Why is it so cold?

One of the surprises about global warming is how cold it has become for two summers in a row in the UK.
I always reckoned to turn my heating on at the beginning of October after resting the boiler for five months and keeping the bills down.
When visitors came one week-end in August I relented and put the central heating on for them. After sitting in my office with woollies on for the first few days of September, I gave up and put the heating back on so I could cosy up to the radiator.
I don’t feel I have had a summer this year. My main memories are of cricket matches I wanted to play in cancelled owing to rain and the worst weather on my English holiday break I ever experienced.

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22 Comments

  1. Eddie Allen
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Hardly gets a mention but there's a lobby of scientists somewhere preaching the gospel of "Global Cooling".
    One simply doesn't know left or right these days when listening to scientists yet I do know when it's hot or cold !

    Am I to believe scientists saying it's getting warmer when I feel colder ?

    It sounds a bit off the mark does this to be honest and I've had my heating on since May 2006 without a break except when the pilot light went out in JULY which necessitated an EMERGENCY call out for a plumber to put the heating back on so we wouldn't freeze to death in SUMMER….LOL

    Meanwhile of course, the cold eats money for higher energy bills, and Global Warming ( despite I can't feel it ), eats money too.

    Maybe I'll end up in a mobile home at this rate and just keep the engine running on account of being taxed out of existence for heat I need to stay alive yet don't actually see the heat ( Global Warming ) they're taxing me for ?

    OR, maybe someone with some sense could actually tell us it's reall cold outside and not to pay too much attention to people who say it's actually too warm ?

    Funny old world this is.
    It puts me in mind of Edin Blyton's Topsy Turvy Land.

  2. Stuart Fairney
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    When you've preached a big lie, it's difficult to reverse course yet again (i.e. 1970's next ice age ergo, stop industrialisation, 1990's and early 2000's global warming, ergo stop industrialisation). Hence the green lobby would, to put it mildly, lose credibility somewhat, if they now said "Wait a minute, the problem is in fact global cooling and the answer? stop industrialisation. People might start to wonder if what was supposed to stop the planetary sweats is exactly the same thing that will prevent the global shivers.

    So, if you have built a career on what is essentially panic-mongering, been interviewed by the BBC and others, generally treated like the grand panjandrum, been feted by rock stars, funded to the hilt, would the same scientist really turn round and say "Sorry about all that tax you were needlessly charged, all the pointless, expensive windmills, all the lectures about driving and flying and buying local food, we really didn't need to worry about the CO2. Cut my funding, make sure I never see Bono again, best cut taxes substantially as green taxes are, as you've suspected a con, I was wrong and can now be ignored and treated like an alarmist idiot"

    Or would you ignore the mounting body of evidence and engage in ad hominem against anyone who sought to undermine you whilst making ever more unlikley and alarmist pronouncements?

    Thus, I give you today's greem movement.

  3. Thatcher-right
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    "Global Warming: it used to be called 'weather' but now you get to feel guilty about it!"
    I remain very sceptical about anthropomorphic climate change.
    Please can we have one or two concrete prediction from climate models that can be tested against observations. That's the way science is supposed to work.

    • adam
      Posted September 12, 2008 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Thatcher-Right, theyre AGW models do not work. Arctic Ice is melting thousands of times faster than their models say it should.
      Whatever is going on these people do not know.

      • mikestallard
        Posted September 12, 2008 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        I was waiting for this one. The dear old Beeb last night had a thinggy on Arctic ice melting like an ice lolly in summer and a polar bear being shot by Inuit Folk. You can now find the North West passage too, according to them.
        Meanwhile Christopher Booker who is Always Right (No Really) says that the Arctic Ice was thicker and more extensive last winter than ever before.
        These two stories contradict each other don't they? Don't they? Or do they?
        There was a programme on the other night, too about Global Warming which promised to tell us the other side of the story. i await that with anti

        • mikestallard
          Posted September 12, 2008 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          -cipation.

  4. David Eyles
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Yes, it's been the worst summer I can remember. I still have about 60 or 70 acres of hay to cut and we are in the middle of September. The overstood grass will have to be cut and baled and then wrapped as poor quality silage. Elsewhere in Dorset, many of my arable colleagues still have large areas of cereals unharvested. There is a brief two or three day window of sunny-ish weather forecast and then it's back to rain. The combines will be running flat out to get as much in as they can before the rain starts again. The only hope for many is that we have a genuine Indian summer in October in time for a late harvest of maize…….there is nothing worse than getting a forage harvester stuck in the mud. The damage to soil will be considerable this year.

    It has, however, allowed me some time to surf the net and discover that the scepticism about anthropogenic global warming is gaining ground. It seems the IPCC has gone to all sorts of lengths to protect the integrity of the 'hockey stick' curve (nothing to do with Sarah Palin) and seem to be in the throes of compromising their scientific integrity in so doing. Meanwhile, the establishment are not contemplating any sort of dissent. I was disappointed to hear Sir David King the other night saying the CERN thingy was a waste of money and we should be directing all our scientific effort to dealing with global warming. I normally have a lot of repect for David King because he has made some very sensible comments about bovine TB and badger culling, but to hear a former Cheif Scientist condemning another brach of science from his own as a waste of money was, to me, disheartening.

    • mikestallard
      Posted September 12, 2008 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Round here, in the Fens, all is safely gathered in as far as I can see from the car windows. So the price of biofuel can remain steady!

  5. Chris Manuell
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    There is a very good reason why we are having poor weather.

    Back in 1801 Sir William Herschel discovered that when there were few Sunspots we had a bad harvest due to bad weather, and the price of wheat went up and when there were many sunspots there were good summer's and the price of wheat went down. We are currently at the bottom of the sunspot cycle with few sunspots and this cycle is one of the lowest recorded.

    There were arguably no sun spots in August (one small one which a few years ago we would not have been able to detect), this is the first time this has happened since 1919 and there have been very few all this year with the experts putting back the likely date of the start of Solar cycle 24 several times.

    Because of this some Solar scientists are predicting we could be heading into conditions like the Maunder minimum by 2015.

    This could be catastrophic because the maunder minimum was when the Thames froze over and we had many very hard winters.

    If they are right and all the Governments focus is on warming and being side tracked from ensuring our energy supplies either through Nuclear or coal and gas.
    This country could be in a very poor condition with regular power cuts and many more people suffering from the cold.

    We cannot rely on alternative energy sources such as windmills because we often get a blocking high pressure system over the UK when the weather is very cold with very light winds.
    So we will still need conventional power stations working for when the wind drops.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted September 12, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Well said indeed. I hope you are wrong in predicting power cuts but suspect you maybe dead right.

  6. DennisA
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Cold is the new Hot and the problem was adressed by the Tyndal Centre for Climate Change Research in 2004:

    "The Social Simulation of the Public Perception of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change" September 2004

    "As the science itself is contested, needless to say, so are the potential policy changes. So how then do people make sense or construct a reality of something that they can never experience in its totality (climate) and a reality that has not yet manifest (i.e. climate change)?

    To endorse policy change people must ‘believe’ that global warming will become a reality some time in the future.

    Only the experience of positive temperature anomalies will be registered as indication of change if the issue is framed as global warming.

    Both positive and negative temperature anomalies will be registered in experience as indication of change if the issue is framed as climate change.

    We propose that in those countries where climate change has become the predominant popular term for the phenomenon, unseasonably cold temperatures, for example, are also interpreted to reflect climate change/global warming.

    Sound familiar? The Institute for Public Policy Research, Labour's favourite think tank, had this advice in 2006 for public agencies interfacing with the public.

    Warm Words – Treating climate change as beyond argument:
    "..it is our recommendation that, at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won.

    This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective.

    The ‘facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken.

    The certainty of the Government’s new climate-change slogan – ‘Together this generation will tackle climate change’ (Defra 2006) – gives an example of this approach. It constructs, rather than claims, its own factuality."

    With reference to the unfortunate harvest conditions, it is by no means unique and not as disastrous as earlier times, even though again global warming is invoked by many:

    "By 1500 European summers were about seven degrees Celsius cooler than they had been during the Medieval Warm Period.

    The growing season in England was shortened by about three weeks, and by as much as five by the seventeenth century. At the same time, the ground grew wetter.

    Marshes spread, and rivers flowed more strongly, making agriculture even more of a struggle." Fagan 1999 Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Niño and the Fate of Civilizations (Basic Books, 1999).

    1845 (late Summer/early Autumn): BLIGHT & CROP FAILURE ACROSS EUROPE Persistent / often heavy rain over Ireland accompanied by depressed temperatures during the second half of the summer, precipitated the start of a great famine. The failure was caused by rotting of the potato in the ground – the weather conditions (cold / damp) being ideal for spread of the spores which caused the Blight. By October of 1845, there had been a total collapse of the Irish potato source. The situation was made worse because of the failure of the corn harvest in Britain and western Europe.

    1879 The three 'high-summer' months of June, July & August each had nearly double average (1961-90) rainfall amounts. Lamb writes: " the summer was the wettest and one of the coldest in the long instrument records for England. The cold, wet weather delayed the ripening of the harvest, so that even in East Anglia in some places the corn had not been gathered in by Christmas. The decline of English agriculture, which lasted for fifty years, dated from this time."

    Simple research, even for journalists, but far easier to blame global warming/climate change.

  7. Neil Craig
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I wish to go slightly beyond the topic & say something which it would be improper for John to publicly agree with.

    A couple of days ago a court decided that it was perfectly proper for Greenpeace to vandalise power a power station in the cause of fighting "global warming". This is a very serious matter & takes us a step closer to a society where the rule of law is replaced by the rule of greenshirt thugs.

    The "prosecution" in this case seem to have given the defence a free run to put forward the most outrageous lies – James Hansen, for example, said that this single power station would wipe out 400 species, something which has not happened from ALL human activity this century. The fact is that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that catasdtrophic global warming is happening & indeed measurements show current cooling. It is as if a thug beating up an old lady had defended himself by accusing her of witchcraft & the court accepting the existence of such powers.

    In particular I wish to deplore the fact that Zac Goldsmith, who is a prospective Conservative candidate, testified in favour of this destruction of the rule of law. If there is any single philosophical basis to Conservatism it is that individual freedom requires respect for the rule of law. I do not think he can credibly continue as a Conservative candidate.

    • mikestallard
      Posted September 12, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Well said!
      Green Shirts – brown shirts – red arm bands – what's the difference?
      The rule of law is under enough pressure from the EU without being helped into its grave by our own Judges who are meant to defend it.

      • Derek W. Buxton
        Posted September 14, 2008 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Neill,

        I have been looking for this to surface, strange how quiet it has gone. You are of course correct, there is a problem when thugs can admit to a crime and then get away scott free. I think that we need clarification from the leader of the opposition as to the part Goldsmith played in all this, sooner rather than later.

        Another commentator made a comment about "climate change", no one denies that the climate changes, what is beyond argument is that puny man cannot create a stable climate. The climate has always changed and always will, in its own sweet time. There is NOTHING man can do about it, end of story.

  8. Blognor Regis
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had my heating on since May 2006

    Really? You're not a reptile are you.

  9. adam
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I am AMAZED to hear that about David King.
    I had a go at him on another site, he has already spoken out against blue sky research (typical sustainable developer who hates progress) and i predicted he wouldnt like the Hadron experiments, he would call it a waste of money and probably thinks all scientific research should go on Global Warming.

    Incredible that my parody of this idiot turned out to be so damned accurate.

  10. adam
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Good post.
    Why is it amateurs on the internet are aware of the amazing sun spot thing and government scientists never mention it. Too busy working out how many people need to be killed to save Gaia.

    I hope it does freeze over.

    • APL
      Posted September 13, 2008 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      adam: " .. government scientists never mention it."

      My opinion is the AGW hysteria suits the government, they can make a case for taxing new and wonderful (for a government) things, cows farts and breathing as but two examples. I remember a long time ago, it used to be a common place saying 'Government, it would tax the air you breath if it could find a way!" Well presto, your own personal carbon footprint has been a god send.

      Neil Craig: "In particular I wish to deplore the fact that Zac Goldsmith.."

      Seconded, (actually thirded, I see MS has got in first).

  11. Blank Xavier
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    This could be completely wrong, but one thing which does seem to be happening (and appears to have happened many times in the past) is that the Gulf Stream is shutting down because the Artic is melting – all that fresh water dumped into north end of the Gulf Stream stops it working.

    The Gulf Stream keeps our climate far milder than it would otherwise be.

    In Montreal, they've in recent years been complaining because their winters have become so warm – they're having nights where it only gets down to -20 C.

    Montreal is four hundred miles south of London.

    • Neil Craig
      Posted September 13, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Initial readings in 2005 did indicte a 30% slowdown in the Gulf Stream, which would indeed have been cause for alarm.

      This got considerable media coverage.

      Later readings caused even the original authors to conclude "Meridional Overturning Circulation varied widely within one year—so much so that the previously reported 30-percent decrease over almost 50 years is unlikely to have been significant by comparison" http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=207

      Naturally this got very little media coverage.

  12. Jonathan Robson
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Well John it seems as if we had better invest in more woolen clothes, thats if we will still be allowed to shear sheep.

    "The latest data, obtained by Habibullah Abdusamatov, head of the Pulkovo Observatory space research laboratory, say that Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period, and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012. Real cold will come when solar activity reaches its minimum, by 2041, and will last for 50-60 years or even longer." http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/01/top_r

    So with no power stations (as it is apparently OK now for "activists" to demolish them with impunity) or God forbid nuclear energy – we will have to rely on old windmill technology to keep our 40 watt bulbs glowing. The futures bleak the futures green.

  13. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted September 13, 2008 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    When Roal Amunsun as the first person to sail through the North West passage in I think 1903. He declared 'there is no ice'.

    I think the hype about climate change is a disgrace it is forecasts not fact. The global temprature has not increased for the last 11 years and is likly to reduce.

    We should not make hasty decisions on dodgy forecasts

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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