Few now doubt that the age of cheap energy is overDependence on oil poses a risk to the security and economic well-being of everyone in the UK (and elsewhere) - and few now doubt that the age of cheap oil is over. We have got to move to some other sources of energy. If nothing is done the price of food will skyrocket as the cost of producing, storing, transporting, and packaging it will soar. Our short-sighted disdain for farming and home-produced food may well be going to look like a catastrophic mistake.
The Climate Change arguments are used to get the population on board with regard to energy conservation - but may well be irrelevant to the more urgent need to conserve energy and find alternatives because of dwindling cheap energy from oil and gas.
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett , in explaining each to the US Congress in 2005, had this to say
"The real challenge now is to use conservation and efficiency to reduce our demands for oil so that we have enough oil left to make the investments in these alternatives and renewables so that we can take the place of the oil that we are not going to have because we are sliding down Hubbard's Peak.
Now, we have very clever people in our country. We are really innovative, we are really creative, and what we need is leadership, Madam Speaker, to make this happen. "
February 6th 2010 ~ " While most of Fleet Street kowtowed to the green lobby, online amateurs uncovered the spin and deception that finally cracked the consensus"
The BBC poll yesterday revealed that in spite of so many well publicised assumptions to the contrary, a total of 73% are now not convinced that climate change has anything to do with humans and their emissions of CO2. DEFRA's Bob Watson, called the findings "very disappointing".
Matt Ridley in the Spectator this week salutes the internet bloggers, such as the Californian television weather forecaster, Anthony Watts at wattsupwiththat.com, who have changed the climate debate. Of Stephen McIntyre, he writes, "a retired mining consultant and keen squash player in Toronto. Because he keeps catching errors in their work, McIntyre is the sceptic the climate scientists most love to hate, even though he is scrupulously polite and insists that the followers on his website, climateaudit.org, are too" Spectator extract:
"When Climategate broke, the mainstream media, like knights facing archers at Crécy, mostly ran dismissive pieces .... Editors then found - by reading and counting the responses on their blog pages - that there was huge and educated interest in Climategate among their readers. One by one they took notice and unleashed their sniffing newshounds at last: the Daily Express went first, then the Mail and the Sunday Times, last week the Times and this week even the Guardian.
For those few mainstream journalists who had always been sceptical - like Christopher Booker - it must be a strange experience, like being relieved after living behind enemy lines. Who knows, one day even BBC News may ask tough questions. But it was the bloggers who did the hard work."
February 1 2010 ~ Nuclear Power "countries that for decades had shunned it as an expensive, pariah technology have embraced it anew. Britain is leading the charge"
Sunday Times "..the resulting uranium rush is worrying....A lot of new countries in Africa are opening up to uranium mining but it is non-African companies that are exploiting the resource - Chinese, Canadian and French firms. It's a whole new phase of colonialism....a serious business. Last year Kazakhstan leapfrogged Australia and Canada to become the largest supplier of uranium, producing about 14,000 tonnes, a fifth of global consumption. Niger has also begun drawing the attention, and money, of big multinationals. Areva is investing more than €1 billion (£870m) in a giant new mine in the impoverished desert nation. CNNC, China's state-owned nuclear firm, bought a stake in a project there last week.....
The mining boom has been boosted by a surge in the uranium price.... It hit $137 [a pound] two years ago..For three decades uranium cost $10 a pound because nuclear power wasn't seen as very desirable. Today the spot price for unenriched uranium is $42 a pound, enough for most projects to go ahead....
A couple of the biggest sources, meanwhile, could soon run out. America and Russia supply up to a fifth of the world's needs from decommissioned bombs or stockpiles built up during their nuclear arms race. They are gradually releasing these into the market.... The US Department of Energy has pledged not to flood the market. If it did, the price would crash and bring many new projects to an abrupt halt. .."
January 19 2010 ~ "Ageing coal-fired power stations should be exempted from environmental regulations and kept open to stop the lights from going out, the chief executive of E.ON UK has urged the government."
The Guardian reported yesterday that almost 100 large power users had to switch to alternative sources when National Grid triggered clauses in their interruptible supply contracts during the snow and ice.
"... view is privately supported by many UK power station operators who fear a looming energy gap in a few years when old coal and nuclear plants have been closed but new reactors, clean coal plants and wind farms have not been built. The idea puts the energy industry on a collision course with environmentalists, who are vehemently opposed to any continued use of coal in the energy mix. ..... Golby warned that as more wind farms are built, more back-up generation will be needed for when the wind does not blow, particularly during cold weather. E.ON's UK wind farms operated at only 16% capacity on average during this month's cold snap. The E.ON UK chief said it was not economic to build new plants which would only be used occasionally but admitted that the plan would antagonise some environmentalists. "There is bound to be an environmental emotional response I guess. But if that was the only way that this quantity of wind can be built maybe it's a price that may be worth paying."Read in full
January 14 2010 ~ "EU legislation, which will restrict the amount of energy that can be sourced from coal, will increase Britain's reliance on gas."
David Hunter, an analyst at the energy consultancy McKinnon & Clark, is quoted in the Independent:
"..we are in a situation at present where we export cheap gas to continental Europe to be stored during the summer, and then buy it back later at more expensive prices. The fact is that we have nowhere to store what we have extracted."The newspaper mentioned the Opposition-sponsored debate on Fuel Inefficiency on Thursday.
Hansard reports that Greg Clark had asked Ed Miliband: "... Is he aware that if we had had just half of France's storage capacity, British consumers could be paying £1 billion less for their gas this winter? What is his policy on how much gas storage is needed?"
Ed Miliband said that Mr Clark "is going around saying that gas storage is a big problem for the UK and citing figures, but National Grid is quoted in the papers this morning as saying that his figures are meaningless, because they ignore the role of the North sea, which provides 50 per cent. of our gas storage, and the role of UK import capacity.." He added that "Playing politics with energy security and gas storage, and alarming people, is the wrong thing to do."
January 14th 2010 ~ "our dismal record on renewables"
In the exchange on Tidal Energy, (Hansard) Dr. John Pugh (Lib Dem) remarked,
"given that something as modest as Peel Holdings' proposal for a tidal lagoon in the Mersey would generate 650 GW of energy a year - much more than wind farms - is it not time the Government got solidly behind such schemes, given our dismal record on renewables? We have had plenty of studies. We now need some action."Sir Patrick Cormack quoted "Sustainable Energy-without the hot air" by Professor David MacKay:
"if we covered the windiest 10 per cent. of the country with windmills...we would be able to generate...half of the power used by driving an average fossil-fuel car 50 kilometres per day."?Ed Miliband said that he had read "parts" of the book.
Jan 10 2010 ~ OFGEM have allowed Scottish & Southern Electric (SSE) to recoup from energy consumers £5m of legal costs it paid to defend plans to build a network of six hundred 200ft pylons across Scotland.
Not surprisingly, campaigners who tried to protect the 137-mile stretch of countryside from Beauly in Inverness-shire to Denny, Stirlingshire from the pylons and who were among those who submitted 18,000 objections, have called the decision "outrageous"
The Sunday Times quotes Bob Graham, the chairman of Highlands Against Windfarms.
"This whole debacle has been an insult to our intelligence and a diabolical waste of money. There's no mention of the 18,000 objectors or the local authorities involved being awarded their costs"
Jan 10 2010 ~ Energy supplies: "It's like watching a slow motion train wreck. It might happen this year, it might happen next year, but gas is a depleting resource and there will be a crisis at some stage"
Roland Wessel, chief executive of StarEnergy, the UK's second largest onshore oil producer, is quoted here. He says no one foresaw the rapid decline in reserves that will see the UK shift to being an importer of 50 per cent of its gas this year and 80 per cent by 2018.
Unlike Mr Brown, Mr Wessel is seriously afraid that the UK will face a gas supply shortfall if it doesn't increase its storage capacity. StarEnergy has been developing onshore storage since 2000, but has been able to complete only one project owing to the time needed to navigate the tortuous planning consent procedures.
As for the government's claim that a £100 billion green revolution is underway, Christopher Booker's column in the Sunday Telegraph calls this pure "fantasy" and reminds readers that "a new study last week predicted (that electricity bills) will quadruple during this decade to an average of £5,000 a year. This would drive well over half the households in Britain into "fuel poverty".... the cost of the Climate Change Act alone has been estimated by our Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband at £18 billion every year until 2050 - a law that only three MPs in this Rotten Parliament dared oppose."
Jan 2010 ~ "errors and exaggerations such as that which is evidenced in the IPCC's defective graph do not inspire confidence in the reliability of the IPCC's scientific case"
From the Open Letter to the IPCC's Chairman, Rajendra Pachauri by Lord Christopher Monkton (read pdf file in full)
"Given this and other mistakes that an international body of this nature ought not to have made, and given your numerous and direct conflicts of interest that have, in our opinion, been insufficiently disclosed, we are also copying this letter to the delegations of the states parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change with a request that you be stripped of office forthwith."One of the best sources for informed and readable comment on what may well be the biggest scam in history is Richard North's Eureferendum Blog - but we rather enjoyed this outburst from a blogger called Merrie Marie who, after quoting the multi millionaire's irate defence of AGW in the Guardian comments:
"He is telling us all this because we need to be vigilant against the dark forces of denialism and scepticism which, like the Orcish hordes of Mordor, threaten in the coming year to trample all over The Shire and its peaceful, honest, vegetarian community of scientists, green activists, nurturing technocrats, and sweet, gentle, life-affirming carbon traders...."
November 29 2009 ~ Christopher Booker on "Climategate"
In his column in the Sunday Telegraph, Christopher Booker says that the importance of the leaked CRU emails can't be overestimated.
"... The senders and recipients of the leaked CRU emails constitute a cast list of the IPCC's scientific elite.... ... Dr Jones's refusal to release the basic data from which the CRU derives its hugely influential temperature record ..... the emails in which scientists are advised to delete large chunks of data ....He regrets that the inquiry into all this may be chaired by Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society- and fears we may see yet another inquiry where the outcome must, in order for political ends to be defended, turn out to be another whitewash.
the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programmes... to lower past temperatures and to "adjust" recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. ...
the ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning..." (Read in full)
November 29 2009 ~"Climate change data dumped"
In spite of the apparent lack of interest shown by mainstream media, the implications of the hacked CRU emails is dawning on some. The UEA was finally forced by Freedom of Information legislation to reveal that original data, afterwards "adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected", was dumped to "save space". The Sunday Times article by Jonathan Leake may be uncomfortable reading for some. As one comment under the article today laconically notes. "Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus" - disastrous for the notion of scientific integrity. More on Energy and Climate page
November 26 2009 ~ "Climate change is an issue we take very seriously, but eating less meat would make little difference to it." CLA
The CLA today (Thursday, 26 November) said calls to eat less meat to cut climate change are misguided and would only create other problems. The CLA believes the real answer is to find new ways to produce meat with lower Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. CLA President William Worsley said:
"Calls for people to give up eating meat to fight climate change are misjudged. We must not forget that meat provides us with key nutrients. Farming fewer livestock would only create other problems. ...We believe that research into farming methods that limit the Green House Gases that cows and other livestock emit is the key to moving forward."Read in full See also the Lancet report which calls for a 30 per cent reduction in livestock production to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the UK emission targets for 2030. Peter Kendall is quoted on thecattlesite.com
"... Other governments that value their livestock production are looking at exciting and innovative ways to reduce agriculture's environmental impacts while understanding the need to produce more food for an expanding global population. If the UK government wants to be seen as a leader at the climate change talks in Copenhagen they will need to work with farmers and not alienate them with soundbites."
November 26 2009 ~ "grazing cattle and sheep are the unsung heroes of the British countryside"
Last year the NBA endorsed remarks made by Alan Titchmarsh in the BBC series "The Nature of Britain", when he said,
"Even if it were possible to plough our grasslands and moorlands and grow vegan food, the carbon release would be far greater than centuries of the exhalations of cattle and sheep."At the time, Christopher Thomas-Everard wrote:
"the vegetarian alternatives of lentils, pulses and cereals all require tractor fuel.. it takes ten units of fossil fuel energy to produce every unit of this type of food. In contrast, grass-fed UK beef involves less food miles, has higher health giving omega 3 levels, provides otherwise unobtainable forms of iron and vitamins and reduces the use of fertiliser used in farming because of the organic matter co-product (dung) cows leave behind. ..and huge environmental gains in a greater weight per square metre of earthworms for the birds and animals, like moles, shrews, and badgers, which follow where cattle graze." (See also the NBA's In defence of Cattle)Methane emissions from slurry can be dealt with by anaerobic digestion. Mr Thomas-Everard says "the only landscape that does not produce methane is a desert." And most people would surely agree with the farmer in the November 3rd Ecologist article: "Livestock and land are linked; Grazing animals play a crucial role in maintaining Britain's pastoral landscape"
An article from the BBC with an oddly facetious tone, all about the government's "independent research" looking at how health professionals could help "combat the effects of climate change":
"...The boffins came up with a rather courageous idea. Why not kill 30% of Britain's cows and sheep? Not only would this help save the environment; it would also make us healthier. ... no one had bothered to tell the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and, as its name suggests, it is in charge of cows. Defra officials gently pointed out that perhaps the "kill-a-cow, save-the-world" policy might have a few flaws.The BBC finds the story amusing, it seems. Its conclusion that "the left hand of this government does not always know what the right hand is doing" may strike many as less funny. The Telegraph article tells the story of the Lancet report in a very different way, quoting Alan Dangour, one of the authors of the report, who said that a dramatic change could be made without having to give up meat. The Telegraph adds that "meat production is estimated to be to blame for around 18 per cent of the gases thought to cause man-made global warming..." read in full. At least the words "estimated" and "thought to cause" are there.
First, the farming community would be a tad unhappy..."
(Meanwhile, even though the BBC report was needlessly dramatic, the mass killing of cows proceeds apace anyway - as a glance at the bTB page opposite will confirm. And as for hot air and greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere, we hear that 19 UK delegates out of the 38-member team are going to the Copenhagen climate talks by air.)
November 25 2009 ~ "Does the Secretary of State share the extraordinary complacency of his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change about leaked documents..
... from the Climate Research Unit which show that civil servants have been trying to avoid the Freedom of Information Act-which is potentially a criminal offence - have been conspiring to prevent publication of dissenting views, and have been modifying their own data? Would he allow such behaviour by officials on his Department's payroll?"
Peter Lilley's attempt to get the Members of the House of Commons to examine the CRU emails seriously was doomed to disappointment even in six and a half hours. John Prescott, for example, sidestepping the point about scientific integrity, attacked with ridicule,
".. There were people who still believed that the earth was flat, but the rest of us did not generally agree with them."In spite of its length, the Commons debate yesterday on Energy and Climate Change and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - which lasted from 3.38 pm until 10.00 pm - resumes today.
November 25 2009 ~ "for most of the time its turbines are not turning.."
Mrs. Jacqui Lait (Beckenham) (Con): " I feel desperately sorry for DEFRA, because nobody has mentioned that Department so far. It is lovely to see the Secretary of State here; he has sat patiently wondering if anyone will mention anything to do with the countryside. ... We have a wind farm on the Romney Marsh, although I am afraid that it is not taken terribly seriously because for most of the time its turbines are not turning. There is endless anecdotal evidence that wind farms have not been built quite correctly...."
Her contribution during yesterday's debate about how energy recources could be better utilised is worth reading.
On the subject of nuclear power she noted "...It does not take a great brain to work out that the consultation will not end before the general election. There is an immediate and built-in delay in the progress of national policy statements."
November 24 2009 ~ More heated comment on the CRU emails
The hacked emails is an issue that will not die down. George Monbiot in the Guardian yesterday says,
"It's no use pretending that this isn't a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I'm dismayed and deeply shaken by them."The latest edition of the Wall Street Journal carries two articles. In Climate Emails Stoke Debate an email from Professor Phil Jones is quoted in which he says that any research by sceptics was unwelcome: We
"will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"In Global Warming With the Lid Off Phil Jones' email of 2005, apparently to Michael Mann which, says the Wall Street Journal, refers "almost certainly Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, two Canadians who have devoted years to seeking the raw data and codes used in climate graphs and models, then fact-checking the published conclusions.." Prof Jones' email reads:
"The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the U.K., I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone. . . . We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind.."Meanwhiloe, Paul Hudson, whose article caused such outrage to those utterly certain of anthropogenic warming, (see below) says that on the 12th October he was sent " comments from some of the worlds leading climate scientists written as a direct result of my article 'whatever happened to global warming'. .The e-mails released on the internet as a result of CRU being hacked into are identical.."
November 23 2009 ~ The hacked emails scandal - it's like being hit on the head with a hockey stick.
In the flurry of damage limitation exercises following disappearance of data and emails from the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit - and the reluctance of mainstream papers to say very much about it, it is refreshing to come across a website that has some valid and interesting thought-provoking things to say. William M. Briggs has a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from Cornell University, and is now a statistician and consultant in New York City. "Too many people are too certain of too many things," he says in his latest blog posting - one that very clearly explains to the baffled layman the nature of the CRU proxies - and why
"All those squiggly-line plots should (ethically) also contain an indication of the error of the lines. Some kind of plus/minus should always be there..."He gives a list of
" all the sources of error, variability, and uncertainty and whether those sources - as far as I can see: which means I might be wrong, but willing to be corrected - are properly accounted for by the CRU crew, and its likely effects on the certainty we have in proxy reconstructions.."And what he finds is that out of at least 9 "potential sources of uncertainty (I've no doubt forgotten something)" only one is accounted for in the CRU's interpreting of results. As a scientist himself, Mr Briggs is perhaps more sympathetic to Professor Jones and his team than many bloggers - but he says rather devastatingly:
"we see that the CRU crew define a "good scientist" as one who agrees with them, a "bad scientist" or "no scientist" as one who does not agree with them, and a "mediocre scientist" as somebody who mostly agrees with them. Further, these judgments are carried to the peer-review process..."Sceptics have been rounded on because of a perceived lack of peer review. Peer reviewed, he suggests, is implicitly defined as "that process which publishes only those views that agree with prior convictions." After climategate," says William Briggs in Climategate Peer Review: Science red in tooth and claw, "all can see that this line of logic is as effective as a paper sword."
20 - 23 November 2009 ~ "Wind power will make Britain the dirty old man of Europe"
says Charles Moore in the Telegraph: "The wind bloweth where it listeth - but thou canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth. So thou canst not rely on it to put thy light on when thou flickest the switch..." He considers that if we go ahead with giant turbines - "huge beasts, the technological equivalent of the dinosaurs, will plant their feet all over our remotest regions. Also like the dinosaurs, they will fascinate future generations, by their weird size, and by the fact that they have become extinct....wiithin a few years, we shall have to seek EU derogations to allow our old coal-fired stations to stay open longer, just to keep the lights on..." Wind power page
November 19 2009 ~ SDAP - aka DEFRA's new sustainable development action plan - who is it aimed at?
Beneath the somewhat baffling urban cover picture with its skyscrapers and concentric circles, DEFRA's introduction to its "SDAP" tells us that "Sustainable development is the only way that we can deal with the crisis of sustainability and build a UK that will flourish in the world of tomorrow."
Some may feel the UK's ability to flourish in the world of tomorrow will depend in part on its ability to cope adequately with animal disease:
"A key strand of our work on farming, in partnership with key delivery partners such as Animal Health or the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, centres around animal diseases and their impact on the farming sector. The two biggest areas of Defra.s investment on endemic disease are on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs), including Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) an action on which is included below, and tuberculosis."Alas, this is the sole mention of bTB in the entire 55 page document - which can hardly be aimed at anyone not skilled in deciphering the Department's jargon. Surely Civil Service documents a decade ago had more straightforward substance, did not try so hard to justify their existence ("our new Departmental Strategic Objective (DSO) - as above -reflects our ambitions to ensure that we achieve sustainable, secure and healthy food supplies..") or leave readers wondering what on earth it all means. How is this for clarity?:
"Defra's role is to promote the inclusion of rural interests within mainstream government policy-making and delivery in a way that is both itself sustainable in policy terms and leads to sustainable outcomes, and to maintain an overview of a basket of national indicators in order to determine whether there are any systemic problems resulting from geography/rurality."There are undoubtedly some really worthwhile intentions here - but a version of the plan for English speakers would useful.
November 20 2009 ~ Hundreds of private e-mail messages and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics
New York Times "....who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change....the documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists. " Read in full- and see Saturday's Daily Mail James Delingpole yesterday in his Telegraph Blog: ".... There are too many vested interests in AGW, with far too much to lose either in terms of reputation or money, for this to end without a bitter fight. But if the Hadley CRU scandal is true,it's a blow to the AGW lobby's credibility which is never likely to recover..."
November 18 2009 ~Global warming's most dangerous apostate speaks out about the state of climate change science. Mr. McIntyre is first to admit his work is no bullet aimed at the heart of the theory of man-made climate change.
"Rather," says online.wsj.com today "his work - chronicled in papers co-written with environmental economist Ross McKitrick and more than 7,000 posts on his Climateaudit.org Weblog - does something much more important: It illustrates the uncertainty of a science presented as so infallible as to justify huge new taxes on rich countries along with bribes to poor ones in order to halt their fossil-fueled climbs to prosperity. Mr. McIntyre offers what many in the field do not: rigour.
"It all started in 2002 when - as many might given the time and Mr. McIntyre's mathematics background - he decided to verify for himself the case for action on climate change. "It was like a big crossword puzzle," he told me. "Business was a bit slow at the time, so I started reading up."Read in full
Prior to the Briffa graph revelation, he had also caught a statistical error that undercut another exalted "hockey stick" graph prominently featured by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC, this one by Michael Mann, head of Pennsylvania State University's Earth System Science Center. Alerts about review boards' seemingly lax standards litter his blog, highlighting in particular the IPCC, which has used both the Mann and Briffa graphs in its reports. In 2007, Mr. McIntyre found a technical gaffe that forced NASA to correct itself and admit that 1934, not 1998, was the warmest year recorded in the continental U.S.
"At the beginning I innocently assumed there would be due diligence for all this stuff. … So often my mouth would drop, when I realized no one had really looked into it."Even more innocently, he assumed the billion-dollar climate change industry would welcome his untrained but painstaking work. Instead, Mr. McIntyre is subjected to every kind of venom - that he must be funded by Big Oil, by Big Business, by Some Texan Somewhere. For the record, the 62-year-old declares himself "past my best-by date, operating on my own nickel."
November 18 2009 ~ "Undeterred, Plimer and The Spectator continued with the event."
See paragraph below and now www.thepeoplesvoice.org".....Monbiot ..would only agree to a debate if Plimer would answer a series of questions, questions that appeared to have been supplied to Monbiot from Plimer's Australian IPCC critics. These were no ordinary questions but questions framed in the Civil War manner of “When did you last see your father?" Questions you might think were the work of the Stasi or the KGB. The eleven questions Monbiot submitted to Plimer were actually 29 questions (they can be seen here) sprinkled with juicy little flourishes such as question 4(b) “ Was this a mistake or did you deliberately confuse two data sets?" Or question 8 (b) “Was this a mistake or was it a deliberate misrepresentation?"
Plimer responded (via email) by requesting Monbiot himself answer a series of scientific questions about climate, questions that Plimer thought his own university students would have little difficulty in answering. .. Plimer rightly expected his opponent to have some scientific knowledge of the theories....because Plimer wouldn't answer the loaded questions, the debate was off. Monbiot then immediately published the email exchanges he had between himself, Plimer, and The Spectator. ....Plimer flew to London and addressed a packed hall of 600 people last Thursday. They paid 25 pounds a seat to hear an alternative view on climate change. An empty chair was planned for the podium. A thunderstorm and downpour followed Ian Plimer's oration."
November 12 2009 ~ CO2 emissions: "the scientists 'frightening people witless by following the party line' are motivated by politics and research funding. .."
So says Professor Ian Plimer, quoted in the Telegraph, who says we have had huge climate change in the past and that human activity is not responsible for the "very slight variations" we measure today. To those who insist on the idea that CO2 emissions must be curbed at any price, he points out that we cannot stop carbon emissions "because most of them come from volcanoes"
If Ian Plimer is right - and those who have not studied climate science can only trust those they feel are worthy of trust - then the billions spent, the now almost religious fervour and the perhaps illusory technologies may well be the result of mere greed for research funding and political kudos.
For balance, the Telegraph also quotes Vicky Pope, Head of Climate Change Advice at the Met Office. But when she claims that ".. it is widely accepted that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has doubled in the last 200 years and as a result the globe is warming" this somehow lacks the fearlessness of someone prepared to question the current dogma from a position of knowledge.
(Meanwhile, in addition to offering "burseries", local financial incentives and "presentations" to schools and local groups, those who want to erect 20 giant turbines inside the Forest of Bowland Area of Natural Beauty (see wind power page) cite it as "an important step in the fight to tackle climate change and to help Lancashire and the North West meet its renewable energy and carbon emissions targets.")
UPDATE Nov 13 Interestingly, Ian Plimer and George Monbiot were to have met in London to debate climate change on 12 November. The debate did not happen, and the exchange of emails between the two men last week is worrying.
October 30 2009 ~ "Never in the field of human endeavour did so many need so few to see sense to prevent the world bankrupting itself again to no purpose. ..."
Yesterday, in the House of Commons (Hansard), Jim Fitzpatrick said that Lord Stern's comments urging everybody to become vegetarian, had been 'slightly exaggerated' and were "not the position of the government". He said: "We support the British agricultural industry. We support our meat producers." He added later that "dealing with the waste of 30 to 40 per cent. of all the food that we buy from supermarkets is a far more crucial way of dealing with the problem of emissions. We should be focusing on that."
Bernard Ingham in the Yorkshire Post, after another blast at Lord Stern, writes
"..... I do not wish to enter the argument over whether any global warming is man-made or a natural phenomenon. Nobody knows - in spite of the hysteria that scientists, waxing fat on government research contracts, have generated .... it comes down to what we can do effectively and economically. ...Certainly, we should try to minimise our energy consumption, if only to save ourselves money. But so-called remedial measures do not come cheap, assuming they are remotely useful.... The first requirement is for the debate about global warming's causes to be opened up instead of closed down. ...."Read in full
OTHER WARMWELL ARCHIVES(opens in new window)