Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers – this turbulent professor

The climate scaremongers – this turbulent professor


LAST month a passenger died of a heart attack during a severe turbulence incident on a Singapore Airlines flight. 

The media disgracefully reported almost in unison that climate change is making air turbulence worse. Even if it was, it is utterly inappropriate to use a tragic death to push a political agenda in this way.

The claims arose from a study last year by Professor Paul Williams of Reading University, which was solely based on computer models.

But as I showed in this column, actual data has shown the opposite, that severe turbulence incidents are not on the increase. The US National Transportation Safety Board undertook an extremely detailed study of all flights over the US between 1989 and 2021. They used real world data, as recorded in flight logs, and counted only accidents that involved injury or aircraft damage. In other words, the data was extremely robust, rather than being calculated subjectively.

When measured as a ratio of flight hours, the data clearly showed there has been no trend in accidents.

And there the story should have ended. However to their credit GB News hosted a discussion on the Singapore Airlines accident; one of the panel, scientist Paul Burgess, presented the above graph. Another of the panel, an aviation expert, also commented that the number of incidents of severe turbulence was vanishingly small, in contrast to the scary headlines being bandied around.

This discussion led to an unhinged reaction from Professor Williams, furious that GB News had dared to invite people who were not ‘climate scientists’. His post on Twitter even accused Burgess of being far-right and a BNP supporter! (You can listen to Burgess’s response here.) 

This is not the way science is supposed to work. Real scientists debate evidence, facts and data, not make ad hominem attacks on their critics. If Williams’s own study had any merit, he could have argued his case. Instead he was clearly angry that his shoddy work had been exposed to the public.

Williams has been researching flight turbulence for years, and has written several papers. It turns out that his work has also been a big money-spinner. Since 2009, Reading University, along with Manchester University who have also been involved in the research, have received an astonishing £1.3million in grants from the Royal Society and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for Williams’s air turbulence work.

Research grants are hugely important to universities and staff. I wonder whether the grants would have dried up if Williams’s studies showed turbulence was not getting worse after all?

This is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. As we see with the Met Office, climate change is now a big industry. Any area of research connected to climate change, no matter how remotely, is likely to be showered with grant funding, whilst other areas are often starved of cash.

The money is used to produce what are often risible studies. The quality of the work is unimportant, however, as long as it furthers the establishment’s climate agenda. The studies are then given maximum publicity by the media, thanks to the highly organised PR network which has been established for the purpose. (Have you ever wondered why even obscure studies, such as the Williams one, quickly gain headlines across the media?)

Meanwhile the government gets the headlines it wants to scare the public into supporting Net Zero, and another tranche of taxpayer money is handed out in grants. It’s just a giant money-go-round.

And so the corruption of science carries on.

Don’t believe Labour’s energy manifesto

I TOOK a look at Labour’s energy policies last week, but now their manifesto is out it is time to expose the lies and absurdities included in it, at least as far as energy is concerned.

The manifesto specifically promises that ‘Families and businesses will have lower bills for good, from a zero-carbon electricity system’. This is an outright lie.

Their target is to double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030. Below are the current Administrative Strike Prices on offer at this year’s Contracts for Difference auction, at current prices:

Offshore Wind: £100.66/MWh

Onshore Wind: £88.26/MWh

Solar Power: £84.12/MWh

The average market price has been running at £56/MWh in the last two months. Prices appear to have stabilised at this level, following the price shocks resulting from the Ukraine war, now that global supply and demand have returned to balance.

It does not take a genius to work out that building in more wind and solar power will result in huge subsidies being thrown at renewable energy, all paid for through our energy bills. On present prices, subsidies will more than double to around £30billion a year if Labour follow through on their plan. And that does not include the £100billion cost of expanding the transmission network, which is needed to meet decarbonisation targets.

Labour also promise to invest in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and marine energy. Carbon capture is a costly and highly inefficient process which will inevitable make electricity more expensive. So too will hydrogen, which costs ten times as much as natural gas if produced by electrolysis. As for marine energy, the Administrative Strike Prices are more than triple the cost of offshore wind. Most absurdly of all, they claim they will create 650,000 green jobs. It is not clear what function these posts will fulfil, but at £50k a go they would cost the economy £32billion a year.

It is the economics of the madhouse, something which describes the entirety of Labour’s Green New Deal.

Correction now made to copy above: Manchester University who have also been involved in the research, have received an astonishing £1.3million in grants from the Royal Society and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for Williams’s air turbulence work.

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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