…And that’s what Climate Scepticism is all about”. No. Not Spike Milligan. Prince Charles.
I have a lot of time for Prince Charles. I agree with him on Church of England liturgy and the Prayer Book. I think his watercolours are rather good for an amateur. And I’m 100% on-side with his views on architecture (though his development at Poundbury, in Dorchester, threatens to give pastiche a bad name).
But on Climate Change, I’m afraid he’s up a gum tree (and probably talking to the leaves).
He says that “climate sceptics believe that CO2 escapes into space through holes in the sky”. Is this a joke? Is it some kind of monarchical post-modern irony? Is he a closet sceptic trying to undermine the alarmist case by making it ridiculous? Or does he believe it? I’ve followed the debate closely for years, and I’ve never heard this bizarre suggestion before. CO2 is a heavy gas and tends to go down, not up.
There is vastly more CO2 in the oceans than in the atmosphere. In CO2 terms, the oceans are the dog, and the atmosphere is the tail. And cold water can dissolve far more CO2 than warm (which is why warm beer goes flat). If ocean temperatures rise, the seas give off CO2 and atmospheric CO2 rises. If the oceans cool, they absorb more CO2 and atmospheric CO2 drops. This is why Al Gore correctly notes a strong correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2 (over the last 600,000 years). But it’s the temperature driving the CO2, and not, as Gore wrongly asserts, the CO2 driving the temperature. The records clearly show the CO2 graph around 800 years or so behind the temperature graph.
But the oceans will not become acid as they absorb CO2, and destroy hard-shelled marine creatures, because there is a range of buffering mechanisms. Over the longer term, CO2 is sequestered into calcium carbonate and becomes rock. If the alarmists were right about ocean acidification, the marine life we observe today would have been gone a very long time ago. By geo-historical standards, today’s atmospheric CO2 levels are remarkably – indeed dangerously – low. We need CO2 in the air to support plant growth and agricultural yields, and more would be better.
Prince Charles says that sceptics don’t understand the science. But the fact is that he’s swallowed a simplistic, comic-book, Hollywood-Disaster-Movie version of the science, and he isn’t prepared to listen to the sceptic case. I once offered to arrange a briefing for him from a small number of world-renowned climatologists, but his office politely declined.
Search the blog
Calendar of posts
- My final speech in Strasbourg – Two-seat parliament a perfect metaphor for the hubris and futility of EU project
- The European parliament: an apology
- COP21 climate agreement: An eye-watering amount of money for virtually no return
- £100,000 mis-spent?
- EU energy labelling: confusing consumers and creating problems for industry
Jane Davies on The European parliament: an… catweazle666 on The European parliament: an… Sheila White on The European parliament: an… charles wardrop on The European parliament: an… Mike Maunder on The European parliament: an…
- UKIP Myths?
- Verhofstadt's Federalist Solution
- Leicester Grammar School gives EU the thumbs-down
- One Ring to Rule Them All?
- A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.....
- Barnwell Manor: The District Council strikes back!
- Climate change "Fastest in Earth's history"? Nonsense!
- Towards more picturesque speech
- One Fact: Two Interpretations
- Tolkien: the Barcelona connection
- 932,627 hits
- Add new tag
- Air fares
- Alan Johnson
- Al Gore
- Animal Welfare
- Broughton Astley
- Climate Change
- Credit Crunch
- David Cameron
- David Davis
- emissions trading
- Energy Security
- EU Presidency
- Freedom Zone
- Free Speech
- Global Warming
- GM Food
- gordon brown
- Lib Dems
- Liberal Democrats
- Monetary Union
- No Campaign
- Peer reviewed papers
- Philip Lardner
- Politics Show
- roger helmer
- Sarah Palin
- Stem Cell Research
- St George's Day
- The Freedom Zone
- Vice President
- windfall tax