IT IS now more than 30 years since the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) first claimed that there was a 97 per cent scientific consensus that supported the concept of man-made climate change.
It is worth noting how the original question that was asked of a vast range of the scientific community – many of whom had no knowledge of climate science – was phrased. It said: ‘Have global temperatures risen and have humans been a contributory factor?’ Undeniably at that time there had been a marginal temperature rise of around 0.63 degrees C and there may have been some small element of human influence.
But at a US Senate inquiry in 2008 relating to this consensus issue, Dr Roy Spencer, a former senior climate studies scientist with Nasa, spoke for hundreds of his peers. In his testimony he stated that he should not have been included among climate alarmists, because he did not believe that the human influence was of overriding significance, or that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are the primary cause of climate change. Instead, the chaotic fluctuations of powerful natural forces that have influenced climate since the dawn of time were never properly considered.
However, the false consensus set in motion a domino effect known as an Amplifying Cascade of Systemic Bias, where funding has become skewed in a preferred direction that supports an agency mission or policy where directives are steered towards specific research areas by posing loaded questions. There also emerges a tendency not to report negative results, to manipulate data, refuse to share it with known critics and failure to accede to the full peer review process.
These factors were exposed during the infamous deceptions and conspiratorial email exchanges during the ‘Climategate’ scandal at the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit, which falsified temperature data.
This was simultaneously connected to the wilfully misleading ‘Hockey Stick’ graph, which completely erased the Medieval Warming Period (950-1250 AD) in order to present a distorted and dramatic 20th century temperature spike which, when drawn as a graph, took the shape of a hockey stick. The IPCC included it as a central argument in its Third Assessment Report in 2001.
Departing Prime Minister Theresa May had been taken in by such falsehoods and, with minimal Parliamentary scrutiny, she left her deluded legacy to the nation with an amendment to the Climate Change Act of 2008 to achieve net zero by 2050.
That is to say carbon dioxide emissions should be balanced by sequestration with the aim of limiting temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. No realistic costings were provided, but – without taking inflation into account – it is likely to be well in excess of £70billion per year for the UK alone.
Some would argue that this precautionary principle is a price we must be prepared to pay to avert a climate catastrophe. But science has moved on since the IPCC’s first assessment in 1990 and it is becoming ever clearer that the sun is the major controlling influence on our climate. Peer-reviewed evidence from the geological record, ice core analysis and satellite data has shown conclusively that temperature rise actually precedes elevated carbon dioxide by some hundreds of years. This completely contradicts the IPCC’s stubborn, outdated stance that CO2 is the primary cause of climate change.
We are only now beginning to reap the socio-economic whirlwind generated by these woefully erroneous and deliberate exaggerations that have been embraced by national leaders, celebrities and royalty.
From examination of regular solar cycles, scientists predict that we are crossing the threshold into a period known as a Grand Solar Minimum, ushering in a prolonged cooling period due to diminishing sunspot activity. The net zero obsession will gradually fade as we are forced to adjust to an infinitely more challenging and uncomfortable colder climate over which we have no control. This will accelerate the process known as the Downs issue-attention cycle, where initial public alarm about a problem begins to fade as people realise they are unprepared to withstand the monetary costs and personal sacrifices demanded of them in pursuit of a pointless net zero pipedream.
We may come to fondly yearn for the days when current levels of CO2 gave us a greener, pleasantly habitable planet with a relatively benign climate.