In response to Kathy Gyngell: Beginning of the end for climate change hysteria?
At the risk of being ostracised, and as someone who has studied climate history and worked alongside scientists in Quaternary science, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, and specialists in the Pleistocene and Holocene, including modellers and statisticians, I have come to the view that the climate is changing, humans are causing most of that change, and we are in serious trouble.
That does not mean I agree with the loony protests and claims of the ultra-Greens and the nutters who think we have to go back to some sort of quasi-mediaeval way of life: I think those assertions and scare stories are completely bonkers. The solutions will not involve Greta and her ilk sailing across the ocean and the population giving up flying, either; those ideas are also bonkers. But despite these exaggerations by those – many of whom hate capitalism and the West – that we are all in some way doomed, and it’s all going to happen in a year or two, we should not rubbish the basic science. The basic science is correct.
We need the best engineers, biologists, physicists, modellers, materials scientists, you name it, to work on this problem, maybe for the next 50-plus years, while we develop new technologies to try to get this right. I also think that there should be tremendous commercial opportunities in this and great scope for new businesses and so on as part of the adaptation. But please, please, don’t think, just because of loonies and alarmists trying to cow you with scare stories, and these people being shown to be wrong, that there isn’t still an underlying, serious problem.
One other point with regard to observed temperature changes not conforming exactly as predicted in the model ensembles, or the rate of warming being less than predicted by the models. This does not take account of the heat stored in the ocean and thermal expansion. Generally you can say as a first approximation that if the extra stored heat is not showing up in the atmosphere, it is because it is being absorbed by the oceans instead. Either way, the extra heat stays trapped in the system, only a little bit each year admittedly, but the trend is upward until the new equilibrium is reached. One consequence of that extra ocean heat trapping will be a slightly faster rate of sea level change than predicted in the base line forecast, this down to a slightly faster rate of thermal expansion.
Western government policy is still predicated on AGW as a fact. It’s a policy that politicians publicly accept as gospel so whether it will change any time soon, regardless of the empirical data, is debatable.
What the Ball and Steyn cases have in common is the complainant Mann’s refusal to disclose the evidence on which his hockey stick theory is based. He lost the Ball case not because Ball proved him wrong but because Mann hid the ball (sorry).
He will eventually lose the Steyn suit for the same reason but there is madness in this method. AGW theory is sheltered from challenge and billions of dollars are spent by governments pursuing radical correctives during the years that these cases are tied up in court.
It would be useful to know who is paying Mann’s legal bills; it’s unlikely to be him on an academic salary.
Meanwhile we have the spectacle of powerful trans and supranational organisations like the EU and the UN reconfiguring the economic and geo-political structure of the entire world on the basis of a climate theory which is kept secret with the complicity of courts and governments.
It’s no wonder batty little Greta Thunberg is the Jeanne d’Arc of our times. I mean, the credibility bar couldn’t be any lower.