‘Nobody Really Knows What’s Happening With Climate Change. They’re Just Guessing’

The IPCC Just Agreed With Nigel Lawson 

Nigel Lawson was right after all. Ever since the Centre for Policy Studies lecture in 2006 that launched the former chancellor on his late career as a critic of global warming policy, Lord Lawson has been stressing the need to adapt to climate change, rather than throw public money at futile attempts to prevent it. Until now, the official line has been largely to ignore adaptation and focus instead on ‘mitigation’ — the misleading term for preventing carbon dioxide emissions. That has now changed. The received wisdom on global warming, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was updated this week: the IPCC emphasised, again and again, the need to adapt to climate change. –Matt Ridley, The Spectator, 5 April 2014

Take this climate matter everybody is thinking about. They all talk, they pass laws, they do things, as if they knew what was happening. I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening. They just guess. And a whole group of them meet together and encourage each other’s guesses. –James Lovelock, BBC Newsnight, 2 April 2014

Influential scientist, inventor, and environmentalist James Lovelock is having some second thoughts about the whole climate change thing. In the context of a doom-and-gloom United Nations climate science report, Lovelock, 94, described the environmental movement as becoming “a religion, and religions don’t worry too much about facts.” He added that “It’s just as silly to be a denier as it is to be a believer. You can’t be certain.” Inquisitr News, 2 April 2014

The latest United Nations report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is something of brain twister. The IPCC report is at odds with global economic and political realities. There are, in effect, two different worlds. At the IPCC, the objective is to fan fears of fossil-fuel-induced global crises brought on by rising carbon emissions. In the rest of the world, demand for fossil fuels continues to expand, regardless of the carbon risks. It surely has not escaped the IPCC’s policy leaders that as they try to drum up support for reduced carbon emissions and policy action, the leading powers are in an escalating battle for fossil-fuel supremacy. –Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, 1 April 2014

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group II has concluded that global warming of 2.5˚C would cost the equivalent to losing between 0.2-2.0% of annual income. This seems in sharp contrast to the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, which found it would cost 5-20%. How can that be? The Stern Review was prepared by a team of civil servants and never reviewed (beforepublication) by independent experts. Some argue that the Stern Review served to bolster Gordon Brown’s credentials with the environmental wing of the Labour Party in preparation for his transition to party leader and prime minister. And in fact next weekIPCC Working Group III will conclude that the Stern Review grossly underestimated the costs of bringing down greenhouse gas emissions. –Richard Tol, The Conversation, 2 April 2014

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Chris Marrou
April 3, 2014 8:15 am

I await the media’s attempt to blame the recent Pacific Rim earthquakes on global warming. Perhaps it will be an analogy to soft-boiled eggs’ shells cracking.

April 3, 2014 8:20 am

They are not “just guessing!” They are after tax revenue, and see a clear path to getting at least part of the world to ask politicians to “do something.”
What the political entities conclude is worth doing is raising taxes on “CO2.” As CO2 can’t pay taxes, the next best bet is people, and the wish-dream of any politician is to have the public clamor for a tax, and then deliver the same.
Global atmospheric temperatures (entering an about to be 18 year flatline) were never the issue anyway.

Kelvin vaughan
April 3, 2014 8:20 am

Well we are in a cloud of pollution in the UK, Sahara dust, car exhaust and industrial pollution. Ten on the pollution scale that only goes up to ten. The BBC weatherman said it is cold because of the pollution? I thought it was supposed to be hotter.

Gary Pearse
April 3, 2014 8:26 am

““It’s just as silly to be a denier as it is to be a believer. ..”
If by denier you mean skeptic of mainstream climate change theory, then you are wrong, James. It is considerably more silly to be a proponent after the theory has failed, largely because of critique by skeptics. If someone has a theory that the moon is made of blue cheese, it is infinitely more silly to be a believer than being a denier – (to say skeptic gives too much respect for such a theory). The old fellow is a good example of a skeptic.

April 3, 2014 8:28 am

Gee, Darwin was right all along. Guess they missed that class while counting tree rings.

Alan the Brit
April 3, 2014 8:29 am

The BBC & the Wet Office in the UK are making hay whilst the Sun doesn’t shine about the weather conditions over here. For the first time I have heard them in the last couple of days down drone on about “pollution” over Britain, referring to UK emissions & EU emissions being blown over to us by winds from north Africa, aclong with vast dust clouds of sand particles, whipped up by well known meteorological phenomena, & being deposited on the ground, streets, & cars. They don’t miss a trick. The emissions are ALWAY there ALL year round, not that they are significant in any case. So, what do they do? Classically, they get spokespersons/come-drama-queens to spout about “health” & “risk” telling us all that we should stay indoors all day, don’t do any strenuous exercise especially if you have a chest condition, coupled with the statements like “We don’t (yes we do) want to panic or frighten people just make them aware (read scared)!” The good old Precautionary Principle is always good for a scare story! Where I live in Devon in the South-West of England, we have beautiful iron rich & fertile red clayey soil, & it’s ALL mud when wet (as it is now), & ALL dust when dry as the tractors roar around the lanes! We’re used to it. Just letting you know what is coming your way re-ramping up the pollution scares as AGW is clearly dying in Europe, it’s just going to be a long lingering death. On Channel 4 News last night, Richard Tol, dissenting UNIPCC professor advising the GWPF & other organisations, was hung out to dry by biased anchorman/woman letting loose the Grantham Institute’s rabid dog Bob Ward unfettered with rantings against Professor Tol, & very little opportunity for redress the balance, yet more not-so-impartial” reporting in the UK! Details over at Bishop Hill’s blog. AtB

April 3, 2014 8:31 am

The hot air coming off this site is enough to settle it once and for all. You still have absolutely no excuse for not accepting cleaner energies. You are still so petty that you will not post any comments that face the truth. Watt a sad and sorry place you occupy in this world, Mr. Watts.
REPLY: For the record, see my response to your idiotic claims below on the comments made by UK/US – Anthony

April 3, 2014 8:35 am

With What is it? 4361??? speculations as to why we are no longer living on a warming planet,
none of which include any plausible evidence to support the claim, it has finally occurred to some that everyone is guessing.

April 3, 2014 8:36 am

What we are seeing here is a phenomenon recorded in Charles Mackay’s classic book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841). He sums it up beautifully:

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

April 3, 2014 8:39 am

There is nothing more worthless than the U.N and its offspring. The very symbol and embodiment of bloated bureaucratic nonsense. Sitting on their hands for a real crisis like genocide, actively destroying economies for a nonexistent crisis like warming. How do you spell dangerous incompetence? U.N!!

April 3, 2014 8:42 am

How to fight with a dramatic increase in cosmic radiation? How to protect Earth against its effects? After all, it is ease shall enter into the atmosphere.

April 3, 2014 8:51 am

Problem is if they ever admitted they are ‘just guessing’ then they are no longer ‘experts’ and the funding will dry up!!

April 3, 2014 9:04 am

Once again the skeptics are right.

April 3, 2014 9:08 am

Climate Change Mitigation Plan, April 2014
1. Declare adaption to be job one, get buy-in from main stream media and left-leaning politicians.
2. Create Adaption Fund from world governments’ revenues.
3. Use funds to create UN mandates for decarbonization of first world economies.
4. Mission accomplished.
Metric for success: US economy in shambles, greater than 50% population receiving sustaining income from federal programs, Soviet Union (now snarkily called Putineska by underground refudiatists) is reformed, obstacles to global socialism toppled.

April 3, 2014 9:15 am

Gary Pearse says:
April 3, 2014 at 8:26 am
“The old fellow is a good example of a skeptic.”
Peddling alarmist books bordering on the lunatic (“all that will be left of humanity will be a few breeding pairs in the arctic”) for DECADES makes him a “good example of a skeptic”?
No, it makes him such a posterchild rent-seeker that his body should be stuffed and exposed at the Smithsonian with a sign saying “Rent Seeker” after his demise.

April 3, 2014 9:18 am

I looked for a full transcript or a video of the James Lovelock interview on BBC Newsnight (2 April 2014), but it appears that no one has posted it. The video on the BBC website is only available in the UK, and I could not find a transcript. If anyone knows of a youtube, or other format video, which would be viewable in the US, please post a link here. Thanks.

Stephen Richards
April 3, 2014 9:43 am

Kelvin vaughan says:
April 3, 2014 at 8:20 am
The UK Met Off has said that the BBC are being TOO alarmist about the ‘pollution’ and that 10 was never reached. It average around 5 to 8 and mostly it was sand not pollution.

April 3, 2014 10:24 am

Buckyworld says:
The hot air coming off this site is enough to settle it once and for all. You still have absolutely no excuse for not accepting cleaner energies. You are still so petty that you will not post any comments that face the truth. Watt a sad and sorry place you occupy in this world, Mr. Watts.
Out of a million reader comments, there are bound to be a few misfits. What is amazing is how few ‘Buckyworlds’ there are.
Bucky, you are the misfit, not everyone else.
[Reply: “Buckyworld” is Patricia Ravasio, a troll/sockpuppet who occasionally sneaks in here by using multiple screen names. ~ mod.]

April 3, 2014 10:28 am

This is bad news if they now agree.
“Lord Lawson has been stressing the need to adapt to climate change”
Guess where the money is going to come from, nothing will change except now we will have Lord Lawson and cronies with their fingers in the pie.

April 3, 2014 10:30 am

Seems to me that MSM is still looking at the previous IPCC report. I wonder when it will actually read the new one and then report what it says, rather than report what the politicians (who have painted themselves into a corner) say they think, or hope, it says.
I’m not saying the new report is right, though, just that MSM is not doing the job that it should be doing.

April 3, 2014 10:34 am

Who said we don’t want cleaner energies?
I for one would love to see less pollution.
I just don’t think that C02 has much effect one way or the other on “climate change”.

April 3, 2014 11:07 am

Buckyworld?? BUCKYWORLD??
I think someone is living in ‘F’ – (B)uckyworld, more like!!
jeez, some folks…….

April 3, 2014 11:35 am

One thing most adults have to do is make decisions on incomplete and imperfect information, so whether you can be certain about something really isn’t as important as whether you make suitable decisions based on the best evidence at the time.
One thing any senior decision maker should be fairly certain about, however, is that humanity has not been washed away in the past 2000 years, hence it was fairly unlikely that we would be washed away before 2030 even if we did nothing.
Given that the knowledge base for climate science was so sketchy, the data sets so short and/or inconsistent, the logical, correct decision on imperfect information was to collect primary data of a consistent nature for 50 years (from 1979 to 2029) and then see where things stood.
Of course, speculators, charlatans and con-artists are never interested in the truth, they are interested in what they can sell to duped customers. My adult life has seen a never-ending spate of such events, from stock market boom/busts, housing market crashes, bird flu scares, millennium bug nonsense, windmill nonsense and carbon dioxide nonsense.
The most senior decision-makers should be the ones most immune from the wiles of speculators, since they are the ones who must not be deceived by liars.
Perhaps the most damning indictment of the past 35 years is that our leaders have been so inexperienced, so credulous, so biddable, so driven by the need to make money rather than lead societies, that the decisions taken on our behalf have been ridiculous in the extreme.
The way to stop climate nonsense is to elect politicians who make it clear that it is nonsense, prevent the media from spreading that nonsense upon pain of being significantly fined (freedom to lie should not be part of a Free Press, after all) and develop and legislate appropriately in the areas of energy provision, housing quality and water management.

April 3, 2014 12:10 pm

Buckyworld says:
April 3, 2014 at 8:31 am
The hot air coming off this site is enough to settle it once and for all. You still have absolutely no excuse for not accepting cleaner energies. You are still so petty that you will not post any comments that face the truth. Watt a sad and sorry place you occupy in this world, Mr. Watts.
Yet, you can’t help but visit.
Having second thoughts ?
REPLY: What is hilarious about Pat Ravasio’s (she’s been outed here a long time ago as “Buckyworld”) claims about me and “not accepting cleaner energies”, is that she has apparently never bothered to read my about page:

While I have a skeptical view of certain climate issues, I consider myself “green” in many ways, and I promote the idea of energy savings and alternate energy generation. Unlike many who just talk about it, I’ve put a 10KW solar array on my home, a second one on my new home this past summer of 2012. See photos below.
My home solar solar home grid tie inverters:

Plus I championed a 125 KW solar array on one of our local schools when I was a local school board trustee. I’ve retrofitted my home with CFL’s LED’s and better insulation, as well as installed timer switches on many of our most commonly used lights.
I also drive an electric car for my daily around town routine, but now mostly in the summer due to the battery technology not performing well in the winter. See my second electric car, which is an upgrade from the glorified golf cart in the link above, below.

I encourage others to do the same when it comes to efficient use of energy and energy conservation. For example, I recently installed energy saving LED lighting in my home, reducing power consumption for my largest lighting use from 325watts to 60 watts.

I’ve asked Pat before to put her money where her mouth is regarding her own examples of “accepting cleaner energies” and of course, she has nothing.
She’s a real estate salesperson in the Bay Area with an emotional distraction about me and WUWT. I just chuckle about her occasional rants here, which normally don’t make it past moderation due to the ridiculous claims and invective they contain – Anthony

Chad Wozniak
April 3, 2014 12:12 pm

Yahoo News has just published an article, “Global Cooling – the REAL Inconvenient Truth,” on AccessWire, by Keith Schaefer, editor of the Oil and Gas Investments Bulletin.
This is not to be missed – it is a concise debunking of the CO2 meme, and an explanation of how the Sun is the real driver behind climate change and that changes in the Sun’s output and behavior account precisely for changes in Earth’s climate. This just could be the first big crack in the MSM’s alarmist armor. Never would I have expected super-lefty Yahoo to print such a story! Hip hip hooray!!

April 3, 2014 12:15 pm

I disagree about the press not being allowed to publish lies.
Let them publish, sue, win and make sure they have to pay all costs.
That would be more effective in making them publish the truth.
IOW hit them in the pocket.
I don’t know how you get honest intelligent people to stand as candidates for positions as elected representatives, though.

Tom in Florida
April 3, 2014 12:25 pm

Buckyworld says:
“The hot air coming off this site is enough to settle it once and for all. You still have absolutely no excuse for not accepting cleaner energies. You are still so petty that you will not post any comments that face the truth. Watt a sad and sorry place you occupy in this world, Mr. Watts.
[Reply: “Buckyworld” is Patricia Ravasio, a troll/sockpuppet who occasionally sneaks in here by using multiple screen names. ~ mod.]
don’t feed the troll (or is it trollette). Let her suffer a death of being ignored, she will just eventually wither away.

April 3, 2014 12:30 pm

The great irony is that Buckyworld refers to Patricia’s Buckyworld.me site dedicated to the most outspoken anti-Malthus intellectual of all time, Bucky Fuller, whose every book I have read, including Synergetics I & II, his technical works, such that I know full well he would never call for artificial energy rationing. He was plenty happy with doing “more with less,” but not just doing *with* less as some sort of sacrifice. Every fanatical environmentalist these days who follows Paul Ehrlich are direct descendants of starvation guru Malthus of the 1700s, Bucky’s nemesis, his Moriarty, his Lucifer.

April 3, 2014 12:38 pm

@ Erik Jacobs, I’ve written up a transcript of the James Lovelock interview on BBC Newsnight, and posted it here:

April 3, 2014 1:12 pm

Just wondering how Matt Ridley is able to post from the future? (5 April 2014 is two days from today)

Bruce Cobb
April 3, 2014 1:33 pm

Bucky Fuller may have been a genius, and had some interesting ideas about things, mostly wrong. He loved wind power, and thought it was the energy of the future. Boy, was he wrong.

Dave N
April 3, 2014 3:04 pm

“What is hilarious about Pat Ravasio’s (she’s been outed here a long time ago as “Buckyworld”) claims about me and “not accepting cleaner energies”, is that she has apparently never bothered to read my about page:”
Maybe she thinks that installing/using clean energy isn’t the same as accepting it? Perhaps you need to have a “Clean energy is my god” page?

Bruce Cobb
April 3, 2014 4:04 pm

“Clean energy” is just a red herring anyway, since the argument is all about CO2, which is as clean and green a molecule as you can get.

April 3, 2014 4:35 pm

I sometimes see hydroelectric generation specifically excluded from the “clean energy” cohort. I guess they only want inefficient windmills and solar panels.

April 3, 2014 5:32 pm

Just as well Anthony provided a link to Richard Toll’s contribution in The Conversation. It is not shown in any of the summary pages there, even though lots of old articles are still there – but then those toe the party line.

April 3, 2014 5:39 pm

Pat Ravasio, unfortunately, suffers from the same problems of most enviro-activists (as she proclaims to be) that have no will (or can’t) to discuss science because they think that skeptics are a group of thugs that do not care with environment, period. Nothing could be more wrong and Anthony showed it sharply and with brilliance. I know that Pat is a real estate agent that, probably (and I reinforce this “probably”) has little background in science. If so, try not to judge skeptics that easily and try to read something about climate science first, see some REAL climate data (not data coming from models), and argue with science after. You could get surprised. Being just a enviro-troll, such has you did above, only weakens enviro movements. I’m an environmentalist since ever (in every day actions) but, as a real scientist (with a PhD in climate dynamics and coastal migration), I share the same doubts of Anthony about climate change (mainly the man-made part) because I care with science honesty.
Sorry for my poor English.

April 3, 2014 8:50 pm

u.k.(us) says:
April 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm
Buckyworld says:
April 3, 2014 at 8:31 am
In spite of “Pat’s” invectives, I am betting that a lot of the people that come to this site have energy efficient devices/cars/houses and jobs or education related to the environment or review of environment/climate or skills in this arena such as statistics and mathematics.
As suggested by some folks in the “Carbon Tax” discussions a few days ago – my major source of winter heat is wood cut off my own land which is, according to them, carbon neutral; my “automated” heat is from a water to water heat pump using well water as a source returned to a second well or fish pond; windows with a heat gain orientation with insulating blinds for night; one foot insulated walls; solar panels for various activities such as electric fencing, trickle charging. And sky lights and lower level opening windows for natural cooling in the summer with the ability to use 42 degree F well water to cool through the air ventilation system as well as cool my trout pond.
I suspect a lot of people who visit this site have a great deal of concern for the environment. My degree is not comparable to many here, nor are my skills but I have always been concerned for the environment (but frankly, I am not worried at all by the hullaballoo over CO2). My degree over 40 years ago was a BA Ap Sc. (Applied Science in the Water and Pollution discipline of Civil Engineering)
My impression is that most people who visit this site have a great deal of concern about the environment. They are not impressed by excessive CO2 fear mongering and are open to new information.

April 3, 2014 9:16 pm

There seems to be, as it were, a plague in the house.

April 3, 2014 10:53 pm

most whats written in the comments and above all the main text are fake and junk science/numbers.
for the real worlds events;
While the examples of Japan, China, and India show the promise of rapidly emerging energy economies built on efficiency and renewables, Germany—the world’s number four economy and Europe’s number one—has lately provided an impressive model of what a well-organized industrial society can achieve. To be sure, it’s not yet the world champion among countries with limited hydroelectricity: Denmark passed 40% renewable electricity in 2011 en route to a target of 100% by 2050, and Portugal, albeit with more hydropower, raised its renewable electricity fraction from 17% to 45% just during 2005–10 (while the U.S., though backed by a legacy of big hydro, crawled from 9% to 10%), reaching 70% in the rainy and windy first quarter of 2013. But these economies are not industrial giants like Germany, which remains the best disproof of claims that highly industrialized countries, let alone cold and cloudy ones, can do little with renewables.
Germany has doubled the renewable share of its total electricity consumption in the past six years to 23% in 2012. It forecasts nearly a redoubling by 2025, well ahead of the 50% target for 2030, and closing in on official goals of 65% in 2040 and 80% in 2050. Some areas are moving faster: in 2010, four German states were 43–52% windpowered for the whole year. And at times in spring 2012, half of all German electricity was renewable, nearing Spain’s 61% record set in April 2012.
To underscore the remarkable German case, let’s review what happened in 2011, right after Fukushima. The Bundestag—led by the most conservative and pro-nuclear party, with no party dissenting—overwhelmingly voted to close eight of the country’s nuclear plants immediately and the other nine by 2022. (In a double U-turn, a nuclear phase-out agreed in 2000 was first slowed and then reinstated; nuclear output has actually been falling since 2006.) Skeptics said this abrupt shutdown of 41% of nuclear output would make the lights go out, the economy crash, carbon emissions and electricity prices soar, and Germany need to import nuclear power from France. But none of that happened.
In fact, in 2011 the German economy grew three percent and remained Europe’s strongest, buoyed by a world-class renewables industry with 382,000 jobs (about 222,000 of them added since 2004, with net employment and net stimulus both positive). Chancellor Merkel won her bet that it would be smarter to spend energy money on German engineers, manufacturers, and installers than to send it to the Russian natural gas behemoth Gazprom. Germany’s lights stayed on. The nuclear shutdown was entirely displaced by year-end, three-fifths due to renewable growth. Do the math: simply repeating 2011’s renewable installations for three additional years, through 2014, would thus displace Germany’s entire pre-Fukushima nuclear output. Meanwhile, efficiency gains—plus a mild winter—cut total German energy use by 5.3%, electricity consumption by 1.4%, and carbon emissions by 2.8%. Wholesale electricity prices fell 10–15%. Germany remained a net exporter of electricity, and during a February 2012 cold snap, even exported nearly 3 GW to power-starved France, which remains a net importer of German electricity.

April 4, 2014 5:56 am

“….The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group II has concluded that global warming of 2.5˚C would cost the equivalent to losing between 0.2-2.0% of annual income. This seems in sharp contrast to the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, which found it would cost 5-20%. How can that be? ….”
For those who have their eyes open and their wits about them (a rapidly shrinking minority of humanity, it seems), such contradictions are nothing new, and do not require the juxtaposition of “bureaucrats” and “scientists”.
A perfect example is to be found in the much trumpeted danger of environmental radon gas exposure to human health, and the supposedly scientifically derived mitigation thresholds concocted by three closely associated agencies, with access to the same “data” – the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Health Canada.
The three substantially conflicting mitigation thresholds are, respectively, 2.7, 4.0, and 5.0 picoCuries/L.. And less than a decade ago, when the EPA level was already long “established” at 4.0, that published by Health Canada was four times higher, at 20.0picoCuries/L. How can THAT be?
Well, the same way that the entire world, and, more significantly, the entire fraternity of academic historians of World War II, pretended for more than half a century that the massacre of almost the entire officer corps of the Polish army at Katyn Woods was perpetrated by the German Wehrmacht, when in fact, it was carried out by Soviet troops in plain view of the local villagers, who survived this event to talk freely about it in the present period.
It is, effectively, that “black is black denial”, the rationalization for the criminalization, prosecution, and jailing of skeptics of any sort of government propaganda, starting with propaganda about the Jewish holocaust, has been quickly transformed into “black is white (or anything else the dominant clique says it is) denial”.
And so scientists armed with experimental evidence that normal environmental exposure to radon is not only conducive to good mammalian health, but even necessary for it, can now be harassed, and conceivably prosecuted, as enemies of the public. However, this is scarcely necessary, since they cannot get funding to pursue their research nor platforms for publicizing it.
This progressive systematic undermining of intellectual integrity by bureaucratic and collegial interference has deleterious effects that go far beyond the climate change controversy – it threatens the survivability of our civilization at its very roots. We are in the process of degenerating into bands of riotous apes armed with nuclear and chemical tools capable of destroying all higher life forms on earth.

April 4, 2014 12:03 pm

FYI They are doing more than guessing. Have you tried to but a light bulb lately? If you own a home air conditioner wait till you need to replace it. Do you know what is in the gasoline you buy and what is costs?

April 5, 2014 12:33 am

If they were just guessing, half of them would claim the climate is cooling. They’re not guessing. They have an agenda driven by personal economic interest that feeds the greater political motivation.

April 6, 2014 8:29 pm

@ alexjc38, thank you for posting the transcript.

Brian H
April 6, 2014 10:55 pm

Mencken’s hobgoblins are looking rather careworn and toothless.

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