Not such a silly question?

The global warming theorists were out in force on this site to condemn for me for asking a simple question of Mr Ed Miliband. They accused me of being silly, of failing to grasp the “settled science” and of wasting Parliament’s time and money. The question was “Why is the Northern hemisphere winter so cold, and which climate model predicted this?”. If the question was so wayward, why couldn’t Mr Miliband answer it?

They made a number of false claims about me. They said I did not understand the distinction they draw between climate and weather. Of course I understand that. The point at issue is when does enough weather become climate? When does a succession of cold winters and/or summers affect the averages sufficiently to change the trend? Some used to think that if it got colder – or warmer – for a decade that was “climate”. Now it appears the global warmists think it has to be a trend for 30 years. I hope they remember that if we do have some very hot days for a change next summer. On their own logic that will not be evidence for global warming. They said I do not understand the settled science. Of course I understand their claims, as my blog on the theory makes clear.

So I found it fascinating yesterday that on both the BBC and Channel 4 they decided to run pieces from their global warming experts reaffirming the “settled science” and saying that of course a hard winter is compatible with the theory. At least those commentators graced their audience with saying they could understand why people were asking the question. They thought the question warranted prime time to reaffirm global warming. They attempted to answer it sensibly, making this new precautionary claim that climate takes 30 years to reveal itself.

When I set out a different view of the UK economy – with very different forecasts – from the government’s I do not tell everyone the economics is settled and anyone with a different view is being silly. It so happens my predictions on the course of the Uk economy in the last few years have been more accurate than the government’s. They missed the banking crash and the recession before it was on them, and have been late to accept the inflation they are now creating. They might have been right. You get on and debate the clash of views. Everyone knows that economics proceeds by means of theories that have to be tested by reality. You are as good as your last prediction. Why can’t the global warmists participate in an intelligent debate about when weather becomes climate, instead of making offensive remarks and seeking to close down the topic? The world may be warming – so let’s hear the evidence and find out what difference a cold winter makes to the averages.

As someone unversed in climate change might say ,” Let’s look on the bright side. If this is global warming, we should be very glad we are not facing global cooling. “

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180 Comments

  1. Norman
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I just looked at the number of comments on that piece – 109! You have certainly stirred up a hornets nest there.

    I think it was a very sensible question to ask, you are there to represent your constituents and if your constituency is anything like mine people are wanting to know why if CO2 has been increasing dramatically for 30 years and this is causing a dramatic (hockey stick) ramping up of temperatures we have witnessed the worst month of weather for 100 years. It's not anyone is outright denying climate change (climate, like scientific opinion, is continually changing) but it seems to be inconsistent. Maybe it isn't and this should be explained why. What better platform than the Minister for Climate Change in the House of Commons?

    Speaking of settled economics, and I don't know if you were having a slight smile out the corner of your mouth, but I'm sure we all can think of at least one Chancellor who has 'settled' ecomonics by abolishing the economic 'boom and bust' cycle!

    As you say, only as good as your last prediction.

    • APL
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Norman: "and this is causing a dramatic (hockey stick)"

      The Mann 'hockey stick' has long been discredited. Only the more brazen Greenies still quote Mann and refer to his hockey stick graph.

      Norman: "It’s not anyone is outright denying climate change (climate, like scientific opinion, is continually changing) but it seems to be inconsistent."

      Agreed. As someone who is prepared to stand up and assert AG Carbon Dioxide is

      1. Insignificant
      2. Probably does not drive climate anyway. See 1.
      3. More Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere might actually be good for us – leading as it may to increased vegitation and thus more food.

      Do not assert the climate is not changing. It is just that we don't necessarily control it, certainly do not yet fully understand the mechanism that drive our weather and climate.

      And further assert that political interference with organs of the state, like for example the Met office leads to the discrediting of those organisations and the information they provide.

      • Magelec
        Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Hi APL, I note that the Met Office web site is still showing the discredited Mann hockey stick graph.

        • APL
          Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

          Magelec: " I note that the Met Office web site is still showing the discredited Mann hockey stick graph."

          I think that would be covered by my last assertion above.

          Regards

    • Jmaes Clover
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      So much of human nature seems to be dictated by the need to belong. The AGW believers want to be in the vanguard, to be in the know, to be ahead of the pack.
      I found the same behaviour throughout my career in Education. Liberal theories were de rigeur; they were accepted as fact, and anyone dissenting was treated with the same scorn as the Deniers of AGW.
      Poor, deluded humanity! So ready to treat a theory as a proven fact, and so ingenious at dealing with clear objections to its validity.

    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Read Christopher Booker's book and in the Telegraph and you would soon see the'hockey stick' is a big con, as is most of the global warming (now climate change) industry, jobs for some one!

      • Number 7
        Posted January 9, 2010 at 12:11 am | Permalink

        It's not jobs for the boys.

        It's the marxist Nirvana – control the plebs and tax the air as well!!

        • APL
          Posted January 13, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          Number 7: "control the plebs and tax the air as well!!"

          Too long ago, in my youth, there used to be a saying 'The government, they'd tax the air you breath if they could."

          Well what do you know??

  2. Ruth
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    It's not so long ago the proponents of AGW were telling us that one of the signs of global warming was the lack of cold winters. Now, apparently, that's nonsense!

    Your question was very reasonable, and of course some did predict it in September/October – Piers Corbyn, Joe Bastardi and even the Chinese weather service. Strangely, the publicly funded met services in both the UK and US did not. Funnily enough, these two bodies are main supporters of the global warming theory. Coincidence?

    By the way, the forecasters mentioned above also tell us it is not a "cold snap" – it will last through February, with short mild periods interspersed. I stopped paying any attention to the Met Office a couple of years ago, given their dreadful performance, and took the precaution to stock up on certain essentials before Christmas. A good move as I have only been able to drive out of my village once in the last two weeks. Many people here have resorted to walking to the shops (a mile and a half uphill through the snow) but it is galling that while I take the trouble to struggle through the snow to get my business parcels in the post, the Royal Mail has stopped delivering because it's too dangerous to drive!

    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Do you recall the BBC telling us that the mild winter and lack of Alpine snow a couple of years ago showed both proof of global warming and how AGW would destroy the Alpine ski industry?

      So it seems mild winters AND cold winters are the proof we need. Rather like betting every horse in the race and saying you picked the winner.

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Yes… an unfalsifiable thesis means we are no longer in the realm of science, but belief. If I were feeling provocative I would probably call it a religion.
        "Green – so called because they are too yellow to be red"

        • Number 7
          Posted January 9, 2010 at 12:25 am | Permalink

          Surely you must have realised – if you haven't, please memorise the dogma.

          Now all you nice warmists, repeat after me:-

          Hot weather = AGW
          Cold weather = AGW
          Wet weather = AGW
          Wetter weather = AGW++ (Ref C++ programming)
          Dry weather = AGW
          Dryer weather = AGW–
          More hurricanes = AGW
          Less hurricanes = AGW
          Shrinking Arctic ice = AGW
          Increasing Arctic ice = AGW

          If all this fails, fiddle the temperature figures and/or the computer code to ensure that it backs up everything you have dreamed up.

          It's the right thing to do!

  3. Julian
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    When I was at school in the 70s I am sure scientists were warning of a new Ice Age – why were they so wrong back then but those of today so sure of their beliefs – I hestitate to say scientific findings…

    • APL
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Julian: "I am sure scientists were warning of a new Ice Age .."

      Me too, perhaps they were right after all? 🙂

      Or perhaps the earth is a stable system which can accomodate large environmental variations – copious production of Carbon Dioxide from the thousands of active volcanoes* around the world, some like Mt. St. Helens periodically blast millions of tonns of CO2, rock and ash into the atmosphere – and has been stable for billions of years.

      Mayon Volcano in the Phillipines has or is on the verge of an erruption.

      Galeras volcano in Ecuador is spewing out Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide and Sulphur oxides.

      Sarychev Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands has blown it's top.

      Reply: Now that would be a silly question – but amusing.

      Would you consider a question to Mr Ed Miliband at your next opportunity. Asking why the government is allowing these volcanoes to errupt and spew all that carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ash and dust into the atmosphere, if he would bring leglislation before the house urgently to restrict the emissions of volcanoes?

    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Julian, that's right! In fact, it was a topic of conversation at the office this morning.

      It's odd how 30 years ago they were positive of a new Ice Age, and are now positive of AGW. Why the difference?

      You can make vast sums of money by selling Carbon Tax Credits and the like. But you can make no money whatsover by warning people of a new ice age in 100 or so years in to the future. Cynical? Me? oh, yes.

      • Number 7
        Posted January 9, 2010 at 12:34 am | Permalink

        That seems to have been juggled in cyberspace – I'll try again.

        By which time, Al Gore and his mates ( do some research on companies registered to the CRU ) will have (encouraged to spend-ed) not only the Western Nations, but also the developing nations billions of dollars.

        Follow the money.

  4. Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Give them enough time to be hosted on their own petards!

    Surely if it takes 30 years to reveal a climate trend, then the warming period 1975 to 1990 (being only 15 years) when all this hoo-haa started cannot have been a long enough period to reveal a trend. The first IPCC report was published in 1990 wasn't it, and therefore by their own definition it is inadequate, insufficient and therefore invalid.

  5. APL
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    JR: "The global warming theorists were out in force on this site to condemn for me for asking a simple question of Mr Ed Miliband."

    It was obvious that your blog had attracted a new group of commentators. 🙂

    Radio 4 today was a classic of NuLabour NewSpeak.. Pravda in its heyday would have been proud.

    Reporting the temperatures in part of the UK had fallen to the lowest recorded for decades in one article, in the next item without hesitation suggested that wind power would provide up to 30% of electricity supply.

    Has anyone at the BBC been outside lately? There is NO WIND. If we were to rely on wind power to generate 30% of our power consumption, in the circumstances we are today, the economy would have collapsed!

    You couldn't take 30% of energy out of the power system and the system continue to run normally. We are already seeing gas rationing because of peak demand. Imagine what would happen if we lost 30% of our energy supply because the wind stops blowing??

    I know Mr Cameron is in thrawll to his prospective candidate of the Green party within the Conservative party, but if he becomes leader of the next government common sense MUST prevail. We should not rely on the French to supply us with their nuclear energy, we should start building nuclear power stations burning some of the plutonium that it seems we have tonnes lying around at Selafield.

    • Simon
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      John you seem to be one of the few ministers who live in the real world.

      I think the Global Warming myth comes from the fact that Humans are basically arrogant creatures, we feel we should be the centre of the Universe. Hang on a minute though, we realised a while ago we were not at the centre of the Universe, or the centre of our Galaxy or our star system. Therefore, what is left, we must be the centre of our own planet. We are not and never will be.

      Why anyone would believe that one of the least harmful "greenhouse gases" (I believe, water vapour and sulphur dioxide create a larger affect). Created by one of the smallest producers, namely us, (doesn't the Oceans and Volcanoes create more) would have such a detrimental effect on the planet.

      Anyway, like many others I'm getting sick and tired of spoilt, arrogant, greedy people trying to tell us what to do and why it is better for us. Those ads the government run every day are an insult and should be removed by the trading standards for giving false information.
      When will common sense prevail?

  6. Paul Williams
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Presumably we can now disregard any Met Office data for climate change as the country’s temperature data is measured by…Met Office weather stations.

    • Number 7
      Posted January 9, 2010 at 2:07 am | Permalink

      I take a boat out to sea and this requires not only an ability to "read" the weather, but also accurate weather forcasts.

      Suffice to say, I stopped relying on the Met Office some time ago – totally unreliable.

  7. Javelin
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Other scientists I know, many are titled from Royal Colleges, are all shaking their heads and calling Climate Scientists a bunch of cowboys.

    "If we're not careful we'll all be tarred with the same brush" – a Dame said to me last month. I expect very little support from senior scientists on this one.

    If this was clinical trial data then the drug would be pulled off the market – due to risks. There is no requirement to make the raw data public or to achieve it. The argument against it is that it's copyrighted data – so it drug data and that is reviewed and archived. But this isn't drug data – because there is far more money involved.

    What the Warming Alarmists fail to grasp is that every pound spent on reducing C02 emmissions is a pound not spent on saving a persons life in hospital. If it turnds out that there is no evidence that C02 causes deaths then as a Sin of Ommission the diversion of cash is a diversion from dying patients.

    Anybody who bothers to get out of bed and actually look at the Alarmists data will see that it's not flimsy it's simply very sparse, unreliable, fudged, cherry picked, adjusted upwards or subject to any other number of modifications or errors. The science is not settled – there is simply no science at all.

  8. Kevin Lohse
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    There have long been defenders of "settled science" and "scientific consensus" The lives of Galileo, Copernicus, Darwin, Socrates all attest to the supremacy of "settled science" over scientific methodology. Settled Science is in itself a totally inane term when applied to physical sciences. It is, in fact a purely political term, as is "scientific consensus" and both are used like a blunt instrument by the left to stifle all debate. In the latest ludicrous misadventure, an attempt to frighten Western Democracies into giving enormous wodges of dosh to an undemocratic,unaccountable organisation whose members' economic experience rarely extends beyond the maintainance of personal bank accounts was rightly scuppered at source by a US/Chinese pre-emptive strike. Copenhagen actually achieved something by allowing the 2 world powers a chance to find common ground on at least one issue.

  9. JohnOfEnfield
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    "Settled Science" is a contradiction in terms.

    In science, as in the rest if life, all progress is made by "unreasonable men". In Astronomy for instance, by Keppler, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Einstein. Each of these men overturned what was the conventional wisdom of all other scientists at the time. This is the way ALL science progresses.

    "Global warming" is certainly not "true" just because it is supposedly "settled", in fact just the opposite.

    For our scientific understanding to progress, scientific postulates need to be continually tested and validated against measurements made in well designed experiments and the results evaluated in a sceptical manner. Treating "Global warming" as a religious belief that cannot be challenged, immediately puts the postulate outside the realms of science.

    BSc Physics (Liverpool) 1966

    • Posted January 9, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      I agree completely.

      BSc Biological Sciences (Sussex) 1971

  10. Graham Doll
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The term 'settled science' is one you will only hear from politicians, not scientists. There is no such thing. There are only theories with differing degrees of validity.

    • Peter Turner
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      The trouble is that the term "settled science" is used rather a lot by one group of scientists. So is the word "consensus" The latter has no meaning in science.

  11. Posted January 8, 2010 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    "Settled Science" is a contradiction.

    The demarcation between science and non-science is falsifiability (see Karl Popper); to say that "the science of 'whatever' is settled" is to say that whatever is non-science.

  12. Posted January 8, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood please don't be intimidated by the Global Warmers, I have had much abuse from them on various websites. Anyone that says science is settled does not understand science. A scientist is skeptical about every theory, that's the whole point. As soon as evidence proves a theory wrong or even questionable it should be treated with suspicion.
    Global warming theory has so many gaping holes in it any reasonable person must question it's validity. Actual temperatures have not been rising for 10 years, many temperature statistics are doubtful (indeed a large number were discontinued when the USSR collapsed). Other possible causes for change are ignored by the warmists and apparently evidence has been tampered with and altered by those that promote the theory and profit from government funding.
    As you rightly point out a dissenting voice is immediately shouted down by those that are profiting from the warmist agenda. That differing opinions are not tolerated is always the sign of a faulty theory and fear that it will be exposed as such.

  13. John East
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    To attempt to debate the science with the AGW believers, to apply logic and reason, and to expect a fair hearing is a waste of time.

    The thirty years to which you refer, the time claimed by the warmists required to establish the existence of AGW, is in truth the time needed to subjugate the sceptical masses, to cement the gramscian putsch, and to establish the New World Order.

    So forget the reasoned debate. This is simply one of the battles in a war between left wing fascism and the old order. The final decisive battles are now being fought, but I fear those of us who support freedom, self reliance, and personal responsibility are likely to find ourselves on the losing side.

    I believe that we might have only a couple of opportunities left to turn the tide.

    The first opportunity we have is that Prime Minister Cameron will lead the fight back. However, that great stateswoman Lady Thatcher only achieved a temporary respite, so it's hard to see Cameron, who gives every indication to me of being a light weight, self serving, Blair Mk II, succeeding in this fight. I hope I'm wrong.

    Our last slim hope to overthrow the current consensus could be an emergence of minority party support at the subsequent general election, but this is difficult to foresee with all the odds overwhelmingly stacked in favour of the big three parties.

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      john – don't forget that this fight is global. It's not just about the UK
      .
      I'm Australian and I am optimistic about the fight.
      It won't work for the warmists without global political concensus (especially in the Western world) and I do not think they are going to get it.

  14. wonderfulforhisage@i
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Years ago, when I was a boy, my mate Galileo had the termerity to challenge the 'settled science' that the Sun went round the Earth. It didn't do him much good as the Global Warmists of the day, the Roman Inquistion, put him under house arrested and he died.

    Just after I got married, another mate of mine – Albert Einstein, had the termerity to challenge the 'settled science' developed by Newton.

    Now somebody called Zeeya Merali, writing in the December edition of Scientific American is suggesting that Einstein was wrong and Newton right.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=

    The landlord of my local says 'settled science' is an oxymoron and we've taken to calling him 'Oxy'. He's quite a bright chap is Oxy – he's got some 'O' levels and things, so maybe he's right.

    Now where was I………..

  15. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I remember 20 years ago in a hot spell global warming was a topic and how in a few decades Southern England would have a Mediterranean climate – it hasn't arrived. Most would say another mini ice age is more likely – science settled?
    On Radio 4 this week Melvyn Bragg has presented an excellent series on the Royal Society, now 350 years old. Last night AGW was on the agenda and a woman scientist jumped down his throat a la Miliband minor when he asked if the question was settled. He moved on in his telling dismissive style. The intolerance of these people who may or may not have endless science degrees shows that they are not true scientists because that group will discuss, argue and enjoy the debate until the cows come home. This is pure totalitarianism which of course New Labour is a prime example with its spin, doctored statistics, half truths and lies.

  16. no one
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    you should go on the james whale show on LBC radio one afternoon on this, a topic he covers reguarly

  17. Lola
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    "Why can’t the global warmists participate in an intelligent debate about when weather becomes climate, instead of making offensive remarks and seeking to close down the topic?" Beacuse they are religious fanatics, bordering on (intolerant extremists-ed).

  18. D K MCGREGOR
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Keep at them , John . When the false science is exposed then maybe the real reasons for this cult /religion will become apparent.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      D K MCGREGOR

      The real reason is simple.

      It is to raise tax using a fresh source.

      Thus increasing the TAX Take which is available for them to spend

      All that happens is that this extra money raised goes into the melting pot to be re-disributed by the Government in a way that they choose.

      IT DOES NOTHING FOR FUNDING A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS THEY SAY EXIST.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    In my experience blogs referring to climate change do attract a lot of traffic, very often multiple ones from certain individuals. The intolerance of those who support the theory of man-made global warming (which they now call climate change as a useful catchall) is an undesirable and unacceptable phenomenon. I don't support the theory that we should demonise carbon, the very basis of life on earth. In fact, the more these people make their irrefutable declarations about "the science being settled" and refusing to answer perfectly reasonable questions, the more convinced I am that there is an ulterior motive behind this. There are colossal amounts of money being made out of this and changes being forced on people through exorbitant price increases and taxes. The whole thing has the air of conspiracy about it. If questions cannot be asked and answered other than with a sneering disregard then this reinforces the feeling that the whole thing is just a massive scam.

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      I have noticed over the past few weeks a great many claims by warmists to the effect that there is fresh evidence piling up, virtually on a daily basis, to prove their case.
      Not one of these assertions has been backed by a single piece of new evidence. Strange, that.

  20. TK
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Fanatics, of whatever hue – beit religion, race, football food or drink – consider themselves divinely ordained to dictate what others do, say, or think. Thus the warmist disciples have no qualms about claiming distorting or dismissing any fact or opinion that suits their creed – Monty python could have made "The life of Gore" today using the same script as "Brian".
    The big problem is that there is so much financial, political and personal capital invested in the Mann-made mythology that professional politicians are having to be seen to support the scam. This includes "Call me Dave" who recently that AGW is a fait accomli and that is that! WRONG.
    It may be that such people are merely dancing to their masters in Brussels, but it seems to me the only people talking sense, at EU politburo level, are the BNP and UKIP.
    AGW is becoming the new racism for juvenile left – wingers as the performances of the "useful idiots" in Copenhagen showed.

  21. Stephen Southworth
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The whole thing is moving away from real science, where difficult questions and challenges to theories are expected, towards a sort of computer odel based quasi religion – otherwise known as "the settled science". Anyone who dares even raise a quesition about this quasi-religious idolatory will shortly risk being dragged from their houses onto a village green to mob cries of "burn him!". That's if they haven't frozen to death in their own homes first, through being unable to afford the fuel bills.

    In my view, the public support for the "settled science" is crumbling as the warmist zealots become more and more exposed.

  22. Cliff.
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    During my lifetime, I have found that those that refuse to discuss or debate their point of view do so because their arguments are either weak or non-existent.
    I also found that those same people tend to resort to name-calling and attempted ridicule once their arguments are exposed as being flawed.
    Climate, by its nature changes all the time, only a fool would suggest otherwise. Even myself, a proud denier, accepts climate changes, what I am not so convinced about is the reasons the alarmists put forward.

    The problem, as I see it, is that our party buys into the new religion and therefore there is no real debate. I still believe that the religion is a tool to bring about a single world government and Jacques Chirac hinted recently that this was indeed the case, sadly it is likely to be world government based on a socialist model.

    My other concern is that throughout man's history, mankind has survived by being able to adapt to the world around them; This begs the question, why change now?….Instead of wasting a fortune on trying to fight nature, why not spend a fraction of that money on adapting to any changes that come along?
    Carbon dioxide is vital for growing fruit and vegetables and history shows that mankind made his biggest jumps forward during warmer periods, so will warming really be such a bad thing?
    I heard "Veggie" Benn advocating cutting down on meat consumption and going for a more vegetarian based diet, where his logic fails is that the quantity of vegetarian food required to feed the ever increasing population, can ONLY be achieved by using high levels af artificial fertilizers and of course, these are fossil fuel based…i.e. Oil.

    I still have not heard any convincing answers from the alarmist to the following questions;
    a) At what point in time was the Earth's climate fixed?
    b) If climate change is manmade, why are the ice caps on Mars melting at a similar rate to our own here on Earth according to NASA?
    c) Why do many of the variations in weather patterns seem to coincide with the cyclical activity of our own Sun?
    d) Why not spend money to adapt to any changes, rather than spend a fortune fighting nature?

    I believe the whole new religion of climate change is just a mechanism socialists will use to impose more and more rules, restrictions and regulations on the way we live our lives…..Climate change, security, 'Elf’n’Safety and child protection are all tools Stalinists are using to control the population and from where I'm sitting, I see no evidence our party, under Mr Cameron, will do anything different.

  23. Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    The recent warming started about 1980. If the alarmists actually believe 30 years is THE period by which one can determine the change between weather & climate every one of them, or a t least every remotely honest one of them, must be publicly on record as telling every alarmist who expressed belief in catastrophic warming before this year that they were "silly" & "did not understand the distinction they draw between climate and weather". I am open to evidence but I suspect that by their definition there is not a single honest alarmist in the world. I would not be completely as brutal as that.

    What they are actually doing is just cherry picking the dates. I have also seen broadcasters going back to 19thC dates to "prove" there has been a warming trend since. One could, as legitimately chery pick 1250AD or 6,000BC to start the trend & thereby "prove" there is a cooling trend. All this proves is that there is no clear trend at all let alone a catastrophic one.

  24. Tom Jaffray
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Well said John. I must say that your blog is a breath of fresh air. Any chance of getting your esteemed party leader to see sense?

  25. Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    John, it is only to be expected. Since you have given rights to everyone, those with the smallest in intelect are the ones you must defend so when you cross them, they are aloud to say what they wish, while if you dare to question something they believe in, well your just in the wrong.

    Global warming is a scam, the scince is not questionable because they will not allow you to question it, and anyone who does gets drummed out.

    If it was an honest and serious problem, there would be two sides, debating and discussing the questions and the data working towards proof and a solution, but that is not what is happening here.

    Nothing is ever 100 percent, but for some reason this is.

  26. Robert Eve
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The only settled science is that Mr Ross will soon be gone!!

  27. DennisA
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    This must have been climate, as it was written in 1971 and documents cooling from the 40's:

    "…recent decades have exhibited opposite trends: a weakening circumpolar circulation, southward shifts of ice boundaries and cyclone paths, and increased rainfall in the south central parts of the continents.

    These trends were underscored in 1968. It was a year in which Icelandic fishermen suffered losses due to the most extensive sea ice in the last half century, while phenomenal wheat yields from the plains of both Asia and North America due to increased rainfall pushed world wheat prices to a 16-year low. (anyone remember the Cod war?)

    In a happier vein, the predicted 1968 famine in India did not occur, with favourable climate and better strains of grain as the important offsetting factors. In the southern hemisphere, the southward displacement of the Chilean rainfall region created severe droughts

    Since about 1840, a new warming trend has predominated and appears to have reached a climax in this century, followed by cooling since about 1940, irregularly at first but more sharply since about 1960.

    The periods of general warming were accompanied by increasing vigour of the westerly circulation in both hemispheres, bringing a more maritime climate to the continents, a northward displacement of cyclone paths, and a pronounced warming of the Arctic.

    The recent cooling trend exhibits a reverse pattern: weakened westerly circulation, more variable and southerly cyclone paths, and a colder Arctic."

    They were so concerned about cooling that there were proposals for geo-engineering……to warm up the planet!

    "The largest scale enterprise that has been discussed is that of transforming the Arctic into an ice-free ocean. Three basic approaches have been proposed:

    (a)influencing the surface reflectivity of the ice to cause more absorption of solar heat;
    (b)large-scale modification of Arctic cloud conditions by seeding;
    (c)increasing the inflow of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean.

    Bering Strait dam: The basic idea is to increase the inflow of warm Atlantic water by stopping or even reversing the present northward flow of colder Pacific water through the Bering Strait. The proposed dam would be 50 miles long and 150 feet high.

    Deflecting the Gulf Stream: Two kinds of proposals have been discussed, a dam between Florida and Cuba, and weirs extending out from Newfoundland across the Grand Banks to deflect the Labrador current as well as the Gulf Stream. "

    There were other equally nightmarish suggestions as outlandish as current suggestions for cooling the planet, for example, mirrors in space.

    This was all contained in a compendium of doomsday scenarios called “Omega – Murder of the Eco-system and the Suicide of Man , Paul K Anderson, 1971, this chapter was called "Controlling the Planet's Climate" J. 0. Fletcher (Rand corporation)

    So the language hasn't changed even if the climate has. It is interesting to note that the "period of normality" used by the forecasters is the period 1961-90, with some of the coldest years in the century. It stands to reason that any recent comparisons would be "above normal".

    The CRU recognised this in one of their e-mails when they resisted suggestions to move the baseline on by 10 years, which many countries had: This is a direct quote- "anomalies will seem less positive than before if we change to newer normals, so the impression of global warming will be muted."

  28. Collette
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    In response to John East & others, there is such a block on ay debate on this subject, plus the wealth of tax & control (existing & proposed) ofon the "masses", that many people are now saying that "green is the new red"!!!!!!

    • Number 7
      Posted January 9, 2010 at 2:24 am | Permalink

      Wrong term – try watermelon – green on the outside, red on the inside.

  29. Iain
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I see the BBC is rushing to explain the difference between climate and weather. They weren't so interested in the definition when it suited their global warming religion, for the BBC hardly let a report from Africa go by, or anywhere else where a drought was happeing to have a reporter go there and say' look,look, look global warming' .

  30. chefdave
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    You've completely missed the point John.

    Its not for mere mortals like you or I to go around denouncing global warming because its bitterly cold. We have to let the 'experts' gather the data and then tell us whether the temperature is correct or not. Where would be if we let lay people have an opinion on this? They would be chaos.

    • Kevin Lohse
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Funny you should say that. this Blog "CLIMATE CHANGE – HOW SCIENCE CAN DEFEAT THE SCEPTICS" published today on the Socialist Worker Blog, unwittingly lets the cat out of the bag. Essential reading for all sceptics /deniers.

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Sorry – Duff Gen. The blog in question is, "socialist unity."

    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      chefdave – Your comment is about the only note of half-way near sense that I've read among all the comments here, and that includes those of Mr Redwood and Mr Miliband.

      I'm particularly fond of both climate science and economics because when it comes down to it they both require simple crunching of data.

      The difference between economic science and climate science is that you can manipulate perceptions of individual and social wealth, whereas you cannot pretend that it isn't raining without getting wet.

      Luckily freedom of information means the data is freely available in forms which can be easily digested.

      The particularly striking fact is the visualisation of the gulf stream on New Year's Eve which shows the warm waters that normally moderate the temperature of western Europe being diverted up along the east coast of Greenland.

      This is a hugely unusual climatological event, but one which I first noticed was predicted in 2005.

      Such events are direct evidence of global climate change, but contrary to the green lobby are also evidence of how ecological feedback systems mitigate against potentially more extreme consequences predicted by the worst doom-monger.

      The current winter is typical for UK latitude; the normal lack of snow is the result of localised changes wrought specifically by the gulf stream.

      The old saying you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone couldn't be more true!

    • Posted January 9, 2010 at 4:36 am | Permalink

      But this would be in keeping with the nature of the subject – chaotic systems. There is not fixed order in climate. No fixed function that says how much a given quantity of CO2 or Cosmic rays will increase average temperatures. The relationship changes all the time, as it does in economics.

  31. Mark
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    The shrill protest noises coming from warmists merely confirm that they realise they've been rumbled. Now perhaps we can return to addressing the UK's energy supply needs on a cost competitive, risk diversified basis, rather than insisting on shooting ourselves in the foot on this, as we seem to do with so much else, such as dumbed down education, the creation of the bubble economy in housing and government spending, failure to recognise that terrorists should be profiled and tracked rather than terrorising the population at large (incidentally, after all the fuss over the Detroit pants bomber – barely a word in the media about the bomb that seriously injured a PSNI officer this morning).

  32. alan jutson
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    John I have the phrase that will be used should Global warming ever be discredited to such a degree that Politicians and some Scientists will have to swallow their own words.

    ""LESSONS WILL BE LEARNT"

    The number of times Politicians trot out this awful phrase is becoming rather sickening, twice it was used by Politicians last night on the News, on different subjects.

    If fact, it is now being used so often, I wonder if any of them actually remember anything that they learned in their first couple of decades or more.

    Just out of interest I was informed a few years ago that the Met Office no longer collect their own data from their own sources over the Atlantic, due to cost, instead they were relying on Commercial shipping, Airline pilots and other sources to send in their own recorded weather Data at the time they were crossing the Atlantic.

    Now if this is still, or ever was a fact, then surely you will not have a basic standard for all of the information you collect, as it will involve different machines, built to differing standards, read by a variety of people, with differing qualifications at different heights. So what is the standard for 2010.

    Given that we now have the capacity to measure anything to a far more precise degree than we did say even 100 years ago, how can anyone with any degree of certainty, compare what happened temperature wise 500 years ago in a general area, with what happens now. It is not a precise Science, never will be, and certainly is not settled.

  33. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    The Global warming cycle ended in 1999. we are now in a cooling cycle that is plain for everyone to see. Dr David Bellamy thinks we will be cooling for about 30 years. When will these people understand that they have made a mistake. We are short of grit as many councils believed the Met office forecast for this winter that it would be very mild.
    The Met office forecasts are designed to back their warming theory and they are wrong and they should appologise.

    They must think we are stupid.

    Keep asking the questions John.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      I had forgotten seeing DB destroying numerous AGW arguments in past TV programmes – thanks for the reminder.

  34. oldtimer
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    As many have said already, the science is not settled. There are many scientists who have challenged the AGWarmists over the basis of their conclusions. Viscount Monckton is the most robust of these critics but he is not the only one.

    These challenges range from the sources of temperature data, the proxies used, the methodologies used the interpret the data (including ststistical methods and computer programmes) and the way conclusions have been reached and presented. These challenges raise enough doubts to persuade me that assertions that the science is settled do not wash.

    We speak of planet earth. We should, with greater accuracy, speak of planet ocean. The oceans do, after all, account for some 70% or so of the globes surface. Yet where is the historical or geological data about the greater proportion of the surface of planet? The arrogance of presuming to be able to measure the earth`s temperature by a single number is only exceeded by those who presume to be able to control it to within 2 degrees of that number.

  35. waramess
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    There should be no such thing as settled science. Science is always open to reinterpretation or even being stood on it's head, and to deny such a process is to destroy science.

    The trouble with warmists is that they have become bigots; most of them do not understand the science anyway but point simply to the scientists that are predicting a particular scenario.

    This in itself would indicate that most are fools and have embraced a particular scientific prediction without good reason.

    We should remember that scientists are no strangers to the art of embelishing the facts in order to attract funding for their pet projects.

    More fool the politicians that unequivocally support this "settled science", history will find them out

  36. Chris Mumby
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    One question I will you would ask is:

    How much is the Government spending on the AGW adverts (drive 5 mph less and the drowning puppy one) and how much grit and gritters could could have bought.

    I fed up of these "vanity adverts" – instead of doing something useful for the countries citizens.

    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      The government are drowning puppies?

      • Chris Mumby
        Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
      • David Price
        Posted January 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        As in "stop asking embarrassing questions John or the puppy gets it?"

        This is similar to the MMR fiasco when I seem to remember they spent £60m on do-what-we-tell-you advertising compared to the £6m they spent on research.

        I'm not sure getting drivers to go slower is the problem, the road system is such that it is often difficult to go as fast as 5 mph.

        • Chris Mumby
          Posted January 9, 2010 at 12:19 am | Permalink

          For some reason my link to the govt "drowning puppy" advert didn't pass moderation. Look up "agw drowning puppy" on google and see the appalling advert.

          I have seen it on TV too.

  37. Chris Mumby
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    After having read the above note – I must apologize for the mistakes – it should have read

    One question I would like you to ask is:

    How much is the Government spending on the AGW adverts (drive 5 mph less and the drowning puppy one) and how much grit and gritters could these have bought.

    I fed up of these “vanity adverts” – instead of doing something useful for the countries citizens.

  38. Colin Gardner
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Whenever I hear anyone going on about global warming or whatever this week's name for it is I hear Danny Kaye in my head singing The Emporers New Clothes

  39. Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I have read all the blogs (well, I did skip a little in some of the longer ones) and every single one is questioning AGW. I find that encouraging myself.

    So what has that got to do with the price of bacon?
    1. We are broke. Now, however, we hear that a huge amount of money is to be "invested" in wind farms in the Channel. Wind farms, as people note, have provided a measly 0.9% of the electricity in this cold snap.
    2. Why aren't there any grit/ salt/ gas reserves? Could it be that the government has decided that, what with AGW and all, they will not be needed?
    3. Where is the Corus steel plant? Could it be in India where Mr Pachauri, head of IPCC lives?
    Warmists are beginning to become dangerous in wintertime.

    • Posted January 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Mike,

      The whole AGW case relies on getting the data out of proportion.
      – A case can be made that changes in greenhouse gases can affect the average temperature. But see below Yorkshireman on 08 Jan 2010 at 8:12 pm
      – Even then, the impact is probably less than claimed. The evidence for volatile climate is unscientific, and the large rise in sea levels will take centuries of much higher temperatures, not decades.
      – Even if the forecast is proportionate, the policy prescription is far from proportionate. Viscount Monckton claims that the Copenhagen Accord fully implemented will reduce global temperatures in the next decade by 0.02 degrees (from 0.29 to 0.27 on the most extreme forecast). See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/03/climate-cha
      – Even then, before implementing a policy we should factor in the unintended consequences (Redcar steelworks) that add additional costs AND the fact that on large complex government projects with unclear objectives, costs tend to overrun and benefits not fully materialise.
      – Even then, there are alternative policies to consider. Such as adapting to the adverse conditions, whether short term (providing global quick response teams, or contingency plans for extreme weather events.

      On any one of these points, the AGW consensus case can founder. To have failed on all instances shows that the consensus worlds away from a calm, objective, assessment.

      On the question of gritting of the roads, the decisions of local authorities may have been biased by the Met Office forecast of another mild winter. However, given that this is easily the worst winter since 1981, it would have been a huge waste of resources to have stockpiled grit and salt for such an event. Even worse, to available sufficient machinery available for constant gritting and snow removal would mean having resources lying idol for twenty years. This is an instance where individuals should adapt to the unusual. I have carried some sand and a spade in my car, driven slower and cleared snow from the road outside my house. Others have checked up on the elderly and done their shopping.

      • Posted January 10, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        The last two sentences I find really encouraging. Well done indeed!

  40. Martin
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps somebody could answer these
    1. If the expected temperature rise is well within the usual yearly variations, do we really have that much to worry about?
    2. Could we get an ice age with the current the rise in CO2? -given that huge temperature fluctuations have happened in the past without a variation in CO2?

    I expect the reply is that the science is conclusive and something about flat earthers – but not answer the question. (Be rather like asking Gordon something at PMQs)

    The science is only settled when the expected result has been observed and verified – hence settled science can only really come from history – not projection of the future, unless it is for the same conditions as previously observed.

  41. BillyB
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    JR "Everyone knows that economics proceeds by means of theories that have to be tested by reality"

    so what happened to the theory that free markets are better than state intervention when tested by the reality of the banking crisis?

    reply: try reading this site about the reality of uncompetitive banks and bad regulators

    • BillyB
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      so JR declined to offer a civil answer to a civil question, and told me the economics was settled!

      How has the theory now been modified? Asserting that the underlying theory is still valid is exactly what you are accusing the warmists of

      • Posted January 8, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        Allow me!
        If you have been reading this site for a year or so, you will, of course, know that the nationalisation of the banks was seen by our host as a really dangerous move. It still is, as Iceland proves conclusively.
        We just need RBS or HBoS to get into difficulties – let alone just one of the other banks and – bingo! – we are Iceland.
        It is imperative that we unload the banks ASAP. We have been reading this now for months.
        The huge advantages of free market banks, regulated by the BofE and not the various different bureaucracies that Labour has invented under Mr Brown, is that, if they get into difficulties, the whole State doesn't go under.
        "We are a middle sized State with world sized banks." – Who said that?

  42. TCD
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Dear John,

    There is much comment on this site about science never being 'settled'.
    With respect, I think this is not the point. Although this is true
    is principle, it is nevertheless the case that some scientific theories are far
    more 'settled' than others. For example, if global warming theory were as
    well established as Evolution then it would certainly be wise to take it seriously.
    In fact, the theory of climate is still very poorly understood, and making predictions
    about the climate 50-100 years from now seems speculative to say the least.
    Then to make these 'predictions' the basis for draconian measures endangering
    the economic well-being of the western world is the height of folly.

    I have actually done some simple calculations myself which seem to indicate
    that there might be some truth in the basic claim that the observed long-term trend
    in average temperatures is due to the increase in CO2. Of course, this is based on
    NASA's world temperature record. It is unclear how reliable this record is. One would need
    a very careful statistical analysis of these data. They are said to be an average over
    thousands of stations scattered around the world. But of course they are not uniformly
    distributed, so one has to do some weighted averaging. This might then lead to a large
    weight given to an isolated station in Siberia for example, and one cannot be sure how
    reliable the measurements from that station are. Before jumping to conclusions, an
    independent analysis of these data by statisticians would be useful. You might propose this
    to the government or to David Cameron.

    However, even accepting the premise that the increase of approx. 0.5 degree since 1960
    is due to CO2, it does not follow that all the reported changes in the world are due to
    this very small increase in average temperature. Increased salinity of river deltas is more
    likely due to other human activity and so is acidification if there is any (the latter is certainly
    not due to CO2 as can be easily calculated; I am not sure if there is a record of acididity
    measurements). Glaciers have been seen to be retreating but there is no obvious correlation with
    world average temperature.
    Reported sea level rise is very small and almost entirely attributable to thermal expansion.
    These are not matters to be unduly concerned about, though some precautions like
    strengthening river and sea defenses seem sensible in any case, as we have seen recently.
    Curiously, it is these simple measures that the government seems least interested in.

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      As an Aussie I am surprised by the enormous amount of attention given to the north pole.
      The Antarctic contains 90% of the world's ice (yes, 90 percent) and 80% of the world's fresh water.
      The Antarctic is losing some ice from the western side but is growing on the east and on the whole is EXPANDING.
      So why all the focus on the piddling little cap to the north? Is it only because we don't have polar bears?

      • Alan
        Posted January 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Good point, no one (certainly not the government press office, aka the BBC) tells us that the ice in the Antarctic is growing. Perhaps we could make everyone happy if we took the polar bears down there.

      • Polar Bear
        Posted January 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Julie grace: "the bears would eat all our Emperor penguins."

        Hmmm, Emperor penguins, … Yummy!

  43. Simon
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Since science is evidence-based, it proceeds through an inductive method of inference. This means that there is always more than one theory that fits the facts. Thus to suggest that the science is 'settled' is simply incorrect. (If anyone doubts this, they should consider what happened to Newton' 'settled' theory of planetary motion, following the consensus that now supports Einsteinian relativity.)

    The most that might be said is that the evidence, together with other scientific theories, supports anthropogenic global warming. But we should beware of suggesting any particular level of probability, since probabilities are also subject to inductive doubts.

    Incidentally, I doubt that the present cold spell offers support to either side of the debate, since both sides have a credible story to tell about it. And I doubt that a period as short as 30 years will lead to one side predominating over the other, either. Both could be consistent with warming or cooling over such relatively short time frames

    This does not suggest that nothing should be done at this point, since certainty is never going to be realized, and the greater the scientific underpinning and the more disastrous the results, the greater is the rationale for pre-emptive action.

    The real question we need to answer is whether present evidence is sufficiently compelling to take costly pre-emptive action today. I suspect that it is, but that we should proceed cautiously. Human ingenuity has proved sufficient to conquer similar issues in the past and, I presume, will be in the future. We should not burden the current generation with excessive costs, when methods to solve the problem will most likely be developed before the currently-assumed worst arrives.

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      All true. The other question is, "if the globe is warming where is the evidence to prove that is a result of CO2 (anthropogenic or not)?"
      No effective pre-emptive action can be taken unless the cause is known.
      My understanding is that the theory demonizing carbon dioxide relies upon the finding of a 'hot spot' above the tropics.
      Satellites searching the planet for the last few years have been unable to find the 'hot spot'. Without that evidence there is no proof that CO2 is responsible for the warming. See Jo Nova for details http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/

  44. John Cairns
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I agree with "Javelin"'s comparison to the world of medicine. I am a doctor and a new drug, for example, would struggle to get a licence for use based on such flimsy evidence as that put forwards by the climate change lobby.

    It is self-evidently utterly hysterical and solopistic to assert that driving 5 miles less per week will benefit the climate. And I know I am not the first to compare the climate change debate as being similar to the story of the emperor's new robes. The Milliband's of this world would love the science to be "settled" because he simply doesn't understand science or the scientific process. Pick 'n mix use of science, just like the drugs debate. Fingers in ears when evidence doesn't suit.

    It's a good job I'm medically trained because they make me feel ill……..

  45. Clive
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, don't let the green fanatics prevent you asking fair and pertinent questions. Global Warming has ceased being about science, and has been completely hijacked by left-wing politics.

    I suspect the reason the Met Office (run, now, by an AGW zealot) keep getting the forecasts so terribly wrong is because their political agenda is driving their approach and methodologies.

    When will this madness end?

  46. John Boettcher
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    You do realise that in the Southern Hemisphere they are predicting extremely hot weather, way above normal?
    http://weather.news.com.au/breakingweather.jsp?si

    "Up to five days of 40-degree heat is about to engulf South Australia, Victoria and western New South Wales bringing the hottest weather since last summer to Adelaide and Melbourne.

    Some inland parts, such as Wudinna, Port Augusta, Renmark, Ivanhoe and Ouyen, will heat to near 45 degrees. Parts of southeastern Tasmania will even reach 35.

    Both Adelaide and Melbourne can expect at least one day hotter than 40
    degrees, Adelaide can expect three in a row."

    Regards,
    John

    • Jmaes Clover
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Is this anything unusual? And if it is, is it caused by CO2?

      • Nick
        Posted January 9, 2010 at 12:17 am | Permalink

        There's more CO2 in Australia, so that's why it's warmer there. Really; would I lie to you? Anyway, if there is unusually hot weather that is evidence for global warming; but if there is unusually cold weather that is just weather and not the climate. See?

        • Jmaes Clover
          Posted January 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          I think we're on the same side, but your irony is a little obscure.

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      We have had unusually mild summers in Sydney for the past few years (I'm speaking from observation not official figures) but heat waves have always been part of the Australian climate.
      If those temps persisted for weeks, rather than days, yes that would be unusual.

  47. John Cairns
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    please forgive the unforgivable – I have submitted a comment with an apostrophe error!

  48. Julian
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    They resort to abuse because they fear you John. You are one of the few MPs left in Parliament who doesn't accept received wisdom and is prepared to ask awkward questions. This scares them and because they cannot beat you with rational argument, instead they insult and disrespect you. Take the ridiculous Tony Woodley when you and he were talking about the PBR on TV. All he could do to undermine your arguments was crack a feeble joke (twice!) about the time you were caught mis-miming the Welsh national anthem. A childish contribution from an intellectual pygmy.

    Rest assured that the cows in the field are listening to you, not to the grasshoppers making all the noise.

  49. shropshirelad
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Only a fool would assert that the the science is settled.

    The concensus amongst scentists in the 70's was that we were heading for anew ice age as described in this TIME Magaazine article of 1974.
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,…

  50. Simon T
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Anybody who uses any particular period of weather to justify their argument – be it the current cold spell to claim global warming doesn't exist, or a period of hot weather to claim that it is happening – is clearly missing the point.

    We're talking about a couple of degrees centigrade increase over a long period of time, which we as humans will barely be able to perceive.

    Where we will notice it will be when the ice caps continue to melt and sea levels rise, causing untold human catastrophe.

    That's why doing all we can to prevent global warming is so important. There will always be people who question the science, and of course that's your right – but maybe you should all go live on the Maldives.

    • Kevin Lohse
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      …….but maybe you should all go live on the Maldives."…. where sea level has not changed in the last 30 years. Don't mix a perfectly reasonable ploy by a small nation to hitch a ride on the pork cart with established science.
      As to icecaps. By consensus, the only true scientific measurement according to the AGW lobby, Antarctica is getting colder. After this Winter will be the time to check Arctic ice levels. There should be some interesting data to add to the Hypothesis that Polar Ice is static/growing. BTW, I expect a drop in the recently growing population of polar bears in the Spring on account of the extreme cold .

    • Matthew H
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      There has been no relevant sea level rise in the Maldives, despite the alleged AGW that has already occurred.

      Now, if you want to talk about the importance of using resources efficiently and reducing pollution, you'll get my full support.

      But re-deploying hundreds of billions of pounds/euros/dollars of resources on the basis of very flimsy climate models that don't/can't accurately (as in any reasonable statistical measure of error) predict the climate is madness.

    • Jmaes Clover
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      You still miss the major point: it is possible to agree that the world's climate is getting warmer and not to believe that it is caused by Man.

    • Yorkshireman
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      "Where we will notice it will be when the ice caps continue to melt and sea levels rise, causing untold human catastrophe."

      Really ? Trying reading the following about the Maldives which may enlighten you…
      http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles%20

      "INTERVIEW: DR. NILS-AXEL MÖRNER : Sea-level Expert:

      It’s Not Rising"

      "Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner has studied sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years. Recently retired as director of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics Department at Stockholm University, Mörner is past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project."

    • Yorkshireman
      Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      "Where we will notice it will be when the ice caps continue to melt "

      http://www.dailytech.com/Arctic+Sees+Massive+Gain

      "Arctic Sees Massive Gain in Ice Coverage" (Sept 08)

      "Increase twice the size of Germany: "colder weather" to blame.

      Data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has indicated a dramatic increase in sea ice extent in the Arctic regions. The growth over the past year covers an area of 700,000 square kilometers: an amount twice the size the nation of Germany.

      OR THIS ARTICLE

      http://www.dailytech.com/Sea+Ice+Ends+Year+at+Sam

      "Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979

      Rapid growth spurt leaves amount of ice at levels seen 29 years ago."

      Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.

      Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards.

      The data is being reported by the University of Illinois's Arctic Climate Research Center, and is derived from satellite observations of the Northern and Southern hemisphere polar regions.

      Each year, millions of square kilometers of sea ice melt and refreeze. However, the mean ice anomaly — defined as the seasonally-adjusted difference between the current value and the average from 1979-2000, varies much more slowly. That anomaly now stands at just under zero, a value identical to one recorded at the end of 1979, the year satellite record-keeping began."

      • Simon T
        Posted January 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        As with weather/climate, we're talking long-term trends not short-term results. So what happens in a particular year in terms of temperature, ice cap size or sea level does not matter so much as what happens over a period of many years.

        The majority of informed scientific opinion is that the trend in the data shows that temperatures are rising, ice caps are shrinking and sea levels are rising. Now I'm not saying that's all opinion – there will always be people like Dr Moerner – but it is the majority.

        There seems to be a view on this site that some powerful AGW lobby is distorting the climate change debate. I wonder who you think these people are, and what their motivations are? Who is bank-rolling these 'fanatics', and why? How are they winning the fight against those that would stand to lose out the most from a worldwide change in energy habits – large oil companies for example?

        The reason people are so vociferous about global warming is that if current trends continue, we don't have long to change our behaviour. Despite the supposedly powerful AGW lobby, very little has been achieved so far – and if we continue to do nothing, future generations will suffer.

        • Rumbo
          Posted January 10, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps we should accept that climate change cannot be measured except over a 30+ year period.

          Intrigued about the talk of sea-ice shrinkage and rising sea levels this morning, I checked the site of the world’s ice cap monitors, the University of Illinois.

          You may well be dismayed at the linked images.

          http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=01&fd=09&fy=1980&sm=01&sd=09&sy=2009

        • Rumbo
          Posted January 10, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

          Now click yesterday's date and check for yourselves the devastating results of the 6 warmest years of the past century on our poor polar bears.

          Perhaps we should have fuel duty reduced, and be encouraged to drive an extra 50 miles per day to counter this lack of CO2 protection.

        • Posted January 11, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          Au contraire, exactly what was wanted has been achieved so far. Many people now accept unquestioned the need for higher taxes and restricted freedoms. This is the point of the whole shebang

        • julie grace
          Posted January 12, 2010 at 4:15 am | Permalink

          Science is now aware that the ice has STOPPED shrinking and is expanding.
          In fact the Antarctic (the big one with 90% of the ice) has been expanding for yonks. http://www.news.com.au/antarctic-ice-is-growing-n

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Simon, the ice caps (plural) are not melting. Antarctica is growing.
      Antarctica contains 90% of the world's ice .

      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517035,00.htm

  51. Jonathan
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    climate really should be based on hundreds of years not tens, otherwise it is like being given a few pieces of a jigsaw and trying to work out what the picture is. around a thousand years ago there were farmer on greenland

  52. Bewick
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    You are SO right John. As an erstwhile scientist (long long ago but I did learn) I have, for 20 years or more disputed the very idea of man-made (anthropogenic) climate change.

    Climate DOES change and has done since time began. Whether it is currently happening is far from settled science and most certainly isn't proven. The issue of CO2 being the cause is even less proven.
    CO2 is a miniscule proportion of atmosphere and the man-made portion of that a miniscule proportion of the whole. As one person commented just one volcanic eruption produces enough CO2 to dwarf man-made production over perhaps centuries.
    Then again in my profession of consultancy the cardinal sin is to "make the problem fit the (pre-determined) solution". Clearly SOME scientists have forgotten the very essence of scientific method.

    Do not be (and I'm sure you won't) be intimidated by insults from AGW scientists or politicians .

    The particular scientists have a vested interest and, in their own sphere, have clearly an inadequate argument if they resort to insults and attempted suppression of alternative views.

    The politicians – PPE and historians in the main – have not an iota of knowledge of science and even choose to dismiss advice if it is counter to their tax plans. I seriously expect that I may have be fitted with a "fart meter" soon so that they can even tax that!!

    Politicians also resort to obvious intimidation by insulting the intelligence of the majority by calling them "flat-earthers" and "anti-science". An historian telling ME, and many distinguished scientists, that was too much to bear given that they themselves actually avoided studying science.
    I wrote to Miliband the younger and resorted to calling him and his boss "merchant bankers".
    Also queried why exactly the politicians, having "agreed" to "limit" temperature rise to 2 degrees, hadn't walked home across the seas to prove that they really are divinely powerful.

    Guess what the new "son of God" didn't deign to reply even in anger. He really is a w*****, just like his boss and his brother and many other politicians.

  53. John Moss
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I understand the reason for the cold weather is the North Atlantic Oscillation. This phenomenon is not unusual and it is giving some more northerly lattitudes much warmer than usual weather while we shiver.

    The last really big NAO was 1962-3 when it snowed every week from December to March in the UK.

    Climate changes. Man has very little influence on it and an increase from 0.0003% to 0.0004% of the upper atmosphere being made up of C02 does not seem likley to drive the level of change which has been seen over the last 40 years or which is predicted.

  54. Tony
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Spot on. Thanks for holding your ground tenaciously John!

    I do a lot of sailing, and have long since taken the Met Office Inshore waters forecasts with a generous pinch of salt: you just cannot rely on them. They often get both the wind direction and strength wrong. It didn't used to be like that!

    I think they place too much reliance on computer modelling, with its clearly unproven methodology.

    • Number 7
      Posted January 9, 2010 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      Try netweather. (From an ex RYA instructor)

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 9, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Tony

      Do not think the Met Office have taken their own readings for years over the Atlantic (most of or weather comes from this direction.
      I think they have for a few years now relied upon other agencies for readings. See my earlier post.

      I agree with number 7 Netweather seems to be more reliable.

  55. Tony
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    … history may well find them out, but the costs both in absoluite terms, and in the loss of economic development, will be disastrous.

  56. Michael Taylor
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I think there is a reasonable answer to this one. Let us suspend our disbelief for a moment and accept the HadCRUt temperature series an accurate measure of the world's temperatures (I know, I know – but let's just play pretend for a while).

    Now, if you eyeball this series, there's a very obvious rise in temperatures recorded since about 1970 which looks to be well entrenched until at least 2002.

    Is it still in place?

    Well, the way to check is to calculate that 1970-2002 trendline, and see whether the deviations from it since 2002 are so spectacular as to break the trend. When you do that you find that 2006 was .2 standard deviations below the trend, 2007 was 0.5 standard deviations below the trend, and 2008 was 1.5 standard deviations below the trend.

    Remember, in this experiment, the trendline is rising all the time. If 2009 wasn't warmer than 2008, then it would be a 1.66 standard deviation from the trend. That's quite an important number, because you'd expect only 10% of records to deviate more than c1.6 standard deviations, and only half of those (ie 5%) to be on the colder side. So we're look at a one in 20 yr event.

    Now if it happens two years in a row – well, there's been no such event throughout the trends purported near 40yr history, and you're getting towards statistically safe ground when you say the trend is broken.

    What this tells you is that even taking the CRU's own data, the next few years global temperature readings are absolutely crucial. Unless it gets very warm very quickly, the post-1970 warming trend will be visibly broken in a way statisticians will find very difficult to miss. Which, presumably, is why they're getting desperate.

  57. Ian Jones
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Nearly 90% of the well educated professionals I work with think that man made global warming is a myth. All however agree we should be cutting our use of fossil fuels, pollution and such.

    Regarding your prediction of inflation, I would say the current Govt and Bank do expect it as that is their policy! You either deflate your way out or inflate, there is no middle ground as currently the fundamentals are totally distorted following the last boom!

    There are votes in house price inflation.

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      re pollution. I think everyone, warmist or sceptic, agrees that pollution, deforestation etc must be addressed.

      Even if CO2 were a pollutant there is no way a cap and trade or ETS is going to reduce emissions.

      It simply shifts production of emissions to developing countries with laxer standards than the west. I believe CO2 emissions would increase under a global carbon trade system.

      Anyone who genuinely believes CO2 is polluting the planet should be fighting cap and trade. They should demand reductions of emissions by the West, in the West ie a shift to cleaner technologies at home.

  58. David Hearnshaw
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    John – Your question to Millipeed was spot on and the reponse predictable but my concern is that official Tory policy reflects warmist alarmism and Cameron is likely to be every bit as fanatical on this as are the current shower. Any thoughts?

  59. Lynne Lancaster
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, welcome to sceptics reality. It is such a pity you did not start asking your question when Miliband's Energy bill passed through the Commons with barely a raised eyebrow.

    Better late than never I suppose.

    Is there any chance that Mr Cameron will also begin to ask searching questions about Thermageddon – or rather lack thereof? I might take him more seriously if he does.

    Signed: Disenfranchised Tory voter.

    Reply: Oh but I did raise this before his Bill – and did not vote for it.

  60. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    With most complex mathematical models, the procedure is to develop a theory, define inputs and outputs, collect past data, and calibrate the model parameters on the basis of the past data. The model is then used in forecasting mode, using clearly stated assumptions about the evolution of the input variables. If there is any doubt about how the input variables will change over time, then various scenarios may be tested.

    The science of cause and effect may be beyond most of us but numerical analysis is not. Please, Mr Redwood, ask the Secretary of State to place all the data (including measurement locations) used to calibrate the climate change models in the public domain. Then we can all come to our own conclusions.

    The UK is clearly a country in which the lunatics are in charge of the asylum. Why should we trust anything that they say?

  61. Ian Michie
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    John,

    These eco-loons are "Global Cooling Deniers".

    I am still aghast that we are committing our countries future & dwindling resources to this MMGW religion on the basis of flawed models & the vociferous campaigns of recycled marxists.

    Indeed, there is something going on with our climate – there always has been.

    Our planet has been in a permanent state of flux since its inception – are these GCD (Global Cooling Deniers) really going to argue with established & recorded earth history?

    We should be preparing to adapt – not act like King Kanute – hoping in vain that the sheer will of our collectivist belief will freeze dry the earth at this current epoc.

    Please keep asking the questions one should expect in a free democracy – & carry on exposing the duplicity, hypocrisy & alterior motives of these ecoloons.

    Regards

  62. Dee
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Is there a God? An awful lot of people in the world believe there is but I have yet to see any scientific evidence.

    The problem is that we have had a belief that there is an increase in temperature due to the rise in CO2 that is stated as fact rather than a concern and politicians are acting on it as if it was a fact.

    A final thought, if man is the cause of increases in global temperature why isn't the UN taking steps to reduce population numbers on this planet?

    • Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      My Aunt Pip – the one who told me, seriously, that you could always tell a German because they have square heads – and I were discussing the nuclear future when I was in my teens.
      I posited the theory, as only a brilliantly clever and know-all fifteen year old can, that the world was doomed to nuclear winter.
      She said that this could never happen because God would not allow it.
      Well, of course, I knew how to deal with that – a gentle lifting of the left upper lip and a sort of sneering noise as I puffed gently on my Gauloise cigarette.
      Guess who was right?

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      They are doing their best to reduce humanity.
      Locking up much arable land to 'sequester' carbon dioxide (google Peter Spencer) and using vast areas of land for bio-fuel (ethanol) instead of food for people they have denied food to many poorer people in other parts of the world.
      This is not the whole cause, drought etc has also played a role, but the USA is now directing that even more land should be given to bio fuel production.
      This engineered scarcity has resulted in huge rises in grain costs; poor nations are being hurt by those rises.
      Australia and the USA are two western countries which have always had huge surpluses of grain to export. If the insanity of CO2 demonisation continues there will be even more food riots.
      I believe there have been about 20 separate riots in various poorer countries recently.

  63. Ray
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh' ye of little faith, Know ye that "global warming" moves in mysterious ways.

    Thats all you need to know. Stop asking difficult questions you know we can keep moving the goal posts. We can even re designate "global warming" as "climate change" or "climate disruption".

  64. Mike Spilligan
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood: Thank you for your determined stance on this matter; please keep it up.
    I recently wrote to my MP – Tory, safe seat – on AGW and his reply was disheartening. He seems to be clueless and it was straight out of the AGW primer.
    Eventually the Conservatives are going to have to do a U-turn on it and I'd have thought that the CRU revelations would have provided a chance to make a break with past policy.
    Incidentally, I saw the Greg Clark (Tory Party "expert") video of when he was in Bangladesh, talking to two women who said that hurricanes are becoming more frequent. (They would say that. wouldn't they?) That seemed to satisfy Clark, though not exactly scientific in my book. He'd have done better ro refer to the University of Illinois – the prime authority in the world – who say that hurricanes are now at the minimum recorded for the last 150 years.

  65. Karl Blair
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    This comment amused me:-

    "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't."
    – Kevin Trenberth, Lead Author IPCC (2001, 2007)

  66. Mike Wood
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Another simple question to ask of the modelers:
    "What does the climate model say about when the next ice age will occur? Glacial maximums have been a known feature of the climate for the past few million years, therefore presumably the models we are placing our faith in are able to give us some insight into this interesting question. After all, the threat of global cooling ought to be of far greater interest to us than GW, dwelling as we do, in northern latitudes.

    But then again I did hear that glacial maxima and minima are driven by changes in the earths orbit , something that existing climate models take no account of.

  67. Tiresias
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    There is no qualitative difference between weather and climate. Climate is just weather considered over longer periods.

    The AGW theory is not based on settled science, but on a model of the atmosphere assuming a radiative equilibrium that has never been demonstrated and that theory implies cannot be true.

  68. Posted January 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    John, you can't win. First they tell us that one of the symptoms of climate change is extreme weather. Then, when we inconveniently do get extreme (cold) weather, they say it has nothing to do with climate!

    • Posted January 9, 2010 at 4:12 am | Permalink

      Maybe, Eamonn, we should apply a bit of Philosophy of Science as a demarcation between the warming theories and true science.
      – Popper’s idea of non-falsifiabilty, or his idea on predictive ability. (That’s the Met Office gone).
      – Hayek’s suggestion, that when dealing with essentially complex phenomena, we can only make pattern predictions.

      Maybe we should apply some ideas of the economists to the science and to the policy.
      – The idea that cycles always exist. Climate cycles – between 100,000 year ice ages and 10,000 year warm period – have existed for millions of years. Like governments not eliminating boom and bust, only delaying, the next ice age may be delayed by human activity, but not avoided. The cold will be far worse than the warmth.
      – Adam Smith’s unintended consequences of human action has relevance to policy. On the one hand there is a new climate change industr, with many highly paid jobs. On the other, growing bio-fuels are pushing up world food prices, beyond the reach of some of the world’s poorest.
      – Alfred Marshall’s price elasticities, especially when there are no close substitutes at similar cost. As the technological alternatives to fossil fuels are much more expensive, carbon taxes will be efficient at raising revenue, and, for the same reason, inefficient at reducing CO2.
      – Pigou introduced benefit-cost analysis. By any objective measure, reducing CO2 directly will cost many times more than the benefits. This is especially true if you properly discount future benefits and costs OR if you factor in that any large government project, with no clear objectives, overruns on costs, and fails to realise projected benefits.

      I hope to enlarge later on my own blog. If you are interested in finding out more about Hayek, there is a good, short introduction here
      http://www.adamsmith.org/images/uploads/publications/hayek-his-contribution-ed-4.pdf

  69. Seldomseenkid
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    If this research is SO vital, why is it being carried out by (unimpressive people-ed) at the UEA? I presume it is because our elite scientific universities, such as Cambridge or Imperial College London, etc., will not do as they are told.

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      The book sited below is available through Amazon. It reveals the CRU was set up by oil money in 1971. Oil funding continued until quite recently.
      Does this make warmists oil shills?

      http://mightyrighty.com/forum/global-warming/1797….

  70. David Shaw
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations John, Mr Miliband is a disgrace. As a scientist I take exception to being called irresponsible for questioning something with very little to support it.

  71. Robert
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    What I hate about this whole thing is we may have to live the rest of our lives with this constant rhetoric from the warmists. They will not be happy until western civilisation is turned back to the dark ages, and none of us should be under any illusions that most environmentalists really do want to see the end of western civilisation. I think it says an awful lot when the man who started Greenpeace left a couple of years ago because the new, and fanatical breed of environmentalists were far to radical for him.

    The constant rhetoric fired at the masses on a daily basis non stop is draining the peoples very souls, making their lives quite miserable, even though it may only be on a subconscious level and may not recognise what's actually wrong, they just feel something's wrong. But many of us are highly tuned to what's going on and it just looks like utter madness. Environmentalism , PC correctness, Immigration, dumbed down mass media, a corrupt BBC, a nation of white people constantly being told their racists etc etc. All these things take their toll on ones soul. For example, It makes people incredibly indecisive. Where once a particular task at my work was done by one person, its now a discussion in a meeting. Just the other day five of us had to have a meeting about a change of toilet roll in the office. I kid you not. And there are lots more like that. People in this country and in the west in general have lost the ability to think logically.

    Life is a gift, its not meant to be strife and control 24/7. We are supposed to have some fun as well. A life without fun is half a life. (I don't mean binge drinking.)

    John, when your party gets in please don't just be career politico. We are all really sick and tired of that. You seem a pretty decent sort and now that you have caught my interest I will be following your progress. This country needs some strong courageous voices, is that you?

    Good Luck. 🙂

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      I think dementors are at large in the UK (draining people). You can blame J.K Rowling for summoning them into life.

  72. Tim Bennett
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for highlighting a phenomenon I have noticed myself recently – how the proponents of man-made global warming are subtly trying to redefine the terms of debate as it becomes increasingly clear that their previous predictions are not being matched by reality. How odd that the "weather" does not equate to "Climate" argument is never trotted out in conjunction with such events as the 2003 heatwave which caused deaths across Europe.

    Incidentally, I have for a while suspected that Milliband Minor the Climate Change minister is not quite the intellectual / scientific powerhouse that he wishes to appear. His response to your line of questioning suggests a degree of intellectual insecurity rather than a man confident of his arguments and with the facts to support them at his fingertips. I first formed this opinion when I saw Mr Milliband interviewed by Andrew Neil immediately after Gordon Brown's speech to the 2007 Labour conference (the "British jobs for British workers" speech). I cannot recall seeing a senior politician so much resemble a rabbit caught in the headlights as Mr Milliband floundered about, completely unable to present any coherent responses to the pointed questions posed by Mr Neil.

  73. Robinson
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    John, you were quite right to ask the question. Climate is nothing more than the integration of weather over time. We know that short-medium term models are useless. The argument with respect to long term models is that they're `validated' against past temperature. What this means in practice is that they're "calibrated". You simply fiddle with the parameters until the model output matches the historical record and then run it forwards to generate your "prediction".

    You don't need two brains to see how this is something much less than `validation'; it is confirmation of prejudice. The results are taken as fact regardless of the obvious lack of knowledge scientists have of Earth's most basic climate processes (after all, if they did understand them, something as simple as predicting a cold winter a few months in advance would be simple).

    The models are of course a fantasy and we pay the Met Office £250m a year to produce them. It would be far cheaper to study chicken entrails, or to employ Russell Grant.

  74. Yorkshireman
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Professor Richard Lindzen, with over 200 perr reviewed papers, is arguably the worlds leading Climate Scientist ….

    "Carbon Dioxide irrelevant in climate debate"
    says Climate Scientist Professor Richard Lindzen
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7715-Portland-

    "In a study sure to ruffle the feathers of the Global Warming cabal, Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT has published a paper which proves that IPCC models are overstating by 6 times, the relevance of CO2 in Earth’s Atmosphere. Dr. Lindzen has found that heat is radiated out in to space at a far higher rate than any modeling system to date can account for."

  75. Yorkshireman
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    The attached article makes for enlightening reading…..

    "The Climate Science Isn't Settled

    Confident predictions of catastrophe are unwarranted"

    By Professor Richard Lindzen, Professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    (Nov 30 2009)
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703

    "Is there a reason to be alarmed by the prospect of global warming? Consider that the measurement used, the globally averaged temperature anomaly (GATA), is always changing. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes down, and occasionally—such as for the last dozen years or so—it does little that can be discerned.

    Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre………"

    PS: I post this article whilst looking out at thick snow and ice and by chance just as a Government TV advert is on screen advising me to drive 5 miles a week less to reduce global warming.

    Oh the irony…..

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Minnosotans for Global Warming http://www.minnesotansforglobalwarming.com/m4gw/

      offer to drive an SUV so many kms per donation to 'offset the offsets'.

      This is a truly fun site for sceptics when needing a little light relief.

  76. David Price
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I've just started reading David MacKay's "Sustainable Energy – without the hot air", which is a free download. It compares alternatives for sustainable energy in a very accessible way, without the politics or religion. From a quick skim lots of what he says is very interesting and it is mostly very rational.

    Now, I'm not aware of any statements by a government chief science officer on the topic of climate change. This made me wonder if it was a consequence of Mr Johnsons action over his CSO so I went looking at the government org charts. Blow me but David MacKay was recruited as chief science advisor to DECC in September 2009 which is Ed Milliband's shop.

    Based on what Mr Milliband has been doing and saying over the last couple of months and some recent announcements about bolting thousands of propellors to the UK, I would never have believed it. Perhaps Professor MacKay just hasn't had his feet under the table long enough.

    In his book, Prof MacKay explictly states that he has excluded economic aspects, so economic analysis of some of his proposals would be quite interesting.

  77. Socrates
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    In a whimsical moment I wondered what the result would have been of suggesting to the Aztec High Priest that human sacrifice may not be needed to ensure that the Sun would keep on rising.
    The outcome for any such rash "Human Sacrifice Denier" would surely have been very swift and pointed!

    Imagine my surprise when I saw this reaction, reported on the Watts Up With That website, to the Climategate leaks from UEA.

    "Norfolk Constabulary continues its investigations into criminal offences in relation to a data breach at the University of East Anglia. During the enquiry officers have been working in liaison with the Office of the Information Commissioner and with officers from the National Domestic Extremism Team. The UEA continues to co-operate with the enquiry however major investigations of this nature are of necessity very detailed and as a consequence can take time to reach a conclusion. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

    For a government who pretend to be in favour of freedom of information, the use of the National Domestic Extremism Team looks like a trifle totalitarian. You would think that they couldn't quite find a reason to use the Anti-Terrorism Act.

    In Labour's Britain whistleblowing of the wrong sort of information is clearly seen as criminal.

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      and this is the country that led the fight against facism (sad)

  78. geoffW
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    The only party that officially says the truth about global warming is the BNP(much as I dislike them). We are going into a Maunder Minimum and a mini ice age but Labour are more interested in green taxes and wasting money on wind turbines which don't work when it's cold(usually when there is no wind).

  79. Posted January 8, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Good post Mr. Redwood. As an American long-range forecaster, it has been obvious for quite some time that the institutions like the UK Met, the CRU, the NWS/NOAA and other climate research institutions have been lead by a cabal of ideological AGW proponents who cannot forecast their own local weather, much less seasonal weather just three months in advance.

    Allowing this clique of about 42 scientists to ramrod this notion humanity, through Co2 emissions, is the cause of planetary climate change – has been a travesty. It has damaged climate science for some time to come.

    Now that ClimateGate is revealing the truth behind the lies and manipulation of climate data, and destruction of weather station data that – I am sure that those who would try to play word games between what constitutes "weather" and "climate" would have better things to do since the truth is finally coming out.

    I continue to maintain that the Sun is the cause of global climate change – not Man.

    It is going to take re-educating the public to the realities of the Earth's climate and that means going back to the basics and away from ideology that has dominated over the last 30 years.

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      these people have a lot of money at risk – it's not just about losing face.

      Obama (and some mates) set up the Chicago Climate Exchange (a privately owned carbon trade vehicle) before he became president.

      (Ed- presumably he has no personal gain from this)

      Pachauri's (business interests in?) carbon is better documented.

  80. Miss_Magoo
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Well, I am delighted to see that you share the advantage of high intellect with the likes of Peter Lilley and Lord Lawson.
    Sadly, your erstwhile leader appears not to enjoy such high intellect, as he failed miserably to respond to the avalanche of anti AGW feeling posted on the Blue Blog late last year.
    It is my opinion that the Conservatives probably do have a reasonable number of sceptics in their midst and I urge you, along with those people. to exert some pressure upon those in the party who have yet to exercise their own power of thought on this subject and see the truth for themselves.
    You must see that there is a huge groundswell of public opinion desperate to see this whole sorry debacle exposed for the sham it really is and for proper science to be reinstated.
    What can you and like minded colleagues do to respond to public opinion and make a difference to the way politicians treat AGW?
    After all, most of us just want to see some openness and honesty brought back into the equation.
    I have yet to see any acknowledgement from any party that this is a potential vote winner – in my humble opinion it is fast becoming just that.

  81. Lynne Lancaster
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Reply (Mr. Redwood): Oh but I did raise this before his Bill – and did not vote for it.

    I am heartened to hear it, sir. It seems that common sense may not be entirely extinct within the ranks of the Conservative party. It is a pity the bulk of the party swallowed the "climate science" AGW consensus hook, line and sinker and voted for the Miliband Bill. I wonder if some of them are feeling a mite silly right now? I hope so. The entire Northern Hemisphere has been plunged into deepest winter. This is not a localised snow flurry that can be passed off as mere weather; this is a global phenomenon. This is climate change but not as the Greenies portray it. Wind power is a cruel and scandalously expensive joke. Thank God for coal, gas and nuclear power because without them we'd freeze to death.

    Sadly, the Conservative track record whilst in Opposition isn't one that imbues disenfranchisees with confidence in the Tory leadership. You have a long way to go to woo back former Tory voters and so little time in which to do it. I wish you luck. With Cameron leading the charge you are going to need it. 🙁

  82. Posted January 9, 2010 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Nice One John!

    The incredible thing is the Global warmers put their ideology / religion BEFORE the need to reduce suffering and save lives lost because of their insane 'mild winter' forecasts.

    There are plenty of follow-up questions which come to mind.
    Have a look at our remarks directed at Minister Hilary Benn and Gavin Esler of BBC – via http://www.weatheraction.com (news section) or Climate Realists – eg : http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=33

    Piers Corbyn, WeatherAction long range weather and climate forecasters

  83. Richard
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    You ask the question “Why is the Northern hemisphere winter so cold,…"

    But you have failed to take into account that once the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia have finished 'analysing' the figures, it will actually turn out to have been one of the hottest winters for the last 10 years.

  84. Iain Hunter
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I am not an expert in any field related to climate. Since I am a professional pilot I have a little knowledge, that's all. However, I do have an enquiring mind and the ability to read and analyse reports and data and I have been doing so off and on for a year or so. Informing ourselves directly is a duty which each and every one of us has to ourselves, our children and our grandchildren in view of the likely consequences of submitting supinely to the AGW movement. Having done some reading, it is abundantly clear to me that the science is VERY far from settled. It is clear too that some in the AGW camp have become overly zealous in the promotion of their cause, coining the expressions "climate-change denier" and "death-train" (for coal train) and freely indulging in ad hominem attacks on people who dare to gainsay their dogma. The constant references to "climate change" on the BBC which never entertains a counter-argument leads one to the conclusion that a massive "re-education" by propaganda is underway.

    The climate is changing? Yes. It always has and it always will. The planet is getting warmer? It has been since the end of the last ice age. But, it has become slightly cooler again over the last ten years. It was much warmer 800 years ago and much cooler 300 years ago. Mankind is responsible for the recent warming? I have a great deal of difficulty with that concept given the minute proportion of the atmosphere which is human-generated CO2. Given also that palaeoclimatologists have told us that in the past the atmosphere contained up to 7000ppm of CO2, not the 380ppm we have today, without there being temperatures outside the normal range which we experience in our epoch. Besides, CO2 is not a poison, not a pollutant. It is, in fact, a gas which is essential to all life on Earth.

    However, none of that means that we shouldn't start to wean ourselves off coal, oil and natural gas. We all want a green and pleasant land and fossil fuels are finite. Just let it not be in the cause of "combatting climate change" which is an ENORMOUS conceit on the part of those humans who imagine we can have any effect at all. The more I have read the more I am forced to the conclusion that this AGW hysteria has become the biggest political lie, the biggest collective flight from sanity, in the entire history of the human race. I therefore care nothing for my "carbon footprint" and I will reorganise my finances so that I can afford to fly and drive whatever I want, wherever I want and whenever I want while I still can. And keep our house warm in the winter.

    In the meantime, no politician who mindlessly spouts the AGW rhetoric shall have my vote, even if he or she is conservative.

    Keep asking the "silly" questions please, Mr Redwood.

    • Posted January 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Well said, sir. You may like this?

      CARBON TAX IS THEFT – PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

  85. Glyn
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The root of the problem seems to be the insistence of AGW believers that 'the science is settled.' An easy way for those not committed to either side in the controversy is to substitute the word 'Economics' for 'Climatology,' and 'Economist' for 'Climate Scientist' and draw the obvious conclusions.

  86. A GW sceptic
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    A good question indeed.

    Climate must equal the sum of weather over a few years. Those who say that they are unconnected could well do to read-up on the basic Physics of Gases: where the dynamics of individual gas molecules average out to produce the macroscopic Gas Laws. In the climate case it is weather first producing the climate – not the other way round.

    BTW: Have any results of the investigation into the CRU massaging the figures been published yet?

    • A GW sceptic
      Posted January 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      A post script to my earlier comment.

      An analogy in economics for the relationship between weather and climate is that of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. That is: The Macroeconomic system is a result of all the Microeconomic transactions that comprise the system. Macroeconomics is not something unconnected from Microeconomics.

  87. Francisco
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I remember that Business Daily reported recently that climate scientists expect a temporary cooling:

    http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/of-moles-and-whacking-mojib-latif-predicted-two-decades-of-cooling/
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,662092,00.html

    Furthermore, there is a possibility, in the longer term, that Global Warming would lead to colder winters:
    http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/rapid/sis/sistop.php
    http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/357.htm

    HTH

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      There is still no evidence for CO2 as culprit whether the globe is warming or not.

      My understanding is that the theory demonizing carbon dioxide relies upon the finding of a ‘hot spot’ above the tropics.
      Satellites searching the planet for the last few years have been unable to find the ‘hot spot’. Without that evidence there is no proof that CO2 is responsible for the warming. See Jo Nova for details http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/

      • Posted January 10, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        Alternatively there would be strong circumstantial evidence if it could be shown that the 20th century warming was unprecedented. Hence the prominence of Micheal Mann's et al. climate reconstructions (hockey sticks) and the vehmenance with which the work of Steve McIntyre and Ross McIntrick has been denounced.

        For a summary of that debate see especially McIntyre, S. 2008b at http://climateaudit.org/multiproxy-pdfs/

        • juliegrace
          Posted January 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Mann was desperate to get rid of the Mediaeval Warm Period showing that recent warming is not unprecedented.

      • Polar Bear
        Posted January 13, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Julie Grace: "There is still no evidence for CO2 as culprit whether the globe is warming or not."

        But there may be a correlation, which might be accounted for by warmer weather / climate leading to more biological activity, leading to more CO2.

        There is a suggestion that the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere actually lags temperature. Which would, in my opinion, support the idea that CO2 levels are driven by temperature rather than temperature driven by CO2.

  88. Posted January 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised that you expect to be able to reason with the global cooling deniers. Their belief in 'climate warming' is purely faith based, not being based in reality, hence their need to fabricate the bogus 'consensus'. You cannot reason with those that place faith above reason. Faith is only possible in the absence of evidence.
    Surely 'scientific consensus'is an oxymoron anyway.
    The cooling deniers have yet to complete the process of grieving for the loss of their cause. The stages of grief are 1) denial, the current phase, which is followed by 2) anger, which will come next, before the final stage, 3) acceptance which will probably take 2 – 3 years. Meanwhile ther is no point engaging them in any rational discussion as they are simply incapoable of it.

  89. Igor
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you could ask the Home Office Ministers why allegedly NETCU is involved in the investigation of U. of East Anglia data leak where the common sense would dictate that the e-Crime Unit would be much more appropriate? Or is debating the whole climate affair now considered domestic extremism by the state?

    • julie grace
      Posted January 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Aren't they (norfolk police) just investigating the release (hack or liberation) of the data?
      I thought it was USA congressmen who are looking at the serious questions.

      • Igor
        Posted January 10, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        This goes directly to the heart of my question – if it is just the release of data that is being investigated, whether the release was lawful or unlawful, why would a domestic extremism unit (which, as far as I can work out, is controlled by ACPO, who don't report to anyone) be involved in the investigation?

        • julie grace
          Posted January 11, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          Probably they are hoping to find a desperate band of armed sceptics who can (under anti terrorism laws) be locked up indefinitely?
          Actually as an Aussie I have no idea what laws you have or what the ACPO is but I can't see anything good in having something labelled a 'domestic extremism unit' involved.
          Is the mainstream media interested in the involvement of this unit?

        • Polar Bear
          Posted January 13, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Igor: ".. why would a domestic extremism unit be involved in the investigation?"

          The findings can be hushed up on the pretext of 'National Security'?

  90. Chris
    Posted January 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Fascinating article in Mail on Sunday re Arctic ice expansion, the work of Prof. Latif (on IPCC), and Tsonis, and MDOs – mini Ice Age ahead, part of normal cycle. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-12

  91. Andrew Duffin
    Posted January 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    The difference between climate and weather is very simple (if you are a warmist:

    If it's warmer – it's climate.

    If it's colder – it's weather.

    Any more questions?

  92. Graham De Roy
    Posted January 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    I doubt whether 1000 years is a trend in the history of time.

    • Posted January 10, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      It depends on your perspective. In climate there are always fluctuations over short periods (El Nino) , millenial (The Bronze age, Roman, Medieval and current warming) or longer (ice ages lasting 100,000 years interspersed by 10,000 year warmer periods).

  93. julie grace
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    One thing I find odd reading northern hemisphere posts is the (maybe ethnocentric) fixation on the north pole.

    The south pole is EXPANDING.
    The south pole contains 90% OF THE WORLD'S ICE and 80% of the world's fresh water.

    Some ice has been lost on the west side but more has grown on the east.

    In other words, THE BIG ICY BIT IS IN GREAT SHAPE!!!

    I'm not surprised warmists concentrate on the north pole but I would expect sceptics to be more aware of what's happening to the south where the vast majority of ice is located.

    • Polar Bear
      Posted January 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Julie Grace: "One thing I find odd reading northern hemisphere posts is the (maybe ethnocentric) fixation on the north pole."

      Whats more, the whole of the floating North Polar ice cap could melt tomorrow and the level of the sea would not change one millimeter.

      Basic physics.

  94. Jonathan
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    That the climate is changing I have no doubt, that human CO2 emissions are the cause is far from settled.

  95. Chris
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    For details of the misuse of information by the global warming supporters regarding the apparent dying out of glaciers in the Himalayas, see the article in the New Scientist Jan. 8 “Debate heats up over IPCC melting glaciers claim”. Details can be found on Global Warming Policy Foundation website (link at end of this posting).

    Indian glaciologist, Syed Hasnain (chair of the International Commission on Snow and Ice’s working group on Himalayan glaciology) apparently made a comment in late 1990s that glaciers in central and eastern Himalayas could disappear by 2035, but he claims this was just speculative and should not have been used by the IPCC in their Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007, nor should it have been extrapolated to all glaciers in the Himalayas.

    http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/385-debate-heats-up-over-ipcc-melting-glaciers-claim.html

  96. adam
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    one of the reasons is we are at the bottom of a solar cycle
    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/Zurich_C

  97. PeterMartin
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    The premise of the question needs to be supported. Yes, it is colder than usual in some parts of the USA and the UK. However the USA covers 2% of the world's area and therefore about 4% of the are of the Northern Hemisphere. The UK is so small that it is hardly worth calculating the % of area occupied.

    The figures aren't in yet, but I'd say it was quite likely that it will turn out to be not particularly cold, over the hemisphere, this NH winter

  98. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    The Warmists' Creed.
    appointed to be read at conferences

    I believe in Global Warming,
    which will destroy heaven and earth unless we change our ways.
    I believe in Al Gore,
    Who conceived the Internet
    and the hockey-stick graph, born of Professor Mann.
    It suffered under McIntyre and McKitrick,
    was crucified, disproven, and was buried.
    It was cast on the reject pile.
    On the third day It rose again.
    It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,
    and is displayed in a prominent position in all IPCC literature.
    It will apply again as soon as global temperatures start rising.
    I believe in the CO2 tipping point,
    the IPCC Assessment Reports,
    a CO2 sensitivity figure of over 4 C/W,
    the accuracy of GCMS,
    an anthropic cause for all climate variation after 1970,
    and grants everlasting.

    AMEN.

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  101. Anoldun
    Posted March 6, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Once upon a time the whole world was covered in three mile thick ice. When it started melting, was this the beginning of Global Warming?

  102. Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood: I'd be interested to know which branches of economics you think are tested by reality. (The ones I can think of are probably not the ones you'd agree with.) Certain branches, such as the tradition of Mises and Hayek, specifically reject the notion that the fundamental truth that they claim to express can be disproved by any empirical facts.

    But I hope you're not falling into the widespread blog error that climate models are somehow comparable to financial models based on analysis of time series. Climate models are based on the physical properties of matter and radiation, and do not involve such analysis.

    I note that some of your commenters repeat nonsense. The 'hockey stick' has not been discredited, and has been supported by many other studies using temperature proxies unrelated to those use by Mann et al.

    Newton was not superseded by Einstein – calculations of planetary motions and eclipses based on Newton's theory continued to be just as accurate after Einstein. What Einstein did was extend physical theory into ranges where Newton's laws were no longer accurate. Newton's laws are a special case of Einstein's, so just as true as they were before.

    Science extends knowledge, it does not in general overthrow previous scientific knowledge (as opposed to prescientific knowledge), except on the very leading edge. It is nonsense to think of science as a body of belief that is liable to be overthrown at any time. It is an interlocking body of theory that has been drastically tested by observation.

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