Four big questions on Climate Change

1  Is the world getting warmer?  No.  It warmed a little from the mid 70s to 1998.  Since then global temperatures have been static or declining.  This is much more consistent with a cyclical trend than a straight line.
2  Is the warming down to human activity?  Almost certainly not.  The predictive climate models on which the global warming hysteria is based all show that most warming should take place in the high atmosphere, between 5 and 10 kms up.  But all the observations (both satellite and weather balloon) show that what warming there was, was most marked at the surface.  Meantime astronomical observations show warming on Mars (where the frozen CO2 ice-caps are shrinking), as well as on other planets and moons.  This is consistent with a solar cause, not a terrestrial cause.  Even the IPCC admits that the CO2 greenhouse effect is logarithmic — a law of diminishing returns.  At current levels of atmospheric CO2, even significant further increases in CO2 levels would have little effect on climate.
3  Will the current proposals to counter climate change have any effect on climate?  Any effect will be trivial.  Most experts agree that full implementation of Kyoto (which will not happen) would make only 0.2 degrees C difference to average global temperatures — and that not until the end of the century.  Talk of a “Tipping Point” is so much nonsense.  Changes to CO2 emissions would take decades to achieve, but reductions in consequent levels of atmospheric CO2 would take centuries.  (It’s rather like the way that changes in birth rates take decades to feed through into population figures).  For good or ill, we can’t make any significant difference.
4  What will the effect be on our economies?  Disastrous.  I’ve just seen credible estimates that the EU’s biofuels targets would cost €300 billion.  The Stern Report suggested that the costs of inaction exceeded the costs of mitigation.  But that assumes that mitigation would have some effect: it won’t.  And it uses the wrong discount rate.  OK, so it’s a bit technical, but the discount rate allows us to compare present costs with future benefits.  The costs of mitigation today will be vast.  The imagined benefits in fifty years time, properly discounted, are much less.  And the damage we do to our economy today will leave us less well-placed to develop alternative solutions and energy-efficient technologies.  We would do better to spend the money on alleviating poverty and providing health care and clean water in the third world, than on chasing unachievable climate targets.
Global warming is a politicians’ scam designed to centralise power and increase taxes.

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10 Responses to Four big questions on Climate Change

  1. Derek Tipp says:

    Lord Lawson has written an excellent new book on the subject see this piece in the Daily Mail

  2. Roger Helmer says:

    Also a very good piece on Lawson in the Sunday Telegraph, April 6th.

  3. Nick Palmer says:

    May your God forgive you. While some of your opinions in “The Freedom Association” are OK, you are seriously out to lunch on climate change. Your four points above are either scientific or economic rubbish. Here is a site that debunks most of them (and the rest of the tediously and endlessly regurgitated denialist black propaganda)

    The scientific points are just rehashes of massively and comprehensively debunked denier/delayer propaganda (see website).

    A problem with climate science is it is not an experimental science (nor can it ever be without the use of a time machine to go back and change conditions in the planetary “test tube” to see what difference it makes). We are stuck with past observations and computer projections. There is obviously uncertainty in all computer projections not based upon fully researched experimental science but where people like you are “out to lunch” is that you tend to assume that uncertainty of outcome justifies doing nothing – it is clear that you believe there are no risks from climate change but the past history of the climate over millions of years proves that there is sufficient instability, even from natural reasons to make it imperative that we do nothing to “throw more petrol on the fire”.

    The uncertainty in the science could very well cover a much worse outcome than the consensus opinion predicts. The best way to choose responses to the possibility of climate change is to use the techniques of risk analysis. The situation is exactly analogous to the famous “Dirty Harry” scene where the punk is not sure whether Callaghan fired five or six bullets and neither is Callaghan. “Do you feel lucky, punk”? Any rational person, faced with a potentially fatal result based on “luck” would give up but the punk rushes Callaghan and gets shot. You obviously have a “freedom based” right to gamble that climate change is going to be non existent, or benign, and thereby risk your own future, however you have a much stronger responsibility not to gamble with the future of everybody else. Unless you can be 100% certain that there are no risks whatsoever, you have no right to risk everybody else’s future in pursuit of your ideology.

  4. Roger Helmer says:

    Thank you Nick. And I can quote you sites that debunk the junk science on which climate hysteria is based. Even the IPCC admits that the climate forcing (greenhouse) effect of CO2 is logarithmic — a flattening curve, and we’re so far up it that further increases in atmospheric CO2 will make little difference. And (again looking at the IPCC data) the “fingerprint” of the slight warming we observe is wholly different from that predicted by CO2-based computer models — which predict maximum warming at considerable altitude and in the tropics. The slight observed warming fits very well into the established pattern of natural, long-term climate cycles, and very poorly with the anthropogenic CO2 hypothesis.

    Your “absolutely certain there is no risk” point is absurd. I’m not absolutely certain that the world won’t be destroyed by a stray asteroid, but I’m not suggesting we invest trillions of dollars to prevent it. You have to weigh the level of risk against the costs of mitigation, and on that basis, climate hysteria is bad value. Better spend the money on eradicating malaria, or AIDS, or providing clean water and education to the world’s poor (see Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen analysis).

  5. Nick Palmer says:

    Thanks for the speedy response. The assertions that you make in your first paragraph have been already comprehensively answered ages ago, not least on the website I sent you the link to. I know the websites, and those behind them, you are probably thinking of – Singer, Avery, Milloy, Spencer, Lomborg etc etc. Although they speak as scientists what they often come out with is just plain ordinary misleading political rhetoric. Most of their output has logical holes big enough to drive a bus through (see the sites that debunk the debunkers).

    If large numbers of reputable scientists said that there was a 95% chance that Earth was going to be hit by a stray asteroid then indeed it would be not only worth spending trillions to avoid but to do anything else would be insane and anyone arguing that we should risk getting a lucky break deserves being put in the stocks at least!

  6. Nick Palmer says:

    p.s I support your views on an EU of nation states rather a federal organisation…

  7. Roger Helmer says:

    It is claimed that 2500 scientists support the IPCC’s alarmist position, although many on their list actually disagree with them in strong terms — not least Prof. Fred Singer and Hans Labohm, for whom I hosted a seminar in the European parliament recently. Surveys of working climatologists show a wide range of views on the question. Science isn’t done by numbers, but if it were, you should note the 32,000 scientists who have signed the Oregon Declaration, challenging climate hysteria.

  8. dunnme says:

    Surveys of climatologists show that nearly all of them are convinced of human induced global warming. Scientists in general are a little less convinced, and the public is even less convinced. I suppose that is because of misleading press, stubborness or lack of scientific literacy. The IPCC is not alarmist, according to experts in the field that actually do the research and take the measurements, it is conservative. The recent conference in Copenhagen concluded this. Fool.

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