Eija Riita Korhola is a Finnish MEP first elected, as I was, in 1999. She has taken a keen interest in energy issues, and I was particularly struck by her recent blog on climate.  I have to share it with you.

Is it true or not?

Probably I am not the only one who has been wondering about the apparent contradictions that arise from the various climate positions. Meteorologists claim that global warming has made a slow-down and describe the current epoch as cooler. Hence, temperatures do not seem to be in line with the predictions of the greenhouse theory. At the same time, others, like the World Bank in its November report, stress that the situation is worse than ever: emissions have increased and a temperature rise of four degrees is predicted for this century.

How should we interpret these contradictions? Measured temperatures have been commonly understood as hard facts in the past. The fact that temperatures have not significantly increased during the first decade of this century can easily be checked by anyone. The conclusions that we should draw from this are a mystery, however. Changes in global temperatures could also be considered features of natural climate variability. The climate has always been changing at regular intervals.

Therefore, when one implies that the situation is worse than ever, one does not refer to empirically observed temperatures, but to the greenhouse theory. As a matter of fact, one interprets under the premises of the theory. Because the theory assumes that CO2 emissions cause a rise in temperatures, and as CO2 emissions have increased exponentially and much more rapidly than what was initially assumed, the conclusion is that temperatures will indeed rise. Even if they won’t now, some day they will for sure. The situation is bad, or at least it will become bad.

Is it bad? I do not know, but as a politician I am forced to consider all possibilities. I am obliged to draft policy that we are least likely to regret in the future. Whatever the conclusions of science eventually are, policies had better be as sensible as possible.

Three years ago both scientific circles and the rest of us were flabbergasted by the so-called Climategate scandal. The personal e-mail messages of some Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) researchers were leaked to the public. Some of the correspondence was from the time when the 2001 IPCC report was being finalised. The messages revealed that the researchers were wondering how the ‘problematic’ Medieval Warm Period could be concealed. In later messages the scientists contemplated, why temperatures did not go up during the first decade of the millennium, and what they could possibly do about this issue.

In other words, climate researchers had difficulties producing the figures they desired, that is, figures that would give politicians the aspired signal. The Medieval Warm Period was in this regard the biggest problem, as it was conclusively warmer then than it is now. Secondly, based on the tone of the correspondence, the research group seemed frustrated: in recent times, temperatures had not gone up as predicted.

The truth is that they still haven’t. During this millennium the global average temperature has been rather stubborn and not in line with predictions. Even if emissions have increased radically, a correlation with rising temperatures just cannot be traced. This issue also features in the upcoming, leaked, IPCC report. Even though public statements attempted to mask the damage done by the leak, everyone has been able to draw their own conclusions based on a graph in the report: temperatures stagnate even though the predictions point upwards. The temperatures simply do not obey.

Unless we make them obey. A University of Oslo professor, Ole Humlum, recently remarked an odd phenomenon and revealed the newest climate scandal. Apparently, since 2008 some research institutions have been retrospectively correcting their global temperature graphs. Usually, this would not be strange at all, as scientific information tends to be built up piece-by-piece and may have to be rectified at a later stage. It is, however, extremely strange that data from 1915 has also been touched-up. Temperature data from the beginning of the 20th century has been systematically rounded down, while later data has been rounded up respectively. Data seems to have been forced to obey the greenhouse theory, and suddenly it seems like the graphs confirm the desired hypotheses.

As I am a free thinker with no taboos, I want to express this out loud. The world should be portrayed the way it is, and a politician should also welcome crude facts. We should not force data or fit circles into squares – this mentality belongs to another world and another political ideology.

But do we make sensible policies?

Let’s assume that the AGW-greenhouse theory, as it stands now, is not correct, and warming and cooling both fit under natural variability and the fact is that the climate has always changed in one direction or another. In this scenario we are not making good policy, as staring at CO2 only has taken attention away from other severe problems. In the name of the fight against climate change both the quality of air and the problem of pollution have worsened. In other words, the climate problem has cannibalised other environmental problems.

Let’s then further assume that the correlation theory of increased atmospheric CO2 and global warming is true, and that the situation is worse than ever. Even in this case we are not making sensible policy, as the policy has not alleviated the problem it was supposed to. Not in the least bit.

European climate policy has a massive price tag attached to it. It has even been catastrophic from an environmental point of view. For years I have spoken out about the fact that we should be more careful in investing our resources. We should not allow absurdities in the name of the greenhouse theory. At present, we have the most expensive, one-sided climate policy in the world, which reduces jobs in the EU and also penalises the world’s cleanest production operations. As a matter of fact, the newest research shows that the present policy does not even reduce emissions. If we take into account consumption, too, the EU’s total emissions have actually gone up. While production-based emissions have indeed gone down appropriately, strikingly, consumption-based emissions have dramatically increased. This development speaks a language of failure: because of our climate policy, production has been relocated to other parts of the world with less clean production – and unemployment in the EU has gone up.

My proposal is that we start making policy that we do not have to regret later, irrespective of the outcomes of scientific research. Such policy would include energy saving, the development of clean technology, sustainable forestation, the prevention of air pollution, as well as the fight against poverty and erosion in developing countries. We should also guarantee clean production and jobs in Europe. We ought to take all these actions even if we had no information whatsoever about climate change. And if we did have the information, these would be the best recipes to tackle the problem.

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  1. edmh says:

    At last a Politician with some real common sense

  2. neilfutureboy says:

    Very good article.
    The only thing I would add is that even if the temperatures did start rising to damaging levels there are at least 4 separate ways of cutting CO2 or remperature which would cost a small fraction of the War Against Fire we are engaged in now – pitting siplhur crystals in the upper atmosphere; fertilising the ocean with iron to grow plankron and absorb CO2; allowing space industrialisation which will make orbital shades cheap; & building nuclear power plants.

  3. David H. Walker says:

    There are so many dynamics influencing climate — each of which dwarf man’s CO2 emissions — the idea that we can cause the earth’s climate to warm via CO2 is absurd.

  4. John Latham says:

    Very good reasoning. This lady is my preferred type of representative, full of common sense and looking to solve problems logically. Unfortunately this is the not case with a lot of our politicians.

  5. edmh

    That should be TWO politicians with some real common sense.
    Incidentally – why is Roger Helmer not a ‘regular’ on Question Time? I would love to hear him cross swords with the LibDem greenies and trying to overcome the gabbling Caroline Lucas.

    Shami Chakrabarti was a ‘regular’ (and even got in on the Olympics 2012 act …) despite representing a tiny group of people when compared to Roger H.

    The researchers try very hard to ‘weed out’ difficult audience members when you apply to join the programme. ‘Difficult’ as in not fitting the researchers preferred pattern which is heavily biased towards the Camden chatteratti.

  6. When the European question first came up, you were either a swivel eyed hater of Europe, or else a Europhile who adored sundried tomatoes. When the Gay question came up, you were either a civilised person or a Homophobe. When the climate change idea was mooted, you were either a civilized person or a Climate Change Denier.
    Now, after several years, the truth is coming out and the childish name calling is changing into fact based argument.
    Well written!

  7. tallbloke says:

    Well said Roger Helmer.
    For your information investment house UBS AG released a report just over a year ago which pointed out that if the 287Billion Euro that had been used to prop up the E.U. ETS had been spent directly on renovating Europes power generation fleet, co2 emissions could have been reduced by 42%.
    A UK ecojournalist (Leo Hickman) yesterday provided an excuse for this, saying to me on twitter that the E.U. had to ‘appease’ the marketeers.

    If the E.U. was really serious about reducing co2 emission, why would it ‘appease marketeers’ rather than getting on with reducing co2 emission, generating a lot of jobs in the process.

    A few days ago UBS released another report, saying the ETS won’t be effective before 2040 and is therefore useless. Why are we still throwing taxpayers money down this hole while British pensioners freeze and Greeks labour under austerity? Where did all the money go?? Who is accountable for providing the accounts???

  8. tallbloke says:

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    East Midlands Euro M.E.P Roger Helmer speaks out

  9. David Ash says:

    Sorry, this article is ill-informed tosh from beginning to end. For example, you say “temperatures have not significantly increased during the first decade of this century” yet every one of the warmest years recorded – with the exception of 1998 – fall into this century. 1998 was experienced the strongest El Nino event of recent times. El Nino events temporarily raise global temperatures. You also recycle the conspiracy theories of science deniers.

    You sign off by saying “we start making policy that we do not have to regret later, irrespective of the outcomes of scientific research” which nicely sums up your position – reject science and base policy on wishful thinking.

    • rfhmep says:

      Thanks David. Don’t take my word for it. The Met Office says that there has been no warming for 15 years, and it predicts no warming for the next five. That’ll be 20 years with no warming — in defiance of the computer models on which climate alarmism is based. As for your quote — I didn’t say it. Eija Riitta did. And she’s writing in a second language. It’s clear she means “Let’s not do anything now which we’d regret in future when it becomes clear that current climate alarmism is misplaced”.

    • Holbrook says:

      The planet moves from an Ice Age to an inter-glacial Holocene and back again, each of the last five Holocene’s including our own have all been warmer than today. The peak temperature is referred to as the Holocene Climatic Optimum and ours was 10,000 years ago. Therefore we have been cooling for 10,000 years. Balance and context is required when comparing global temps and the timescale you refer to covers less than 200 years and is completely irrelevant. What is more the late 20th century warming of 0.65C was well within the natural variability of +/- 2.5C per century and in terms of the rate of change yet again no issues as well within the average of the last 50,000 years. It should also be noted that 500 million years ago CO2 was 15 times current levels but over millions of years the plant world absorbed so much that it was reduced to a rather precarious 180pp by the end of the last Ice Age…only 30ppm above extinction for all of us…plant world, animals and humans.
      So why did we not burn up from the very high levels of CO2?….Simple….Carbon Dioxide’s ability to create heat is logarithmic and for a doubling of today’s CO2 levels you would get around 1C of heat and a further doubling will be much less.
      Climate models were not allowing for this or negative feedback…they were hyping up the positive feeback to give the warming their lords and masters required.
      Unfortunately theory is theory and the climate has not warmed…..thus leaving the AGW crowd increasingly desperate without understanding why. What is more it will get cooler as we are heading for a mini-ice age circa 2040 and the process started in 2007 when the sun cycle changed from cycle 23 to 24. The lack of suspots has already made it’s mark and if predictions are correct we will see even more cooling after the next change in 2018.
      If you really understood what was going on you would realise that we are actually suffering from “Carbon Dioxide Starvation” …. commercial growers use CO2 at levels of 800ppm – 1200ppm to boost their crops. Thanks to higher levels of CO2 satellite photos clearly show the planet is greening up….not burning up.
      That we have climate policies in line with your muddled thinking is the scary bit. You are clearly unaware that in 2002 NASA launched the Aqua Satellite and the first part of the mission was to look for hotspots in the Troposphere..a clear sign of AGW…but nothing was found.
      In 2004 with no warming for 6 years the IPCC changed “Global Warming” to “Climate Change” as it was a catch all phrase that could be used for all weather events.
      They state that 97% of scientist believe in “Climate Change”…which is wrong…100% do for they are well aware of Ice Ages and Holocene’s. What the IPCC are actually inferring is AGW of which only a third of scientists believe in. Thus leaving the rest of the scientific community ignored and often ridiculed whilst they look on helpless to intervene, ignored by much of the mainstream media as the scam continues.

      • Len Jones says:

        That was beautifully put, not a incorrect statement to be seen. If only our ‘leaders’ could bother themselves to read and digest it. Well done Holbrook…

  10. Stephen Richards says:

    It needed a female politicienne to come up with this. The men say “hear, hear”, make their expenses claims and carry on as usual.

  11. graphicconception says:

    ‘Sorry, this article is ill-informed tosh from beginning to end. For example, you say “temperatures have not significantly increased during the first decade of this century” yet every one of the warmest years recorded – with the exception of 1998 – fall into this century.’

    You do realise that both your statements can be true?

  12. Stephen Richards says:

    graphicconception says:

    January 24, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    ‘Sorry, this article is ill-informed tosh from beginning to end. For example, you say “temperatures have not significantly increased during the first decade of this century” yet every one of the warmest years recorded – with the exception of 1998 – fall into this century.’

    You do realise that both your statements can be true?

    The idiot doesn’t understand the Grand ‘ole Duke of York syndrome.

  13. johnbuk says:

    David Ash – you appear to be saying “tosh” to the following, “temperatures have not significantly increased during the first decade of this century”. So are you saying the temperatures HAVE significantly increased then? In which case your argument would seem to be with the Met Office HadCRU as they are the ones stating this.

  14. kuraban says:

    ‘Sorry, this article is ill-informed tosh from beginning to end. For example, you say “temperatures have not significantly increased during the first decade of this century” yet every one of the warmest years recorded – with the exception of 1998 – fall into this century.’

    I think this is fairly standard practice isn’t it, come to a pre-defined conclusion and then reject anything that doesn’t meet it?

    Pre-defined conclusion = anyone that disagrees with AGW must be speaking tosh.
    Reject – fact that temperatures have stopped increases. Change focus to the fact that they are at the top of the charts for the past 100 years.
    Reject – implication that the temperature records appear to have been manipulated by some people in order to make them fit more closely with the AGW theory.

  15. Len Jones says:

    Global warming policy has absolutely nothing to do with the temperature of the earth’s surface. It’s to do with Taxation and control of the proletariat. It’s just in the makeup of politicians, they can’t help themselves. And the scientists who follow? The just need a gravy train to jump on, or a club of like minded hand-rubbers to make themselves feel they are doing the right thing. I hope they can sleep at night!

    • neilfutureboy says:

      There are remarkably few scientists supporting the warming scam. The same couple of dozen names keep turning up. If the BBC had actually been able to find “28 scientists” to su[pport the frauid they certainly would have done so rather than proving that the entire organisation is wholly, completely and totally lying Fascist propagandists.

      Indeed there is not a single scientist supporting alarmism, worldwide, who does not turn out to be ultimately paid by the state.

      Granted there are a large majority of scientists keeping their heads down but that is not the same as actibe comlicity. What is happening is that corrupt politicians and media whores have pushed the claim of “scientific support” and they have, except for the net, a virtual media monopoly.

    • holbrook says:

      May I return the compliment Len…well put.

  16. In a debate of this kind it is very important to stick to facts as best we can and avoid emotional outbusts. On the question of temperature rise there are only 160 years of reasonably reliable worldwide instrumental records on which to base world mean temperature variation. Here is the Met Office’s official annual mean temperature data plotted between 1850 and 2010:

    In viewing this graph, don’t forget that the Met Office is strongly pro-warmist and that the data is compiled by their own Hadley Centre at the University of East Anglia, major participants in the Climategate scandal. Nevertheless, despite this data’s dubious provenance, it still only demonstrates (see the blue line) a very modest long term average warming of about 0.4 degC per HUNDRED YEARS. This completely unalarming figure is consistent with the natural warming trend that has occured since the colder climatic conditions of the ‘little ice age’ of the 1600-1700s.

    Superimposed on this long term natural trend is a much shorter 67 year cycle (the red line) which causes the temperature to fluctuate by about plus or minus 0.25 degC, and which is widely believed (even by the Met Office in a recent pronouncement) to be a natural ocean-related heat oscillation.

    Looking at this graph it is easy to see how protagonists for the man-made global warming theory have been able to get away with alarmist statements about ‘ever-increasing temperatures’ without, of course ever mentioning the exceedingly unalarming rate of the long term rise. It was particularly easy for them to do this during the 30 years of the last ocean-related upswing from 1970 to 2000 when the rise was around 0.7 degC. If it had continued on at the same rate, which it did not, this would have been equivalent to a rise of 2.3 degC per hundred years, a spurious figure based on short term data that is nearly 6 times more alarming than the actual long term trend of 0.4 degC.

    Sadly an unholy alliance has developed consiting of: academics whose theories were wrong; environmentalists for whom the GW scare was funding-manna from heaven; rich landowners who have profited mightily from wind farms at the expense of raised electricity bills for the fuel poor; industrialists and other commercial organisations who have profited hugely from government funding largesse; and politicians worldwide who always like great human causes that they can safely support (requiring, of course, great tax sacrifices by the populace).

    Apparently this worldwide bandwagon is all now unstoppable despite the clear, simple, easily-grasped facts of the real temperature record. But then when have people-on-a-gravy-train ever been swayed by inconvenient facts?

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