By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
The New Pause paused last month because I was ill. Many apologies for the interruption. Now, however, it resumes – and it has lengthened from 7 years 7 months to the end of April 2022. To the end of June 2022, the New Pause is now 7 years 10 months in length:
This Pause, like its predecessor, which was an impressive 18 years 8 months (UAH), or 18 years 9 months (HadCRUT4), is, as always, not cherry-picked. It is derived from the UAH monthly global mean lower-troposphere temperature anomalies as the period from the earliest month starting with which the least-squares linear-regression trend to the most recent month for which data are available does not exceed zero. Whatever the data show, I show. Or, in the immortal words of Dr Roy Spencer, speaking of his dataset, “It is what it is”. In that splendid dictum speaks all true science.
The least-squares trend, which Professor Jones at the University of East Anglia used to recommend as the simplest and most robust method of deriving global-temperature trends, takes due account of all monthly values, not merely of the starting and ending values.
England, said the Portuguese-American philosopher George Santayana, is the paradise of eccentricities, hobbies and humors. One of mine is jurisprudence, the philosophy of law. I have lectured on it at universities: indeed, one of my talks was given in the faithful replica of the Supreme Court Chamber at Liberty University, Virginia. I also give tutorials to law students on jurisprudence from time to time, for law lecturers generally do not love the subject, for it is inspirational rather than perspirational, though their students love it.
The Roman Emperor Justinian knew this. When he wrote his Institutes, a digest of his Digest of Roman law, he did so for the benefit of the law students of the empire, each of whom he addressed thus in the first Institute –
“Let this be thine: to lead a life upright,
“Do harm to none, but give to each his due.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero, who wrote the most beautiful, Ciceronian Latin, made a similar point, a century before the Lord of Life and Love and Laughter was admired by snuffling kine rubbing flanks with thrones and dominations in a stable at Bethlehem. Cicero, in his treatise de Legibus on jurisprudence, wrote: “The law is founded upon and rooted in love.” At root, then, love is – or, at any rate, ought to be – the mischief of every law. The framers of your magnificent Constitution knew this, for they were widely read and deeply learned.
The framework of the Constitution is the ancient doctrine of the separation of powers between the legislature (Congress), the executive (the President) and the judiciary (the Supreme Court). For political power, like money and muck, “is not good except it be spread”. I once won a debate on the desirability or otherwise of judicial activism before the Chicago Bar Association simply by citing Article 1, Section 1, which opens with these simple words:
“All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Period.
That period is the most important period in history. On this side of the pond, we call a period a “full stop”. That full stop is the most important full stop in history. Right from the outset, your founding fathers made it very, very clear that they did not intend anyone, however high and mighty, to make or muss up or unmake the law unless you, the people, had elected him and his colleagues in Congress to do so. If anyone else, such as an overpaid, self-aggrandizing official of a government agency such as the EPA, purports to make law, he contravenes that full stop of full stops that fully stops anyone but those whom the people have elected as their only legislators from exercising the legislative function granted by the Constitution to Congress, and to Congress alone.
Why is that splendid opening sentence at once an embodiment and an expression of the love of which the Jews and then Cicero and then the Lord of Life and then Justinian spoke? It is because democracy – government of the people, by the people, for the people, as Lincoln trenchantly put it in the finest speech in history, the Gettysburg Address – depends absolutely on the principle that each of the people so deeply loves his neighbors that he is willing, nay eager, to entrust to them no less cheerfully than to himself the power to make and unmake those who govern him and them and the nation of which the people are the embodiment.
Therefore, it has been a delight to read the Supreme Court’s learned opinion at last curbing somewhat the bureaucratic overreach of the EPA, which had tortured the purpose and intent (which lawyers call the “mischief”) of an Act of Congress so as to usurp unto itself the power of Congress to make laws regulating the sins of emission perpetrated by the great industries and enterprises of your busy nation.
Even if it be ungenerously imagined that the Trump administration achieved little else, the President picked three winners – Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch – and parked them firmly on the banc of the Supreme Court, there to work their beneficial magic for decades to come. Justice Gorsuch’s masterly concurring opinion in the EPA case, which cites the vesting clause of the Constitution, meditates brilliantly, and eloquently, on the jurisprudential aspects of the Court’s opinion. In particular, it cites with approval the vesting clause at the beginning of the Constitution, and pokes fun at the three cry-babies on the Bench, who, in their whining dissent, here as in the Court’s recent decision that it is for the States and not for the Court to legislate on whether and when their citizens may torture, dismember and kill their babies without even giving the holy, wholly innocents an anesthetic first, seek to suggest that the Constitution is out of date and that the opinions of the mere proletariat and their mere elected representatives in their mere duma are of no account compared with the Party Line laid down by the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-wise apparatchiki.
If you read nothing else this year, read the Gorsuch concurrence. That resounding and profoundly learned endorsement of the vision and the wisdom of your founding fathers, and of the mischief of your noble Constitution, ends with these words –
“When Congress seems slow to solve problems, it may be only natural that those in the Executive Branch might seek to take matters into their own hands. But the Constitution does not authorize agencies to use pen-and-phone regulations as substitutes for laws passed by the people’s representatives. In our Republic, ‘It is the peculiar province of the legislature to prescribe general rules for the government of society’ (Fletcher v. Peck, 1810). Because today’s decision helps safeguard that foundational constitutional promise, I am pleased to concur.”
The gulf fixed between the libertarian majority and the totalitarian minority on the Court is precisely the gulf fixed between the Communist and Republican Parties in Congress. The dissent of the Court’s three witches opens thus –
“Today, the Court strips the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the power Congress gave it to respond to ‘the most pressing environmental challenge of our time’ (Massachusetts v. EPA, 2007). Climate change’s causes and dangers are no longer subject to serious doubt. Modern science is ‘unequivocal that human influence’ – in particular, the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide – ‘has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land’ (IPCC 2021).
“The Earth is now warmer than at any time ‘in the history of modern civilization’, with the six warmest years on record all occurring in the last decade (USGCRP 2017; Brief for Climate Scientists as Amici Curiae) The rise in temperatures brings with it ‘increases in heat-related deaths’, ‘coastal inundation and erosion’, ‘more frequent and intense hurricanes, floods, and other extreme weather events’, ‘drought’, ‘destruction of ecosystems’ and ‘potentially significant disruptions of food production.’ (American Elec. Power Co. v. Connecticut, 2011). If the current rate of emissions continues, children born this year could live to see parts of the Eastern seaboard swallowed by the ocean (Brief for Climate Scientists as Amici Curiae). Rising waters, scorching heat, and other severe weather conditions could force ‘mass migration events, political crises, civil unrest’ and ‘even state failure’ (Dept. of Defense, Climate Risk Analysis 2021). And, by the end of this century, climate change could be the cause of ‘4.6 million excess yearly deaths’ (R. Bressler, The Mortality Cost of Carbon, Nature Communications 2021).”
The long whinge that follows is predicated upon that improperly selective opening list of generally mendacious, imagined and imaginary harms from mildly warmer worldwide weather. It is that list that misleads the dissenters into grouching – more than somewhat banausically – to the effect that the evil demon Siotu is a “pollutant” and, therefore, falls within the broadly-drawn regulatory power granted to the EPA by Congress at section 111 of the Clean Air Act.
Yet the rebel reds contradict themselves when they conclude thus –
“The subject matter of the regulation here makes the Court’s intervention all the more troubling. Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change. And let’s say the obvious: The stakes here are high. Yet the Court today prevents congressionally authorized agency action to curb power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. The Court appoints itself – instead of Congress or the expert agency – the decision-maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”
The contradiction lies in the dissenting coven’s assertion that “Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change.” But, by the same token, the Court, and in particular the three unbecomingly partisan dissenters, does not have a clue about whether or not the various official-sounding sources for their contention that “the stakes are high” are talking through their hats. The dissenting opinion fails, therefore, on the very same ground on which the dissenters accuse the plurality of failing: they have appointed themselves, instead of Congress or what they unsoundly describe as the “expert” agency [x, an unknown quantity; spurt, a drip under pressure], as the decision-maker on climate science and, accordingly, on climate policy.
I set out something of the two opposing opinions, with particular attention to the dissenters’ opinion, because, given that the constitutionally-minded plurality on the Bench are at last minded to uphold the fine vision of your founding fathers and to rein in the power grab by the 3 million ambitious cuisses-de-cuir in the various Federal departments and agencies by reference to long-established principles of jurisprudence, it may now have become possible to persuade the Supreme Court that it should take one more step, and a decisive step, to topple the entire edifice of nonsense in support of and motivated by hostile alien powers that is global-warming fanaticism.
When the legal doctrine that administrative action by the entities of the State was reviewable by the Courts first emerged in the Courts of Equity in 14th-Century England (I remember it well, not least because the weather was so much warmer then), the purpose of judicial review of administrative action was – as it remains to this day – to put the citizen on a level playing-field with the State before the Courts. Judicial review is no less a feature of U.S. than of U.K. jurisprudence. In the U.K., we have a special Administrative Court to hear judicial-review cases. In the U.S., the ordinary civil courts hear such cases.
One of the principles of administrative law is that any action by any agency of government that is irrational is ipso facto unlawful. On both sides of the Atlantic, the courts have occasionally – and I stress occasionally – struck down the actions of ministers or their officials on the ground that no reasonable person, even in the exercise of the wide discretion delegated to ministers and, through them, to their officials in an administration elected by the people, could possibly have taken the decision in question.
Let us now examine the pseudo-scientific basis for the Supreme Court’s dissenters’ decision to the effect that because of the wickedness of the demon Siotu the EPA was duty bound to treat it as though it were a dangerous “pollutant” – which, of course, on any dispassionate and objective scientific tandard, it is not.
“The Earth is now warmer than at any time ‘in the history of modern civilization’”. No, it isn’t. It was at least as warm in the mediaeval warm period, which led to the Renaissance, to the building of the great cathedrals of Europe, and thus provided the environment within which the then emergence of modern civilization was possible.
“The six warmest years on record all occur[red] in the last decade”. Depends what you mean by “the record”. It is warmer today than since the first global temperature record began in 1850 – but so what? A couple of centuries are a mere blink of an eye sub specie aeternitatis. Most of the past 10,000 years have been warmer than the present in many parts of the world. Yet the planet somehow did not fry. Our predecessors were not all toast, and nor shall we be.
“The rise in temperatures brings with it ‘increases in heat-related deaths’”, but also decreases in cold-related deaths, which, as Willis Eschenbach has demonstrated in one of his many distinguished columns here, outstrip the increases in heat-related deaths in every region of the planet, and in some regions by an order of magnitude.
What about “‘coastal inundation and erosion’”? Well, that, as any rock jock will tell you, has been going on ever since there was first an ocean. It was only 10,000 years ago that, painted in then-fashionable woad blue, I could walk from my simple, ancestral trilithon house in rural Kent to what would many millennia later become Parisii Lutetiorum in Gaul without getting the aristocratic tootsies wet. But then sea level went and rose by 120 feet – and that, as Professor Ian Plimer often says, is sea-level rise.
What about “‘more frequent and intense hurricanes, floods, and other extreme weather events’”? Hurricanes are if anything a little less frequent and intense than they were (there has been nothing like the 1815 hurricane in the Caribbean at any time since then – I remember it well, for it made a mess of my plantations); even the hideous nest of vested-interest vipers that is IPeCaC says the evidence for more flooding is insubstantial; and the same goes in general for other extreme-weather events, as IPeCaC’s report on extreme weather grudgingly but definitively concluded.
By the same token., “‘drought’” is no more prevalent than before. Indeed, if the three dissenters had bothered to inform themselves of just a little elementary meteorology rather than taking their pseudo-science from talking-points issued by a variety of innocuous-sounding but actually malevolent front groups acting in the interest of foreign powers inimical to Western democracy, prosperity and freedom, they would know that, by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, warmer worldwide weather increases the capacity of the space occupied by the atmosphere to carry water vapor, the most important of all the greenhouse gases by virtue of its sheer volume, so that droughts are less likely, not more likely. Unsurprisingly, therefore, as early as 1981 it was reported by Nicholson et al. that the Sahara’s southern margin had retreated, allowing 300,000 square kilometres that had formerly been arid to bloom once again, and permitting nomadic tribes to return to areas that they had not inhabited in recorded history.
Likewise, “‘destruction of ecosystems’” is not what happens in net terms when the climate gets warmer and, therefore, wetter. One might have thought that even extreme-Left justices would have learned enough geography (geology rocks, but geography is where it’s at) to appreciate that hardly anyone lives in the Arctic or Antarctic, where it is cold and dry, but nearly everyone lives where it is warm and, therefore, wet.
As for “‘potentially significant disruptions of food production’”, the worst that can be expected is that, exactly as has always happened as a result of shifting weather patterns whether natural or anthropogenic, what can be grown where will change from time to time. In Roman times, we grew grapes in Scotland’s Great Glen (I remember it well: the wine was quite good, too, if a little on the sweet side for my taste: one had to water it down for best effect, as recommended by Homer). However, what is certain is that the worldwide harvest in recent years – notwithstanding, or, rather, in no small part because of, warmer and wetter weather worldwide – has reached record highs, compromised recently only by the special military massacre in Ukraine, which, until the war, produced a tenth of the world’s grain exports.
“If the current rate of emissions continues, children born this year could live to see parts of the Eastern seaboard swallowed by the ocean”. Yup. That’s been happening along our own East Coast here in Blighty for the past 10,000 years. As we scientists say, “sh*t happens”. But it will not happen significantly more rapidly or severely just because sea level rises at the terrifying mean worldwide rate of 1 mm per year (after correction for regional variations in post-ice-age isostatic rebound rates), as the late Tom Wysmuller concluded after what proved to be his last research project. I miss him.
“Rising waters” are not as much of a threat as the dissenters wish to imagine: for 1 mm per year is about 4 inches per century. Oo-er! Pick up your skirts and run for the hills, nan!
As for “scorching heat”, that is offset in the tropics by earlier afternoon convection (i.e., thunderstorms) as the temperature rises, and elsewhere by greater rainfall. Again, Willis Eschenbach has done the research on that.
“Mass migration, political crises and civil unrest”, in the near-perfectly thermostatic climate of our age, is caused almost exclusively either by purely economic factors or by totalitarian regimes, such as that of the dissenters’ fellow-Communist Vlad the Invader.
Finally, the three naysayers reveal their true political colors when they end their list of imaginary cataclysms with the vapid and naively-parroted assertion that global warming, which is thus far causing a handsome reduction in global mortality, will somehow cause “‘4.6 million excess yearly deaths’” by 2100. No, it won’t. You heard it here first.
Here, then, is my modest proposal for taking advantage of the constitutionalist plurality that has at last cleared its throat and found its voice at the Supreme Court.
First, a casus belli must be identified, and a credible plaintiff found. The simplest casus belli is the sheer irrationality that is evidenced by the three Communists’ list of blatantly bogus bugaboos.
The shuttering of coal-fired power stations in the name of Saving The Planet from negligible and (in the last eight years or so, at any rate) non-existent global warming is, objectively speaking, irrational. It is not something that any rational minister or official would do or demand that taxpayers and energy-users should pay for unless he had been misled, as the three dissenters had – whether wittingly or unwittingly – allowed themselves to be misled.
In my submission, the plurality of the Court as at present constituted – but not the three recusants, for, as with all totalitarians, their minds are closed to aught but the Party Line – can be readily invited to understand three things.
First, the notion of rapid and dangerous global warming is predicated upon a monstrous and elementary error of physics that misled clahmatawlagiests into imagining that at the global-temperature equilibrium in 1850, when the global temperature record began and before we could have had any significant impact on the weather, the 8 K directly-forced warming by preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases had become 32 K final warming – the “natural greenhouse effect”.
It was imagined, therefore, the predicted 1 K direct warming by anthropogenic greenhouse-gas enrichment over the entire 21st century would become 4 K final warming after accounting for temperature feedback response, chiefly driven by more water vapor in warmer air.
What the poor saps had forgotten is that the Sun is shining. Therefore, at the global-temperature equilibrium in 1850, very nearly all of the 32 – 8 = 24 K feedback response was actually responding not only to the puny 8 K direct warming by all the naturally-occurring noncondensing greenhouse gases that had accumulated in the atmosphere up to that date but also to the 255 K emission temperature itself.
Therefore, the correct final or equilibrium warming in response to each 1 K of direct warming by noncondensing greenhouse gases, as matters stood in 1850, was not 32 / 8 = 4 K, but rather (255 + 32) / (255 + 8) < 1.1 K (see below): a mild, gentle, net-beneficial warming, not the “catastrophe” imagined by the three dissenters.
To head off the trolls who tend to maunder on to the ineffectual effect that that calculation is “inappropriate extrapolation”, there is no extrapolation at all: for there was a temperature equilibrium in 1850. It was, of course, the perpetrators of the error, not I, who had extrapolated, in that they had imagined that the ratio of equilibrium to directly-forced warming in 2100 would be about the same as it was in 1850.
Actually, that is not an unreasonable assumption: after correction of their silly error of physics, we may indeed expect about 1.1 K to be the anthropogenic component in global warming over this century; and the slow rate of warming to date is consistent not with the perps’ 4 K 21st-century anthropogenic component in warming but with the corrected 1.1 K.
However, one consequence of correcting climatology’s error is that even a 1% increase in feedback strength would engender a 340% increase in equilibrium-temperature response compared with the response derived for the equilibrium in 1850.
To put it another way – and to reveal another piece of our research that has not hitherto been made public – if the absurdly exaggerated feedback strengths listed in IPeCaC’s 2021 report were true, then equilibrium doubled-CO2 sensitivity (ECS) would not be 1.1 K, nor even the 4 K imagined by the usual suspects on the basis of their error. It would be more like 450 K. And nothing like that is actually happening, or someone would have noticed by now.
Therefore, either the models from which the vastly inflated feedback strengths are diagnosed or the diagnostic method are nonsense – or, more probably, both. No surprise then, that for 18 months our paper explaining all of this with limpid and irrefutable clarity has been languishing marked as “with editor” on the editorial-management system of the learned journal of climatology to which we had submitted it. The journal cannot refute it but dare not publish it for fear of reprisals from the totalitarian army of haters.
Secondly, the economic error. To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the fatuous and economically destructive target set by governments on both sides of the pond, would cost the West quadrillions but would make no measurable difference to global temperature.
Thirdly, the strategic error. The gainers by the economic hara-kiri being committed by the West in the name of Saving The Planet are Putin, who is making so much profit by the increase in oil, gas, nickel, grain and other commodity prices consequent upon his invasion of Europe that he will have paid off Russia’s entire national debt within three to five years, and Xi Jinping, the oppressor of Tibet, Sinkiang and Hong Kong, who, having ordered his feeble-minded stooge Biden to withdraw precipitately from Afghanistan rather than continuing to maintain inexpensive hard-point defense at a couple of key airfields there, has been rewarded by China’s Taliban proxies with control of the vast lithium fields in Afghanistan, the richest such deposits in the world. China now controls almost 100% of lithium carbonate production worldwide, and soon the West will ban real cars altogether, ostensibly in the name of planet-saving but in reality to place the West’s economies heavily under the thumb of China.
What we now need is a coal-mining or coal-fired power generating corporation to have the guts to mount a root-and-branch case against the present maladministration’s climate policies and then to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the teams with which I work will be preparing the following amicus briefs:
1: To answer, with definitive evidence, all the untruthful misstatements about the climate uttered by the three refuseniks as the preface to their moaning dissent from the plurality’s opinion in the EPA case;
2: To inform the Court of climatology’s central error of physics, and to explain that, therefore, all government-mandated controls on free markets and industrial activities arising from the covert Russian and Chinese promotion of the global warming nonsense over many decades are not only irrational but arguably treasonous;
3: To inform the Court that the proven costs of emissions abatement will buy no measurable reduction in global temperature, so that the real and provable costs of mitigation will inevitably and prodigiously exceed any legitimately-conceivable benefits;
4: To inform the Court of the long-planned strategic threat to the West posed by Russia’s and China’s sedulous promotion of the global warming narrative over many decades, and of the implosion of the Western economies that will result as the comparatively inexpensive coal-based static and oil-based locomotive energy sources are replaced by Russian gas and Chinese-controlled lithium carbonate respectively.
To take just one example, if Germany were to ban all real cars and replace them with Teslas and suchlike electric buggies, she would, on her own, consume the entire global annual production of lithium carbonate, enriching China as the price of that precious raw material soars, just as prices tend to do whenever a managed market replaces a free one, and just as Germany is already paying through the nose to fund Putin’s continuing massacre by the inflated prices she now pays for Siberian gas. Without the global-warming nonsense, and the consequent shuttering of Europe’s coal-fired power plants, which once produced electricity at a tiny fraction of the current cost of Siberian gas per terawatt-hour, Putin could not have afforded to invade Europe, and would not have dared to do so.
So far, the many major industries most directly targeted by Russia’s and China’s global warming campaign, and therefore with the most to lose by their inaction, have trembled cravenly and have done little or nothing to fight back, for fear of the Rufmord (Goebbels’ term for reputational destruction) that is meted out by numerous anti-Western front groups to those of us who dare to speak out against the collapse of Western civilization.
Somebody has got to tell the Supreme Court a few home truths about just how irrational is the global warming nonsense, and about just how vulnerable are the West’s interests to any further perpetuation thereof. As the lamented Ron Reagan used to say, “If not we, who? If not now, when?”