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There is no climate emergency – the truth that drove a Lib Dem doolally


AT A press conference last Wednesday, the European Parliament was told: ‘There is no climate emergency.’ This simple and demonstrable fact was too much to bear for one MEP, who decided to respond angrily with emotional metaphors rather than engage with the facts about climate change.

The event was hosted by the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament who surprisingly, but encouragingly, had agreed to receive the climate declaration from Professor Guus Berkhout.

He represents the Climate Intelligence Foundation (Clintel), a Dutch group who have collected signatures from more than 700 prominent scientists and professionals in support of the basic statement: there is no climate emergency.

Those who have signed the declaration include Nobel laureate Professor Ivar Giaever, who made important experimental discoveries regarding superconductors, and the influential mathematician and physicist Professor Freeman Dyson. So, none other than some of the finest minds on the planet.

In doing so, they have stood up for science and the scientific method. To talk of a ‘climate emergency’ is to be completely anti-science. Regardless of how good you think IPCC models are, to speak of a ‘climate emergency’ is to forget any idea of calmly and rationally assessing the risks of climate change, and instead to engage in a pointless culture war in which there are only goodies and baddies, us and them. Morality itself becomes redefined as the extent to which you are prepared to reduce your emissions.

Talk of a climate emergency makes even less sense when you consider that the number of people being killed by extreme weather events has fallen by 95 per cent in the past century. In that time, the global population has increased by many times, so your risk of being killed by an extreme weather event has gone down by over 99 per cent.

The London Liberal Democrat MEP Irina von Wiese, however, was not interested in the facts. After listening to an excellent presentation by Professor Berkhout, she accused the organisers of committing a ‘collective manslaughter’ of future generations. It was also telling that she refused to believe IPCC statements about a lack of any global trends in the frequency of extreme weather events.

That is the consensus of scientists, that flooding is not getting worse globally, but she refused to believe it because it does not fit her idea of a ‘climate emergency’.

You can watch a video of the press conference here: 

The declaration, There is no climate emergency, was supported by an addendum setting out its scientific justification:

Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming

The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming.

Warming is far slower than predicted

The world has warmed at less than half the rate predicted by IPCC on the basis of modelled anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.

Climate policy relies on inadequate models

Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as global policy tools. They blow up the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2. In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 can also be beneficial.

CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth

CO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.

Global warming has not increased natural disasters

There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, there is ample evidence that CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly.

Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities

There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, and they certainly will, we have ample time to reflect and re-adapt. The aim of global policy should be ‘prosperity for all’ by providing reliable and affordable energy at all times. In a prosperous society men and women are well educated, birth-rates are low and people care about their environment. 

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Harry Wilkinson
Harry Wilkinson
Harry Wilkinson is Researcher to the Global Warming Policy Forum

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