Architectural magazine’s editor questions Global Warming: hysteria – James Delingpole

November 18, 2009

My heroine of the week is Amanda Baillieu, editor of architects’ trade journal Building Design. She noticed that when Environment Secretary Hillary Benn gave a talk at the Royal Institute of British Architects the other day on the looming peril of ManBearPig, hardly anyone bothered to turn up.

In an extremely brave editorial entitled “Is Global Warming Hot Air?” she speculated that the reason may have been because even architects are getting tired of listening to hysterical drivel about impending eco-doom and the so-called “consensus” on Anthropogenic Global Warming.

In fact, you’d be forgiven for not knowing there is a debate because it’s certainly discouraged by the RIBA, whose successive presidents have said that fighting climate change is the biggest challenge facing the profession.

While there’s no argument that natural resources such as water need to be conserved and low-energy buildings make sense, the scientific evidence has now shifted enough to warrant a more questioning position on climate change.

The editorial was brave because it’s still extremely rare for any editor in the mainstream media to question the prevailing orthodoxy on ManBearPig. Braver still because it is a known fact that 99.82 per cent of all architects (not my mates the Lahiffs, I don’t think, but pretty much all the others) are achingly worthy, politically correct, Big-State-endorsing toadies. (They have to be because Government projects are where all the money is).

The response has been much more mixed than you might imagine. Here are some of the more positive responses:

There are lots of people out there, including droves of architects, who take on the accepted view and know absolutely nothing about global warming, so why should they silence debate on the basis that the person who disagrees also doesn’t know. This is just a new religion where heretics are to be silenced.

Regrettably and incorrectly sustainability/energy conservation as the sole cause of global warming has become the new “sacred cow” which is only very rarely questioned given the risk of general derision.

The environmental movement is a beating stick used by governments. All you believers will be in for quite the shock when you cannot afford to turn on the heating or even have a drink of water, because you cannot afford it.

Excitingly, it has also led to a cat-fight, of sorts, with a female columnist from rival publication Architects’ Journal. Hattie Harman – the AJ’s Sustainability Editor, no less – takes Baillieu apart for her incorrect thinking.

Hattie intones (at least, I’m assuming she intones: her picture – redolent of a Greater London Council Wimmin’s Issues Adviser, C. 1983 – suggests she’s the intoning type):

I am not a climate scientist, but it doesn’t require detailed scientific knowledge to see that we are living beyond our means. I applaud the RIBA’s position on climate change and wish that more of the profession would heed its wake-up call. I would even say that the RIBA has been slow to champion the green agenda. Under Sunand Prasad, it endorsed the Global Commons Institute’s Contraction and Convergence framework, published its climate change toolkits and launched the speaker series, of which secretary of state for environment Hilary Benn was part.

The best bit, though, is the more-in-sorrow-than-anger Spartist ticking off Hattie administers at the end:

Journalistic endeavour would be better spent showcasing pioneering projects and disseminating best practice. It’s alarming to see a widely-read journal do otherwise.

Baillieu’s response? Why, only a challenge to a naked mud-wrestling match, You Tube footage of which it is my pleasure to show you via the following link:

Nah, not really. What Baillieu actually says is:

I’m delighted that the AJ is using its pages to publicise an article in a rival magazine – a first I think. Despite the line trotted out by among others the Green Building Council that there is no debate, there clearly is one otherwise why would the AJ be running with it?

Ooh! Claws out! Over to you, Hattie!

Related posts:

  1. Global warming is dead. Long live, er, ‘Global climate disruption’!
  2. Obscure editor resigns from minor journal: why you should care
  3. Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?
  4. ‘Global warming? What global warming?’ says High Priest of Gaia Religion

2 Responses to “Architectural magazine’s editor questions Global Warming: hysteria”

  1. Aubrey Meyer says:November 18, 2009 at 4:42 pmDoes poor attendance at Benn’s RIBA speech really disprove global warming/climate change? If – after twenty years – the whole matter was so easily resolved, we’d all be spared this endless to-and-fro.

    Anyway Hattie said what she said and Amanda is welcome to say what she said about that, but the state-of-play regarding the Contraction and Convergence [C&C] programme that Hattie mentioned had been adopted by RIBA is as follows: –

    The UK Government has adopted C&C, but at rates that are ‘too slow’ to give 50:50 odds for avoiding more an overall two degrees Celsius temperature rise globally, so their position should be examined in the light of the following points: –

    1. We are told that the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change will not achieve a Climate-Deal in December, only a political understanding of the need to keep us within an overall maximum 2 degree Celsius temperature rise.

    2. Last week’s IMECHE Climate Change Report stated, “The [UK] Government’s targets and budgets have been set using a top-down approach based on the principle of contraction and convergence” adding that “IMECHE supports the C&C Principle.”

    3. The Archbishop of Canterbury invited the TUC this week to support, “the Contraction and Convergence proposals [as] the best-known and most structurally simple of these, [saying] it would be a major step to hear some endorsement of them from a body such as this.”

    4. The Climate Change Committee’s [CCC’s] report stated that it and the Climate Act it are based on GCI’s C&C proposal and are in the words of Lord Adair Turner, Chairman of the UK Climate Change Committee [CCC], “strong support for what Global Commons Institute [GCI] has been saying.” [Evidence given by to the [EAC] in February this year] and that

    5. For organising and sharing the full-term emissions-contraction-event needed to bring us to UNFCCC-compliance, “Converging to equal per capita entitlements globally is the only option that is doable and fair” and agreeing that, [crucially]

    6. “if, for reasons of urgency the rate of global contraction has to be accelerated, then for reasons of equity the rate of international convergence has to be accelerated relative to that.” [Response given by Lord Adair Turner, Chairman of the UK Climate Change Committee [CCC] to the [ECCC] in March this year].

    7. Noting this further support and following these logical arguments and that the UKMO Hadley Centre has now confirmed in writing to GCI that [as shown in the images at the link below] that: –

    [a] the CCC’s odds are worse than 50:50 for keeping within the stated maximum of a 2 degrees overall temperature rise with their Contraction and Convergence [C&C] Scenario and that

    [b] the odds are better than 50:50 for keeping within a maximum 2 degrees with GCI’s accelerated Contraction and Convergence [C&C] Scenario.

    [c] see: –

    8. . . . the real question is, does the Government now agree with positions taken by the UKMO, Lord Adair Turner and the analysis that to keep within the 2 degrees overall temperature rise, the rate of contraction needs to be accelerated to something like an 80% cut in emissions globally for reasons of urgency and that therefore the rate of convergence needs to be accelerated relative to that to something like 2020 or 2030 for reasons of equity.

    Getting an answer from them on *that* – now that would be interesting.

    The extent of C&C support included here did follow much questioning and much to-and-fro: –

    LONDON E17 4SH

  2. MARC says:November 19, 2009 at 5:57 pmHattie HARMAN?? Surely not??? A relative perhaps??? But no… Too easy surely???