The UK Growing Season

Guest post by David Archibald

Next week I am hosting a dinner party at which a Fellow of the Royal Society will be guest of honour – one of the Gang of Four who got the Society to tone down their position of global warming alarmism. So it is apposite to consider the outlook for energy and food supply in the UK. Peak coal production in that country was 100 years ago at 292 million tonnes. The UK’s peak oil production was in 1999 with production continuing to fall rapidly. The UK is now importing almost all of its fossil fuel requirements. It decided to switch to relying upon wind power, but recently found that turbines were lasting only about half as long as the wind industry said they would. The Climate Change Act, effectively de-industrialising the country, was passed in the House of Commons in October 2008 by 463 votes to three, even as snow was falling outside. The winters since that act was passed in 2008 have been particularly bitter, but that is only a taste of what is to come.

The UK imports 40% of its food requirements but is still accepting immigrants while having a high unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent. With respect to the 60% of the food requirement grown in country, the length of the thermal growing season for crops has been calculated back to 1772. The longest growing season in the 241 years back to 1772 was 300 days in 2000. The average growing season in the mid-19th century was 240 days with the shortest growing season being just 181 days in 1859. The world is returning to the climate of the mid-19th century as a best case outcome, as will the UK.

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Figure 1: Length of thermal growing season in central England

The Dalton Minimum, caused by Solar Cycles 5 and 6, is evident as well as the 1970s cooling period.

So how much less food will the UK be able to grow when the length of the growing season is reduced by 45%? That is something for the sceptred isle to ponder on. 1859 is significant in that it is the year that glaciers started retreating worldwide in response to a Sun that was becoming more active. One measure of solar activity, the Aa Index, which is an index of the Sun’s geomagnetic activity, began increasing from a low of five in the mid-19th century to a peak of 37 in 2003. It has now fallen back to a level of about 9, even though we are near the peak of Solar Cycle 24. We should draw inferences from natural phenomena, and we should choose wisely from the phenomena available to interpret. The fact that the temperature of the planet has not increased for 16 years is not important in itself, the fact that the Sun has entered a deep sleep is very important.

Figure 2: Aa Index 1868 – 2013

The 1970s cooling period was associated with an interval of a low Aa Index. The Aa Index has returned to the levels of the late 19th century.

image

There has already been an increase in winter deaths in the UK as some pensioners have not been able to afford to heat their houses. Starvation, on the other hand, is something you can do all year round, irrespective of the season. As the prices of fossil fuels that aren’t oil converge towards the oil price as the oil price itself rises, physically doing anything in the UK will use energy priced as if the energy source was oil. The UK will find itself bidding for the shrinking supplies of oil and grain, the two basic commodities that keep machines and men fed, on international markets as the decade progresses. It can’t do much about what happens beyond its borders, but it could refrain from doing things that harm itself and it could also be trying to move beyond fossil fuels to an energy source that is less ephemeral than the wind. Never mind, the next 20 years will be a cathartic experience for those living in the UK, and character-forming, and testing. It will be a large scale version of the Darwin Awards in which everyone gets to participate by virtue of voting for politicians who vote for things like the Climate Change Act 2008. Choosing politicians via the ballot box always has consequences for one’s standard of living. As basic commodities become scarcer and the planet cools, that choosing may affect whether or not one gets to live at all.

In a way, what is in store for the UK is their just rewards for a lack of faith – a lack of faith in the religion that their forebears gave them courtesy of the King James Bible, a self-loathing of the culture that gave them a high standard of living, even though that was a relatively brief period in the Thatcher years, and a reversion from the scientific flowering that began with Newton to the witchcraft and voodoo that is modern climate science. Individuals with faith are more successful than individuals without faith. That is also true of nations. Just as the Israelites in the desert began worshipping a golden calf to Moses’ consternation, the scientific establishment of the UK reverted to a form of animism, seeing spirits in living things. The high priest of that movement is a scientist by the name of James Lovelock, who recanted upon receiving a bill of £6,000 for his winter heating. The UK nation as a whole is repeating Professor Lovelock’s personal experience – both the bill and the epiphany.

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120 thoughts on “The UK Growing Season

  1. We really need to see some cooling soon from the current low solar activity or we’re all going to look like idiots…

  2. There is hope, at least as far as energy supplies is concerned, if the politicians can get of the ‘climate change; nonsense:

    http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/home/10985-too-good-to-be-true

    Britain could have enough shale gas to heat every home for 1,500 years, according to new estimates that suggest reserves are 200 times greater than experts previously believed. The British Geological Survey is understood to have increased dramatically its official estimate of the amount of shale gas to between 1,300 trillion and 1,700 trillion cubic feet, dwarfing its previous estimate of 5.3 trillion cubic feet. According to industry sources, the revised estimates will be published by the Government next month, fuelling hopes that new “fracking” techniques to capture trapped resources will result in cheaper energy bills. –Tim Webb, Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson, The Times, 9 February 2013

    Lot’s of cheap energy can mean lots of commercial-sized greenhouses growing food – and no pensioners freezing to death

  3. “James Lovelock, who recanted upon receiving a bill of £6,000 for his winter heating”

    That is funny because it SO describes my previous flatmate. She was all in favour of Carbon Tax and renewables right up to the moment when our electricity bill came in. Just to add to the mirth of the event I pointed out that since the only wind/solar electricity we had access to was from Victoria and the rate at the time for producers was about four times what we were paying she really should pay her share of the bill four times over. I was happy with coal fired power and would happily pay for what I used.
    She was just not interested in paying for ‘green’ power when the time came to open her purse.
    Odd that.

  4. There is an order of magnitude more coal under the North Sea than all the world’s current proven coal reserves combined.

    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2005-12-28/3000-billion-tons-coal-norways-coastline

    Fracking and in situ gasification will produce enough gas for generations and the coal itself will last a millenia.

    The problem with the oil price, is that Greenie inspired electric cars and equally ridiculous biofuels have captured the policy process. If the money had been spent on natural gas powered vehicles and coal to liquids technology, nobody would be much worried about the price of oil, except the impoverished Arabs of course.

  5. “The UK imports 40% of its food requirements but is still accepting immigrants while having a high unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent.”
    So true! Political dogma instead of political realism. We in the UK have leaders who cannot, dare not lead. They follow bigger people like lap dogs. The trouble is, the “bigger people” are clueless idiots.
    60 years ago, if nuclear bombs were not on the agenda, the UK would have LFTR reactors to power us through eternity. Not that yellow cake garbage which will be half consumed in 30 years.
    As goes 1,500 years of gas under the UK. Not a cat in hells chance of that happening! We had gas to keep us going to 2050, remember. So they installed gas turbines for cheap electricity — gone in 20 years, not 80.

  6. The three MPs to vote against the Climate Change Act 2008 were Peter Lilley (MP for Hitchen and Harpenden), Christopher Chope (Christchurch) and Andrew Tyrie (Chichester). All Conservatives.

    History will prove them to be men of honour and integrity.

  7. I don’t wish to be unfair to a fellow Aussie, but this post is blatantly and unpleasantly political. It seems to be trying to appeal to a lowest common denominator in right wing UK politics. and as pointed out in the comments above, its now inaccurate. There is nowshale oil for all in the UK!

  8. The trifecta of government funded science lies are….global warming….green energy…and peak oil. The fraud of Carbon climate forcing is well documented on WUWT. Every form of green energy….wind, solar cells and bio-fuels….consume more fossil fuel in production than they ever return in their service life. Peak oil is a fraud described in “Fossil Fuel is Nuclear Waste” and “Earth’s Elemental Petrol Production”.

    All of these frauds are necessary to cover the under-lying giant fraud explained in “Fractional Reserve Banking Begat Faux Reality”. When your monetary system is a Ponzi scheme, then the banksters hire puppet politicians, who hire pseudo-scientists and lap dog media to rationalize stupidity. Freezing in the dark will limit your acceptance of this aberant behavior. End the Fed…End the Fraud.

  9. I am not sure that coal has passed it’s potential peak in the UK, rather, its production was curtailed as other sources of energy became easier to implement. Coal really found it’s demise in the 70s and 80s during the Thatcher years that you laud in your text. Margaret was only too keen to crush the coal miners union on the back of North Sea Gas, which has now pretty much run out.

    I am unsure what coal resources remain in Britain, but I would expect them to be quite large.
    As to the religious diatribe at the end of this comment – I really wish you wouldn’t.

  10. That last paragraph about faith – particularly vis a vis the King James Bible – has to be the most easily ridiculed assertion I have ever read on any scientific blog. And then to lavish praise on Thatcher merely alienates all but the most extreme conservatives.

    Anthony, I would be cautious hitching your horse to this author’s credibility. And that’s without even questioning his ties to the fossil fuel industry.

    By all means, stand on the pulpit and preach to the converted, but if you want to make inroads into the mindsets of those who don’t share your political or religious convictions, I suggest checking your political and religious bigotry at the door. It mearly serves to alienate.

  11. “With respect to the 60% of the food requirement grown in country, the length of the thermal growing season for crops has been calculated back to 1772. The longest growing season in the 241 years back to 1772 was 300 days in 2000. The average growing season in the mid-19th century was 240 days with the shortest growing season being just 181 days in 1859. ”

    wow. I gues the longer growing season is due to UHI. or maybe it is getting warmer

  12. MattN says:
    We really need to see some cooling soon from the current low solar activity or we’re all going to look like idiots…

    No, Looking like an idiot is neither here nor there. What we really need to see is what actually happens (that is, get the honest, uncorrupted data – which, sadly these days, is far trickier than it ought to be) and go from there so we can find out to the best of our ability what, if anything, is really going on. This is not about some sort of vindication or a game of academic “gotcha!”. It’s about the application of science and following the data where ever it leads.

  13. Peter Lilly, who voted against the Climate Change Act of 2008, is a trained physicist. He has often written and spoken against the AGW mania but his colleagues won’t listen and his leaders sidelined him. Shameful.

    I agree that that political and religious undertones of this piece detract greatly from its effectiveness. I could not post a link to it anywhere for those reasons; I wish they had been edited out since it makes valid points

  14. Some complaints about the political nature of the article, I see.
    It seems to me that what was said here is exactly what needs to be said.
    We have spent too much time being politely silent about the success of conservative policies in the 80’s and the failure of ‘green’ policies thereafter.
    I am tired of accommodating the sensitivities of those who cannot face facts. The UK (and the rest of the western world) needs to shake itself out of its coma and return to a few basic principles.
    For example recognise that energy is the basis of prosperity and prosperity should be the goal or development. It seems to me that the current block to development is being caused by a group which has become so prosperous and pampered that they have forgotten what it was that got them there and are now in the process of denying that same opportunity to others.
    I admir the Victorians like Brunel and Rhodes who dedicated their lives to building, developing and creating opportunity for others. I doubt that anyone will admire the latte sipping celebs of the 21st century who, having reached a comfy level of existence, suddenly want to close off all development and therefore opportunity for those not so lucky.

  15. HB, FauxScience et al.
    I ask you for your assertions, nay, PROOF there is enough gas in the UK. Enough to keep the youngest reader on here warm (and in electricity) for his lifetime of British gas. I know for a fact it is physically impossible.
    .
    And for all who IMAGINE oil is made from the bowels of the Earth then I must remind you of the age of this planet. If that is the natural rate of production the theory is forever, the replenishment of oil is not a happening reality. Is this some form of deliberate coo-coo land strawman loony bin pseudo-scientific clap trap that is attempting to set up this site for a big fall?
    .
    Sure Thatcher ended the coal mines. Because they were not paying their way any more and the Gov’t were holding up dead ducks. Most from their own pathetic making. If they were viable. I’d be funding new mines right now!

  16. John Hooper – “And that’s without even questioning his ties to the fossil fuel industry.”

    Please DO question the ties. Please explain what relevance they are. I have heard this so many times and I just want to know what these ties actually mean. Let’s pretend that David is in receipt of a fat wad of Big Oil money every week for the purpose of fighting for scepticism etc.
    What exactly does that mean? Does it mean any facts he states are wrong? Does it mean he is arguing a point he does not really believe himself?
    To me it seems an odd to suggest that the person against whom you are debating (and cannot fault in logic) is arguing a false position for cash. It is a bit like being beaten in a boxing match and then trying to recover some dignity by claiming that your opponent does not really know how to box, he was just faking it for the money.

  17. Lew Skannen: “Please DO question the ties. Please explain what relevance they are. I have heard this so many times and I just want to know what these ties actually mean. ”

    I’m not buying into the argument either way. It’s tired.

    What I will say is it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to move the climate discussion forward by

    1. Preaching conservative politics.

    2. Bringing Christianity into it.

    3. Name calling – including “warmist.”

    4. Those with strong Oil/Tobacco/Coal industry interests.

    5. Delivering mixed messages as to whether you agree partly with the broader scientific establishment.

    6. Assuming anyone who disagrees or questions a so called skeptic belongs in a competing camp that’s part of some greater politic or conspiracy.

    It’s not that doing so makes you logically wrong, it’s just poor marketing, and leads to peurile tribale warfare.

    You don’t send your fox out to sweet talk the hens. You send your rooster.

  18. Lew Skannen says:

    February 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Well said,Lew. As we say here in Canada,eh….not showing up to protest is a failed conservative policy.

  19. Johnny Hooper says:
    February 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm


    By all means, stand on the pulpit and preach to the converted, but if you want to make inroads into the mindsets of those who don’t share your political or religious convictions, I suggest checking your political and religious bigotry at the door. It mearly serves to alienate.

    Do you know the word they use for those, like you, who are intollerant of other’s political or religious beliefs?

    It’s political or religious bigotry.

  20. Maybe blowing your country’s entire wad of cash and destroying their economy is somehow fashionable. I see no other reason for the opaque glasses they all wear regarding energy issues. Leave it to those foolish enough to follow fads to destroy themselves through lack of foresight.

  21. Steven Mosher [February 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm] says:

    wow. I gues the longer growing season is due to UHI. or maybe it is getting warmer

    Mosher …

    Are you actually troubled that the climate is warmer since the 1960’s to 1970’s cool period?

    Are you actually troubled that the climate is warmer since the Little Ice Age?

    Are you actually troubled that the climate is warmer since the last glacial maximum prior to the current Holocene inter-glacial?

    That is three separate but overlapping cold-to-warm phase-changes, any one of which might explain the “global warming” that troubles you so, but also could perhaps reinforce each other to result in mega-warming, no? The real news would be for you to somehow explain to us that what we are seeing somehow exceeds what those three cold-to-warm changes should be expected to be. Good luck with that I say.

    P.S. What is better, warm or cold? Inquiring minds want to know.

  22. from wikipedia,

    In the United Kingdom, the growing season is defined as starting when the temperature on five consecutive days exceeds 5 °C, and ends after five consecutive days of temperatures below 5 °C.

    Steven Mosher says:
    February 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    wow. I gues the longer growing season is due to UHI. or maybe it is getting warmer

    Yes. It’s been getting warmer since 1810.

  23. David Archibald said,

    [ . . . ] We should draw inferences from natural phenomena, and we should choose wisely from the phenomena available to interpret. [ . . . ]

    Let me, only for argument sake, accept that Archibald advice.

    I think David Archibald should apply much more wisely his own advice not only to just his overtly simplistic climate science inferences wrt solar phenomena but even more wisely to his economic and political inferences.

    As to David Archibald’s juxtaposition of the religious elements in Lovelock’s works and those in the King James Bible, I refer only to:

    David Archibald said,

    [ . . . ] Individuals with faith are more successful than individuals without faith. That is also true of nations. [ . . . ]

    Everyone has their own assessment of the cause of human success. For example, Archibald assesses that greater success must occur to those with faith.

    My assessment is the courage to focus with heroic discipline on the solely voluntary use of one’s natural capacity to reason is fundamentally what makes successful human beings quo human beings.

    John

  24. MattN says:
    February 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm
    We really need to see some cooling soon from the current low solar activity or we’re all going to look like idiots…
    ——————————————————

    Actually, the temperature data used to compute this UK growing season has recently cooled by the largest amount in over 100 years.

  25. Quoting David A: “[The UK] decided to switch to relying upon wind power, … The Climate Change Act, effectively de-industrialising the country, was passed in the House of Commons in October 2008 by 463 votes to three…The UK imports 40% of its food requirements but is still accepting immigrants while having a high unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent.

    The UK didn’t decide to do these things (wind-power, the CCA, immigration). It had no choice about them. The missing ingredient in the analysis is that the UK no longer exists. Britain is now a border province of Europia, and is required by law and treaty to follow the directives of an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels; no ifs, ands, or buts.

    Look that the European Climate Law; notice the “acquis:” “Before a country joins the European Union, there is a body of rights and obligations common to all EU Member States (often referred to as “acquis”) that it has to transpose into its national legislation and implement from the moment of its accession.

    Look at the European “20-20-20” policy directive. Britain has no choice but to implement this recipe for suicide preceded by heartbreak.

    Britain has no choice about its climate policy. It has no choice about its immigration policy. It has no choice about its food policy, either. Hence, for example, Britain can do nothing about the horse meat scandal. Britain can’t even mount independent food inspections at its borders to prevent entry of adulterated or dangerous products.

    British MPs make no laws; they are merely local EU-directive implementers. David Cameron isn’t a PM. With respect to powers, it’s unlikely he has even the legal powers of an American state governor. British courts cannot countermand EU legal rulings. American state courts have constitutional standing to challenge the Federal government up to and including the Supreme Court (though to be honest, few state Supreme Court Judges have the strength of character to do that).

    The government of the former UK surrendered its powers to Brussels. It sold out the British people. This comes of having been a “sceptered isle” rather than a constitutional republic. The populace were subjects not citizens, and had no foundational legal basis for resistance to surrender. As an American, one among many who have benefited mightily from the powerful democratic political tradition of the British, it turns my stomach to see this sorry and shameful pass come to them.

  26. “Mosher …

    Are you actually troubled that the climate is warmer since the 1960′s to 1970′s cool period?

    Are you actually troubled that the climate is warmer since the Little Ice Age?

    Are you actually troubled that the climate is warmer since the last glacial maximum prior to the current Holocene inter-glacial?”

    Is it warmer? I thought that the warmth was all due to adjustments and UHI?

    I have yet to see an AGW skeptic ( other than Jeff ID) actually try to establish how much warming it is now than in the LIA. So lets see.

    Since 1750, I estimate the temperature over land has warmed by 1.5C. Anybody care to estimate otherwise and then square that stimate with measures like growing days?

    “What is better, warm or cold? Inquiring minds want to know.”

    neither of course. the question is ill posed. what is better, up or down? left or right? in front or behind? lights on or lights off? Further , the question has nothing to do with the issue at hand. But lets stipulate that warm is better. I vote for 20C as opposed to todays chilly 15 C for the planet. last time it averaged 20C we had alligators at the north pole. Heck, I vote for 1 Billion C cause warm is better. no wait 1 Trillion C! cause warm is better. Now that this is settled, the question remains. How much colder was it in the LIA?

  27. Just want to comment that the reason that Margaret was able to end coal mining and the unions that controlled coal mining was the ready availability of alternative energy source (gas, oil). Things might have been very different if they were not available. I am not at all certain what the economics might be like now.

  28. RockyRoad says:
    “Do you know the word they use for those, like you, who are intollerant of other’s political or religious beliefs? It’s political or religious bigotry.”

    I don’t care. What he said offended me as an atheist skeptic who can’t think of a single person under the age of 60 who would tolerate a good word said about Thatcher.

    Unfortunately this chap merely reinforces the most extreme negative stereotype of skeptics held by those we are trying to convince.

    Let’s just stick to the science.

  29. Johnny Hooper says:
    February 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    RockyRoad says:
    “Do you know the word they use for those, like you, who are intollerant of other’s political or religious beliefs? It’s political or religious bigotry.”

    I don’t care. What he said offended me as an atheist skeptic who can’t think of a single person under the age of 60 who would tolerate a good word said about Thatcher.

    Oh dear you are offended, let me say I am sorry you are offended, better now?
    I am under 60 and lived through the Thatcher years and I say I have never lived under a better leader – except for John Howard here in Aus.

    Oh yes, and your bitter atheistic and political bigotry offends the hell out of me !!

  30. Here we see the results of spending your real money on imaginary and inefficient solutions to non-existent problems. It’s all going to end in tears.

  31. @Johnny Hooper “That last paragraph about faith – particularly vis a vis the King James Bible – has to be the most easily ridiculed assertion I have ever read on any scientific blog. And then to lavish praise on Thatcher merely alienates all but the most extreme conservatives.
    Anthony, I would be cautious hitching your horse to this author’s credibility. And that’s without even questioning his ties to the fossil fuel industry.
    By all means, stand on the pulpit and preach to the converted, but if you want to make inroads into the mindsets of those who don’t share your political or religious convictions, I suggest checking your political and religious bigotry at the door. It mearly serves to alienate.”

    ———-

    Could not agree more! The idea that we should have “faith” in conjunction with a debate about climate change rubs me the wrong way. I would like to see facts and logic, please.

    The major point I get from this post is that the very mild rise of temperatures since the LIA has been beneficial, because it has led to longer growing seasons. So far so good. Now please give me a convincing argument that this positive trend will continue even if temperatures increase by 5 or 8 or 11 degrees (as predicted in some of the more outrageous models). There is likely a temperature optimum. Do we have data what that would be? BTW, I think there is absolutely no reason to expect that we’ll ever get close to 11 degrees, but that is a different debate.

  32. Sorry, but I have to call bullshit on this.
    The length of the growing season is (imo, though I’m not a farmer) irrelevant to UK agricultural productivity: if it takes 120 days to grow wheat, you don’t get any more wheat in a 200 day growing season.
    From Defra: http://www.ecifm.rdg.ac.uk/current_production.htm
    2/3 of UK agricultural land is grazing or fallow (grass grows when the temperature gets above 5C): only 1/4 is used to grow crops.

    Winter deaths is a complex question. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7360644@N07/5770383378/in/photostream
    The price of energy is not driven by the price of fuel so much as by government policy, and lack of regulation.
    (No UK regulatory authority has ever served its purpose.)

  33. Johnny Hooper – “What he said offended me as an atheist skeptic who can’t think of a single person under the age of 60 who would tolerate a good word said about Thatcher.”

    Well you are moving in your own chosen circles but I think it has given you a skewed outlook.
    One only needs to grab some old newspapers from the 70’s to see what a mess the UK was then and how much wealthier the average person is twenty years later.
    It is interesting that you assume that people under 60 can not tolerate a good word for her. Apart from what it says about the tolerance of such people (in your opinion) you seem to forget that few people under 40 have any inkling of what things were like when she took over. All the alleged hatred of her in such people can only be learnt from purveyors of anti-Thatcher venom who were soundly routed and seem to have never been able to face up to the fact that her policies worked and those opposing her were barking up the wrong tree. Rather than face reality such people seem to have taken comfort in their resentment, bitterness and imagined victimhood.

    I know for a fact that it is uncool to be conservative for a young person but for many people truth trumps cool.

  34. Johnny Hooper:
    One bit of advice — get out more. There are a large number of folks who would rather have a Thatcher than the current western leaders (with maybe the exception of Canada who seems to have righted their ship). That you know of no one under 60 tolerant of a good word about her simply exemplifies the smallness of your world (and the success of leftist propaganda). I know people who hated her and those who loved her and I am much less than 60. (For the record, I thought she was a flawed human being in many ways, but still one of the better leaders the UK has seen since Churchill.) Socialism rots the will of the individual and leads always to totalitarianism. So if you like your freedoms and think 1984 depicted a terrible world, protect the rights of everyone including those right-wingers and religious people, or else when they come for you, there will be no one left to object.

    Pat Frank:
    So I suppose you support the referendum to withdraw the UK from the EU? The smartest thing the UK ever did was to keep Sterling and reject the Euro. Why anyone would want their economy tied to those of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece is beyond me (though the lax border restrictions and easy vacation travel was a plus – not sure Ryan Air could have gotten going without the new borders regimen in the EU), and I am suspicious of the the French economy as well. No one ever fixed their economy by taxing away the capital that drives the engine, but that is what they elected in France. Brussels is just a bunch of typical “central government in control of everything” types. The minister of daily breath rationing isn’t too far away I’m certain, and we won’t know about their creation until the police come to take people away for having exceeded their daily allotment. (ok, slight exaggeration, but after trying in vain to navigate the EU labyrinth to find environmental exposure data as well as other vital legal information I have zero faith in that bureaucracy to do the right thing or actually serve its people!)

  35. @ Sleepalot
    ” says:
    February 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm
    Sorry, but I have to call bullshit on this.
    The length of the growing season is (imo, though I’m not a farmer) irrelevant to UK agricultural productivity: if it takes 120 days to grow wheat, you don’t get any more wheat in a 200 day growing season.”

    Maybe not. If it ever got warm enough, one might be able to produce double crops ( grow winter wheat, which can be harvested in May, then a legume). This, apparently has some advantages for weed- and erosion-control. I found this, for example:

    http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G4953

    I am no farmer either. Any farmers here?

  36. Sam the First says:
    February 11, 2013 at 5:35 pm
    I agree that that political and religious undertones of this piece detract greatly from its effectiveness.
    ==================
    What set the British Empire apart was the notion that you did what was right, because it was right morally, not because it would provide you with short term gain. Over time, this choice to do the “right” thing ultimately lead to greatness.

    One of my co-workers was born and raised in India. He was telling us about India the other day. About the the land surveys done and railways built in India. All while the British were there. No new railways since then.

    The story wasn’t about India, rather about the productivity of the British in charting the oceans of the world and building roads and railways across half the surface. Like the Greeks and Romans before them, it is hard to recognize these people in their descendants.

    Yet, the people are the same, so it must be something that has changed in their society that no longer commands greatness. It could well be in what they believe. Having lost their moral compass, they no longer know which road to travel. Instead they turn left and right with the tides of fortune. The politicians equally have no sense of direction. Instead they look to see which way the crowd is headed, and try and stay in front.

  37. David,
    While I would much rather live in a community of Christians than a community of socialists, and while I find Christians to be far more level headed, charitable, friendly, hard working, and less egotistical than leftists, I still can’t help but seeing religions as adult fairy tales. I shed Christianity when I was 15. But I have always been a conservative. I suggest that you leave religion out of the climate discussion, since there is no connection.

    On the other hand, climate and politics are hopelessly intertwined. The left sees AGW as a political lever to be exploited. Many of them have stated that outright. So I see no reason why you should ignore the driving force behind all of the foolishness. For those, like Hooper, who think that the issues are separate, they are living their own fairy tale.

    Mosher,
    “It’s warming.”

    Yes, it was until about 14 years ago. No one claimed that it was all UHI. Let’s get back to our agreement. The difference between the satellites (probably RSS) and the ground is mostly UHI. Tell me, what would you expect to happen after a solar induced LIA – even if there were no humans on the planet?

  38. In partial support of Johnny, bringing both religion and politics into it, weakens the argument considerably. And the politics just has the sound of appealing to the worst elements of the political right wing, and as suggested above distract from what may be a worthwhile statement. Immigration is a sore point for many in the UK, but being in the eu, there’s nothing that can be done about it.. But the eu also provides most of the food for the UK. New finds of shale gas have been in all the papers.Dr Armstrong would be better off focussing on the science.

  39. I am very sorry, every word this stupid man said was washed away when he invoked the Bible and Mrs Thatcher.

    He invokes coal, but THE MINES WERE SHUT DOWN, BRUTALLY, BY MRS THATCHER.

    I REQUIRE him to go and live like an unemployed miner in the Thatcher years. Not for one year, but for the rest of his life.

    He will learn, the hardest way possible, that if he lies, he reaps what he sows.

    Live a life of unutterable poverty you wretched, twisted, distorted, lying man.

  40. Humankind is lucky to have the climate moderately warm up from one of the coolest periods since ice was a mile thick over Chicago. Ask the Irish and Scots how the last minimum worked out for crop failures and famine. The oceans are cooling they are heat sinks. Sun cycle 25 is predicted to be very inactive, just hope it doesn’t sync with the Bond cycle.

  41. People, people! David Archibald is lampooning those who tie climate change to religion and politics! It’s a satire! Very subtle, I agree, almost too subtle to detect, but when warmist blogs pick up this post to lampoon it themselves, Archibald will be able to say, “Gotcha, ya suckers!”

    (Moral compass indeed. Facepalm.)

  42. Sorry it is ridiculous to turn global warming alarmism into a left right issue for the simple reason that both those on the left and right are profiting from the alarmism.
    As far as James the First is concerned he was just another pervert? Didn’t he believe he was gods representative on earth.
    Sorry Mr Archibald conflating religion and politics with science doesn’t wash with me and the science of your article is devalued by it.

  43. @ S Meyer … and if a frog had wings …. (The second crop would have to enjoy the same warmth as the first crop – two summers.)

    @S Mosher. From the CET series, warming to 2011 from;
    1740 3.9 C
    1750 1.0 C
    1779 0.3 C

    Is 1750 special? Does looking at the temperature difference between any two years mean anything?

  44. As this thread already debates science, religion and politics I join FauxScienceSlayer (4.55 pm) in adding the contribution of our debt-based banking system and its recent crash to the current deindustrialisation of Britain . It takes money from the poor (eg farmers) and moves it to rich investors. People lose their houses and they are sold to buy-to-let owners. Investment banking takes clever people who might be doing something useful and employs them in banking scams. Barclays will today swear that they have reformed. Let us wait and see!

  45. Had me until the last paragraph since the ‘witchcraft and voodoo or modern climate science’ are little different from the witchcraft and voodoo of any other religion.

  46. “THE MINES WERE SHUT DOWN, BRUTALLY, BY MRS THATCHER.”

    I recall a war on the democratic process started by the extreme left who had gained control over the Unions that ‘represented’ or rather ‘used’ the workforces in the nationalised industries.

    The destruction of industrial efficiency was so complete that energy supplies and public services could no longer be maintained whilst the private sector collapsed too and the nation headed towards bankruptcy and chaos.

    People voted for Thatcher because she held sensible views about work, efficiency, social responsibility and sound money.

    She saved us.

  47. Not only the length of the growing season is important also the stability of the weather. One big hailstorm on the wrong moment during the growing season could be enough.

  48. David’s piece can be well proven by looking at the Met Office CET record to 1772

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

    There has been a dramatic fall in temperatures which I have commented on in a jocular fashion in as much I now find it impossible to grow such things as outdoor tomatoes which I could a decade ago. In my garden in the South West-the warmest part of the country- Frosts have become common with the result that my semi tropical outdoor succulents curl up their toes and die.The BBC farming today programme routinely talks of farmers abandoning warm weather crops planted in optimism a decade ago . History doesn’t seem to be taught much these days and our periodically warming and cooling climate seems to be unrecognised by the authorities. Here is an item from the 1930’s

    “This is what a farmer from Buchan in North East Scotland, one of the snowiest parts of lowland Britain, wrote in the agricultural section of my local newspaper during the exceptionally mild winter of 1933/34.
    “1934 has opened true to the modern tradition of open, snowless winters. The long ago winters are no precedent for our modern samples. During the last decade, during several Januarys the lark has heralded spring up in the lift from the middle to the end of the month. Not full fledged songs but preliminary bars in an effort to adapt to our climatic change”

    It then goes on to say

    “It is unwise to assume that the modern winters have displaced the old indefinitely”

    and also

    “Our modern winters have induced an altered agricultural regime”

    That description sound pretty much apt for the winters today. Hence there has been no change since that era. This current winter has been remarkably snowless in my area but not a patch on 1933/34 when there hadn’t even been a flake falling by this time and daffodils were in full bloom by the fourth week of February.”

    Its not just crops we need to deal with but the deliberate forcing up of heating costs which is making it diofficult for all but the rich to heat their ho,es. . We badly need a Plan B to deal with the frightening consequences of cooling but instead seem fixated on an out of date plan A.
    tonyb

  49. Re
    HB says:

    ‘I don’t wish to be unfair to a fellow Aussie, but this post is blatantly and unpleasantly political. It seems to be trying to appeal to a lowest common denominator in right wing UK politics.’

    It ought to be noted that Britain does not have a right wing element, all the mainstream political parties here are left wing to a greater or lesser degree. Socialism is the de facto belief of most Briton’s.

    Re Rhys Jaggar comments:

    Rhys your anger is understandable, but not entirely based on an accurate understanding of events. The mine workers had for some time expolited their position to hold the rest of the nation to ransom, achieving under the astute Mr Gormley great rewards. Under his successor, the politically ambitious, Mr Scargill they went a step further in openly contesting for power with the elected government of the day, in Mrs Thatcher they faced someone who had enough backbone to face up to the challenge. That this saw the industry eventually decimated and a way of life for many communties destroyed is profoundly sad, but it is a responsibility that must be shared, not borne by one side.

  50. Steven Mosher says:

    wow. I gues the longer growing season is due to UHI. or maybe it is getting warmer

    I regularly mention Rural Heat Island from tree and hedge removal (= reduced boundary layer mixing = increased surface warming), increased field drainage (= reduced humidity and hence increased temperatures), increased irrigation (= decreased albedo and other effects), large scale reductions in agricultural burning (= reduced black and organic carbon solar absorption and scattering), increases in multi-cropping (decreased albedo).

    And then there is downwind changes in urban aerosols and large changes in rural fuel use = reduced aerosol emissions.

    Since 1900, and especially 1950, IMO there have been larger anthropogenic climate effecting rural changes than urban changes.

  51. @Pat Frank:

    “British MPs make no laws; they are merely local EU-directive implementers. David Cameron isn’t a PM. With respect to powers, it’s unlikely he has even the legal powers of an American state governor.”

    American State Governors have rather a lot of power. Each can command a small Army. (That can be “Federalized” as the National Guard). Typically a State Guard unit has trucks, artillery, some tanks and even jet fighters; among other “toys”. For example:

    http://www.txsg.state.tx.us/

    “TEXANS SERVING TEXAS”

    The Texas State Guard (TXSG) is one of three branches of the Texas Military Forces (TXMF), reporting to The Texas Adjutant General located at Texas Military Forces HQ, Camp Mabry (Austin), Texas. The Commander in Chief of the Texas Military Forces is the Governor of Texas. The other two branches are the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG) and the Texas Air National Guard (TXANG).

    They also have a small navy… note the “maritime regiment” listed here:

    Fact Sheets

    The following Fact Sheets describe the components and operations of the Texas State Guard, and are prepared by Texas State Guard Public Affairs Office.
    No. 01-11, Texas State Guard
    No. 03-11, Army Component, Texas State Guard
    No. 04-11, Air Component, Texas State Guard
    No. 05-11, Texas State Guard Medical Brigade
    No. 06-11, Texas Maritime Regiment
    No. 07-11, Operation Lone Star

    To give an idea of the size, this is the “Air Component”:

    The AirCC can trace its lineage to the Texas Defense Guard of 1941 with over 250 volunteers.
    Airmen provide assistance in many areas including communications, logistics, administration,
    personnel, security, weather, maintenance and medical. Airmen are assigned to one of the
    following AirCC units organized geographically through out the state:
    • AirCC Command Element, Headquartered in Austin, Texas
    • 4th Air Wing, Headquartered in Dallas (North and West Texas)
    • 5th Air Wing, Headquartered in San Antonio (Central and South Texas)
    • 7th Air Wing, Headquartered in Houston (East Texas)

    So about the size of some small countries… Oh, and the Governors control the budgets and can issue executive orders in most States. The way were are (supposed) to be structured is as a collection of Independent States with a minimal Federal Government. That the Feds have overgrown their mandate and are doing a big power grab does not diminish the power of the Governors… There’s a whole lot more they can do too. New York budget is $132.6 BILLION for 2013, just to give an idea what they control…

    Oh, and the “Several States” can, should they so desire it, abolish the Federal Government and make a new one by calling a Constitutional Convention.

    So I’m not sure what all your P.M. can do, but I think our Governors have a whole lot they can do. Can your P.M. call up an army and decide how to spend $Hundred Billion budgets? Issue executive orders? I imagine the ability of a Governor to shape legislation is about on a par with the UK PM, though. (Or perhaps more? As State Law stands until overturned by Federal Law or the Supreme Court…)

    @S.Meyer & Sleepalot:

    The usual way of measuring growing season is “Degree Days”. The number of days over some threshold temperature. More is pretty much always better. Every plant has a minimum temperature to get started ( Oats are just a few degrees above freezing while some plants need soil temps over “warm spring day” to start). So warmer also lets you grow different plants, while the ones you have ripen faster and grow bigger.

    Per “double cropping”: The limit case is places like California and Phoenix Arizona where we can grow something in all seasons if desired. ( 4 crop seasons a year are possible ). Theoretically even more if you use “short season crops”. Barley is very short season as is Buckwheat. IIRC, about 50 or 60 days. Radishes can be harvested in 25 days. So using crops like those you could get multiple crops in a year already. (Modern hybrid sweet corn can be as fast as 50 days, while old kinds took closer ot 110 days).

    So one can plant short season cold tolerant crops, like Buckwheat, at the end of a growing season after warm season at the start, and still have enough time left to plant ‘winter wheat’ that overwinters even in a place like the UK. It would require a lot of “inputs” to the soil, but could be done. (If it is profitable is an entirely separate issue… and if a farmer could stay sane trying to do it all is yet another…) Many such crop rotations are possible. (It is not at all unusual for folks in The South to have a three crop rotation in a year, for example. Up north in the USA, double cropping is frequent, but with more cold tolerant types.)

    Probably the bigger issue for the UK would just be how wet the fields get. If things are a giant mud puddle, it is hard to use equipment… So often the crop cycle is time to the rain cycle. Harvest to be done during a dry phase. Planting done at first “dry enough to plough but still wet enough to germinate and grow”. That, BTW, is where California and especially Phoenix shine. As both are low rain areas with irrigation, we can get equipment in the field most any time.

    The limit to the advantage of more heat is Phoenix. Look in the Sunset Garden Book and you will find it has summer marked with a heat warning and the statement that you can only grow heat tolerant crops then. Things like Tomatoes… I was there one summer when the airport was shut down as the tarmac was melting in the sun… 125 F downtown, more on the tarmac. That is your “upper bound” for heat. (But they get a great winter growing season in exchange and you CAN still grow heat tolerant crops in the summer… they have a lot of citrus too.)

    So until places are as hot as Phoenix Arizona, more heat gives more crop. Then you have to be hotter than that to start having production fall off. Or put up shade cloths over the fields. (We do that for berries here in California).

    Not a farmer, but grew up in Farm Country in a Farm Town of 3328 persons with a Dad who was a farmer as a kid and sold farms for a living… Worked on farms as a kid too… Went to an Ag School for college. Very interested in agronomy systems and intensive gardening…

    BTW, as temperatures cool and growing seasons shorten, you can to some extent swap to cold tolerant and shorter season crops. Barley and Buckwheat are a couple of common ones. Barley, for example, is grown in Alaska… I cover it a bit here:

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/grains-and-why-food-will-stay-plentiful/

    For example, on Buckwheat, I quote a paper about it being a 60 day crop:

    Buckwheat can be planted much later than soybeans, as late as August 1st in many parts of the state. The crop matures in a little over two months, allowing it to be used for double cropping farther north than other crops such as soybeans. Buckwheat can also be grown as a double crop after spring crops such as oats, flax or spring canola.

    while for Barley we have this interesting bit:

    Barley (6-row feed grade) is the most common cereal grain produced in Alaska because of its low heat unit requirement for maturity. Multipurpose oats (grain or forage) are the second most popular cereal grains grown.

    Now you know why the Scots grow so much oats and have barley for making Scotch ;-)

    Both are cold tolerant and relatively fast growing.

    There are other crops that are used for hot and dry places. Like tepary beans and millet. So we can adjust to most any climate from ‘not quite desert’ to Alaska… but generally the more degree days you have, the more total production you can get, and faster too. Up to about 110 F to 120 F ( 44 C to 49 C ) when it gets slower from heat stress.

  52. The luxury of leisure to pursue nutty things is a hallmark of Western capitalism.

    Any wagers whether “Frankenfood” will be forgotten when they have to set done to an endless number of pine bark soup, pine bark stew, weed salad alongside clay bread. Not sure how they’ll keep warm in winter though. Maybe scrubbing lichen off rocks.

    It appears the only real issue the Brits have is to determine their body count each year.

  53. It was at thatcher’s instigation that the IPCC was set up. During her reign the greens moved from the lunatic fringe of politics to center stage. Right wingers who blame the left for all things green choose to forget this.

  54. @Vukcevic:

    Perhaps because winters are getting fewer days over the centuries?

    from:

    http://individual.utoronto.ca/kalendis/seasons.htm

    discussed:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/interesting-change-of-season-length/

    Precession and change of orbital eccentricity are making N. Hemisphere winters shorter and summers longer. I think that matters…

    @All:

    I’m rather surprised at the rabid anti-religion on display. Are folks that unable to accept difference from others? That unwilling to just “accept that that is them” and let it pass?

    My spouse is ‘very religious’, me ‘not so much’ and rarely attended church once escaped to college. Yet we “get along” just fine by accepting our differences. One kid is ‘building a church’ as they feel called to do it. The other, well, can’t remember the last time I saw them in a church. ( I think it was when someone died or was getting married…) Yet we all ‘get along’ by accepting each other. It isn’t all that hard…

    @Walter Horsting:

    It ought not. I think that this paper:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/8/3814.full

    Pretty much shows what drives that cycle and we’ve got a good while to the next one.

    The 1,800-Year Tidal Cycle.

    When the time-interval of computed strong global tidal forcing is extended to include all events from 500 B.C. to A.D. 4000 (Fig. 2), two longer periodicities become evident, defined by extensions of the maxima, labeled A–D and a–c, as in Fig. 1. First, near the beginning and end of the 4,000 years plotted, every second 180-year maximum is stronger, producing a periodicity of about 360 years. More striking is a well defined millennial cycle with maxima at 398 B.C., A.D. 1425, and A.D. 3107. The latter maximum is almost matched in strength, however, by one in A.D. 3452 such that a lesser intermediate event in A.D. 3248 appears to define the repeat period of the cycle as 1,823 years. The actual maximum in A.D. 3107, however, would define an interval of only 1,682 years.

    It then has a graph:

    showing peak “mixing force” in the LIA at about 1629 A.D. (point A) along with other cold peaks at 1770 A.D. and a lower one in 1974 A.D. We are presenting in a low mixing (warm) period and don’t get back up to a cold mixing peak until 2133 A.D. and even that is only about like 1974 A.D. It looks like 3107 A.D. for the next L.I.A. excursion to extreme cold sufficient for a Bond Event. (One hopes that a Sleepy Sun is not sufficient to do much more than make a 20 year cold slap across the face of the Warmers… ;-)

  55. Pat Frank says:
    February 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm …

    Thank you. As a Brit who lost relatives fighting for our sovereign freedom and democracy in two world wars, I am also disgusted that the traitors from Ted Heath onwards have paid a fortune in UK tax-payers money to buy our serfdom and our servitude in to a profoundly anti-democratic European Union which stands utterly opposed to the same rule of law (descended from natural and common law) from which the USA and Canada’s own laws were also created. We are subject to EU law which has no democratic mandate and in which justice is turned upon its head. Where rights are not rights, but are grants from an elite which can be altered on a whim. The EU is a foul and tyranical regime which we in the UK are fighting hard to free ourselves from.

  56. Johnny Hooper says:
    February 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm
    RockyRoad says:
    “Do you know the word they use for those, like you, who are intollerant of other’s political or religious beliefs? It’s political or religious bigotry.”

    I don’t care. What he said offended me as an atheist skeptic who can’t think of a single person under the age of 60 who would tolerate a good word said about Thatcher.

    David Archibald made a perfectly valid point about the false gods of the greenies. As for Margaret Thatcher, she certainly had her faults but your friends must belong to a very narrow-minded group if none of them would tolerate a good word about her. On the principle that “birds of a feather flock together” you are probably as narrow-minded as your friends.

    Finally, I don’t know what nationality you are but your comments about Thatcher suggest that you are British. I have absolutely nothing against Americans spelling “sceptic” with a “k” instead of “c” but, even allowing for the fact that this is an American created blog, I am offended by British people who do not use British spelling.

  57. Ha ha.

    The high priest of that movement is a scientist by the name of James Lovelock, who recanted upon receiving a bill of £6,000 for his winter heating.

    Further in his Guardian interview:

    Damp winters on the edge of Dartmoor were taking their toll, so in recent years he has overwintered in St Louis, his wife’s hometown in Missouri. The experience altered his attitude to the politics and economics of energy. Having already upset many environmentalists – for whom he is something of a guru – with his long-time support for nuclear power and his hatred of wind power (he has a picture of a wind turbine on the wall of his study to remind him how “ugly and useless they are”), he is now coming out in favour of “fracking”……………..Let’s be pragmatic and sensible and get Britain to switch everything to methane. We should be going mad on it.”

    A few more frigid winters and cool summers should turn most Britons into pragmatists and sceptics.

  58. ” jim bishop says:
    February 12, 2013 at 3:53 am

    It was at thatcher’s instigation that the IPCC was set up. During her reign the greens moved from the lunatic fringe of politics to center stage. Right wingers who blame the left for all things green choose to forget this.”

    No, we are aware of Thatcher’s role in arguing for the IPCC. Thatcher was always focused on fact based policy, not emotion based. Her ministers have recalled how she always insisted on them bringing her the facts before any policy was finalised.

    At the time when she was in power, the AGW consensus was that there was no consensus and we did not know yet what the situation was. So she was right to use whichever side of the argument’s facts, were still valid, in pursuit of her political policy aims. Squashing the Coal Unions was an important part of that and our economy in the UK was saved, by her taking on union might and stopping the Unions from holding our economy hostage as they had been doing throughout the bleak days of the 1970s.

    Since then more and more facts have emerged, which the left have conveniently ignored and the right have understood and accepted. (at least the right wingers in the population as a whole, if not their corrupt political leadership, Cameron et al). So today it is the ideologues and zealots of the left who ignore facts and hold on to an increasingly debunked alarmism. It is the left who are hanging on to all things green and destroying their own credibility. It is the left wing “ecomentalists” who support destroying ancient natural forests of Borneo, pushing the orang-outang to the brink of extinction in the wild, in order to grow palm oil for “green bio-fuel” to name but one example of the self-defeating lunacy of the left-wing-green-ecomentalist.

    So it is appropriate to keep blaming the left for all the lunacy of the greens, for the left moved in on the reasonable efforts of the earlier environmental movement as envisioned by Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore. The left’s communists and political agitators decided to use environmentalism the ideal tool to attack and destroy industrialisation in the west. Their pursuit of that goal has never allowed facts or reason or logic get in their way. This is why right wingers rightly blame the left for the idiocy of the climate change alarm movement, for as more and more facts emerge, as we observe more and more what is happening on this real, tangible planet, the more we see that the alarm of lefties is not warranted, that the actual science shows that there is no cause for alarm and the more we see the delusional lefties trying, with more and more desperation, to force their models to be real and for the planet to be wrong, which it will be any day now and warming will suddenly take off and catapult back up.

    That is why “right wingers” blame the left, in spite of Thatcher’s understandable and pragmatic role in the 1980s.

  59. I think Mr Archibald is losing it – assuming he ever had it. Talking of just rewards for a lack of religious belief (for being realistic and not hanging on to childish and unprovable beliefs?), and comments about the (nightmare that was) the Thatcher years. Thatcher sold off all our energy, water, and railways. We now have to pay our utility bills to FOREIGN-OWNED companies! And we GIVE money to railway companies to run the networks even though it was sold off! She destroyed our coalfields and decimated our manufacturing industry (together with the unions, that is). I don’t think I’ve ever been incensed by one of WUWT’s contributing writers before today. Mr Archibald is either seriously ill or very ignorant.

  60. I think this post and the above responses it has evoked, almost entirely relating to a political or religious issue or standpoint, is both interesting and important.

    It is abundantly clear that “climate change” is and has been since its inception in the 1970’s not about science – as a body of knowledge – but about Values, Belief, Culture, and societal structure.

    These have affected the comprehension of what is required for an intelligent response to reality – giving “post-normal science” – along with every other facet of existence.

    Climate will not be understood over the next 10 years. What happens to humanity will depend on what Values – scientific and otherwise – are applied to “climate change” now and over the next few years.

    To understand and reveal the “thinking” that has generated the culture of the post 1960’s world – in all facets – is the only hope. Science can do only so much.

  61. Shale gas in the UK. Whoopee. That’s if the green-inclined left-right-centrist-statist political rabble allow it.
    I really like the dislike of the “left-leaning” governments, which shows scant knowledge of UK politics. The UK has not had a “left” or “right” government since the late 1970’s. Now they are all educated to the same level, in the same subjects and in the same establishments. They occupy political parties without being attached to their politics, and use them for their own ends.
    Immigration ?
    Well, without the influx of immigrants the UK is going to be up the creek without a paddle, given the birthrate of the endemic population is low, and lowering.
    Now I await the inevitable attack on the elderly, which is not going to be long arriving given that they are the last minority segment remaining to be stigmatised.
    Soon the clarion calls will be heard from those guardians of public morality, the politicians, for old people to lay down their lives for the good of: the country/their children/the environment. preferably before they reach state retirement age.

  62. This is depressing. I have said before that whilst the CAGW debate tends to split along political lines, it would be a lot more helpful to exclude politics as far as possible and focus on the science rather than take every opportunity to further politicise the issue. And religion???!!
    For what it’s worth, I grew up in a rural community in SW Scotland that was decimated by Thatcher’s policies. All we got out of her ‘economic miracle with a recession at either end’ was 25% unemployment and a persistent heroin culture that didn’t previously exist. Her long term legacy is that the Conservative party in Scotland is a pathetic rump and in 2014 Scotland will hold a referendum on leaving the UK. I moved south 30 years ago. The mining industry is long gone and the farm I grew up on now has part of the Hadyard wind array on it; this has benefitted the current owner to the tune of £3 million but done nothing for local employment. Thatcher simply played to the Conservative heartlands and beggared the rest of the country. Guess why I feel uncomfortable about being on the ‘right wing’ side of the debate?

  63. Ghost of Big Jim:
    Yes many of the very necessary privatization programmes of Thatcher were badly botched. (Sell the track maintenance to different folks than the train operators? Who would think that would work!?) However, all the money losing nationalized industries had put the UK government on the brink of insolvency. The economic malaise was palpable even to this visitor. The National Rail was a good system, but it was bleeding money like crazy. The price of fares never came close to covering the cost of the system, and never will! The nasty little secret that the left never mentions is that large scale mass transit never pays for itself, as it always requires large infusions of tax money to make it work. Thus the government has to subsidize the rail system.
    The energy sector is having its trouble due to things Thatcher was not able to get through and which her successors haven’t even tried to fix- more nuclear stations for instance. The North Sea oil fields were always a temporary thing, but the idea of having private companies take the risk and do the work while paying the government royalties is always a more efficient system. (Works great for Alaska when the federal government doesn’t poke their noses into it.)
    The union problems of the 1970s are very well documented and when you have what amounts to an attempted communist take-over of the government by economic extortion, the backlash can get nasty. When such a revolution happens there is always turmoil, but the turmoil would have been much worse if the miner’s union boss had gotten control. We like to think we are somehow protected from anarchy by our civilized history, but the result of Thatcher failing to slap down the unions would have seen the UK in the light of Zimbabwe. Government taking the means of production from those who know how to employ it and giving it to the proletariat ALWAYS FAILS. Mass starvation and rioting is the natural result. It can happen in our “civilized west” as badly as it did in Africa, people are people everywhere.
    The manufacturing was also bleeding dry in the 1970’s. It moved to where it enjoyed a tax advantage and where the unions weren’t pricing labor out of the realms of profitability. Both of those things were the direct result of 1950’s-1970’s political decisions to capitulate to the unions and build a socialist welfare state. Setting a bone hurts more sometimes than breaking it originally, and you can get used to the low level pain and not using the miss-healed limb, but once full function is returned you find the pain was worth it. British industry was (and is) still in that state, but the welfare state removes the capital that would build an industrial base, and we have conditioned the populace to look askance at the smoke stacks of heavy industrial plants. NIMBY rules Britannia now, and it is spreading its rule to the world!

  64. I don’t know about feeling I’m to blame for voting in politicians who follow the CAGW religion. There isn’t exactly a choice as Con/Lib/Lab all follow it. They are all deaf to the opinions and wishes of the bulk of the population they are meant to represent.

  65. Aiden Donelly at 7.55pm:

    Hear! Hear! re. Margaret Thatcher and John Howard. They were both hated by the Lefty ‘Liberals’ who are actually very illiberal when any of their sacred cows is questioned or opposed. They both left their respective countries in better shape than they found them. Being human they made their mistakes too; only natural. As I lived both under Mrs Thatcher’s government in the UK and Johnny Howard’s in Australia I feel entitled to comment on this without being assailed by the hate-fest their names seem to inspire in so many lefties.

    I worry about the ability of the UK to produce adequate food for its population in the future. We import far too much.

  66. Matt,
    We have been warming since the last Ice Maximum, plus the small amount of warming caused by additional CO^2. This has stopped and perhaps regressed since the Sun began it’s current “nap”. Would this not be cooling attributrd to the quiet sun?

  67. Rhys Jaggar says:
    February 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm
    He invokes coal, but THE MINES WERE SHUT DOWN, BRUTALLY, BY MRS THATCHER.
    WRONG! The mines were shut down by the miners going on strike. The NCB announced plans to shut 20 uneconomic mines, which would not have affected overall production of coal. The fact is that by facing down the attempted dictatorship of the NUM, Margaret Thatcher, and the elected government of Britain broke away from a near dependency on coal. Unfortunately, nuclear capacity was not built up sufficiently, and we now have those damn windmills sprouting up all over the place. Probably the best PM we’ve had in modern history, but not perfect – who is?

  68. @ E.M.Smith says:
    February 12, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Thank you, Mr. Smith! You have answered both of my questions (about temperature optimum and feasibility of double cropping), plus some that I did not think of asking (such as limitations on double cropping other than growing season length).
    :)
    With your permission, I’ll bookmark and save your comment for use in future discussions about this topic.
    Best,
    S.

  69. As a 13 year old I remember watching the winter of discontent on TV …. life is about trade-offs unfortunately and becuase of the massive trouble the nation was in after the 1970’s the fall-out was dramatic – Thatcher left the country in a massivley better state than when she took over. That there were millions whose conditions were not improved does not mean there were many millions more whose conditions were. We cannot judge political success by reviewing only individuals, or specific industries, we have to view the nation as a whole.
    The rabid hatred of her has always been an example of Alinskyist tactics being deployed successfully. Very few can be as evil as she is regularly made out to be.

  70. The high priest of that movement is a scientist by the name of James Lovelock, who recanted upon receiving a bill of £6,000 for his winter heating.

    Two things become immediately apparent:
    1. Anything can be made to work IF you spend enough money on it, never mind if it is unsustainable. That Dr. Lovelock can’t afford his winter heating bill is just a consequence of his own unsustainable existence.

    2. Which brings us to point 2, the Econuts have declared repeatedly that there are too many people on the earth to support sustainably. Therefore Dr. Lovelock you must sacrifice yourself to the Gia by freezing to death. Those who can not afford to heat their homes in the winter or survive the heat of summer without air conditioning need to die and do so for the good of the planet.

    “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population…” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

    The culling of the unsustainable ones has begun. If you will not die by freezing winters or sweltering summers (France with no air conditioners in old age homes), then terrorists will blow you up. What better way to deal with the obesity epidemic than to raise the price of food. It is no accident, they are all called the GREEN revolution.

  71. Owen in GA.
    Britain was in a dire state in the late 1970s (I know, I lived through it – I was born in the 1950s). This was still a lot to do with WW2 (which was only 30 years earlier, and we were still paying for it) but also a lot to do with communist unions and a disquiet among the Left and the working class. What Britain needed was investment and a dismantling of the power of the unions. There is far too much to talk about here on a climate forum, but Britain didn’t need Thatcher (although I admit that the Falklands would have bee lost if she hadn’t of been in power). We DID NOT need to sell off our utility companies, nor our railways. The very fact that we are still paying for the railway ‘sell-off’ is testament to that. We are now in the laughable position that we may need China to build nuclear power stations for us, while we currently pay German and French companies to provide us with gas and electricity! You could NOT have made this up on a political-comedy show and got away with it – and it’s all thanks to Thatcher. Our manufacturing industry suffered from the unions, but from Thatcher also. She was twisted and lacked overall vision, even though she loved Britain. She refused to listen to advisors, and that was her ultimate downfall. For Britain, on balance, she was a disaster.

  72. @ S. Meyer says: February 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm
    and
    @ Sleepalot ” says: February 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Yes I’m a farm boy and extra warm days or heat units are critical to the variety of corn you plant (not so much for wheat). A warmer varietal corn gives higher yields it is critical for corn farmers to pick the correct varietal based on the amount of heat and moisture expected that year or in the particular area you are farming (the further north you are determines the heat units varietal you choose).
    University of Guelph paper on corn varieties and heat units.

    http://www.plant.uoguelph.ca/research/homepages/ttollena/research/assets/Crop%20Heat%20Units%20for%20Corn%20and%20Other%20Warm-Season%20Crops%20in%20Ontario.pdf

    P.S. higher CO2 also increases corn yields http://www.co2science.org/articles/V7/N30/B1.php .
    sleepalot, wake up warmer and more CO2 is better !

  73. With Maggie ministers knew their place:

    Margaret Thatcher celebrates by treating her Cabinet to a meal at a restaurant:

    Waitress: Would you like to order, sir?
    Thatcher: Yes. I will have the steak.
    Waitress: How would you like it?
    Thatcher: Oh, raw, please.
    Waitress: And what about the Vegetables?
    Thatcher: Oh, they’ll [turns to the Cabinet] have the same as me!

    Thatcher: Geoffrey (Howe) , you’re a complete imbecile. We can’t have a quick war just to win votes! Though, now that you mention it, look into it, will you?

    (Cecil) Parkinson: Do we have any other business?
    Thatcher: I bloody well hope not; we’ve sold it all off!

    Thatcher: We have to get rid of Enoch (Powell). There is no room for racists in the Conservative Party – we’re choc-a-bloc as it is!

    And finally,Thatcher: I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. … Everyone should have a Willy.

  74. Big Jim,
    This is much more than a climate forum. The first item on the mission statement is “life”. Much as most of us would prefer to not deal with it, politics and the political mistakes of the past and present are part of life that we either deal with or become victims of. You are right that Thatcher made mistakes, but I am not sure you have identified the correct ones relevant to the problems. We will disagree on the details, but Britain needed something to kick it in the backside and she did. Maybe not always in the right direction, but to some degree that is an effect of the parliamentary system of government. Even if you have 100% all the correct answers (not saying she did), if you can only get your caucus to go along with 90% of them, you can’t do the last 10% without risking handing power over to those you disagree with 65% of the time (My estimate is left and right usually agree on about 35% of issues – if we could just leave government to only that 35% we’d probably all be better off). So leaders have to back off and dilute good ideas to “buy support”. Part of her problem was she was speaking a foreign language to the common people. Since the 50’s, socialism had become more and more of the standard language of politics and education and she was talking about doing things for yourself, not looking to big brother government to do it for you. Doing things for yourself is how Britain got to have an Empire on which the Sun Never Set (OK there were drawbacks to empire as well – it’s expensive for one) . The idea of grabbing a challenge and shaking it into submission was a guiding principle of Britain for 300+ years. Somehow, after WWII that spirit seemed to shrink in upon itself to the point that I am not sure the Brit of 1900 would recognize the folk from his same village in 2000.

    On the RR, check the inflation adjusted budget when it was a government entity against the current subsidy, I think you will find now is less. (though not by much as that privatization is one of the examples of how NOT to do privatization).

    The energy thing is something we are all struggling with. We got so sidetracked in the 90’s by the “green energy” boondoggle that investment in REAL energy systems (like nuclear) got derailed. By the early 2000’s we had demonized “carbon” so much that we started actually decommissioning coal fired plants without building replacement capacity. Appliances are a good deal more efficient now than they were, but not enough more to make up the difference.

    I just ask for policy based on hard fact that can be demonstrated to be true. We get too much pie in the sky from both left and right on important matters of the day.

  75. Rhys Jaggar says:
    February 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm
    He invokes coal, but THE MINES WERE SHUT DOWN, BRUTALLY, BY MRS THATCHER.
    WRONG! The mines were shut down by the miners going on strike. The NCB announced plans to shut 20 uneconomic mines, which would not have affected overall production of coal. The fact is that by facing down the attempted dictatorship of the NUM, Margaret Thatcher, and the elected government of Britain broke away from a near dependency on coal.

    Response, I suspect your view of modern history is somewhat one sided. The coal mine closures accelerated after the miner returned to work and after Thatcher had won her victory. Lets face it, Scargill was pretty inept as a leader, but he was right about one thing when he said Thatcher was determined to close down the UK s coal industry. The UK has vast amounts of coal reserves, but Thatcher felt it was better to close the mines, make miners redundant and import coal than to allow the powerful miners unions to dictate politics.

  76. The decision of the Thatcher government to downsize the coal industry was surely motivated by the fact that British coal — which the electricity generators were at that time obliged to buy — cost roughly twice as much as imported coal. However, there seems no doubt that Thatcher sought to gain politically by demonstrating toughness, amounting to ruthlessness, in dealing with the miners’ union. The bitterness engendered among those whose communities were destroyed as a result, is brilliantly portrayed in Mark Herman’s movie, Brassed Off.

    The idea that Margaret Thatcher’s government was in some way responsible for Britain’s present climate and energy policies is absurd. It was probably the most firmly science-based government in British history. The Downing Street think tank during Margaret Thatcher’s time was headed by John Ashworth, a brilliant Oxford-trained biochemist. Chris Monckton was a member of the staff, and Margaret Thatcher, a chemist by training, took a huge and competent interest in scientific issues.

    Some reactions to this article illustrate the effect of the longstanding ascendancy of the atheistic liberal-left on the mental functions of the left. It has turned them into the party of the stupids, largely incapable of responding to points of view other than their own except with expression of impatient intolerance, or outright hate speech.

  77. Leif Svalgaard says:
    February 12, 2013 at 5:51 am

    “When plotting the aa-index, one should add 3 nT before the year 1957 to compensate for a known [and accepted] calibration error.”

    Leif can you expand on this a bit. What do you mean by ‘add 3 nT before the year 1957’?. Thanks. Is there an exact value and does it have to be applied to both the Greenwich and Melbourne records?

    If there are known [and accepted] calibration errors, why is data with calibration errors available to the public. I’m not happy about spending hours studying and looking at data from what are supposed to be “trusted sources” only to find out the data has known errors.

  78. Considering that the Holocene has seen a series of fluctuations between Little Ice Ages and Warm Periods with an average period of well over 1,000 years for each pair or cycle, that would constitute a very unusually sudden turn around. More likely the sun is in the weak part of a shorter cycle and we have hundreds more years of natural warming.

  79. On the topic of the UK coal reserves, they are still large, but for political reasons will not be exploited. Nearly all of the UK mines have been closed and sterilised, so that they can never be used again. Despite this, there are still huge reserves of coal in place where mines have never been sunk.
    Before it was closed down, the National Coal Board used to put out estimates of the coal reserves. All references to these estimates have been removed from the net, except for one, which I found deep hidden on the DECC website. I posted the link to the report on the James Delingpole blog, but the link was immediately removed from the DECC site.
    But not before I had taken a copy of it;

    Britains coal reserves, the real figures;
    There is;
    (1)Coal “in place” – the total coal originally in place in the UK defined as coal seams over 2 ft thick and less than 4000 ft deep and there is;
    (2)”Recoverable Reserves” – that proportion of coal in place in known coalfields which could be used by established technology.

    The figures quoted against these definitions was as follows:-
    i) Coal “in place” – 190 bn tonnes (excluding coal at depths greater than 4000 ft and coal beneath the North Sea).
    ii) Recoverable Reserves – 45 bn tonnes

    In 1990, a presentation by British Coal Corporation (BCC) to the Department of Energy on coal reserves referred to the latest estimate of 45 bnt as technically recoverable reserves but that the amount workable was dependent upon the economic circumstances at the time of working.
    It also stated that recoverable reserves from existing mines and certain new mine projects was currently assessed at between 3 bnt and 5 bnt.

    In 2006 total UK coal consumption was 61.85MT.
    Forty five billion tonnes divided by 61.85MT = 727 years.

  80. Long before Margaret Thatcher become PM, Edward Heath confronted the trade unions. In 1973 a miners’ work to rule resulted in daily power cuts and a three day working week. Heath called election on the issue of “who rules the country” and lost. Some years later Margaret Thatcher, was also supposed to be an easy target but it didn’t work out that way.
    During both strikes I worked for a TV company, huge amount of visual and audio information was coming in; confrontations, inflammatory statements and threats from both sides, which was never broadcast.
    From many comments in the media at the time and in the later years it was obvious that no clear unbiased assessment can be presented without enraging one or both sides.

  81. I lived in a mining area during the miners’ strike. Thatcher’s politically inspired destruction of the UK coal industry was socially and economically disastrous. It made us dependent on foreign energy when we could have been self-sufficient; and it helped to create the permanent underclass of the unemployed and unemployable which has been a permanent drag on our economy ever since.
    Thatcher was also one of the principal architects of the AGW scam. Oh, and she gave Christianity a bad name. In fairness, however, her successors have been even worse.

  82. @Rhys Jaggar says: February 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm
    I am very sorry, every word this stupid man said was washed away when he invoked the Bible and Mrs Thatcher.

    He invokes coal, but THE MINES WERE SHUT DOWN, BRUTALLY, BY MRS THATCHER.
    ===================================================================

    No need to shout.

    Some facts to consider with regard to that shouting, however.

    1. Scargill was as much at fault for the mines being closed as Thatcher. He and his ego betrayed the miners, and he thought himself so smart that he gave away the game to Thatcher.

    2. When this happened, we hard started importing coal from Poland. The cost of the coal and the transport of it was significantly cheaper than the cost of production of our coal.

    3. Why should the consumer pay more for their coal than they have to? Why should industry pay more for its energy than it has to.

    4. Agreed, it wasn’t pretty – but Scargill could have parleyed; he refused to and the rest is history.

    5. History will judge Scargill badly.

  83. @Walter Horsting says: February 11, 2013 at 11:34 pm
    Humankind is lucky to have the climate moderately warm up from one of the coolest periods since ice was a mile thick over Chicago.
    ========================================================================
    Indeed. Given it seems that it was warmer in all three preceding Holocene warm periods, this lay person can’t understand what the problem is. We are extremely fortunate to be enjoying such mild and benevolent climes, yet a significant percentage of the informed world is running around screaming that the sky is falling in. Some sort of mass hysteria, I guess? My bones are getting old. I like it warm. I really do NOT want another LIA thank you.

  84. My understanding is that much of the UK coal in the 80’s was becoming unusable due to the sulphur content. A good friend who was in the business at the time told me that the acid rain scare had caused regulations to be put in place limiting the amount of sulphur in coal used in power stations, so the UK coal had to be mixed with imported lower-sulphur coal to become acceptable. So they would blend expensive low-quality UK coal with cheaper imported better quality (both sulphur content and heat output) to achieve a mix that contained enough UK coal to meet the mandates while also meeting the sulphur levels required. This was one (more) of the reasons why the UK coal industry failed.

  85. “The UK imports 40% of its food requirements but is still accepting immigrants while having a high unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent.”
    ——————————————-
    What a farrago of non-sequiturs. What does the food import percentage have to do with the immigration rate? Indeed, what does it have to do with anything at all in the post?

    I don’t know enough about the details of UK unemployment and immigration to comment, but question the relevance to climate statistics.

    The “Onward Christian Soldiers’ bit at the end was also irrelevant and provocative.

    Not one of WUWT’s better choices of post.

  86. On February 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm I asked Steve Mosher …

    (1) Are you actually troubled that the climate is warmer since the 1960’s to 1970’s cool period?
    (2) Are you actually troubled that the climate is warmer since the Little Ice Age?
    (3) Are you actually troubled that the climate is warmer since the last glacial maximum prior to the current Holocene inter-glacial?

    That is three separate but overlapping cold-to-warm phase-changes, any one of which might explain the “global warming” that troubles you so, but also could perhaps reinforce each other to result in mega-warming, no? The real news would be for you to somehow explain to us that what we are seeing somehow exceeds what those three cold-to-warm changes should be expected to be. Good luck with that I say.

    Steven Mosher [February 11, 2013 at 6:58 pm] says:

    “Is it warmer? I thought that the warmth was all due to adjustments and UHI?

    I have yet to see an AGW skeptic ( other than Jeff ID) actually try to establish how much warming it is now than in the LIA. So lets see.

    Since 1750, I estimate the temperature over land has warmed by 1.5C. Anybody care to estimate otherwise and then square that stimate with measures like growing days?”

    By answering my questions with a question you change the subject and fail to answer even a single one. Of course it is warmer now than in any number of different eras, but especially those well-known and self-evident cooler periods I listed as: (1), (2), and (3). Let’s cut right to the chase: contrary to what you imply, the climate is not static and has always oscillated warmer-cooler in almost every timescale we use (this used to be considered obvious until red leftists posing as green environmentalists decided to use the weather as a political weapon to parasitically suck money out of the veins of the taxpayers and declared war both on common sense and Science itself to further their socialist agendas, but I digress). Plotting the climate history of Earth, if we zoom way out far enough we will see some very long periods of relatively stable (warmer) climate hundreds of millions of years in the past, but when the continents were in significantly different positions. As they reached their current configuration the climate has been much more varied with higher frequency long ice ages and short interglacials. But the continents will continue their unstoppable progression and eventually what we see now will be a forgotten distant memory to any humans still around. This was well known a half century ago, and all it took was one cool period (1960’s to 1970’s) and one warmer period (1990’s to 2000’s) to cause a generation of ‘highly educated’ under-achievers to lose their minds and fearmonger with “The End Is Near! Repent!”. Having grown up watching kooks with sandwich boards make fools of themselves I recognize the pattern.

    It is self-evident that the current climate in most places is warmer now than in any of those three mentioned periods. A couple years ago Steve, I suggested to you a simple proof. Go down to 33rd and 5th in NYC and look up at the 1/4 mile tall Empire State Building. Now roll the clock back to 20 KYA and imagine the ice-pack that is 4 times as tall burying you, the ESB, and everything else as far as the eye can see. The climate was not just cooler but substantially cooler for a very long period of time and no amount of coy “how much warmer is it …” will trump common sense. We were able to deduce that the Earth is spherical long before we placed things and people in orbit. What is quite astounding is that with the absolute establishment of ice ages with brief interglacials and the obvious sinusoidal fingerprints with various amplitude and wavelength (multiple climate changes on many timescales) that anyone would still entertain the proposition that the current climate does not fit perfectly onto the plot, somewhere.

    Which leads to the obvious, it is up to you Steven to prove that the climate has gone off-book. So once again: If it is actually +1.5° C (err what happened to +1.9° C) since the LIA, then you have to determine what part of that +1.5° C is abnormal and above and beyond normal LIA recovery. Since it is such a small number, and this number is of questionable accuracy for the myriad reasons we see discussed here (averages of averages, different equipment, locations, human error, UHI, intentional corruption of the historical record, etc) you don’t have a lot of room in that small warming delta to assign significant portions to natural LIA recovery and still have enough left over to blame human beings for taking us out of the Little Ice Age.

    By continually stating that ‘X amount of CO2 makes Y amount of warming’ followed up by ‘the measured Y amount of warming matches the models’ has you completely boxed in, and I keep noting that you simply cannot bring yourself to state what you really need to say to make the numbers gel, and that is: ‘we are supposed to still be in the Little Ice Age, and thanks to man we are in it no longer.’ Are you ready to state this now or do we continue the game? Finally, after you solve that (2) Little Ice Age riddle, you need to tackle the (1) post 1960’s to 1970’s warmup and of course the large (3) Holocene warmup as well. In summary: Where were we? Where are we? Where should we be (but for evil human intervention)? That is why I said “Good luck with that”. Despite the kitchen sink approach used by the AGW hoaxsters, it sure looks to me like everything fits comfortably within the bounds of Earth history, or what they now call Natural Variation.

    On February 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm I asked Steve Mosher …

    P.S. What is better, warm or cold? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Steven Mosher [February 11, 2013 at 6:58 pm] says:

    “neither of course. the question is ill posed. what is better, up or down? left or right? in front or behind? lights on or lights off? Further , the question has nothing to do with the issue at hand. But lets stipulate that warm is better. I vote for 20C as opposed to todays chilly 15 C for the planet. last time it averaged 20C we had alligators at the north pole. Heck, I vote for 1 Billion C cause warm is better. no wait 1 Trillion C! cause warm is better. Now that this is settled, the question remains. How much colder was it in the LIA?”

    How is it that an English major falls back onto logical fallacies? If I say “Wet” is better than “Dry” (and it is), there is of course a point where it leads to flooding and is no longer good. “Warm” is better than “Cold”, period. You should at least be able to state that without hedging from glancing at the entirety of human history (I got you pegged as a cynical malcontent, only skeptical of things that are almost absolutely certain, while picking sides in controversial subjects just to aggravate your “opposition”, but I digress again). We know what “cold” is because we see it all the time, “warm”, not so much. Even the hottest places on Earth are habitable (I didn’t say comfortable), and have been forever. My people evolved in those places, other peoples have only made it on the outskirts of real cold like the Arctic circle but not Antarctica, and when push came to shove abandoned Greenland for warmer, and (pardon the pun) greener pastures. It takes massively increased expended energy to survive in cold where food is scarce and warmth must be created, than in the tropics where food and warmth is everywhere. Look at the proof in simple dollars and cents, people live at the equator for free, but those that make it to either pole only accomplish this at massive taxpayer expense and have no chance whatsoever of sustaining themselves there without our continued funding.

    This fallacy of extreme scenarios is part and parcel of the belief system of the AGW hoaxsters. I first remember it around the time Sagan lurched into celebrity pop-science and became corrupted by prophetic catastrophicisms (kickstarting Ehrlich, Hansen, Von Daniken and others) suddenly telling us that Venus is in our future due to CO2 emissions. Certainly they must all realize that humans will never be able to raise planetary CO2 concentration to dangerous levels (let alone those on Venus) with the few means at our disposal. I doubt we can get it even into 4 digits ppm, and even if we could it is still absolutely harmless and would only match indoor CO2 levels that humans are commonly exposed to. I have said that one way to really knock the crap out of the phony CO2 scare is to issue everybody air analyzers (perhaps add a CO2 meter to new cellphones?) so all the people can see for themselves the frightening 1000+ ppm CO2 numbers they normally experience in their home, job, or car. Those that remain scared can just run outside and breathe in the tiny 400 ppm atmosphere for relief. The plants will benefit from any increase, of that there is no doubt, well unless you want to challenge this assertion also

    Steve, Warm is better than Cold because we use less energy in the former case than the latter (no I don’t count comfort from air conditioners because as a very new invention they are self-evidently NOT required to survive). The energy we use to keep us warm (and to keep the wussies cool) comes from little tiny pin-pricks in the ground, barely penetrating the surface of this giant ball of matter, to suck out drops of fossil remains of long dead plants and animals. When burning fossil fuels, all of it still remains here on earth where it has always been, we just shifted it to a different altitude from below ground to the surface and with a tiny portion of it winding up temporarily in the atmosphere until it gets sequestered yet again into more plants and animals. That’s quite a ballet of true recycling. The alternative is ugly, and was ugly for the hundreds of thousands of years we practiced it. In the past we killed every plant and animal in sight on the surface and in the seas to generate our warmth. I think our current way is better, and so do the plants and animals.

  87. johanna
    The UK “enjoys” 30% of its children of foreign birth. Will YOU supply the food, the health care and a complete benefit infrastructure for them please? I need a rest.

  88. @Andyj As an “immigrant” from the UK in Australia since childhood, I’m so glad that I don’t get as much venom shoved at me, as immigrants in the UK get. They provide mainly cheap or highly skilled labour to keep the wheels of commerce turning. And mentioned above, what UK doesn’t provide in food, it imports, mainly from the much maligned EU. That’s made easier by the EU, and the no borders situation. It’s a swings and roundabouts thing. You complain about the immigrants, but don’t complain about the cheap European beers and wines, fresh fruit and vegetables etc that come through easily due to EU. So if you want to blame “immigrants, blame the EU as well for supplying cheap and easy food imports.

    Back to my original point – Dr Archibald would have done much better sticking to the science. If that’s the point he’s trying to get across, and his point is good enough, why distract everyone with his drive-by political and religious appeals?

  89. Andyj says:
    February 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    johanna
    The UK “enjoys” 30% of its children of foreign birth. Will YOU supply the food, the health care and a complete benefit infrastructure for them please? I need a rest.
    ————————————————————
    Your comment is as incoherent as the one I quoted, which seeks to draw some connection between the immigration rate and food imports. It makes no sense.

    As I and HB have said, the introduction of some bizarre political and religious elements derailed this post completely – your comment being a prime example.

  90. @HB “As an “immigrant” from the UK in Australia since childhood, I’m so glad that I don’t get as much venom shoved at me, as immigrants in the UK get.”

    You are no doubt made to feel warmly welcome by the aboriginal community. Or is their view similar to that of Canada’s Indians, most of whom candidly admit that they should have killed the settlers when they first arrived — except of course it was the settlers who had the guns, so it was the settlers who killed most of the Indians either with their guns or with their diseases.

    As to the settlers in Australia, of course they welcome additions to their population since they are so few occupying such a huge landmass and need to build a powerful economy quickly in order to secure the territory.

    Whether immigrants to Britain get “venom shoved at them” I couldn’t say, but there is nothing of that in the article you are commenting on. What the author points out is that Britain’s population exceeds the carrying capacity of the land and that excess population can be attributed to the mass post-war immigration. Whether this is a matter for concern is arguable, but only with people who can understand a simple argument, which neither you nor Johanna seem capable of doing.

  91. “Carrying capacity of the land?” What does that mean? In SustainaSpeak, it tends to mean whether or not we could all live on tiny farms, with chooks and veggie gardens, and outdoor drop dunnies. Back to the C17th. Give us a break.

    Any chance your ancestors were immigrants, BTW? If so, no doubt they passed a “sustainability” test before they were allowed in.

  92. @Blade says: February 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    10/10. Fantastic post. I have taken the liberty of saving it to wave at my warmer friends. You articulate what I have never been able to put into words. Many thanks.

  93. It get’s worse. While feeding the masses EU horse meat lasagna, it appears that a few gobkeys have also crept into the mix. It’s only a matter of time before the alarmists introduce “Soylent Green.” After all, soy + green has to be good, right?

  94. Vukcevic, Ted Heath didn’t tackle the unions, that was the trouble, he only played at it. Even Thatcher went about it the wrong way. using MI5 it would have been possible to undermine the leaders of the troublesome unions with a simple dirty tricks campaign. Oh yes, I realise that the Left (and the wets) would have been up in arms about any such campaign, but it would have been necessary, as certain union leaders were clearly running a communist campaign of their own. To this day I still cannot understand why MI5 didn’t get involved. It is MI5’s job to secure the country, and these union leaders were a clear threat to democracy and even the stability of the country. On that basis alone MI5 would have had a mandate, or at least a mandate that could have been cobbled together to satisfy even those within the Cabinet who weren’t made of the ‘right’ stuff. Between them, the unions and Thatcher left this country in a mess that we’re still trying to crawl out of. Tony Blair only added to it with his immigration policies and a failure to tackle the welfare benefit culture. Even Ian Duncan Smith (IDS) is only really playing at it to placate the Liberals. The only way to get Britain back on its feet is to tackle immigration, end the welfare dependence, and boost industry. NONE of those three are currently being done, though IDS is fiddling with the middle one.

  95. David Archibald wrote:

    The world is returning to the climate of the mid-19th century as a best case outcome, as will the UK.
    […]
    We should draw inferences from natural phenomena, and we should choose wisely from the phenomena available to interpret. The fact that the temperature of the planet has not increased for 16 years is not important in itself, the fact that the Sun has entered a deep sleep is very important.
    […]
    In a way, what is in store for the UK is their just rewards for a lack of faith – a lack of faith in the religion that their forebears gave them courtesy of the King James Bible,…

    And I predict that this will be a dire disappointment for David Archibald, because the faithless (like me) are not going to get punished for what he thinks are their misdeeds.

    The world climate will not return to the state of the mid-19th century in the lifetime of you humans here, or in this century, or within thousands of years in the future, if there is a continuing increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from anthropogenic emissions and no opposite climate forcings counter their effect (the decrease in direct solar radiative forcing is too small, even if the sun returns to a Maunder minimum like state). I am going to look forward how the world is going to look like in 500, 1000, or 10000 years from here, and what the uncontrolled terraforming process done by you humans will have done to it. It is an interesting global-scale experiment.

    Even the claim of the alleged “halt” or “stop” in global warming for the last 16 years has been a non-fact in the data so far (that could change, although I doubt it, based on the currently available data). The “skeptics” are fooling themselves by drawing conclusions from noise. So far, the temperature record for the surface and the troposphere have been within the range of variability of data that are a combination of an intact warming trend plus fluctuations.

    Tamino has some nicely illustrating graphs on his website with respect to that:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/2012-updates-to-trend-observation-comparisons

    And the temperature record of the recent years is also still within the 2-sigma range of all the individual predictions done with the CMIP3 models.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/02/2012-updates-to-model-observation-comparions/

    One variable where the models have been doing badly is the Arctic sea ice. The accelerating multi-decadal Arctic sea ice melt in Nature, a strong indicator for the ongoing global warming, is much worse than predicted by those models.

    Most of you have become too excited too quickly. Perhaps less religious conviction, or less political or ideological preconception, instead a more objective look at the data and results from research published in the peer reviewed specialist journals of the field, and proper application of tools like statistical analysis can be helpful for you at this point.

  96. Jan P Perlwitz says:
    February 13, 2013 at 6:13 am

    …I am going to look forward how the world is going to look like in 500, 1000, or 10000 years from here, and what the uncontrolled terraforming process done by you humans will have done to it…
    ————————————————————
    ‘you humans’?

    hmm…
    ….
    I KNEW IT!

    Now for the only remaining question: Is Jan Perlwitz part of an indigenous species or is he an extraterrestrial?

  97. Jan P Perlwitz says:
    ” The accelerating multi-decadal Arctic sea ice melt in Nature, a strong indicator for the ongoing global warming,”

    Arctic sea ice melt accelerated since the warming stalled. It is actually an indicator for more frequent negative NAO conditions.

  98. “Carrying capacity of the land?” What does that mean?

    It’s a standard concept in population biology. Look it up.

    Any chance your ancestors were immigrants, BTW? If so, no doubt they passed a “sustainability” test before they were allowed in.

    I love this kind of nonsensical argument. It shows how empty the liberal mind really is. Sorry Johanna, I don’t wish to be unkind, but you really should read some history, biology and economics and try to figure out how a few things work: you’d then be able to deploy real arguments instead of pointless gibes.

    Concerning immigrants to North America, there has never has been any question of the ability of the continent to support all the settlers who have arrived since Columbus, so your attempt to ridicule concern about overpopulation as the result of mass immigration to a small European county by comparison with the situation of immigrants to N. America is absurd.

  99. @CanSpeccy This is the problem becasue Dr Archibald strayed from science. He started with growing seasons, then threw in the immigration red herring. It just provokes all sorts of emotional responses. And now you’re accusing people of being not being able to understand concepts. You see? If he’d stuck to science we wouldn’t have this.

  100. @HB: This is the problem becasue Dr Archibald strayed from science.

    There is surely a lot at WUWT that is not science, but WUWT is none the worse for that. The climate debate, after all, is of wide interest only because it has political and ethical implications. Mostly, the argument centers around issues raised by those who are convinced that climate change will have catastrophic consequences for the biosphere and that mankind is the enemy.

    What David Archibald has argued is that it is not anthropogenic climate warming that is the real danger, but the genocidal ideas promulgated by the Club of Rome, and others.

    What he states in his final paragraph is certainly debatable and will undoubtedly be debated for years to come. But it is certainly not illegitimate to raise those issues. The politically correct argue otherwise, but that only reveals the weakness of their position, which they are not prepared to defend. Instead, they deploy illegitimate arguments intended to prevent the expression of ideas opposed to their own.

  101. If we allow raising questions about the climate change circus to become portrayed as kneejerk right-wing groupthink it’s too easy for the lazy left-leaning media to convince those who are socially progressive, yet fiscally conservative, to dismiss it as such.

    And they’re the thinkers we’re trying to convince here. Not trying to bash.

    Yet this is pretty much the state of play right now. And, unfortunately, there’s an element of truth in it. It’s gone disgustingly tribal.

    So please your redneck views on non-christians/gays/immigrants/American spelling/young people/hippies/the UN/etc, can you just keep them to yourself and not make this blog such an easy target to discredit. The second you bring politics or religion into it, you lose.

    If you still don’t get it: you know how you instantly dismiss any demonstration based on the look of the rent-a-crowd? Well in this case, that’s you. Is that any clearer?

  102. If we allow raising questions about the climate change circus to become portrayed as kneejerk right-wing groupthink…

    What are you trying to say here? That if what is said here might be portrayed by the politically correct as “kneejerk right-wing groupthink” it shouldn’t be said whatever it’s merit?

    And why should you assume we are trying to convince the “socially progressive”, whoever they may be. Why can’t someone who is “socially conservative” comment here. If the “lazy left-leaning media” misrepresent what is said, so what? They always do that whatever you say if it’s not in accordance withe the line they have to push.

    So please your redneck views on non-christians/gays/immigrants/American spelling/young people/hippies/the UN/etc, can you just keep them to yourself

    So you are calling the author of this WUWT post, which passed the Editor, a “redneck” because he comments on a perceived relation between the decline of Britain as a viable nation and changes in the national culture. But what he says, although it has little to do with climate, is perhaps well worthy of comment. He suggests Britain’s decline is related to the abandonment of religious faith that has provided the moral basis of society in the British Isles for more than a thousand years.

    In particular he says “Individuals with faith are more successful than individuals without faith. That is also true of nations.” That’s an interesting assertion, which could even be put to some kind of empirical test. The atheistical Soviet Union didn’t turn out too well did it, being destroyed eventually by the devout Muslims of Afghanistan. Not a conclusive argument, I agree. But I see not reason to censor all such discussion.

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