Nigel Lawson: Cool It

Standpoint, May 2014

This essay is based on the text of a speech given to the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment at the University of Bath.

There is something odd about the global warming debate — or the climate change debate, as we are now expected to call it, since global warming has for the time being come to a halt.

I have never shied away from controversy, nor — for example, as Chancellor — worried about being unpopular if I believed that what I was saying and doing was in the public interest.

But I have never in my life experienced the extremes of personal hostility, vituperation and vilification which I — along with other dissenters, of course — have received for my views on global warming and global warming policies.

For example, according to the Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, the global warming dissenters are, without exception, “wilfully ignorant” and in the view of the Prince of Wales we are “headless chickens”. Not that “dissenter” is a term they use. We are regularly referred to as “climate change deniers”, a phrase deliberately designed to echo “Holocaust denier” — as if questioning present policies and forecasts of the future is equivalent to casting malign doubt about a historical fact.

The heir to the throne and the minister are senior public figures, who watch their language. The abuse I received after appearing on the BBC’s Today programme last February was far less restrained. Both the BBC and I received an orchestrated barrage of complaints to the effect that it was an outrage that I was allowed to discuss the issue on the programme at all. And even the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons shamefully joined the chorus of those who seek to suppress debate.

In fact, despite having written a thoroughly documented book about global warming more than five years ago, which happily became something of a bestseller, and having founded a think tank on the subject — the Global Warming Policy Foundation — the following year, and despite frequently being invited on Today to discuss economic issues, this was the first time I had ever been asked to discuss climate change. I strongly suspect it will also be the last time.

The BBC received a well-organised deluge of complaints — some of them, inevitably, from those with a vested interest in renewable energy — accusing me, among other things, of being a geriatric retired politician and not a climate scientist, and so wholly unqualified to discuss the issue.

Perhaps, in passing, I should address the frequent accusation from those who violently object to any challenge to any aspect of the prevailing climate change doctrine, that the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s non-disclosure of the names of our donors is proof that we are a thoroughly sinister organisation and a front for the fossil fuel industry.

As I have pointed out on a number of occasions, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees decided, from the outset, that it would neither solicit nor accept any money from the energy industry or from anyone with a significant interest in the energy industry. And to those who are not-regrettably-prepared to accept my word, I would point out that among our trustees are a bishop of the Church of England, a former private secretary to the Queen, and a former head of the Civil Service. Anyone who imagines that we are all engaged in a conspiracy to lie is clearly in an advanced stage of paranoia.

The reason why we do not reveal the names of our donors, who are private citizens of a philanthropic disposition, is in fact pretty obvious. Were we to do so, they, too, would be likely to be subject to the vilification and abuse I mentioned earlier. And that is something which, understandably, they can do without.

That said, I must admit I am strongly tempted to agree that, since I am not a climate scientist, I should from now on remain silent on the subject — on the clear understanding, of course, that everyone else plays by the same rules. No more statements by Ed Davey, or indeed any other politician, including Ed Milliband, Lord Deben and Al Gore. Nothing more from the Prince of Wales, or from Lord Stern. What bliss!

But of course this is not going to happen. Nor should it; for at bottom this is not a scientific issue. That is to say, the issue is not climate change but climate change alarmism, and the hugely damaging policies that are advocated, and in some cases put in place, in its name. And alarmism is a feature not of the physical world, which is what climate scientists study, but of human behaviour; the province, in other words, of economists, historians, sociologists, psychologists and — dare I say it — politicians.

And en passant, the problem for dissenting politicians, and indeed for dissenting climate scientists for that matter, who certainly exist, is that dissent can be career-threatening. The advantage of being geriatric is that my career is behind me: there is nothing left to threaten.

But to return: the climate changes all the time, in different and unpredictable (certainly unpredicted) ways, and indeed often in different ways in different parts of the world. It always has done and no doubt it always will. The issue is whether that is a cause for alarm — and not just moderate alarm. According to the alarmists it is the greatest threat facing humankind today: far worse than any of the manifold evils we see around the globe which stem from what Pope called “man’s inhumanity to man”.

Climate change alarmism is a belief system, and needs to be evaluated as such.
There is, indeed, an accepted scientific theory which I do not dispute and which, the alarmists claim, justifies their belief and their alarm.

This is the so-called greenhouse effect: the fact that the earth’s atmosphere contains so-called greenhouse gases (of which water vapour is overwhelmingly the most important, but carbon dioxide is another) which, in effect, trap some of the heat we receive from the sun and prevent it from bouncing back into space.

Without the greenhouse effect, the planet would be so cold as to be uninhabitable. But, by burning fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas — we are increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and thus, other things being equal, increasing the earth’s temperature.

But four questions immediately arise, all of which need to be addressed, coolly and rationally.

First, other things being equal, how much can increased atmospheric CO2 be expected to warm the earth? (This is known to scientists as climate sensitivity, or sometimes the climate sensitivity of carbon.) This is highly uncertain, not least because clouds have an important role to play, and the science of clouds is little understood. Until recently, the majority opinion among climate scientists had been that clouds greatly amplify the basic greenhouse effect. But there is a significant minority, including some of the most eminent climate scientists, who strongly dispute this.

Second, are other things equal, anyway? We know that, over millennia, the temperature of the earth has varied a great deal, long before the arrival of fossil fuels. To take only the past thousand years, a thousand years ago we were benefiting from the so-called medieval warm period, when temperatures are thought to have been at least as warm, if not warmer, than they are today. And during the Baroque era we were grimly suffering the cold of the so-called Little Ice Age, when the Thames frequently froze in winter and substantial ice fairs were held on it, which have been immortalised in contemporary prints.

Third, even if the earth were to warm, so far from this necessarily being a cause for alarm, does it matter? It would, after all, be surprising if the planet were on a happy but precarious temperature knife-edge, from which any change in either direction would be a major disaster. In fact, we know that, if there were to be any future warming (and for the reasons already given, “if” is correct) there would be both benefits and what the economists call disbenefits. I shall discuss later where the balance might lie.

And fourth, to the extent that there is a problem, what should we, calmly and rationally, do about it?

It is probably best to take the first two questions together.

According to the temperature records kept by the UK Met Office (and other series are much the same), over the past 150 years (that is, from the very beginnings of the Industrial Revolution), mean global temperature has increased by a little under a degree centigrade — according to the Met Office, 0.8ºC. This has happened in fits and starts, which are not fully understood. To begin with, to the extent that anyone noticed it, it was seen as a welcome and natural recovery from the rigours of the Little Ice Age. But the great bulk of it — 0.5ºC out of the 0.8ºC — occurred during the last quarter of the 20th century. It was then that global warming alarmism was born.

But since then, and wholly contrary to the expectations of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, who confidently predicted that global warming would not merely continue but would accelerate, given the unprecedented growth of global carbon emissions, as China’s coal-based economy has grown by leaps and bounds, there has been no further warming at all. To be precise, the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a deeply flawed body whose non-scientist chairman is a committed climate alarmist, reckons that global warming has latterly been occurring at the rate of — wait for it — 0.05ºC per decade, plus or minus 0.1ºC. Their figures, not mine. In other words, the observed rate of warming is less than the margin of error.

And that margin of error, it must be said, is implausibly small. After all, calculating mean global temperature from the records of weather stations and maritime observations around the world, of varying quality, is a pretty heroic task in the first place. Not to mention the fact that there is a considerable difference between daytime and night-time temperatures. In any event, to produce a figure accurate to hundredths of a degree is palpably absurd.

The lessons of the unpredicted 15-year global temperature standstill (or hiatus as the IPCC calls it) are clear. In the first place, the so-called Integrated Assessment Models which the climate science community uses to predict the global temperature increase which is likely to occur over the next 100 years are almost certainly mistaken, in that climate sensitivity is almost certainly significantly less than they once thought, and thus the models exaggerate the likely temperature rise over the next hundred years.

But the need for a rethink does not stop there. As the noted climate scientist Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, recently observed in written testimony to the US Senate:
Anthropogenic global warming is a proposed theory whose basic mechnism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain. The growing evidence that climate models are too sensitive to CO2 has implications for the attribution of late-20th-century warming and projections of 21st-century climate. If the recent warming hiatus is caused by natural variability, then this raises the question as to what extent the warming between 1975 and 2000 can also be explained by natural climate variability.

It is true that most members of the climate science establishment are reluctant to accept this, and argue that the missing heat has for the time being gone into the (very cold) ocean depths, only to be released later. This is, however, highly conjectural. Assessing the mean global temperature of the ocean depths is — unsurprisingly — even less reliable, by a long way, than the surface temperature record. And in any event most scientists reckon that it will take thousands of years for this “missing heat” to be released to the surface.

In short, the CO2 effect on the earth’s temperature is probably less than was previously thought, and other things — that is, natural variability and possibly solar influences — are relatively more significant than has hitherto been assumed.
But let us assume that the global temperature hiatus does, at some point, come to an end, and a modest degree of global warming resumes. How much does this matter?

The answer must be that it matters very little. There are plainly both advantages and disadvantages from a warmer temperature, and these will vary from region to region depending to some extent on the existing temperature in the region concerned. And it is helpful in this context that the climate scientists believe that the global warming they expect from increased atmospheric CO2 will be greatest in the cold polar regions and least in the warm tropical regions, and will be greater at night than in the day, and greater in winter than in summer. Be that as it may, studies have clearly shown that, overall, the warming that the climate models are now predicting for most of this century (I referred to these models earlier, and will come back to them later) is likely to do more good than harm.

This is particularly true in the case of human health, a rather important dimension of wellbeing. It is no accident that, if you look at migration for climate reasons in the world today, it is far easier to find those who choose to move to a warmer climate than those who choose to move to a colder climate. And it is well documented that excessive cold causes far more illnesses and deaths around the world than excessive warmth does.

The latest (2013-14) IPCC Assessment Report does its best to ramp up the alarmism in a desperate, and almost certainly vain, attempt to scare the governments of the world into concluding a binding global decarbonisation agreement at the crunch UN climate conference due to be held in Paris next year. Yet a careful reading of the report shows that the evidence to justify the alarm simply isn’t there.

On health, for example, it lamely concludes that “the world-wide burden of human ill-health from climate change is relatively small compared with effects of other stressors and is not well quantified” — adding that so far as tropical diseases (which preoccupied earlier IPCC reports) are concerned, “Concerns over large increases in vector-borne diseases such as dengue as a result of rising temperatures are unfounded and unsupported by the scientific literature.”

Moreover, the IPCC conspicuously fails to take proper account of what is almost certainly far and away the most important dimension of the health issue. And that is, quite simply, that the biggest health risk in the world today, particularly of course in the developing world, is poverty.

We use fossil fuels not because we love them, or because we are in thrall to the multinational oil companies, but simply because they provide far and away the cheapest source of large-scale energy, and will continue to do so, no doubt not forever, but for the foreseeable future. And using the cheapest source of energy means achieving the fastest practicable rate of economic development, and thus the fastest elimination of poverty in the developing world. In a nutshell, and on balance, global warming is good for you.

The IPCC does its best to contest this by claiming that warming is bad for food production: in its own words, “negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts”. But not only does it fail to acknowledge that the main negative impact on crop yields has been not climate change but climate change policy, as farmland has been turned over to the production of biofuels rather than food crops. It also understates the net benefit for food production from the warming it expects to occur, in two distinct ways.

In the first place, it explicitly takes no account of any future developments in bio-engineering and genetic modification, which are likely to enable farmers to plant drought-resistant crops designed to thrive at warmer temperatures, should these occur. Second, and equally important, it takes no account whatever of another effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, and one which is more certain and better documented than the warming effect. Namely, the stimulus to plant growth: what the scientists call the “fertilisation effect”. Over the past 30 years or so, the earth has become observably greener, and this has even affected most parts of the Sahel. It is generally agreed that a major contributor to this has been the growth in atmospheric CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels.

This should not come as a surprise. Biologists have always known that carbon dioxide is essential for plant growth, and of course without plants there would be very little animal life, and no human life, on the planet. The climate alarmists have done their best to obscure this basic scientific truth by insisting on describing carbon emissions as “pollution” — which, whether or not they warm the planet they most certainly are not — and deliberately mislabelling forms of energy which produce these emissions as “dirty”.

In the same way, they like to label renewable energy as “clean”, seemingly oblivious to the fact that by far the largest source of renewable energy in the world today is biomass, and in particular the burning of dung, which is the major source of indoor pollution in the developing world and is reckoned to cause at least a million deaths a year.

Compared with the likely benefits to both human health and food production from CO2-induced global warming, the possible disadvantages from, say, a slight increase in either the frequency or the intensity of extreme weather events is very small beer. It is, in fact, still uncertain whether there is any impact on extreme weather events as a result of warming (increased carbon emissions, which have certainly occurred, cannot on their own affect the weather: it is only warming which might). The unusual persistence of heavy rainfall over the UK during February, which led to considerable flooding, is believed by the scientists to have been caused by the wayward behaviour of the jetstream; and there is no credible scientific theory that links this behaviour to the fact that the earth’s surface is some 0.8ºC warmer than it was 150 years ago.

That has not stopped some climate scientists, such as the publicity-hungry chief scientist at the UK Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo, from telling the media that it is likely that “climate change” (by which they mean warming) is partly to blame. Usually, however, the climate scientists take refuge in the weasel words that any topical extreme weather event, whatever the extreme weather may be, whether the recent UK rainfall or last year’s typhoon in the Philippines, “is consistent with what we would expect from climate change”.

So what? It is also consistent with the theory that it is a punishment from the Almighty for our sins (the prevailing explanation of extreme weather events throughout most of human history). But that does not mean that there is the slightest truth in it. Indeed, it would be helpful if the climate scientists would tell us what weather pattern would not be consistent with the current climate orthodoxy. If they cannot do so, then we would do well to recall the important insight of Karl Popper — that any theory that is incapable of falsification cannot be considered scientific.

Moreover, as the latest IPCC report makes clear, careful studies have shown that, while extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and tropical storms, have always occurred, overall there has been no increase in either their frequency or their severity. That may, of course, be because there has so far been very little global warming indeed: the fear is the possible consequences of what is projected to lie ahead of us. And even in climate science, cause has to precede effect: it is impossible for future warming to affect events in the present.

Of course, it doesn’t seem like that. Partly because of sensitivity to the climate change doctrine, and partly simply as a result of the explosion of global communications, we are far more aware of extreme weather events around the world than we used to be. And it is perfectly true that many more people are affected by extreme weather events than ever before. But that is simply because of the great growth in world population: there are many more people around. It is also true, as the insurance companies like to point out, that there has been a great increase in the damage caused by extreme weather events. But that is simply because, just as there are more people around, so there is more property around to be damaged.

The fact remains that the most careful empirical studies show that, so far at least, there has been no perceptible increase, globally, in either the number or the severity of extreme weather events. And, as a happy coda, these studies also show that, thanks to scientific and material progress, there has been a massive reduction, worldwide, in deaths from extreme weather events.

It is relevant to note at this point that there is an important distinction between science and scientists. I have the greatest respect for science, whose development has transformed the world for the better. But scientists are no better and no worse than anyone else. There are good scientists and there are bad scientists. Many scientists are outstanding people working long hours to produce important results. They must be frustrated that political activists then turn those results into propaganda. Yet they dare not speak out for fear of losing their funding.

Indeed, a case can be made for the proposition that today’s climate science establishment is betraying science itself. During the period justly known as the Enlightenment, science achieved the breakthroughs which have so benefited us all by rejecting the claims of authority — which at that time largely meant the authority of the church — and adopting an overarching scepticism, insisting that our understanding of the external world must be based exclusively on observation and empirical investigation. Yet today all too many climate scientists, in particular in the UK, come close to claiming that they need to be respected as the voice of authority on the subject — the very claim that was once the province of the church.

If I have been critical of the latest IPCC report, let me add that it is many respects a significant improvement on its predecessors. It explicitly concedes, for example, that “climate change may be beneficial for moderate climate change” — and moderate climate change is all that it expects to see for the rest of this century — and that “Estimates for the aggregate economic impact of climate change are relatively small . . . For most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers.” So much for the unique existential planetary threat.

What it conspicuously fails to do, however, is to make any assessment of the unequivocally adverse economic impact of the decarbonisation policy it continues to advocate, which (if implemented) would be far worse than any adverse impact from global warming.

Even here, however, the new report concedes for the first time that the most important response to the threat of climate change must be how mankind has always responded, throughout the ages: namely, intelligent adaptation. Indeed, the “impacts” section of the latest report is explicitly entitled “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”. In previous IPCC reports adaptation was scarcely referred to at all, and then only dismissively.

This leads directly to the last of my four questions. To the extent that there is a problem, what should we, calmly and rationally, do about it?

The answer is — or should be — a no-brainer: adapt. I mentioned earlier that a resumption of global warming, should it occur (and of course it might) would bring both benefits and costs. The sensible course is clearly to pocket the benefits while seeking to minimise the costs. And that is all the more so since the costs, should they arise, will not be anything new: they will merely be the slight exacerbation of problems that have always afflicted mankind.

Like the weather, for example — whether we are talking about rainfall and flooding (or droughts for that matter) in the UK, or hurricanes and typhoons in the tropics. The weather has always varied, and it always will. There have always been extremes, and there always will be. That being so, it clearly makes sense to make ourselves more resilient and robust in the face of extreme weather events, whether or not there is a slight increase in the frequency or severity of such events.

This means measures such as flood defences and sea defences, together with water storage to minimise the adverse effects of drought, in the UK; and better storm warnings, the building of levees, and more robust construction in the tropics.

The same is equally true in the field of health. Tropical diseases — and malaria is frequently (if inaccurately) mentioned in this context — are a mortal menace in much of the developing world. It clearly makes sense to seek to eradicate these diseases — and in the case of malaria (which used to be endemic in Europe) we know perfectly well how to do it — whether or not warming might lead to an increase in the incidence of such diseases.

And the same applies to all the other possible adverse consequences of global warming. Moreover, this makes sense whatever the cause of any future warming, whether it is man-made or natural. Happily, too, as economies grow and technology develops, our ability to adapt successfully to any problems which warming may bring steadily increases.

Yet, astonishingly, this is not the course on which our leaders in the Western world generally, and the UK in particular, have embarked. They have decided that what we must do, at inordinate cost, is prevent the possibility (as they see it) of any further warming by abandoning the use of fossil fuels.

Even if this were attainable — a big “if”, which I will discuss later — there is no way in which this could be remotely cost-effective. The cost to the world economy of moving from relatively cheap and reliable energy to much more expensive and much less reliable forms of energy-the so-called renewables, on which we had to rely before we were liberated by the fossil-fuel-driven Industrial Revolution — far exceeds any conceivable benefit.

It is true that the notorious Stern Review, widely promoted by a British prime minister with something of a messiah complex and an undoubted talent for PR, sought to demonstrate the reverse, and has become a bible for the economically illiterate.

But Stern’s dodgy economics have been comprehensively demolished by the most distinguished economists on both sides of the Atlantic. So much so, in fact, that Lord Stern himself has been driven to complain that it is all the fault of the integrated assessment models, which — and I quote him — “come close to assuming directly that the impacts and costs will be modest, and close to excluding the possibility of catastrophic outcomes”.

I suggested earlier that these elaborate models are scarcely worth the computer code they are written in, and certainly the divergence between their predictions and empirical observations has become ever wider. Nevertheless, it is a bit rich for Stern now to complain about them, when they remain the gospel of the climate science establishment in general and of the IPCC in particular.

But Stern is right in this sense: unless you assume that we may be heading for a CO2-induced planetary catastrophe, for which there is no scientific basis, a policy of decarbonisation cannot possibly make sense.

A similar, if slightly more sophisticated, case for current policies has been put forward by a distinctly better economist than Stern, Harvard’s Professor Martin Weitzman, in what he likes to call his “dismal theorem”. After demolishing Stern’s cost-benefit analysis, he concludes that Stern is in fact right but for the wrong reasons. According to Weitzman, this is an area where cost-benefit analysis does not apply. Climate science is highly uncertain, and a catastrophic outcome which might even threaten the continuation of human life on this planet, cannot be entirely ruled out however unlikely it may be. It is therefore incumbent on us to do whatever we can, regardless of cost, to prevent this.

This is an extreme case of what is usually termed “the precautionary principle”. I have often thought that the most important use of the precautionary principle is against the precautionary principle itself, since it can all too readily lead to absurd policy prescriptions. In this case, a moment’s reflection would remind us that there are a number of possible catastrophes, many of them less unlikely than that caused by runaway warming, and all of them capable of occurring considerably sooner than the catastrophe feared by Weitzman; and there is no way we can afford the cost of unlimited spending to reduce the likelihood of all of them.

In particular, there is the risk that the earth may enter a new ice age. This was the fear expressed by the well-known astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle in his book Ice: The Ultimate Human Catastrophe, and there are several climate scientists today, particularly in Russia, concerned about this. It would be difficult, to say the least, to devote unlimited sums to both cooling and warming the planet at the same time.

At the end of the day, this comes down to judgment. Weitzman is clearly entitled to his; but I doubt if it is widely shared; and if the public were aware that it was on this slender basis that the entire case for current policies rested I would be surprised if they would have much support. Rightly so.

But there is another problem. Unlike intelligent adaptation to any warming that might occur, which in any case will mean different things in different regions of the world, and which requires no global agreement, decarbonisation can make no sense whatever in the absence of a global agreement. And there is no chance of any meaningful agreement being concluded. The very limited Kyoto accord of 1997 has come to an end; and although there is the declared intention of concluding a much more ambitious successor, with a UN-sponsored conference in Paris next year at which it is planned that this should happen, nothing of any significance is remotely likely.

And the reason is clear. For the developing world, the overriding priority is economic growth: improving the living standards of the people, which means among other things making full use of the cheapest available source of energy, fossil fuels.

The position of China, the largest of all the developing countries and the world’s biggest (and fastest growing) emitter of carbon dioxide, is crucial. For very good reasons, there is no way that China is going to accept a binding limitation on its emissions. China has an overwhelmingly coal-based energy sector — indeed it has been building new coal-fired power stations at the rate of one a week — and although it is now rapidly developing its substantial indigenous shale gas resources (another fossil fuel), its renewable energy industry, both wind and solar, is essentially for export to the developed world.

It is true that China is planning to reduce its so-called “carbon intensity” quite substantially by 2020. But there is a world of difference between the sensible objective of using fossil fuels more efficiently, which is what this means, and the foolish policy of abandoning fossil fuels, which it has no intention of doing. China’s total carbon emissions are projected to carry on rising — and rising substantially — as its economy grows.

This puts into perspective the UK’s commitment, under the Climate Change Act, to near-total decarbonisation. The UK accounts for less than 2 per cent of global emissions: indeed, its total emissions are less than the annual increase in China’s. Never mind, says Lord Deben, chairman of the government-appointed Climate Change Committee, we are in the business of setting an example to the world.

No doubt this sort of thing goes down well at meetings of the faithful, and enables him and them to feel good. But there is little point in setting an example, at great cost, if no one is going to follow it; and around the world governments are now gradually watering down or even abandoning their decarbonisation ambitions.  Indeed, it is even worse than that. Since the UK has abandoned the idea of having an energy policy in favour of having a decarbonisation policy, there is a growing risk that, before very long, our generating capacity will be inadequate to meet our energy needs. If so, we shall be setting an example all right: an example of what not to do.

So how is it that much of the Western world, and this country in particular, has succumbed to the self-harming collective madness that is climate change orthodoxy? It is difficult to escape the conclusion that climate change orthodoxy has in effect become a substitute religion, attended by all the intolerant zealotry that has so often marred religion in the past, and in some places still does so today.

Throughout the Western world, the two creeds that used to vie for popular support, Christianity and the atheistic belief system of Communism, are each clearly in decline. Yet people still feel the need both for the comfort and for the transcendent values that religion can provide. It is the quasi-religion of green alarmism and global salvationism, of which the climate change dogma is the prime example, which has filled the vacuum, with reasoned questioning of its mantras regarded as little short of sacrilege.

The parallel goes deeper. As I mentioned earlier, throughout the ages the weather has been an important part of the religious narrative. In primitive societies it was customary for extreme weather events to be explained as punishment from the gods for the sins of the people; and there is no shortage of this theme in the Bible, either — particularly, but not exclusively, in the Old Testament. The contemporary version of this is that, as a result of heedless industrialisation within a framework of materialistic capitalism, we have directly (albeit not deliberately) perverted the weather, and will duly receive our comeuppance.

There is another aspect, too, which may account for the appeal of this so-called explanation. Throughout the ages, something deep in man’s psyche has made him receptive to apocalyptic warnings that the end of the world is nigh. And almost all of us, whether we like it or not, are imbued with feelings of guilt and a sense of sin. How much less uncomfortable it is, how much more convenient, to divert attention away from our individual sins and reasons to feel guilty, and to sublimate them in collective guilt and collective sin.

Why does this matter? It matters, and matters a great deal, on two quite separate grounds. The first is that it has gone a long way towards ushering in a new age of unreason. It is a cruel irony that, while it was science which, more than anything else, was able by its great achievements, to establish the age of reason, it is all too many climate scientists and their hangers-on who have become the high priests of a new age of unreason.

But what moves me most is that the policies invoked in its name are grossly immoral. We have, in the UK, devised the most blatant transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich — and I am slightly surprised that it is so strongly supported by those who consider themselves to be the tribunes of the people and politically on the Left. I refer to our system of heavily subsidising wealthy landlords to have wind farms on their land, so that the poor can be supplied with one of the most expensive forms of electricity known to man.

This is also, of course, inflicting increasing damage on the British economy, to no useful purpose whatever. More serious morally, because it is on a much larger scale, is the perverse intergenerational transfer of wealth implied by orthodox climate change policies. It is not much in dispute that future generations — those yet unborn — will be far wealthier than those — ourselves, our children, and for many of us our grandchildren — alive today. This is the inevitable consequence of the projected economic growth which, on a “business as usual” basis, drives the increased carbon emissions which in turn determine the projected future warming. It is surely perverse that those alive today should be told that they must impoverish themselves, by abandoning what is far and away the cheapest source of energy, in order to ensure that those yet to be born, who will in any case be signally better off than they are, will be better off still, by escaping the disadvantages of any warming that might occur.

However, the greatest immorality of all concerns the masses in the developing world. It is excellent that, in so many parts of the developing world — the so-called emerging economies — economic growth is now firmly on the march, as they belatedly put in place the sort of economic policy framework that brought prosperity to the Western world. Inevitably, they already account for, and will increasingly account for, the lion’s share of global carbon emissions.

But, despite their success, there are still hundreds of millions of people in these countries in dire poverty, suffering all the ills that this brings, in terms of malnutrition, preventable disease, and premature death. Asking these countries to abandon the cheapest available sources of energy is, at the very least, asking them to delay the conquest of malnutrition, to perpetuate the incidence of preventable disease, and to increase the numbers of premature deaths.

Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked.

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155 thoughts on “Nigel Lawson: Cool It

  1. The CAGW cultists aren’t going to heed a word of this, but this will benefit those that have been only half paying attention and are starting to suspect that we are not “all gonna fry” as the oceans boil away.

    Very good article.

  2. According to the temperature records kept by the UK Met Office (and other series are much the same), over the past 150 years (that is, from the very beginnings of the Industrial Revolution), mean global temperature has increased by a little under a degree centigrade — according to the Met Office, 0.8ºC. This has happened in fits and starts, which are not fully understood. To begin with, to the extent that anyone noticed it, it was seen as a welcome and natural recovery from the rigours of the Little Ice Age. But the great bulk of it — 0.5ºC out of the 0.8ºC — occurred during the last quarter of the 20th century.

    The great bulk of it was in the final quarter of the 20th century? That’s not even so for surface temperature in data from most trustworthy (less biased) sources. And average sea level rise was not faster (actually slower) in the second half than the first half of the 20th century (reference within the next link).

    Multiple activist sources reproduce each other (shared goal and objectives), like having the 1960s-1970s global cooling scare be practically an event magically happening without a cause, implicitly pretending that scientists of the time couldn’t notice a backdrop of rising temperatures (in today’s rewritten history of the period). But it was more a double peak and not a hockey stick in less adjusted data as in examples in my usual http://tinyurl.com/nbnh7hq (which shows actual explanation for much of the “fits and starts”), as in countless plots at http://hidethedecline.eu .

    This article is good on the whole, but disinformation is best addressed, however unintentionally spread.

  3. Nigel Lawson’s article is pretty much spot on. No scientist knows the future. Climate science is well developed but there are still large uncertainties. Models are biased to higher sensitivity because of the DT/(1-f) factor. Th feedback factor f is mostly due to water feedback and it is still not really certain that f> 0. Let’s first determine f before shutting down modern society. I am convinced that for example lord deben is driven more by deep Catholic beliefs rather than logical thought. Indeed it is the case that a quasi religious green element has entered the debate and climate scientists to their discredit have soaked it up. Others are cynically exploiting that belief for financial gain.

  4. Excellently written and well-informed.

    At least the first half , at which point I got bored and gave up reading what I already knew.

    As far a I got I did not find anything I would disagree with or that needed correction.

    Well informed, well presented ( and well to long ).

    Thank you ex-chancellor Lawson. May your geriatric days be many.

  5. A good speech although the video lacks ‘production values’ because Lawson does not use visual aids.
    From the tone of the questions at the end it seems unlikely that Lawson swayed many of his CAGW brainwashed listeners.
    The ‘MC’ almost apologized for Lawson’s presence. He explained how important it was to allow unpopular and diverse views in a university setting.

  6. Read all of it. Really great points! The points you make about the religious overtones, the doomsday alarmism, the dismissing of contrary evidence, the shuttered circle of “experts”, the irrational actions that they deem necessary, the vitriol to any non-follower, etc… all this has a name. It’s a cult. There’s no two ways about it.

    Cult: a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    * a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.
    -source: google dictionary

    We must appease the gods of global warming or else!!! Everything that happens, warm weather, cold weather, etc. it’s all caused by the same god of global warming. We must repent for our sins regardless of the cost to our quality of lives. /sarc

    Seriously, that’s a cult. Everything you hear on TV or in the papers about “climate change” sounds like cult. It’s so over the top that I have no idea how anyone can take it seriously.

  7. I don’t often agree with politicians of any colour, but I have to agree with this.
    Well said.

  8. Unfortunately L Lawson is relying on fraudulent data +0.8C in the last century is based on surface temperature that has been constantly adjusted to fit the AGW mantra. If he had taken a look at reliable older data such as CET or Armagh and highly reliable satellite more recent RSS data its shows no change whatsoever 0 warming.(to current date) These type of articles continue to feed the warmist and do more harm than good since they are based on Fraud and continue to give the impression to the mainstream skeptical population that it has actually warmed when it actually hasn’t. I stand my ground and im sure I will be vindicated in the future when all is revealed.

  9. Thank you Nigel Lawson.
    This should be required reading for every politician who votes to spend the people’s money on climate policy or research funding. After all there is no such thing as Government Funds, the pols take money from one group of people ( those who earned enough to be taxed), and dole it out to provide for the greater good (too often to their supporters, or their associates).

  10. Like many, Lord Lawson needs to look at the obvious fact from the observational data that CO2 is not the control knob of climate, therefore the assumption that CO2 causes any warming is highly suspect, something a sceptical scientist would test. To state that CO2 ‘must’ cause warning is to be as religious as those alarmists he is criticising.

  11. Sometimes, and albeit rarely, politicians do seem able to fully grasp the nettle (and all the sting and venom that ensues) – in this case Lawson has done so admirably and should be congratulated, Well done, Sir !

  12. This is the part that people don’t see well enough, and we should say it whenever we can:

    “It is relevant to note at this point that there is an important distinction between science and scientists. I have the greatest respect for science, whose development has transformed the world for the better. But scientists are no better and no worse than anyone else. There are good scientists and there are bad scientists. Many scientists are outstanding people working long hours to produce important results. They must be frustrated that political activists then turn those results into propaganda. Yet they dare not speak out for fear of losing their funding.”

  13. “Global Warming” is the new Hellfire and Brimstone religion for people who think they’re too smart to fall for a Hellfire and Brimstone religion.

    “REPENT YE, REPENT YE, O YE SINNERS, OR YE SHALL ALL PERISH IN FLAME!!! AND GIVE US ALL YOUR MONEY TO PROVE YE ARE WORTHY OF SALVATION!!! REPENT YE, O REPENT YE!!!”

    it’s the same old game as always.

  14. Lawson is telling the truth as he knows it to a public audience.

    That’s a crystal clear message that he has no intention to run for elected office again.

  15. I agree with practically every word in this article. My only quibble is that Mr Lawson equates CAGW with religion. In my Protestant opinion ‘cult’ would be a more accurate description. My religion explicitly rejects cultic excess in passages tracing back to Christ Himself: Matt 5:45, John 9:1f and Luke 13:1f

  16. My only comment on this thorough and brilliantly executed essay, is that you have been way to kind to the alarmists.
    “calculating mean global temperature from the records of weather stations and maritime observations around the world, of varying quality, is a pretty heroic task in the first place”

    Heroic? Just plain foolhardy, patently erroneous and ultimately – stupid.

  17. david elder @ 2:59
    I will also not credit the movement by describing it as a religion. It is a cult that many religions have allowed in and the cult has distorted basic religious beliefs. It is not by accident. The United Nations Environment Programme (read United Nations Everything Programme) has what its initiators call the Earth Charter. Mikhail Gorbachev, Maurice Strong and Steven Rockefeller, each of whom is a member of the Club of Rome, are responsible. One of their objectives was to do away with the Ten Commandments and they are proud of having accomplished that in their Earth worshiping, human hating manifesto. The Earth Charter Directorate promotes the charter through teacher training institutions and also in schools, churches and educational programs given by conservation associations and other youth programs. It is wicked.

  18. But I have never in my life experienced the extremes of personal hostility, vituperation and vilification which I — along with other dissenters, of course — have received for my views on global warming and global warming policies.

    Let me assist you Lord Lawson. It’s not about C02 it’s about agenda driven activism. I remember Lord Lawson during Thatcher’s time and there was a LOT of hostility. Co2 garners more hostility. Why? Co2 was supposed to be the magic bullet to tack a VERY WIDE RANGE of issues for environmentalists, social activists and unprincipled, greedy capitalists like Gore and Maurice Strong. It is failing therefore massive hostility.

  19. The sad fact is that it takes a “retired” politician to speak out like this – the same way as it is almost always retired scientists who point out the absurdity of the IPCC findings and mechanisms. Judith Curry is far from being a skeptic, yet she has stated how refusing to fall into line with the alarmists has damaged her career prospects. I wonder how many more have suffered similarly (Roger Pielke Jr comes to mind – having been savaged by the office of the President) and how many are kept silent by the thought of damaging their careers.

    On Bishop Hill I read that the GWPF has a new member on their Academic Advisory Council – Lennart Bengtsson, former head of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting and director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. The word to note in there is former.

  20. “But I have never in my life experienced the extremes of personal hostility, vituperation and vilification which I — along with other dissenters, of course — have received for my views on global warming and global warming policies.”

    It is good to document Green Totalitarianism. The violence of Green denunciations demonstrates that they have no interest in open discussion of climate science.

    “That has not stopped some climate scientists, such as the publicity-hungry chief scientist at the UK Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo, from telling the media that it is likely that “climate change” (by which they mean warming) is partly to blame. Usually, however, the climate scientists take refuge in the weasel words that any topical extreme weather event, whatever the extreme weather may be, whether the recent UK rainfall or last year’s typhoon in the Philippines, “is consistent with what we would expect from climate change”.

    So what? It is also consistent with the theory that it is a punishment from the Almighty for our sins (the prevailing explanation of extreme weather events throughout most of human history). But that does not mean that there is the slightest truth in it.”

    It is good to call out the emptiness of the public claims made by the highest authorities among the scientists who support CAGW.

  21. Greg says:
    May 1, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Excellently written and well-informed.

    At least the first half , at which point I got bored and gave up reading what I already knew….

    I guess you didn’t read the last sentence then?

    Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked

  22. For those saying that he should not be using warmist-developed temperatures, consider this from a courtroom perspective: Information obtained from an adversarial witness harries far more weight with the jury than those witnesses that you have sought out.

    Following this line of reasoning, the fact that the IPCC says that recent global warming is .05C +/- .1 is a jewel. To anyone who even had one week of statistics in high school, this is delicious.

  23. It is true that most members of the climate science establishment are reluctant to accept this, and argue that the missing heat has for the time being gone into the (very cold) ocean depths, only to be released later. This is, however, highly conjectural. Assessing the mean global temperature of the ocean depths is — unsurprisingly — even less reliable, by a long way, than the surface temperature record. And in any event most scientists reckon that it will take thousands of years for this “missing heat” to be released to the surface.

    Thanks for the précis of where things are generally at guys – it’s great to have an overview every now and then and this one is quite accessible and readable I found. It brought up an issue that’s been on my mind for a little while that I would like some references/ help with though.
    I’m not a scientist and I’m learning about this as I read on, so bear with me here ….if the heat is being absorbed into the ocean depths (now) why wasn’t it doing that over the past 30 years when the global warming was occurring ? And why wasn’t it during the Medieval Warm Period ? If this is a recent phenomena – what has changed in the oceans and atmosphere to make it occur ?

  24. I guarantee that you can stop global warming by throwing well chosen British and American politicians and climate scientists down the Mauna Loa volcano.

  25. He has suffered the slings and arrows yet he is positive and inspirational. An intelligent and comprehensive summation of our present situation and how we might proceed. Thank you Sir .

  26. Ah sweet reason.
    “I have often thought that the most important use of the precautionary principle is against the precautionary principle itself, since it can all too readily lead to absurd policy …”
    That sentence tickled my funny bone.

  27. Eliza says:
    May 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm
    “Unfortunately L Lawson is relying on fraudulent data +0.8C in the last century is based on surface temperature that has been constantly adjusted to fit the AGW mantra. If he had taken a look at reliable older data such as CET …

    I looked here:

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

    And find Lawson’s words, namely
    But the great bulk of it — 0.5ºC out of the 0.8ºC — occurred during the last quarter of the 20th century.
    . . . to fit quite well. For a graphic display I would be more precise but for a general purpose public discussion his words seem close enough. Perhaps, Eliza, you can say exactly what seems wrong or is this not the temperature record you recommended?

  28. So many excellent points, so eloquently put.

    ”So what? It is also consistent with the theory that it is a punishment from the Almighty for our sins (the prevailing explanation of extreme weather events throughout most of human history). But that does not mean that there is the slightest truth in it. Indeed, it would be helpful if the climate scientists would tell us what weather pattern would not be consistent with the current climate orthodoxy. If they cannot do so, then we would do well to recall the important insight of Karl Popper — that any theory that is incapable of falsification cannot be considered scientific.”

    Love it. Many thanks for this wonderful piece. It should be taught in our schools… and colleges.

    Eamon.

  29. Even 5 years ago, I honestly would have thought anyone who suggested I might agree with a member of Thatcher’s cabinet on anything was due for a padded cell somewhere.

    This essay proves me wrong on that, and it also demonstrates something that we sceptics should maybe remember and use to our advantage – the climate debate may well be political, but it is absolutely not party political!

  30. forget the “precautionary principle”. according to former Exxon exec, it’s the “Come to Jesus” moment that will count! there’s no bizness like CAGW bizness. READ ALL:

    1 May: GreenBiz: Bill Shireman: How two ExxonMobil and Sierra Club lawyers agreed on a carbon tax
    Climate experts David Bailey and David Bookbinder were once at odds with each other. They worked on opposite sides of the tracks — Bookbinder was chief climate counsel for the Sierra Club, and Bailey served as climate policy manager for ExxonMobil…
    ***David Bookbinder: When we first met in 2007, Exxon had called for a carbon tax. I thought cap and trade was not going anywhere in Congress, so I reached out to David Bailey, who was their climate chief, to start talking about a carbon tax…
    Bookbinder: Bailey and I seemed to click. What started as apprehension grew into a strong bond over many meetings and baseball games. Our views on climate are not halfway between ExxonMobil and the Sierra Club — we have one common view: how to deal with climate change as efficiently as possible…
    David Bailey: Congress will only reach for a tax when they run out of alternatives. That will eventually happen. It seems to me there is no way around it. The question is: When?
    ***It might happen when they reach a “Come to Jesus” moment on the deficit. That would be triggered when the deficit becomes a political imperative, due to rapidly rising interest rates or bond failures.
    When Congress comes to the point that it must choose between eliminating the mortgage interest deduction or establishing a carbon tax, it will choose the carbon tax. It’s easier to admit to the voters that they must do something to save the country than it is to take away their home mortgage deduction…

    http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/05/01/exxonmobil-sierra-club-united-carbon-tax

  31. Nigel Lawson has written a truly excellent essay.

    While I may take issue with the lukewarmer position, this is not the issue here.

    Nigel Lawson has made a very thorough case for bringing the wickedness of the whole global warming inanity to an end.

    Sadly the AGW fellow travellers have dug themselves a very deep hole. In this the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that those that sought to profit from the propaganda and vilified sceptics to silence them can never escape their shame. This is also the curse of the Internet. Those that cannot escape their shame will fight just as long as they can to delay the inevitable.

  32. David Elder at 2:59pm.
    Thank you. I’m not the only one that believes that these CAGW guys are “cultists”, with all of the negative excesses that implies. And I agree they should not be given the benefit of being considered a religion. A religion implies a system of morals and ethics and these “cultists” have not exhibited these traits.

  33. more bizness – James Murray at Business Green provides the only report i can find online of the Carbon Trust’s Chairman’s Dinner. wish someone could find a transcript or a video of King’s presentation. obviously, “the biggest challenge of all time” is to be kept secret from the public! LOL.

    30 April: Business Green: Sir David King: “Climate change is not the biggest challenge of our time, it’s the biggest challenge of all time”
    Former chief scientists (sic) refuses to sugar-coat climate risk assessment – political and business leaders should listen
    “Climate change is not, in the Foreign Secretary’s words, the biggest challenge of our time, it’s the biggest challenge of all time.”
    Those were the words last night of Sir David King, erstwhile chief scientist and current Foreign Office adviser on climate change. He was speaking at the annual Chairman’s Dinner for the Carbon Trust (a rather delicious vegetarian meal, since you ask, in consideration of the planet and waistlines), where King responded to a question I posited about arguably his most famous intervention in the climate change debate, namely his 2004 assertion that climate change was a bigger threat than terrorism.
    Is climate change still a bigger threat than terrorism, I asked, and assuming the answer is yes, can you envisage a warning that would convince politicians to take the steps needed to tackle the threat? It was, I’ll admit, a slightly unfair question, given no one has yet worked out what it will take to get our political class to deliver climate action commensurate with the scale of the threat. But it was a useful reminder to hear one of the world’s leading scientific figures reassert that climate change is a threat nonpareil, an existential challenge to the global economy and our way of life.
    King’s chilling assessment of the scale of climate risk brought to a close an evening in which he had been remarkably upbeat about the prospects for both an international climate change treaty and an effective response to the climate threat…

    ***He was similarly optimistic about encouraging progress from clean technology developers and financial markets. He described the “carbon bubble” hypothesis as critical to shaking financiers out of their chronic short termism and hailed the emergence of low cost renewable energy and energy storage technologies as the breakthrough that makes a genuinely low carbon economy viable….

    http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/james-blog/2342417/sir-david-king-climate-change-is-not-the-biggest-challenge-of-our-time-its-the-biggest-challenge-of-all-time

    SCROLL DOWN for “Dinner” tweets at this one:

    https://twitter.com/thecarbontrust

  34. Carbon Trust: Our Board
    Chair, The Carbon Trust
    In addition to his role as chair of the Carbon Trust, James is chair of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama and chair of the advisory board of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College and LSE. James retired from Shell in April 2011 after 7 years as Chairman of Shell UK…
    Tom Delay
    Chief Executive, The Carbon Trust
    Tom was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust in 2001. Tom has extensive experience in the energy sector, with 16 years in commercial and operations roles at Shell, before moving into management consultancy with McKinsey and the Global Energy Practice of A.T. Kearney prior to joining the Carbon Trust…
    ADVISORY PANEL….ETC

    https://www.carbontrust.com/about-us/our-board

    1 May: Carbon Trust: Industrial renewable heat
    What are the opportunities for renewable heat technology in industry? Renewable heat is key in supporting industrial prosperity in a sustainable, low carbon economy. Joao Lampreia looks at the current state of renewable heat in each of the five main industrial sub-sectors, and further opportunities for its use.
    (Joao is an analyst in the Carbon Trust’s Policy & Markets team, working with government agencies mostly in Brazil to provide advice on how to structure low carbon programmes and policy strategies.)

    https://www.carbontrust.com/news/2014/05/industrial-renewable-heat

  35. Great article, but he fails to mention that behind the IPCC there is the United Nations. Evidence is mounting, in fact it can be seen on just about every UN website, that the UN wants to impoversh the western world in the name of what they call “sustainability”. They are not talking about economic sustainability but rather about the “damage” that humans do to the environment which is treated as being more catestrophic than predicted CO2 caused global warming.
    Imminent figures associated with the UN propose catastrophic population reductions in order to save Gaia and if the IPCC deservedly crashes, there is still Agenda 21, signed by every western country on this planet and has tenticles in our legislation, local governments, our education and who knows where else, there to hold the flag. Compared with Agenda 21 make the Global Warming hysteria look like May dancing.

    How do I know this? Its because I live in a earthquake devastated city and I am seeing Agenda21 policies enacted in front of my very eyes using the “unprecidented opportunity” (the earthquakes) to “build a better” (sustainable) Christchurch.

    Human rights, property rights and restraints on governmental power have all but disappeared!

    Our “government” is even compulsarily demolishing undamaged, privately owned buildings to make way for their wonderful plan. Christchurch is not being rebuilt and repaired – instead a completely new, different and expensive city is being built where our city of Christchurch once was.

    Some of this is on my blog at http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    Cheers

    Roger

  36. Nigel Lawson: Congratulations for writing what I consider the best article ever on WUWT but for one thing …

    Quite understandably Sir, you are still somewhat misled by the “falacious fissics” which supposedly proves water vapor and carbon dioxide cause higher surface temperatures. They don’t Sir. Gravity does, and then water vapor cools.

    May I very strongly recommended the new Amazon book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” which in my opinion contains the most accurate and sound physics and supporting empirical evidence that you will read anywhere about climate change.

  37. Total layman here. I’ve got some questions for whoever…

    (1) Can we, today, calculate a global average lower atmosphere temperature? Do we have enough of both land and sea being measured to make such a calculation?
    (2) All of (1), but for for the years 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, etc. And what is our +/- statistical error region?
    (3) If (1) and/or (2) can not be done with extreme accuracy and precision, how can we honestly say that global average temperature has increased by X-amount over the past 100 years?

    In a nuthshell: is our data for 80 years good enough to say there has been warming with confidence?

  38. Well said by Lord Lawson. However, I doubt his lecture will sway those who doubt him for one reason alone. He used, big words.

  39. Very good article, it gets right to the heart of the matter, precisely the message we want to get out to the world.

  40. His speech is worth more than all the graphs and hockey sticks that have been modified and corrupted to prove a so called scientific consensus. Who is taking heed eh?

  41. The thing is that even if Lawson were to be wrong about some or all of what he says, he is still not screaming at me. Warmist are. And this matters to us all, no mater our political ideologies, because it reveals something fundamental about the means and motives of those in the public space.

  42. The reference to the “guilt culture” of the West is very relevant. This attitude is based on the deeply entrenched “Original Sin” concept and does not appear in Eastern philosophy. Internalized Eastern social control relies on “shame”. Shame cultures avoid saying or doing things that will bring future embarrassment and “loss of face”. Avoidance of hypocrisy outweighs avoidance of guilt.

    The East-west divide on climate policy reflects these incongruent perspectives. Western activists are trying to “guilt” the Chinese into implementing their silly policies. It is futile. The Chinese have not (yet) tried to enforce any policies on Europe by pointing out the utter hypocrisy in vogue there, because they are polite and have a strong non-interference policy. But they easily could.

    A “carbon footprint” is the new Original Sin, meaning Europe never strayed far from its ideological roots. It just took a new materialist god and retained its self-righteous, superior attitude. The alarmists would do well to develop a sense of shame.

  43. CAGW is indeed been revealed by the evidence to be real. It has been manufactured by anthropes at UKMet Office, GISS, NCAR, NOAA….My weather forecast for the future is there will HadCrut 5, 6 and more if needed to bend us out of this and my forecast for the past is that the same organizations will continue to push the temps of a century plus ago downwards. Eventually they will be constrained by depths of the ice age on one hand and the discipline of satellite temperatures on the other. Then they have exhausted the leeway available.

    How ironic that this type of jiggering has, indeed, contributed at least a few extra years to the much bemoaned hiatus, having bent the recent temps up as high as they can. I’m sure they wish sceptics had interceded earlier. For there is no question they would now settle for a more gradual but continued warming in the present – say 0.09C per decade. For astronomers, physicists and mathematicians, to not have seen the obvious end game of this dishonest arithmetic giving these constraints at both ends is very telling about the quality of their minds.

  44. SDB says:
    May 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm
    Total layman here. I’ve got some questions for whoever…
    (1) Can we, today, calculate a global average lower atmosphere temperature? Do we have enough of both land and sea being measured to make such a calculation?
    ===================================================
    RSS calculates for disparate elevations of the atmosphere. In the last ten years RSS is diverging (cooler) then the surface readings at a centennial rate great then the rate of projected centennial warming. Keep in my that T does not correlate directly to an increase or decrease in energy. IE, it takes far more energy to raise the tropics one degree, then it does the Arctic. Most of the warming is North or South of 62 degrees. In other words, the bad models are worse then we thought.
    ==========================================================
    (2) All of (1), but for for the years 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, etc. And what is our +/- statistical error region?
    ==============================================================
    Good question but many consider the surface record to have far higher error bars then organizations like GISSS claim. The real answer, IMV about .1 to .3 degrees, but keep in mind that T s not correlated directly with energy.
    =====================================================================
    (3) If (1) and/or (2) can not be done with extreme accuracy and precision, how can we honestly say that global average temperature has increased by X-amount over the past 100 years?
    In a nuthshell: is our data for 80 years good enough to say there has been warming with confidence?
    =============================================
    Yes, IMV, but not within the claimed error bars. BTW, this warming is good news. Look up the NIPCC report on climate change. Over 1,000 pages with hundreds of peer reviewed references explaining how CO2 is net beneficial to the Biosphere and the purported catastrophe is not happening in thousand of real world observations.

  45. Yeah, I never liked the title of that skeptical documentary: Not Evil Just Wrong. I think if you’re going to deceive and manipulate on this scale, you’re at the very least, wicked, as Lord Lawson says. If not downright evil – even if I don’t particularly like that word.
    Warmenism, today, is every bit the scourge that communism once was; in that, it is just as flawed, malevolent and intolerant of dissent in its ideology and agenda.

  46. I think Lord Lawson’s conclusion needs to be hammered home until even the brainless media begin to take notice. Up to now, the Climatists have been able to convince the politicians and the media that skeptics are just quibblers. No, there is much more at stake:

    Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked.

    /Mr Lynn

  47. “over the past 150 years… mean global temperature has increased by a little under a degree centigrade — according to the Met Office, 0.8ºC. … But the great bulk of it — 0.5ºC out of the 0.8ºC — occurred during the last quarter of the 20th century.”

    So the alarmism against CO2 has arisen over 0.3 degrees warming since 1975? Does anyone believe that the average temperature of the Earth can be measured within 0.3 degrees of accuracy, or that natural variability could not account for that small amount of warming? The alarmists have a lot of splainin to do. I bet they’re secretly praying to Gaia for a large, 1998-style El Nino to happen soon with no El Nina to follow.

  48. Oops. I got that backwards. Replace 0.3 degrees with 0.5 degrees since 1975. That is about the same amount Hansen’s group lowered the temperatures of the 1930’s in the US.

  49. Thanks, Nigel Lawson, good article.
    Increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have helped boost green foliage across the world’s arid regions over the past 30 years through a process called CO2 fertilisation, according to CSIRO research.
    In findings based on satellite observations, CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), found that this CO2 fertilisation correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa, according to CSIRO research scientist, Dr. Randall Donohue.
    See Deserts ‘greening’ from rising CO2 (CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Australia’s national science agency. 3 July 2013), at http://www.csiro.au/en/Portals/Media/Deserts-greening-from-rising-CO2.aspx

  50. “Climate change alarmism is a belief system”
    True. It is often said that it is a religion; more precisely, it is a cult.

    “Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked.”
    And global warming fundamentalism is not merely wicked. It is evil.

  51. The corrections, exceptions and debate of various aspects of this item in the comments section above noted and to a large degree accepted as making valid contributions to the discussion, Lord Nigel Lawson I commend you for producing a exceedingly well structured and reasoned Essay that powerfully answers and debunks the highly exaggerated and scientifically invalid case for climate change/global warming that dominates the science community, the media and the political/governmental power base today. Thank you, Sir, for stepping into the spotlight with such a well structured and reasoned presentation. And, thanks, of course, to WUWT for posting it. We all know that it will not be distributed by the major media, so it is up to each of us to repost it, distribute it and link to it as widely as possible. Will it have a significant impact in our efforts to correct the bad science of carbon dioxide “pollution” global warming and stop the damaging actions of our governments? Not immediately. But, despite our internal debate about various aspects of the scientific details in this strong presentation, if we all work as a team to present the case as clearly and strongly as Lord Lawson has done, we will have some impact and perhaps in time we can win the debate.

  52. Funny thing that Anthony’s blog (which recently caricatured “deniers”, you know the “REAL” deniers (not the “semi” deniers), with reptilian brains and pointy teeth (nice artwork Josh)) posts a “let’s all calm down” lecture…..

    The believers in CAGW, or even AGW have posited this hypothesis, although at this point it is more like a steaming heap of conjectures with lots of convenient “exceptions”; well we can only see it in the NH, it’s there trust us, the heat is hiding (like a game of where’s Waldo ™), it’s over the equator, no wait, it’s in the Arctic, no wait, it’s in the deep oceans, no it’s in the pipeline, no IT’S IN OUR MODELS……. It is up to those folks positing this hypothesis (“we’re all going to fry”) to PUT UP OR SHUT UP, it’s your theory, you own it, you have had billions and decades to “prove it”, you have demanded that we all live in caves and eat twigs (while you all fly to Bali to “decide” how much “evil energy” the rest of us might be allowed to have), so PROVE IT, design one or two or even a dozen experiments THAT PROVE IT. Oh and for Steve M, if you demand that I live as you say I demand PROOF, LOTS AND LOTS OF PROOF, not conjecture.

    So as a taxpayer that helped fund this total farce I only have one thing to say; SHOW US THE ……. MISSING HEAT (expletives deleted in the name of good taste). Where is it ????????????

    I have for many years instructed my elected representatives that I want ALL dollars for this farce known as “climate science” fully defunded, I will continue to communicate this message to my employees (US representatives, Senators, State Senators, etc.). Those that agree should consider doing likewise.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  53. Nigel Lawson: Cool It

    Sir: I applaud you for this brilliant exposition. How have we come to the point where our “intelligentsia” are a bunch of ill-educated, dull, cant-reciting idiots? Turning the coin on them, do we have to lock them away for their own good? Shut down the universities? Revoke their 501c3 status so other idiots won’t contribute to them? Is there any way to regain the sensibility of the Reformation?

  54. “warmenism” has a lower acidity content that “warmmunism” so I prefer the former. No need to raise the temperature.

  55. A fine article, which it is difficult to find fault with. But here goes:

    “Many scientists are outstanding people working long hours to produce important results.

    Unfortunately, there are less of them than there were:
    in 2011,

    “Pfizer to close UK research site”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12335801

    is now followed by

    “Big pharma takeover :threat to science base in the UK”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-27208899

    and Astra-Zeneca were already leaving their research park south of Manchester.

    The world cannot run on scientists being paid to study global-warming.

  56. Thank you, Lord Lawson (and Anthony) for this excellent article.

    I was particularly struck by your own coda: “Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked”. I think this sums up an issue which will turn out to be a very difficult one: that opponents on opposite sides of the argument cannot be reconciled until there is some “act of repentance”, of the wickedness which each side regards the other as committing. This will be a bitter pill, swallowed very reluctantly.

    But I am heartened by your examples as Chancellor in the 1980’s – particularly taking the Laffer Curve by the horns and proving that reducing higher rates of the direct taxes actually increases total revenues.

  57. I do accept Lord Lawson’s word that the foundation does not take money from the energy industry, partly because it is irrelevant to the scientific question and to the question of whether the alarmism is justified.

    However.

    “And to those who are not-regrettably-prepared to accept my word, I would point out that among our trustees are a bishop of the Church of England, a former private secretary to the Queen, and a former head of the Civil Service. Anyone who imagines that we are all engaged in a conspiracy to lie is clearly in an advanced stage of paranoia.”

    Paranoia or not, this list of the Great and the Good includes exactly the sort of people I would expect to support an ex-Chancellor in an informal, nod-and-wink, conspiracy against the people.

    The Academic Advisory Council seems to be much more trustworthy.

    The suspicion which many of us feel towards the powerful and influential should not be underestimated. It may be unjustified, and it may even be paranoid, but it is there. If Lord Lawson wishes to communicate with the general public, and not just a select circle, it would be advisable for him to take that into account.

  58. Ya, good stuff, Nigey, old chap. This catastrophic narrative is evil and has brought us to Hell.
    ===============

  59. And I thank Lord Lawson for pointing out the grotesque immorality of the wealth transfer involved, though I expect him (Chancellor under Thatcher!) to be accused of being a Marxist/liberal/leftist for having such concerns.

  60. “Why does this matter? It matters, and matters a great deal, on two quite separate grounds. The first is that it has gone a long way towards ushering in a new age of unreason.”

    The extreme irrationalism of these Baby Boomers is alarming to me, also. The Boomers, who said, “Question authority, don’t trust anyone over 30, don’t lay a heavy trip on me, if it feels good do it, transcend reality” – this generation, if it had even a shred of self-awareness, or a modicum of rationality, would go into complete shock at what it has become.

    They, using highly selective and deeply distorted science, have embraced a system of micromanagement of education, energy use, transportation, diet, medical treatment, and any other matter of personal choice, under the guise of World Empire (“UN”) directorates for “sustainability.”

    It is a known fact that through suggestion and accusation, a person can create a physical, negative reaction to harmless and even healthful persons, places or things. For example, lying to children and young people about their food, energy, water use, cattle, and transportation, creates a fearful, uncertain, and doubtful response. This is nothing short of practicing sorcery on simple minds, causing them to fear neutral or beneficial things, such as beef, cheap electricity, air travel, personal transportation, and grains. Age of Unreason indeed. That is so well said.

  61. Nigel, very well said. Thank you.

    I would add that we may very well be ignoring the 800 lb gorilla in the climate change room:

    “Investigating the processes that led to the end of the last interglacial period is relevant for understanding how our ongoing interglacial will end, which has been a matter of much debate…..

    “The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades, demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2, which is the 65oN July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428 Wm2. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”

    http://www.particle-analysis.info/LEAP_Nature__Sirocko+Seelos.pdf

    As of 2014, the Holocene is now 11,717 years old, a little over half a precession cycle at its current 23,000 year nadir. Seven of the last eight interglacials have lasted about half a precession cycle. At the very least one might hope that CO2 could bridge this ~4,000 year gap as we work-out climate understanding.

    The quixotic thing here is that if we want the Canadians, most Russians, and further-north Europeans etc. to participate in the discussions, we can’t very well go pulling the “climate security blanket” off of them, proving the null hypothesis, can we? Tipping us into the next glacial et al?

    If Ruddiman’s 2003 “Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis” (http://courses.washington.edu/holocene/Ruddiman-Holocene_Carbon_Cycle_Anthropocene-ClimChange03.pdf) is correct, then the reason we are not already well along into glacial inception is because of our GHG emissions!

    In the age of Enlightenment we pursued cause and effect. Not all that long ago we devolved to pause and project. Or was that clause and reject?

    “This is why the past million years has been essentially a continuing ice-age, broken occasionally by short-lived interglacials. It is also why those who have engaged in lurid talk over an enhanced greenhouse effect raising the Earth’s temperature by a degree or two should be seen as both demented and dangerous. The problem for the present swollen human species is of a drift back into an ice-age, not away from an ice-age.” http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1002717413720

    Assuming we do indeed do the dirty on the heathen devil gas CO2, what will the end-Holocene then look like??? Glacial inception? Keep in mind that after 11,717 years of “global warming” (aka interglacial) we might only have ~4,000 years of ” Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”, if we choose to deify this…………………

    I reckon that’s a pretty tough bit of climate gristle to digest/model. Perhaps that is why it isn’t something much discussed at world climate party’s…………or by many of the more fashionable models………

    “The End Holocene? Would you like fries with that?”

    “Uh, just a moment……………………Darling, where did we put the Gas-X?”

    “It’s under the next terminal moraine dear.”

    “OK, we’ll have an MIS-11 double precession-cycle combo with no +21.0M amsl sea levels throughout most of its long length, no onions (few of us knew diddly-squat about onions back then), and SuperSize it. Oh, and double-grill it, like the MIS-5e burger….”

    Boettger, et al (Quaternary International 207 [2009] 137–144) abstract it:

    “In terrestrial records from Central and Eastern Europe the end of the Last Interglacial seems to be characterized by evident climatic and environmental instabilities recorded by geochemical and vegetation indicators. The transition (MIS 5e/5d) from the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) to the Early Last Glacial (Early Weichselian, Early Valdai) is marked by at least two warming events as observed in geochemical data on the lake sediment profiles of Central (Gro¨bern, Neumark–Nord, Klinge) and of Eastern Europe (Ples). Results of palynological studies of all these sequences indicate simultaneously a strong increase of environmental oscillations during the very end of the Last Interglacial and the beginning of the Last Glaciation. This paper discusses possible correlations of these events between regions in Central and Eastern Europe. The pronounced climate and environment instability during the interglacial/glacial transition could be consistent with the assumption that it is about a natural phenomenon, characteristic for transitional stages. Taking into consideration that currently observed ‘‘human-induced’’ global warming coincides with the natural trend to cooling, the study of such transitional stages is important for understanding the underlying processes of the climate changes.”

    The ploy, of course, will succeed. Why?

    “We show how the prevailing majority opinion in a population can be rapidly reversed by a small fraction p of randomly distributed committed agents who consistently proselytize the opposing opinion and are immune to influence. Specifically, we show that when the committed fraction grows beyond a critical value pc ≈ 10%, there is a dramatic decrease in the time Tc taken for the entire population to adopt the committed opinion.”

    Because “…..once an individual adopts the new state, his state remains unchanged at all subsequent times.” http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.3931.pdf

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, IS the problem………….

    Again, one of the better rational pieces on climate change I have read. Thanks Nigel!

  62. Jimbo says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm
    But I have never in my life experienced the extremes of personal hostility, vituperation and vilification which I — along with other dissenters, of course — have received for my views on global warming and global warming policies.

    Let me assist you Lord Lawson. It’s not about C02 it’s about agenda driven activism
    =============================================================
    As Lawson makes abundantly clear in the article.

  63. On the outrage directed at the appearance of Lord Lawson on the BBC to discuss climate change , I have seen the late Professor Steven Schneider appear on the “Insight ” program on ABC TV in Australia to debate and be questioned by 52 sceptics , in the audience. It is available for viewing on You Tube .No objection was taken to that discussion although none of the interrogators had any qualifications as climate scientists. No one alluded to any “lack of balance.”
    Imagine we went back 100 years and found TV to be then in wide use. Would Einstein
    have objected to appearing on the Tonight Show to debate Mack Sennett on his new controversial General Theory of Relativity? If Mack and the audience of the Keystone Cops were vitally interested in physics, I am sure Einstein would have been only too happy to oblige.

  64. @Zeke says: May 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm
    =============================

    Tedious assault on us baby boomers, who are apparently responsible for all the ills of the world. I know many many people of my generation who think CAGW is a crock of shit. Indeed, I find it much harder to convince younger people that it is.

  65. I have never read a more common sense summary of the total madness that is the global warming fraud.
    Brilliant.
    Here in Australia this paragraph sums up the former goverment and now in opposition, total rejection of common sense.
    They put their CO/2 tax to the people and were comprehensively removed from office in a landslide election defeat.
    But still in control of the senate they are blocking all efforts by the “people” in the removal of the CO/2 tax.
    Stating they will again take the useless tax to the next election.
    Idiots.
    If the British people ever need an example of what to do with a government that just flatly refuses to listen to the majority of their peoples, look no further than Australia.
    When is the next election due in England?

    “This puts into perspective the UK’s commitment, under the Climate Change Act, to near-total decarbonisation. The UK accounts for less than 2 per cent of global emissions: indeed, its total emissions are less than the annual increase in China’s. Never mind, says Lord Deben, chairman of the government-appointed Climate Change Committee, we are in the business of setting an example to the world.”

  66. Gerry asked about how the ‘missing heat’ suddenly decided to hide in the ocean. Well, a recent paper ( from the University of NSW I think?) suggested that stronger trade winds are the culprit.

    And you might be asking just how they formed this notion? A model, of course.

    I am not qualified to refute this apparently stupid idea. But it is not based on observation.

    Nigel Lawson makes the comparison to original sin. Well, a lot of alarmism reminds me of inerrancy apologetics (i.e. defending the notion that the Bible is without error). The allegation that heat is hiding in the ocean is classical apologetics – an attempt to cover over an inconvenience.

    It’s basically smoke and trapdoors. I could go on and on but I won’t. :-)

  67. So, since the medieval warm period was warmer than today, no doubt we have evidence that the arctic ice cap had mostly melted away and that glaciers were practically non-existent.

    Since the atmospheric temperature hasn’t been rising for the past 15 years, and the oceans haven’t been accumulating any heat, that must mean that ocean levels aren’t rising.

    Excess carbon dioxide emissions have other effects you neglect to mention. Such as ocean acidification. Care to put a price tag on the loss of all coral reefs? Or do you plan on genetically engineering new reefs that are acid resistant?

    And would you mind putting a price tag on the cost of the levees to protect Bangladesh and Florida from rising sea levels? Oh, wait, you insist that sea levels haven’t been rising over the past 15 years.

    The costs of decarbonizing are low and solar electricity is more cost effective in the sunny tropics than in the UK. The rich countries not only set an example, but they develop the technologies and start the long road toward manufacturing economies of scale that will make wind and solar cost effective.

    As poverty is the biggest concern, the best approach is to rapidly decarbonize the rich developed world so that the poor don’t have to spend time adapting to climate change while they are trying to grow and use more energy. The rich world can bring down the price of alternative technologies so that the poor world can leap-frog 19th century technologies.

    China will certainly change its energy mixture as new technologies are proven. Coal-based energy is highly polluting and causes numerous deaths even without paying attention to the carbon dioxide.

  68. 1 May: Grist: The Vampire, the Preacher’s Daughter, and Me: Behind the Scenes of the Years of Living Dangerously
    By Mary Anne Hitt
    This coming Sunday, May 4, Showtime will air the fourth episode in its Years of Living Dangerously climate series, which includes me and features the Beyond Coal Campaign…
    Being included in the Years of Living Dangerously series has been an honor and a wonderful experience.
    ???Having some of the best storytellers on the planet turn their lenses on climate change has resulted in great television that’s already proving to be a game changer…
    Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal Director

    http://grist.org/article/the-vampire-the-preachers-daughter-and-me-behind-the-scenes-of-the-years-of-living-dangerously/

    yesterday i posted an article which suggested the 4th episode this sunday was the final episode & wondered how come as it was said that there would be 8-10 episodes. i think the author might have noticed it wasn’t scheduled for sundays after this week’s episode. however, from Showtime scheduling, it says:

    – It will continue to air at 10PM ET/PT on Sundays for the first four weeks before moving to Monday nights at 8PM ET/PT starting Monday, May 12 for the rest of the season. –

    so the series has not been cancelled….yet.

  69. One of the ways to blind side people is to show them graphs and math to prove a point, that leaves most people wondering if they are right or are they wrong? But if you talk and explain logically why A3 X A is not A3 but B4.Most people won’t argue. That’s why I find some threads a bit over the top and then the internal arguments that arise. The political side of this is what Dr Lawson has mentioned. It is far more appealing and I am sure all of us on this blog agree.
    I must say the way some alarmist climate changers have reacted to me has shades of the dark ages inquisitions. Best of luck all those brave enough to stand up to the bullies who are to be obeyed and think they are absolute. Anyone investing in climate change grants is wasting their money in my opinion. It’s been proven now that some academics aren’t worth 2 cents.

  70. cesium62:

    Lord Lawson provides an excellent summary of how global warming alarmism is irrational and cultish, and he concludes that

    Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked.

    At May 1, 2014 at 10:58 pm you provide a post which demonstrates the accuracy of his case.
    Your post says

    So, since the medieval warm period was warmer than today, no doubt we have evidence that the arctic ice cap had mostly melted away and that glaciers were practically non-existent.

    Since the atmospheric temperature hasn’t been rising for the past 15 years, and the oceans haven’t been accumulating any heat, that must mean that ocean levels aren’t rising.

    Excess carbon dioxide emissions have other effects you neglect to mention. Such as ocean acidification. Care to put a price tag on the loss of all coral reefs? Or do you plan on genetically engineering new reefs that are acid resistant?
    {snip}
    The costs of decarbonizing are low and solar electricity is more cost effective in the sunny tropics than in the UK. The rich countries not only set an example, but they develop the technologies and start the long road toward manufacturing economies of scale that will make wind and solar cost effective.
    {snip}
    As poverty is the biggest concern, the best approach is to rapidly decarbonize the rich developed world so that the poor don’t have to spend time adapting to climate change while they are trying to grow and use more energy. The rich world can bring down the price of alternative technologies so that the poor world can leap-frog 19th century technologies.

    There is much evidence from around the world that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was warmer than today and that glaciers were then less than now. Indeed, retreat of glaciers in the Present Warm Period is revealing remains that were covered by ice when the MWP ended.

    Your assertion that the lack of recent warming “must mean that ocean levels aren’t rising” displays ignorance and/or foolishness. The land movements and the storage of water on land both affect “ocean levels”.

    And your points about “ocean acidification” are plain daft. Coral reefs existed when atmospheric CO2 was much higher than now, and it is physically impossible for the oceans to become acidic (read up on buffer solutions) so there is no need for “new reefs that are acid resistant”.

    Your post makes no mention of the benefits of cheap energy provided by the use of fossil fuels which releases CO2. Please note that the use of fossil fuels has done more to benefit human kind than anything else since the invention of agriculture. Instead, your post makes illogical and physically impossible assertions concerning wind and solar power.

    It is physically impossible for wind and solar to produce economically competitive power to that from fossil fuels or nuclear power. This is because all energy is free (it was all created at the Big Bang) but collecting and concentrating energy to enable it to do useful work is costly. Fortunately, nature has concentrated solar energy collected over geological ages by photosynthesis, and has stored it in dried compressed forms called fossil fuels.

    So, when the steam engine enabled use of the high energy density in fossil fuels to provide power, then wind power, solar power and muscles (of slaves and animals) were displaced because they have such low energy densities that they cannot compete. You are asserting that people should return to using wind, solar and slavery: “wicked” is not sufficient a word to describe the evil of your cult.

    In conclusion, I thank you for providing such a clear demonstration that the conclusions of Lord Lawson are correct.

    Richard

  71. That said, I must admit I am strongly tempted to agree that, since I am not a climate scientist, I should from now on remain silent on the subject — on the clear understanding, of course, that everyone else plays by the same rules. No more statements by Ed Davey, or indeed any other politician, including Ed Milliband, Lord Deben and Al Gore. Nothing more from the Prince of Wales, or from Lord Stern. What bliss!

    You forgot to add the astrophysicist Dr. James Hansen.

    [SOURCE]: NASA – GISS
    Hansen was trained in physics and astronomy in James Van Allen’s space science program at the University of Iowa, receiving his bachelor’s degree with highest distinction in physics and mathematics, master’s degree in astronomy, and Ph.D. in physics in 1967. Except for 1969, when he was a National Science Foundation post-doctoral student at the Leiden Observatory in Holland, Hansen spent his professional career at GISS. Hansen was a visiting student at the Institute of Astrophysics, University of Kyoto and Department of Astronomy, Tokyo University, Japan from 1965-1966.

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20130402/

  72. An excellent summation of the contemporary situation surrounding the worries regarding the world’s climate. I would point out however that it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions without limiting economic development , the means to do this exists through the generation of electricity by a nuclear process. By resurrecting and developing the potential inherent in the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor we can create the means to provide energy without the scary concerns that surround the operation of the Light Water Reactors. Although it must be said these issues are overblown in a properly designed and run unit. That this never gets mentioned suggests that the world is not serious about these concerns, instead they are being used to exert mass control in the absence of any other acceptable method.

  73. Prince Charles…simply go and join Lord Monckton for the discussion on CC as you were invited to by Lord M. We are waiting. Don’t send your father because we know what side of this dumb subject he is on and he would simply enjoy it too much.

  74. Yesterday it was announced that Lord Stern has been made a Fellow of The Royal Society. Along with Paul Erlich’s previous Fellowship, this shows the organisation has ceased to be concerned with science; its intention is apparently to support the Climate Hoax to help politicians impose totalitarian Government when the reality is that there is near zero CO2-AGW, shown experimentally and by (new) theory. I wrote the following explanation of The Hoax recently on Judith Curry’s blog

    “Houghton’s role is crucial because he has in my view reprised the role of religious zealot Joseph Priestley in our version of the Phlogiston hoax, the assumption, not accepted by any professional scientist or engineer taught standard physics, that a planetary surface emits net IR energy to its atmosphere at the same rate as it would to a body at absolute zero.

    This very basic error originated with Arrhenius. Angstrom criticised it at the time and it died out. However, Sagan reintroduced it in his analysis of the Venusian atmosphere and it has since continued as a core belief of US Atmospheric Physics. Houghton copied it over to UK Atmospheric Physics.

    Understanding why Sagan went wrong is important because the same mistake is made in the IPCC climate models. He failed to realise there are two optical processes acting in clouds. As well as Mie scattering which increases as optical depth increases, up to a limit of 0.5 hemispherical albedo for a non absorbing sol, a second process acts for large droplets. In our atmosphere it operates in the first few 100 m and gives the high albedo of convective clouds. The same takes place in the Venusian atmosphere.

    By assuming all Solar SW entering the Venusian atmosphere went deeply into it, Sagan assumed c. 9 times as much thermalised SW as reality. In his two-stream approximation calculations, this is a negative energy flux and it offset the extra energy he wrongly assumed left the surface.

    In his monograph, Houghton correctly assumed no IR energy flux from ToA to surface. However, the IPCC climate models, based on incorrectly assuming ‘back radiation’, a Thermal Radiation Field, is a real energy flux, triple the real energy entering the atmosphere from the surface. To offset this, the models apparently assume Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation applies at ToA, giving a negative 238.5 W/m^2 from ToA to the surface. This assumption could only apply to a grey body atmosphere; in reality, it’s semi-transparent to IR so the Kirchhoff assumption is not valid.

    The resultant ~40% increase over reality of energy flux from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere plus Hansen’s mistaken view that the GHE is 33 K, it’s really ~11 K, gives the imaginary ‘positive feedback’. The 40% is offset by assuming near double low level cloud optical depth in ‘hind-casting’. The extra water evaporation is because the modellers assume the sunlit part of the ocean is hotter than reality then cheat to cover this up.

    So, Houghton has presided over a massive hoax. However, it was Sagan who made the key mistakes which led to it. These have led to virtually all US Atmospheric Physicist being taught incorrect physics**. Hence many shout down professionals from other disciplines who state, correctly, that the basics of the IPCC’s Radiative and IR physics are wrong. The IPCC modelling needs to be corrected by professionals from outside Atmospheric Physics.

    **Coming from Meteorology, another mistake is to assume a pyrgeometer outputs a real energy flux. Wrong: it’s a Thermal Radiation Field; only the vector sum of TRFs can do thermodynamic work. Hence the Earth’s surface emits to its atmosphere a mean 63 W/m^2, of which most goes directly to Space. There is no significant positive feedback and because Tyndall’s experiment has been misconstrued and the atmosphere self controls, CO2-AGW is near zero. There was AGW from Asian aerosols changing cloud albedo but it has saturated.”

  75. Thank you very much, Lord Lawson.
    An excellent common sense summation of the situation.

    Together with Lord Monckton’s recent “Empire” post on the maths, & Dr. Roy Spencer’s on the “Sceptical Science”, this forms a great sceptical trilogy.

    JD.

  76. Don’t fault Lawson for quoting the 0.8 C warming mantra. He has no choice and you should know that. What else could he RELIABLY quote. It is why ALL the government organisations and met offs are eagerly and significantly changing their records. Unless there exists an independent and honest organisation to monitor temps we will always have this issue OR until the world’s met offs find the time and the inclination to put their raw data in a usable form. When the UK Met Off people, initially in the form of Betts, appeared on Bish Hill’s site I told him to go away until such time as he and his colleagues were able to fulfil those obligations. We have seen no results since but they persist in promulgating their non-scientific balderdash to the detriment of poor people worldwide.
    Lawson’s effort here is clever and concise. I will use it where I feel it will help most.

  77. @stephen richards: “This EMISSION not absorption. All bodies with a temp above 0K emit IR at a rate proportional to their ‘temp’. They do not have the intellect to decide which bodies they will ‘fire’ it at. Absorption theory is different.”

    Sorry, but you fail to understand that all energy transformation has to comply with the 1st Law of Thermodynamics; energy conservation. Conversion of radiation to heat is defined by the following (get it from Goody and Yung ‘Atmospheric Physics’): qdot = – DIV Fv; qdot is the monochromatic rate of heat transfer per unit volume to matter, Fv is the monochromatic radiative flux density.

    Integrate at a plane over all wavelengths and qdot is the negative of the difference of the opposing Thermal Radiation Fields. For the Earth’s surface – Atmosphere system, qdot = 396W.m^2 – 333 W/m^2 = -63 W/m^2 (2009 Energy Budget), the negative sign meaning that the surface cools. The rest of the 160 W/m^2 leaves as coupled convection and evapo-transpiration from the same activated surface sites.

    The Big Mistake in Climate Alchemy has been to interpret the output of a pyrgeometer as a real energy flux when the real radiated energy is always less, and can be net zero. Bodies do not continually fire out photons as so many incorrectly assume. The photon is real but it only appears at the instant of energy conversion, e.g. by a ‘photon detector’. Claes Johnson has developed the bit of Physics Planck left out, I have a different idea based on ‘holes’ in the net Thermal Radiation Field which transmit at the speed of light to the hotter body the need to transfer a quantum of energy from kinetic energy to a surface (or volume in GHG gas mixtures) vibrationally-activated state.

    There are 4 rate equations describing a World of net Thermal Radiation Fields. Climate Alchemy has failed to understand this basic physics and has blundered into successive error after error, the latest being the ‘missing heat': it does not exist and never has.

  78. “Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Climate change (what happened to global warming?) is one of the greatest threats facing mankind. But it’s not the climate that’s the problem. The problem is caused by irrational attempts by governments to solve a problem that almost certainly doesn’t exist. The results of these policies are far, far worse than any effects of a changing climate (short of a new Ice Age). Globally they may already have killed countless thousands e.g. biofuels pushing up the price of food and useless renewables and green taxes pushing up the price of energy.

    Many thanks to Lord Lawson for his efforts to fight this wickedness.
    Chris

  79. It is no accident that, if you look at migration for climate reasons in the world today, it is far easier to find those who choose to move to a warmer climate than those who choose to move to a colder climate.

    Furthermore what percentage of migrants from the developing world come to Europe for the climate / weather? What percentage come to Europe or the USA due to bad weather / climate back home? 1 billion climate refugees my butt. Net migration between Mexico and the USA is now zero!

    And using the cheapest source of energy means achieving the fastest practicable rate of economic development, and thus the fastest elimination of poverty in the developing world.

    If people are so concerned about over-population and environmental degradation then rapid economic growth of the developing world is the long term solution. Generally the wealthier a country becomes the lower their fertility rate and the fewer trees they chop down to feed a given population on farms, for firewood and to keep warm. Poverty is killing the environment. Just look at Haiti’s aerial forest views compared to its neighbour. A picture speaks a thousand words.

  80. Many thanks, a good post. But the assumption that the GHE exists ”because without it the planet would be too cold for life” is a claim inbuilt into the GHE theory. It is totally spurious and based on the K&T AR4/5 graphic of energy exchange which, unfortunately for K&T is totally in error and displays a total lack of understanding of a rotating planet. The sun provides enough heat to keep the planet ”too warm” and without water, which provides a heat sink with latent heat need, and convection the planet would be too hot for life as we know it. The Moon has temperatures of +121C measured in the sun and we get the same TSI and it is the atmosphere with its inbuilt heat loss processes that reduce the heat to a livable level.
    See An Absence of a Measurable Greenhouse Effect by Joseph Postma ( a solar research astrophysicist)

  81. If extreme weather trends were going up you would expect the sharp eyed insurers to up their prices. Warren Buffet, a man who see good opportunities to make more money, runs Berkshire Hathaway which owns several insurance and reinsurance interests.

    Monday, 3 Mar 2014
    No climate change impact on insurance biz: Buffett
    The effects of climate change, “if any,” have not affected the insurance market, billionaire Warren Buffett told CNBC on Monday—adding he’s not calculating the probabilities of catastrophes any differently.

    While the question of climate change “deserves lots of attention,” Buffett said in a “Squawk Box” interview, “It has no effect … [on] the prices we’re charging this year versus five years ago. And I don’t think it’ll have an effect on what we’re charging three years or five years from now.”……….

    “The public has the impression that because there’s been so much talk about climate that events of the last 10 years from an insured standpoint and climate have been unusual,” he continued. “The answer is they haven’t.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101460458

    Money speaks louder than words. The best people to go to about extreme weather trends are insurance actuaries. They need cold hard data not flim flam and arm waving.

  82. The real GHE is presently c. 11 K. it is from clouds with the increase in albedo offset by decreased IR emission from the surface to Space, also a reduction of ice.

    You derive it from calculating the mean surface temperature (flat plate SW absorber, spherical LW-emitter model) for 341 W/m^ SW thermalised at the surface, what you get with no GHGs. The GHE is the difference of real temperature with GHGs minus the no-GHG temperature.

    At the Last Glacial Maximum, 6 deg C mean surface temperature, the GHE was ~ -1 to -2 K. Present mean surface temperature of 15 deg C gives a present GHE of ~10 to 11 K. The difference is mainly from a reduction of cloud albedo with virtually zero effect of CO2.

    1981_Hansen_etal.pdf is the source of the false 33 K GHE claim; the paper should never have passed peer review because the authors assumed a single -18 deg C emission zone in the upper atmosphere in radiative equilibrium with Space. In fact, OLR comes from three main zones and -18 deg C is the flux-weighted mean of these three separate main emission temperatures.

  83. Sorry! At the Last glacial Maximum, the GHE was +1 to 2 K!

    The 9 to 10 K increase of GHE from the LGM to now is mainly from change of cloud area as well as cloud albedo. This is evolving work so please accept the correction of errors! The CO2 effect is very different to the IPCC claim and is controlled by something in the atmosphere they never realised; more later.

  84. Even here, however, the new report concedes for the first time that the most important response to the threat of climate change must be how mankind has always responded, throughout the ages: namely, intelligent adaptation.

    I have tried time and again to pound this point home: we will carry on adapting as we have always done, ever since homo sapiens crossed from Africa and through the Sinai Peninsula and into the rest of the world. We have cold weather clothing, fire, central heating, ACs, fans, reflective glass, etc. We now live in the Arctic circle (in igloos at one time), in stilted homes on water fronts ( Philippines, Hong Kong etc), in boat houses, floating homes (Netherlands), in tree houses (Korowai people of Papua New Guinea), we live in desserts, the jungle, savanna, in fact everywhere on land except Antarctica (aside from researchers).

    On adaptation and mitigation we should not act too soon until it is clear things are getting worse. Just look at the mothballed Australian desalination plants – billions wasted over short term panic.

  85. It clearly makes sense to seek to eradicate these diseases — and in the case of malaria (which used to be endemic in Europe) we know perfectly well how to do it — whether or not warming might lead to an increase in the incidence of such diseases.

    Here are the facts during a century of warming.

    Abstract – 2010
    Climate change and the global malaria recession
    “…observed decreasing global trends in both its endemicity and geographic extent. Second, the proposed future effects of rising temperatures on endemicity are at least one order of magnitude smaller than changes observed since about 1900 and up to two orders of magnitude smaller than those that can be achieved by the effective scale-up of key control measures. Predictions of an intensification of malaria in a warmer world, based on extrapolated empirical relationships or biological mechanisms, must be set against a context of a century of warming that has seen marked global declines in the disease and a substantial weakening of the global correlation between malaria endemicity and climate.”

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature09098

    Abstract – 2001
    Climate change and mosquito-borne disease.
    …Elementary models suggest that higher global temperatures will enhance their transmission rates and extend their geographic ranges. However, the histories of three such diseases–malaria, yellow fever, and dengue–reveal that climate has rarely been the principal determinant of their prevalence or range; human activities and their impact on local ecology have generally been much more significant….

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240549/

  86. It is true that the notorious Stern Review, widely promoted by a British prime minister with something of a messiah complex and an undoubted talent for PR, sought to demonstrate the reverse, and has become a bible for the economically illiterate.

    Lord Stern, as I have shown before, has co2 related paid interests. He also says we must act now! I wonder why?

    Lord Stern is a “Member, International Advisory Board, Abengoa SA (Spain)” according to the Parliament Register of Interests. What doe Abengoa do? Abengoa SA (Spain) is engaged in concentrated solar power, 2nd generation biofuels, biomass and wave energy. Yet he says that vested interests are holding up ‘action’ on climate change while forgetting that vested interests are pushing for the sol called renewables. It doesn’t get any worse than this folks.

  87. cesium62 says:
    May 1, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Since the atmospheric temperature hasn’t been rising for the past 15 years, and the oceans haven’t been accumulating any heat, that must mean that ocean levels aren’t rising.

    The oceans probably are warming somewhat, according to data from the worldwide float network. Some of that warming is coming from warmer river waters that have been impounded behind dams and warmed in the summer months. Some ocean rising is coming from the silt that rivers deposit. Some is coming from the release of ground water humans have extracted. So not all the rise can be attributed to rising global temperatures.

    And would you mind putting a price tag on the cost of the levees to protect Bangladesh and Florida from rising sea levels? Oh, wait, you insist that sea levels haven’t been rising over the past 15 years.

    Sea levels will likely rise about a foot by 2100. The rate of rise has been declining.

    The costs of decarbonizing are low and solar electricity is more cost effective in the sunny tropics than in the UK.

    That’s not what sunny Spain – the former decarbonizing poster child — has found, and Germany — the next in line — is finding.

    The rich countries not only set an example, but they develop the technologies and start the long road toward manufacturing economies of scale that will make wind and solar cost effective.

    Wind is about as low-cost as it will ever get, but all manufacturing has moved to China. The low labor cost there outweighs production-line efficiencies. No green jobs will materialize in that sector in the West. Ditto for solar. Solar may become more efficient–if so, the time to go for solar power will be then, not now, as Lomborg has argued. On top of this, the costs of these technologies aren’t just the price of the equipment, but of the high installation, maintenance, and replacement costs. (Wind turbines’ life cycle is starting to look much shorter than was predicted.)

    As poverty is the biggest concern, the best approach is to rapidly decarbonize the rich developed world so that the poor don’t have to spend time adapting to climate change while they are trying to grow and use more energy.

    It won’t matter what the rich developed world does, because China and India won’t go along–and if they don’t, emissions will continue to rise. Another point: any serious attempt to decarbonize will cause such economic stress that voters will protest and/or governments will flinch — as happened in Spain and is beginning to happen in Germany and the UK. Greenie laws may be passed, but once they really bite they will be disregarded.

    The rich world can bring down the price of alternative technologies so that the poor world can leap-frog 19th century technologies.

    The countries that Leapt are now beginning to wish they had Looked first. See above.

    China will certainly change its energy mixture as new technologies are proven. Coal-based energy is highly polluting and causes numerous deaths even without paying attention to the carbon dioxide.

    China already is changing its energy mix–it’s replacing inefficient coal-based power plants with more modern and efficient ones. That, plus its move toward nuclear, will take care of the air pollution problem, in time. It’s plans for renewables won’t increase their %age of power used there by much–and even if it did, it would still be dwarfed by the expansion of its coal burning power plants. (It has multi-decadal contracts to buy coal from Australia. It still uses coal-burning locomotives.) Japan is moving toward coal. So is Germany.

  88. Christianity and the atheistic belief system of Communism, are each clearly in decline. Yet people still feel the need both for the comfort and for the transcendent values that religion can provide.

    Anthropologists note that there is one thing that all cultures around the world have in common and that is RELIGION. Lawson’s observation is not poking fun but a very real human need.

    See other examples of the global warming movement acting like a religion.

    They are leading us like the young Xhosa prophetess girl who lead here people into the cattle killing movement in South Africa. Tens of thousands of people died and here people were subjugated anyway. No matter how many cattle they killed, they were told they didn’t kill enough and therefore needed to kill more in order to avoid a tribal disaster. For cattle see de-carbonization. No matter how much we de-carbonize they will tell us we need to do more in order to avoid catastrophe – just like a millenarian movement.

  89. Can only add my own ringing endorsement to a perfectly sane, perfectly reasoned summary of the whole situation.
    Required reading for every Western politician – and those of the UK in particular.

  90. But, despite their success, there are still hundreds of millions of people in these countries in dire poverty, suffering all the ills that this brings, in terms of malnutrition, preventable disease, and premature death. Asking these countries to abandon the cheapest available sources of energy is, at the very least, asking them to delay the conquest of malnutrition, to perpetuate the incidence of preventable disease, and to increase the numbers of premature deaths.

    But that is one of their main (mostly unspoken) aims. Here it is in quotes.

    http://green-agenda.com/

    “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to
    about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure
    and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species,
    returning throughout the world.”
    -Dave Foreman,
    co-founder of Earth First!
    ——————–
    “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells;
    the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people.
    We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to
    the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many
    apparently brutal and heartless decisions.”
    Prof Paul Ehrlich,
    The Population Bomb
    ——————–
    “I don’t claim to have any special interest in natural history,
    but as a boy I was made aware of the annual fluctuations in
    the number of game animals and the need to adjust
    the cull to the size of the surplus population.”
    Prince Philip,
    preface of Down to Earth
    ——————–
    “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth
    as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
    Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
    patron of the World Wildlife Fund
    ——————–
    “I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong.
    It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
    John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
    ——————–
    “A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society
    at the present North American material standard of living
    would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard
    of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.”
    United Nations,
    Global Biodiversity Assessment

    ——————–
    “A total population of 250-300 million people,
    a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
    Ted Turner,
    founder of CNN and major UN donor
    ——————–
    “… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence
    more than 500 million but less than one billion.”
    Club of Rome,
    Goals for Mankind
    ——————–
    “One America burdens the earth much more than
    twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say.
    In order to stabilize world population,we must eliminate
    350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say,
    but it’s just as bad not to say it.”
    Jacques Cousteau,
    UNESCO Courier
    ——————–
    “The common enemy of humanity is man.
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
    with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
    water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
    dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
    changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
    The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
    Club of Rome,
    premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations
    ——————–
    “The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another
    United States. We can’t let other countries have the same
    number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US.
    We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.”
    Michael Oppenheimer,
    Environmental Defense Fund
    ——————–
    “Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty,
    reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
    Professor Maurice King
    ——————–
    “The Earth has cancer
    and the cancer is Man.”
    Club of Rome,
    Mankind at the Turning Point
    ——————–
    “The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many,
    doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”
    Sir James Lovelock,
    BBC Interview
    ——————–
    “The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the
    worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
    Jeremy Rifkin,
    Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

  91. A five star essay. Anthony – wonder if you could create a page on your site where such outstanding works could be compiled. I found Lord Lawson’s book similarly compelling but must confess that I found the BBC Question Time episode uncomfortable to watch – ugly, as QT often becomes. Perhaps a rival network might find the balls to host a more rational debate…

  92. If you want some real ‘viterpuration’, try being an AGW skeptic and a Christian, conservative, pro-life, pro traditional marriage, young earth creationist. I’m counting the days til I’m imprisoned. For all it’s good the internet is leading to the end of civil-ization.

  93. Thanks, Anthony and Nigel.
    * Jimbo says: May 2, 2014 at 5:32 am
    – – – – in re your list of quotes – have you dates? location/event? subsequent ‘clarifications?’
    * not a typo: ‘steady’, not ‘steadily’

  94. To Clive Best: “Climate science is well developed but there are still large uncertainties..”

    I beg to differ. Climate science in the newest, and most immature, science in the panoply of scientific disciplines. Yet, NO other science claims to have the omniscient grasp of their respective knowledge bases that climate science does. And those others ARE indeed well developed. Most have had their growing pains, their missteps, the blunders and errors, their awkward, adolescent dogmatic stages. their growing pains followed by their self corrections, the development of new paradigms and the abandonment of previous dogma … AND YET, after long histories of painfully and rigorously developed knowledge bases, those other scientific disciplines STILL state emphatically that their collective knowledge is far from complete and the practitioners ALWAYS couch their conclusions in terms uncertainty.

    I differ in the first clause of your statement. Climate science is NOT well developed. It is in its infancy. It has come to the first stumbling block and has not yet even recognized that it needs to get over/around that in order to begin the next stage of development.

    For those interested in Dr. Lawson’s concept of the societal need for apocalyptic end games. I recommend the recently published book “The End of the World….. Again” by Barry Vaccar of Temple University. The only gripe I have with it is that the the author does not recognize that AGW Alarmism is just one more “End Game”, but his theories about how and why apocalyptic crises appear and perpetuate are fascinating.

  95. groovyman67 says:
    May 2, 2014 at 7:10 am
    If you want some real ‘viterpuration’, try being …

    It is customary for mommys and first grade teachers to tell the little ones “You can be anything you want to be.”

    You should hold them to that!

  96. Jimbo says: May 2, 2014 at 5:32 am
    But that is one of their main (mostly unspoken) aims.
    Here it is in quotes. (Reduce the population.)
    ________________________________________

    Sorry, Jimbo, but:

    a. Any animal that cannot control its population is by definition not civilized.

    b. Any environmentalist who does NOT campaign to reduce the human population is a hypocrite. The greatest threat to the world environment is human population pressure, so any Greenie who ignores this prime factor is utterly hypocritical. Incidentally, Greenpeace stated to myself that they will never campaign on population issues. Thus Greenpeace is NOT Green.

    c. The Global Warming scam will not reduce populations, rather it will increase them. One of the foundations of the Climate bandwagon is the transfer of wealth from the First World to the Third World. It is inevitable that increased wealth will increase Third World populations in the short term. There may be a later reduction, as we have experienced in the West, but the initial result of increased wealth will be increased Third World populations for the next two generations or more.

    Ralph

  97. Nigel Lawson says: “It is also consistent with the theory that it is a punishment from the Almighty for our sins (the prevailing explanation of extreme weather events throughout most of human history).” Why is it that climate sceptics are invariably brilliant in presenting scientific facts but frequently succumb to some non-historical versions of history? Or would Nigel Lawson like to provide some evidence for his extremely sweeping statement? (And bear in mind that a few examples do not remotely support a sweeping generalisation.) So just to make this clear, he has to provide evidence of ‘prevailing explanation’ not just on some Monday in AD 1700 but ‘throughout most of human history.’ That means throughout the entire world, not just in one culture. Proving such an assertion would take a massive amount of documentation and is unlikely to happen so why make such an assertion?
    It could, however, be the case that Nigel Lawson is guilty of a very old logical fallacy: that, for example, verses in the Bible which show God using the weather as a punishment in particular situations prove that people during Old Testament times believed that ALL bad weather was a punishment from God. But again, why would people who are exceptionally logical when it comes to analysing matters of science become so totally illogical when examining matters of religion? I don’t know the answer to that question but it’s a frequent phenomenon on this and other sites.

  98. Alba says.

    The human sacrifice practiced in Central and South America may be one example of many human attempts to control the weather, keep the celestial bodies in proper motion, and perpetuate the seasons. There were many pagan cultures whose priestly classes made these kinds of claims for their “services.”

    By the way, did you know Al Gore studies Comparative Mythology and says in his book that humanity needs to return to an Earth goddess religion?

    faboutlaws (May 1, 2014 at 3:42 pm) makes this theologically helpful clarification here:

    “I guarantee that you can stop global warming by throwing well chosen British and American politicians and climate scientists down the Mauna Loa volcano.”

    Whereas Yeshua’s teaching on the weather is much more difficult to follow. Ashttp://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5:44-46&version=NKJV

    I prefer the volcano idea. (: (;

  99. @Tom G(ologist): Climate Alchemy, I refuse to use the term ‘Science’, appears to have been set up to perform a corollary of Gresham’s Law, driving out good science by bad. Ultimately, it comes down to very basic physics’ mistakes and the proponents have taken to screaming ‘denier’ at anyone who tells them otherwise.

  100. John R T says:
    May 2, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Thanks, Anthony and Nigel.
    * Jimbo says: May 2, 2014 at 5:32 am
    – – – – in re your list of quotes – have you dates? location/event? subsequent ‘clarifications?’
    * not a typo: ‘steady’, not ‘steadily’

    This first quote can be found HERE. I simply used our good friend Google. Try it. If you can find any then they may be in the Google News Archives. Failing then you will have to contact the source of the quotes. http://green-agenda.com/

    Google news archives example.
    site:google.com/newspapers “weather new york”

    “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to
    about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure
    and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species,
    returning throughout the world.”
    -Dave Foreman,
    co-founder of Earth First!

  101. Alba says: May 2, 2014 at 8:28 am
    Nigel Lawson says: “It is also consistent with the theory that it is a punishment from the Almighty for our sins (the prevailing explanation of extreme weather events throughout most of human history).” Why is it that climate sceptics are invariably brilliant in presenting scientific facts but frequently succumb to some non-historical versions of history?
    ______________________________________

    i don’t think you understand British culture.

    We do not “do god” in any fashion, let alone with the fervor present in American politics. To present a flippant remark about past generations ‘blaming everything on the gods’ is standard fare for British culture and politics.

    No explanations or examples required, as everyone knows this truism.

    Ralph

  102. I was baffled: an honest politician, “ex”-though: how can that be? Nevermind: it is one of the very rare moments in history. Mylord, for coming out of that closet you ought to be granted a peerage.
    Thank you.

  103. It’s a wonderful piece. Congratulations to Nigel Lawson for his erudition and common sense. I particularly liked the reflection on religiosity in the context of alarmism. Religion proper, of course, takes heed of its mystics

  104. @ Richardscourtney, 12:22
    Late arrival to this post. Got to cesium and wanted to respond. Came to your 12:22 reply. You said it all and more and certainly more elegantly than I could have done. Thanks!!

  105. Superb. Extraordinarily well reasoned and presented.
    I agree with a previous poster, it is the best of its kind I’ve ever seen on WUWT.
    Thank you Nigel Lawson for writing this and Anthony for posting it.

  106. I think it does no good to expect civility from the Global Warmenists. All who doubt will be labeled “deniers” until a counter-attack is mounted. Global Warming is a HOAX. It’s the biggest scientific hoax since Piltdown Man and should be described as such. All who promote it are hoaxers and should be called that, especially when they hurl denier epithets. The time for scholarly dissent is long past, and fire must be fought with fire.

  107. inre: Jimbo
    Thank you for the links, esp. to green agenda.

    Here we find the religious underpinnings of the green movement as laid out by Comparative Mythologist and “sustainability” activist, Al Gore:

    In his book Earth in the Balance, Gore devotes no less than three chapters to the ‘Earth Goddess.’ He states that “in prehistoric Europe and much of the world was based on the worship of a single earth goddess, who was assumed to be the fount of all life and who radiated harmony among all living things. Much of the evidence for the existence of this primitive religion comes from the many thousands of artifacts uncovered in ceremonial sites. These sites are so widespread that they seem to confirm the notion that a goddess religion was ubiquitous through much of the world until the antecedents of today’s religions, most of which still have a distinctly masculine orientation…swept out of India and the Near East, almost obliterating belief in the goddess. The last vestige of organized goddess worship was eliminated by Christianity as late as the fifteenth century.” – Earth in the Balance, page 260

    “The fate of mankind, as well as of religion, depends upon the emergence of a new faith in the future.’ Armed with such a faith, we might find it possible to resanctify the Earth.” – Earth in the Balance

    “This we know: the Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.” Earth in the Balance, page 259.

    On the back cover of Earth in the Balance the well-known New Ager M. Scott Peck states: “Earth in Balance is a brilliantly written, prophetic, even holy book, clearly pointing the way we need to change to assure the survival of our children. I pray it will have the dramatic impact it deserves – and must have for our collective salvation.”

  108. John R T says:
    May 2, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Thanks, Anthony and Nigel.
    * Jimbo says: May 2, 2014 at 5:32 am
    – – – – in re your list of quotes – have you dates? location/event? ….

    Hi John,
    Here are the references you requested earlier for the quotes. The original (and longer) source for the following quotes can be found HERE.

    “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to
    about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure
    and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species,
    returning throughout the world.”
    -Dave Foreman
    co-founder of Earth First!
    ——————–
    “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells;
    the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people.
    We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to
    the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many
    apparently brutal and heartless decisions.”
    Prof Paul Ehrlich,
    The Population Bomb
    ——————–
    “I don’t claim to have any special interest in natural history,
    but as a boy I was made aware of the annual fluctuations in
    the number of game animals and the need to adjust
    the cull to the size of the surplus population.”
    Prince Philip,
    preface of Down to Earth
    ——————–
    “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth
    as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
    Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
    patron of the World Wildlife Fund
    ——————–
    “I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong.
    It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
    John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
    ——————–
    “A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society
    at the present North American material standard of living
    would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard
    of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.”
    United Nations,
    Global Biodiversity Assessment
    ——————–
    “A total population of 250-300 million people,
    a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
    Ted Turner,
    founder of CNN and major UN donor
    ——————–
    “… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence
    more than 500 million but less than one billion.”
    Club of Rome,
    Goals for Mankind
    ——————–
    “One America burdens the earth much more than
    twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say.
    In order to stabilize world population,we must eliminate
    350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say,
    but it’s just as bad not to say it.”
    Jacques Cousteau,
    UNESCO Courier
    ——————–
    “The common enemy of humanity is man.
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
    with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
    water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
    dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
    changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
    The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
    Club of Rome,
    premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations
    ——————–
    “The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another
    United States. We can’t let other countries have the same
    number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US.
    We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.”
    – <a href="Michael Oppenheimer“>Michael Oppenheimer,
    Environmental Defense Fund
    ——————–
    “Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty,
    reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
    Professor Maurice King
    ——————–
    “The Earth has cancer
    and the cancer is Man.”
    Club of Rome,
    Mankind at the Turning Point
    ——————–
    “The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many,
    doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”
    Sir James Lovelock,
    BBC Interview
    ——————–
    “The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the
    worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
    Jeremy Rifkin,
    Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

  109. Let me not forget to mention that this piece by Lord Lawson is outstanding even though we are not exactly political mates. Perhaps the best I have read. Not heavy on science but heavy on reason and rationality. He will be vilified for being rational.

  110. I`m with Eliza – Warmist view willbe that Lawson is half right in admitting that ACo2 has caused GW and a hundred times wrong in claiming that it is not dangerous.
    Also, without GHG`s the atmosphere would be hotter and not colder as he implies early on.

  111. Eliza says:
    May 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Unfortunately L Lawson is relying on fraudulent data +0.8C in the last century is based on surface temperature that has been constantly adjusted to fit the AGW mantra. If he had taken a look at reliable older data such as CET or Armagh and highly reliable satellite more recent RSS data its shows no change whatsoever 0 warming.(to current date)…….

    Eliza, Lawson has to rely on something, whether fraudulent or not. Picking 0.8C is where the goalposts are, you play from there. Secondly, you point to CET or Armagh. Warmists will tell you that CET or Armagh are not the world, whether right or wrong.

    Here is what Lawson said, note global.

    According to the temperature records kept by the UK Met Office (and other series are much the same), over the past 150 years (that is, from the very beginnings of the Industrial Revolution), mean global temperature has increased by a little under a degree centigrade — according to the Met Office, 0.8ºC. This has happened in fits and starts, which are not fully understood. To begin with, to the extent that anyone noticed it, it was seen as a welcome and natural recovery from the rigours of the Little Ice Age. But the great bulk of it — 0.5ºC out of the 0.8ºC — occurred during the last quarter of the 20th century. It was then that global warming alarmism was born.

    I agree that the global temperature data has a lot of issues such as ‘necessary adjustments’, pushing down the past, UHI, etc. Lawson cannot make a speech by rejecting the 0.8C, he will be easily ridiculed, whether right or wrong.

  112. John R T says:
    May 2, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Thanks, Anthony and Nigel.
    * Jimbo says: May 2, 2014 at 5:32 am
    – – – – in re your list of quotes – have you dates? location/event?

    On human population reduction here is something you might like. Not for the squeamish.

    Holistic Environmental Ethics and the Problem of Ecofascism
    …Thus the existence of such a large human population is land ethically wrong. To right that wrong should we not do what we do when a population of white-tailed deer or some other species irrupts and threatens the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community? We immediately and summarily reduce it, by whatever means necessary, usually by randomly and indiscriminately shooting the members of such a population to death – respectfully, of course-until its numbers are optimized….
    Baird Callicott – Writings by Aldo Leopold [PDF]

    http://akbar.marlboro.edu/~wedelglass/Edelglass,%20Osher.%2010.18.%20Reading%202.%20Baird%20Callicott,%20Holistic%20Environmental%20Ethics%20and%20the%20Problem%20of%20Ecofascism.pdf

    Note: [transcribed by hand by me]

    Here are some more hard core environmentalists with their solutions.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/03/the-silence-of-the-anti-defamation-league-suggests-they-endorse-defamation-of-climate-skeptics/#comment-1581628

  113. Many thanks to Lord Lawson, Lord Monckton and Mr Watts….please take care with your security as these Eco lunatics won’t stop at just personal vilification.

    You guys plus the other Wattsupwiththat post writers are true heroes. One day this will be recognised by the MSM and history.

    Best wishes. Robin. W. ( Australian non scientist daily reader of Wattsupwiththat ).

  114. Thank you Robin, well we have snow near us in Autumn, in Orange NSW, might come to Armidale too and warning for graziers on the BOM site. It’s global warming. LOL
    Patricia from NSW.

  115. The entire speech consolidated in to just a few words . . . .

    Place calculator in hand of Alarmist.
    Using condescending tone, ask said alarmist to type in 1 x Million (That’s the number ONE followed by 6 x ZEROS).
    Now press the ‘divided by’ button.
    Now type in four hundred (that’s the number FOUR followed by 2 x ZEROS).
    Answer: 2,500.
    Say: “Now, using your alarmist imagination, visulise that someone has poured all the world’s carbon dioxide in to one yellow plastic bucket and left the bucket in the middle of the local supermarket car park. To make it easier for you to picture it, simply imagine all that CO2 is sand. Ok?”.
    “So, if carbon dioxide is 400 parts per million, how many buckets of the stuff would you need to equal the total amount of all the atmospheric gas in the air?”.
    Answer: 2,500 buckets – which means that (as a fraction) CO2 is 1/2,500th of the total air, or (if the alarmist is clever enough and can do percentages as well) 0.04%.
    Now, beieng generous with figures, let’s say that all that naughty man-made CO2 bit (you know, just like the stuff they inject in to fizzy lemonade) accounts for about 5% of your bucket (it’s actually 3.125%, but we’ll round it up so you understand better).
    Pour out the ‘remaining’ 95% of the sand which represents naturally occurring CO2 – you know like the stuff that comes from photosynthesis, respiration and the like – and see how much sand is left in the bottom of your bucket. Not a lot.
    Now look at the other 2,500 buckets of sand around you and the pile of sand you’ve just poured out onto the car park Tarmac.
    Are you saying then that, in the scheme of things, your incy wincy amount of sand left in your bucket is responsible for warming up the planet by 1 degree – and we should, at all cost, do something about it.
    END.

  116. Brilliant exposition of our argument. Worth sharing with the widest possible audience.

  117. Thanks Bush Bunny – yup, they really just don’t get it do they. Think of all the millions of worse than useless expensive wind turbines not going round this morning in the Northern Hemisphere (where the wind seems to have stopped) – unless you’re in North Africa. At least it’s very sunny everywhere – ideal for those wealthy enough to slap an array of ugly metal framed black glass to their roof. The UK at this moment is importing more energy from France and Holland than is being generated from our 56,000 or so turbines. And if there’s no wind in France and Holland either, (or the rest of Europe for that matter), um . . . .

  118. “bushbunny says:

    May 2, 2014 at 10:33 pm”

    Snow in Orange? What is the elevation of Orange? I thought it was pretty much little above sea level.

  119. the fact that the IPCC says that recent global warming is .05C +/- .1 is a jewel.
    ========
    when your error is to 1 decimal place it makes no sense mathematically to quote the result to 2 decimal places. you result cannot be more precise than your error.

  120. I’m not the only one that believes that these CAGW guys are “cultists”
    ============
    Real Climate functions in a fashion very similar to a cult. They rely on obedience to authority (the father figure) as taught by the family. Once your personality type has been established, you will either be accepted or driven out. Within the cult no dissent from authority (the godhead) is allowed. Any such comments are removed. All cult members are required to believe or they will be silenced and driven from the cult.

    It might be argued that cults or religions that rely on a strong male figure at the center are simply extensions of the family model the child was taught to love and obey. As the child grows up, the father figure is replaced by the godhead, which the adult loves and obeys. This explains the “insanity” that gripped Germany leading to WWII, where Hitler became the father figure to a nation, with love and blind obedience the result.

  121. All who doubt will be labeled “deniers”
    ===============
    the IPCC denies that climate change is natural. the even deny global warming – otherwise why change the name from global warming to climate change.

    I submit that anyone that uses the phrase “climate change” is denying global warming. Otherwise, why not use the term “global warming”?

    I say reverse the argument. Make the point that anyone that uses “climate change” is a “global warming” denier. They are denying that global warming is the problem, by trying to change the terminology.

    Either global warming is a problem or it is not. It global warming is a problem, them why not call it global warming? Why confuse the issue with the term “climate change”, when we know that climate changes naturally? Why deny that “global warming” is the problem by not speaking directly to the issue?

    To call a spade a spade
    To “call a spade a spade” is a figure of speech which explicitly calls out something as it is; by its right name. The implication is not to lie about what something is and instead to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity, unpleasant or embarrassing nature.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_call_a_spade_a_spade

  122. Nigel Lawson is a voice of reason, articulating the skeptical layman’s point of view calmly, clearly and rationally.
    A key note in his article points up the danger of trying to second guess the future.
    Imagine if in 1880 politicians had been asked to plan the transport needs of London 100 years hence. They would surely have asked for many thousands more stables to be built (London’s nooks and corners are in any case littered with stables or mews) to pull the increasing numbers of horse drawn buses and hackney carriages that would be needed as population boomed.
    And what to do with all of the extra manure? Large pits beyond the suburbs perhaps? The extra Urine would be a problem too. It was a health hazard on hot summer days, most horses were fed on cheap hay which produced urine with strong ammonia emissions as it evaporated causing, “..stinging of the eyes and a catching in the throat”.
    Of course the politicians of the time made no such hubristic provisions for an unforeseeable future and by 1900 ‘unforeseen’ motor-buses and motorized hackney cabs had sprung up and taken over, vastly outnumbering the few remaining horse drawn varieties.
    It took until well after WWII for the horse to finally be replaced in the countryside but at no point did politicians feel the need to become seers and prophets of the future. They planned for tomorrow but always with an eye on today and with their feet on the ground.
    Britain could use a few more like Lord Lawson and many fewer crystal ball toting ignoramuses.

  123. …..and by 1900 ‘unforeseen’ motor-buses and motorized hackney cabs had sprung up and taken over, vastly outnumbering the few remaining horse drawn varieties.

    Correction: More like 1912 than 1900 but the point stands.

  124. A great essay, but one very important error: the heating since 1850 occurred mostly before 1930. The 1930s were by far the warmest decade of the last 100 years, far warmer than the last warm cycle, 1980-1996. We must not be deceived by “adjustments” – substitution of false data for the actual data – in alarmist-managed databases. There is, for instance, the Canadian data which, was cobnsistent with the US data for the 1930s before the alarmists “adjusted” it to make the temps appear lower than they were, plus a fair amount of surviving data from US stations.

    In summary, there was net cooling, despite minor ups and downs, from 1939 to 1996, and greater net cooling since 1997. Which gives us 75 years of net cooling against a 40 percent increase in CO2 – not just 17 years 8 months – and if the trend of the last five years continues, we will very soon be back to temps on a par with the Little Ice Age. This absolutely, irrefutably proves the non-correlation of temps with CO2 in the air. There are few scientific facts of which we can be more certain than this.

    Before 1850, there is solid documentation in the historical record of four previous warm periods, each warmer than the one following: Egypt in the 3rd millennium BC, the Hittite-Minoan warm period 1800-1400 BC, the Roman Climate Optimum, 200 BC – 400 AD, and the Medieval Warm Period, 900-1300 AD. During all of these prior warm periods, there was far less CO2 in the atmosphere than there is today, in the present cooling cycle.

    I should think this is all the proof we really need that CO2 does not drive climate change. Our observations of the properties of CO2 help to confirm the fact that it is of very limited impact as a greenhouse gas, but the historical record alone should be sufficient to end the debate. Try as they might otherwise to falsify data, manipulate models and shout down skepticism, the alarmists cannot erase the historical record. Of course, their intolerance of dissenting opinion is itself proof of the non-science behind their meme. Genuine science welcomes examination, indeed requires that theories be tested for possible defects or failures.

  125. Patrick, Orange is 154 km west of Sydney, further South than the Northern Tablelands, with an elevation of approx 828 meters, or 2835 absl. A town that has around 32k population, agriculture, wineries, mining and tourism. Very temperate wet.
    A lot of deciduous trees like Armidale. We are a little higher, approx 3500 ft absl. At least I am on a ridge of the valley, and near the airport as the crow flies, which is the highest in NSW. Just under 1000 meters. But towns like Guyra and Glen Innes are slightly higher. Armidale is further from Sydney and down the hill is Tamworth that is warmer in summer. But T sometimes get snow but a lot of frost too. This is a once in 40 year event, and we have not had snow here for some years but in 1985, we had a bad fall of snow and because we are on top of the tablelands, roads were closed and Armidale almost shut down. But I brought in my Zygo cacti, and some sensitive bonsai plants indoors last night including a 30 year umbrella tree. Reaches the ceiling too. But as you get near it, you can feel the temp around it is warmer so I am creating a little rain forest. I don’t heat my house, unless it goes below 6 C in the house, my son and I don warm clothes, and I have an electric blanket that my old whippet likes, she refused to go into her dog’s bedroom last night and she ended up sleeping with me under the doona. But my cross border collie, wasn’t happy and eventually he went to bed and survived the cold. No sun today, so it is colder than normal and 10 C in the house. Unlike some of our outdoor plants, my son and I (English) are not hot house flowers, like some Armidalians. We can’t afford the electricity.

  126. Bee Jee, they had plans for a wind farm near us, but – it has been shelved. But in Ballina near the border with Qld on the coast, they have an electricity station that burns sugar can refuse. It supplies 500 homes. We have heaps of sugar cane refuse, that is annually burned in the fields.

  127. Thanks I will watch this video tomorrow, I have to feed the dogs, and me. As it is Mother’s Day here I am spoiling myself. But enjoy this blog, when I am not reduced to combating silly trolls that won’t shut up.

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