Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AGW - is the tide turning? Probably not

This article seems to me to encapsulate the climate change "debate" so perfectly.

On the one hand, a group of 166 scientists have called for the repeal of the Climate Act, on the quite correct grounds that it is a colossal waste of money, thanks in no small part to wind farms. (See DK's excellent blog for a thorough dismantling of the wind farm idiocy). They also ask for some kind of proof for the following ten statements:
1. Variations in global climate in the last hundred years are significantly outside the natural range experienced in previous centuries.
2. Humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse gases’ (GHG) are having a dangerous impact on global climate.
3. Computer-based models can meaningfully replicate the impact of all of the natural factors that may significantly influence climate.
4. Sea levels are rising dangerously at a rate that has accelerated with increasing human GHG emissions, thereby threatening small islands and coastal communities.
5. The incidences of malaria and other infectious diseases are now increasing due to recent climate changes;
6. Human society and natural ecosystems cannot adapt to foreseeable climate change as they have done in the past.
7. Worldwide glacier retreat, and sea ice melting in polar regions, is unusual and related to increases in human GHG emissions.
8. Polar bears and other Arctic and Antarctic wildlife are unable to adapt to anticipated local climate change effects, independent of the causes of those changes.
9. Hurricanes, other tropical cyclones and associated extreme weather events are increasing in severity and frequency.
10. Data recorded by ground-based stations are a reliable indicator of global surface temperature trends.
It seems to me that more and more people are turning to the possibility that AGW or whatever you want to call it is a myth, or at least unproven. Fingers crossed.

On the other hand, you have the predictable response from a special interest group:
Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, said the group misunderstood the point of science, which is to disprove theories.
Which seems to be exactly what they are attempting.
He said the UK legislation was overwhelmingly backed by Parliament and is leading the world.
Politicians think so? Well then, job done. What with all their qualifications and their track record of not fucking things up over and over and over again.
“Nobody thinks climate change is not a problem. The discussion has moved on to what is the best way of tackling the problem and making a transition to low carbon growth,” he said. “These guys are a remnant group of dinosaurs trying to argue something while frankly the public and political debate has moved on.”
Nobody? What not even these 166 scientists? Or me? Or DK? Or James Delingpole? Or Anthony Watts? Or maybe Hal Lewis?

What Bob Ward thinks we don't realise is this. His job exists because of a £12million grant from the Grantham Foundation. If the Climate Act were to be repealed in the UK, I suspect Jeremy & Hannelore Grantham would have a long hard think about the effectiveness of this grant, and maybe cut the funding off.

The final gem is this:
Meanwhile a complaint against an Oxfam advert warning of the risk of climate change was not upheld.
The advert read: "People dying thanks to climate change is a long way off. About 5000 miles, give or take.”
The complainant claimed that it had not been proven that people are drying (sic) as a result of climate change.
However the Advertising Standards Authority did not uphold their complaint.
Well, I suppose global warming would cause people to dry, good news for Nivea. But assuming they mean dying, it isn't "proven" at all. It doesn't matter though, because since "the discussion has moved on" I guess proof is no longer required. Mr. Ward must be pleased the media at least is still on message.


  1. True science lives on with those 166 names.

    The rest of the 'scientific community' are a pathetic bunch of money-grabbers and career people.

  2. That's very true and very sad. However, despite my cynical title I actually do suspect the tide may be turning, or at least slowing. I hope so anyway, it's getting silly really.