be pleased to see that current global temperatures are much the same as they were about 20 years ago and falling instead of rising steadily and dangerously as establishment climate doomsters have wrongly predicted.

Despite the meteorological good news, hardly any bad weather events occur anywhere in the world without hysterical claims from blinkered politicians and environmentalists, brainwashed school children and the handwringing, scaremongering media, invariably made without a shred of scientific or statistical evidence, that it is all due to “climate change”. What they really mean (irrationally) is that it’s all our fault for having started the Industrial Revolution and we need to atone! Climate alarmists seem to enjoy wallowing in negativity and ideological guilt.

Our angst-ridden politicians are now making fools of themselves by declaring a totally unwarranted “climate emergency” and pushing for mind-bogglingly impossible global CO2 emissions cuts within farcically impossible timescales by means of a global “net zero emissions” policy. It is hard to believe they can be so detached from reality as to think they could actually succeed in such an unrealistic and impractical endeavour.

They will find it hard to ignore the grim reality of the recent UK blackouts which out of a clear blue sky affected a million people and caused hours of disruption. That fiasco showed that the current modest penetration level of wind power, the UK’s flagship renewable, may already have reached its upper limit to avoid overwhelming the grid on days when electricity demand is low, the wind is strong and the sun is shining. This inconvenient engineering reality could be the final nail in the coffin of the already forlorn political hopes for a “low-carbon economy”.

Energy Realities

The BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019 shows that the world is a captive 85% dependent on fossil fuels for its energy supply while global wind and solar contribute a mere 1.2% despite fuel poverty-inducing levels of public subsidies. The corresponding UK figures are 79% and 3.1% showing that a decade of Climate Change Act striving has barely scratched the surface of trying to decarbonise the UK economy. The drop from 89% in UK 2008 fossil fuel dependency has been partly due to de-industrialisation, a perverse side-effect of climate policy.

The 2018 daily average world consumption of energy from fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal – was 230 Mboe (millions of barrels of oil equivalent). That number seems quite daunting until expressed as barrels of oil equivalent per head of world population (7,714 million) when it comes down to just 0.03 boe per day, less than a barrel a month per person. Not bad considering that the energy from fossil fuels serves as the essential lifeblood of our world civilisation. Conversely, without those modest 0.03 barrels of oil equivalent per head per day the world economy would literally grind to a halt and deadly chaos would prevail. Yet climate alarmists are now demanding that the world must rapidly eliminate and/or mitigate these vital fossil fuel energy supplies – all 230 million (and rising) barrels of oil equivalent per day – by means which are utterly unrealistic and impractical.

Reality-denying climate alarmists pushing for global net zero emissions are leading us on a fools mission. They seem to think it straightforward to use a mix of expensive, inefficient, weather-dependent renewables cobbled together with expensive, inefficient technological bolt-ons, the whole Heath Robinson mishmash scaled up an unworkable 90 fold or more from the miniscule current levels of global wind and solar power to eliminate the consumption of and/or the emissions from fossil fuels across the globe. These people are living in cloud cuckoo land, relying on “magical thinking”. They clearly haven’t got a clue just how technically, logistically, financially and politically impossible global net zero emissions would be, not least due to the immutable physics of energy, especially those who show that they are not really serious by shunning energy dense emissions-free nuclear power. The depth of their lack of understanding is illuminated by these inconvenient energy realities.

The UK net zero regime is envisaged as using expensive, impractical at scale weather-dependent renewables supported by minimal gas-fired electricity and astronomically expensive batteries, expensive and inefficient energy conversion and CO2 sequestration schemes and the expensive conversion of our heating and transport systems and entire way of life to eliminate the consumption of and/or the emissions from the fossil fuels which currently supply 79% of UK energy. The chances of this succeeding are about zero. If pursued it will impoverish us and force more of UK manufacturing to flee to cheaper energy countries abroad, probably resulting in a perverse net increase in global emissions.

It is obvious from the stalemate of the non-binding Paris Climate Accord that hardly any of the rest of the world would follow the UK in a self-harming net zero emissions policy even if there were sufficient global mineral resources for them to do so, which there almost certainly are not. Hence there would be negligible global benefit from the UK trying to go it alone.

The Slow Unravelling of the Climate Change Movement

It has not yet dawned on the gullible climate change zealots who hang on every pronouncement from the UN IPCC high priests of climate change that their man-made global warming crusade was condemned to irrelevance by the UN IPCC itself on that glad day in October 2018 when it issued its 1.5º Special Report. This is because it totally lost the plot as a direct result of its own flawed climate pseudo-science in calling for mind-bogglingly impossible global emissions cuts within farcically impossible timescales, namely that “global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050.” So far the complicit mainstream media and establishment chattering classes have simply ignored the show-stopping implications of these targets.

The world is currently 85% dependent on fossil fuels to meet its ever-increasing demand for energy with the balance made up of difficult to expand hydro (7%), nuclear (4%) and low-energy density renewables (4%) which include eco-unfriendly biofuels and biomass (felled forests). Hence it shouldn’t take the general public long to twig that the called-for global net zero targets are utterly unachievable short of shutting down the entire world economy. As for capturing and storing and otherwise mitigating global CO2 emissions by means of “carbon unicorns”, dream on! Even the blinkered politicians promoting this global net zero fantasy will before long realise that it is a lost cause. This will finish off the politically-motivated, virtue-signalling climate change scare for good as politicians will stop promoting it when it is clear that they cannot offer any supposed “solution” to their supposed climate “crisis”.

That supposed climate “crisis” is now looking distinctly unthreatening following the dissipation of the massive 2016 El Nino and its minor successor which led to years of headlines about “the hottest temperatures ever”, unscientifically suggesting that this was due to human influence when El Ninos are natural phenomena fuelled by sunlight. The inconvenient truth is that the well-documented “pause” in global temperatures from around the turn of the century which even the alarmist Met Office conceded in 2014 has now been reinstated, with global temperatures much the same as they were over 20 years ago and falling despite steadily rising levels of atmospheric CO2.

As for the supposed “solution” to the supposed climate crisis, global CO2 emissions have been on a rising trend for decades driven by the ever-increasing global demand for energy. Global energy consumption rose by 18% in the last decade alone driven almost entirely by the developing countries including China and India which make up the vast bulk of the world’s population and which are not bound in any way by the Paris Climate Accord. These countries are collectively building hundreds of cheap reliable coal power stations which will be in service well beyond 2050. In fact global energy demand is reportedly set to double by 2050, to be supplied overwhelmingly by fossil fuels.

The UN IPCC’s “plan” for a global 45% emissions cut by 2030, in practice a near 45% economy-crushing cut in global energy consumption then global net zero by 2050 is certain to end in humiliating failure short of the sudden imposition of an authoritarian world government. The most likely reality is that global CO2 emissions will continue to rise year on year for the foreseeable future. Climate fanatics like Theresa May and Claire Perry (president of COP26 in 2020, so help us) who are pushing for global net zero emissions are simply making fools of themselves, putting off the unavoidable day of reckoning with reality and needlessly dragging the country into further fuel poverty (already 27% in Scotland) and worse, such as five-day power cuts. President Trump seems to be the only world leader with the common sense to understand this and the integrity and confidence to say so and take his country out of the useless, posturing Paris Climate Accord.

The recent power cuts which affected a million people and caused hours of disruption have done us a favour by highlighting how our efforts to decarbonise the UK economy are leading us into a hopeless energy cul-de-sac. The establishment is doing its utmost to gloss over the incident which was almost certainly due to system fragility caused by having too much non-synchronous wind power connected to the national grid. This problem also applies to solar power and interconnector imports. Shortly before the incident the climate change cheerleaders at National Grid boasted in a tweet that wind power was close to setting an all-time record. Yet a full decade after the Climate Change Act came into force annual UK wind power electricity supply in 2018 was a paltry 2.6% of annual UK primary energy supply, or 2.4% according to Dukes 2019, in other words going nowhere, slowly. Our national electricity capacity margin is already wafer thin yet our irresponsible politicians want to close down all our reliable, dispatchable coal power stations and many of our gas power stations in favour of yet more non-synchronous, non-guaranteed supplies which will make the grid even more unstable. Our politicians were warned a decade ago by the then chief scientific advisor Professor Sir David Mackay that trying to power the UK economy with intermittent renewables was an appalling delusion but in their quasi-religious climate change fervour they chose to ignore him. It’s high time they faced up to reality.

It is obvious that global net zero emissions can never be achieved using today’s technically unattractive renewables technology. This does not mean that the planet will suffer thermageddon without the UN IPCC’s draconian global emissions cuts because they are hopelessly exaggerated by the same flawed climate pseudo-science as their hopelessly exaggerating computer climate models which attribute atmospheric CO2 to have a far greater influence on the global climate than is actually the case. This is exposed by this devastating graph from this testimony to the US Senate by a professor of climate science which shows climate model temperature predictions racing wildly ahead of actual observations despite steadily rising levels of atmospheric CO2. Climate alarmists treat the general public with disdain by turning a blind eye to this scientific evidence and the net flatlining of global temperatures over the last 20 years just so that they can spin out their climate change play-acting with no regard to the pointless hardships it inflicts on ordinary people, especially the poor and vulnerable.

Climate Change Denial of Democracy

Theresa May’s absurd net zero emissions plan has been foist on the people of the UK with consensus support from all the main establishment politicians like Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson et al without any political mandate, national discussion or due diligence cost-benefit analysis. Its cost has been estimated at over £1 trillion (some say much more) yet the best it could give us in the unlikely event that it were pursued to completion would be an energy infrastructure which is ultra expensive (at least £50 billion per year), uncompetitive (most other countries will not hobble themselves in this way), insecure (insufficient baseload, reliance on uncertain electricity imports), short lifespan (offshore wind), technically unstable (low inertia), dangerous (CCS, household hydrogen) and in reality not particularly green.

What sort of politics is it that needs to insult the intelligence of the general public with such total lack of consultation or public debate combined with such high levels of spin, dissembling and blatant lies? Answer: It’s the politics of a globalist cultural elite answerable to no one pursuing a monumentally flawed, politically-contrived climate theory now in too deep to backtrack or even call for a face-saving independent review. Common sense arguments against the truth-twisting establishment’s obsession with climate change are given here.

Why not put that £1 trillion into achievable, properly sustainable technology like small-scale, safe, short half-life, emissions-free thorium nuclear reactors? Why not ramp up research into emissions-free nuclear fusion power? Why not use some of the money to alleviate so-called austerity instead of making it worse by wasting money on expensive, inefficient so-called renewables which are never going to work at scale?

Conclusion

Eventually our angst-ridden climate obsessed politicians will realise that they are getting nowhere with their pointless decarbonisation attempts using wholly inappropriate so-called renewables – but how much damage will they do before then and will they ever have the humility to admit they were wrong? Hopefully the wider public will sooner rather than later come to their senses, realise they have been duped and vote the dogmatists out of office before they do any further pointless damage to our economy and energy infrastructure.

Theresa May’s net zero emissions plan was waved through the Commons without a vote but the identities of over 190 of our delusional net zero-supporting MPs are given here, overwhelmingly Remainers (e.g. Allen, Cable, Cherry, Greening, Harman, Letwin, Long-Bailey, Miliband, Sandbach, Soubry, Spelman, Swinson, Umunna, Vaisey, Wollaston, …) all committed to misguided “nanny knows best” globalist policies. Without their baleful influence we could free ourselves from any remaining climate commitments to the “green-energy basket case” EU, withdraw from the useless Paris Climate Accord, ditch the net zero emissions plan and the Climate Change Act and revert to a more pragmatic and much, much cheaper climate policy of adaption as and when necessary as concluded here.

The above email to Secretary Leadsom resulted in a reply from BEIS on her behalf which is copied below on grounds of public interest and the historical record.  The BEIS reply is very weak, rambling and unconvincing and only confirms the unscientific, irrational, damaging and futile stance of BEIS and the government on net zero emissions, as dissected below in the commentary by Douglas Brodie.


The BEIS reply

Screenshot 2019-10-17 at 18.24.24.pngDear Mr Brodie,

Thank you for your email of 19 August, about the net zero emissions target.  The Secretary of State is pleased that you have taken the time to write to her and has asked me to respond on her behalf.

Each of the last three decades has been warmer than the preceding one. 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 have been the four warmest years on record with each being around 1°C above pre-industrial levels.  Other than the global average temperature, marked changes are also seen in other parts of the climate system, such as declining levels of polar sea ice and the warming and acidification of the oceans.

It is not claimed that extreme weather is caused by global warming, but rather that the frequency and severity of some extreme weather events are changing due to global warming.  The 2015 winter UK storms that caused widespread flooding and damage were made at least 40% more likely due to climate change.

The IPCC’s Special Report on the impact of 1.5 global warming showed there is a range of pathways that could be followed to limit warming to 1.5 above pre-industrial levels, but indeed these all require profound and unprecedented cross-sectoral transformation of our energy, land, urban and industrial systems.

The El Niño event spanning 2015-2016 contributed around 0.2°C to the annual average global temperature for 2016, which was the warmest on record globally.  For comparison, 1997 was the last large El Niño year prior to the 2015-2016 event, but global annual average temperature in 1997 was much cooler than in 2015-2016.  The main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on the climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

In regard to the ‘pause’ in global temperatures occurring within the past 20 years:  Climate models show that such slowdowns can be expected occasionally and they are also seen at previous times in the surface temperature record.  This fact has no bearing on the long-term projections of temperature from climate models.  Climate models are designed to simulate long-term changes over many decades.

The IPCC remains the authoritative source of information on climate science.  The IPCC’s work is carried out independently by climate science experts from around the world.  The summaries of the reports which it issues are approved by the governments of participating member states, but in such a way that ensures they maintain scientific accuracy. This means that the IPCC’s reports not only have scientific authority but also that all governments involved in climate negotiations have agreed that the contents can be used as evidence.  This evidence is used to inform policy.

On 27 June, having given careful consideration to the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC’s) independent and analytically rigorous advice, the UK Government set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050.  This ambitious target will bring to an end our contribution to climate change.

You highlighted a number of areas of concern in your email, which have been addressed individually below:

  1. UK’s net zero target

The CCC have advised that net zero by 2050 is achievable with known technologies, based on current consumer behaviours and within a manageable cost range.  They estimate that the annual cost of delivering a net zero target is now within the same range as the 80% target was at the time that target was set in 2008 – equivalent to 1-2% of GDP in 2050.  This does not factor in the benefits to the UK economy of transitioning to a net zero economy, which could partly or completely offset costs, including green collar jobs, reduced air pollution, and reduced risks of catastrophic climate change.

A crucial issue, however, is how the costs are met of the transition in a fair and balanced way.  That is why the Government have announced that HM Treasury will be taking forward a review on how to achieve this transition in a way that works for households, businesses and public finances – which will also consider the implications for UK competitiveness.

  1. The role of carbon capture usage and storage

Carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) is likely to play a vital role in reaching the target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and supporting our Industrial Strategy.  CCUS can add value to the economy and help tackle hard to decarbonise sectors of the economy.

To progress CCUS in the UK, the Government published the CCUS Action Plan in November 2018, designed to enable the UK’s first CCUS facility to be commissioned from the mid-2020s.  However, the Government will not deploy CCUS at any price, it must be cost effective to do so.  The Government is continuing to work with industry on the critical challenges to delivering CCUS in the UK, in particular the cost structures, risk sharing arrangements and market mechanisms that can support deployment.  As part of this process, business models are being reviewed for CCUS to support deployment and are currently consulting on this.

  1. Energy security

The UK has one of the most reliable energy systems in the world and remains absolutely confident in maintaining the country’s secure energy supply.  The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has commissioned the Energy Emergencies Executive Committee (E3C) to undertake a comprehensive review of the 9 August incident.  The review should identify lessons and recommendations for the prevention and management of future power disruption events.  E3C will submit a final report to the Secretary of State on 31 October, with an interim report on 13 September.  National Grid have provided an initial report on the causes of the energy disruption on 9 August.  Ofgem has also announced that it will conduct a formal investigation of all involved parties.

  1. Fossil fuel dependency

By transitioning to a low carbon economy, oil and gas will play a smaller role in meeting the demand for energy over time.  However, there will continue to be a need for oil and gas, which are projected to provide around two-thirds of our total primary energy demand in 2035, and all scenarios proposed by the CCC setting out how to meet a 2050 net zero emissions target include demand for natural gas and oil.  An orderly transition, underpinned by oil and gas, is crucial to maintaining security of supply.

  1. Global efforts

Addressing climate change requires deep international co-operation and, in setting the UK’s net zero target, other countries are being called to similarly increase their ambition.  Whilst it would be preferable for the US to remain in the Paris Agreement, the UK will continue to work with all actors in the US to encourage them to show the leadership they have in the past on reducing carbon emissions. The UK engages at both federal and state level on a whole range of climate and energy issues and will continue to do so.

  1. Nuclear Energy

The UK is a long-standing pioneer of nuclear energy with over 70-years of experience in the industry.  Molten Salt Thorium reactors are part of a diverse and exciting array of new, Small and Advanced Modular Reactor (SMRs, and AMRs) technologies being developed around the world.  The Government has committed up to £44m to better understand the associated benefits and challenges of advanced modular reactors, including Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs), via the Advanced Modular Reactor Feasibility and Development project.

The Government is also looking to invest £18m into the development of a Small Modular Reactor.  A Rolls-Royce led consortium has proposed a project based on conventional nuclear technology which is under consideration subject to final business case and other approvals as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The current understanding of the thorium fuel cycle is relatively immature.  A significant amount of development, analysis and evidence is still needed before thorium-based fuels are likely to be deployed on a commercial basis in the global market.

Thank you again for writing.  I hope you find this information useful.

Yours sincerely,

XXXX XXXXXXXXXX (redacted)

BEIS MINISTERIAL CORRESPONDENCE UNIT


Commentary by Douglas Brodie on the above BEIS reply

BEIS climate dissembling

The BEIS reply starts badly with a typical alarmist misrepresentation of the state of the global climate. It ignores the reality that despite steadily rising atmospheric CO2 over the last 75 years the only notable span of steadily rising global temperatures within that 75 year period lasted for little more than 20 years – centred on the long ago 1980s and 90s – as explained in this link from my original email and below.

Instead it dissembles by cherry-picking with the glib UN IPCC line that “Each of the last three decades has been warmer than the preceding one”. This misinformation deliberately conceals the following crucial facts:

  1. Global temperatures have flatlined for the last 20 years when the transient warming of obviously natural recent El Nino events is discounted. If this trend continues there is no risk of reaching “1.5 degrees” in the foreseeable future.
  2. The warming over these decades has been much less than the alarmist predictions of the UN IPCC’s climate models. These say that rising man-made atmospheric CO2 should be causing global warming at a slow but steady rate of up to 0.3ºC per decade (0.2 ± 0.1, UN IPCC “high confidence”) but the running average of the satellite global temperature series, the most relevant and trustworthy in the context of alleged man-made global warming, shows at most the low-end prediction over the past 40 years of steadily rising emissions. At that rate the dreaded “1.5 degrees” (which is extremely unlikely to result from alleged CO2 forcing, as explained below) would be at least 50 years away.
  3. There is no empirical proof or even any plausible evidence that this brief period of minor global warming was due to human influence, only the assertions of the untrustworthy UN IPCC. It is much more likely to have been due to natural causes, as explained below and supported by the satellite temperature record, which shows the rise to have happened in a series of El Nino steps rather than by any theoretical “slow but steady” warming from rising CO2 levels.

The reply compounds its misinformation by exaggerating the significance – “warmest years on record” – of the warming caused by recent natural, transient El Ninos.

It goes on to downplay the well-documented “pause” in global temperatures since around the turn of the century by invoking the old chestnut that the establishment’s climate models do not take account of short-term or medium-term natural climate variability. This is a totally specious argument as the brief period of sustained global warming of the 1980s and 90s on which the entire climate change scare has been built can be (and is below) easily explained by that very natural climate variability!

Hindcast predictions of global warming in the 1960s and 70s would also fail badly as these were years of global cooling. To labour the point yet again, the long ago brief warming spell centred on the 1980s and 90s has been the only period in the last 75 years when global temperatures have shown sustained correlation with rising atmospheric CO2. Climate emergency? Pull the other one, it’s got bells on!

A further nonsense is the absurd precision in the claim that “The 2015 winter UK storms that caused widespread flooding and damage were made at least 40% more likely due to [man-made] climate change”. That flooding was very localised and caused by a “river of atmospheric moisture formed on a stronger than normal jet stream”. Such conditions have nothing to do with atmospheric man-made CO2.

In contrast to the above blatant dissembling, the BEIS reply chose to completely ignore (perhaps to spare the blushes of its new head Andrea Leadsom) the assertion made in my original email that “Our angst-ridden politicians are making fools of themselves by declaring a totally unwarranted climate emergency”. Since then a new report has been published entitled “Plus Ça Change, The UK Climate in 2018” which validates this assertion. Based on official UK Met Office data, it finds that there is no factual justification for any climate emergency hysteria because “the UK’s key climate indicators have barely changed for 20 years”.

Common sense indicates that this is only to be expected as the Met Office’s Central England Temperature series shows that the running mean temperature is about the same now as it was around the turn of the century after the unexpected dip which happened in the intervening years despite steadily rising CO2 emissions.

As for alleged global extreme weather, this article by the indefatigable author of the above UK climate report (he deserves a knighthood!) gives a factual debunking of climate establishment false propaganda claiming that it is getting worse. He has plenty more such articles, e.g. here, here and here. Even the UN IPCC says there is no evidence of worsening extreme weather due to human influence. The Secretary General of the WMO brands the alarmist climate narrative “religious extremism”.

The climate emergency is political fiction promoted by climate fanatics using a new lexicon of scary phrases dreamt up by the climate-deranged Guardian. Any politician who supports this fiction in order to scare their constituents and encourage extremists like Extinction Rebellion should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves – and that includes Andrea Leadsom. It is a disgrace that our politicians have sunk to the Goebbels technique of propagating a lie (or hysterical over-reaction) so colossal that it probably gets taken as the truth. It didn’t work out well for Goebbels!

The fundamental flaw

The reality which the BEIS and the wider climate establishment blatantly ignore and refuse to debate is that there is a fundamental flaw associated with the theory of alleged man-made global warming. This flaw is so basic that even school children could understand it if they hadn’t all been so irredeemably brainwashed in the dogma of establishment climate change orthodoxy like Greta Thunberg and her fellow school-strikers, rising numbers of whom need treatment for ‘eco-anxiety’ as a result of all the fictitious alarmist propaganda they have been cruelly force fed.

Explaining this flaw requires a short, easy to understand recap of the science.

First a brief refresher on the greenhouse gas theory of global warming. When heat energy in the form of light from the sun is reflected off the earth’s surface, instead of going straight back out to space it can collide with a molecule of man-made CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere and be reflected back towards the surface as infrared (IR). According to the theory this thermodynamic interruption creates a radiative imbalance with the incoming sunlight sufficient to cause potentially dangerous global warming (as yet indiscernible and unsupported by empirical evidence) as atmospheric levels of man-made CO2 continue to rise, to allow more IR to be emitted from the warmer surface to restore the radiative balance.

Next a brief primer on the physics and thermodynamics of the oceans. The earth’s oceans contain about 1,000 times more energy than the atmosphere which means that the atmosphere cannot warm or cool the oceans to any discernible degree (!). The crucial inconvenient fact which the climate establishment chooses to ignore is that when infrared is reflected into the ocean it is only absorbed by the surface skin to a depth of a few microns which leads to its heat energy being quickly lost by evaporation and passed out to space. In other words it is physically impossible for IR from atmospheric CO2 to heat the oceans. An establishment study which attempted to disprove this inconvenient fact was recently retracted as invalid.

Finally a brief primer on the little-known natural process known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The most recent UN IPCC climate report summary for policymakers doesn’t mention it at all. The AMO Index is derived from North Atlantic sea surface temperatures (see the NOAA information page for details) and its oscillations over the past 170 years of measurements are shown in Figure 1.

Screenshot 2019-10-16 at 19.12.58.pngFigure 1: AMO Index from 1850 to 2019

This AMO graph is detrended, i.e. the long-term trend has been removed to “flatten” the graph. However it aligns perfectly with the ups and downs of the non-detrended global land and sea surface temperatures and its simplicity and symmetry make it ideal for studying the history of global warming and cooling over the past 170 years.

The fact that there is no physical method by which atmospheric CO2 can add heat to the oceans (or subtract it) proves that the multidecadal ups and downs of global land and sea temperatures which have happened in lockstep with the AMO over the past 170 years are obviously the result of natural processes, not man-made CO2.

Note the regular 60 year periodicity of the AMO cycle driven by natural forces which the climate establishment chooses to ignore and conceal. Note how an AMO warm phase occurred from about 1860 to 1890 (30 years), then from about 1930 to 1960 (30 years) and now from the late 1990s to the present time (20 years so far).

Note also how the warming during the closing decades of the 20th century which the climate establishment insists could only have been caused by human influence is practically indistinguishable from the warming during the opening decades when man‑made CO2 levels were not much above the pre-industrial as shown in Figure 2.

Screenshot 2019-10-17 at 15.34.31.pngFigure 2: History of man-made CO2 emissions

Despite this obvious contrarian evidence the most recent UN IPCC climate report had the brass neck to assert that “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia”. Will the next UN IPCC climate report due in 2022 have the audacity to ignore the expected ongoing flatlining of the AMO warm phase? On past form, yes.

The short-term oscillations superimposed on the longer-term AMO cycle are mostly El Nino warming events and La Nina cooling events, collectively known as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). These events take place in the tropical Pacific yet have a profound impact on the global climate. El Nino events have been known about for centuries so they are entirely natural and nothing to do with man-made CO2.

La Nina events cause global cooling when stronger than usual winds draw deep cold water to the surface of the tropical ocean. El Nino events cause global warming when, under steady wind conditions, the tropical ocean is heated by direct sunlight which unlike IR can penetrate to a depth of tens of metres. The heat gets pushed across the ocean by the trade winds and collects in a huge pool of warm water beneath the surface of the Western Pacific which suddenly gets released when the winds abate. The speed of ENSO transitions is much faster than the warming rate predicted for alleged man-made CO2 global warming, so they are easy to identify.

ENSO events are recorded by the so-called Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI). A slightly out of date graph going back to 1950 is shown in Figure 3. The latest MEI from 1980 is shown in more detail here. Oscillations above the zero line represent warming El Ninos while those below the line are cooling La Ninas.

Screenshot 2019-10-16 at 19.14.11.pngFigure 3: Multivariate ENSO Index from 1950

It is clear that the MEI correlates closely with the AMO, e.g. in the huge El Ninos of 1998 and 2016. It is also clear that there was a preponderance of cooling La Ninas over the AMO cooling period of the 1960s and 70s and a preponderance of warming El Ninos over the AMO warming period centred on the 1980s and 90s, since when they have been in approximate balance over the period of the global warming “pause” since around the turn of the century, the flatlining AMO warm phase.

Figure 4 Climate + Clouds gives a physical explanation for these trends, namely variations in cloud cover. It shows how tropical cloud cover fell during the 1980s and 90s allowing more sunlight to reach the tropical ocean resulting in stronger warming El Ninos and an increase in global surface air temperatures. Then in 2001 the falling cloud cover levelled off to give correlation with the “pause” in global temperatures.

Screenshot 2019-10-16 at 19.15.01.pngFigure 4: Tropical cloud cover versus global temperature

This study by the late Roger Andrews gives analytical support for a “staircase” ratcheting-up of global temperatures from a succession of predominant El Ninos as occurred through the 1980s and 90s. A similar conclusion is drawn by this study.

The above synthesis shows that the planet’s global climate is driven overwhelmingly by the sun and its interactions with the earth’s complex atmospheric and oceanic circulatory systems, not by man-made CO2 as asserted by the politicised UN IPCC.

The neutral “Natural” and “Internal variability” factors in the UN IPCC’s global warming attribution chart show that their climate assessments take no account of the AMO or other cyclical natural influences on the climate. It is obvious that the holy grail greenhouse gas theory of alleged man-made global warming is hopelessly at odds with what has actually happened to the real world climate over the past 75 years – in a regular pattern which has been going on for the past 170 years!

The most likely cause of this discrepancy is the use of large positive feedbacks (from water vapour) in the UN IPCC’s exaggerating climate models to amplify the minor greenhouse gas warming effect. This has always been a controversial postulation as positive feedbacks (which create a deafening screech when the microphone gets too close to the loudspeaker) are an aberration of nature which if they actually existed would have turned the Earth into a hot, waterless planet like Venus in the distant past when CO2 levels were much higher than now, which obviously did not happen.

It is much more likely that the UN IPCC modelling (e.g. of clouds) is flawed and there is actually a natural negative feedback on the basic man-made CO2 warming effect which might bring the model predictions into line with real world observations, except that they probably still wouldn’t work in periods of natural global cooling.

If the AMO follows the pattern of previous cycles it will continue to flatline in its thermodynamically stable warm phase for about a further 10 years before making a decisive break downwards into its cooling phase which will last for about 20 years. Global temperatures will follow in lockstep, punctuated as now by the sudden, transient spikes and dips of ENSO warming and cooling events. Ironically this will take us to about 2050, the target date for the pointless net zero emissions policy.

In addition to (perhaps related to) the AMO cycle, solar activity has been declining for decades which could also lead to global cooling. Either way the current hysteria about the fear of reaching “1.5 degrees” by 2040 will before long look very silly.

The deplorable UN IPCC would have known all about these likely trends when they put out their scaremongering 1.5º Special Report but chose to conceal them.

Climate reality versus political chicanery

Establishment climate scientists ignore the above contrarian evidence because their jobs and salaries depend on sustaining the climate change scare. Politicians working for the wellbeing of the electorate have no excuse for ignoring the evidence.

60 years ago the prescient President Eisenhower warned of the dangers of a military-industrial complex gaining unwarranted influence over public policy. What we have now is a “climate-industrial complex” except that it is the general public who are being scammed of $1.5 trillion pa by unaccountable UN and EU bureaucrats, climate scientists, big business and the mainstream media with most national governments (USA excepted) opportunistically (or perhaps cravenly) playing along with the scare.

Why are so many politicians so in thrall to the politicised UN IPCC? The 1995 UN IPCC climate report which kick-started the climate change scare was based on spurious data which to this day has never been validated, as explained in this link from my original email. That linked article goes on to compile a catalogue of chicaneries perpetrated over the years by the UN IPCC and their complicit climate scientists.

A detailed account of the IPCC’s spin, misinformation, exaggerations and deceptions is given in the book The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science by Dr Tim Ball, who has studied climate scientifically and academically for over forty years (preface here).

The BEIS reply betrays a dereliction of duty to look after the interests of the public by lauding the UN IPCC as the “authoritative source” on all matters of climate and unquestioningly swallowing its untrustworthy climate pseudo-science hook, line and sinker without seeking any due-diligence independent second opinion. Call it noble cause corruption but why should any rationalist who can still think straight despite the incessant drip-feed of state-sponsored climate propaganda believe a word they say? When the stakes run to trillions of dollars anyone who wilfully disregards this evidence without providing any credible rebuttal should be brought to book.

Very recently 500 concerned scientists and other stakeholders wrote to the UN Secretary General asking for a long-overdue, high-level, open debate on climate change. They sounded a very different message: “There is no climate emergency”. Unfortunately the chances of getting a positive response to this request are no better than the chances of achieving global net zero emissions, i.e. about nil.

It is high time our politicians faced up to reality and stopped taking the electorate for fools with their “climate change” virtue signalling make-believe play-acting. They are only digging a deeper and deeper hole for themselves.

BEIS decarbonisation dissembling

The BEIS is gullible to believe that the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has any credible expertise on decarbonisation. How can they be taken seriously when they ideologically believe that “the [climate] science is settled” when clearly it is not? Who can believe their glib claim that getting to net zero emissions by 2050 is not only feasible but can be done within the same cost envelope as the Climate Change Act when the government is already struggling on its 80% decarbonisation targets, delivering on “only 1 of 25 critical policies needed to get emissions reductions back on track”? The CCC’s recommendations on net zero emissions have been denounced by Lord Lawson’s climate thinktank as “unrealistic, irresponsible and misleading”.

The BEIS is vague on the cost of implementing net zero, quoting “1-2% of GDP in 2050”. The 2018 UK GDP was £2.11 trillion so the high-end 2% estimate gives an eye‑watering annual cost of about £40 billion and a 30-year total of about £1.2 trillion. This tallies with ex-Chancellor Hammond’s guestimate that Theresa May’s net zero emissions “legacy” will cost well over £1 trillion. However some say the cost could be considerably more. Why is nobody in government standing up to question the squandering of so much (perhaps all and more) of our future annual GDP growth on such an ill-conceived, futile project which has no political mandate?

The BEIS reply rambles at some length (without actually saying very much) on decarbonisation issues such as carbon capture and storage which my original email touched on only briefly to point out that they would be very inefficient and very expensive and would impose a huge burden on the productive parts of the economy. What the reply does not say is actually much more significant than what it does say.

The BEIS response on national grid fragility glosses over the severe doubts on the lack of inertia and poor grid resilience evidenced by the recent power cuts caused by already having too much non-synchronous generation (wind, solar and international interconnectors) connected to the grid. Engineering experts have been warning politicians for years that these inappropriate technologies are unsustainable. Recently an experienced power systems engineer warned that there should be a 30% upper limit on non-synchronous supply yet National Grid had about 50% connected on the day of the power cuts.

No doubt some “sticking-plaster” fix will be announced but these non-synchronous renewables technologies clearly have no long-term future. Who can have any confidence in a net zero emissions plan which requires a huge expansion of such unworkable at scale technologies? Who can believe the fanciful future energy scenarios projected by the complicit, “follow the money” National Grid?

There is no BEIS acknowledgement that decarbonisation progress after over 10 years of striving to implement the Climate Change Act has been very meagre, with UK fossil fuel dependency in 2018 still a high 79% and UK flagship renewables wind and solar power supplying a mere 3.1% of UK energy. This applies even more so to the corresponding global figures of 85% fossil fuel dependency and just 1.2% global wind and solar. Who could get to net zero from such levels using unscalable renewables? Head in the sand ideological wishful thinking trumps engineering reality.

There is no BEIS acknowledgment that the hopes of “deep international co-operation” (reminiscent of Theresa May’s failed Brexit in name only delusion) with the rest of the world following suit on net zero emissions are negligible as the developing economies have no obligations under the Paris Climate Accord. They see our rising fuel poverty and companies being forced out of business due to sky-high energy costs and, as they only pay lip service to the climate change scare concocted by angst-ridden Westerners, they naturally say “No thanks, we’ll stick to using cheap, abundant, unabated fossil fuels”. In fact it seems that these countries only play along in the hope of extracting “reparations” from the self-harming West.

The reality is confirmed by the latest EIA report which predicts that world energy usage will increase by nearly 50% by 2050 (Figure 5), overwhelmingly by fossil fuels.

Screenshot 2019-10-16 at 19.17.02.pngFigure 5: EIA global energy consumption to 2050

The BEIS reply on nuclear power makes no mention of the fact that all but one of the currently active UK nuclear power stations (total capacity 6.5 GW) are due to be closed down by 2030. Meanwhile the provision of nuclear replacements progresses with glacial slowness, never mind any expansion beyond current levels. The greens who are opposed to nuclear never admit it, but a dearth of 24/7 emissions-free nuclear electricity will make decarbonisation even more impossible.

The BEIS admission that the UK will still be 66% dependent on fossil fuels in 2035, against 79% in 2018, illustrates the sheer impossibility of trying to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The high 2035 dependency perhaps assumes a huge deployment of expensive, inefficient, unproven at scale carbon capture and storage, a technology which the developing economies show no interest in hobbling themselves with.

The BEIS reply mentions the alleged benefit of generating “green collar” jobs but such thinking is the economics of the madhouse. The aim should be to use the most efficient energy technologies to improve the productivity of the economy, not to create vast numbers of overhead jobs to prop up inefficient technologies which result in sky-high energy costs and the loss of proper jobs in the productive sector.

Decarbonisation reality versus political wishful thinking

Since my original email the eminent scientist Roger Pielke Jnr has published a paper based on the same source data which I used. He uses the source metric of millions of tonnes of oil equivalent of global fossil fuel consumption, equivalent to my metric of 84 thousand million barrels of oil equivalent per year (1 Mtoe = 7. 14 Mboe).

His paper includes a graph (Figure 6) to illustrate the sheer infeasibility of the global net zero emissions endeavour. He calculates that to achieve global net zero emissions by 2050 the world would need to build a new 2 GW nuclear power station every day between now and 2050. Some hope!

Screenshot 2019-10-16 at 19.17.49.pngFigure 6: Net Zero Emissions by 2050, Roger Pielke Jnr

In fact nuclear power is the only realistic pathway which could conceivably have any remote chance of getting anywhere near net zero emissions yet most greens are viscerally opposed to it even although they talk of a climate “existential threat”. It seems they don’t even take themselves seriously, or maybe they are more concerned with ulterior motives like overturning consumerism and capitalism.

The task would also require the decommissioning of all redundant fossil fuel facilities and the conversion of all heating, transportation and myriad other systems to use non-fossil fuels. Obviously this is all pie in the sky – it simply isn’t going to happen.

Global emissions are certain to keep on rising for the foreseeable future regardless of whatever self-harming endeavours we undertaken in the UK. The political dream of achieving global net zero emissions by 2050 or even a pointless unilateral UK net zero under our own control is a fantasy which is taking the electorate for fools.

The alleged benefits of so-called “clean energy” which in reality is not at all clean and which in any case is unworkable at scale are also a fantasy and certainly not worth  a splurge of over £1 trillion. The fabled “low-carbon economy” is a dead duck.

It is typically petty and irrational that the BEIS reply should take a political dig at the sceptical President Trump for pulling out of the useless Paris Climate Accord when the USA has been leading the world in cutting emissions and the overwhelming bulk of future global emissions will be generated by the developing economies.

Our bubble-dwelling, groupthinking, out-of-touch politicians think they have the support of the electorate on their madcap decarbonisation schemes but they are deluded. A recent opinion poll found that half of the UK population is sceptical about the conventional climate alarm, not a bad percentage in the face of all the climate propaganda and fake news we all get bombarded with every day.

Even the faithful at the Conservative Party Conference are sceptical as evidenced by the stony silence which greeted Chancellor Javid (video) when he announced yet another profligate green initiative. The look of horror on his face (at 25 minutes in) when he pauses to take applause which fails to materialise is priceless. Let’s hope he and his cabinet colleagues have taken that clear message fully on board.

The crowning absurdity of the net zero emissions policy is that it is intrinsically daft, ironically because of the greenhouse gas theory of global warming. According to the theory, which as noted above seems not to be working for rising man-made CO2, it is not necessary to eliminate atmospheric man-made CO2 to stop alleged man-made global warming, only to stabilise its absolute level. Hence there is no need to go the whole hog to “zero”. UK emissions are already stable, in fact falling (Figure 7). The UK long ago stopped contributing to alleged man-made global warming.

Screenshot 2019-10-16 at 19.21.24.pngFigure 7: UK greenhouse gas emissions since 1990

The UN IPCC deviously admits as much in their 1.5ºC special report – “Past emissions alone are unlikely to raise global-mean temperature to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels”. Unfortunately our technically untutored politicians have clearly never understood this basic physics, as evidenced by the statement in the BEIS reply that “This ambitious target [net-zero in 2050] will bring to an end our contribution to climate change”. No wonder they have been taken for fools, hook, line and sinker!

To finish off my commentary on the BEIS reply I offer the views of three sceptics of government policy. First an article by journalist Melanie Phillips on what she calls the “extinction of reason” in the way so many people have taken leave of their senses over climate change. Next an article by economist Ruth Lea on our futile and expensive energy policies. Thirdly an article by writer and columnist James Delingpole opining on the fatuous and damaging climate policies being championed by the Conservative Party – and unfortunately by all the other parties bar Ukip.

Rather than attacking these writers as “deniers”, establishment politicians should take in what these sensible, well-informed people are saying and desist from their usual knee-jerk reaction of dismissing them by parroting standard climate boilerplate which, as this commentary has hopefully shown, does not stand up to scrutiny.

The “deniers” are the globalist ideologues who against all the real world evidence believe in dangerous man-made global warming and that they can “tackle it” using a global CO2 control knob. It is absurd that the climate “debate” is more about identity politics than rationality. It is deplorable that government climate propaganda has reached such a pitch that impressionable adults (and children) are being persuaded to sympathise with extremists like the Extinction Rebellion death cult.

Douglas S Brodie

Nairn

Postscript 1: Variation in cloud cover

Further evidence is given here that natural variation in cloud cover explains the global temperature changes of the last 40 years.

Postscript 2: The UN IPCC’s infeasible 2030 decarbonisation target

More simple sums by Roger Pielke Jnr are given here to show the utter infeasibility of the UN IPCC’s net zero emissions fantasy, in particular the not-far-off 2030 target of a global 45% cut in CO2 emissions. He calculates that over the next decade the world would need a deployment rate of more than one nuclear power plant worth of emissions-free energy every day together with an equivalent rate of decommissioning redundant fossil fuel facilities. This is clearly not going to happen, so now what?

Postscript 3: The myth of decoupling economic growth and decarbonisation

The fantasy claims of the EU and the UK government that they have successfully “decoupled” the achievement of economic growth from their highly expensive and economically-damaging efforts to decarbonise their economies are debunked here and here respectively. Their fraudulent claims rely on the subterfuge of simply ignoring the CO2 emissions of imports which have soared over recent years (in the UK up from 1.7 tonnes per capita in 1992 to 5.1 tonnes in 2007 according to the ONS), exacerbated by their damaging energy policies which have forced many home industries to outsource. It is clear that their modest economic growth of recent years has been achieved despite their self-harming climate and energy policies, not because of them.

Postscript 4: UK road transport electrification

The BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019 shows that the UK was 79% dependent on fossil fuels in 2018 while wind and solar power supplied a mere 3.1% of UK energy consumption. So how on earth do our politicians think they can get to “net zero emissions” from such an unfavourable starting point?

Consider the UK road transport sector and the government’s woolly plans to go all-electric. The specification for the battery-powered Tesla Model 3 quotes an MPGe (miles per gallon gasoline equivalent) of around 130 miles, about twice as good as the BMW Series 3 diesel. If these figures are typical, what do they imply for the electricity supply needed to power the future UK all-electric road transport fleet?

According to the Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2019 Table 3B the 2018 consumption of UK road transport diesel and petrol fuel was respectively 24.6 and 11.6 millions of tonnes. Applying calorific values to convert to standard units of energy gives the total diesel and petrol energy consumption as 463 TWh per year. By way of comparison, total UK electricity supply in 2018 was 334 TWh, of which wind and solar contributed 70 TWh.

Based on EVs being “twice as good” as conventional diesel vehicles, this means that converting the current UK national road transport ICE fleet to all-electric would to a first approximation require an additional 230 TWh of electricity supply per year, a 31% increase. However the actual figure could be significantly higher when account is taken of losses in electricity generation and distribution, losses in EV battery charging and discharging, battery degradation with age and an uplift in electricity generation capacity to cater for charging peaks, e.g. during evenings and overnight.

The base electricity supply figure of 230 TWh per year is roughly equivalent to the output of 9 energy dense 3.2 GW Hinkley Point C nuclear power stations (total nameplate capacity 29 GW) working 24/7 to a 90% annual load factor. As noted above, in practice this base supply capacity will probably need a significant uplift.

Based on 2018 wind power data it would need an additional nameplate 65 GW of short lifespan, concrete and resource intensive offshore wind power (an 8-fold increase) to supply the road transport base supply of 230 TWh per year, which as noted will probably need a significant uplift. However attempting to use wind power instead of nuclear power would be futile as it cannot provide the necessary electricity when the wind falls or stops blowing completely and grid-scale battery storage could not bridge the gap.

For example, a not uncommon 3-day nationwide becalming could need a backup battery storage capacity of about 230*3/365 » 2 TWh but Tesla’s biggest-ever battery had a capacity of just 129 MWh, short by a factor of 15,000. The same applies to solar which cannot supply the necessary power when the sun stops shining, e.g. during midwinter. There is also the converse problem that the national grid is already struggling to cope with the current penetration levels of wind and solar on windy, sunny days when the demand for electricity is low, never mind an 8-fold increase.

Tesla’s battery Gigafactory has an annual battery capacity output of 20 GWh. Just procuring the raw materials and manufacturing the batteries for all these UK EVs could well be an insurmountable bottleneck.

The 2018 annual 463 TWh of UK road transport diesel and petrol was just 26% of total UK fossil fuel energy consumption. Getting to “net zero emissions” across all sectors of the economy and coping with peak demand would require many dozens of new Hinckley Point C power stations. The new Gridwatch gas website gives substance to the linked Imperial College study showing actual local distribution gas consumption peaking at almost 180 GW during this relatively mild winter, equivalent to over 60 new Hinkley Point C power stations. But what are the prospects for such a massive expansion of nuclear power? The BEIS stance on nuclear shows no such ambitions and the Committee on Climate Change also seems quite lukewarm on nuclear despite the obvious reality that an equivalent supply from intermittent, energy sparse, not particularly green wind and solar would be utterly unworkable.

It is high time our politicians did their own back of envelope energy calculations like this one. That might lead them to understand the utter infeasibility of their ambitions. Their current climate and energy policies are setting up the car industry for an even bigger fall with EVs than they did with diesel.

Postscript 5: UK temperature history shows no evidence of man-made global warming

The dissembling UN IPCC offers no proof that man-made CO2 is causing dangerous global warming, just unproven and unconvincing assertions based on hopelessly-exaggerating “Garbage In, Garbage Out” computer climate models. Unfortunately for climate alarmists, the benchmark Central England Temperature (CET) series which goes all the way back to 1659 shows no credible evidence of any man-made global warming. The CET may not be a global series but it nevertheless closely matches the broad trends of global temperature series such as HadCRUT4 (direct comparison not available).

Based on smoothed mean annual values calculated as a centred 11-year moving average, e.g. 1980 = sum(1975:1985)/11, the CET public data shows a temperature increase of 0.5ºC from 1850 (around the start of the industrial revolution and coincidentally the end of the Little Ice Age) to 1950 followed by a further 0.5ºC increase from 1950 to 2014 when the centred moving average series ends. But how much of this cumulative warming from 1850 was man-made, if any?Screenshot 2020-02-21 at 17.09.52.pngThe level of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere had not risen much above pre-industrial levels by 1950 which means that the 0.5ºC of CET warming from 1850 to 1950 must have been mostly if not wholly due to natural causes. So why shouldn’t the 0.5ºC of warming since 1950 have been mostly if not wholly natural as well, as the following facts strongly suggest?

Between 1950 and 1967 the CET moving average shows an inconvenient fall of 0.4ºC despite steeply rising atmospheric CO2, coinciding with a preponderance of naturally cooling La Nina events. It then rose a mere 0.1ºC over the next 15 years after which, in a reversal too sudden and short-lived to be credibly attributable to ever-rising atmospheric CO2, it rose steeply by 1.1ºC from 1983 to 2002, coinciding with reduced global cloud cover and a preponderance of naturally warming El Nino events. Then, despite steadily increasing atmospheric CO2 the moving average fell abruptly by 0.3ºC from 2002 to the end of the series in 2014. Thanks probably to the recent natural El Ninos, the annual mean series ended with 2019 being 0.1ºC warmer than the 2014 moving average, despite which 2019 was 0.3ºC colder than both 2002 and 1990.

These CET changes since around 1950 map neatly onto the cyclical changes of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the natural cycle which has varied in lockstep with the ups and downs of global land and sea temperatures over the past 170 years yet, disgracefully, has never been mentioned in any UN IPCC summary report for policymakers (e.g. check 2018 and 2014). The almost 20-year continuation of the well-documented “pause” in global temperatures from around the turn of the century maps onto the AMO’s top-of-cycle warm phase. If it follows its previous regular patterns it will soon enter its cooling phase.

Going back to pre-1950 when atmospheric CO2 was too low (see above link) to have much, if any, influence on climate, the CET moving average nevertheless rose 0.5ºC from 1922 to 1948, corresponding to the warming phase of the previous AMO cycle. The graph shows similar rises and falls over earlier decades and centuries, all at very low levels of atmospheric CO2. Well before any industrialisation, the CET moving average rose by a stonking 1.7ºC between 1694 and 1733 with the mean for 1733 warmer by 0.2ºC than the mean for 2019.

The UN IPCC is only mandated to study the risks of human, not natural, influences on climate and shamelessly pretends that greenhouse gases (mainly man-made CO2) and other “anthropogenic forcings” are the main drivers of climate, taking the general public for fools. However the indisputable CET evidence going back centuries shows negligible correlation between changing temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels (in fact many studies have shown that rising CO2 levels lag behind rising temperatures), indicating beyond reasonable doubt that the alarmist theory of dangerous man-made global warming is a political sham, a subterfuge power bid to “dominate, control and transform every aspect of our lives” which thankfully President Trump has had the common sense to see through.

As for alleged “extreme weather”, history records that weather conditions during the Little Ice Age were far worse than today, as science would have predicted due to the increased thermal gradients then prevailing across UK latitudes. The current Yorkshire floods are due to bad water management, not climate change. Owen Paterson sorted Somerset flooding when he was Defra Secretary by overruling the useless EU regulations and reinstating ancient dredging practices.

The above CET and AMO facts make a mockery of the “climate emergency” declared without a shred of scientific or statistical justification by our shameless (or very poorly informed) politicians. Disgracefully, these same facts are never mentioned by our conniving establishment scientists. The linked article refers to a 2010 op-ed by a leading Met Office climate scientist wondering if scientists shouldn’t be doing more to counter unscientific climate alarmism. Despite year-by-year increasing evidence against man-made global warming he appears to have dropped all such thoughts and is now reduced to promoting the desperate new alarmist phrase “global heating” instead of “global warming”.

It is the height of madness (or devious deception) to disregard such devastatingly contrarian evidence in order to “justify” a hopelessly unrealistic and self-harming £1 trillion net zero emissions decarbonisation scheme which has no chance of succeeding technically, which would entail a pointless, hugely expensive disruption to our energy infrastructure and entire way of life affecting every business and household in the land and yet would have indiscernible impact on the global climate even if attempted multilaterally, itself a forlorn hope as very few non-Western countries will ever be so foolish as to join in. The clue to this is in the name, COP26, a never-ending series of wrangles over irreconcilable ideological differences.

 

 

The war of words continues with the following email sent to Secretary Leadsom, copied to all Conservative MPs and MSPs for extra emphasis.

To: Mrs Andrea Leadsom MP, Business Secretary     enquiries@beis.gov.uk           [sent 20/10/19]

cc: All Conservative MPs and MSPs

bcc: Selected climate realists

Dear Mrs Leadsom,

Re: The case against net zero CO2 emissions

Thank you for your reply to my email of 19/8/19 entitled “The case against net zero CO2 emissions”. Unfortunately I found your reply deeply unsatisfactory, both in what it said and in what it deviously omitted to say. In my opinion it merely confirms your government’s unscientific, irrational, damaging and pointless stance on this issue.

Your reply and recent public comments by yourself and Boris Johnson confirm that you intend to press ahead with your delusional net zero emissions policy. I find it hard to believe that you can be so detached from reality as to think you could actually succeed in such an unrealistic and impractical endeavour. It irks me that you and your colleagues intend to continue taking the electorate for fools on this issue as well as making fools of yourselves.

For this reason I have drafted a reply in the form of a commentary on your reply. It is objectively written in language which even someone untutored in science and engineering should be able to understand. It explains in more detail than my original email why you are all making such fools of yourselves over alleged man-made climate change and its supposed “solution”.

Would you like a clue as to why you are making such fools of yourselves? My commentary gives several reasons. One has to do with the “zero” in the name of your daft policy (which lest we forget was dreamt up by the out-of-control UN IPCC) and relates to the reality that the UK long ago stopped contributing to alleged man-made global warming.

A further teaser to encourage you to read my commentary is its exposure of the climate change political hubris suffered by Chancellor Sajid Javid at the party conference, a lesson which you will ignore at your peril.

Your BEIS reply and my commentary on that reply are appended to my original email which is posted online at my colleague Ed Hoskins’ website as The case against net zero CO2 emissions. I urge you to take the time to read through it. I defy you to rebut it.

The same material has also been published by Principia Scientific International under the uncompromising headline Calling Andrea Leadsom: End This Climate BS! (This is a not quite finalised version although only a few words here and there are different from the final version).

I understand that some (perhaps many) Conservative MPs are fully aware that the climate change agenda is a disaster area but are afraid of loosing votes to Labour and the LibDems if they are not seen to be sufficiently green. The trouble with the “extreme green” of the net zero emissions policy – a last demented attempt by the unaccountable UN IPCC to impose its ulterior motives on the world – is that it is scientifically unverified, horrifically expensive (at least £1 trillion), technically infeasible, damaging, pointless and certain to end in tears. Whatever the outcome of Brexit it will surely be a tranquil walk in the park compared to the pointless pain and suffering of net zero emissions.

The Labour Party is so deranged that they appear to think they can implement net zero by 2030 which makes them little better than the Marxists of the Extinction Rebellion death cult who want it done by 2025. The LibDems and the SNP seek to burnish their misguided green credentials by going for 2045, the SNP stance being particularly fatuous as energy is not even a devolved issue in Scotland.

Truly we are living in the Age of Stupid.

Instead of continuing to alienate voters by giving in to the green mafia at every turn you have the opportunity to garner votes from the millions of ordinary people who are “fed up to the back teeth” with the politically-contrived climate change agenda, or as David Cameron once put it “all the green cr@p”.

Your party has the opportunity to make the congenitally climate-deranged other establishment parties look like gullible nincompoops (or conniving fraudsters) if it would only adopt the climate sceptical views of the general public (whose views on Brexit it has eventually adopted), announce a U‑turn, confidently propound the new narrative and stop scaring the children (and adults).

You should act before Jeremy Corbyn turns the tables on you through being persuaded (as if!) by his physicist brother Piers that climate change is a scam, as he documents on his WeatherAction website (scroll down).

The departure of about thirty of your Brexit malcontents including the main climate fanatics at the department of climate change who have either moved to another party, lost or resigned the whip or announced that they will be standing down should make such a policy change much easier as these ex-colleagues were overwhelmingly dyed in the wool true believers in the globalist establishment’s climate change orthodoxy, e.g. your Brexit nemesis Oliver Letwin. That is no strange coincidence, it reveals their consistently oppressive attitude of mind.

You are leading the country on a fool’s mission with your current climate and energy policies. There is no climate emergency, there is no discernible man-made global warming (and therefore no discernible man-made climate change) and attempting to decarbonise using totally inappropriate technologies is extremely damaging and pointless. We should instead adopt a climate policy of adaption as and when necessary, which is what we had before the deplorable UN IPCC dreamt up their fraudulent climate change scare.

Yours faithfully,

Douglas Brodie,

Nairn

Mr Brodie shared his email to Mrs Leadsom with his MP Mr Drew Hendry (SNP) and the Chair of the BEIS Strategy Committee with the following email:

To: Mr Drew Hendry, MP for Inverness, Nairn and Strathspey         [sent 22/10/19]

cc: Ms Rachel Reeves MP, BEIS Strategy Committee Chair

Dear Mr Hendry,

Re: The case against net zero CO2 emissions

It has belatedly come to my attention that you sit on the BEIS Strategy Committee so the email I have just sent to Secretary Andrea Leadsom (dated 20/10/19, copied above) is right in your bailiwick.

As you will see it relates to a full set of correspondence posted online at The case against net zero CO2 emissions.

Please share this correspondence with your Strategy Committee members as you see fit. I would also be obliged if you could ask Secretary Leadsom to respond to my latest email personally rather than by delegating to an unaccountable civil servant as she did last time.

This is after all a very costly (£1 trillion plus) and economically damaging issue, far bigger than Brexit. Strange then that the net zero emissions legislation was nodded through without even a vote.

Yours faithfully,

Douglas Brodie

Nairn


Mr Brodie asked his Conservative MSP to comment on the correspondence to date with the following email:

To: Mr Edward Mountain MSP           [sent 28/10/19]

cc: Mr Jackson Carlow MSP, acting Conservative Leader

bcc: Selected climate realists

Dear Mr Mountain,

Re: The case against net zero CO2 emissions

I am one of your constituents and you should know that I am engaged in a dialogue with Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom and the BEIS on the government’s delusional “net zero emissions” policy. The full set of correspondence to date is posted online at The case against net zero CO2 emissions.

To summarise the dialogue thus far:

  • In August I sent a short paper to Mrs Leadsom outlining why the net zero emissions policy is an appalling idea in terms of its lack of justification, its enormous cost, its technical infeasibility and its global pointlessness.
  • The response was a fobbing-off reply from an unaccountable BEIS minion who basically dismissed all my arguments with blatant dissembling and obfuscation.
  • This unsatisfactory response prompted me to post a commentary on the BEIS reply to explain in more detail why the net zero policy is an appalling idea, even surprising myself with the cogency of my expanded arguments, backed up with an even stiffer email to Mrs Leadsom copied to all her MPs and MSPs for extra emphasis. I also wrote to my MP Mr Drew Hendry (SNP) and his colleagues on the BEIS Strategy Committee.

Somehow I doubt if I will get any further response from Mrs Leadsom and obviously any reply from Mr Hendry will be irrelevant. However with a general election pending I really would like a better response from the party of government which leaves just you, as my Highland list Conservative MSP, to provide a reply.

I would like to think that you agree 100% with everything I have written and that you are striving with every sinew to persuade your colleagues to come to their senses and drop their misguided net zero emissions fantasy which is taking the electorate for fools. If not, please explain why not and what good you think it will do to pursue this unrealistic and irresponsible policy. I hope you will not simply ignore my arguments as BEIS did. I defy you to rebut them.

You might also try to explain why the political class which has spent the last three years trying to thwart the decision of the 17.4 million who voted to leave the EU had the self-indulgent audacity to nod through the £1 trillion plus net zero emissions legislation after just 90 minutes of debate without even a vote and with no political mandate, a totally pointless policy which will cause decades of massive nationwide and household disruption and will undoubtedly make us all very much poorer. Brexit will be child’s play in comparison.

You might also ponder the oddity that your leader Boris Johnson was a climate sceptic when he was Mayor of London, open to the common sense sceptical views of physicist Piers Corbyn, brother of Jeremy. Yet now Boris Johnson is a raging climate fanatic intent on making the country “carbon neutral” at vast expense, all to no useful purpose. Is there some sort of secret establishment oath MPs have to take which takes place unknown to the general public? I hear vague talk of “Agenda 21” which for all I know could be some sort of Davos conspiracy. Or might it just be the baleful influence of groupthink on our bubble-dwelling parliamentarians? Perhaps you could offer an opinion or elucidation.

Yours faithfully,

Douglas S Brodie

Nairn

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Screenshot 2019-11-05 at 14.19.57Dear Mr Brodie,

I note that you have written to the Department several times on this topic, most recently on 17 May 2018, 22 October 2018, 15 January 2019, 19 August 2019 and 21 October 2019.

With this in mind and, regrettably, as there is nothing further we can add on this matter, any further correspondence on this issue will be read and noted but will not be responded to.  I hope you will understand that this decision has not been taken lightly.  Any new issues raised will be responded to within Departmental guidelines.

I understand that you may find this response disappointing, but there is no further advice we can offer on the issue.  For your convenience, I have enclosed our most recent correspondence with this letter
Yours sincerely,

XXXX XXXXXXXXX (redacted)

BEIS MINISTERIAL CORRESPONDENCE UNIT

**********************************************************

In a further update to the war of words between a concerned layman and the UK political establishment on the vexed subject of climate change, Mr Douglas Brodie wrote on 5/11/19:

To: All Conservative MPs and MSPs; enquiries@beis.gov.uk

bcc: Selected climate realists

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Politicians are leading us on a climate change fool’s mission

The stonewalling second BEIS reply copied below declined to answer my sceptical arguments against alleged man-made global warming and its technically infeasible proposed solutions because they say I have pestered them too often over the past couple of years. Yet the reason for my having written so often is that they never give a satisfactory reply and always fob off any enquiry of a climate sceptical nature.

Their tactics are clear: never give a straight answer to a straight question. They dissemble and obfuscate with unfounded assertions, never deviating from the dogma of the “official” climate change narrative. They high-handedly block out climate contrarians like me, just like the “thought police” at the climate-obsessed Guardian bar comments which deviate from the establishment’s climate change orthodoxy. In stark contrast, our misguided, irresponsible politicians have capitulated to the climate Marxists of Extinction Rebellion to set up a so-called citizens’ assembly of mysteriously selected lay volunteers who in their brainwashed wisdom will tell the government what they want to hear.

The global establishment has disgracefully used blatant climate pseudo-science to unleash a climate change monster, pouring $ billions into state-sponsored propaganda to brainwash the greater mass of the general public into believing their climate change falsifications. This will inevitably turn badly against them as climate science is clearly in no way “settled” and their proposed climate “solutions” are technically and politically infeasible. As President Lincoln famously said “You can fool some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”.

There has been no discernible “slow but steady” man-made global warming in the past 20 years, just the balanced short-term spikes and dips of natural ENSO weather events as they punctuate the flatlining AMO warm phase which will before long switch to natural global cooling. As for the supposed solutions to this climate non-problem, global wind and solar power last year supplied a mere 1.2% of global energy consumption. How much longer will it take politicians to realise they have backed a loser? How much longer will it take the general public to realise they are being conned?

Meanwhile, in denial of all common sense reality, the gullible nincompoops of the Conservative Party have confirmed their £1 trillion plus, unachievable, pointless net zero emissions policy. The other establishment parties are even more detached from reality and want to splurge the (borrowed) money even faster yet they are the ones who complain about government-imposed “austerity”. Their virtue signalling, economy-crushing climate obsession betrays their feigned pretence of concern for their constituents’ wellbeing, especially the poor who suffer most under their regressive and damaging climate and energy policies.

Douglas Brodie

Nairn

 

 

In Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s February cabinet reshuffle Mrs Andrea Leadsom was replaced as Business Secretary by Mr Alok Sharma. This prompted Douglas Brodie to restate his case against the net zero emissions policy to the newly incumbent Mr Sharma by the following email:

 

 

To: Mr Alok Sharma MP, UK Business Secretary        enquiries@beis.gov.uk

Cc: Mr Drew Hendry, MP for Inverness and Nairn

Bcc: Selected Conservative politicians; selected climate realists

Dear Mr Sharma,

Restating the case against net zero CO2 emissions

Congratulations on your appointment as Business Secretary with responsibility for COP26.

This email is to refer you to unfinished correspondence I had with your predecessor Mrs Leadsom on the subject of government climate and energy policies. I provided evidence to show her that (i) there is no sign of any dangerous man-made global warming, (ii) that the UN IPCC’s net zero emissions policy involving “far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” is technically, financially, logistically and politically impossible and (iii) that the non-Western world will never follow suit, rendering unilateral UK decarbonisation doubly pointless.

That correspondence is recorded online at The case against net zero CO2 emissions and I urge you to read it. Your personal response to this correspondence would be much appreciated. I never had any response from Mrs Leadsom.

I particularly refer you to the section on electrification (search for “Postscript 4”) which contains simple, easy to verify “back of envelope” calculations to show that electrification of UK road transport and domestic heating would require the construction of many dozens of new Hinkley Point C power stations yet strangely your department seems to have no plans for any such massive expansion of nuclear power. Politicians and bureaucrats in denial of reality are setting up the car industry for an even bigger fall over EVs than they did with diesels.

I would also refer you to Postscript 5 which contains a simple, easy to verify analysis of the historical UK temperature record which shows no evidence of any man-made global warming, indicating that the establishment’s unvalidated alarmist hypothesis of dangerous man-made global warming is simply a political subterfuge, a depressing triumph of political propaganda over scientific and engineering integrity and common sense.

The real emergency facing western civilisation is climate change junk science, “a dogma being enforced by a culturally totalitarian tyranny threatening the living standards of millions, permitting no challenge … created by a repudiation of science, humanity and reason.” Thankfully President Trump provides a beacon of hope for having had the common sense to see through this “radical socialist” scheming.

Are you aware that 50% of Britons are sceptical of the establishment’s climate change alarmism despite the constant barrage of blatantly false climate propaganda put out by the left-leaning establishment media, especially the biased BBC? This “anti-consensus” movement is growing steadily as the self-harming reality and futility of the net zero emissions policy slowly seeps into the brainwashed national consciousness. It would be political suicide to disappoint or alienate them. Post Brexit, you should be seeking to develop climate and energy policies that fully reflect the national interest and economic concerns of British families and businesses. You should be aiming to make energy cheap again.

You will be aware that global CO2 emissions have been rising steadily for decades driven by ever-increasing global demand for energy. My colleague Mr Ed Hoskins has recently published a paper on this subject of particular relevance to COP26 which you should read, see Quantifying futility: an estimate of future global CO2 emissions. He shows how global emissions will continue to rise and that “any CO2 reduction efforts in the EU(28) or just in the UK alone would be acts of massive self-harm and clearly futile”.

Finally, I wish to protest that the gatekeepers of the BEIS department have banned me from further ministerial communication – for details search the online correspondence for “you have written” – for having had the temerity to voice the opinion that the £1 trillion net zero emissions policy, recently re-estimated at £3 trillion and counting or £100,000 per household, is a spectacular waste of money and effort which looks certain to result in widespread blackouts and economic ruin, all to no useful purpose.

By copy of this email I politely ask my MP Mr Drew Hendry to kindly use his influence to get this undemocratic ban lifted and to ensure that this correspondence gets past the overbearing BEIS departmental bureaucrats to the personal attention of Mr Sharma.

Yours faithfully,

Douglas Brodie

Nairn, 24 February 2020