Global warming

A new paper in a prestigious journal proves a 15-year hiatus in global warming. Why is it being ignored?

This article, in Nature magazine, ought to have been front page news – and might have been, had it suggested that global warming was worse than we had thought.  Instead, it underlines the sound science behind an inconvenient truth: that there has been a 15-year hiatus in global warming. To those of us who have been following the debate, this is no surprise. In 2007 I pointed out that it was curious that in recent years the global annual average temperature had not increased at a time when greenhouse gasses were increasing rapidly and when the media was full of claims that the earth’s temperature was getting higher and higher. I proposed no explanation

Time to put my money where my mouth is

‘As oil crashes, is it time to short solar stocks?’ Gosh, I wish I’d read that headline a year ago. The solar stock it tipped for doom in January 2015 has since plummeted from $19 to $2.65. Yes, hindsight can be a wonderful thing. But what if there were an area of the markets which you knew to be grotesquely overvalued as a result of ignorance, dishonesty, and false sentiment? You’d be mad not to bet against it, wouldn’t you? It would hardly be gambling: more like plain common sense. This is how I’ve felt for quite some time about the climate change industry. Very often when I read the

A different species of argument

Because I used to go to venues like Bataclan an awful lot myself, I’ve been dwelling a great deal on what the fans must have gone through that night. And the conclusion I’ve reached is how utterly random the whole business must have been: whether you survived or died was almost entirely dependent on being at the right or wrong bit at the right or wrong time. Even the band Eagles Of Death Metal, it turns out, only escaped by the skin of their teeth. The bassist barricaded himself into a room; the singer and guitarist escaped into the street and went briefly back to look for a missing girlfriend

BBC ‘environment analyst’ explodes on Twitter as BBC presenter mocks Met Office’s climate prophecies

Climate change is the subject of a complex debate in which, increasingly, experts disagree with each other. Nearly all of them believe in man-made global warming, but they’re not sure how bad the problem is or how to tackle it. Meanwhile, the ‘sceptics’ are no longer dominated by scientifically illiterate amateurs. Many of them believe in anthropogenic global warming, though they don’t think it’s happening today. So you’d expect the BBC’s ‘Environment and Energy Analyst’, Roger Harrabin, to proceed with caution. Not so. Here are two tweets he sent out yesterday (links here and here): Quentin Letts is the Daily Mail‘s parliamentary sketchwriter and theatre critic, celebrated for his sometimes caustic but more often gentle wit. He

Was the global warming pause a myth?

Is the world still getting warmer? If so, how fast? Has there been a global warming ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ or not? Or has the recent warming rate been as fast, or even faster, than that measured in the 1990s? These are fundamental questions. They depend not on the complex computer models on which scientists base their projections of the future, but on simple measurement, on readings from thermometers sited in thousands of locations across the world, on land, on buoys in the oceans and in balloons and satellites. Yet their answers are far from simple, and like many other areas of critical importance in climate science, subject to uncertainty and fierce

Brave Cardinal Pell challenges Pope Francis’s dogma on climate change

‘The Church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters.’ In that one sentence, Cardinal Pell puts his finger on what is wrong with Laudato Si‘, Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment. In that document, Francis waded into an argument about climate change and took sides. Moreover, he gave the impression that he was speaking for all Catholics when he did so; and, if by any chance he wasn’t, errant faithful should fall into line. In an interview in Thursday’s Financial Times, the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy stepped out of line. See above. It was a brave thing to do: Pell’s wholesale reform of

Is animal extinction really the end of the world?

‘Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which our children will never see’, says Pope Francis in his gloomy encyclicalLaudato si. Can this possibly be true? Over the past 500 years, 1.3 per cent of birds and mammals are known to have become extinct — 200 species out of 15,000. There are far, far more species of invertebrates and plants in existence of course. The latest ‘predicted number’ of species is 8.7 million, of which 7.7 million are animals. (The remaining million are plants, fungi and microbes.) If you assume — which the great Matt Ridley assures me is unlikely — that an equally high percentage

The Pope and climate change: Francis is slapping his conservative critics in the face

Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment comes down firmly on the side of the global warming consensus/lobby (delete according to taste) and is a slap in the face to climate sceptics of every hue. Thwack! It’s very much this Pope’s style. Laudato si’ says several important things about climate change. Here’s the Catholic Herald’s summary, based on the infamous leak: According to a translation by the Wall Street Journal, the Pope says there is a ‘very consistent scientific consensus’ that we are in the presence of ‘an alarming warming of the climatic system’. He writes that there is an ‘urgent and compelling’ need for policies that reduce carbon emissions, such as ‘replacing

Diary – 30 April 2015

I have escaped this rather depressing election campaign by retreating to my home in la France profonde — to be precise, in Armagnac, in the heart of Gascony. My only outing, from which I have just returned, was a brief visit to New York, travelling there and back in the giant Airbus 380. The purpose of the trip was to drum up US support for the thinktank I founded in 2009, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and its campaigning arm, the Global Warming Policy Forum, in the company of our outstanding director, Benny Peiser. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, the GWPF has a global reach, and its international

They sought paradise in a Scottish field — and found hunger, boredom and mosquitoes

Dylan Evans, the author of this book, was one of those oddballs who rather looked forward to the apocalypse, because it promised ‘challenging times ahead’. If, in the not too distant future, famines and droughts more or less wipe us out, that will be our own fault for allowing population levels to reach an unsustainable nine billion — the predicted figure for 2050. How much better the planet will be with a select handful living in their villages of yurts, log cabins, teepees and straw-bale huts, the children gambolling happily ‘amidst the bracken and the trees’. The air will be cleaner. Wildlife ‘will make a comeback’. Neighbours will help each

How green and peaceful really is Greenpeace?

For the best part of half a century Greenpeace’s constant campaigning on environmental issues has been an almost unmitigated success. Its effectiveness has brought it both astonishing wealth and almost unimpeded access to decision-makers. During this time, it has had what amounts to a free pass from the media, its claims and methods rarely questioned by credulous environmental correspondents. But are the wheels finally coming off? Looking back over the last few years it’s easy to get that impression: an organisation that once seemed untouchable has found itself having to answer some very sharp questions about the way it behaves and operates. As far back as 2010, Gene Hashmi, Greenpeace’s

Why don’t we hear about the beneficial side of climate change?

Two headlines on successive days speak volumes about the scaremongering which is endemic in the way in which learned bodies disseminate information on climate science. Yesterday, the Royal Society published a report, Resilience to Extreme Weather, predicting that by 2090 four billion people around the world each year will be subjected to heatwave events, with dire consequences for the health of older people. This morning, the Office of National Statistics published its latest figures on ‘excess winter deaths’. They show that last winter there were 18,200 more deaths between December and February than would be expected during the three summer months. Dramatic though this sounds, it is the lowest recorded in

Maria Eagle is talking nonsense about floods and climate change

The Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle headed off to Woking today, where she addressed an audience of environmentalists at WWF’s swanky new headquarters. Her speech, which was widely trailed, was full of silly season fare, and her superficial understanding of the climate debate shines through. Take this for example: ‘The Met Office, the Committee on Climate Change and the overwhelming majority of the scientific community all tell us that last winter’s floods are consistent with the projected consequences of climate change.’  ‘Consistent with’ is one of those gloriously weasel phrases that the more disreputable kind of climate scientist likes to use when speaking to politicians. Yes of course the floods

What’s wrong with sunglasses

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Mark Mason and Ed Cumming discuss whether wearing sunglasses 24/7 should be the preserve of the mafia” startat=1392] Listen [/audioplayer]A question to ask yourself on sunny days: are you, as you conduct your conversations with people, trying to convince them that you are Laurence Fishburne in The Matrix? You’re not? Then will you please take off your sunglasses? Hardly anyone does these days. For whatever reason, it seems to have become acceptable over the past couple of years to engage in social intercourse with the upper half of your face entirely concealed behind several hundred quid’s worth of metal and glass. No matter that the poor person you’re

In apologising for having Nigel Lawson on to discuss climate change, the BBC has breached its charter

Listen to ‘Is climate change a factor in the recent extreme weather?’ on Audioboo It is only a matter of time before Nigel Lawson — if he is allowed on the BBC at all — has to have his words spoken by an actor in the manner of Gerry Adams at the height of the IRA’s bombing campaign during the 1980s. In the case of Mr Adams, whose voice was banned from the airwaves by the government, the BBC stood up for free speech. But it is quite a different story with Lord Lawson. The BBC has effectively banned the former chancellor (and former editor of this magazine) from appearing on its

In defence of Nigel Lawson, and his fellow climate sceptics

Some people find climate change ‘deniers’ the most irritating people on God’s green earth. On her Telegraph blog Martha Gill equates them with flat-earthers, which says a lot for the depth of her analysis. She points to a piece on the Huffington Post by Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (funded by billionaire Greenpeace contributor Jeremy Grantham, who also sponsors an $80,000 prize for environmental reporting – which this article will stand no chance of winning) and says it demolishes the deniers’ arguments. The problem is that it doesn’t. Those who think ‘deniers’ are a problem and seek to put them down are in

There is something very wrong with climatology

In the last few days climate scientists have found themselves back on the front pages, and once again it’s for all the wrong reasons. The furore this time has been prompted by an eminent climatologist named Lennart Bengtsson, who agreed to join the Academic Advisory Council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Nigel Lawson’s sceptic think tank. Within days of his agreement, Bengtsson felt obliged to resign, apparently having been subjected to a wave of protests and threats of ostracisation from colleagues, one of whom publicly insinuated that the 79-year-old Bengtsson was senile. When it also emerged that a reviewer of one of Bengtsson’s scientific papers had recommended its rejection

How green policies hurt the poor

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Matt Ridley and Fraser Nelson discuss the IPCC’s latest report” startat=67] Listen [/audioplayer]Advocates against global warming often frame the issue in terms of helping the poor. ‘You’re right, people dying thanks to climate change is some way off…’ ran one fairly typical advert recently, ‘about 5,000 miles, give or take.’ Indeed, the United Nations agrees that, looking toward the future, climate change ‘harms the poor first and worst’. And the logic stacks up: the poorer you are, the less able you’ll be to afford the resources to adapt to a changing climate. However, climate policies also have a cost, and these predominantly hurt the poor. And if you

Why the Met Office has hung its chief scientist out to dry

Last week the Met Office and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology issued an admirable joint report on the floods and their possible connection to climate change, concluding that it is not possible to make such a link. ‘As yet’, it said, ‘there is no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding’. In many ways this was not much of a surprise, since only the wild activist fringe among the climate science community have tended to try to make the link in the past. Taking such a level-headed view, the Met Office report represented a valuable opportunity to

Delingpole: Here’s what I learnt from the extinction of the golden toad — ecologists have sold out to the religion of global warming

When I was a child — in the days before it became illegal under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and Schedule 2 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010) — I was an unlicensed handler of great crested newts. I loved them for the same reasons, I imagine, Ken Livingstone does: the gorgeous contrast between their rough, matt black bodies and their flame-orange and black-speckled bellies; the way they float in mid-pond as if in suspended animation; watching them develop from their larval stage into efts and then adults; Beatrix Potter’s Sir Isaac Newton… But this was back in the near vanished age when