The good side of climate change

spectator_panic_overWhy climate change is good for the world

Don’t panic! The scientific consensus is that warmer temperatures do more good than harm

By Matt Ridley:

Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century. This is not some barmy, right-wing fantasy; it is the consensus of expert opinion. Yet almost nobody seems to know this. Whenever I make the point in public, I am told by those who are paid to insult anybody who departs from climate alarm that I have got it embarrassingly wrong, don’t know what I am talking about, must be referring to Britain only, rather than the world as a whole, and so forth.

At first, I thought this was just their usual bluster. But then I realised that they are genuinely unaware. Good news is no news, which is why the mainstream media largely ignores all studies showing net benefits of climate change. And academics have not exactly been keen to push such analysis forward. So here follows, for possibly the first time in history, an entire article in the national press on the net benefits of climate change.

There are many likely effects of climate change: positive and negative, economic and ecological, humanitarian and financial. And if you aggregate them all, the overall effect is positive today — and likely to stay positive until around 2080. That was the conclusion of Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University after he reviewed 14 different studies of the effects of future climate trends.

To be precise, Prof Tol calculated that climate change would be beneficial up to 2.2˚C of warming from 2009 (when he wrote his paper). This means approximately 3˚C from pre-industrial levels, since about 0.8˚C of warming has happened in the last 150 years. The latest estimates of climate sensitivity suggest that such temperatures may not be reached till the end of the century — if at all. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose reports define the consensus, is sticking to older assumptions, however, which would mean net benefits till about 2080. Either way, it’s a long way off.

[Note as seen on WUWT before, here is the graph – Anthony]

Tol_economic_AGW_fig1

Now Prof Tol has a new paper, published as a chapter in a new book, called How Much have Global Problems Cost the World?, which is edited by Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, and was reviewed by a group of leading economists. In this paper he casts his gaze backwards to the last century. He concludes that climate change did indeed raise human and planetary welfare during the 20th century.

You can choose not to believe the studies Prof Tol has collated. Or you can say the net benefit is small (which it is), you can argue that the benefits have accrued more to rich countries than poor countries (which is true) or you can emphasise that after 2080 climate change would probably do net harm to the world (which may also be true). You can even say you do not trust the models involved (though they have proved more reliable than the temperature models). But what you cannot do is deny that this is the current consensus. If you wish to accept the consensus on temperature models, then you should accept the consensus on economic benefit.

Overall, Prof Tol finds that climate change in the past century improved human welfare. By how much? He calculates by 1.4 per cent of global economic output, rising to 1.5 per cent by 2025. For some people, this means the difference between survival and starvation.

Read the full article here: http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9057151/carry-on-warming/

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61 thoughts on “The good side of climate change

  1. Matt – Don’t panic! The scientific consensus is that warmer temperatures do more good than harm
    ======================
    Try telling that to the Australian NSW people about now.

  2. Warmer climate since 1913, if it has warmed, is little thanks to human activity. If it is warmer than now in 2080, it likewise will be not much due to what people have done. If it is, most likely it will be after having been cooler between now & then.
    To the extent that we increase CO2 levels, however, then, yes, our activities help make the world more hospitable for life.

  3. just as an asside, I read Matt Ridley’s book “The Rational Optimist” recently. It is a great book and I highly recommend it

  4. He concludes that climate change did indeed raise human and planetary welfare during the 20th century.
    ====
    …as opposed to the LIA
    duh

  5. @ James Allison says:October 17, 2013 at 11:25 am
    I also wouldn’t have tried telling that to a 1930’s dust bowl record heat wave for a decade survivor.
    Whoaaaaa you say CO2 was only at about 250 ppmv in the 30’s so it couldn’t be responsible for the 30’s drought and heat, JUST LIKE ANYTHING HAPPENING IN AUSTRALIA IS NOTTT BECAUSE OF CO2 !!!

  6. Not sure why I should listen to the man who, while in charge of Northern Rock, couldn’t do his sums and nearly rolled the country into bankruptcy.

  7. The 31C limit on water temperatures both fresh and salt water means that water temperatures in the tropics and subtropics will remain near the same with the warm layer spreading further North. This means that the temperature increases will be controlled and will simply extend the growing seasons further North.

  8. Yes this is precisely why the whole global warming scare is totally insane. Warm is good and cold is dangerous.
    If it was 1-2°C warmer ~4600yrs ago when the Egyptian, Minoan, Harrapan, Chinese, European Neolithic, Peruvian cultures all had their major expansions, I think we can safely say that we have plenty of headroom for some safe warming. I don’t believe for a moment that it will warm that much this century though.
    And the most important fact to recognise, is that hard cold comes in fast. Just because the globe is a degree warmer doesn’t stop the AO/NAO plunging into deep negative conditions rapidly at all, as we have already seen at both ends of 2010 and March 2013. See what happens on the down side of this solar cycle and into solar cycle 25, it’s going to much worse.

  9. Geoffrey Parker’s fine book, War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century, illuminates Ridley’s point that warmer since the Little Ice Age is better.
    “Changes in the prevailing weather patterns during the 1640s and 1650s – longer and harsher winters, and cooler and wetter summers – disrupted growing seasons, causing dearth, malnutrition, and disease, along with more deaths and fewer births. Some contemporaries estimated that one-third of the world died, and much of the surviving historical evidence supports their pessimism.”
    http://www.amazon.com/Global-Crisis-Climate-Catastrophe-Seventeenth/dp/0300153236

  10. Global warming will keep away the Laurentide ice sheet, which believe me, we in Canada do not want to see growing again:

  11. I followed the link to read the full article, but the page informed me…

    You’ve reached your limit of free Spectator articles for this month

    Then I noticed an article on the sidebar, “Obesity is not a disease,” and clicked on it, and presto, I get the entire article.
    WUWT?
    Anyway, as I’ve opined here before, it has been easier for the climate alarmists to sell the idea that warm = bad when so many people are overweight these days.

    From 13% obesity in 1962, estimates have steadily increased, reaching 19.4% in 1997, 24.5% in 2004,[5] 26.6% in 2007.
    –Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity_in_the_United_States
    It is my observation that portly people, and/or those with elevated blood pressure are more likely to feel too warm in any situation than those folks who are closer to an ideal weight.
    As a result, the air conditioners run full throttle hereabouts in the California desert, the frosty blasts soon driving me & my skinny frame back outside into the glorious warmth and sunshine where my bicycle awaits.
    And I note in closing: ‘haven’t seen too many portly pedal pushers out in the heat. and I assume they hop from their cool cars directly indoors where the a/c is cranked, and the warm glow of the boob tube beckons.

  12. Margaret Hardman said on October 17, 2013 at 11:51 am:

    Not sure why I should listen to the man who, while in charge of Northern Rock, couldn’t do his sums and nearly rolled the country into bankruptcy.

    What a marvelous self-tailored memory you have, my dear.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/7969974/Northern-Rock-chief-admits-to-catastrophic-black-mark.html

    Northern Rock chief admits to ‘catastrophic black mark’
    Matt Ridley, the former chairman of the failed bank, says he is filled with remorse for what happened.
    By Jonathan Russell
    10:09PM BST 28 Aug 2010
    The former chairman of Northern Rock, Matt Ridley, has described his leadership of the failed bank as a “catastrophic black mark” on his CV.
    The Eton-educated journalist and scientist followed his father onto the board of Northern Rock.
    However, he resigned in 2007 after the bank was forced to go to the Government for emergency funding.

    Mr Ridley and Adam Applegarth, Northern Rock’s chief executive, were called in front of the Treasury Select Committee after the bank collapsed in 2007. Members of the committee blamed him for “damaging the good name of British banking”.
    However, Mr Ridley said he and other bankers were shocked by the speed and severity of the financial crisis.
    In the interview, he said: “We were all taken by surprise by that. There was almost nobody who saw it coming. Those who did were not in the right place to warn everyone else. Northern Rock ended up suffering a fate no different from any other mortgage bank. They all disappeared as a result of the crisis, and I learnt a lot from it.”

    He had the integrity to accept his responsibility, resign, and admit what happened. Here in the US we had responsible bankers who still collected bonuses, paid for with federal government bailout money, some “decided to voluntarily retire” with extravagant “golden parachute” packages.
    Hell, the responsible politicians kept running and were re-elected, with very few very old exceptions.
    I’d say Mr Ridley has, by his exemplary example, shown he is very much deserving of being listened to!

  13. From Steve P on October 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm:

    I followed the link to read the full article, but the page informed me…

    You’ve reached your limit of free Spectator articles for this month

    Right click, “Open Link in New Private Window”. They can’t set cookies, can’t track you (unless you have a static IP address), can’t count how many articles you’ve loaded.
    Voila! I’m reading Margaret Hardman already obfuscating and (practically) libeling in the comments:

    Margaret Hardman • 28 minutes ago
    I was at Brighton the other day to see Richard Tol jump a shark. His recent attempts to discredit Cook & al 2013 didn’t go very well. Lord Ridley seems incapable of taking both sides of an argument and critically assessing them any longer. Perhaps his inability to run a bank has left him with a form of post traumatic stress disorder. He certainly seems to have left science behind.

    Wonderful, isn’t it?

  14. James Allison says:
    October 17, 2013 at 11:25 am
    Matt – Don’t panic! The scientific consensus is that warmer temperatures do more good than harm
    ======================
    Try telling that to the Australian NSW people about now.
    *
    I’m an Australian NSW person. I live in the country about 300 ks inland from Sydney and we don’t have air conditioning. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t have to light the heater. It was a nice day. I nearly lit the fire in the evening, but a blanket over the knees saw me right. This morning it is chilly again, and the heater is on in my office.
    Current outside temperature is -4.5 (yes, minus 4.5) C.
    It was a mild winter here, and pleasant for it (last year’s winter was bitterly cold). We sit outside when we can and the last few weekends have been bliss. Not overly hot, and I still had to light the fire in the evenings.
    I believe the northern hemisphere is frequently told how hot it is in Australia as a way of saying “CAGW is over there,” because it’s hard to believe in in when you’re up to your armpits in snow. So you hear about our “angry summer” (that wasn’t) and no body up there knows one way or the other. Who’s going to pop over and check the facts? It doesn’t help that warmists here are in charge of the reports.
    We may have a hot summer, we may not. Hot summers in Australia are normal, by the way, it’s only the alarmists who panic about it.

  15. The Climate Optimum, from the period of about 9,000 to 5,000 years ago was warmer and wetter than today. Hmmm, wonder why the word ‘optimum’ is used?
    Climate bedwetters have it backwards. If anything, we should worry about cooling.

  16. James Allison says:
    October 17, 2013 at 11:25 am
    Matt – Don’t panic! The scientific consensus is that warmer temperatures do more good than harm
    ======================
    Try telling that to the Australian NSW people about now.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    You are an idiot. Bushfires occur EVERY year since Adam was a boy in Australia. These days bushfires COULD be reduced by decent winter burnoffs but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO the greens put a stop to that.
    So what caused the bushfires before say 1800AD?

  17. OT but I’m seeing this on the sidebar.

    Recent Comments
    There are no public comments available to display.

    ========================================================================
    Is it just my PC or do others see it also?

  18. @Steve B,
    You beat me to it mate! The causality of bush fires / forest fires have very little to do with the heat. It usually come down to poor land management. Which, depending on how you twist it, the fires can still be attributed to human (in) activity. No less so, if an arsonist wanker is in involved.

  19. Argh! I’m a writer – I hate typos – in my post above, it should have read “hard to believe in it” and “nobody”. Never mind.
    Re fires in NSW (if that’s what James Allison is referring to), last year we were surrounded by them. Five in the area – huge reports on the news and overseas – yet all the fires were small and quickly under control. Also, Steve B is right, it used to be that a cooler burn off would keep the summer wildfires from getting savage.
    I do find it interesting that every time a total fire ban is reported on the news, some idiot goes out with a box of matches. I can’t be sure, but I rather believe such arson is done by those wanting to promote “dangerous warming” alarmism.
    Warm weather is better, we know this to be true in Australia, too. Nobody likes extended winters.

  20. Steve C says:
    October 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm
    @Gunga Din – It’s not just your PC. Mine’s showing the same, even after switching NoScript off.

    ==========================================
    Thanks. Guess I can stop running scans at my end.

  21. It’s worth remembering that Marble Bar (in Western Australia) set a world record of most consecutive days of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or above, during a period of 160 days from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924.
    Currently, here in Tasmania we have been suffering incessant rain for several weeks. Earlier in the month, we had a killing frost when our usual last frost date id late August. In September an unusually hard frost froze my asparagus spears, only the second time in 30 years. A few years ago, BoM told Tasmanians we had just experienced the hottest summer ever. The temperature only exceeded 30°C once that summer!

  22. Incredulous that we have this huge battle over a theory that involves the effect of CO2 on the temperatures of our planet…………while the most important role of CO2, based on irrefutable, completely known and understood laws of science is getting far less weighting in discussions to determine uses of massive resources and expenditures world wide…………PHOTOSYNTHESIS!
    This would be like 2 lions fighting to the death over a mouse, with 2 freshly killed wildebeest laying right in front of them.
    http://www.impactlab.net/2008/06/09/scientists-surprised-to-find-earths-biosphere-booming/
    http://blog.heartland.org/2013/07/global-warming-no-satellites-show-carbon-dioxide-is-causing-global-greening/
    http://www.livescience.com/37055-greenhouse-gas-desert-plants-growing.html
    http://www.dfmf.uned.es/curso_teledeteccion/palma/CSM/web/earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/GlobalGarden/index.html
    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/photosynthesis-and-co2-enrichment/
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.fr/2013/02/study-finds-increased-co2-will-greatly.html
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/08/the-climate-grain-production-relationship-quantified/#more-93370
    The world should be celebrating our great fortune to have one of the emissions of burning fossil fuels enriching the atmosphere with plant fertilizer.
    The debate and investigation over where global temperatures might be going and what causes them to change is certainly important as well as potential impacts to climate/weather. However what should be the focus to take us out of the realm of political agenda, junk climate science, biased speculation and unproven theories is to hammer home what we can prove with absolute certainty about CO2.
    The increase in carbon dioxide is causing our planets vegetative health, biosphere, crop yields and food production to go thru the roof.
    That debate is over and that science is settled!

  23. All of modern human history has elapsed within the current interglacial period. The warmer temperatures have been a boon to humanity. It seems what we are arguing about is a little more or less warm, and right now we still are not even up to the maximum for this interglacial. People need to step back and see the big picture …..

  24. James Allison says:
October 17, 2013 at 11:25 am
Matt – Don’t panic! The scientific consensus is that warmer temperatures do more good than harm
————————————————————–
Try telling that to the Australian NSW people about now.
    =====================================
    Rank opportunism from a climate hysteric.
    The maximum temperatures around Sydney yesterday was about 4 – 5C above average, not that unusual.
    By contrast the max. in Melbourne yesterday was about 7C below average.
    The fires around Sydney were due to the considerable build-up of fuel due to the well above average rainfall in the last two years or so, abundant rain that climate hysterics like Mr Allison said we would never see again.
    



  25. I have decided to share this peculiar view of current climate science as I have recently stumbled upon, though I’m sure this has been raised though before, in pieces and and I have never it all together in one simple comment or post, but I have seen the traces but I never seemed to get the full thrust of what this shows.
    First look at some various plots of the adjustments made to the various temperature datasets gathered over the last few years, they are all close to linear in the years past 1940 and will be dealt with as such, linear form start year to now. The red lines added were just for myself to get a close average rate it seems all datasets are being adjusted upward (artificially warmer) over time. Why it started right at 1940, I don’t know why. Quite honestly I don’t really care here how many peer-reviewed papers created the adjustments, just going to ignore that topic here.
    Can artificial adjustments actually warm or cool the earth? Of course not, so they will be removed.
    USHCN: http://i43.tinypic.com/s3m3wk.png
    GISS: http://i39.tinypic.com/1zfrn1l.png
    NOAA: http://i40.tinypic.com/2uy2bg4.png
    Here is a plot of the latest accepted dataset after removing the +0.75°C/century (0.000625 °C/mo) artificial adjustments from the dataset starting in 1940.
    http://i43.tinypic.com/90dchy.png
    or with less smoothing:
    http://i42.tinypic.com/j8fjwy.png
    Any adjustments before 1940 were ignored but you may want to find actual datasets of these adjustments and get very precise but the changes you would see prior to 1940 to that plot are going to be very small. This is just a rough overview but you should see the point.
    Put on your thinking hat and you decide what you gather from this set of data. I seem to see that all of the rise of temperature over and above the natural variance (of about ±0.25°C) is completely in the upward adjustments, without the adjustments it appears perfectly normal and symmetric the way I have always assumed nature to be, vacillations about the mean. I for one have the opinion that 1997-1998 was no warmer that the late 1930’s temperatures after information from elders living through the dust bowl years.
    Read Callender’s 1938 paper, especially the comments from Society memmbers at the end, and you just may see what I see is so amusing, seems nothing has changed at all, it was right at the peak of temperatures in 1938 also:
    http://www.rmets.org/sites/default/files/qjcallender38.pdf
    This was such a quick and simple look at that data but it sure left an impression and it might leave such on others who get confused by the complexities involved in the temperature series plots.
    Some will say this is not proper science, true, but it is proper reality to look at what it was before the adjustments.

  26. Can I add my comments to those of Everard, PG, Steve B etc – to the education of James Allison. 5 years ago my house was destroyed by the Black Saturday bushfires and I am heartily sick of my environmental colleagues (yes I work for an environmental company) telling me that it was from climate change. The worst fires in Victoria’s history were in 1851 (long before any possible impact of AGW) when a quarter of the state was destroyed by fire and 17 people died, a larger proportion of the population then than the 173 who died on 7 February 2009 when a 40th portion of the state burned.
    The main reason for damaging bushfires – or in my case – firestorms – is the wind – not the heat. If you have plenty of uncontrolled vegetation that has spent the last 4 to 5 years of good rains growing – then dry it out in a drought – it only takes a strong wind and the idiot with matches to create our special form of bushfires. New South Wales fire season starts in the last few months of the year before the summer rains put an end to the danger period. 1000 km to the south – Victoria’s then starts in about the last month of the year and goes on into high summer – as we have hot desert dry summers. High fuel load, dry conditions and wind – are the main ingredients of our bushfires – oh yes and people who live in bush settings and then expect to be somehow protected by the fire services – an impossible task. I am close to completing my new house on the same property where the previous one was destroyed. It is very different – being 400mm thick rammed earth walls, a fire blanket in the roof and fire shutters on every window – if we all built suitable houses – we could live anywhere.
    The main reason for the design is fire protection – but the pay off is that it is highly insulated – has a 6 star rating and will cost very little in electricity – an essential ingredient given that we are now suffering the fate of carbon tax cost increases and Agenda 21 smart meters. Roll on the next Ice Age I say…

  27. James Allison says:
    October 17, 2013 at 11:25 am
    Matt – Don’t panic! The scientific consensus is that warmer temperatures do more good than harm
    ======================
    Try telling that to the Australian NSW people about now.
    Don’t worry, the alarmists are doing so at high decibels.
    In fact, the bushfires disprove CAGW. We were told that AGW would push Australia into permanent drought. The real cause of the bushfires is two years of exceptionally heavy rain which has caused massive growth, which of course provides tonnes of fuel for the fires. If AGW predicitons had been correct the fires (if they had occurred at all) would have been minuscule.
    (Of course green/left promoted land mismanagement contributed, as has been noted above.)

  28. James Allison says:
    October 17, 2013 at 11:25 am
    Try telling that to the Australian NSW people about now.
    ————————————————————————————–
    NSW person here and I find your comment downright disrespectful and frankly if you and I were face to face, I would be calling the cops to get my fine for putting you in your place, you would be ringing the ambulance if you wake up.
    1. The fires are highly suspected to be arson.
    2. The build-up of fuel in the areas due to stupid green movements preventing backburning is a known factor for the level of these fires, it was raised with the Victorian fires before and everyone just looked the other way.
    3. Without a lightning storm I struggle to see how this fire started. Blamely an outbreak of bushfires on climate change when the root cause is either some lowlife with a match or a smoker (Olympic park fire…) makes you sound like an idiot.
    Considering one of my work colleagues family is in the direct line of the fires, a couple of my friends live in the areas affected and are helping others impacted by it, I think you using this outbreak as some “death porn” you lefties love so much only makes your lot look worse by the minute.
    I have been on the South Coast were we haven’t had a bush fire in a while and the fallen timber and other fuels is over 10 feet in some places. Once it starts there due to some low life like you. People will die, houses will be lost and you will be watching the news with your hand in your pants smiling at the carnage.

  29. Bob Mount says:
    Why are conservative-minded people always denigrated as “barmy, right-wing fantasists”? Are there no left-wing fantasists?
    It is a vicious, underhanded tactic used by people who have no credible scientific argument. They are taking their marching orders from the despicable Saul Alinsky:
    “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”

  30. well said ferret. so far its been an argument between academics and generally well behaved people.now everyone is feeling the bite of useless green extortion,sorry taxes,some of these eco loons are in for a rude awakening.i am quite prepared to accept my punishment the first time i have the opportunity to show my displeasure to some of these cretins.

  31. Just an update James Allison since you are on a “destruction porn” trip
    That workmate I mentioned, his sister’s place burnt down.

  32. I am grateful to Northern Rock for giving me a mortgage when no-one else would, back in 2001. I was lucky to sell our UK house in 2006.

  33. And beyond. The 2.2K limit is itself contradicted by every civilization-blooming Warm period back to at least the Minoan. Adaptation to warming is more like “taking advantage of” than “coping with”.

  34. Brian H says:
    October 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm
    And beyond. The 2.2K limit is itself contradicted by every civilization-blooming Warm period back to at least the Minoan. Adaptation to warming is more like “taking advantage of” than “coping with”.
    *
    Well said, mate. “Taking advantage of” of any warming is exactly what we all should be doing. These crazies are wailing and gnashing their teeth over a godsend. They are so sucked into their fears, they want civilization brought down because the weather is nice!

  35. A.D. Everard says:
    October 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm
    Argh! I’m a writer – I hate typos – in my post above, it should have read “hard to believe in it” and “nobody”. Never mind.
    ================
    We need writers, it is all we got.
    Speed kills, the “post comment” button needs a warning sign built into it.
    Something like “are you sure you want to post this ?”.
    It might deter me 🙂

  36. u.k.(us) says:
    October 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm
    ================
    We need writers, it is all we got.
    Speed kills, the “post comment” button needs a warning sign built into it.
    Something like “are you sure you want to post this ?”.
    It might deter me 🙂
    *
    Naw, I always think it’s right when I hit that button. I shall have to fall back on being human and trust that everyone remembers their own mistakes, and in so doing, forgive me mine. 🙂

  37. Margaret Hardman says:
    October 17, 2013 at 11:51 am
    Not sure why I should listen to the man who, while in charge of Northern Rock, couldn’t do his sums and nearly rolled the country into bankruptcy.

    When you are sure why you should or should not listen to… etc. please do let us know.

  38. This makes sense. If CO2 levels are making things worse then we would know what the impact of the rise is… It would be just like now. And it would be getting less abrupt as the impact of CO2 is meant to be logarithmic.
    Therefore, the consensus would be that CO2 is not a problem.
    If CO2 is making things better right now then we do not know that we will be able to cope when the reversal happens.
    Admittedly that is not a problem for this generation but it will affect our grandchildren. And it is only a matter of opinion whether our grandparents were right to focus on fighting WW2 rather than internet spam.
    But I cannot make sense of those who think CO2 is a problem right now. We know we can cope with this.
    The Precautionary Principle is redundant.

  39. Just waiting for some alarmist to join the “good” and “bad” CO2 dots together on this one. “No, nothing to do with our banning of effective land management, it’s that pesky CO2 again. You see, it makes plants grow and develop faster. THAT’S what created all the additional fuel for these fires to consume and proves our point that CO2 is an evil, harmful pollutant that requires regulation and taxes”

  40. Present evidence from the sun is pointing not to global warming but to a new ice age. The bicenntenial component of the total solar irradiance is declining rapidly. This points clearly to a new ice age in which case climate change will have devastating effects throughout the world.

  41. “a eucalyptus forest tends to promote fire because of the volatile and highly combustible oils produced by the leaves, as well as the production of large amounts of litter which is high in phenolics, preventing its breakdown by fungi and thus accumulates as large amounts of dry, combustible fuel.[19] Consequently, dense eucalypt plantings may be subject to catastrophic firestorms. In fact, almost thirty years before the Oakland firestorm of 1991, a study of eucalyptus in the area warned that the litter beneath the trees builds up very rapidly and should be regularly monitored and removed.”
    This from Wikipaedia on the subject of Eucalypts. We suffer from the Eucalyptus forests, which every few years burst into flame, sometimes idiots with matches or cigarettes, sometimes glass bottles discarded, sometimes lightning, sometimes high wind on power lines. The original Australians used “firestick farming” where they set light to a suitable bit of ground litter, set off a fire, and then caught the kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, etc, that were chased out or cooked by the fires. The trees then regrew, and the young trees were good for koalas. Firing the litter every few years kept it down, and prevented huge fires. Present day ‘environmentalists’, who deprecate and if possible ban fuel reduction burning, make sure that litter accumulates till something ignites it, and then if people have built houses amongst the trees, find that their houses and possessions have gone, but if lucky they save their lives. If not …
    NSW is a large area, 800 642 km2, it is, as the saying goes, bigger than Texas (696,241 km²). Our local weather varies as much – from desert inland, to ice covered hills in the south, to lush semi-tropics in the north, where it has been raining very slightly all day, after quite a few weeks of no rain. When litter accumulates for many years, the fire storms can be very intense, even burning the roots off so that the trees cannot regenerate, till seeds blow in.
    Houses in fire-prone country should have wooden shutters over the windows – the intense heat of a bushfire can raise the temperature inside a room by heating through a glass window so auto-ignition temperature is reached in a few seconds – and then, as bystanders were saying today “The house just exploded.”

  42. James Allison says:
    October 17, 2013 at 11:25 am
    Matt – Don’t panic! The scientific consensus is that warmer temperatures do more good than harm
    ======================
    Try telling that to the Australian NSW people about now.”
    Just like the Greens Party Adam Bandt the parliamentarian claimed yesterday that it was the fault of the Abbott Government who have been in office for ONE MONTH. Both bandt and Allison are obvious from the same uncaring club of fanatics who use the potential of a disaster and the loss of life to promote their distortion and misinformation. That attitude is an absolute disgrace and past despicable. But then again, what else would one expect from those pariahs, something sensical perhaps ?

  43. Margaret Hardman says:
    October 17, 2013 at 11:51 am
    Not sure why I should listen to the man who, while in charge of Northern Rock, couldn’t do his sums and nearly rolled the country into bankruptcy.

    Then listen to Richard Tol?
    Attack the ball and not the man.

  44. UK ENERGY BILL PRICING
    As detailed by the BBC and others…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03dv3tv/Newsnight_17_10_2013/
    Every British consumer is paying excessive “green” taxes on their electricity bills.
    GREEN TAXES ARE CURRENTLY (ONLY!) 9% OF THE TOTAL BILL
    Average Annual Charges
    £47 INSULATION FOR SUBSTANDARD HOMES
    £11 THE WARM HOUSE DISCOUNT
    £7 WIND AND SOLAR INSTALLATION
    £8 CARBON PERMITS
    £5 CARBON “FLOOR PRICE” (A TAX BY ANOTHER NAME)
    £3 SMART METERS
    £30 RENEWABLES OBLIGATION – TO SUBSIDISE WIND TURBINES AND SOLAR PANEL FARMS
    NUCLEAR POWER SUBSIDIES
    CURRENT PRICE £52/MWH
    BY 2018
    2018 PRICE £93/MWH — Nearly double the market price!
    EFFECT OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON UK BILLS
    2013 +13%
    2020 +33%
    2030 +41%
    The EU adds even more to UK bills…
    EU CLIMATE CHANGE LEVY
    EU CARBON REDUCTION COMMITTMENT
    EU EMISSION TRADING SCHEME
    etc…
    Rate of inflation UK 2008-2013
    2013 : 1.96%
    2012 : 2.07%
    2011 : 3.16%
    2010 : 1.64%
    2009 : -0.34%
    2008 : 3.05%
    SSE Price rises 2011 : Electricity 11% Gas 18%
    SSE Price rises 2013 : Electricity and Gas 8.2 – 9% (depending on area)
    British Gas Price rises 2008 : Electricity 9% Gas 35%
    British Gas Price rises 2011 : Electricity 16% Gas 18%
    British Gas Price rises 2012 : Electricity and Gas 6%
    British Gas Price rises 2013 : Electricity 10.4% Gas 8.4%
    Anyone want to follow our insane energy policies?
    Thank your lucky stars if you live elsewhere.

  45. If we continue to throw out our co2 (business as usual) I don’t know what the climate will be like in 2100 and I have no idea what the biosphere will be like. The IPCC says we will be at around 850ppm. All I can do is look at the effects of warmer periods in the past and look at the present.
    1) Our biosphere in general has been greening in recent decades including arid areas such as the Sahel.
    2) During the very, very localized Medieval Warm Period
    [Dr. Michael E. Mann – PDF paper]
    “Agriculture was possible at higher latitudes (and higher elevations in the mountains) than is currently possible in many regions”…”especially bountiful harvests”….”Grapes were grown in England several hundred kilometers north of their current limits of growth”…..”fig trees and olive trees grew in regions of Europe (northern Italy and parts of Germany) well north of their current range”…..”mountain glaciers throughout Europe retreated substantially”…..”severe winters were less frequent and less extreme”…..
    3) Neo tropical forest thrived in a much warmer past climates increasing co2 which boosted diversity etc.
    4) The Eemian interglacial in North Greenland showed an 8 ± 4 degrees Celsius above the mean of the past millennium. There was apparently only a modest ice-sheet response.
    Q) Given man’s ingenuity and technological advances, how likely is it that we will ever reach the IPCC’s high end projections for co2 by 2100? It only takes ONE innovation / invention / discovery to change things around. See horse manure calamity in New York late 19th century and the invention of the motor car. See predictions of mass starvation in the 1960s and the agricultural revolution. Can windmills and solar cut it? See power outage in ‘Green’ Scotland in winter of December 2010.

  46. Don B says:
    October 17, 2013 at 11:57 am
    Geoffrey Parker’s fine book, War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century, illuminates Ridley’s point that warmer since the Little Ice Age is better….

    You do realise that if we are plunged into another Little Ice Age they will blame co2. They have already tried it for the recent harsh winters. Would you be willing to bet they won’t blame any natural climate change pattern causing another LIA on man’s climate disruption? Anything and everything must point to their religion.

  47. Did you lose any of your bank cash Margaret Hardman? It may explain your persistent attacks on Matt Ridley.

  48. I am a VERY lucky 53 year old Englishman living in Southern California for the past 10 years so I have a good perspective on 43 years of English weather and the last 10 years of sunny, warm SoCal weather . In the winter of 1963 as a young child of three I was taken by my parents down to the river at Walton-on-Thames Surrey where as a family we walked on the FROZEN THAMES.
    I was sixteen during the HOT English summer of 1976 which was wonderful …….. I was also very lucky to have parents who took us on terrific summer camping holidays from the middle 1960’s to the late 1970’s so I was exsposed to the best of the WARM parts of Europe.
    WARM is better than COLD …………….!!!

  49. I’m drinking a beer – it’s nice to know that I am helping to stave off an ice age and increase worldwide agricultural productivity! 😉

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