Time to revise climate change models?

It was good to hear the scientific establishment today concede what some of us have been saying for a long time – that changes on the sun can have an impact on our climate. I look forward to sun variations being included in models forecasting changes to earth temperatures.

In the meantime two commonsense policies suggest themselves. It is still a good idea to press ahead with fuel conservation and fuel efficiency measures. We need to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels, given the rising demand for these supplies from fast growing Asia and given the political instability in some of the producing regions.

It is also important, given the government’s aim to rebalance the Uk economy with a bigger manufacturing sector, that we do not impose extra burdens on the use of fuel here in the UK compared to our competitors. Exporting fuel use to rising industrial powers does not cut global emissions, but does cost us jobs.

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66 Comments

  1. Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Halleluiah

    Nice to have a mainstream politician talk sense on this

    I would extend your thesis from the pollution from burning hydrocarbon fuels to the pollution from other industrial processes

    For instance producing something like optical fibres produces a complex set of pollutants, I think we should aim to be in the upper quartile of least polluting optical fibre producers rather than the least polluting optical fibre polluter in the world, and look at each industrial process in a similar way

    If we did this it would actually start to become cost effective to produce optical fibre here again

    And our efforts to reduce pollution need to be done multilaterally with a close eye on what India and China are up to, it is completely pointless imposing pollution controls on our own producers when India and China will happily take over the same processes with far cheaper and less effective anti pollution measures

    There is a risk of a race to the bottom, but hey that's what's going on at the moment, just that our workforce is loosing out to Indian and Chinese workforce

    • Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Iain Gill: "Nice to have a mainstream politician talk sense on this"

      Yes isn't it a surprise?

      I wonder what Mr Redwood thinks of the government sponsored 10:10 snuff movie? Yes, the government has sponsored a movie where children are exploded in a bloody mess because they are unenthusiastic about measures to counter fictional anthropomorphic climate change.

      • Posted October 11, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        MPs are doing their collective reputation no favours by their silence on this. It has lifted the veil on a very unsavory aspect of the climate change industry. When spending is supposedly under scrutiny, one would have thought it worth comment. Also "ActionAid, a charity which co-ordinates a schools programme with 10:10". When did education get replaced by (this campaigning-ed) ?

  2. Posted October 7, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Correct, but not just the models. We need to remove the current (errant -ed) modellers also.

  3. Posted October 7, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I think you have misunderstood this latest discovery. The news is not that the sun affect varies – that has been known for a long time and has been factored in to long-term climate models – but that the way in which it varies is more subtle than previously thought. We gather more data, we refine the models. 'Twas ever thus.

    In no way does this discovery lend credibility to those climate change "sceptics" who made and continue to make statements based purely on opinion and cherry-picked evidence.

    The "scientific establishment" that your party seems to view with some suspicion takes great pains to consider all the available evidence. To make any pronouncement on climate, or any other area of government policy, without heed to their findings is no way to run a country.

    The current attitudes towards science are making me rethink my loyalty to the Conservative Party.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Predicting the balls on a lottery machine given all the starting positions of the balls is a far easier problem than predicting the weather in 100 years time. No proper scientist would pretending they can predict the future to this extent. What technical developments do they foresee in the next 100 years. Ask yourself what technical developments did scientist foresee in 1910! Anyway many of the solutions they are pursuing do not work even if you accept the "so called science" Ask them at what point they forecast nuclear fusion would become common. Why is hotter worse anyway?

      It is all lottery balls – please take it from me a humble physicist/electronics engineer.

  4. Posted October 7, 2010 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Commonsense policies are indeed to be welcomed – unlike stupid policies like the now embedded laws that burden every consumer with the costs of subsidising wind farms, not to mention the extra billions required to connect the national grid to those located off shore.

    The more one examines this folly the more one concludes that the political class that passed this legislation has taken leave of its senses.

    Meantime, I too support the idea of the precautionary principle, but not the absurdity proposed in the Stern report. Like you I have acquired a 4WD Freelander in preparation for the cold winters to come.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Nuclear had to be very heavily subsidised to compete with electricity generated from coal .

      Perhaps they realised it couldn't and that it was just easier to eliminate the competition .

      We know the energy suppliers/marketers have a monopoly and that even when the price per barrel/ton goes down , it is not passed on to consumers . No reason to think it's not the same for nuclear .

      When pointing out that wind farms are subsidised it is only fair to point out that nuclear was too .

      • Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        You are correct that nuclear power is subsidised. It has three benefits vs wind power:
        1 it is more reliable source of energy than wind power;
        2 it requires less subsidy;
        3 it does not require the back up capacity needed by wind farms.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      What is the point of the precautionary principle when the problem in 100 years might be things getting too cold not to hot?

      One policy I did like was Labours a wind mill at every school. Clearly it is mad in that most schools have very little wind. But then the children could see with a meter, perhaps in a science or economics lesson, how little electricity they actually generate and could watch them slowly rust and decay as the school find them not worth maintaining. It could educate them in just how mad and wasteful governments can actually be.

  5. Posted October 7, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    As we blogged yesterday from Conference there was much muttering there about the way GREENMAIL (a good word as we ARE seemingly being held to ransom) has captured governments' chequebooks. Analysis of the results to date here in the UK are needed before Britain goes further at a time when we need to watch the pennies let alone the multi-billions of pounds!
    So let’s accelerate the R&D but put a brake on the construction of new wind farms until we know how the effectiveness of the ones we have .

    Also some eminent science-savvy contributors agreed that fuel will be most quickly and effectively conserved because it saves the user money rather than any other combination of legislative stick and carrot.

  6. Posted October 7, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The only thing I ever heard Arthur Scargill say that I agreed with was the nonsensity of sitting on an abundance of easily accessed coal while importing energy. I would be interested to hear JR's view on the economic and environmental logic of resuming large scale coal extraction in the UK.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Open cast if possible as we are within a decade of completely running out of landfill .

      Should be generating electricity from incinerating rubbish .

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      Easily accessed coal! you must be joking. During the Miners strike in the 1980's I was part of an organisation which imported coal from Australia to UK. We could mine it, transport it and deliver it to a powerstation in Birmingham 7 pounds cheaper per ton than British mines could supply from less than 50 miles away. Aussie and South African (Permian) coal is quarried from mines with seams up to 15 metres thick, has a higher calorific output per ton and contains no sulphour as do the Northern Hemisphere coals. (Sulphour requires expensive electostatic precipitators to extract this pollutant)

      Scargill as usual was talking nonsense.

  7. Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Within a decade we are going to have oil being produced in enormous quantities by algae. Craig Ventner may become the world's first trillionaire by developing this, or others may beat him to it. For that reason I am perfectly happy to have the free market, rather than politicians, allocating oil.

    As regards "catastrophic global warming" I challenge Gammidgy or indeed anybody else to produce a single shred of actual evidence that it is happening. Niobody else gas been able to (theories, even theories put through a computer not being evidence).

    Far & away the best thing Mr Cameron could do on this subject would be to publicly apologise for his endorsement of 10:10, the eco …. group who produced the "amusing" child snuff video & confrim that the considerable sums of money they have evidently obtained from assorted quangos, government departments & fakecharities will no longer be available to produce such….. videos.

  8. Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh good grief, possibly the daftest paragraph I've read on your blog.

    The sun and it's output is a primary part of all global climate models, it has to be. Any claim that is isn't or hasn't been is merely a display of the deepest ignorance of climate science.

    The reports to which you are referring are about a paper that suggests that short term variations in the sun's output has less effect than expected on short term global climate. I.e. how much of the change in global climate for the last and next couple of decades can be attributed to that variation.

    Longer term global climate modelling, over centuries, is unaffected by such short term variations because they are evened out to a mean value.

    Of course, as few governments have the wit, will, or ability to make any difference to carbon dioxide emissions, I expect my children will see whether it is our arm chair experts here, or the highly educated, highly trained, poorly paid, world class academics who study climate who are right.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      World class academics funded by a government with a vested interest in continuing the green delusion, the same world class experts who either delete data (Jones) or wholly misrepresent it (Mann) but obviously none of the 31,000 who have signed the Oregon petition right? And didn't these same world class boys tell us the Himalays were going to disappear by 2035 and isn't Rajendra Pachauri an expert, world class or otherwise in railway engineering?

      Still thinking for myself, from the armchair

      • Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        No, you're not thinking at all.

        You're reading newspapers (or perhaps the Daily Mail) and regurgitating the half truths and outright lies they contain.

        Thinking would involve understanding the science itself, which neither you, nor Mr Redwood (an otherwise excellent MP) have bothered to do.

        • Posted October 9, 2010 at 5:58 am | Permalink

          Given that you don't know my sources you are engaging in the ad hominem from the safety of the keyboard in a way you would not do so, face to face. You do not contend with any of the facts I present.

          To think is to obtain various information sources and to rationally analyse them to form a logical conclusion, thinking always "Qui bono?" This I try to do. You on the other hand insult.

          I submit my thought process is preferable.

        • Posted October 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          As my posts seem to disappear into the ether or spend days in moderation allow me just to say your post is an ad hominem attack which does not address the issues I raised and incorrectly assumes my sources to be the mass media.

        • Posted October 10, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Third and last try to reply to this! Is the Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Hal Lewis thinking then? Or is he suckered by the Daily Mail?
          http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/hal-lewis-m

      • Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        What does the government gain from the 'green delusion'? They can justify tax on petrol with other reasons ( road use, pollution, reliance on foreign oil ).
        They have more vested interest in burying the 'green delusion' and getting us to consume more stuff quicker.

        If it were a conspiracy of governments don't you think they'd actually look like they were doing something instead of flapping?

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      No real expert certainly not a well trained one with any understanding of maths and physics would pretend he can predict the future (temperature, technology, dice or anything else) for 100 years to any sensible degree. Far too many variables not to mention chaos theory and the odd butterfly wing.

      • Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        I have been well trained in both Maths and Physics.

        We can predict the position of the moon with great accuracy for millenia to give you a simple single counter example to your argument.

        Long term average global surface temperature is dependent on only three variables: Energy In, Energy Out, Energy Hidden.

        Temperature is proportional to Energy In – Energy Out – Energy Hidden.

        Energy In is solar irradiation.
        Energy Out is reflected and re-radiated solar irradiation.
        Energy Hidden is primarily that cycled into the depths of the oceans.

        Adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere reduces Energy Out by approximately three times the rate it reduces Energy In, and has almost no effect on Energy Hidden.

        You do the maths.

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

          Predicting the position of the moon is not comparable in anyway but as it happens you can't predict it anyway as its position could be affected by a major impact, explosion, or something else of which you, as yet, know nothing.

          The temperature of the earth is affected by the suns activity, the composition of the atmosphere and many other things. The atmosphere composition is in turn affected by agriculture, human activity, volcanic activity, meteor impacts, earth reflectivity and very many other things.

          Why if you cannot predict the weather on Saturday do you think you can do it in 100 years time?

          The position of the national lottery balls too is only affected by simple mechanics but can you predict the outcome given the starting positions & velocities of the balls say 15 seconds later let alone 100 years.

          You do the maths but do not expect to get it right.

    • Posted October 8, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Is that the same highly educated, highly trained, poorly paid, world class academics who study climate in New Zealand as per scientific inflation of warming trends in the "Kiwigate" scandal?

  9. Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Off topic sorry, but I heard Mr Lilico from Policy Exchange asking for more "quantitative easing" this morning. I would be interested to read your thoughts on such JR.

    Meanwhile, Redwoodians should have a read of Gary North on the subject. Keep in mind that our Banks have circa £145 billion of QE cash, stashed at the BoE. Imagine what will happen if those Banks, pull that cash out of the BoE and put it into circulation; multiplied several times over by the fractional reserve banking system. As Gary says, who will be lighting the fuse and who will be trying to pull the fuse out of the powder keg? http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article23277.html

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      I think Enoch would have put it more succinctly!

  10. Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Mr.Redwood,
    It is people like you, who think through the issues and form balanced and sensible stances on important issues that give me hope for the future of conservatism.

    I don't know what the real effects of a changing climate (how can we be sure the modelling of the 'feedbacks' are accurate, when dealing with an vastly complex system like climate), and is it wise to effectively bankrupt ourselves in trying to reduce CO2 emissions when we cannot control or influence the system by our own actions (i.e. what about other countries and natural sources of CO2 like volcanic activity, solar activity etc).

    We should put a large focus on mitigation of the effects (sea defences, water de-salination tehnology etc), in tandum with energy efficiency… because this is helpful for extreme weather in the short term as well as over a long period.

    Keep up the good work, you are a star.

  11. Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    All environmental policies are almost a complete waste of time while the world population in hurtling upwards. Consumption and waste will only increase however much we try to save a bit here and a bit there. We can't even manage our own population in the UK.

  12. Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    The first security of supply we need is to have sufficient generating capacity to meet demand. Pretending that windmills will provide that is a falsehood – aside from the consequences for uncompetitive energy costs of following that route. We can't build nuclear capacity soon enough. Forcing the closure of stations before the end of their economic lives under the LCPD is not being economically astute. We will need derogations.

    We are going to need plenty more CCGT capacity. We need to encourage tradable LNG, and discourage dedicated gas pipelines that supply competitors to ensure diversity of suppliers.

    I find it worrying that the Parliamentary Select Committee for the DECC is composed almost exclusively of a combination of those with no expertise and those who hold extreme green views. Add in the beliefs of the Minister, and there is a high risk that we will end up with a very inappropriate energy policy taht will cost the country dear.

  13. Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Carbon capture and secretion in exhausted oil wells is not feasible .

    It requires at least a quarter of the energy generated so you have to burn a third more fuel to generate the same amount of electricity .

    Why is public money being directed towards this ? Especially when it is a unilateral initiative in the face of one new coal generating station per week opening in China .

    Trees , plants and algae are the way to mop up co2 .

    Carbon capture by mechanised means must have been dreamt up by people who believe in perpetual motion machines .

    The money should be directed towards renewables with promise and energy conservation instead .

  14. Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Global Warming/Climate Change is part of a conspiracy for the United Nations to run the world. It originates in the Club of Rome:

    In 1993, the Club published The First Global Revolution.[4] According to this book, divided nations require common enemies to unite them, "either a real one or else one invented for the purpose."[5] Because of the sudden absence of traditional enemies, "new enemies must be identified."[5] "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill….All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself."[6]

    There are many other types of threat or risk. Always Have been.
    For example, the potential for a Carrington event is hardly discussed.

  15. Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    As a hook to place a marker that the debate is not over; the science is not settled – fine; good move. Beyond that ? The study covers 3 years of an approx. 11 year solar cycyle. Anyone, from either side of the debate, reading anything much into it is making a mistake.

    The systemic problems in alleged proof of C(atasphoric)AGW are now well known. Political adjustment to what has emerged over the last couple of years is what is absent.

  16. Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Surely time to revise the mental abilities of Team Cameron and Clegg.

    No global warming for 15 years contrary to the predictions based on the theory and the "consensus" cannot explain it but reluctantly now have to admit it, the same consensus which denied that solar activity could affect the climate.

    30 years of temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration records which do not correlate – evidence of no causal link.

    Statements about glaciers, rain forests, polar bears, ice caps, etc all bogus.

    Cuts? Start with the climate research unit which is no better than astrology.

    Can we afford to "take the risk" – sure we can because the risk of any future climate change from whatever cause, calamity such as asteroid strike or huge volcanic eruption aside, being sudden or Mankind incapable to cope is approaching zero.

    The cost of avoiding this negligible risk – that is returning CO2 concentrations to pre-industrial times – is driving Mankind to near extinction, the supposed outcome if we do not "act now".

    If the stake is the same as or worse than the winnings, there is no point in taking the wager.

    What is it about that most politicians cannot see?

  17. Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    oldtimer "I too support the idea of the precautionary principle".

    I don't. St least not uncritically. It assumes a free lunch. That this that and the other can be banned on the weakest of evidence, " just in case", and that there are no damaging consequences to the action. It should be challenged, along with the "linear no threshold" assumption that is almost universally invoked when banning / setting regulatory limits. Despite the fact that damage mechanisms at the deterministic levels ( the only level at which laboratory experiments can be done to get data ) are almost invariably non-linear.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Well said. Imagine this plea to Mrs F. "Darling, I fear I maybe about to become depressed, granted there is no evidence, but just in case grant me carte blanche to have three mistresses"

      Hmm……

  18. Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Well said, Oldtimer, you are quite correct. It is past time for the Westminster bubble to realise that the climate changes of it's own accord, puny man has no chance against nature. If however we are a successful nation we will be able ti weather any changes as we have in the past. Unfortunately, looking at the standard of discourse so far this appears unlikely. The elite know nothing of science, engineering or electrical transmission so we have a problem. Throwing vast sums of money (our money) at wind farms is stupid and than some.

  19. Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    These so-called revelations are tentative only, and based on just 3 years' data. Taken to their logical conclusion they allow the interpretation that colder winters (and be in no doubt, they're coming) are attributable to global warming (of which there has been none since 1998).

    No wonder an alarmist like Gammidgy welcomes them.

  20. Posted October 7, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Whatever we find out about climate change for the world, we still need to clean up our own environment for its own sake: pure air and tranquillity are more likely to produce an advanced nation of winners than leaving us as the dirty man of Europe.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      No one is against cleaning things up just against doing things that do not work or make economic sense, or actually make things worse – CO2 is not a pollutant it is a harmless gas and plant food.

      • Posted October 9, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        Under New Labour the "emissions department" in the DOT didn't concern itself with poisonous exhaust fumes or air quality at all, only with CO2.

  21. Posted October 7, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Well said John. Can I also remind you that Labour were going to achieve growth through government investment in wind farms and high speed rail. I don't know any example of a market economy whose government provides prosperity through investment in leviathan projects like these. Additionally, they require subsidy in perpetuity, leading to inefficiency, a misallocation of resources, and bankruptcy. Can you pass this on to Hammond and Huhne?

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Governments will always invest in the wrong things, in the wrong places, at the wrong time which will then almost always become expensive white elephants.

      What do they care if it works they get paid anyway and perhaps get good jobs and pensions for their mates on the quangos that supervise the projects too.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Japan? Still a world leader, up there with two much bigger nations, despite her debt, and certainly not inefficient or misallocated.

  22. Posted October 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Clameur de Haro "No wonder an alarmist like Gammidgy welcomes them"

    I suspect that a lot of the warmist enthusiasm is that it acts potentially as a spoiler to the "solar radiation modulates cosmic ray intensities modulates cloud cover/albedo" hypothesis. On the face of it, this is showing some impressive correlations with long term temperature changes – enough to warrant more detailed work.

  23. Posted October 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Simon, we saw the work of " world class academics" uncensored in the CRU leaks.

    • Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      No, from thousands of stolen emails _you_ saw two quotes without their context.

      • Posted October 11, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        No Simon. I've personally written many thousands of lines of scientific FORTRAN, and I know shambolic code when I see it in front of me. That alone is enough to call a time out and ask what on earth is going on.

  24. Posted October 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Why do they promote subsidise wind mills and pv cells on people houses when the electricity generated is usually less than the energy used to manufacture, install and maintain them . Particularly in non windy Notting Hill.

    £15,000 to install £100 of electricity a year and £150 for someone to clean the moss and dirt off each year might be typical for a PV system.

    Is this not misrepresentation encouraged by the state against its own electorate?

    Great Idea!

  25. Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    We need to cut fuel use not only for the reasons you list but also our oil production is dropping very quickly. The UK is well over peak production as are a very large number of other countries. Can anyone connect the dots?

  26. Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Isn't is strange that none of the political establishment accepts that the world's population is huge and ought to diminish? It couldn't have anything to do with being afraid to take on organised, reactionary religion and its odious doctrines and mumbo jumbo, could it?

    People in primitive countries with effectively no birth control will often want to emigrate to richer countries where they can consume more and emit more. That dynamic is where most of these problems originate.

  27. Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    According to my copy of the New Scientist there are now three different mechanisms by which the sun is now thought to impact earth's climate, via mechanisms surrounding cloud formation and influenced by cosmic rays.

    Notably; mention of the fact that the GCM's used to create projections for the 5th IPCC report in 2014 will now include such mechanisms.

    A lot of people have received a lot of abuse from the catastrophe activists over the last few years for suggesting exactly these things, now its mainstream accepted theory in the process of being tested for the level of impact it has on earths climate, will they now apologise?

    I understand the new scientist taking a very pro IPCC line over the past decade, they are a scientific magazine and should be expected to defend the scientific method: create a theory, test it for validity, accept it until new testing disputes its validity, or new theories better explain the observed results. there is no other way to properly conduct science.

    However, the IPCC isn't just laboratory science, it results in policy that has the potential to seriously impact the wellbeing and welfare of humanity for generations to come, so for this reason cost-benefit should be applied to policy that results from IPCC reports.

    Trying to retrofit the precautionary principle into scientific method has been a disaster for public trust in science generally, not just the the creation of sensible climate policy.

  28. Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    No sensible scientist would pretending that they can predict the weather/climate in 100 years time. How can they, without knowing hundred of things they do not know. Imagine you were in 1910 trying to predict future developments for 100 years in technology how many would you have predicted?

    Without knowing what the next 100 years of technical developments, sun activity, volcanic activity, populations of people and other life, wars, meteor impacts etc. etc. holds what chance have you got. Set these experts an easy prediction like the exact weather on Friday week for the whole day .When they get that right perhaps let them move on to two week ahead!

    • Posted October 8, 2010 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      And predicting any economic costs from this is yet another giant leap of faith.

  29. Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    I hate to tell you this but solar variations and wobbles in the Earth's orbit are not new science. (see Milankovitch Cycles etc)

    Simple temperature is not all we have to worry about.
    Throwing energy and gas into the atmosphere may cause more evaporation which if it falls as Snow and Ice could paradoxically take us to a next ice age. If it falls as rain then we have more flooding.

    On the subject of energy – Nuclear is my number one pick with Wind number two if we can have some pump storage to go with it.

    Of course we need to abolish Nimbys before we get any sort of new power stations.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Large-scale energy storage systems would cure most of the problems with wind energy… how about some huge underground flywheels on magnetic bearings??

      • Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Please can you pay for this yourself it sounds even more expensive than the wind turbines themselves. Windfarms plus storage – perhaps £1 per Kilo Watt Hour as opposed to 3p for gas/coal.

      • Posted October 8, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        we already have large scale energy storage, every time water is pumped to the top of a hydro electric system we are stroring energy

        • Posted October 9, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          Yes and very expensive and energy wasting it is too.

      • Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        If it is potentially profitable it will happen (planning notwithstanding). If it's not, don't force me to pay for it at gun point.

        • Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          It is not competitive wind plus storage would cost about 30-50 times the cost of coal/gas generated electricity which is available as needed on demand.

  30. Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Climate change models without solar variables is a little like measuring inflation without house price rises. RPI anyone ?

  31. Posted October 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Thorium Nuclear Reactors.
    Thorium = plentifull supply.
    Thorium = clean.

    It also works when the wind doesn't blow !

  32. Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree. The whole science of climate change needs to be looked at in the context of funding and carbon credits.

    In the mean time we need to press ahead with practicalities such as reducing waste and use of landfill sites.

  33. Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    The precautionary principle is not as straight forward as it would seem:

  • About John Redwood


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

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