Few subjects are so controversial and arouse such hostility between debaters as global warming and it’s ‘antidote’, renewable energy. The arguments are complex and many books have been written with claim and counter-claim.
‘The science is settled’, we are told and those who express doubt are likely to be dismissed as ‘climate change deniers’ (a mischievous allusion to ‘Holocaust denial’) and/or fossil fuel lobby ‘shills’. The angry retorts from sceptics include references to the ‘cult of global warming’, a ‘religion whose fanatical left wing high priests would drag us back to basket-weaving and horse and cart transport’.
Given that government energy policy is premised on climate science and the outcome is steeply-rising energy bills and burgeoning fuel poverty, it’s important that ordinary people have confidence that the alarming alleged consequences of increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels used to justify renewable energy subsidies of 100+ percent are based on sound science.
The Mail on Sunday, on 15th September 2013, published that the UK Met Office’s pronouncements about future warming and its climate forecasting computer model have come under fire in a scientific paper by experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”(IPCC). This will come as no surprise to sceptics who have long criticised the Met Office’s record.
Science correspondent David Rose writes: “Lewis’s paper is scathing about the ‘future warming’ document issued by the Met Office in July, which purported to explain why the current 16-year global warming ‘pause’ is unimportant, and does not mean the ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity – how much the world will warm with CO2 doubling) is lower than previously thought.
“Lewis says the document made misleading claims about other scientists’ work – for example, misrepresenting important details of a study by a team that included Lewis and 14 other IPCC experts. The team’s paper, published in the prestigious journal Nature Geoscience in May, said the best estimate of the ECS was 2C or less – well under half the Met Office estimate.”
The Mail also leaks information from the forthcoming IPCC’s Physical Science Assessment (AR5) in which they reportedly admit that warming between 1951 – 2010 has been a little over half (0.12C/decade) what they claimed in 2007 (0.2C/decade).
Gosh! Those nasty ‘climate change deniers’ may have a point, after all?
Politicians and the media scrambled aboard the ‘catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”(CAGW) bandwagon and whipped up an international, quasi-religious, hysteria which peaked around the time of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December, 2009.
Global leaders trouped in expecting to sign a momentous treaty in time to meet UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s chilling deadline ‘We have 50 days to SAVE THE PLANET!’
Alas, the ‘Climate-gate’ scandal intervened.
Climate scientists at University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) were exposed manipulating data, obfuscating and preventing other scientists from accessing their data in order to replicate their results (a fundamental requirement of science). Suffice it to say there was ‘a wailing and a gnashing of teeth’ and many of the grimaces have yet to wear off.
The Copenhagen Summit fizzled out amidst acrimony with no treaty. Ominously, fifteen delegates needed hospital treatment for hypothermia contracted while queuing outside the conference centre.
Since then, despite ever-rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), global temperature has remained steady since 1997.
Performance of IPCC Computer Models v Observed Reality.
FAR – FIrst Assessment Report Forecast
SAR – Second “ “ “
TAR – Third “ “ “
AR4 – Fourth “ “ “ (2007)
The black candlesticks represent the range of actual measurements by various organisations e.g. CRU, NASA GISS, etc.
Billions of pounds have already been spent with a further £110 billon planned to help the UK meet its ‘decarbonisation’ targets and despite protests from sceptical scientists and economists, the UK and Scottish governments have ‘barrelled on’, full throttle, like runaway trains in a dark tunnel.
The claims about dangerous global warming are entrenched in the political psyches of the UK and EU, both of whom set extraordinary targets for ‘de-carbonising’ their economies and ways of life. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has become a kind of ‘Vatican’ of global warming theology while green lobby groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace slipped naturally into the role of the Inquisition.
Gordon Brown and Alex Salmond, leap-frogging each other with ever-higher bids to occupy the ‘Green Capital of the World’, wrote crippling decarbonisation targets into law with their Climate Change Acts of 2008 and 2009, respectively.
Their folly has been compounded by the Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition since their ascension to power in 2010 with Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne and his successor Ed Davey leading the charge.
How ironic that the Liberal Democrats in their desperation to ‘tackle climate change’ have decided to overturn their long-standing anti-nuclear policy, just when it appears global warming alarmists are in retreat and cheap shale gas supplies beckon seductively.
Meanwhile the United States, which has copious shale gas supplies, is powering ahead with energy prices less than half those in the EU and UK – and just to rub salt into the wounds, is presiding over plummeting CO2 levels, lower than in 1994 and falling.
When will our politicians get a grip on reality? You may well ask.
The animated graphs reproduced above – Performance of IPCC Computer Models v Observed Reality – are sourced here.