Features

The climate change agenda is a conspiracy against the poor

In trying to protect ‘our grandchildren’ from climate change, politicians are hurting the poor. They shouldn’t

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

The next generation is watching, Barack Obama told the Paris climate conference: ‘Our grandchildren, when they look back and see what we did in Paris, they can take pride in what we did.’ And that, surely, is the trouble with the entire climate change agenda: putting the interests of rich people’s grandchildren ahead of those of poor people today.

Unfair? Not really, when you look at the policies enacted in the name of mitigating climate change. We’ve diverted 40 per cent of America’s maize crop to feeding cars instead of people, thus driving up the price of food worldwide, a move which according to one study killed about 192,000 poor people in 2010 alone, and continues to affect nutrition worldwide. We’ve restricted aid funding for fossil-fuelled power stations in developing countries, leaving many people who would otherwise have had access to electricity mired in darkness and cooking over wood-fires — the biggest environmental cause of ill health, responsible for more than three million deaths every year.

Closer to home, by pushing up energy prices with climate policies, we’ve contributed to the loss of jobs of steelworkers in Redcar and Scunthorpe, and of aluminium workers in Northumberland (where I live and where coal from under my land has supplied the now-closed Lynemouth smelter — whose power station announced this week that it will reopen as a ‘biomass’ plant, that is to say burning wood from American forests, producing more carbon dioxide per unit of energy and at twice the price of coal). We’ve also worsened fuel poverty among the poor and elderly and we’ve damaged air quality in cities. These human costs are not imaginary or theoretical: they are real.

But ends can be used to justify means, and omelettes cannot be made without breaking eggs. We justify the painful impact of policy by saying over and over that it helps to avert a far greater threat that faces ‘our grandchildren’. So exactly how great is that threat?

Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University, one of the world’s most respected climate economists, has had a stab at answering this question in a new paper accepted for publication in the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, which takes all 22 published studies of all the impacts of climate change, good and bad, economic and environmental, and generates an average effect on welfare. This is what he has to say:

Global warming of 2.5˚C would make the average person feel as if she had lost 1.3 per cent of her income… That is, a century of climate change is about as good/bad for welfare as a year of economic growth. Statements that climate change is the biggest problem of humankind are unfounded: We can readily think of bigger problems.

[Alt-Text]


Up till 2.2˚C, he says, our grandchildren will actually still be better off as a result of global warming. When I first reported in The Spectator in 2013 that the balance of evidence suggests that mild global warming will do more good than harm and that this would continue till the later decades of this century, I was subjected to torrents of abuse in the Guardian and other house organs of wealthy greens. Yet it has now come to be accepted as conventional wisdom.

Yes, but what if climate change proves worse than we expect and the century sees more than 2.5˚C of warming? (Actually, given what we now know about climate sensitivity, that’s unlikely: the probability density function for such rapid warming is very slim and depends on unrealistically large net-positive feedbacks.) Professor Tol says the following: ‘The impact of climate change does not significantly deviate from zero until 3.5˚C warming.’ And remember that ‘our grandchildren’ will on average be much richer than we are today. If they are not, then there’s not much of a problem because they won’t be generating emissions at a worrying rate.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumes in its various scenarios that the people of 2100 will be between three and 20 times as well off in income terms as the people of today — and that’s despite climate change. In the ‘middle of the road’ scenario prepared by the OECD for the IPCC, which sees generally disappointing global economic progress, the average Indonesian, Brazilian or Chinese will earn at least twice as much as today’s American does. That’s how rich ‘our grandchildren’ will be, never mind Barack’s. In causing pain today for benefit tomorrow, we are transferring money from the poor to the rich.

So let’s just pause to reflect what is going on here. President Obama, President Putin, Prince Charles, Ban Ki-Moon and the Pope are urging us to worry about what will probably be a 1.3 per cent fall in the income (or about 3.5 per cent if we get 3.5˚C of warming) of a person who is at least three times as well off as we are today. That is to say, they would be at least 196.5 per cent richer, instead of 200 per cent. And yet world leaders are prepared to adopt and defend policies that hurt poor people today in order to try to avert this very slight pay cut for the very wealthy of tomorrow. In what universe does this entitle them to occupy the moral high ground?

Oh and by the way, perhaps we should ask the poor people of the world themselves what they think about this? On Monday Mr Obama quoted an Indonesian girl he met recently who was worried about climate change. I wonder how he managed to find her. The United Nations is carrying out a huge online survey of people’s priorities. Called ‘My World’, it allows people to rank 16 categories of things they care about. So far more than 8.5 million people have voted, mostly from poorer countries, and the number is growing all the time. Education, health, jobs and good governance come top. Action on climate change comes last — and not by a narrow margin either: it lags well behind the second-least popular priority (phone and internet access). Even among people aged 15 or younger, it comes last.

Climate change is an obsession of the rich which is not shared by the global poor, who care more about everything, even getting online. They can see all too well that a slight diminution of income in two generations’ time is not as important as decent health, education and a better living standard today. So let’s cut the humbug about speaking on behalf of poor posterity, please. Though they might not mean to, the green great and good are on the side of the rich.

Not that the inhabitants of rich countries are any longer much enamoured of such policies. As Gallup reports: ‘Warming has generally ranked last among Americans’ environmental worries each time Gallup has measured them with this question over the years.’ In another poll last week just 13 per cent of Canadians chose climate change as one of their top three concerns.

In Globescan’s poll for the BBC of 20 countries, there has been a marked decline in concern about climate change, and in enthusiasm for climate policies, since 2009: only four countries now have majorities in favour of their governments setting ambitious targets at a global conference in Paris, compared with eight before the Copenhagen meeting in 2009. Just under half of people in these countries consider climate change a ‘very serious’ problem, compared with 63 per cent in 2009.

The Paris climate conference has attracted about 40,000 delegates and camp followers, from politicians and civil servants to journalists and campaigners. I don’t have the numbers, but I would be willing to bet that very few of them paid their own air fares or hotel bills. A goodly proportion will have sent the bill to taxpayers in various countries, either directly or via the grants that governments give to green pressure groups.

Perhaps the politicians should stop listening to the vested interest of the Green Blob and begin asking what long-suffering taxpayers and real voters think about hitting poor people today in order to protect the incomes of rich people in 2100?

Matt Ridley’s books include The Rational Optimist, The Red Queen and Genome.

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Show comments
  • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

    A tiny number of ideologues in alliance with a small number of greedy rent-seekers supported by an army of useful idiots.
    How much more harm can they do before we come to our senses?

    • freddiethegreat

      Hang the last greenie with the guts of the last socialist?

    • Graham Thompson

      A tiny number of ideologues in alliance with a small number of greedy rent-seekers supported by an army of useful idiots and EVERY SINGLE EXPERT WHO HAS STUDIED THE ISSUE.

      FIFY.

      • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

        A claim repeatedly made, but never substantiated. In fact impossible to substantiate, given that you will impugn the credentials or integrity of anyone who does not accept your view.

        • Graham Thompson

          Naomi Oreskes found no rejections of the consensus in a survey of 928 abstracts performed in 2004. Doran & Zimmerman (2009) found a 97% consensus among scientists actively publishing climate research. Anderegg et al. (2010) reviewed publicly signed declarations supporting or rejecting human-caused global warming, and again found over 97% consensus among climate experts. Cook et al. (2013) found the same 97% result through a survey of over 12,000 climate abstracts from peer-reviewed journals, as well as from over 2,000 scientist author self-ratings, among abstracts and papers taking a position on the causes of global warming.

          Go ahead and impugn their credentials and integrity.

          • Graham Thompson

            Oh yes, and then there’s this –

            “As of 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists released a revised statement, no scientific body of national or international scientists rejects the findings of human-induced effects on climate change.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Dissenting

            And the wiki page links to the relevant statements made by each institute, just in case you don’t trust Wikipedia.

          • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

            I take it all back. We are faced with the fact that 97% of the world’s scientists believe that by spending trillions now, and sacrificing the lives of a few million poor people, we can get the climate we want in a century or two.
            The situation is worse than I thought.

          • Graham Thompson

            You’re getting closer, but still wrong, I’m afraid.

            The scientists are not advocating any particular spending plans.

            They’re just telling us that business as usual will cause massive climatic disruption this century.

            But the situation is indeed, much worse than you thought.

          • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

            So are you suggesting that your 97% believe that we are headed for disaster, but do not have any suggestions as to how it may be averted? It sounds like they may be ducking their responsibilities.

          • Graham Thompson

            Some have suggestions, some don’t, but they all agree that we’re headed for disaster without radical change.

          • http://monicol.co.uk/peter peter2108

            I don’t think so. Certainly 97% (at the least) will agree there are “human-induced effects on climate change”. But the extent of the influence and the risks involved are not subject to any such consensus.

          • Mr B J Mann

            But then some of the heads of scientific bodies lost their posts for daring to question the green orthodoxy dogma (and look at what happened to Tim Hunt for making a joke about himself and women in labs, and that rocket scientist for wearing a shirt with ladies on it!)!.

            And his country’s “scientists” even tried to have MM WARMIST Bjorn Lomborg prosecuted for daring to question whether cutting CO2 was the most economic way to tackle climate change?!?!?!?!

            So even if the MMGW figgy f!ddlers managed to “prove” 100% support that still wouldn’t make them right!

            It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work that out:

            But he probably wouldn’t dare admit it in public!!!

          • WFB56

            This is much more ably and entertainingly refuted by the “science community” itself:

            http://www.steynstore.com/product133.html

          • Graham Thompson

            Your link says absolutely nothing about any of the scientists or studies mentioned in my comment.

          • WFB56

            That’s because its a compendium of work by top-ranked scientists and not simply by political hacks.

          • Graham Thompson

            So because they are ‘top-ranked scientists’, that’s why they chose not to criticise the consensus or any of the studies demonstrating the consensus?

            OK.

            But I still have no idea why you posted your comment here.

          • WFB56

            They ALL criticise the “consensus” which is a lie on the level of something by Goebbels and spread by a small army of useful idiots.

          • Graham Thompson

            OK, we’re going in circles here, cheerio.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Cooke et al collected 12,000 papers, featuring 29,000 authors. 66% of these papers took no view on the causes of global warming. Cooke et al then emailed 8500 authors, of whom about 1200 responded. 97% of them agreed that global warming is man-made. It turns out that 97% means 4%.

            We simply do not know what the other 28000 authors thought. Even if we did know, expert opinion is the lowest form of evidence (I write this as a scientist by profession). Opinion tends to be based on prevailing prejudices rather than data. I can tell you what I think about the causes of Alzheimer’s Disease; it is not a view shared by many of my colleagues, but they would be the first to admit that they don’t know the cause either. Science is not theology, or a matter of vote counting. It wouldn’t matter if every single climate scientist agreed that humans have caused global warming, if no plausible explanation existed about the cause, and the claim was based on computer modelling with many missing variables.

          • fundamentallyflawed

            I am sceptical of climate change,, not because I am opposed to a move to cleaner energy but because at the first sign of a scientific consensus its “toot toot” and all aboard the gravy train.
            Cue lots of Paris like talks and not much action….

          • Baron

            When in 1543, the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus figured it wasn’t the sun, moon and the planets orbiting the earth, but the other way round, there were not many takers amongst the anointed, yet it turned out to be right, Graham. How come?

          • stickywicket

            Matt Ridley’s view above, is well within the alleged consensus as documented by the IPCC, just a the bottom end of it. Those papers you quote are not actual hard science, they are a sort of social science, that shows some people agree with a notion of a vague “consensus” rather than actually define what that consensus is.

            There’s plenty of evidence that climates sensitivity to doubling CO2 is around 1.5 deg C – quite a way from the alleged 2 deg C danger limit.

            http://climateaudit.org/2015/03/19/the-implications-for-climate-sensitivity-of-bjorn-stevens-new-aerosol-forcing-paper/

            The evidence that climate policies are damaging jobs here and killing the poor abroad is not in doubt.

          • stickywicket

            Matt Ridley’s view above, is well within the alleged consensus as documented by the IPCC, just a the bottom end of it. Those papers you quote are not actual hard science, they are a sort of social science, that shows some people agree with a notion of a vague “consensus” rather than actually define what that consensus is.

            There’s plenty of evidence that climates sensitivity to doubling CO2 is around 1.5 deg C – quite a way from the alleged 2 deg C danger limit.

            http://climateaudit.org/2015/03/19/the-implications-for-climate-sensitivity-of-bjorn-stevens-new-aerosol-forcing-paper/

            The evidence that climate policies are damaging jobs here and killing the poor abroad is not in doubt.

          • Graham Thompson

            Up until last year, when the government decided to stop collecting the data because it was embarrassing, the green sector was growing at 4.8% a year, well ahead of the rest of the UK economy, and the global economy.

            Osborne has put a stop to that now, of course, and caused thousands of job losses in the last few months with his sabotaging of the solar industry alone.

            So I’m afraid what’s ‘not in doubt’ to you is ‘transparent bollocks from someone who hasn’t bothered looking at the data’ to me.

          • stickywicket

            It was growing with the help of subsidies that are largely levied on the poor in the form of energy levies and taxes. It is difficult to think of a more regressive form of taxation.

            If the greens are right and solar is now as cheap as fossil fuels – so called grid parity, they should no longer need subsidy and therefore Osborne was right to cut them.

            What is not in doubt is that lots of our energy intensive industries are closing and destroying jobs that are being exported to places like India and China, who are burning the same fossil fuels, but not bothering to clean up SOx and NOx emissions and so generating more pollution. It is difficult to conceive of a more damaging industrial policy.

      • DAVID WATT

        Why did you only capitalise the total bollocks in your post?

        The trouble is that the so-called experts are all directly or indirectly paid for by the taxpayers and have joined the rent seekers.

        • Graham Thompson

          Everything is either directly or indirectly paid for by the taxpayers.

          But, as has been all over the media recently, even ExxonMobil’s in-house scientists came to the same results.

          There is no rival theory.

          • DAVID WATT

            Not yet fortunately Graham. Last I saw the taxpayers were only funding about 40% of our GDP.
            The CO2 theory is probably OK and I suspect that like Exxon Mobil scientists I rank amongst the 97% who accept it.
            However the IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity are way overegged and its ground station weather station figures before and after manipulation are a disgrace. Everywhere you look climate science looks scientifically second rate, highly politicised and lacking credibility – “Bullshit” as some might say.
            However I find the “dangerous” AGW theory’s hold on the media and world politics astonishing, and with the enormous amount of vested interest that will shout on its behalf, I doubt that it will fall apart any time soon.

          • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

            GT has persuaded me that the the vast majority of scientists are complicit in the great climate scam. Shame on them.
            Now, who can explain to me why, if CO2 accounts for less than 10% of the greenhouse effect, and most atmospheric CO2 is produced by nature rather than man, why the @!&* are we all making such a fuss about the small fraction of the small fraction that we can control???

          • Graham Thompson

            Natural carbon sinks and natural carbon sources are in balance. Like a bath with the taps on full and the plug out, where the water coming in is the same as the water flowing out.

            We are a very small addition to the inflow, but the outflow remains the same.

            But that means the bath will eventually fill and overflow.

            And you can prove that the 40% extra CO2 in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times is anthropogenic rather than natural because the carbon is a different isotope.

            http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/outreach/isotopes/

          • Graham Thompson

            40% directly, 60% indirectly.

  • freddiethegreat

    “omelettes cannot be made without breaking eggs”. There is the giveaway. That’s a leninism.
    All of this is entirely unsurprising. I live in a country run by some of the wealthiest people on the planet (not capable people, I must stress) including a president who is apparently the fourth highest paid head of state in the world, and who is noted for his greed and huge consumption. The ruling party, having seized power in a coup assisted by the UK, UN and US, has waged an unremitting war on the poor.

    Moreover, something not noticed: Everyone bangs on about overpopulation and shrinking available land. How much land is used for luxury crops? Think beer, wine, whiskey etc.

    • UKIP Member

      Travelling around Banff and the area we noticed mile upon mile of crops fields. When we asked what it would be harvested for we were told it was all destined for the whiskey market.

      • Calzo

        Which in turn contributes billions to the exchequer and theoretically can be used by Govt. to help the poor. There is no shortage of food in this country or indeed the world. there are issues with cost and how to distribute it properly. Berating renewable energy and the Whisky industry is not the solution to these issues.

      • sidor

        Good news. The main reason causing problems with the environment is overpopulation which, to a great extent, is a result of the agricultural export from the developed countries. The US, Canada, Australia and the EU should stop exporting grain.

  • Calzo

    “Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University, one of the world’s most respected climate economists”

    A good place to take stock and consider whether it’s worth reading on…

    • Anthony Hanwell

      The usual warmist approach, attack the man not the message. The BBC prefers Vivienne Westwood or Emma Thompson for climate change advice.

      • Calzo

        If he’d been honest and said one of the worlds most repudiated climate economists I’d have more respect for the piece. I haven’t read this work. I am inherently wary of average impact figures… it rather suggests you can hide devastating impacts to hundreds of millions of people by lumping them in with the billions who will remain largely unimpacted by climate change to then claim the overall impact is moderate when in fact it is devastating, just not for everyone.

        • Michael Hart

          I’ve got news for you:
          There are still going to be droughts and floods and storms and ice and snow in the future. Same as in the past.

          And people in coastal settlements were building sea walls long before Global Warming was a twinkle in the eye of the people who were disappointed by the fall of the Berlin Wall.

          • Alexsandr

            go to scotland. look for the raised beaches. sea levels vary.

            Here is a geography lesson

            https://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC59A33&title=kings-cave&guid=5e10cb65-afb8-4101-8309-6c6893e45601

          • sidor

            And the significance is?

            Warmer climate (if it happens) implies increase in precipitation rate and respectively decrease in desert area, If Sahara is going to be a grassland again, as 8000 years ago, who cares about a couple of coastal villages?

          • LG

            Well, goodbye London, NY, etc, etc. In fact, nearly every major city in the world. I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

          • Alexsandr

            During the ice age, there was a lot of weight of ice over Britian. But far more in the North. So it caused Scotland to sink and the south to rise as the crust ‘floats’ on the mantle.
            When the ice melted (Global warming?) the weight went off Scotland (until Alex Salmond came along) so Scotland has been rising and the south is sinking. Thats why there are raised beaches in Scotland and why there are rias (Poole harbour, Fal estuary) in the south
            The process is still occurring.
            (Ria is a valley drowned by the sea as land sinks)

          • Calzo

            “same as in the past”

            Kind of, except lots more and lots more severe. I’ve got news for you:

            That’s bad.

    • David

      IPCC Lead authors can’t be trusted then?

  • Tamerlane

    Well said. Sadly there’s a billion dollar industry attached to ‘climate change’ and the benefactors would rather see the poor starve and die and the elderly freeze to death than surrender their own parasitical livelihoods.

    • EUROJESUS

      Correction, energy is a trillion dollar industry over which several wars have been fought, also costing trillions.
      I know on which moral side of the argument I am but never mind. The online grandstanders such as Noa will know better.

      PS. in the other news Julia Hartley-Brewer complains she has been compared to Katie Hopkins. I am not making this up.

      • Colin

        Now she knows how lenny henry feels. Or, ainsley harriott?

  • Anthony Hanwell

    I hope Cameron’s wife is reading this.

  • CheshireRed

    ‘Climate change’ hysteria: dafter than Billy Smart’s circus.

    • Migru Ghee

      My dad says that Saudi Aramco makes more profits in one day than the entire renewables industry, which is the largest scam in modern history you see, turns over in a decade. Now I am confused I must admit.

  • remainz

    Conservatives complaining about the left being too conservative! You make me laugh.
    You know it wasn’t long that the right cared about the environment as they were the only one privileged enough to do anything about it. It wasn’t long ago that the economic impact of bad environmental practices was a non partisan sport.
    But now its fashionable to think anyone who cares about the environment is a lefty extremist.

    • fundamentallyflawed

      The Current fight against climate change 1) Tax tax tax
      2) Centralised government control
      3) Unified international consensus before taking action
      4) Ignore environmental impacts of “green” actions
      4) Tax tax tax
      5) Shout down any idea that opposes 3) (sticking fingers in ears and singing tra la la la acceptable alternative)
      Sounds like extremist lefty thinking to me

  • Diogenes60025

    Carbon dioxide emissions are beneficial, and climate change is a false premise for regulating them. See Patrick Moore’s recently released lecture http://www.thegwpf.com/28155/.

    There is no definitive evidence that CO2 from fossil fuels affects climate. Human activities cause only about 3% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere. The rest are the result of decomposing plant material.

    CO2 is in equilibrium. While a weak greenhouse gas in theory, its actual climate effects are nullified by stronger forces, particularly the formation of mineral carbonates from atmospheric carbon dioxide. Warmer weather from other causes increases natural CO2 emissions from rotting vegetation, and results in a higher equilibrium level of ambient CO2, as measured by Keeling.

    Mineral carbonates are the ultimate repository of atmospheric CO2. Anyone who passed 10th grade chemistry can know this using public information. Limestone and marble are the most familiar forms of mineral carbonate. CO2 is an essential component of mineral carbonate (CaCO3, for calcium). For more detail see the paper http://bit.ly/1NziTF4 by Danish researcher Tom Segalstad.

    Carbonates form in seawater and soils through biological and chemical processes. The formula is CO2 + CaO => CaCO3. Anyone can make magnesium carbonate in a kitchen by mixing carbonated water with milk of magnesia. It takes a few seconds.

    • LG

      If CO2 is in equilibrium, why has it gone from 320ppm in the 70’s to over 400ppm now?

      • Patrick Ho

        Easy question to answer: There are multiple reasons from the destruction of vast areas of forest which depletes oxygen production at the same time that it produces CO2 from burning wood, to CO2 release from the mining of limestone and subsequent processes including concrete work, to agriculture…..and last but not least, due to all issues related to coal mining, transportation and use as well as oil.

        • LG

          Yes, you’ve just given a list of human related causes of increasing CO2. But the original comment stated that it was in equilibrium, the inference being that it was neither increasing or decreasing. Which is boll$cks.

          • Patrick Ho

            In that case you are correct……. on this one issue. “Reality” what a concept!

          • Mr B J Mann

            It’s down to measuring global atmospheric CO2 concentrations in a volcano.

            And then MMGW expert figgy f!ddlers “correcting” them to fit their theory!

          • LG

            co2_global_mauna_loa.gif

            Co2 levels are collected from 100’s of points around the world. Mauna Loa is simply the one with the longest record. All stations mirror the same effect.

            It really is pointless corresponding with someone who has no intention of ever even considering the evidence. When evidence is provided from multiple sources which contradicts your bizarre world view – then it must all be a great big conspiracy by lefties/scientists/very rich people/global cabals/etc/etc.

          • Mr B J Mann

            But when one of the founders of Greenpeace, one of the original environmental scientists, tells you that life was quite happy with 16 degrees more heat, and would prefer three to five times as much CO2, but would die out with a third to a half the current levels of CO2, and life was much better off with a few more degrees of heat in the climate optima:

            You label that a bizarre denier world view – that it must all be a great big conspiracy by righties/big oil and coal/very rich people/global cabals/etc/etc.

          • LG

            So you’ve moved on to some other point now? I thought you might have had something to say about the 100’s of CO2 collecting points around the world all showing the same increasing trend as Mauna Loa?

            Yes, your world view that it must all be a great big conspiracy by righties/lefties/big oil and coal/very rich people/global cabals/etc/etc is fairly bizarre.

          • Mr B J Mann

            And there’s also 100s of collections of CO2 data point and 100s of graphs.

            But when they disagree with the MMGW’s CO2 graph it must all be a great big conspiracy by righties/big oil and coal/very rich people/global cabals/etc/etc is fairly bizarre.

            So what were your 100s of points?!

          • LG

            You’ll find that sort of info on google. If I supplied them all, you wouldn’t agree anyway, it would all be a great big, you know, …..conspiracy…..
            If you can find any CO2 data collecting points showing a trend of anything other than a sharp rise over the last few decades, I’ll award you the wing nut prize of the month.

          • Mr B J Mann

            And when the scientist who taught Al Gore about Global Warming says he’s running ahead of the science open minded scientists like you label him a former scientist with dementia.

            Oh, no, that wasn’t you:

            I was Al Gore:

            Who used to rely on his scientific expertise as proof of MMGW!

      • Diogenes60025

        97% of CO2 emissions come from rotting vegetation. The world is warming since it is emerging from an ice age. Plants rot faster when temperatures are warmer. CO2 from rotting vegetation has increased. With greater CO2 input, the equilibrium level obviously has risen.

        NASA launched a satellite in late 2014 to measure CO2 emissions from specific places. Warmists were elated because they expected it to show that all the CO2 was coming from industrialized areas. Instead, it showed that the vast majority of CO2 came from Amazonia, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.

        What, you thought that equilibrium is some static, deterministic state? Defined by a cabal of academicians as received dogma? Nothing could be more wrong. Equilibrium is a dynamic state that has many variables. A warming world produces more CO2–and sequesters more CO2. See http://www.thegwpf.com/28155/
        .
        Keeling is a competent record keeper, not a demigod. He isn’t a player, just a scorekeeper. To the extent he has entered the policy arena regarding climate politics, he has failed to fit the pieces together properly.

        Warmer temperatures preceded increased CO2 levels by about 800 years. This is clear evidence that warming is the independent variable (cause) and increased ambient CO2 is the dependent variable (effect).

        • LG

          You think a near 30% increase in CO2 in the last 40 years is a system in equilibrium? You’re an amusing chap.

          • Diogenes60025

            Read the citations in my posts. It all becomes carbonate, and promptly. The higher ambient CO2 levels increase the rate of carbonate formation. That is known as an equilibrium-seeking-mechanism. See also http://hub.jhu.edu/2015/11/26/rapid-plankton-growth-could-signal-climate-change and http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/26/us-planktonpoo-climate-idUSKCN0SK1NJ20151026.

          • LG

            Well, if the ‘equilibrium ‘ is forced up by 30% in a few decades, its clearly not ‘seeking equiibrium’ hard enough! Unless of course you’re speaking nonsense, which would explain the 30% rise.

          • Diogenes60025

            Read the citations. Its all in there, unless you just want to argue, in which case you may now return to your mom’s basement.

          • LG

            Many natural responses are equilibrium seeking. That doesn’t mean that everything returns to equilibrium – because some factors are not equilibrium seeking and force the system out of equilibrium. For instance, pouring hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere overpowers the system that would otherwise perhaps manage to maintain equilibrium.

          • Jacobi

            Mankind’s activity amounts to circa 4% of total CO2 production in what is an unreliable estimation. Whether the relativally small proportion + or – we produce has any measurable affect on climate is within the margin of error of the calculation. It is at this stage all speculation!

          • LG

            You are talking nonsense and if you have any reference for what you say from a reliable scientific source (i.e. not a denialist blog) I’d love to see it. We’re currently burning the stored carbon from millions of years.
            Are you disputing that atmospheric CO2 has risen by about 30% in the last few decades? It’s not subject to unreliable estimation, its not speculation, it’s a very, very easy measurement to make.

          • Stoater

            It doesn’t mater, you buffoon.
            .

          • LG

            Are you calling me your mother in latin now, or is that a moronic mis-spell of matter?

          • Mr B J Mann

            I you had actually read some of the links provided for you:

            You would have learned that atmospheric CO2 is falling to unprecedented an unsustainable levels.

            At which all life on the planet will die!

            Once we’ve finished “burning the stored carbon from millions of years”:

            We’ll have to start unlocking “the stored carbon from millions of years” in chalk and limestone:

            Or die!!!!!!

          • LG

            Yeh, right on.

            Backs out of room very carefully and makes a run for it.

          • Jacobi

            LG,
            You walked right into that one didn’t you.
            I do not talk nonsense nor do I ever make claims without, a) knowing something about what I am talking about and b) having a sound references to back up what I say (GISP2 )
            The recent evidence for details of temperatures over the last 12K and well, well beyond is from ice cores, a technique not available when I studied geology.
            As for you last sentence, I can only say as we do in this little part of the world, what school or Uni did you go to?
            Now run along!

          • LG

            Unlike you, I’ve actually been to a Uni, rather than a care home.

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/co2-levels-for-february-eclipsed-prehistoric-highs/

          • Jacobi

            You haven’t answered the question. What school and what Uni?.
            What is more is that you are getting rude. So this time. Off with you. Got other things to concern myself with. OUT!

          • LG

            “Now run along”. Bit arrogant. I guess you just didn’t have the reasoning.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Carbon dioxide has risen by 30% since 1860 (not really ‘the last few decades’). AS you say, it’s easy to measure – but difficult to draw conclusions from, since the carbon cycle (never mind the climate) is imperfectly understood. Atmospheric temperature changes do not track carbon dioxide levels closely – the planet is not currently warming.

          • Stoater

            The proportion of atmospheric CO2 is tiny, it is a trace gas.
            What is there is is vital to all life on earth.
            .

      • Stoater

        Why shouldn’t it ?
        Nothing remains constant in nature and there have been far higher
        concentrations in the past.

  • Baron

    Thank you, Mr. Ridley, a superb slicing of what the AGW pseudo-scientific cretinism is doing to the most vulnerable, the old, and the voiceless, but you’re pi$$sing against the wind, which is only good for someone who minds not wearing wet trousers.

    In today’s world where emotional hashtags have replaced rational, cool, fearless thinking (and policy making) you cannot win. Only when this madness implodes, as it must, will we be able to start afresh.

    • trobrianders

      Interesting. The process that ends in its implosion. How does that work exactly?

      • Baron

        We were near it in 2008, trobrianders, it will hit again, when Baron knows not, but he reckons it won’t take long. The cost of money cannot remain as low as it has been in the last seven years, if it did, nobody would save. Savings equal investment, without it there isn’t a future. It’s when interest rates move up the fun will start.

        • douglas redmayne

          You are economically illiterate. People are saving by investing in other assets.

        • Stoater

          The reason interests rates are low,
          is because governments are printing money.
          .

    • mumble

      #whatevs

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    Read an article where a research team are drilling to reach the outer part of the earth’s mantle. The temperature of the Earth’s core is equal to that of the surface of the sun.

    The outer mantle of the earth is hot enough to generate trillions of gigawatts of energy in any part of the world and thermal energy is clean, reliable and last for millions of years.

    • douglas redmayne

      They should take this seriously. With electric cars self driven on electric highways the era of fossil fuels would end.

      • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

        As for cars the technology for steam driven cars are well established. they reached speeds up to 60 mph. The main problem with Steam Driven cars back then was the boiler.

        Now with modern technology a boiler could be heated in any number of way including microwaves powered by solar panels and batteries.

        Cars running on water is a proven fact with over a 100 years of research on that.

      • mumble

        It depends how the electricity is generated.

      • Mr B J Mann

        And we’d switch to releasing CO2 from limestone and chalk to feed the plants!!!!!!

  • trobrianders

    The earlier article on Judith Curry was welcome. So refreshing to hear an actual scientist rather that the usual round of ‘believers’ and ‘deniers’.

  • LG

    Wholesale electricity has never been cheaper. Go figure.

  • douglas redmayne

    The best pro environment policy is to offer money to poor countries on the condition that they mass sterilise their young females. We could even offer the said females the money directly as they are probably so poor it could be done cheaply.

    • mumble

      Direct payment is essential to prevent the recipient governments siphoning off the money.

  • LG

    Back in 2007, when we were much more reliant on fossil fuels and there was much higher capacity reserves, the wholesale price of electricity peaked at about £140/MW. Today, when we’ve got about 20% renewables in the mix, the wholesale price is only about £35/MW. Renewables are not responsible for high retail prices. The reason for high prices is the monopoly position of electricity supply companies who gouge consumers.

    • Patrick Ho

      Assuming what you state is true… you are referencing an isolated and regional case…… We have conclusive evidence that the opposite is true in broad regions of the 1st world countries. And BTW…. your final statement reveals, at the very least, another serious error.

      Romans chapter 2: You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

      • LG

        Sorry, we’re probably not living on the same planet. I’ll leave you to it.

    • Stoater

      Wrong.

      • LG

        I bow to your superior powers of reasoning.

        • Stoater

          Just understand this:
          You are just a shill for the CC racket and no-one will listen to you.
          .

          • LG

            Understand this:
            You have the intellect someone who can write, but doesn’t really understand what words mean.

          • Stoater

            Sorry, you don’t know what you are talking about.
            This issue has been argued over since CRU had been
            caught cooking the books.
            James Delingpole was at the forefront of exposing the lies of of the climate scammers.
            You lost the argument several years ago.
            It is no use you reviving the tired old arguments of the past,
            you and the fraudsters are all but finished.
            Nothing will come from COP21, there won’t be a COP22
            and Obama is headed for the dustbin of history.
            You lost, now stop boring us to tears.
            .

          • LG

            Ah! Here’s the intellect coming! “Delingpole told me it’s all a conspiracy, so I believed him. I obviously didn’t believe anyone who knows anything about climate science, rather I prefer to believe a hack.”

          • Stoater

            No.

            It is to do with researching for one self.

            It IS a conspiracy driven by UNEP in order to force through Agenga 21.

            “The common enemy of humanity is man.
            In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
            with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
            water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
            dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
            changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome.
            The real enemy then, is humanity itself.“
            – Club of Rome,

            .

          • LG

            Oh dear. Is it genetic?

          • Stoater

            Your stupidity ?
            I guess so.
            .

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’ve had links to a lecture scientienvronmental scientist who set up Greenpeace

        • Stoater

          So you should.

    • Mr B J Mann

      BL00DY good job too!

      As we need about 2MW of energy to sustain a MW of sustainable electricity!

  • Patrick Ho

    “It is difficult to say what truth is but it is sometimes easy to recognize a falsehood” – Einstein

    What us painfully obvious is that the green movement which now includes a high percentage of marginalized individuals, i.e., OWS – Occupy Wall Street crowd, anti-capitalists, kooks, cranks and even dishonest power seeking scientists has hijacked the careers of a najority of applied science working class, i.e., techs, engineers and mislead the technically illiterate mainstream news media which, in turn, causes the majority of politicians to make egregious errors with energy and economic policies….. This simply a continuation of the following previous errors by US Federal leaders: https://books.google.ca/books?id=LjhtdMmJdQMC&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=the+gods+of+energy+planning+foolishness&source=bl&ots=SxHxgNz-Lc&sig=_f7961aRfbtj-nETT_7IiYKquW0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi4ytT_q8DJAhVB_2MKHe12ADIQ6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=the%20gods%20of%20energy%20planning%20foolishness&f=false

  • Patrick Ho

    I could not help but notice that “LG” is super active and frantic in his multitude of comments leaning heavily to one side of this issue…… which reveals a fatal flaw in logical reasoning IMHO…. “Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith, but in doubt.”

    • Stoater

      COP21 is in session.
      LG is a paid troll
      They are everywhere, infesting the blogs.
      .

      • LG

        i wish someone was paying me.

  • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

    I have heard that CO2 is not the main greenhouse gas, just the one most closely associated with human activity. Is this true – do other components of the atmosphere play a more important part in retaining heat?
    Is it possible to estimate the percentage of ‘global warming’ brought about by man-made CO2, as opposed to rotting vegetation, other greenhouse gases, and Lord knows what other factors?

    • LG

      CO2 is one of many GHG’s. For example methane is an even more effective temperature forcing gas. If current warming continues, there is a danger that permafrost in the tundra areas will melt and release yet further methane. Same with sea temperature rises releasing sea bed methanes. This could lead to a positive feedback, where increased temperature leads to further temperature increases because stored methanes are released into the atmosphere.
      And yes, it is possible to estimate the temperature forcing caused by man made CO2. That’s what scientists do, rather than Speccie/Telegraph/Daily Mail armchair pundits.

      • Stoater

        Not real scientists.
        You are talking about garbage in / garbage out computer models.run by
        corrupt government scientists.
        The models are so out of kilter they failed to predict the so-called pause.
        They are worse than useless.
        .

        • LG

          Hahaha! Yes, it’s all a vast conspiracy.

          “So-called pause”? It’s ‘so-called’ because there wasn’t one.

          • Stoater

            No warming for 20 years.

            A conspiracy ?

            .“The common enemy of humanity is man.In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
            with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
            water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
            dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
            changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome.
            The real enemy then, is humanity itself.“

            – Club of Rome,
            .

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          I agree that the models are dodgy, but ‘government scientists’ do not really exist as a profession (at least in Western Europe and the US). What has happened is that a lot of academics in departments under threat of closure have realised that computer modeling is relatively cheap; you don’t need a big grant to pay for equipment, animals, research assistants, and you can get a string of publications out of it. No-one cares about your painstaking work on sediments or algae or volcanic ash, but climate change is sexy. Computer modeling doesn’t necessarily have to be bad, but i) it quite often rests on questionable or incomplete assumptions about physical chemistry, ii) authors and readers both over-interpret the data, iii) climate change has become a moral bandwagon and it’s hard for the academics not to get caught up in it.

    • smoke me a kipper

      It is the main greenhouse gas due to its abundance. There are more powerful green house gases, but their scarcity means that they have less influence than CO2

      • Stoater

        Abundance ?
        CO2 is a trace gas, there is more argon in the atmosphere that there is CO2.
        Water vapour could be described as abundant, not CO2.
        ,.

        • smoke me a kipper

          Abundant is a comparative term. In my post the abundance if CO2 was in the context of other pollutants.

          • Stoater

            CO2 is NOT a pollutant.
            .

          • LG

            Rather depends on the definition. There’s that intellect again!

          • Stoater

            You are a very sad little man aren’t you ?
            You have no understanding of science and you are a chronic liar,
            lying for a cause.

            pollution
            pəˈluːʃ(ə)n/

            noun

            the presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects.

            So that counts out CO2, which all living creatures need to exist.
            .

          • LG

            Well, if you consider global warming to be “harmful”, then ergo, excess CO2 is a pollutant. By your definition.
            Co2 is like salt: needed in trace, but harmful in excess.

          • Stoater

            Global warming and global cooling are natural phenomena
            and both have been occurring for billions of years.

            There is no excess CO2 and CO2 is not causing warming.
            Warming tends to precede increases in CO2 levels.
            Again, CO2 is not causing any significant warming.
            .

          • LG

            You’ll have a reliable citation for that will you? Or did you just ask Delingpole?

          • Stoater

            Yes.
            It’s called science, as opposed to JUNK science.
            .

          • Mr B J Mann

            Try looking at Gore’s propaganda film:

            Rather than listening to the propandag

          • smoke me a kipper

            Anything added to the natural world by humans is a pollutant

          • Stoater

            You do realise that all plants REQUIRE CO2 to grow, don’t you ?
            You do realise that CO2 is in your blood and you
            and every animal on earth breathes out CO2 ?
            You do realise that without CO2, your blood could not absorb oxygen ?
            .

          • LG

            You do realise that your body requires sodium, potassium, and all sorts of trace elements etc but only in traces and in particular forms and quantities. Are you seriously arguing that you equate climate forcing factors of CO2 to your bodily functions? What a thought. Two short planks. You gave it away early.

          • Stoater

            That is not an argument.
            You are setting up a straw-man.

            “Are you seriously arguing that you equate climate forcing factors of CO2 to your bodily functions? What a thought. Two short planks. You gave it away early.”

            What is given away is your inability to construct a genuine argument,
            so you revert to straw-men and insults.

            You ARE a buffoon.

            Don’t be pathetic of course we realise that the body requires those trace elements.
            It has no bearing on you obsession with CO2
            .

          • LG

            Haha!. The straw man was all yours. I was merely aping your argument. But you probably don’t see that.

            As to insults, I think you’ll find you also kicked that one off.

            Why don’t we give it a break. I’m bored with you.

          • Stoater

            What strawman?
            Do tell.
            Of course you are bored, people see you for what you are.
            .

          • mumble

            We need an equivalent to Godwin’s Law for the appearance of the phrase “straw man” in the comments section.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You do realise that plants prefer 3 to 5 times as much CO2 as there is!

          • smoke me a kipper

            The fact that CO2 is essential for life and a natural occurring substance, does not mean that the additional CO2 in the atmosphere caused by human activity is not pollution

          • Stoater

            True but it is also true that CO2 is not a pollutant.

          • Dale

            Smoke me…stated, “The fact that CO2 is essential for life and a natural occurring
            substance, does not mean that the additional CO2 in the atmosphere
            caused by human activity is not pollution”

            Why do you think that CO2 must be a pollutant? Some claim that our earth is actually starved for CO2 and point us to situations (for example) where plant life greatly improves as additional CO2 is added. This is often done in greenhouses for example.
            If you have been following along at all, then you already realize that mankind is responsible for only about 3.2% of the CO2 in our atmosphere or about 12.8 parts per million. We can talk about the absurdity of thinking we can control our climate with that minute amount in another discussion.
            Adding water (by man) to a dry garden bed in desperate need of hydration would hardly be considered a pollutant. This is the same kind of situation.
            If you have evidence of C02 at 400 ppm being a pollutant, would you please provide the name of the exact paper and scientist to determine such a point? Don’t bother with references to the old timers who did experiments in a closed containers (e.g. Tyndall) and completely ignored the effects of convection (which occurs in the natural atmosphere). Also, don’t bother with useless links as we don’t have time to search through a list of words to see if you might have a point. Demonstrate to us that you actually know what you are talking about.

          • smoke me a kipper

            Why do you assume pollutants are always bad in their effects?

          • smoke me a kipper

            I disagree. Adding 3.2% CO2 is pollution. Watering a garden is pollution. However not all pollution is necessarily a bad thing.

          • DaveWigan

            I often wonder if these clowns ever practice what they preach. Do they buy electric cars. Do they never use any form of heating or Air con, and do they boycott areas that do. Do they ever have a BBQ, and do they also avoid the use of public services, such as swimming baths, transport, and much more. Do they grow their own foods and do they make their own clothes and walk around with no man made footwear… I’ll bet the don’t fart and do even breath, the latter being the best idea lol

          • BARROSO

            water is a pollutant then?

          • Stoater

            Have fun Barroso, I’m off the Breitbart.
            .

          • LG

            If you are a sea fish swimming in a tank of sea water at x% salinity – and someone pours in lots and lots of fresh water until the salinity is y%, then yes, water is a pollutant, because: a) it’s harmful to you, b) a human introduced it to your tank, and c) you’ll soon be floating belly up.

          • BARROSO

            Genuinely hilarious.

          • Stoater

            You idiot.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Yes.

            And if you are a sea fish swimming in a tank of water at x/10% salinity – and someone pours in lots and lots of salt until the salinity is x%, then yes, salt is NOT a pollutant, because: a) it’s NOT harmful to you, b) though a human introduced it to your tank, and c) you’ll soon be floating and your health will be up.

          • Latimer Alder

            Both the carbon and the oxygen have been with us since the Earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago

            And all the carbon in fossil fuels was once in the natural world atmosphere as CO2. That’s how they were formed. Stored ancient sunlight and ancient CO2.

            What are we ‘adding’ to the natural world?

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Atmospheric oxygen is actually a latecomer; one-celled algae invented photosynthesis when the earth was half its current age. The oxygen given off was a poison that other organisms had to adapt to ( and even now, our cells have elaborate mechanisms for controlling oxidation).

          • Latimer Alder

            Maybe so. But whether atmospheric or not, the oxygen atoms were still there.

            We seem to be doing pretty well now with 210,000 parts per 1,000,000 of atmospheric O2 (21%)

            Just as a reminder CO2 concentration is 400 parts in 1,000,000 (4 in 10,000). 0.04%. It’s gone up by 1 part in 10,000 over the last 100 years.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            The molecular oxygen from photosynthesis all comes from water. Of course it’s all oxygen; but then oxygen is also a component of ozone and superoxides, and the properties of these are quite different. I’m relaxed about CO2 as a greenhouse gas, but it wouldn’t be true to say that all forms of carbon are chemically similar, so that the total mass of carbon is all that matters. The carbon in fossil fuels accumulated over millions of years. If you return all that carbon to the atmosphere in the course of 200 years, the central question is whether the atmosphere is a large enough sink. From the physical record, it seems that the atmosphere can cope, but the carbon cycle is not well understood, and this leaves a gap for green anxieties.

          • StupidPolice

            CO2 is not a pollutant. When single cell life began on Earth it comprised 7% of the atmosphere and now it’s only 0.04%. Your body cells still need 7%. That’s why your lungs retain CO2. They are CO2 reservoirs.

            The 14nm wave band that CO2 blocks radiation is already fully saturated and opaque so higher levels cannot change anything. There is no “tipping point” because we started out at 7% and had massive swings in climate in both directions.

          • smoke me a kipper

            The fact that CO2 is essential for life and a natural occurring substance, does not mean that the additional CO2 in the atmosphere caused by human activity is not pollution.

          • Latimer Alder

            Then you are using a very bizarre definition of ‘pollution’.

          • Richard Baranov

            It is impossible to get CO2 concentrations to the point that they would represent a danger to human beings just by human activity. Some sort of major natural cataclysm would have to take place, I can’t think what, rampant uncontrolled growth of flora? A scenario that has more or less 0 likelihood from taking place. Human beings have nothing to do with it and what they do with regards to CO2 is inconsequential.

          • smoke me a kipper

            Nothing is impossible

          • Richard Baranov

            No of course not, nothing is impossible and on that basis the old adage applies: “Pigs might fly.” But on man made global warming there is no repeatable, independently verifiable experiment/s that prove it is so and the whole theory is on the level of the old adage and therefore it is a religious cult in all but name.

          • smoke me a kipper

            So your argument is that unless something can be proved with 100% certainty it is merely a theory equivalent to a religious cult. Please prove that you actually exist.

          • Richard Baranov

            No, I’m simply insisting on the scientific method. Not lurid predictions that are clearly ridiculous and betray an utter ignorance of how science works.

          • Richard Baranov

            Sorry. did I reply to this because it is showing as not answered. Anyway, my point is that when doing science a theory has to be repeatable and verifiable. Science is not done by consensus nor is it done by lying and the global warming people are outright liars. There is no doubt about that.

            Please watch the short video I have provided in order to regain some balance with this absurd proposition that human beings are responsible.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiPIvH49X-E
            Last, but not least, since I do scientific work, I cannot ignore the scientific method for a simple reason. My results would be useless and, in my particular field, would, in fact, result in 100% failure if I failed to follow protocol.

          • LG

            And if levels went back to 7%, single cell life would be all the planet would support.

          • Stoater

            Now, there’s a wild claim.
            .

      • Diogenes60025

        No, water vapor is much more abundant, and more potent.

    • mumble

      I understand that methane is more deleterious, molecule for molecule — which is why flatulence is an issue — but less important overall because it is less abundant.

    • Mr B J Mann

      Not only is it only picked on because it’s produced my modern civilisation:

      Almost all the heat it “traps” has already been trapped by it:

      It’s nonsense to try to analyse the GW effect of doubling or tripling CO2:

      It won’t have ANY effect in the future even if it were true that it did in the past!

      • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

        Thanks. So why does everybody go on about it all the time? I’m seriously confused. Long ago I gave up expecting people to think and act more or less rationally, but to contemplate spending $trillions on dealing with a problem we know does not exist …

        • Mr B J Mann

          People no longer even have any first world problems to worry about:

          So they grasp at any guilt trip con men can conjure up for them!

  • Jacobi

    The whole Climate Change Industry is suspect and we must all calm down.

    We know that we are in a post Glacial Phase. Geological evidence showed that clearly when I was student in the 50s. Since then we have a more sophisticated idea of what actually happened. It was not a gradual increase from minus 12, 000 years but a very rapid one with temperatures well above
    (2.5-3degrees C ) what they are now at many periods and mostly above 2.5 degrees. Such temperatures are not a problem and may have actually provided periods of human well-being. The earth has actually cooled down over the last 9 hundred years even if we are currently in an upturn well within the variations of two thousand years.

    Yes observation is required. But there is no need for Cpl Jones at present, although the C.C.I. would have us believe otherwise.

    Leave the developing industries to develop as we did, and let’s all get on with our lives, selling more coffee to each other!

    • StupidPolice

      It’s an “interglacial” phase within an Ice Age. Just part of a cycle that’s been going on for a few million years. What they should be really worrying about is how to deal with the ice when it returns – which could be quite soon. Of course all the fuss is really nothing to do with climate – it’s a political agenda for world government – which will be as fraudulent as the false pretexts currently being exploited.

      • Jacobi

        I would not disagree with what you have said. But would would you kindly explain that to some of the eejits, oh sorry, those who have not the wit to comprehend, that we get here?

        • LG
          • Stoater

            Parts per MILLION.
            The graph proves nothing.
            .

          • Diogenes60025

            The ice core data is contaminated, due to a poor chain of custody.

            Certain “climate scientists” were too busy having an “excellent adventure” to take care of the ice cores, and they exchanged gases with the modern atmosphere.

          • LG

            OK. Take the period from 1950 onward. Doesn’t look great does it?

          • mumble

            The North Pole was ice-free at some point in the 1950s, and we seem to have got through that all right.

          • mumble

            I assume you’re referring to the Attlee government and its aftermath.

          • Diogenes60025

            Our present climate is pleasant and productive. I like it and wish for more of the same.

          • Jacobi

            We must not obsess about one factor. It is the combination of several . The physical geological evidence is clear on the ground. That tells us what happened. Others, such as various gases, and CO2 is certainly not the only one, can interact. They fine tune detail of knowledge of what has happened. But the longer term must be used. Prediction science, based on carefully selected periods has now been discounted by serious scientists. The margin of error must always be kept in mind. Conclusions based on 0.0002 % variation in 100 years, which could have been cause by many factors as well as human activity, if that is what the figures say about one of many aspects is simply bad science. And after all we are talking about warming ie temperatures, and as far as I know world temperatures measured outside known heat sink areas, and those are becoming a major factor, which have just not been looked into, have been static for about 20 years now.
            So, calm down everyone, including you Cpl Jones. Yes lets keep an eye on things over the next 50/100 years and in the meantime leave the poor nations of the world alone so that they can rise out of poverty.

            ps and by the way fewer conferences, I mean 300,000 tes of C02 (all in) if that is the factor they are obsessing about, a bit much!

          • FactsWillOut

            And temperatures since 1958: no significant warming.

          • Baron

            Re-draw the graph to go to the roughly Norman conquest time (the data exist, is reasonably reliable), and also start the Y axis at 0.

            The surge on the right of the graph will look far less dramatic.

            If you were to plot the same variable over the longest possible time axis, you won’t even notice the recent hike, there have been times of far higher concentration of the gas before.

          • LG

            Ok, here’s the 800,000 year graph:

            https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/wp-content/plugins/sio-bluemoon/graphs/co2_800k.png

            Note that in the last 800,000 years the previous highest reading was around 320,000 years ago when it peaked out at around 300ppm.

            So, no, the graph clearly shows an huge spike to 400ppm, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in the last 800,000 years.

            There may have been times prior to that which had higher concentrations but why would that be particularly significant? Do you know the extent of the climate forcing that happened as a result? If the same concentrations were to exist today, would the resulting climate change be conducive to our current civilisation continuing? You don’t know and neither do I. So as a result I prefer to take a cautious approach of favouring reducing human produced CO2. If you accept that CO2 has a climate forcing effect, and on the basis of the Mauna Loa CO2 data, there is no other rational position to take.

          • Latimer Alder

            Now show us the 8 million, 80 million and 800 million year graphs too, please.

          • LG

            Why? They wouldn’t illuminate anything. If you accept CO2 changes climate, then you will accept that relatively sudden change in climate is threatened by sudden escalation of CO2 evidenced by the 800,000 year graph. Such a sudden change will be adverse for ecosystems generally (including our own) because they will lack the necessary generational time to evolve.
            If you don’t, presenting you with any number of graphs will make no difference to you. Or you will say a) it’s all a conspiracy by nasty scientist and secretive world governments hellbent on global domination, or b) the readings are all wrong, or c) the readings are all taken from the wrong place, or d) the weather hasn’t worked out exactly as the climate models predicted so it must all be wrong, or e) etc, etc

          • Latimer Alder

            Even if you don’t think they they would illuminate anything, why not show us the graphs anyway? For due diligence purposes and to really prove your point.

            You were happy to show the relatively short 800,000 year one. But life’s been around for about 3,000 times longer that that.

            Please show the graphs.

          • LG

            “””For due diligence purposes and to really prove your point.”””
            You seem to be missing my point. It does not require any such proof from other graphs. If you think you might add anything interesting then I suggest you provide it.
            But if your point is that life ‘can’ exist at higher average temperatures or at higher CO2 levels, then I don’t dispute that.
            So, if you missed it, my point is that if you suddenly change a habitat in a very short space of time, you run the risk of serious ecological difficulties. You don’t need an 800 million year record of CO2 levels to prove that. As an aside, you may wish to ponder why the dinosaurs suddenly died out.

          • Latimer Alder

            There are many theories about the extinction of dinosaurs.

            Way beyond my pay grade to tell them apart. But the relevance of your question escapes me.

            And since you asked so nicely, here’s a relevant graph showing what we can estimate of temperature and CO2 over geological timescales

            http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2600millionSPPI.jpg

            1. Notice no correlation at all between average temperature and CO2 levels. Temperature goes up and own independent of CO2 levels. If it is having any effect at all, it is vastly swamped by much bigger changes.

            2. CO2 is at historical lows.

            In the past it was at levels 15 times that we see today. And we know from fossils that life was abundant and thriving at that time. It was called the Carboniferous period since that is when many of our coal seams were laid down. Even in the time of the dinosaurs, CO2 levels were 2 to 3 times what they are today. Perhaps they died out as they starved because plant growth comes to a standstill about 200 ppm CO2 and we were getting perilously close to that?

            3. Can you provide anything more concrete than

            ‘the risk of serious ecological difficulties’. Like what for instance? According to your theory we’ve already had nearly 100 years of CO2 induced warming. Is there any real sensible evidence of anything anywhere being ecologically challenged by being 0.8C warmer? Please show it if there is.

            And by ‘sensible’ I mean something a little more robust and testable than

            ‘something unusual happened, so it must have been global warming/witchcraft/the hand of god/because I sacrificed a goat/ an oil company/chemtrails/the giant lizards/a denier conspiracy’

          • LG

            The relevance of my question was that, leaving aside what caused the change, it is likely that a suddenly changed habitat proved fatal for most of the dinosaurs. Can you answer the central question of the danger to ecosystems of a suddenly changing habitat?

            Whether CO2 was higher, much higher or astronomically higher millions of years ago is frankly irrelevant.

            BTW, your graph of temperature and CO2 correlation from millions of years ago is laughable and completely lacks credibility. You have fellow denialists on here who argue that temperature and CO2 readings taken today are not to be trusted for accuracy, so unless you were around 100 million years ago???

            As far as ecosystems facing challenge from rising CO2 and temperature change, I can’t list 25-50% of the species on the planet, so lets just start with all the alpine environments, mountain hares, golden eagles, etc. Then maybe throw in a whole lot of marine environments, think coral bleaching.
            But if you’d like further info (I know you won’t):

            http://www.chgeharvard.org/topic/climate-change-and-biodiversity-loss

            It’s the speed of change thats the problem, not necessarily the change itself .

          • Latimer Alder

            Strange. My reply has gone into moderation. Has the Speccie now gone the way of Komment Macht Frei in the Guardian where

            dissent from the party line is to be purged?

            No bad language, no bad words…no ad hom attacks (unlike my interlocutor)

          • LG

            Maybe if you just answered the question?

          • Latimer Alder

            Depends what you mean by sudden.

            A tsunami of 10 feet in five seconds is ‘sudden’ and kills people. But a ten foot sea level rise over 1000 years (the current rate of change) ain’t going to kill anybody.

            I asked you to give some real concrete examples of anything at all that’s been affected by the very modest temperature rise from 287.1K to 287.9K over the last 100 years.

            And you couldn’t.

            The rest of your stuff is just adhom piffle. Unworthy of reply

          • LG

            I’m a bit mystified by your reply. By sudden, I mean if the localised ecosystems which experience change has evolutionary time to adapt or not.
            You asked for examples of habitats affected by current climate change, I gave you some and directed you to the web page of an institution which researches the issue.
            And do you think a 10ft sea level rise will have no consequence for the population centres of the world?

          • Latimer Alder

            Your first question first.

            Of course 10 feet sealevel rise will have consequences for coastal dwellers. The question is not ‘will there be consequences’, but how serious are they and will they overwhelm our ability to adapt to them?

            And the answer is ‘an inconvenience’ and ‘no’

            Lets remind ourselves that sealevel rise of 1 foot in a century equates to the depth of one housebrick every 25 years. It is very slow and very predictable. Remind ourselves also that cities change and evolve at a much faster raet in response to a whole host of other pressures more immediate and more pressing than very gradual sealevel rise.

            Please go and look at a brick built house. Then convince yourself that civilisation would be impossible if the sea were 4 courses higher. Because that is the ‘challenge’ we face between now and 2115. I think our technology and skills are good enough that we might manage to adapt. Don’t you?

            Cities evolve and grow, In my own city London, the whole historic financial centre moved 3 miles downstream in less than 30 years. If the new site is truly threatened by SLR it’ll be able to move again in less time than the sea rises above the depth of a housebrick. An inconvenience, but not a catastrophe.

            As to your list of things affected…it was thin gruel indeed. The coral story is perhaps the classic I warned about..something strange happened, many leapt to the conclusion it was ‘climate change’ with very limited evidence . And that the corals have pretty much all grown back suggests that bleaching is an ‘event’ in a coral’s life rather than a terminal effect.

            I really can’t convince myself that a thermal catastrophe is occurring when the best example you can come up with is a temporary, recoverable event in one form of sea life. And even that is not uniquely heat related.

            The rest of your stuff was merely predictions of future woe. Colour me both unsurprised and unconvinced.

          • LG

            “””The question is not ‘will there be consequences’, but how serious are they and will they overwhelm our ability to adapt to them?”””

            I agree. But in response, you’d rather evacuate/abandon all the low lying cities, indeed whole countries, rather than seek to limit CO2 emissions. Not to mention that millions of acres of arable land would either be under water or subject to increased flooding event. I would rather limit Co2 emissions.

            We’re probably not going to agree. Good luck living in London, when the flooding gets worse, and the refugees from underwater Bangladesh turn up on your doorstep.

          • Latimer Alder

            And I can see no reason to penalise the 92% of the world’s population who live nowhere near the coast because a few coast dwellers can’t contemplate that their great^25 grandchildren might have to live a few miles further inland.

            Bangladesh won’t be underwater. It s a river delta. And the land there adapts to changes in sea level just like corals do. The guys who actually live there agree. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7532949.stm

          • LG

            Obviously we’re going to disagree on that. I think I have a responsibility to leave things as pretty much as they are. Your argument is for instant gratification and hang the future. I’ll leave it at that, thanks for the discussion.

          • Latimer Alder

            My argument is to worry more about the real welfare of those who are actually here today rather than some possible future harm that may possibly affect my great^25 grandchildren. Perhaps. Or maybe not.

          • LG

            Well, I guess you’ll need to ignore the effect of current pollution levels in the major cities which kill lots of people.
            But what I can’t understand about your attitude and others like you is your unwillingness to take the least care for the future. All because YOU don’t want an extra few quid on the lecky bill.

          • Latimer Alder

            I ain’t never seen nobody dying of CO2 poisoning at 4 parts in 10,000 (400ppm). You?

            The remainder of your remarks are unworthy of a serious reply.

            But I will make a general observation that the more people attack a messenger, the more it shows that they are struggling to answer the message.

          • LG

            It’s the fine particulate pollution that comes with burning fossil fuels.:

            “Fine particulate matter is associated with a broad spectrum of acute and chronic illness, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular diseases. Worldwide, it is estimated to cause about 16% of lung cancer deaths, 11% of COPD deaths, and more than 20% of ischaemic heart disease and stroke.”

            http://www.who.int/gho/phe/outdoor_air_pollution/en/

            So, apparently you’re not “worrying about the welfare of those who are actually here today.” Otherwise you’d be agitating for a cleaner energy future.

          • Latimer Alder

            Indeed. I am a great fan of natural fracked gas.

            Easy to get at. A clean burn. Lots of energy. And still plenty of lovely CO2 to help make the planet greener.

            No doubt you too are a fan?

          • Mr B J Mann

            Exactly!

            “Carbon” capture doesn’t capture particulates, only CO2!

            Concentrating on designing engines that produce low CO2 prevented further development lean burn engines!

            And producing low CO2 electricity produces dirty, toxic, pollution!!!!!!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Much of the Netherlands have been below sea level for centuries.

            So?!

          • Mr B J Mann

            So you accept CO2 changes climate, so you accept that relatively sudden change in climate is threatened by sudden escalation of CO2.

            And you accept that dozens of sudden CO2, and so climate, changes are eidenced by the 800,000 year graph.

            And you say that such sudden change will be adverse for ecosystems generally (including our own) because they will lack the necessary generational time to evolve.

            So you’re saying man and every other species died out dozens of times.

            Or maybe it’s just that your posterior hasn’t had the necessary generational time to evolve in a proper mouth yet and it’s still spewing sh!te!

          • Mr_Twister-Morpheus

            Sudden change in climate?

            What? LESS severe weather events?
            No dramatic rise in temperatures?
            Greening of previously Desert areas?

            How about population explosion since 1980?

            How about almost un measurable sea level rises? (Look up tidal CRUST, up to 180mm and they’re claiming 1-3mm sea level rise? Gimme a break…. or at least some REAL Science!)

          • Latimer Alder

            I do hope there isn’t a version of ‘hide the decline’ going on here.

            It’s usually considered a vary bad idea to change your experimental method in the middle. Or in this case at the very end.

            Let’s see.

            You have a graph of something or other (doesn’t matter what) plotted by method 1 for 800,000 years. For the last 57 years only (0.007%) of the series you change to method 2.

            And lo! and behold! you get different results.

            Does the diligent scientist dash to earth changing conclusions? Or does he wonder…’Gosh. I wonder whether this apparently big effect had anything to do with the method change?’

            The DS might wonder ‘what would happen if I continued to use method 1 for the last 0.007%? How does it compare?’

            And if you are a climatologist and method 1 is tree rings, method 2 observed temperatures, you find that they go way out of synch. So you cover it up with ‘hide the decline’. And end you career as the hapless idiot Phil Jones managed to do.

            Please assure me that no such shenanigans have gone on here. It would be very easy to show the ice core measurements for the last 57 years too. That would put my sceptical mind at rest.

          • LG

            I think the reason that they have used two different data sets is to use best evidence first (measured CO2 concentrations in the air) then use second best evidence if best evidence data isn’t available.
            But even assuming you’re correct, the trend’s your friend. Both data sets show an upward trend, with recent years showing an increasing spike. Just look at the one data set, from 1958 to the present. It shows an extremely sharp rise, certainly a greater, sharper rise than anything in the ice core data.

            And I very much doubt any evidence will ever be sufficient for you, because you’ve already made your mind up. In your view everything is a conspiracy, so any evidence to the contrary will be ‘made up’ or a fraud, or shenanigans, etc, etc.

          • Latimer Alder

            But you are inviting us to compare the results of two different data sets, observed by very different means and to draw a very big conclusion.

            In layman’s terms you ask us to compare apples and oranges. When it would be perfectly easy to present apples and apples.

            Pleas show the revised graph to show 100% of the ice core records up until the present, not just 99.993%

            Then we can make a true comparison across the millennia.

            This really really isn’t difficult stuff…. O level standard science at most.

          • LG

            As I’m not the keeper of the ice core records I’m unable to fulfil your demands. My inability to supply you with ice core records from the most recent decades is irrelevant to any sensible discussion on the modern trend of sharply increasing CO2 which is evidenced by hundreds of atmospheric sampling stations around the world.
            And please don’t bore us with more “site A is close to a volcano so it’s not a true reflection, or site B is such and such”. The overall trend from 100’s of sites around the globe, from the 1950’s is sharply upward. Even if the ice core samples didn’t correspond, the contemporary sampling shows a sharp upward trend. So harping on about ice core samples from the last few years is frankly irrelevant. I’m not even sure what your point is. Are you seriously arguing that the if the ice core records from the 50’s to today were available, that they would show levels have recently dropped? In contrast to the direct sampling which shows an increasing spike? If not, what point are you trying to prove, exactly?

          • Latimer Alder

            What point am I trying to prove?

            As ever….due diligence. A commodity that seems often to be in short supply in these murky waters

            I have no idea what contemporary ice core records would show since I’ve never seen them. But I’d sure like to. Their absence is a bit odd.

            Maybe they show close agreement with Manua Loa.

            In which case it is a powerful point in your argument’s favour. You can proudly say …this spike is here measured by two totally independent ways and we can show convincingly that the CO2 today is higher than it has been for 800,000 years. Showing that independent measurements come up with similar results for the same thing is good stuff. Its like having two eye-witnesses to a crime describing the same perp.

            So show it. Strengthen your case by doing so. It seems such an obvious thing to do (especially in view of wide knowledge about Jones ‘hide the decline’, trick which deliberately sought to conceal the lack of agreement) that I’m a bit baffled as to why it hasn’t been done already

          • LG

            We both know that if I did have access to the data, and presented it, if it was in any way favourable, you would simply say it was all …. a great big conspiracy, etc.

            But you’re still not answering the point. Even setting aside the historical ice core data entirely, the modern record shows a rapid spiking in atmospheric CO2 levels. Which strongly points to a build up because natural sinks are not absorbing what we’re putting in. It doesn’t matter if CO2 was higher at any time previously, the question is whether the current trend of increasing levels will drive climate change, and if so, at what speed.

          • Latimer Alder

            ‘It doesn’t matter if CO2 was higher at any time previously, the
            question is whether the current trend of increasing levels will drive
            climate change, and if so, at what speed’

            Then you should either withdraw your cobbled together graph or do it properly and show the most recent ice cores data.

            As it is it is ‘capable of misinterpretation’.

          • LG

            The two data sets can easily stand apart. As I’ve said to you elsewhere, if you don’t like the icecore data, just ignore it. Look at the atmospheric readings since 1958. It shows a clear and rapid spike in CO2 levels.

            But since the cicerone years and the measured data overlap, I can see no rational reason not to show the two data sets in congruent series. It gives a starting point for the ice core data to work back from.

            Still, its all a big conspiracy, etc

          • LG

            See my earlier post:

            you will say a) it’s all a conspiracy by nasty scientist and secretive world governments hellbent on global domination, or b) the readings are all wrong, or c) the readings are all taken from the wrong place, or d) the weather hasn’t worked out exactly as the climate models predicted so it must all be wrong, or e) etc, etc

            Just as I predicted.

          • Latimer Alder

            I said none of those things.

            I said that comparing apples with oranges ain’t a good thing to do.

            And I’m right.

          • LG

            Yes, if someone had been collecting air samples from the last millennia, I’m sure they would rather use that data.
            Its not really the point though is it? The question is whether the data, modern and historic, shows a trend FFS. And it does, and no amount of equivocating is really going to get round that.

          • Latimer Alder

            If you just want to show a modern trend then the Manua Loa data by itself does that. There is no need to cobble it onto ice core data.

          • LG

            Agreed. There is no need. But having congruent data in the 50’s allows the ice core data to have a relevant contemporary starting point.

          • Latimer Alder

            And showing that they also remain congruent for the last 57 years would be a powerful argument.

            Why not do it?

          • Mr B J Mann

            See my earlier post!!!

          • Mr B J Mann

            See my earlier post!

          • Mr B J Mann

            But the very best tree ring evidence you can get is from trees you’ve just cut down and know the dating to the day:

            So why do the Warmists trust and use dodgy old tree ring data but replace the recent good stuff with dodgy adjusted temperature records?!

          • Mr B J Mann

            So, we’ve had far higher temperatures, several degrees higher, and you’ve proved for a fact that they weren’t caused by higher than 300ppm CO2.

            They weren’t even caused by higher than 400ppm CO2.

            You’ve proved for a fact that they were caused by some mystery mechanism not just unknown to our top climate scientsts, but beyond even their ability to comprehend the possibility of its existence.

            Clearly expecting climate scientists to produce a working climate model is akin to expecting a cargo cult islander to produce a working model of a jet engine.

            He might have a vague idea of what a plane might have at times done when he’s seen it in action, or from what his mates have told him:

            But he hasn’t the faintest clue about what makes it work, never mind how how to make a working model of it!!!

          • Patrick Ho

            Just one of many facets which at first glance would appear to the simple minded, i.e., Al’s Gorons….as if CO2 and world temp is related….. But have a look at the volcanic eruption history or even overlay it and you will gain a totally different perspective…….but then there is so much more…..

      • milford

        Yes I doubt they discussed the weather at all in Paris. More likely they discussed the logistics of imposing a one world government in the near future.

        • Mr_Twister-Morpheus

          Yeah and that’ll be
          Prince charles
          Leonardo di crappio
          Sean Penn !!!
          Michael ‘Hockey shtick’ Mann
          ?….et al

    • mumble

      I assume you mean Fair Trade coffee.

      • Jacobi

        Coffee like anything else come from all sorts of sources. If you like the name then by all means sell it to your pals. Personally I can’t stand coffee.

    • Mr_Twister-Morpheus

      And… listening to the Science guys is a good self preservation strategy.
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uZKIUP9EGp8#

  • DAVID WATT

    Politically it is a bold move for the Spectator to give oxygen to the “deniers”

    But the “deniers” it seems have the right of it and sooner or later the charlatans posing as “climate scientists” will be unmasked.

    Let us hope that science itself will not take that blame for what they have done.

    So far it is only Ukip that has recognised this. The Green Blob and its well heeled supporters will spend a lot of money trying to demean them and punish them too for their temerity.

    • Mr_Twister-Morpheus

      UKIP Voters… totally correct on SOOOOO many levels.

      • milford

        Your first sentence sent a shiver down my spine. When it’s politically brave for someone to say climate change is not harmful one really has to wonder what’s happening here. But you’re right, it is. Thank goodness for the Speccie.

  • godot

    The green blob is now a trillion dollar industry and growing exponentially. So many people now have skin in the game that reason is swept away.

    • mumble

      Yes, like feminism, it has become an industry from which many people are making a living, hence it is not in their interests to solve the underlying problem. Compare “working” for the UN.

      • milford

        Yes thanks to feminism I’ve got to wait another six years to get my pension.

  • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

    So most of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapour, not CO2. And most atmospheric CO2 comes from nature, not humans. And 97% of climate scientists think that making a small adjustment to a small proportion of a small proportion is going to have a known beneficial effect on the climate 100 years from now – ?

    • LoveMeIamALiberal

      Even accepting the 97% figure at face level, it is scientists who have accepted a link between CO2 and global warming, not necessarily the catastrophic relationship presupposed by warmists.

      • KingEric

        The 97% figure was obtained from an initial sample of over 10,000 scientists being whittled down to only a sub section of 77 which provided the headline grabbing percentage required by the warmists.

    • mumble

      By George, I think he’s got it.

    • flydlbee

      The Cook report claimed that 97% of 11,944 papers supported the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. When those papaers were analysed independently only 44 of them actually did so. The Cook report was cooked.

  • MC73

    “putting the interests of rich people’s grandchildren ahead of those of poor people today”

    Brilliant! And well done to Modi for sticking up for poor Indians.

  • Richard Baranov

    A relevant presentation to a U.S. Senate Committee on global warming: Dr. William Happer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap6YfQx9I64

  • FactsWillOut

    CAGW will be looked upon in hindsight as the largest fraud in the history of humanity.

  • GreenWyvern

    It’s worth pointing a few facts about climate change:

    ● The earth is warming up – this is as firmly established as any scientific fact about the weather could possibly be. It’s possible to argue about the reasons for it, but not about the temperature rise itself.

    ● Any action has consequences. Every year human beings have been dumping tens of billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, year after year, and decade after decade. To imagine that this has no effect is unscientific and irrational.

    It’s possible to argue about what the nature of the effect is, or how large it is, but it is not possible to argue that human activity has no effect. If volcanoes spewing out ash can affect world climate, then continually pumping billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere can affect world climate.

    ● Large corporations whose industries produce greenhouse gases have a very strong financial incentive to prevent any regulation. They are pouring millions of dollars all the time into funding anti-climate-change organizations, creating anti-climate-change talking points, publicizing them through media organizations which are friendly to large corporations, and lobbying governments. These are also facts.

    This means that any argument about climate change has to be very carefully and critically examined, and allowance has to be made for the propaganda effort financed by corporations who don’t want to reduce emissions, because that would reduce their profits.

    • Isage000

      The author accepts that there is probably an effect, but a mild benign one. Mild warming is net beneficial, as shown historically, promoting imcreased crop harvests with longer frost free growing seasons. Also, the increased atmospheric CO2 is a major serendipitous bonus for crop yields from its fertilisation effect. We are effectively regreening the Earth by releasing its trapped carbon back into the carbon cycle, giving plants back something more akin to the atmospheric CO2 concentrations their ancestral species evolved under before the ice age.

      All in all, good news, but something of a nightmare the ecowarrior alarmists are desperate to conceal.

      • pcz

        yes. in their zeal and greed they could destroy us all. it is horrifying, really.

    • mctruck

      Actually, the assumption of an effect is unscientific. Look up “null hypothesis”. Then go and read Dr Asimov’s classic essay “Playing the Game” (it’s in the collection “The Stars in Their Courses”, very cheap as a paperback), which should be required reading for anyone even tangentially involved in science (especially journalists).
      If you’re going to cite science in your support, you should understand what it means.

      • GreenWyvern

        Actually I have a masters degree in Physics, and probably understand the science a lot better than you do, and I used to read Asimov as a teenager.

        This is about practical scientific reality.

        • mctruck

          That’s nice, but as you should know, science doesn’t work by authority any more than by consensus. There is the scientific method; stray from it and you’re no longer doing science, no matter how “practical” you feel you are being.
          Sometimes dilettantes can learn through being corrected; better they speak up and provide the opportunity than remain silent and ignorant.

          On a more friendly note, did you read the Good Doctor’s SF, and have you revisited it (particularly his early stuff) lately? As a youngster its simplicity appealed to me, but I fear I have outgrown it. In the commentaries that form parts of the Early Asimov series he admits to being an unworldly youth and I think this came through in his writing – no adult themes, very few women, politics only barely acknowledged here and there.
          I’ll never throw out those musty paperbacks that formed such a large part of my childhood, even though I will probably never read them again; they have informed my older self too, by showing how much we change.

    • pcz

      unfortunately, you are wrong. it is the very rich who are promoting this agenda and for their own personal gain. the science is rigged. the feds won’t pay for any science unless it will bring forth a pre-determined outcome that supports the global warming theory. many distinguished climate scientists say the science has been very rigged and is laughable and fraudulent. don’t be too quick or too firm in your conclusions. this is being used as part of an agenda toward creating a world government that will transfer all wealth to the very rich and leave the populace to suffer. they will do nothing to improve the life of the planet.

      • GreenWyvern

        A silly conspiracy theory, unfortunately.

      • LG

        Absolute looney tune.

      • LG

        I wish you people would make up your mind. Is it all a conspiracy by ‘the very rich’ people – or is it a conspiracy by lefties? Surely it must be one or the other? Do tell.
        Or is this conspiracy thing all just made up because you don’t like what the facts point to?

      • pat pat

        Yes a big conspiracy by the scientists, because they all make soo much more money than oil companies.

    • Jacques Lemiere

      sorry but agriculture has vad a huge effect on earth too…

      sure whoever does whatever has an effet on earth…
      the idea behind what you say is that for some reason…we don’t have the “right’ to change anything whatsoever on earth…because the state of the earth is close to perfection.. perfetc for whom?????

      is the cimate worst or better right now…then it was 40 years ago…
      just answer that…

      you simply want the money some other people are making…
      earth doesn ‘t belong to you.. sorry…earth doesn belong to mankind, sorry…and that s all…

    • milford

      Climate Change – or the belief that climate change is damaging – is a huge industry in itself and it’s becoming the new religion – and what was it Ron Hubbard (the founder of Scientology) said? : ‘If you want to make money start a religion’.

      • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

        Environmentalism is the religion, climate change is the principal revenue stream.

        • Nick Gerrard

          Moronic comment on so many levels. The evidence for climate change is based on the meticulous research and rigorously peer reviewed publications of thousands of separate scientific organisations. It in no way, shape or form resembles a completely faith based system like a religion.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Too late mate;

            See Climategate!

          • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

            The popular view of climate science you promote flies in the face of clear evidence that the climate is not driven by CO2.
            If you think I am mistaken, don’t insult me, don’t refer me to higher authority, just give me a reason.

    • flydlbee

      The historical climate record shows that CO2 increases have FOLLOWED temperature increases, not PRECEDED them.

    • Gareth

      The Earth is not warming up.
      There was a cooling trend from 1940 to 1970 followed by a warming trend up to the late 1990s, followed by 19 years of zero warming.
      Before the climate scientists tampered with the data, the 1930s were still the warmest decade in the US temperature record.
      Large corporations are happy to make money from the “green crap”; they are pouring their money into subsidy-farming.

  • Finola Moss

    The real question to ask is why, so called ‘global warming’, is so huge, and, its blame, so distorted by everyone in the media, …………

    • cwon1

      Left-wing agenda through left-wing operatives, not that hard to figure out.

      • mikewaller

        Yeah, that’s why the same type of guys have been so wonderfully successful in respect of the much needed sugar duty. Indeed, such is their control over the oil companies that it certainly did not need the massive crash in oil prices to stop the drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic. The lefties did it all on their own, I don’t think. Please, please at least make some attempt to get real.

        • Mr B J Mann

          If a beach is polluted by an oil slick:

          Do you think it should be covered up, cleaned up, or left to nature?!

          • mikewaller

            It all depends on which option in any given case is least damaging to those directly affected and the wider environment.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So how often would you say environmental clean-up of oil polluted beaches is wrong?

    • Mr B J Mann

      Last time I looked the BBC pension fund was “invested” in green “investments”!

      Probably the same for all Luvvies and Meejah folk!!!

  • mikewaller

    What amazes me about Ridley is his sheer gall. He, after all, was one half of the dynamic duo who ran Northern Rock so spectacularly into the buffers. In that case his “rational optimism” told him that it was a brilliant idea to take cheap short-term loans, refundable on demand, and then dish the proceeds out as 30 year mortgages. At least Peter Jay had the modesty to drop off the radar for a period when he, too, failed the whelk-stall test!

    The idea that we are all going to get richer and richer to the extent that our great, great grand kinds will be able to fund almost anything strikes me as so much specious crap. I believe we are moving into an era of which the key characteristic will be far too many potential workers in relation to the amount of output that can possibly be bought. At root, that is the problem in the Middle East now. Even in the heady days of the Arab Spring, the question I asked was how soon did anybody expect to buy a car or computer made in the Middle East. As the answer was invariably “not any time soon” it seemed to me inevitable that the aspirational young were going to be bitterly disappointed and that the outcome would either be a reversion to dictatorships or vicious internecine warfare. In the event we got both. This it seems to me is a far more likely indicator of the shape of things to come than the UN-derived nonsense about our heirs all living the lives of current day plutocrats. Adding to this a badly degraded environment seems to me just a tad selfish.

    One other point. The area corncerning which Ridley has in the past talked sense is that of neo-Darwinism; and the message we are know getting from biologists is that whereas humans can be very flexible regarding environmental change, other species are very much less so. More specifically, if, say, a Northern hemisphere land species currently dwells in a band of territory 80 miles deep from North to South, whilst individuals closet to the equator do tend to migrate North as things hot up, those on the Northern limit seem to just stay put. Why this is so, don’t ask me; but if there is one thing we have learned from the modern life sciences is that even human beings depend ultimately on the web of life and the more degraded that gets, the more trouble we will be in.

    In sum, what Ridley always puts me in mind of is the guy who, having fallen of a very high building, remarked as he past the first floor, “O.K. so far”!

    • Goinlike Billio

      Well if we are all poorer so our output of co2 goes down which in turn ….zzzzz
      Sorry I fell asleep.

      • mikewaller

        I prefer not to waste my efforts of one of such limited intelligence and attention span.

  • amicus

    There are upticks aplenty in being a climate change denier. I may just join them.

  • Captain Dryland

    “…coal under my land…”
    Might enjoy a restoration of the coal market perhaps ?

  • pat pat

    Even if this does happen next century instead of this one, what are you afraid of? Cheap de-centralised renewable energy that provides more jobs spread across the country and that is not reliant on geopolitics? Convenient and silent electric car share schemes? Timber framed buildings? The tragey for the climate sceptics is that the progressive solutions are so much moe enjoyable than business as usual….

    • LG

      You’ve really got to be an over 60’s, dyed in the wool, old reactionary not to like the idea of clean energy. At least in principle. Having said that, my friend’s parents are in their late 70’s, but absolutely their new Tesla. It’s so refreshing to come across people who are so different to stereotype and really up for something progressive.

      • Latimer Alder

        Nothing new about electric cars. I used to work on an electric milkfloat when a teenager 40+ years ago.

        And when/if they’re better (technically and economically) than current petroleum fuelled vehicles, then I’m sure they’ll sell like hot cakes.

        But right now they ain’t. The better mousetrap hasn’t been invented

        • pat pat

          We didnt have the technology for milkfloats to take off 40 years ago, we would have needed batteries the size of a house to get anywhere. Now EVs are experiencing rapid growth. The vast majority of cabbys use hybrids, lower maintenance and superior fuel economy. Every major car manufacturer is producing electric models, they see where the market is heading. I dont know if it will be 5 years or 10 years but we will be all electric soon enough petrol cars will be niche kept for petrolheads on race tracks (much more fun to drive there anyway!)

          • Latimer Alder

            1. Remind me what that funny cap thing on the hybrid car is for? Surely not putting petrol/diesel/gasoline in?

            Write out 5 times.

            ‘Hybrids are powered by oil’.

            That there may be an electric motor somewhere in the gubbins doesn’t make them electric cars.

            2. ‘EVs are experiencing rapid growth’. Well maybe. But 50% up on not much, still ain’t much.

            Worldwide Tesla sold just under 12,000 cars in the last reported quarter. That’s 130 per day.

            By comparison, Nissan’s Sunderland plant in UK takes under 2 hours to sell 130 of its Qashqai model. That’s 12 times faster for just one model from one plant.

            So there’s still a lot of catching up to do to get anywhere near the market demand of petrol/diesel models

          • pat pat

            Hybrids are powered by a fraction of the oil used in an average car just ask the cabbies!
            Fold a piece of paper in half 42 times and you have the a tower that reaches the moon!!
            What was the growth rate of Qashqais sales? I am far more interested in where the market is heading than where it has been.

          • Latimer Alder

            Toyota Prius is supposed to get 56 mpg cruising. Not hugely remarkable among its rivals. When I drive a petrol Focus I get much the same.

            Qashqai sales are pretty flat. As a model its coming to the end of its life. But it’ll be replaced.

          • pat pat

            Yup 11 years and we will be all electric, quiet and clean (local air quality as well as climate change). What fun it will be, i cant wait. And yes whilst cruising hybrids are burning petrol so have similar MPG. It is in traffic and congestion when they switch to petrol that they smash their rivals. Thats why they are so favored by taxis.

            Commercial trucks make up only 18% of transport emissions i suspect they will move to LPG and biodiesel

          • Latimer Alder

            Hmmm.

            Last time I looked, electric cars still needed charging.

            Where’s the lekky going to come from?

            And if you want to be all thermodynamical…how can it be more energy efficient overall to create some lekky (by some means or other) shove it down some wires (with lots of voltage transformations along the way), stick it into a battery and use it than just burning some petrol in an ICE and using the energy directly?

          • pat pat

            The lekky will come from a secure distributed network of a variety of renewables nuclear and a small amount of gas. Hopefully over the next 20 years but definitely over the next 50. The petrol like the lekky has to be dug up from somewhere which takes energy, then refined which takes energy, then transported which also takes energy, then you need to burn the fuel. The carbon emissions from all of this are huge by comparison. http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/v7/n1/fig_tab/nchem.2085_F3.html

          • Latimer Alder

            ‘The lekky will come from a secure distributed network of a variety of
            renewables nuclear and a small amount of gas.

            Anybody ever made one of those? How’re you going to make one? How much will the lekky cost? Who’s going to build it? Why should they bother when we have a good(ish) system already?

            Please note.. wishful thinking doesn’t power many cars – whether electric or not

          • pat pat

            Uruguay gets 95% of its lekky from renewables, that wasnt just on a particularly windy day, that is a constant. The cost of their electricity is now cheaper than it used to be which is handy because Uruguay isnt exactly rolling in it. They did this with private investment and without any subsidies just simple good frameworks for investment (like the ones the chinese lapped up for our nuclear!). The renewables snowball is in motion. we might as well sit back and enjoy the benefits of cheaper, safer, more secure and more prosperous energy supply.

          • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

            You fail to mention that the bulk of Uruguay’s renewable energy comes from hydro-electric. They are a long way from placing all their eggs in the renewables basket.
            According to Wikipedia:
            “Hydropower provides around 60% of installed production capacity in Uruguay … Thermal power from petroleum fired power plants, activated during peak demand, provide the bulk of the remaining installed production capacity …
            Wind power capacity … appears on track to reach 30% installed capacity by 2016, though this refers to peak production numbers under windy conditions not actual production.”

          • pat pat

            The figures you quote are from 2009 a year after they introduced their frameworks in support of renewables. Here are the figures you were looking for http://www.miem.gub.uy/documents/15386/6508173/BALANCE%20PRELIMINAR%202014.pdf. Ok hydro (which is renewable and clean) is now at 74% but wind grew from less than 0% in 2009 to 6% in 2014. It is the rate of growth of renewables across the planet over the last 5 years that is so exciting. There arent many industries that can match it.

          • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

            The figures you quotes are less sanguine than Wikipedia but either way, your original post was misleading, to put it mildly.
            Whether hydro is ‘clean’ is another question.

          • pat pat

            They are facts, not intended to mislead. Hydro is no more or less renewable than wind – it rains, the damns fill up, the water flows to the rivers and oceans, that evaporates into clouds and it rains again. Sure we dont have as big a hydro resource over here but our tidal and wave is world beating. Everything has its impacts hydro, wind, PV and biomass all have varying degrees of environmental impacts whether its manufacturing or landscape. But they all have orders of magnitude smaller environmental impacts than coal and fossil fuels thats not just climate change, its the particulates in the air, the toxins from mines entering the water, the spillage etc.

          • Latimer Alder

            Interesting.

            So how would you replicate Uruguay’s plans (2/3 the area of UK but only 1/20th the population) in UK?

          • Mr B J Mann

            Cabbies are trying to avoid congestion/ CO2/ environmental/ based charges/ fees/ taxes/ duties/ levies………

            And subsidy / tax break farming!

          • pat pat

            Actually ALL licensed taxis and minicab drivers are exempt from the congestion charge. The average cab driver will spend 50 pounds a day on fuel, their road tax is less than 40p a day and insurance is 2 quid a day. So they save 50p a day in tax and maybe a pound a day in insurance. Ask them if that is their main motivation or if its the 20-30 quid a day they save in fuel?

          • Mr B J Mann

            I was talking globally.

            But as you are an expert on London, and have all the facts at your fingertips, perhaps you could give is the figures for the numbers of different kinds of engines used in London’s “taxis”, in the widest sense.

            Also, could you confirm what non hybrid drivers spend in fuel tax and duty a day?!

          • pat pat

            You werent talking about London? the first thing you said was “cabbies are trying to avoid congestion… levies” London is one of the few cities with a congestion charge but i suppose there are some others so apologies. In any case it doesnt apply to cabbies and I doubt that any city that has implemented a congestion charge applies to cabbies (they have a pretty strong lobby worldwide!). As previously stated the average cab driver (ie non hybrid) spends 40p a day (146 quid) on road tax and 2 quid a day (700 odd) a year on insurance. Hybrids pay very little in road tax and have cheaper insurance so they might save up to 1 pound a day. That really pails to insignificance when you consider the fuel savings.
            I dont know if anyone has counted, anecdotally when i look around I see a lot more than there were a few years ago. Of Addison Leas 4800 fleet they have over 400 so nearly 10% are hybrids. Count the cabs you get this year and tell me how many are Hybrids. Then tell me how many again in 2 years time. Actually you might not need to count them, the Mayor is proposing all taxis will need to be zero emission capable by 2018 so it could be 100%. The wheels are turning, get on board, its going to be fun!

          • Mr B J Mann

            “You werent talking about London? the first thing you said was “cabbies are trying to avoid congestion… levies” London is one of the few cities with a congestion charge”

            Yes, in London it is the “Congestion Charge”, not the Congestion levy!

            And certainly not the “congestion/ CO2/ environmental/ based charges/ fees/ taxes/ duties/ levies”!!!

            As for the tax, a new taxi that generates less than 110g/km CO2 can have the entire purchase cost written off against tax whereas one producing over 160g/km CO2 can only have 8% of the cost written off per year.
            The congestion charge doesn’t apply to mini cab drivers only if they are on a pre-booked run unless they are electric.
            And diesel taxis are probably going to be hit by a £10 a day environmental charge.
            Then there’s the little matter of diesel getting hit with up to 350% Duty, Vat and Duty *ON* VAT.
            Whereas an electric vehicle, or newer or higher spec hybrid, can power up for only a 5% VAT charge.
            That’s if the cabbie hasn’t managed to find a free charging point!
            And what engine are you saying the “average” taxi has to pay 40p a day?!
            And where did you get your insurance figures from?
            I’ve seen £1,600 pa, even £2,400!!
            But the main point is it’s nothing to do with the efficiency or the fuel economy, it’s to do with the tax on the fuel being up to 70 times higher!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Oh, could you also confirm all the relevant rules and regulations, eg access restrictions, age, engine size, etc.

    • Latimer Alder

      Timber framed buildings? Nothing new in those. They were cutting edge technology in the 14th century. Had a nasty habit of burning down. We moved on.

      Convenient car share schemes? Have never really taken off anywhere. Changing what’s under the hood won’t change human nature

      ‘Cheap de-centralised renewable energy that provides more jobs spread across the country and that is not reliant on geopolitics?’

      1. Add ‘reliable’ and ‘convenient’ to your list and you might have something. Till then you ain’t.
      2. What jobs? Neither windmills nor solar should need much tending. Where are the jobs?
      .

      • pat pat

        Cross laminated timber is cutting edge today, providing more structural integrity for less weight than steel and with no fire risk (like a large dense tree in a forest fire, it just gets charred around the edges)

        Yes it took a while but car share is growing – drive-now allows you to pick up and drop off anywhere across a number of major cities. Add in google/teslas self driving car into the mix (no more than 5 years away) and its a no brainer – cheaper, easier, more conveniant and i can have a beer or two on my way!

        Nature is reliable yes the wind will always blow the sun will always rise and the tides will always flow. Battery storage will iron out any inconvenient times when the weather does not tie in with our consumption. Quite a bit of maintenance involved in the 1000s of electricity generating wind turbines and solar panels – 3 times more jobs than gas according to The Political Economy Research (http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/20/over-3-times-more-green-jobs-per-million-than-fossil-fuel-or-nuclear-jobs/)

        Get on board the low carbon economy train, it really will be a lot of fun for everyone!

        • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

          Well done Pat. This is the first argument I’ve hear from the green camp that does not reek of bigotry and bullying.
          But – doesn’t 3 times more jobs = 3 times the cost? Doesn’t your case for renewable energy fail to address the core problems of intermittence, and its weak concentration?
          That’s assuming we all agree that low carbon means virtuous. I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why we obsess about CO2 when it causes less than 10% of the greenhouse effect, and most of the less than 10% is not associated with human activity.

          • pat pat

            All that I see in renewables is home grown energy, de-centralised and therefore more secure (from attack as well as supply), and fast becoming very affordable. The point about the jobs is that their is a large amount of (mid-skill) ongoing maintenance required which requires quick and easy training for locals in the regional areas. Fossil fuels will soon be more expensive because of the equipment and few very technically skilled people required to extract the fuel which is getting ever more difficult and more complex, their cost will only increase (in pure terms not including market manipulation by the Saudis!) Compared to renewables which only getting cheaper as manufacturing processes and market competition get more refined.

            Intermittence not a problem once batteries become cost effective they will store all the electricity required when the sun isntshing/wind blowing/tide flowing (their cost has dropped by 2/3rds in the last 5 years). Smart grids and the internet of things are also exciting innovations that will help reduce our bills as well as reduce peak loads. As for concentration ask Denmark or Holland who were producing up to 140% of their electricity demand at one point this year.

            Ill leave the climate science to the climate scientists. But perhaps to start with you should familiarise yourself with the carbon cycle.

          • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

            Given say a winter month of very low sun and wind, what would be the battery storage requirement for the nation’s electricity needs to be met? In terms of cost and acreage?
            You have great faith in the development of battery technology. At the other end of the scale, mobile phone producers have put serious effort into this with very limited success.
            Sorry you didn’t feel able to help with my CO2 calculations. Am I wrong to think that with even a 50% reduction in human CO2 production, the greenhouse effect would be reduced by about 1-2%?

          • pat pat

            Good question, (although there will be minutes maybe even days but never a whole month of low wind and solar). Anyway a 0.3m3 battery pack and 4kW (32m2) of solar PV can provide electricity for a large family home for 60-80% of the year accounting for weather variation and the efficiency of their home. There are 26 million homes in the U.K. so I need 7.8 million m3 of batteries thats about 7 wembley stadiums although i would recommend we spread them out a bit! Cost if we were to do this tomorrow would be 130 billion (5k per home). Thats about what we spent bailing the banks out, instead we could have given free electricity to at least 60% of the population for the next 20 years! That 60% would then have 11 billion more per year in their pocket to spend on art and music and massages and angry birds and candy floss! What fun!!! Although I would suggest we do it gradually over the next 20 years and enjoy the benefits as the prices in the technologies decrease.

            We havnt looked at industry or (or electic transport) but we also have wind, tidal, geothermal, hydro, biomass, nucleur and yes maybe a bit of gas to play with.

            Yes you are wrong. Have a look at the carbon cycle? http://www.skepticalscience.com/visual-deconstruction-of-a-skeptic-argument.html

          • LG

            Yes, you’re wrong.

          • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

            Good manners cost nothing.

          • flydlbee

            To run this country we would need a battery the size of Derbyshire, with all the pollution that battery manufacture involves. It doesn’t matter of that battery is split down into household-size units – the cost, CO2 production, and nasty, nasty chemicals is going to rule the idea right out.

          • pat pat

            Yes batteries have impacts, everything we do has. But they are a fraction of the impacts of coal or petrol. Actually the impacts of manufacturing a battery are pretty close to those of producing petrol. Only petrol gets burned and batteries sit there (and eventually get recycled) The impacts of battery powered cars really depend on the fuel used to charge them. http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/v7/n1/fig_tab/nchem.2085_F3.html

          • Tom M

            I’ve never read such a load of complete technical rubbish.
            “…….batteries become cost effective………” Have you any idea what your talking about? They’ve been trying to make batteries cost effective (and smaller and lighter) for longer than there’s been petrol engines.
            The day when a battery replaces 50Kgs of petrol and transports you 1000miles to recharge in 5 minutes is a complete and utter delusion. It will never happen this side of the launch of the Starship Enterprise.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Ah, yes, those countries seem to have overcome the storage problem:

            By importing nuclear power!

          • Mr_Twister-Morpheus

            Yes well done Pat, am still with KentGeordie though as his rebuttal is numerically/economically empirical…to date.

        • Alex Jackson

          Suggest you read Matt’s Rational Optimist to understand the full crux of his argument… Everything you suggest here he would agree with and support… Unless you’re arguing for the addition of subsidies to bring in these technologies (which you haven’t mentioned).

          Innovating your way around climate change is what his whole ethos is about.

          • pat pat

            No i didnt mention the minefield of subsidies. But since you have bought it up lets take the feed in tariff for PV. This was a generous incentive (paid for by a fraction of a percent increase in electricity cost) and was bought in by many European companies. The subsidy caused a huge spike in demand for solar PV. This in turn caused the manufacturing price to fall to a fraction of what it was to the point that PV is now competitive with traditional electricity in many (sunny) areas. The tariff is now being phased out (not that we will see the electricity companies passing this on to their “poor hard done by” customers). It has fast tracked the growth of a huge industry helping millions in developing countries who cannot afford Diesel generators get power (and hence education). There are smart subsidies and not so smart subsidies but i would struggle to find a single product or service on the planet that has not benefited from outside help at some point in its life cycle.

          • Tom M

            Flat screen televisions, mobile phones (actually the Government charged the manufacturers to allow them to sell them), computers, printers.
            I was going to include GPS but then the US paid for that under their defence budget so I suppose somebody could say that was subsidised. Got me there then.

          • pat pat

            O.K. those product may not have had direct subsidies for their sales but they have all benefited from subsidies in some way. The flat screen TV was first introduced by General Electric a company notorious for tax evasion and therefore subsidised by all the other SME and taxpayers. In any case there would be no TVs without broadcasters and it took public money to kick those off. Mobile phones? Where to begin. Perhaps the first mobile network by AT&T a company whos work at the time consisted entirely of government and defence contracts, the radio transceivers used in the second world war funded by the public. James Clark Maxwells research grants. Printers? well Getenberg is credited with the first commercial printing press in the 15th century paid for by a loan from an aristocrat Fust which which was never paid back. O.K. it was a private loan but Fust was born into money which i suppose historically was taken from the native land owners. Subsidies are everywhere in a product or services life cycle and you go far enough back and you will find they are usually public. If you want to talk about subsidies lets talk about the billions subsidised to the fossil fuel industry each year in the form of reduced VAT rates.

          • Tom M

            Correct those products did not have subsidies at all.
            Do not confuse personal gifts or loans as subsidies they aren’t. Don’t employ a reductionist argument that ends up with everything coming from the Government it doesn’t. Don’t even suggest that tax evasion is a subsidy that’s obfuscation.
            Subsidies for fossil fuels? They are there to keep the price down. Political reasons. That is to say it is not to kick start a technology.

          • pat pat

            Tax evasion not a subsidy? At work we all chip in a pound a week to pay for tea/coffee/biscuits/fruit. If my colleague did not put his pond in then are the rest of us not subsidising his 11’s??
            You think anyone would be remotely interested in fracking our countryside if we werent offering to half their tax rate (compared to oil and gas).
            Which is the more perverse motivation political interest or technology growth leading to cheaper energy.

        • Latimer Alder

          1. Call me back when the self-drive car actually takes off

          2. Car share was an idea of the 70s in UK. Hardly ever head of nowadays. People like their personal space too much

          3. Call me when ‘battery storage’ is sufficiently big and cheap to be practical at a grid scale

          4. 3 times more jobs than gas still ain’t a lot of jobs.

          My local pub advertises ‘free beer tomorrow’. In 30 years I’m still waiting for my first free pint

        • Mr B J Mann

          Check out what happened to (all forms of) sunny Spain’s solar power industry.

          And the wind will always blow:

          Too strongly, or not at all.

          And the whole point of laminate is that it doesn’t need to be a foot thick:

          Except to survive charring round the edges!

          • pat pat

            What happened? Such a huge uptake that the government had to invent new ways of taxing Solar PV?
            Sometimes but not often it will be too strong very rarely is it not at all, and it is never ever too much or not at all across the whole country.
            Awesome so we need to plant more trees, i like trees they look good. I like the animals that hang around them too.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Was that meant to mean something?!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Was it machine translated from Spanish?

            Despite all the sunshine the solar power industry there has collapsed without ongoing heavy subsidies.

            Very often we have NO wind, not just across the UK, but across Western Europe, not just for days, but weeks, even months, when it’s coldest and darkest.

            Cross laminated timber is cutting edge because it is very thin, providing more structural integrity for less weight than steel.

            But it is heavy section timber that has no fire risk (like a large dense tree in a forest fire, it just gets charred around the edges).

            As you yourself regurgitated.

            But were too dense yourself to understand!!!

          • pat pat

            Please feel free to forward a link to a weather file or any source you like showing no wind across the whole uk for months. Whilst you are at it you might want to check out some successful CLT structured buidings. How about the Forte apartment block in Melbourne, it has a nice feel about it and fire risk is pretty strictly regulated in Australia.

          • Mr B J Mann

            As I suspected, you are an illiterate idiot trøll.

            To help you out I Goggled clt fire resistace and waddaya know:

            First up was a greeny environmental article which began, and I’ve highlighted the salient words for you:

            “One of the major advantages of Cross Laminated Timber is its inherent fire resistance. CLT can be designed to accommodate substantial fire resistance and unlike steel remains structurally stable when subjected to high temperatures. CLT panels can be produced with fire resistances of 30, 60 and 90 minutes.”

            So it “CAN” be “DESIGNED” to achieve the absolute minimum fire resistance through its “inherent” sacrificial charring thickness.

            Unlike steel which needs to have it applied.

            Whoop di doo!

            Oh, and it goes on to say:

            “As the face of the timber panel is exposed to a fire that ramps up to a temperature in excess of 400 degrees C,”

            Wow, 400!

            2,000 isn’t unusual!!

            And as for the UK weather, you are clearly not from this planet as well as too young for this forum.

            Why am I wasting my time trying to talk to you!,

          • pat pat

            Are you proposing we need to make buildings able to withstand 2000 degree fires? Steel melts at 1500, concrete crumbles at 1000. Whats your suggestion? Perhaps we just leave it to the experts.

            I am old enough to enjoy sailing which i have done 1-3 times a week every week for the past 20 years. I enjoy anything between 5 and 20 knots which is actually pretty close to a turbines range (they will go down to 2 knots which would bore me sat in a boat) I have on occasion missed a week which would be down to atrocious rain/storms but I have never gone more than two weeks without a sail let alone months. But maybe Queens reservoir is an anomaly in the UK so please forward your weather data which shows zero wind for months.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Errrmmmmmmm, you are an idiot.

            Just like the timber structures, the concrete and steel ones are engineered to resist fires (2,000 degrees was a figure I “plucked out of the air”…….. for a furniture warehouse fire, you know, the kind of things you furnish a building with!)!

            And how many weeks of the year do you sail in winter?!

            And try this:

            http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/learn-about-the-weather/weather-phenomena/case-studies/severe-winters

            Severe Winters

            ….two particularly severe winters – in 1947 and 1963.

            …… snowdrifts up to seven metres deep.

            Frozen rivers, lakes and even blocks of ice at sea.

            Snow covering most of the land every day for more than two months. …..

            Thousands…… cut off for days by snowdrifts up to seven metres deep during the winter of 1947….. Supplies had to be flown in by helicopter…. the armed forces were called in to help clear roads and railways.

            Between January and March that year, snow fell every day somewhere in the country for 55 days straight. Much of this settled because temperatures stayed very low, just above freezing most days.

            No-one expected this winter to be severe…… soon to change…… high pressure moved over southern Scandinavia, setting up a weather pattern which dominated the UK for the rest of the month……. cold, snowy weather continued through February and into March….. Because of the persistent anti-cyclonic conditions.

            Another unusual feature of February 1947 was the lack of sunshine in the Midlands and south of England…….. At Kew, Nottingham and Edgbaston, there was no sun on 22 of the month’s 28 days.

            Most of the Midlands and southern England had sunshine totals about 40% of the average. When skies did clear, night-time temperatures plunged…….

            And to cap it all:

            March was even worse. In the first half of the month, there were strong gales and heavy snowstorms, making for blizzard conditions.

          • pat pat

            Yup i probably would have avoided sailing in the 10 examples you have found over the last 400 years. And the solar wont have generated much. But the wind turbines would still be going, they dont care about a bit of snow, they just need anything between 2 and 25 knots. You still havnt found me a month with no wind. The tidal generators would still be going (the moons orbit is pretty reliable), the wave generators will be smashing it in those storms and we will have a bit of nucleur and gas for the very few extreme cases where there isnt enough juice from the above. ITs the mix of sources that makes the future low carbon economy so much safer, more reliable, cheaper and more prosperous….

          • Mr B J Mann

            You claim to be a sailor and you don’t know that when high pressures settles over Europe there is NO wind?!?!?!!!!!!

            And no chance now of importing France or Germany’s surplus because they are going green too!!!!!

            You are a blithering idiot!!!!!!!

          • pat pat

            Low wind is not no wind. I have often sailed during times of high pressure, a gentle sail granted but still most enjoyable. There simply hasnt been a period of weeks with 0-2 knots of wind all day every day across the whole country, that hasnt ever happened and never will.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Are you the world’s biggest troll or just the world’s biggest idiot?!

            What is 0 – 2 knots in English?

            Which of these is it (and remember that at minimum speeds they are producing minimal energy):

            “Wind turbines can operate between a minimum wind speed of 4 to 5 metres per second (circa 10 miles per hour) and a maximum wind speed of 15 meters per second (circa 33 miles per hour).”

            “Most wind turbines start operating at a speed of 3-5 metres per second and reach maximum power at about 25 metres …”

            “Wind Terminology
            Start-up Speed – This is the speed at which the rotor and blade assembly begins to rotate.
            Cut-in Speed – Cut-in speed is the minimum wind speed at which the wind turbine will generate usable power. This wind speed is typically between 7 and 10 mph for most turbines……..”

            “Wind turbines can operate anywhere from about 10 miles an hour (4-5 metres/second) to 50+ miles (25 metres/second) an hour where they shut down due to the too extreme gale force winds. The maximum power output is around 33 miles per hour (15 metres/second).”

            “Wind turbines start operating at wind speeds of 4 to 5 metres per second and reach maximum power output at around 15 metres/second. At very high wind speeds, that is gale force winds of 25 metres/second, wind turbines shut down.”

            “Wind turbines start operating at wind speeds of four to five metres per second (around 10 miles per hour) and reach maximum power output at around 15 meters per second (around 33 miles per hour). At very high wind speeds (gale force winds – 25 metres per second, or over 50 miles per hour) wind turbines shut down.”

            And that’s from the first six Google hits, and they are all from wind energy promoters or producers.

            So what’s 2 knots?

            Is it 3 – 5 metres per second, 4 to 5 metres per second, between 7 and 10 mph, circa 10 miles per hour……

            Is it any wonder this country is finished with kids like you about to be given the vote?!?!?!!!!!

          • Patrick Hermon

            sorry, 2 knots is 2 nautical miles an hour or 2.2 standard miles an hour thats about 1 meter per second. You can design turbines to operate at these very low wind speeds but they will not go up to very high speeds. You can also design turbines to operate at very high speeds but they will not work at the lower average speeds. The average turbine will operate between 5m/s and 25m/s. this country is not finished, it today signed a legally binding deal guaranteeing a move to a low carbon economy, the next 50 years are going to see some very big and very positive changes to society :)

          • Mr B J Mann

            And they said the Irony Age was finished!

          • Mr B J Mann

            And as for “the 10 examples you have found over the last 400 years” – you want me to dig out eve example?!?!?!!!!

            Just one very cold still winter would destroy us!

            Already 20 – 30,000 people die of cold every winter!!!!!!!

            And where are all these tidal and wave generators?!?!?!!!!!

          • pat pat

            Why? In a low carbon economy our homes will be super-insulated and we will all have double or triple glazing, we wont need much heating even in very cold winters. If we do it will be carbon neutral, locally sourced and clean timber.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You really are a gullible idiot!

          • Mr B J Mann

            By the way, is 2 knots the start-up speed of that g-yly coloured rainbow hued spinner mumsie has attached to your pushchair?

            Aren’t you a little bit too big for mumsie to still to be pushing you round like she was a green energy activist?!?!?!!!!

          • Mr B J Mann

            By the way, your Forte building boasts of being the world’s tallest existing timber one.

            Coming in at a massive 10 storeys.

            Beating the typical maximum practical height of 7 storeys that could be achieved before concrete and steel frames hands down.

            Except the first couple of floors are concrete.

            So it’s actually one storey higher than could be achieved practically before steel framed buildings came in.

            Whoop de doo!

          • pat pat

            One storey higher, quicker and cheaper to construct, fewer foundations, oh and a fraction of the environmental impacts. Over 75% of the planets buildings are residential so 7 storeys is fine with me although CLT experts quote that 20 storeys is achievable. Since you are so interested you should also check out these lovely building examples – Murray Grove, Bridport House and Wenlock Road buildings in Hackney (9, 8 and 10 storeys), Kier Open Academy (3 storeys), the Earth Sciences Building in British Columbia (5 storeys), the Hundorp bridge

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, I’m not interested, I was just checking how far out you were in your misguided idealism and trying to educate you.

            It’s not more fire resistant.

            It’s not a replacement for steel and concrete.

            And it’s not got anyting to do with the matters at hand anyway.

            So stop Trolling.

          • Patrick Hermon

            Im not a troll im presenting real world examples of ways in which a low carbon economy will be more convenient, safer, more affordable and ultimately a lot more fun than the current status quo. You keep calling me an idiot yet consistently fail to produce any evidence of why the low carbon technologies will fail to meet our current requirements. The fact is that renewables CLT, batteries, storage, smart grids, insulation, electric (soon to be driverless) vehicles will actually exceed societies expectations in many ways.

          • Mr B J Mann

            “Fun” seems to be the best argument the greens can come up with these days! Or are you also “pat pat”?

            Or was that what mumsie called you before you started kindergarten?!

            Are you saying that “green” energy doesn’t need massive subsidies?!

            Those subsidies reflect the inefficiency and lack of economic viability of green energy (and ignore the extra costs of distribution as I understand it, and the fact that extraction, processing, manufacture is extremely dirty in China to keep costs, so subsidies. down to what they are!)!!

            Tell the Chinese miner or quarryman, or factory worker, how much safer, never mind convenient, “green” is, never mind “fun”!

            In fact, ask the Chinese kid in a breathing mask how “green” it is!!!

            And where are the batteries and other storage?!?!?!!!

          • pat pat

            I looked into PV in spain. It didnt collapse. It experienced a massive boom when an over inflated Feed in tariff was introduced, the tariff was subsequently taken away. Since then the number of install fell compared to the boom year but it has still experienced a far more stable, granted perhaps slower than world average, growth rate. I dont know why you seem to have something against renewable technologies. From a pure economic perspective the growth in PV installed gets investors very excited. not many other industries can match it http://c1cleantechnicacom.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/files/2014/04/global-annual-solar-installation.png

          • Mr B J Mann

            Jeeeeeze, how old are you?!?!?!?!?

            Of course free subsidies get investors very excited!!!!!!!!

    • Mr B J Mann

      Just as long as you can leave the nasty toxic wastes in China it should work out just fine, eh?!

      • pat pat

        We will recycle them just like we can recycle our domestic batteries by taking them to every supermarket in the country. Not difficult, fun!

        • Mr B J Mann

          What are you raving about.

          You clearly don’t have a clue.

          I was referring to the extraction and processing.

          So you think you will have fun recycling all the toxic waste and lethal pollution generated in the mining, processing and manufacturing?!

          • pat pat

            these toxic impacts are minute compared to the extraction and then burning of gas, oil and coal. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es4037786

          • Mr B J Mann

            What on earth has a potential future theoretical battery component got to do with the pollution destroying China?!

            You are probably an illiterate idiot and a trøll!

          • pat pat

            I assumed you were referring to the toxic waste from batteries as any other toxic waste associated with decentralised, energy, wind power solar PV etc is negligible. China is also beginning a rapid movement towards a low carbon economy – installing more wind turbines last year than the rest of the world combined. Their major concern is the particulates and smog from fossil fuels but the climate will also thank them.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You really are an idiot.

            The materials needed, as I’m sure I’ve repeatedly pointed out, to make “sustainable” energy look even slighty efficient and economic produce major pollution problems and are highly toxic.

            And are processed using dirty Chinese coal in dirty Chinese power stations.

            We’re currently managing to “only” use two dirty units of Chinese energy, and producing massive dirty, toxic Chinese pollution, to produce just one “clean” unit of energy in the UK.

            Any idiot would realise it was cleaner to produce one quite clean unit of UK “non” sustainable energy in the first place!

            But not you!!!

          • pat pat

            No-one would use 2 units of energy to make one unit of energy, subsidies or not that just doesnt make sense. The real figures you are looking for are this – It takes about 250kWhs to produce 1m2 of solar PV. in the U.K. that will produce 100kWh per year for 15 years = 1500kWhs. The panel will actually last up to a further 10-20 years reducing a little in efficiency but lets leave that for now. In the U.K we emit 0.5 kg of CO2 for every kWh of electricity we produce. In China they emit 1kg of CO2 for every kWh. So we have emitted 250kg CO2 for the manufacture and we have saved 750kg in operation so net saving of 500 kg. in 2014 about 400m2 of PV was installed saving 200 million kg of CO2. Wasnt that fun!? Im not sure what toxic pollution you are referring to, PV is made from silica. perhaps it has some toxins but they are nothing compared to the toxicity and environmental damage from our fossil fuel grids.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Jeeeze, you really are in kindergarten aren’t you!

            So you think Santy brings the PV elves all the raw materials for manufacture?!!!

          • Patrick Hermon

            If by santy you mean mother earth, yes. She provides the raw materials and we spend 250kWhr equivalent in energy extracting and manufacturing them into panels.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Errrrrrrrnnnnnnn:

            “No-one would use 2 units of energy to make one unit of energy, subsidies or not that just doesnt make sense.”

            But that’s what subsidies mean and why they don’t make sense.

            If I can make and sell electricity reliably for a Pound a unit.

            And my competitor needs a 50p subsidy to sell his solar or wind energy when he can make it.

            But it costs another quid to deal with the irregularity of supply……

            And then you need to allow a couple of quid per unit to clean up the toxic waste and pollution left in China to keep the costs of “green” electricity down……

            Those extra costs translate back into energy!

            Oh, and I read somewhere once that the “costs” of “green” energy don’t even include all the additional infrastructure costs it requires!!!

          • Patrick Hermon

            Have you got a reference for your figures or did you just make them up. Units of energy and costs are not the same thing. 250kWhs equivalent total for material extraction and manufacture for at least 1500kWhrs of clean energy . The cost of a 1kW panel is 1500 pounds installed. That produces 800kWhs of electricity every year for 25-40 years. saving 2400 pounds to the consumer. Thats without any subsidies. With the current FIT subsidy they get about double that. But this will be phased out over the next few years when the cost of solar PV panels halves again. Additional infrastructure? solar PV sat on peoples roof tops requires zero additional infrastructure. Wind requires some small local grid upgrades not nearly as much as concentrated new fossil fuel power stations though.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You mean like you made up the fact that wind turbines generate from 2 knots?!?!?!!!!!!

            I’m not feeding the Trøll any more!

        • Mr B J Mann

          To your local supermarket?!?!?!!!!!!

          • pat pat

            yes it has a bin i put my batteries in, your doesnt?

          • Mr B J Mann

            Are you an illiterate idiot or just a trøll?!

        • Mr B J Mann

          Nope:

          “to every supermarket in the country.”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fraser Magee

    So Matt “Northern Rock” Ridley wants us to trust his opinion on long-term economic forecasts. What’s in next week’s Spectator- Sepp Blatter on probity?

    • Goinlike Billio

      It is not his opinion , it is the IPCC’s

  • ohforheavensake

    Hi Matt- I notice you quote Richard Tol, and you call him one of the most respected climate economists. Thing is, he’s not.

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/news/flawed-analysis-of-the-impacts-of-climate-change/

    • flydlbee

      I respect him for standing up to the Climate Change Fraudsters.

    • Goinlike Billio

      It may be that Ward ; the PR man for the Grantham Institute and one of the four or five people most associated with the ‘hockey stick’ might not be accepted as a totally impartial by all sides in this debate. That would be my guess.

  • http://romangovernor.org/ kentgeordie

    I’ve become a big fan of pat pat. For a start, he is cheerful about his green faith, unlike the vast majority of his miserable coreligionists.
    But he also seems to be making the case for green policies on common sense value-for-money grounds, rather than on some apocalyptic ideology.
    What am I saying? Before we know it, he will be convincing me that recycling is not a load of b*ld*rd*sh.

    • pat pat

      Ten years ago the green technologies were expensive. Green techs were largely ignored or laughed at, 5 years ago they started to become competitive and the traditional industries were fighting aginst them and loosing. Today the momentum is with them those that fraught against the green tide have either changed sides or are being left behind.

  • http://www.russgeorge.net/ russ george

    Here’s the single best technology for our menacing CO2 that also offers one of the most decisive tools to help end world hunger. Ocean pasture restoration, just like planting trees, is proven, simple, safe, sustainable, and immediately deployable at a cost of mere millions of dollars per year to repurpose many billions of tonnes of CO2 each year into restored plant life on this blue planet. That is the lions share of the world CO2 problem, not all of the problem so more needs to be done, but it’s always good to manage the lions share first. It’s bonus is that it will also deliver billions of additional fish into our nets and onto the plates of the world to help end world hunger. Too good to be true… that’s why the Paris COP21 folks have expressly forbidden it being on the agenda… actually its too true to be good for those seeking a trillion dollars every year in new carbon taxes/fees with themselves as adminstrators of that vast sum. http://russgeorge.net/2015/11/16/a-practical-solution-to-world-hunger/

  • Paul A

    Some might see an irony in Matt ‘Northern Rock’ Ridley speaking up for the poor – a man directly responsible for making a whole lot of people a whole lot poorer.

  • Jesse Cane

    This is where ecomodernists like me come in. How? By advocating for the replacement of coal with nuclear power, natural gas, and renewables. Nuclear energy and natural gas are reliable and can be abundant and are thus affordable. In developing countries, natural gas should be chosen instead of coal because it burns much cleaner. As it is, the emissions from coal go far beyond CO2 and are very bad for human health. When developing countries get to the point they can afford them, they should build nuclear reactors. A single uranium atom when fissioned, releases one million times as much energy as burning a single carbon atom. Natural gas has other benefits over coal beyond being much cleaner, including the fact that natural gas can be used for load-following and peaking power whereas coal can not.

    Ecomodernists advocate for phasing out internal combustion engines in favor of electric cars. Internal combustion engines have more moving parts than an electric motor, so they have more moving parts than can fail. When an internal combustion engine fails it is often expensive to repair or replace. Additionally, internal combustion engines are more prone to overheating than electric motors. That’s why they require elaborate cooling systems. Electric motors are more energy-efficient than internal combustion engines, so are cheaper to run.

    Genetically-modified crops don’t scare us ecomodernists off. In fact we like them because they are safe. They are more palatable and nutritious than wild edible plant. Using genetically modified crops increases crop-yields per hectare. This makes food abundant. Abundant food, like power is affordable. Increasing crop yields per hectare allows for more land to be allowed to go back to nature, to rewild.

    We ecomodernists have a manifesto which can be found via a simple Google search. Please, read it.

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