“Green” Climate polices: probably unnecessary; certainly ineffectual; ruinously expensive

Probably unnecessary

Certainly ineffectual

Ruinously expensive

 

Our Green Climate Policies are Probably unnecessary: In 1975, serious scientists were warning of Global Cooling and the coming Ice Age. They were wrong. Today some of the same scientists are warning of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). I think they’re wrong again. If you imagine that the world began in 1975, you could be forgiven for buying into the AGW theory. But the moment you take a longer view, it’s clearly untenable.

In the last hundred years, average global temperature has risen a mere 0.7°C. Even this may be an exaggeration, because of the “Urban Heat Island” effect. There is ample evidence that results from ground-based weather stations have been contaminated by urban sprawl, tarmac, car parks, vehicles, buildings and air-conditioning units. Temperature data from satellites over the last thirty years show some warming, but less than that from ground stations.

This slight rise is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term, natural climate cycles. We need no special explanation. It is possible to identify a long-term, 1000 to 1500 year climate cycle that has been in place for a million years. It can be clearly seen during the 10,000 years or so of the current Interglacial, with the Holocene Maxima; the Roman Optimum, followed by the cool Dark Ages; the Mediæval Warm Period (when the Vikings got to Greenland, it was green!); the Little Ice Age (with winter ice so thick on the Thames that they had fairs, and roasted oxen, on the river); and now a gentle recovery to what promises to be a new 21st Century Optimum.

They tell us that we are at risk of a Tipping Point, of “runaway global warming”, and species extinction. But look at the history: it was warmer in the last two climate optima, yet there was no Tipping Point, no runaway effect, no species extinction. Last time I checked, polar bears, the Warmists’ pin-up species, were thriving, with increased numbers, as the Arctic has warmed slightly.

Many scientists believe that the Sun is the main driver of the Earth’s climate, and certainly the long-term correlations of climate and solar activity are much better than with CO2. In particular the Maunder and Dalton Minima, very cold periods of the Little Ice Age, were clearly associated with low solar activity. There is a credible theory that solar magnetism affects the flux of cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere, which in turn drives cloud cover and hence climate. NASA has identified warming over recent decades on Mars, where the carbon dioxide ice caps are shrinking, and on the moons of Jupiter. Since there are no 4x4s on those planets, this warming across the Solar System strongly points to a solar cause.

There are at least four good reasons to believe that the current warming is not caused by CO2 – man-made or not.

1. Current CO2 levels are rather low: In geo-historical terms, current CO2 levels are very low. It is true, as the Warmists say, that the current CO2 level of around 400 ppm is the highest since the Industrial Revolution. Yet taking the long view, it is historically low. Atmospheric CO2 levels have been ten or fifteen times as high – 4000 to 6000 ppm. And these periods were not associated with warming. Indeed they partly covered a major Ice Age. No Tipping Point. No runaway global warming. Biologists tell us that if we halved the CO2 level to 200 ppm, plants would cease to grow. CO2 a good thing. It is virtually airborne fertiliser. It increases biomass formation and crop yields. It is our best hope of feeding a hungry planet.

2.The Signature or Fingerprint of warming: The computer models on which the Warmists’ predictions are based, in their Nintendo Games approach, give widely different results, depending on initial conditions. But they all agree on one point: a CO2/greenhouse warming should be most marked in the upper atmosphere, between 5 and 10 km altitude, and in the Earth’s equatorial region. Here we have a testable hypothesis. There should be a tropical hot spot. But observation shows no such effect. The little warming we have seen is primarily at ground level, mainly Northern hemisphere. Science works by falsifying hypotheses. The predictions of the AGW hypothesis have been falsified, which is sufficient to disprove AGW.

3. The record of the temperature/CO2 relationship: In Al Gore’s science-fiction movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, he makes great play of graphs representing a reconstruction of temperature and CO2 levels over the last 600,000 years. He lays one on the other, and Hey Presto, they match! Proof, he says, that CO2 drives temperature. But if you look at those graphs in higher resolution, you find that the CO2 graph lags the temperature graph by around 800 to 1000 years. So Yes, there’s a causal relationship, but exactly the opposite of Gore’s point. Temperature drives CO2, not vice versa. And the explanation is not hard to find. There is about fifty times as much CO2 dissolved in the oceans as in the atmosphere. If the oceans warm, they give up dissolved CO2, and when they cool, they absorb it again.

4. The Law of Diminishing Returns: Those who haven’t studied the science tend to assume a linear relation between atmospheric CO2 and the corresponding greenhouse effect. In fact, it’s governed by a negative logarithmic equation – a law of diminishing returns. The higher the current level of CO2 in the air, the smaller the effect of any further addition. We’re already so far up the curve that further CO2 increases will have little effect.

In fact climatologists (even the Warmists) know perfectly well that a doubling of CO2 would affect climate by only around 1°C. To generate an alarmist scenario, therefore, they have to postulate positive feedback effects. These are entirely possible. For example, slight CO2 warming could result in more evaporation of water from the oceans, and more water-vapour in the air. Water vapour is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, so that would enhance warming. But many scientists believe that there may also be negative feedback effects. These too are plausible. Extra water vapour could increase cloud formation, so more solar radiation would be reflected back into space, leading to cooling. Such a negative feedback would help to maintain an equable global temperature.

So the issue comes down to an arcane debate over a scientific question which the public might have trouble getting their heads round, and of which most politicians and policymakers are blissfully unaware. Yet they have chosen to bet the ranch, and put the competitiveness of our economy and the prosperity of our grandchildren at risk, on one side of that arcane debate.

In this context, what are we to make of the “scientific consensus” of the IPCC? The IPCC has shown itself not to be the consensus of unbiased and disinterested scientists, but an advocacy group driven by a small clique of committed Warmists, who control the IPCC’s editorial process and fiercely defend their own agenda. These scientists work together. They peer review each other’s papers, and they work to exclude dissenting opinions. Their machinations were made public by the famous leaks from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. We found that this group have cobbled together unrelated data sets without admitting doing so. They have deliberately subverted the peer-review process. They have tried to block publication of dissenting views, and have sought the dismissal of editors of learned journals who take a more open approach. They have (in their own words) sought to “hide the decline”, and to eliminate the Mediæval Warm Period from the record. Much of the “peer reviewed science” in the Fourth IPCC Report, on which so much climate policy is based, was found to be no more than propaganda from extreme green zealots like the WWF and Friends of the Earth.

For more on the science of Global Warming, see the book list below.

Our Green Climate Policies are Certainly Ineffectual: There are two reasons to suppose that despite the eye-watering costs, our efforts to mitigate climate change will come to nothing (even if you accept AGW theory). Those reasons are (A) Political: and (B) Scientific.

If we in the UK were to shut down our economy entirely, our emissions reductions would be made up by growth in China in around twelve months. China is building a new coal-fired power station every week, with India not far behind. If China and India won’t play ball, the USA will not be able to get serious CO2 reduction programmes through Congress. It is clear that these vast countries will not forego economic growth for the sake of AGW theory, which is why Copenhagen failed, and why Cancun will also fail. Global CO2 emissions will continue to grow, and our painful sacrifices will have been for nothing.

But reducing emissions will not actually affect the climate significantly anyway. A widely quoted estimate in respect of the Kyoto Protocol illustrates the problem. Kyoto was of course not fully implemented, and will not be, and looks unlikely to be replaced. Yet if it had been fully implemented, it would have reduced mean global temperatures (from what they would otherwise have been) by only 0.2°C – by 2100. This is a difference almost too small to measure, lost in natural and random variation, and in ninety years time. Yet we would have spent, globally, many billions, perhaps trillions, of dollars to achieve it.  Which brings me to my third point:


Our Green Climate Policies are Ruinously Expensive: In the UK, our current climate programmes (at the behest of EU regulation) look set to raise the cost of electricity by as much as 40% by 2020, while at the same time creating a huge risk of black-outs as reliable coal and nuclear power stations are replaced by intermittent wind. That’s £16 billion on electricity bills by 2020. It’s also another million British families forced into fuel poverty. These price rises damage the prosperity of all of us. And they damage the competitiveness of our economy, not just against the rising giants of Asia, but also against France, which gets 80% of its electricity at low cost from nuclear power stations. We are embracing poverty by choice in pursuit of a disputed scientific theory.

As Charles Moore of the Daily Telegraph put it: “A fascinating scientific theory about a controversial subject has been magicked by its supporters into a hard fact”.

So there you have it. Our green climate policies are probably unnecessary, certainly ineffectual, and ruinously expensive. It’s time to change course.

Recommended further reading:

“Cool Thinking on Climate Change”, Roger Helmer, Bruges Group
“An Appeal to Reason”, Lord (Nigel) Lawson
“Unstoppable Global Warming (every 1500 years)”, Prof Fred Singer
“Blue Planet in Green Shackles”, Vaclav Klaus
“Climatism!”, Steve Goreham
“Red Hot Lies”, Chris Horner
“Climate: The Counter Consensus”, Prof Robert M. Carter
“The Wind Farm Scam”, John Etherington
“The Hockey Stick Illusion”, A.W. Montford
“Heaven and Earth”, Prof Ian Plimer


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15 Responses to “Green” Climate polices: probably unnecessary; certainly ineffectual; ruinously expensive

  1. Pingback: “Green” Climate polices: probably unnecessary; certainly ineffectual; ruinously expensive – Tory Radio

  2. Axel M says:

    Many of the above recommended authors have representative videos on the website of the Fraudulent Climate of Hokum Science.

    See the Video and Audio index page where you will find listed all the videos & etc. at the website.

    Authors include:
    Roger Helmer,
    Prof Fred Singer,
    Vaclav Klaus,
    Steve Goreham,
    Chris Horner,
    Prof Robert M. Carter,
    Prof Ian Plimer,
    and many more too numerous to mention.

    Find out about the hidden agenda behind the fraud
    of climate change alarmism. You may be shocked at
    the hubris of the alarmists, and the real reasons behind their deceit.

    http://fraudulentclimate.atspace.com/

    Choose Video & Audio Index, from the Quick Page Menu Button

  3. Mike Spilligan says:

    An excellent summary that should be put to wider use. I would add to point 1 the fact that if CO2 was around 150 to 160 ppm photosynthesis would cease, which puts the 390/400 figure in an even clearer perspective.
    …. but,what can WE do about this? More to the point, what will you do about this?
    My (Tory) MP, whom you know and is probably not an enthusiastic warmist, just repeats the Party mantra – “we mustn’t question the experts”. When it becomes clear more widely that this is a huge fraud, how are those people going to be able to backtrack and explain away their inertia?

  4. Jonathan Ward says:

    There’s an awful lot of unsubstantiated, and often repeated, claims on this blog. Plus the links refer largely to people unqualified in this area of science. It’s funny how a number of them are economists with strong links to one another (rather like the GWPF which claims to be about improving climate science, but has few scientists and has misleading graphs on its website).

    It’s sad to see a politician playing the ‘what about China card’, when our per capita emissions are still vastly above those of people in China and India, and Chin are actually investing heavily in clean-tech.

    Your arguments about the computer models are grossly simplistic and an insult to the many excellent mathematicians, computer scientists, geologists, chemists and physicists working on them. You fail to relate in your blog about the retrospective te4sting aganist meteorological data and proxies, as well as careful quantification of the probabilities of the outcomes.

    Your arguments on CO2 sound like an advert for a US right-wing economic think tank. You fail to mention historical work by celebrated chemists on CO” Infra-red absorption, and such a thing as sensitivity of a system to forcing agents and initial conditions, which mean that small factors can have large changes.

    You also fail to mention there have been quite sudden, by geological timescales, transition from one climatic state to another. Within the Vostok timeframe there have been some fairly rapid glacial to inter-glacial transitions. Similarly, the CO” figures you quote give no context about surrounding details which together determine climatic changes, like the Milankovitch parameters, ratio of other greenhouse gases, albedo cover, oceanic size (as a heat sink), state of the bi-polar see-saw and so on.

    The role of solar activity is, and has alwawys been acknowledged, and it does indeed chaneg cosmic ray levels, as does changes in the magnetosphere. Cosmic rays can change nucleation rates in the atmosphere, and it is suggested that the current solar lows are changing high atmosphere wind patterns and leaving weather systems locked in place – a reason for some parts of the globe to be experiencing long cold winter spells, whilst others are experiencing record warm winters (globally last winter was well up on temperature).

    How about trying to debate a complex subject with some decent science?

    It seems like that you are no different from blinkered supporters of climate change, facts seems irrelevant to you, it seems to be about your ideology.

    Especially as you alwaya fail to separate sustainability, which businesses, communities and nations are embracing as it makes best use of what we have, from other issues which you find contentious.

    • Axel M says:

      Are you the “Jonathan Ward” who makes scented candles in London? It seems like you have been sniffing something anyway, because you have made exactly the same kind of assertions that you accuse Mr. Helmer of making.

      Your diatribe is full of “straw man” arguments and various other logical fallacies. The only scientist that you mention is Milankovitch, however Mr. Helmer has discussed Milankovitch in the past, though not in such detail as you might find in a university course.

      To quote your own criticism back at you …
      It seems like that you are no different from blinkered supporters of climate change, facts seems irrelevant to you, it seems to be about your ideology.

      Oh Dear Mr. Helmer seems to have touched a raw nerve with you, and what is your association with the green hokum?

      • Jonathan Ward says:

        You may be surprised to hear that there a lot of Jonathan Wards in this world – alas I do not make scented candles.

        If you like I can re-post my earlier post with links to peer-reviewed articles for each point. This may mean some articles will only have abstracts unless you have access to the journals. I would try to use publicly accessible ones. It’s fair enough to demand them of me, but I would assert that someone who represents the public and who is posting articles on these issues has the onus upon them to ensure that what they say is substantiated.

        I am more than happy to debate a number of aspects of climate change and/or so-called ‘green’ policies, which I keep trying to indicate, are disparate policies being lazily lumped together by people on all sides.

        Scientists have to be professional sceptics. At some points in time, as with any walk of life, there can be group-think. Yet, in academia, there is always a critical pressure upon any theory, study or results, and there is a lot to be gained by positing something new that advances the start of the art in that field.

        What I miss is genuine debate on the many constituent parts of different scientific theories that come under the broad heading of climate science.

        There are gaps in knowledge, and there are very robust areas. I don’t see why this is a contentious thing to say.

        You suppose, or assume, that I am a ‘green’ whatever that means (probably an image of sandals, hairshirt, love to interfere in people’s lives and not to wash?).

        My bone of contention is first of all, most of what I have seen as ‘reasons’ not to believe in parts of climate change and surrounding science lack evidence and sound reasoning as far as I can see. I’m not an expert, I studied physics and worked in physics research for several years, and I also briefly studied quaternary geology, climate science and environmental law . That’s given me a reasonable grounding in the subject.

        I see too much politics and not enough logical reasoning in most debates on this subject. Politics ultimately shapes our lives, but like many parts of the media, it often doesn’t comprehend science very well. That’s a pity.

        As for the other scientists I alluded to earlier, we can go back to people like Fourier, Tyndall, Arrhenius and so on.

        The best discussion, and most pragmatic one, on sustainable energy I have seen is by Prof D. Mackay – you can download his book at http://www.withouthotair.com/ – and also access the calculations and references.

        Regards,

        Jonathan

  5. Richard J says:

    Jonathon. Beware the beam in your own eye before attempting to cast out the mote in your brothers. Climate alarmism is first and foremost politically motivated. It uses torqued scientific data and interpretations to support a mischievous PR campaign in attempts to sway public opinion. By all means bring on a debate based on decent science. But alarmists habitually avoid that, preferring tactics of sceptic suppression, ad hominem, accusations of oil funding, right wing ideology, and claims of consensus authority.

  6. Richard J says:

    Jonathon recommended Prof D Mackay’s book, which does indeed provide an excellent briefing on renewables, showing just how formidible a challenge they present. The sceptic view however is related to the flimsiness of the argument surrounding their claimed justification, well expounded in Roger Helmer’s reading list (Montford’s HSI is the most revealing). A critique of Mackay’s book is here, including a blog comment from Mackay himself.

    http://naturalspiritofgoodcompany.blogspot.com/2010/05/on-david-j-c-mackay-on-agw.html

  7. David Walker says:

    Blows my mind how many of us “skeptics” still want to talk about the “science of climate change”. The whole thing is a ruse to get your money!

    When will leadership demand that global warming proponents (notorious individuals, governments, and corporations) open their books and disclose their vested interest in the global warming context?

    That’s where the truth lies, having everything to do with defining who makes money and who pays; having almost nothing to do with the climate or with science. It’s the grandest scam in modern human history, perhaps of Biblical proportions.

  8. Mike Spilligan says:

    Admittedly I can’t assess Prof. Mackay’s book scientifically, but I do doubt its impartiality, just intuitively as (after a few dozen mouseclicks) I find that it’s quoted as a reference by those cultured and courteous people from Greenpeace.

  9. Pingback: “Green” Climate polices: probably unnecessary; certainly ineffectual; ruinously expensive « Tory Radio

  10. Wb Foxton says:

    Dear mr helmer,

    Regarding this campaign, why did you choose to spend £9000 of taxpayers money on billboards for it. If you used Tory party funds, fine. Your own money, fine.

    But you seem to have used £9000 of our money for the billboards. As a TPA supporter, can you see why I, a Tory voter think this spend on promoting your politics is outrageous?

  11. Jon Mackin says:

    Hi,

    It’s hard to know where to start with this (mainly as none of your statements are referenced), but I will start with this:

    Aren’t points 3 and 4 directly contradictory? Either you think CO2 does or does not affect climate – which is it?

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