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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- The European parliament: an apology
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- BBC: Mass extinction caused by Climate Change! (or not, as the case may be)
- The European parliament: an apology
- My final speech in Strasbourg - Two-seat parliament a perfect metaphor for the hubris and futility of EU project
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