Just What Is It That Greens like George Monbiot Find So Offensive about Prosperity, Abundance, Happiness?

George “Grinch of the Guardian” Monbiot has launched a bitter assault on the most lively, uplifting and downright brilliant pop science masterpiece you are likely to read this year. Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist (4th Estate).

Ridley argues a case so palpably true, so richly supported by so much evidence, that it ought not to need stating: life is getting better for almost all of us – and at an accelerating rate. The habit of exchange and specialisation, unique to the human species, has enabled us to evolve a kind of collective brain, a communal intelligence which allows us to make stupendous technological advances while other creatures – yes even those brilliant dolphins – remain stuck pretty much where they were 100,000 years ago.

The fact that Ridley’s argument sounds fresh and controversial rather than a statement of the bleeding obvious speaks volumes for the prevailing pessimism of our age. (And all ages actually. Every generation thinks things aren’t as good as they used to be…)

Entirely typical of this knee-jerk pessimism is Monbiot’s petulant attack on the man he describes as “a state-hating free marketeer”. He dwells lovingly on Ridley’s disastrous experiences as chairman of Northern Rock, before laying in to the vilely repellant optimism of this despicable Big-Government-hater’s loathsome thesis:

…it’s the same old cornutopian nonsense we’ve heard one hundred times before (cornutopians are people who envisage a utopia of limitless abundance)

Fine. But what Monbiot doesn’t manage to do in this frenzy of puritanical spleen and ad hom is in any way to demonstrate that Ridley is wrong.

Monbiot makes a number of accusations against Ridley, all of which Ridley very easily rebuts on his website. Ridley’s thesis stands.

The world IS getting better.

One of the many excellent examples Ridley gives to prove this is when he compares the amount of time it has taken through the ages to be able to afford an hour’s reading light. In 1800 a tallow candle would have cost you six hours’ work. In 1880 a kerosene lamp would have cost you fifteen minutes work. In 1950 a conventional filament bulb would have cost you 8 seconds’ work. Today, it will cost you less than half a second of your working time.

Clearly, to scowling Lord-Whiteadder-style puritans like Monbiot this is anathema. Maybe that’s why they’re so keen to push up energy prices. And if Chris Huhne and Dave Cameron get anywhere with their massive “low carbon” energy programme, maybe they’ll succeed.

Why, who knows, with luck, Monbiot and his fellow Watermelons might even take us back to that glorious era in 1750 BC when they knew how to treat energy with the respect it deserves. Back then, an hour’s reading time for a sesame oil lamp would have cost you more than 50 hours’ work.

Related posts:

  1. George Monbiot: the new Christopher Hitchens?
  2. Climategate: George Monbiot, the Guardian and Big Oil
  3. I have faith in George Monbiot’s sincerity, whoever’s paying him
  4. Is George ‘Jello’ Monbiot too chicken to debate ‘Global Warming’ with an expert?

4 thoughts on “Just what is it that greens like George Monbiot find so offensive about prosperity, abundance, happiness?”

  1. Brian H says:6th June 2010 at 1:24 amRidley will be delighted, and Monbiot shattered, when a year or so from now the focusfusion.org proof-of-concept is successful. Depending on where you live, it will drive down the cost of energy by 1-2 orders of magnitude. With zero waste.
  2. Pete M says:6th June 2010 at 8:42 amIf Monboit is such a true believer in the apparent (in his mind at least) failure of capitalism he is, as all like minded people are, to relinquish his lifestyle for that of the true believer in environmentalism that he must be.As someone wrote recently, people like Monbiot could move to Africa and enjoy a low carbon lifestyle. How long would he survive? Could he actually manage it as his only option to live?

    The biggest question is why don’t Monbiot and his like actually do it? We know the answer. They can no more give up their capitalist lifestyle than stop breathing (that being an option for the proponents of supposed over population).

    Capitalism needs adjusted which the coming financial adjustments may provide when people wake up once again and take to the streets. Certainly the wave of change in the USA is growing and an imminent correction apparent already.

    Come on Monboit. Show us what you are made of and morally adopt the lifestyle you deem fit for your beliefs!

  3. Pete Hayes says:6th June 2010 at 9:52 amSeems monybot has got over his shock about the email!
  4. James W says:9th June 2010 at 4:04 amHow very nice for Monbiot to hold these views whilst living in a large farm-house in mid-Wales.

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The BBC: Official Voice of Ecofascism

Climate change now represents so urgent a threat to mankind that the only way to deal with it is by suspending democracy. (Hat tip: DR at Bishop Hill)

When James Lovelock makes this kind of terrifying argument in books or newspaper interviews at least one can reasonably dismiss it as the potty burblings of an otherwise amiable and harmless old man.

When the BBC does it, however, I’d suggest the time has come to start tooling up and heading for the hills. Have a listen to this recent radio broadcast by the BBC’s “Ethical Man” Justin Rowlatt and tell me whether you find it as scary as I do.

It purports to be a balanced examination of Lovelock’s controversial remarks in a Guardian interview:

I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.

But it’s clear right from the beginning what the documentary’s line is: What do we want? Ecofascism. When do we want it? Now!

Here’s Rowlatt’s opening:

Climate change is a divisive issue. I believe that it is a
real threat and needs to be tackled. I know many people disagree. But
whatever you believe you should be concerned about how our society
responds to the issue because there is a growing view that mitigating
climate change means we have to change our view of democracy.

In support of this dubious thesis (the fact that you “believe”, Justin Rowlatt, is surely a glorious irrelevance), Rowlatt wheels on an array of extreme greens to argue what he’d no doubt dearly love to say himself but can’t because of those tricky BBC rules on impartiality.

Somebody called Halina Ward of the Foundation For Democracy And Sustainable Development says:

We don’t have to be driven by what 50% plus 1 of the
population wants to say that we represent a majority view.

Somebody called Michael Jacobs, formerly Gordon Brown’s advisor on Climate Change, says:

I don’t think it’s right to call something anti-democratic if it
has the consent of the public even if you couldn’t say that they were
actively in favour of it.

And here’s Rowlatt’s exchange with somebody called Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus of the Left-leaning Policy Studies institute:

HILLMAN: The planet has a finite capacity to absorb the further
burning of fossil fuels and still leave a safe climate for the future, and
there’s every indication that we – and I mean the public in this country
and elsewhere – are not prepared to make the changes necessary to
achieve that. On the other hand democracy requires that those changes
cannot be imposed on the public if they are unwilling to accept the
implications of that, which is living within the planet’s capacity to
absorb further greenhouse gas emissions.

ROWLATT: So what are you saying – we suspend democracy?

HILLMAN: I think in the same way that I understand James Lovelock
has suggested that, I fear I have to share his view on that. There’s no
way that the public are going to willingly say “I will forego flying”.
The fact is that we’ve got to live on such a low use of fossil fuels for
our daily activities. Therefore it’s got to be required of them and if they
don’t go along with it, then we are – I fear – heading for absolute
disaster. We are on a trajectory towards rendering the planet steadily

ROWLATT: Some people would say, Mayer, that you sound like an
eco fascist.

HILLMAN: Well I have had that term applied to me. I don’t mind these
sticks and stones. I think it’s irrelevant how I sound. I’m just trying to
talk commonsense.

No fewer than six out of the seven expert witnesses called by Rowlatt are ardent environmentalists. And that’s not counting the parti pris presenter, Rowlatt himself.

Someone from the Institute of Economic Affairs is wheeled on mildly and politely to put the case for democracy and economic commonsense. But then it’s back to the eco-fascists for the final word.

Says Hillman:

We have an obligation to look after the interests of future
generations because they’re going to have to live in a world which is in
a deteriorating condition. And we already, some of us, can see the lives
that our children and grandchildren are going to have to live within, and
it is pretty horrific and it is because we’re not prepared to make the
changes necessary. Democracy allows people the freedom not to be
obliged to do things that we know we must do, so how can one possibly
say yes but the principle of democracy must prevail over and above
protection of the global environment from excessive burning of fossil
fuels? Given the choice, I would sadly – very, very sadly – say that the
condition of the planet in the future for future generations is more
important than the retention of democratic principles.

Tell you what I find so bothersome about this whole noisome documentary: it’s that Rowlatt – and he’s by no means atypical of the BBC on this score – is quite utterly incapable of appreciating what a poisonous doctrine he is tacitly endorsing.

There is nothing normal, balanced or reasonable about a programme – made at licence payers’ expense by Britain’s state broadcaster – to argue the case for replacing democracy with fascist tyranny. Let alone to present it in such a grotesquely biased way.

It’s no better than picking up on a remark by some fringe racist that “black people should be sent back to where they came from” and then inviting a panel including Nick Griffin and five other Neo-Nazis, plus a token Yasmin Alibhai Brown, to discuss whether this argument makes sense.

As the “science” in support of AGW collapses it is of course inevitable that the methods used by the Alarmists to defend their crumbling citadel will grow ever more desperate and underhand. But for the BBC to play so active a role in this dirty propaganda war is quite inexcusable.

Related posts:

  1. Official: Icelandic volcano with unpronounceable name was caused by Man Made Global Warming
  2. Wind Industry Big Lies no 1: fossil fuels are more ‘subsidised’ than renewables
  3. Climategate: the official cover-up continues
  4. ‘Only global fascist tyranny can save us now’ says nice old man

26 thoughts on “The BBC: Official Voice of Ecofascism”

  1. yaosxx says:2nd June 2010 at 8:51 amAfter all the chaos at the DT and its appalling Word Press, I think we should all come here and post – at least I assume you can keep an eye on who’s posting and so no multiple posters here. Not entirely sure what Damian has planned but how woeful of him to have let things get this bad.
  2. Tygereye says:2nd June 2010 at 11:12 amWhoops! Forgot link!


    I read and support all you say but, to go slightly O/T, this is fame indeed….

    JD available as a wallpaper for your iPhone no less!

    (I expect you knew already but were too shy to say)


  3. orkneylad says:2nd June 2010 at 3:08 pmThey’re in retreat James, keep it up. :-)
  4. yaosxx says:2nd June 2010 at 4:12 pmWell I hope all this “maintenance” at DT will be worth the trouble – it better be! I’m beginning to feel like a plane grounded during the volcano ash…
  5. John Carter says:2nd June 2010 at 5:31 pmThe BBC is beyond reason when it comes to this topic.
    It’s almost as if there has been some kind of mind control applied to a large chunk of the population including most of the people at the BBC.
    The most scary thing (for me) is that they will not, can not, must not contemplate any scenario other than complete and utter catastrophe.
    No matter what the evidence, public opinion or anything else, they just ignore it all. They are completely deluded but unaware of their delusion.
    Some very sinister people have planned and executed a brilliant deception and they have achieved amazing success.
    Quite how we reverse it with these zealots is another matter.
  6. Mack says:2nd June 2010 at 8:56 pmMaybe I can be resurrected when the blog comes back on line? Its a long story but I was blocked by wordpress and “died” Then I signed in as my “wife” and was just about to start an elaborate spoof when she got blocked [not in the biblical sense of course] and that was it. So later I was reading the DT and said “bugger me” see if I can get in again and there I was as leadkindlylight,the ghost of Mack.
    Too many trolls about so I just let the hare sit until now .That is about it,the spoof would have been fun but I just could not post at the time to carry it along.Best laid plans of mice and men
  7. Mack says:2nd June 2010 at 8:57 pmOooops wrong email addie
    Maybe I can be resurrected when the blog comes back on line? Its a long story but I was blocked by wordpress and “died” Then I signed in as my “wife” and was just about to start an elaborate spoof when she got blocked [not in the biblical sense of course] and that was it. So later I was reading the DT and said “bugger me” see if I can get in again and there I was as leadkindlylight,the ghost of Mack.
    Too many trolls about so I just let the hare sit until now .That is about it,the spoof would have been fun but I just could not post at the time to carry it along.Best laid plans of mice and men
  8. Russell says:2nd June 2010 at 9:18 pmBBC’s Richard Black seems to be dealing with slightly more realistic issues concerning air pollution. His article today on BBC News Frontpage – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/06/sustainability_choices_choices.html – gives AGW a mere passing mention before going on to his take on depletion of energy and food resources.

    Wonder how many environment journos are hedging their bets and looking to the future … now the AGW argument is effectively tattered in the public’s perception.

  9. Russell says:2nd June 2010 at 9:23 pm.. ps, and I noted the Reith Lecture this year started with an entirely unconvincing attempt to take stock of the pro- case for AGW before meandering into realms that were lost as I reached for the dial …
  10. crownarmourer says:2nd June 2010 at 9:46 pmYes looks like they are putting in the changes to the website today and are not waiting till Monday, although they are taking there sweet time about it, heck they should have had the changes ready to roll out bounce the servers and voila fewer trolls.
  11. crownarmourer says:2nd June 2010 at 9:58 pmNote to James D the problems we experienced on the blogs on the DT were caused by poor design of a persons ****ile allowing people to make changes that in hind sight were a bad idea you were not hacked per se. Took me a few hours to figure out what they had done as did Damocles and a few others. You may wish to not allow this to be posted just in case the fix did not work. Also apologies if we got a little carried away with our new finding we are a bunch of big kids at times when we get new toys to play with.
    I will remind you, you did impersonate Duckham once yourself.
  12. orkneylad says:2nd June 2010 at 10:31 pmRussell – It’s been very interesting observing the BBC galleon attempting to change tack as the wind turns…..it’s a hulking, creaking vessel that doesn’t exactly turn on a sixpence…..taking on far too much water too…..glad I’m not chained to its oars.
  13. Jesper says:2nd June 2010 at 11:39 pmWow, I just realized that Moonboy’s “Climate Change sceptic blog alerts‏” are pretty useful. I’ve apparently been missing some of you posts, James, and that’s just a shame. Btw, thanks for all the great work you’re putting in here and on your Telegraph blog. Cheers
  14. Mack says:3rd June 2010 at 8:01 amI wonder if the journos mentioned by Russell are taking a cue from James and Christopher Booker? Their various blogs and commentaries and those from some of our excellent American pals have opened a lot of eyes and surely even those at the BBC can see the turning tide of opinion. Lean at the DT does no good whatsoever and in fact is counter-productive,perhaps the Editors at the DT will note this and pension him off. I believe that the percentage of folks who still believe in AGW is down to 25-26% in the UK and just a bit above that in the USA?
  15. yaosxx says:3rd June 2010 at 8:34 amMack – We guessed as much all along! It was only Walt who was about to go out and buy a wreath…until he came to his senses!
  16. Mack says:3rd June 2010 at 8:54 amyaosxx, it was bloody frustrating not being able to post and I feared that if I tried too many times to sign up that my IP would be blocked.But it looks now as if all will be be managed [note I did not say controlled !! ] much better and all will be hunky dory. I hope Walt hangs on to the wreath,I can see a time soon when moonbat,jones,mann and others jump hand in hand from somewhere high. Well,maybe more a push by JD than a jump.
  17. yaosxx says:3rd June 2010 at 9:19 amMack – We were just getting into the flow of things too yesterday. That grauniad link Scud posted was hilarious – and there were so many sceptical posts on it – I think they’ve given up at cif – if they started deleting all the sceptic posts they’d be nothing on the page!
  18. Mack says:3rd June 2010 at 10:07 amI had a look at that link yaosxx,seldom go to that site or to the BBC these days, and what a turn up for the bookies! They even allowed mention of the dreaded Delingpole. Still a lot of bitter and twisted comment there but that is normal on the grauniad .The character ‘Darling’ in Blackadder is a typical Gardiner inmate except for the wimmin who all have moustaches,sad bunch all of ‘em. James is really getting under their skin and I bet that he is in line for lots of abuse from that quarter, well lots more abuse really :)
  19. yaosxx says:3rd June 2010 at 11:14 amMack – James getting under their skin?? – Sounds good to me! LOL You know this maintenance better be good! It’s a bit like cold turkey at the moment :)
  20. yaosxx says:3rd June 2010 at 11:16 amNow that’s strange – the time on that post is one hour behind…? Oi James – your clocks are funny!
  21. yaosxx says:3rd June 2010 at 11:34 amAnd there’s a typo in the title of your new DT blog!
  22. Manuel says:3rd June 2010 at 1:11 pmHere’s another moral dilemma:
    Not as important as the “could I really vote for Zac Goldsmith?” one (I did), but still:

    There’s a rock festival at the weekend in Cheltenham which features the Happy Mondays and the Lightning Seeds, amongst other things.

    However, the web site talks about one of the features being “Healing Gardens”, aromatherapists, and has a whole spiel from Friends of the Earth on the website about how meat and dairy farms are killing the earth (man). They even have a go at soy farms; just what DO these people eat then?

    So is it worth seeing some fading glories from these bands or is the whole hippy thing going to just be too much to take? I’m torn with indecision.

  23. Mack says:3rd June 2010 at 1:25 pmManuel, I have heard tell that hippies like to have some cascara mixed into their fruit juice,green tea or whatever it is they are drinking.I doubt if they are into good coffee or ale so I can only surmise that they have to drink something sometime so maybe you could be a good buddy to them and dose the drink?
  24. Neil Craig says:3rd June 2010 at 1:33 pmYou start with imposing fascism on foreigners & if that works then there is no logical defence against imposing it at home.

    This is the same BBC which has for 20 years told every conceivable lie about the KLA, Bosnian Moslem & Croatian Nazis (eg the the Bosnian leader was a “moderate Moslem committed to a multicultural Bosnia when they knew he was a WW2 Nazi who had publicly stated his intention of henocide for all non-Moslem communites, ie the majority of the population). This same BBC has deliberately censored any mention of the still ongoing dissections of Serbs, while still alive, by our KLA employees in Kosovo. This puts them on a much lower ethical level than the German media which censored Auschwitz (at least the germans had the excuse of wartine censorship).

  25. Russell says:4th June 2010 at 5:39 pmOrkney Lad, my ex-girlfriends brother is high up at the Met Office. For years he thought global waring was b*ll*x and happily said so. Then one day about six or seven years ago he did a total u-turn. Even at the time, when I thought AGW was a reality (and I was still eating the fake astro-turf many sheep still graze on) it occured to me that there must have been a memo from on high …
  26. Jim King says:8th June 2010 at 8:03 pmOh, global warming is real. I wouldn’t expect a pansy Englishman to understand, as the rat-faced scrawny, pencil-necked Delingpole has probably never be out of his rain-drenched little podunk has-been island home. Go north. Go to the arctic circle. See. Try that instead of just sitting around scratchy your pasty flabby English asses.

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The Royal Society: too little, too late

A revered institution has become a mindless cheerleader.

The other night I had the great pleasure of dinner with Professor Bob Carter. He told me that when he goes on speaking tours, there’s only one question he ever gets asked to which he is unable to provide a satisfactory answer. It goes something like this:

“Thank you Professor Carter, that was all very interesting. But please can you tell me why you expect us to take your opinion seriously when it is contradicted by most of the world’s leading scientific organisations, including the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society?”

Funnily enough, I replied, that’s exactly what I’m planning to write a book about. “How did a scientific theory so feeble and ill-supported by any hard evidence yet become the dominant political idea of our age with so much support from people who really ought to know better?”

One thing’s for certain. When the history of this outbreak of mass hysteria comes to be written, few organisations will emerge with more egg on their face than the standing joke that is the Royal Society.

For years it has acted as cheerleader for the AGW lobby but has now been forced to backtrack after complaints from 43 of its members that it has been exaggerating the scientific certainty about the existence of ManBearPig. Its current president Lord Rees is trying to salvage what dignity he can be making out that this rethink of its position was always part of the plan:

Lord Rees said the new guide has been planned for some time but was given “added impetus by concerns raised by a small group of fellows”.

“Nothing in recent developments has changed or weakened the underpinning science of climate change. In the current environment we believe this new guide will be very timely. Lots of people are asking questions, indeed even within the Fellowship of the Society there are differing views. Our guide will be based on expert views backed up by sound scientific evidence,” he said.

However he denied accusations that the national academy of sciences has ever stifled debate or that the case for man made global warming is in doubt.

To which the only possible answer is: Yeah, right.

It wasn’t always this way. For the three centuries after its foundation in 1660, the Royal Society was the world’s pre-eminent scientific institution. Its members and presidents included: Sir Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, Sir Joseph Banks, Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Hans Sloane, Thomas Huxley, Joseph Hooker, Joseph Lister, Ernest Rutherford.

Its alumni’s achievements included designing St Pauls Cathedral, laying groundwork for classical mechanics, discovering law of gravity and three laws of motion, coining word “cell” for basic unit of life, Hooke’s law of elasticity, Boyle’s law, inventing drinking chocolate, creating basis of Natural History Museum’s collection, introducing numerous plant species to the Western World, helping popularise evolutionary theory, devising antiseptic surgery, pioneering nuclear physics.

So what went wrong?

Nigel Calder blames its politicisation sometime in the 1960s. He quotes this “advertisement” which for two centuries was printed in its house journal Philosophical Transactions:

… it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always
adhere, never to give their opinion, as a Body, upon any subject,
either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.

Yet under the presidencies of Lord May and Lord Rees, it has lost all credibility by abandoning objectivity and nailing its colours to the mast of the (now rapidly sinking ship) RMS Climatitanic.

In 2005, as Gerald Warner reminds us, it produced its “A guide to facts and fictions about climate change”, “which denounced 12 “misleading arguments” which today, post Climategate and the subsequent emboldening of sceptical scientists to speak out, look far from misleading.”

Large chunks of this, Bishop Hill has suggested, seem to bear the grubby fingerprints of Sir John Houghton, the fanatical warmist who was formerly head of the Met Office and the Hadley Centre and who was the first chairman of the IPCC scientific working group responsible for giving the AGW scare its official kick-start.

The Royal Society is also the alma-mater (sort of: if ex-press officers count) of rabid pit bull Bob Ward, now spokesman for the warmist Grantham Institute, who can often be heard on the wireless getting very cross with people who don’t believe in ManBearPig. (An increasingly tough job, given that this now means almost everyone).

Related posts:

  1. Royal Society: doh!
  2. Climategate: the whitewash begins
  3. ‘Everything dead by tomorrow!’ warns Zoological Society of London
  4. ‘ManBearPig is real!’ declare top climate scientists. ‘And to prove it here’s a photo-shopped image we found on the internet of a polar bear on a melting ice floe.’

3 thoughts on “The Royal Society: too little, too late”

  1. Neil Craig says:30th May 2010 at 4:31 pmThe politicisation may be explained by the fact that Lord May’s previous job was as the government’s chief science advisor. Advisors are chosen not because of their competence but for their willingness to advise the media that the government are right.

    Or it may be because the Royal Society received about £53 million from government in 2008 (rising much faster than inflation). You do not have to believe in deliberate corruption to realise that people tend to honestly come to believe things their income depends on.

    A summary on my blog http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/08/royal-society-fakecharity.html based on figures on the Wikipedia entry which has, perhaps surprisingly, subsequently had all such figures deleted.

  2. Julian Braggins says:31st May 2010 at 6:08 amPerhaps the Royal Society rule,
    “… it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always
    adhere, never to give their opinion, as a Body, upon any subject,
    either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.”
    came into existence a few short years after the then president of the Royal Society Lord Kelvin stated “These heavier than air machines will never fly” and realised that a consensus of that opinion would have been disastrous for the Society, apart from being unscientific in proffering consensus as proof.
  3. Michael Harris says:31st May 2010 at 2:23 pmOf course the real reason they all cling to the theory, in spite of reason itself, is that many people depend on our response to the theory ,either for their livelihood, or funding, or a mixture of both.Also ,like Al Gore,many people are, or are going to be enriched through the sale of carbon credits and the rest, the contemporary version of the mediaeval indulgences. Faced with lots of moolah, logic will always take a back seat, and their defence will become more and more hysterical.

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Why Man-Made Global Warming is a load of cobblers; Pt 1

Bob Carter’s counterblast.

Just been reading Climate: The Counter Consensus (Stacey International) the new book by Bob Carter – that’s New Zealand’s Professor Robert M Carter to you, mate: he’s one of the world’s leading palaeoclimatologists – and it’s a cracker. By the end, you’re left feeling rather as I did after the Heartland Conference, that the scientific case against AGW is so overwhelming that you wonder how anyone can still speak up for so discredited a theory without dying of embarrassment.

All the same, it’s good to be reminded now and again why the “consensus” thinking on AGW simply doesn’t stand up. There are so many excellent examples from Prof Carter’s book, I might be forced to spread them out over several blogs.

Take his chapter on the oceans. The other day some troll or other was brandishing a figure he’d got from NOAA, showing that the sea was warming. Well bully for you troll, but if you understand at all how climate works that fact does precisely zilch to support the case for AGW. Why?

The good Prof explains:

The ocean covers more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface and over much of its area it is 3-5km deep. Comprising water, which is one thousand times denser than air the ocean has far more mass than the atmosphere – notwithstanding that the atmosphere covers the entire planet and is 50 km high to the top of the stratosphere. The result of this is that the ocean has a much greater heat capacity than the atmosphere, specifically 3,300 times more. Put another way, all the heat energy contained in the atmosphere is matched by the heat content of only the upper 3.2 metres of the worldwide ocean.

Another consequence is that water requires much more energy to heat it up than does air. On a volume/volume basis, the ratio of heat capacities is, of course, 3,300 to 1. One practical result of this is that it is almost impossible for the atmosphere to exert a significant heating effect on the ocean, as is often asserted to by promoters of global warming alarm. For to heat one litre of water by 1 degree C will take 3,300 litres of air that was 2 degrees hotter, or one litre of air that was 3,300 degrees hotter, neither of which is a very common scenario in our every day weather system. Instead it is the ocean that controls the warmth of the lower atmosphere, in three main ways: namely, through direct contact, by infrared radiation from the ocean surface and by the removal of latent heat by evaporation.

Prof Carter goes on to explain that the time scales in which the oceans absorb, recirculate and re-emit heat are often much larger than is dreamt of in the Warmists’ philosophy.

….Major time lags are built into the climate system such that a warming or cooling event that occurs today (say the Great Pacific Climate Shift in 1976/1977 which corresponded to a worldwide step increase in temperature of about 0.2 degrees C) may be reflecting a change in heat energy that was stored in the ocean hundreds of years ago…

Indeed, he says, some scientists suggest that the rise in atmospheric CO2 in the Twentieth Century may represent ocean outgassing caused as long ago as the Medieval Warm Period.

And if you think his disquisition on the oceans drives a coach and horses through the Warmists’ AGW doom religion, wait till you hear what he has to say in his chapter on Computer Modeling.

Related posts:

  1. Global warming is dead. Long live, er, ‘Global climate disruption’!
  2. ‘Global warming? What global warming?’ says High Priest of Gaia Religion
  3. Why we can all stop worrying about ‘Global Warming’ for a bit
  4. Whoops! CO2 has almost nothing to do with global warming, discovers top US meteorologist


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My moment of rock-star glory at a climate change sceptics’ conference in America | James Delingpole

May 27, 2010

Wow! Finally in my life I get to experience what it’s like to be a rock star and I’m loving every moment. OK, so the drugs are in pretty short supply. As too is the meaningless sex with nubile groupies. But what do I care, the crowd love me and I love them. God bless America! God bless the Heartland Institute’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change!

You’d think it would be quite dull, a conference of 700 climate sceptics (or ‘realists’, as we prefer to call ourselves) cooped up for two and half days of intense panel sessions (‘Quantifying the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Organisms’; ‘Green Eggs and Scam: the Myth of Green Jobs’; ‘Analysis of the Russian Segment of the HADCRUT3 Database’) and lectures (beginning at 7.30 a.m). But I haven’t had so much fun in years.

(to read more, click here)

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Pope Catholic; night follows day; IPCC found telling pack of lies about sea level rises | James Delingpole

May 27, 2010

IPCC lies, cheats, distorts again. Yes, all right, it is a bit of a “dog bites man” or “pizza found to contain mozzarella and tomato resting on dough base” kind of story. But on the day in which Britain’s new Prime Minister announced in the Queen’s speech that one of his government’s main goals is to “combat climate change”, it’s perhaps just as well to remind ourselves of the kind of junk science and misinformation that is inspiring his green policies. (Hat tip: Barry Woods)

This one comes from the great Canadian blogger Donna Laframboise, who has noticed that the most recent report (2007) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change liberally cited a scientific paper which wasn’t published until 29 months after the cut off date for submissions.

“Ah what’s 29 months between friends?” you might say. But as Laframbroise rightly observes it strips the process of its integrity.

If IPCC authors are to accurately describe the scientific literature, an agreed-upon cutoff date is required. If expert reviewers are to comment on the IPCC’s use of that literature, they must be afforded adequate opportunity to examine it.

More sinister still, though, is the way the IPCC report has twisted the paper – by one David G Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey – for its own ends. Here’s what Vaughan’s paper said about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).

Since most of WAIS is not showing change, it now seems unlikely that complete collapse of WAIS, with the threat of a 5-m rise in sea level, is imminent in the coming few centuries.

Note that phrase “it now seems unlikely”.

Now see how the IPCC interprets Vaughan’s paper:

If the Amundsen Sea sector were eventually deglaciated, it would add about 1.5 m to sea level, while the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would account for about 5 m (Vaughan, 2007).

Yes, yes, IPCC no doubt it WOULD. But as the report you cite to prove it made pretty explicit: IT AIN’T GOING TO HAPPEN.

Still, as the IPCC has twigged by now, tell a lie often enough and it becomes part of the “consensus”.

That’ll be why Vaughan’s paper appears to have become almost as big a poster child for the Fourth IPCC report as Mann’s hockey stick was for the earlier ones. Just see how many times Vaughan is cited:

  • Working Group 1, Chapter 4 lists a D. Vaughan (UK) as a contributing author
  • WG1, Chapter 10 lists a D. Vaughan (UK) as a contributing author
  • WG2, Chapter 15 lists a David G. Vaughan (UK) as one of two coordinating lead authors
  • WG2’s Summary for Policymakers lists a David Vaughan as a drafting author
  • WG2’s Technical Summary lists a David Vaughan (UK) as a lead author

Maybe the IPCC were hoping that if they wrote his name in slightly different ways we wouldn’t notice. Bad luck IPCC. We did.

Oh and while we’re on the subject of things that could happen as a result of “Global Warming” but which aren’t going to, check out this story about Polar Bears. Apparently they’re all doomed – again – because a bunch of Canadian scientists have worked out that this is the sort of thing that might happen if you punch a few scary figures into a computer. (Hat tip: Mike Daly)

Dr Molnar, Professor Andrew Derocher and colleagues from the University of Alberta and York University, Toronto focused on the physiology, behaviour and ecology of polar bears, and how these might change as temperatures increase.

“We developed a model for the mating ecology of polar bears. The model estimates how many females in a population will be able to find a mate during the mating season, and thus get impregnated.”

Ah. So it’s not actually based on counting real polar bears or noting how in the last 10,000 years they’ve survived much more drastic changes in global climate than the ones we’ve experienced recently.

The latest US assessment of the conservation status of polar bears included the only two previous studies to assess the impact of climate change, but these extrapolated population trends, rather than directly modelling how the ecology of polar bears may alter.

The new study by Dr Molnar’s team offers a way to improve these predictions, and suggests the potential for even faster declines than those found by the US assessment.

“Canada has about two-thirds of the world’s polar bears, but their conservation assessment of polar bears didn’t take climate change seriously,” says Dr Molnar, a flaw noted by the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group last year.

“Our view is that the Canadian assessment should be redone, properly accounting for climate change effects.

“The status of polar bears is likely much more dire than suggested by the Canadian report,” he adds.

Yes! Yes! I trust this man. He clearly knows what he’s doing. Let’s give him another research grant – a really big one this time. With enough money, I’m sure he and his team will be able to model the entire polar population off the planet by 2013 at the latest.

And won’t that just teach all us sceptics a lesson we’ll never forget!!!!

Related posts:

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‘We must live more sustainably’ says Jeremy ‘Seven Homes’ Irons | James Delingpole

May 27, 2010

The voice of Scar in the Lion King has spoken:

“We must live more sustainably,” he growls from Pride Rock – as he probably doesn’t call a single one of his seven homes, not even the pink castle in Co Cork, because in real life he’s not a lion at all but a Sherborne-educated luvvie who takes himself very, very seriously called Jeremy Irons. (Hat tip: Brown Bess)

Irons has just announced his plans to become an eco-campaigner. He wants to be a bit like Michael Moore, he says, only not “as silly”. Sounds fun, Jezza. Tell us more.

The increasing global population would put an intolerable strain on the world’s resources, Irons said, and the gulf between developing countries and westerners living a bountiful “pie-in-the-sky” existence must be addressed.

“One always returns to the fact that there are just too many of us, the population continues to rise and it’s unsustainable,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times. “I think we have to find ways where we’re not having to scrap our effluent junk and are a really sustainable planet.”

Natural systems of selfregulation may stop population growth, he said: “I suspect there’ll be a very big outbreak of something because the world always takes care of itself.”

The 61-year-old actor went on to speculate that either disease or war, “probably disease”, could become nature’s way of halving the population.

What is it about Greenies and their pervy yearning for the apocalypse which is going to teach us all a lesson for messing with mother Gaia?

And what is it about people with seven homes? This is the same number as are currently owned by our terrifying new environment minister Chris “Chicken Licken” Huhne. Al Gore, the Prince of Wales and Zac Goldsmith have similar numbers, I’m sure.

Could it be that “sustainability” is a concept one only truly understands when one has grown so incredibly rich that one is able to shelter from the consequences of one’s eco-fanaticism in the seclusion and comfort of one’s many agreeable homes?

The ultimate solution, he says, is for us all to live less decadently — growing our own food and recycling instead of replacing goods: “People must drop their standard of living [so] the wealth can be spread about. There’s a long way to go.”

With you, totally, Jezza. And just as soon as you show us the way by flogging at least six of your houses, foregoing air travel, subsisting on berries, wild garlic and road kill, and dressing in polyester cast offs from your local charity shop, we’ll take you more seriously still.

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Why I keep banging on and on about Global bloody Warming

“Can’t you find something else to talk about?”

someone (a nice, sympathetic person, not one of my house herd of festering libtard trolls) commented below one of my previous blogs.

So let me explain, briefly, why I rarely can – with reference to the ludicrous story which was given the front page of today’s Times (formerly a newspaper of some note).

The story, enthusiastically headlined EU SETS TOUGHEST TARGETS TO FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING goes like this:

Europe will introduce a surprise new plan today to combat global warming, committing Britain and the rest of the EU to the most ambitious targets in the world. The plan proposes a massive increase in the target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in this decade.

The European Commission is determined to press ahead with the cuts despite the financial turmoil gripping the bloc, even though it would require Britain and other EU member states to impose far tougher financial penalties on their industries than are being considered by other large economies.

The plan, to cut emissions by 30 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020, would cost the EU an extra £33 billion a year by 2020, according to a draft of the Commission’s communication leaked to The Times.

The existing target of a 20 per cent cut is already due to cost £48 billion. The Commission will argue that the lower target has become much easier to meet because of the recession, which resulted in the EU’s emissions falling more than 10 per cent last year as thousands of factories closed or cut production. Emissions last year were already 14 per cent below 1990 levels.

Can you see what’s wrong with this story? Clearly the Environment Correspondent author couldn’t, nor his news editors. If they had they would have reported it in an entirely different way – not, as a largely sensible proposal to deal with a real and serious problem which might nonetheless likely to run into various local difficulties. But as one of the most scandalous outbreaks of hysteria, credulousness and stupidity in the entire history of the human race.

Here’s the problem: the global economy has gone tits up. We are doomed. And nowhere is more doomed than Europe whose Monopoly-money currency is going the way of the Zimbabwe dollar and the Reichsmark, and whose constituent economies are so overburdened by sclerotic regulation and so mired in corruption, waste and the kind of institutionalised socialism which might work just about when the going’s good but definitely not now sir now sirree.

And what, pray, is the European Union’s solution to this REAL problem which has already led to riots and death in one country and which could well lead to many more in the horror years to come? Why, to impose on its already hamstrung, over-regulated, over-taxed businesses yet further arbitrary CO2 emissions reductions targets, which will make not the blindest difference to the health of the planet, but which will most certainly slow down economic recovery and make life harder and more miserable for everybody.

In Britain, David Cameron is wedded to the same suicidal policy – on the one hand brandishing £6.5 billion cuts in government spending as though this were a sign of his maturity and his commitment to reducing Britain’s deficit, while on the other remaining committed to a “low carbon” economy set to destroy what’s left of our industry and cost the taxpayer at least £18 billion (yep – almost THREE times as much as the pathetic cuts announced so far by his pathetic chancellor) a year.

Around the world, in the greatest financial crisis we have faced since the 1930s, our leaders are behaving like imbeciles. And nowhere is this imbecility more painfully manifest than in their approach to the non-existent problem they now call Climate Change.

That’s why I keep banging on about Climate Change. It is, unfortunately, the Key to all Mythologies.

Related posts:

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  4. Global Warming: the Guilty Men
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Tales of the unexpected | James Delingpole

May 22, 2010

The closest I’ve come to seeing a ghost was a few months ago when we went to stay in a haunted house. We had a deeply uncomfortable night during which it was cold and hard to sleep, and in the small hours my wife was awoken by a mysterious pressure on her chest, almost as if she was suffocating, and which may have been the tortured spirit of whoever it was who had died horribly there or which might have been the heavy quilt. Dunno. Couldn’t say. I’m itching to have a 100 per cent, cast-iron ‘Yes I saw a ghost and it was definitely a ghost’ experience, but this wasn’t it. Otherwise, this intro would have been more exciting.

Why do I so want to see a ghost? Well a) obviously so that I can write about it and tell people about it at dinner and b) because the longer I live under the extended Blair/Brown/Cameron nightmare the more reluctant I am to accept that this life is all there is. There are lots of people out there like me and they’re the reason Liverpudlian Joe Power is able to earn a living. Power sees dead people and for a small consideration of £40 (for a private consultation) or a tenner a head for one of his hotel events will communicate their messages from beyond the grave to their loved ones.

(to read more, click here)

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It is left to me to point out this regrettable, overlooked fact: Dave blew it | James Delingpole

May 22, 2010

This is a column I never thought I’d have to write. I’d assumed that the conclusions to be drawn from the general election were so bleeding obvious that I could leave all the post-match analysis to the experts, while I distracted you with something more cheerful like, say, a piece about Fergal Keane’s brilliant new book on the battle of Kohima.

Apparently not, though. It seems that my job today is to point out an awkward fact that seems to have eluded about 98 per cent of political commentators in the mainstream media and 99.99 per cent of those Conservatives who invested their faith in Project Cameron: Dave blew it.

No, really. He did. Never mind that nonsense about the biggest swing since 1931, making the party electable again, tremendous achievement, best he could have hoped for and all the other desperate apologiae we’ve been hearing of late. Dave had an open goal — or at least one manned only by a cackhanded, decrepid, one-eyed nutcase, viscerally loathed not just by the opposition but by half his own team — and the best he could manage was to hit the post.

(to read more, click here)

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