We’re publishing a guest post on the eve of COP26 by journalist Chris Morrison that asks why journalists and politicians are so willing to accept at face value a scientific hypothesis that relies on the outputs of climate models, given that the track record of those models in predicting the future has so far proved to be very poor?
Delegates gathering in Glasgow for COP26 to try to stop the climate heating up face the rather inconvenient truth that the average temperature in Scotland hasn’t moved for about 15 years. Indeed IPCC members might wish to cast a new hockey temperature stick. With the handle now stretched along the horizontal, rather than the vertical, it can replace the previous climate mascot – long gone after some unseemly disputes over the surprise abolition of the medieval warming period and the subsequent mini ice age.
The delegates plan to stay for two weeks. One must hope they have packed warm clothing. For years, average November temperatures in Scotland have been dropping like a stone. It’s so bad that temperatures are falling to levels last seen in the ‘90s – the 1890s.
These trends are not confined to Scotland. Met Office figures show a similar pattern for the U.K. In fact, the 2010s were colder across the U.K. than the 2000s – a fall in average temperature from 9.3C to 9.17C, again according to official Met Office figures. On a global level, both highly accurate satellite measurements and surface measurements show that there has been no warming for seven years – and counting.
But of course the science that states humans are causing all or most global warming is ‘settled’. But of course it isn’t. The suggestion is an unproven scientific hypothesis based on the output of climate models that over a 30-year period have yet to record an accurate forecast among them. The vast majority greatly over-estimate global warming, yet are routinely presented as evidence for a hard green agenda that says the matter and science is beyond debate. The latest IPCC ‘code red’ report relies on yet more soaring model forecasts, that can stretch to 6C warming, while anyone commenting on the current position has for 20 years had to keep to just 1.1C warming since the early 1800s.
As they don’t say in the climate modelling business – ‘Garbage In, Gospel Out’.
Sceptics of the hypothesis are routinely traduced as ‘deniers’, although quite where the equivalence is between denying the proven fact of the Nazi holocaust and questioning fanciful climate model predictions is hard to see.
Of course the flatlining temperature should be well known to agenda-driven journalists, politicians, activists and academics, hence the recent move from global warming to Climate Crisis, then Climate Emergency and now Climate Breakdown. To back up these emotional claims, the emphasis has turned to ‘extreme’ weather – what we used to call bad weather. Heat, cold, rain or drought, everyone is a winner. Of course, cherry picking individual weather events and blaming it on long term changes in the climate is about as unscientific as you can get and not a scintilla of credible proof has yet been produced to back up the claims.
Almost daily, the headlines are filled with news from the Met Office’s gauge at Heathrow airport where record temperatures are to be found, helped by acres of concrete and black tarmac and the warm breezes from jet engines and numerous industrial aircon units. In 2019 the BBC highlighted one ‘record’ high temperature in one day in Antarctica and splashed it across all of its media outlets. The recent news that the South Pole had its coldest six month winter since records began was ignored. One-off event good, longer term trends bad.
If your correspondent thought that the world faced an existential threat from burning previous dead plant and animal matter, he would be first in the queue to super-glue his bits to the M25. He might even be tempted to fly half way across the world and lecture the adoring crowds from a pink boat parked in Oxford Circus, in the manner of Dame Emma ‘First Class’ Thompson. But to make that informed choice he would need to be aware of the recent work of the noted atmospheric scientist Professor William Happer, emeritus Professor of Physics at Princeton, who argued that the heating properties of CO2 fall as more is placed in the atmosphere. The work is complex and it talks of the ‘forcing’ ability of CO2 and water vapour (a much more plentiful and abundant greenhouse gas) becoming ‘saturated’ at current levels. Professor Happer also argues that the world is emerging from a period of denudation of C02 and needs more, particularly if the planet is to continue greening – up 14% in the last 30 years. Numerous scientists agree with this last point.
Happer is a renowned authority on radiation physics and his conclusions may be right, or they may be wrong. They certainly offer some explanation as to why C02 levels were 10 times higher when dinosaurs the size of London buses roamed the world 100 million years ago. The temperature was a little higher and life in all forms was abundant.
But Happer is ignored. In 2006 the BBC met in secret conclave and decided to stop covering sceptical climate science. In 2018 the Guardian published a letter signed by numerous green activists such as Caroline Lucas and George Monbiot stating they would no longer “lend their credibility” by debating climate science scepticism. Presumably they will not be lending their credibility to Professor Antonio Zichichi, another emeritus Professor of Physics, who published a letter in 2019, along with 70 Italian academics, warning about signing up to policies of uncritical reductions of CO2 with “the illusory pretence of governing the climate”.
Professor Zichichi was unperturbed by the Guardian no-shows and the undoubted blow to his credibility. He was too busy discovering nuclear antimatter.
We don’t know for certain if humans cause all or most global warming by burning fossil fuel. But it seems highly unlikely. From around 1945 to the late 1970s, there was a fall in global temperatures and the almost unanimous fear was global cooling. Then the temperature rose for 20 years leading to the ‘settled’ science of global warming. Now it is flatlining and possibly heading for cooling so Armageddon beckons with ‘extreme’ weather. Is CO2 to blame? Well, humans only contribute 3% of all CO2 entering the atmosphere. If we destroy our industrial lifestyle by cutting our modest contribution, can we be sure the other 97% will behave itself in a world that is naturally warming a little, as it has done countless times in the past? A small test recently occurred when the Covid pandemic cut human global CO2 emissions by 7% in 2020. It had no discernible effect on the overall rise, which seems likely to be a product of a gently warming natural climate.
On the basis of an uncertain hypothesis which has become an argument-free agenda for most members of the mainstream media, politicians, activists, state-sponsored scientists and subsidy-hungry industrialists, we are embarking on net zero with little idea, or seemingly care, of the disastrous effect it will have on human society across the globe. Almost every new technology to replace our existing cheap and reliable power has severe disadvantages and heavy costs. The warnings of green disaster have long been evident. In 2018 the long established Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland warned that the Scottish and U.K. Government green energy policy was likely to lead to severe electricity blackouts. Such events, it warned, “lead to death, severe societal and industrial disruption, civil disturbance and loss of production”.
As delegates in rapidly cooling Glasgow jack up the central heating, they might like to stop the constant virtue signalling and concentrate on events – and science – in the real world.