Challenging establishment orthodoxies

It was never easy challenging the accepted wisdom. Indeed, if you look at what they did to poor old Galileo, it has got easier. In the freer west people do not normally get put on trial in a court or sent to prison for disagreeing with the official view, though in recent years thought crimes have become more popular again with legislators.

I first encountered this difficulty in the 1970s when I argued that nationalised monopolies were a great way to harm the consumer, cost the taxpayer a lot of money and lose employees their jobs all at the same time. It took more than a decade to persuade government that they needed to introduce competition into telephones and sell the oil and steel industries. Even today there is still a rearguard action trying to claim that nationalised monopolies in “special cases” like railways could do the job better. As someone who believes in free debate, I am not complaining they think and argue that,but it is a tired old argument based on amnesia about how BR used to run.

Challenging orthodoxies got a lot harder when the orthodoxy was made in Brussels. I was one of the few who tried to dissuade the CBI, the Conservative and Labour parties and the official machine that the Exchange Rate Mechanism could not possibly work for a divergent economy like the UK. Every trick was used to crowd out our case and to argue the famous “golden scenario hypothesis”, that we would soon be moving rapidly to a land of milk and honey, powered by exchange rate stability and low inflation. That was a mightily expensive collective mistake. Some write in to this site and say devaluation would not work for Greece, yet it was essential for the Uk at the end of the ERM era and ushered in a good period for economic performance.

Those of us who took the same pessimistic view about the future of the Euro had some more success. We first persuaded the Conservatives to offer a referendum, and then more importantly Mr Blair followed. That saved the pound. Mr Brown helped by continuing to block it, so we could watch for more than a decade as the Euro passed through its heady first phase when the poor got richer by borrowing, to its crisis phase when the money ran out and the strains led to three countries needing subsidised credit and special measures(so far). The UK establishment ended up with a better record on the reality of the Euro, even though many members of it had argued the case for us to join on many occasions.

Today we have the green establishment. It is hard work trying to win the argument that if the UK adopts more anti carbon dioxide measures than other countries, and hikes the price of energy too high at home, we lose jobs and business but the world does not end up with less carbon dioxide. This obvious point got lost in the enthusiaism of the many in the establishment for the global warming theory. At least now we have a new ally in the form of the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer who has warned that high energy prices do more to deindustrialise the UK than to cut worldwide carbon dioxide output.

One of the strange features of global warming theory is the reaction of its leading protagonists. They say it is scientifically derived, but then go on to say the science is proven and established.I thought the essence of scientific method was to reach a hypothesis that seemed to fit the facts, and then to keep trying to improve or destroy it by further testing or experiment. This seems to be a thesis where the aim is always to buttress it rather than test it. For many years scientists thought Newton had said the last word on planetary motion, but the twentieth century did not rest until they had replaced or improved on the Newtonian universe in a dramatic way.

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149 Comments

  1. Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    “It took more than a decade to persuade government that they needed to introduce competition into telephones and sell the oil and steel industries.”

    I believe you weaken your argument when including oil in the sentence quoted above. The government’s stake in BP with two supposedly “non-interfering board appointees” was acquired when Churchill authorised the conversion of the RN fleet from coal to oil. The selling off of those shares was IMO a purely money raising exercise, there being a flourishing and competitive oil industry already functioning as may be proven byconsidering the early days of North Sea Oil and Gas. (The award of the Golden Block exclusively to BP, which eventually contained the Forties field being an interesting part of that particular tale!)

    Reply: I was referring to BNOC, participation oil and all the rest

    • Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Ah BNOC, I had forgotten that particular disaster! I never did understand why Mrs Thatcher took so long to see through that sham. Well done indeed if you played a part in convincing her, I withdraw my earlier comment.

  2. lifelogic
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It is of course often not so much a case of challenging orthodoxies as challenging huge vested interests. Also of challenging religions including the green religion which provide comforting messages that people like to believe, either because they like the message, or they were indoctrinated when young and no longer question or think just accept.

    On the green religion I would highly recommend Richard Siegmund Lindzen an American atmospheric physicist at MIT in his talk to the house of commons which debunks the green religion perfectly.

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02148/RSL-HouseOfCommons_2148505a.pdf

    Also Matt Ridley on the wind power scam in the spectator recently.

    I would like to challenge vested interests and orthodoxy in.

    Patent laws and IP protection which so often have a negative effect.
    The legal system which is so clearly run mainly for the benefit of the lawyers.
    Much of the medical profession.
    All the thought crime legislation.
    The idea that some crimes are less bad that others due to the lack of a perceived hate motive.
    The indoctrination of our young children by schools, religious groups, government, green groups charities and the BBC. Often pushing nonsense “science” at them and always emotion over reason.
    The use of the police/state to over tax & fine the, basically law abiding, citizens yet act as social workers and equality officers for criminals.
    High speed trains.
    “Green” energy and wind farms.
    Almost everything the EU pushes and it suppression of Democracy.
    The pursuit of equality and most equality laws.
    The idea that men and woman are the same when every thing you can measure shows they are different (on average) in height, motivations, longevity, insurance risks, choices they make…….. indeed almost everything any can measure and now we have Cameron’s and the EUs absurd equal insurance laws.
    Almost every agenda the BBC pushes:- the arty, anti science, pro EU, pro religions, pro green, pro enforced equality, pro bigger state, pro “rights” and ever more regulation agenda.
    The state funding of religious schools which did so much to incubate violence & evil in Northern Ireland and is now doing the same in the UK.
    “Positive” discrimination (other than where justified by clear future potential).

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Also the idea that laws, over protecting employees & tenants, do anything to improve their lot. Usually it is has exactly the reverse effect by deterring employers and landlords and thus restricting supply of both jobs and houses.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        If you believe that you believe anything. It’s like arguing that giving employers the right to sack pregnant woman would create more jobs for woman.
        As I have pointed out to you life logic employes have almost no rights for the first three months and very few for the first two years. You are trying the legalise cash in hand work and slums. This is of no benefit to anyone except unscrupulous employers and landlords. A fantasy.

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Not only do I believe it but it can be clearly be shown to be true. If you pass a law saying all tenants can stay on for ever and pay nearly no rent how many properties would be available to rent? If you pass a law saying any employee should get £1M when he/she leaves the job how many jobs offers would there be?

          Look at the history of rents.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            If I have a pregnant woman or anyone who is good at her job why on earth should I want to sack her if I have work for them and they are prepared to work.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            Short tenancy agreements are the norm these days. The sitting tenant is few and far between. A contract is signed and contracts work both ways.

        • Bob
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          @Bazman
          If you were running a small business, I think you might see things differently.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

            I have run several.

      • Bob
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        “reverse effect”
        The same can be said about maternity leave.
        It turns women of child bearing age into a liability, especially so for small employers.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      In the telegraph today:

      Nick Clegg today demands the introduction of a “tycoon tax” which will mean that wealthy Britons have to pay a minimum rate of tax on their total annual earnings of more than 20 per cent. And he usually seems less mad that the other Libdems.

      I cannot see that many pay less than 20% other than nondoms who pay 30-50K plus tax on UK income or remits. After all income is taxed at up to 50% and gains (not even real gains) at 28%.

      Since the government spend about £10K per head on what they call “public services” they are making a large profit anyway. The more “tycoons” the better even if they do only pay the basic 30K. They probably use private schools and health anyway and pay VAT and all the rest too.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Maybe they just push up prices in London for property they do not use. Like holiday home owners in the Lake District and the like. Creating ghost villages in central London and housing shortages for the rest?

      • sm
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        You cannot see…possibly that’s because of the lack of transparency & simplicity is useful, or maybe you cannot see or dont want to see? (research Mitt Romney story/Warren Buffet remarks)

        If you can control the contract you can control the reward for the employee’s read, connected individuals, it could be part salary,part pension, part benefit in kind, part dividend, part loans given in perpetuity or forgiven, access to soft loans or known as family rates,mates rates.

        Even on plain declared income we should look at effective rates(tax paid/income declared) not so called marginal rates.

        Thats before you consider offshore/onshore tax planning. If we could insist on knowing the settlor and beneficiary of trusts and otherwise pierce the veil of offshore secrecy i am sure even you would be surprised.

        A small step forward may be public banks placing their tax returns online. Then all listed companies starting from the top.

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          If you live in the UK and are rich & not non dom it is very hard, legally, to pay less tax than 20% in tax. If you are referring to illegal schemes than I agree they should attacked as they are illegal already.

      • uanime5
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        This is a good idea as the rich can no longer summon an army of accountants and lawyers to reduce their taxes as much as possible. Now no matter how many loopholes the wealthy have they will have to pay 20% of their annual earnings in tax.

        Though I feel making the minimum 30% would be better.

        • Richard1
          Posted March 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          Why stop there? why not make it 40%, or 50%…in fact, why not just confiscate all incomes above say £100k? spot the flaw?

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            Indeed why not all wealth above £500K too a bit like France.

          • uanime5
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

            I can’t see any flaws in your argument but then again I’m not one of the 300,000 people in the UK who is paid over £100,000 per year.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Also the biggest sacred cow, establishment orthodoxy of all: the “Free at the point of queueing, rationing and worse NHS” (best to fall ill midweek in the morning if you can).

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Finally I would question much of the “charitable” tax relief given. So many are not charities in any real sense at all but lefty pressure groups or PR arms of government.

      • Bob
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        “I would question much of the “charitable” tax relief given. So many are not charities in any real sense at all but lefty pressure groups or PR arms of government.”

        I’m surprised Ken Livingstone didn’t think of that!

    • A Different Simon
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      You missed out mass immigration .

    • wab
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Lindzen’s appearance has been thoroughly debunked, e.g. see:

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/03/misrepresentation-from-lindzen/

      (And it was not “to the house of commons” but in a meeting room at the House of Commons.)

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      May I add to your rant this fine morning. I have just read Wilful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan and my list for Government examples over the last decade or so:
      Afghanistan – the tragedy goes on
      Iraq
      EU
      Debt
      Immigration
      Law and order
      Political correctness / Human Rights Act
      Big and interfering state
      West Lothian Question/sham democracy
      Tax burden
      Excessive welfare state
      Business penalties

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Indeed all you list and pointless hugely damaging wars that I missed out.
        I suspect if the public has a real say in anything we would not have had the pointless wars one based on a clear lie or the Millennium dome or HS2 or many of the other nonsenses.

        • zorro
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          You forgot to mention Cameron.

          zorro

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Re: lifelogic’s on “patent laws and IP protection”.

      I am mostly of a libertarian/laissez-faire leaning, but I do think property rights have to be a protected area within this, whether tangible or intangible. I suspect some of the general problems with IP result again from where different systems allow competition to act. Within the UK it at least used to be the case that patent examiners were experts within their fields and so the novelty, not-obvious, industry usefulness tests truly had to be shown prior to a patent being granted, that is competition did act at the innovation level. Putting aside the US pro-US “it is in my lab book” bias, the US has generalist patent examiners, not subject experts, and if a patent is inappropriately granted then it is left to be settled in court. With blanket bombing patenting within technological systems, the US approach has permitted competition to shift from competion of innovation to competition of lawyers. If there is a market failure business competition will find it – it is a tough one, I prefer the free market but having a working systen for property rights is apparently tough.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Patents are only of value (to society as a whole) if they encourage extra useful research that would otherwise not happen. I tend to think they currently have a clear “net negative” effect. They just encourage extra lawyers and other parasitic workers to the system and tend actually discourage and deter real research and investment.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          I tend to agree that the system has encouraged lawyers, my point is that I think this has come about from where competition acts in the US. I suspect that the whole patenting system could improve if the US had less court room lawyers and more expert patent examiners. The UK system did not historically act like the US system.

          Research on the effect of patents on innovation is mixed, which is not surprising given the different world approaches. Nevertheless even now many patents are better “refereed” than journal articles and go on to provide a huge reference library – there is a resevoir of expired patent ideas that would otherwise not have been published. Indeed there are even public domain publications that were published just as a low price strategy to prevent others patenting. Patents have been one of the great knowledge management systems and I hope they continue to be this – this stored knowledge enables extra research.

          The alternatives to patenting are do quickly (hence the argument for more innovation occurs through no property rights, but also the argument for patents being pro-competition – the small company cannot compete with the scale and rollout of the large), don’t do at all or keep secret (this is my concern – there are plenty of terminated projects on the way to innovation, that without the patenting system would not be there for others to learn from).

          Nonetheless I would agree that silly little patents backed by plenty of attorneys (as we may have allegedly seen in the smartphone area), and similarly ridiculously broad patents backed by plenty of attorneys (as we may have allegedly seen in the genetics area) don’t seem to be value adders.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Richard Siegmund Lindzen doesn’t debunk climate change. He even admits it’s real on page 3 and writes in big red letters that there is a greenhouse effect and how CO2 causes climate change on page 4. I suspect you haven’t read this presentation lifelogic.

      The only thing Professor Lindzen questions is how much doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will raise the temperature of Earth. He says the temperature will rise by about 1C as positive feedbacks from water vapor and clouds will not occur. He also says that global catastrophes are possible if there is significant global warming. At no point does he ever claim that humanity can produce as much CO2 as it wants without any negative consequences.

      In conclusion if Professor Lindzen is right and everyone else is wrong then climate change is still real, we just need to produce a higher level of CO2 before we wreak Earth’s climate.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        I have read it all and his position is almost exactly my position on the issue but perhaps expressed rather better.

  3. colliemum
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Thank you, John, for at long last taking a long hard look at the economic consequences of the ‘green’ strangulation of our economy, based on the discredited AGW ‘science’.

    Not just the Whitehall mandarins are very fond of using AGW to change our economy rather than the climate – a very large role is being played by the EU and their directives. That should be another reason for us to get out.
    It may also surprise you to learn how the EU is subsidising lobbying groups, e.g. for ‘renewables’, who then commission groups like Greenpeace to find that renewables are wonderful (provided the tax payer gives lots of subsidies), which reports are then given to the mandarins so that they can advise the relevant ministers to introduce laws and make us all pay …

    If you have a bit of reading time to look forward to, may I suggest one small book which should be a must-read: “Watermelons” by James Delingpole.
    It’ll show how AGW was based on politics, not science, and how science has become subservient to the political aims of people who’s stated aim was to destroy the economies of the industrialised nations.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      James Delingpole. A right wing priest for thick Daily mail readers.

      • Richard
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        Ive always noticed that those from the left wing of politics eventually resort to having a go at the person making the argument when they realise they can’t win the debate.

        • uanime5
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          Always notice how those from the right wing of politics never provide any evidence but instead make outlandish claims and conspiracy theories.

          James Delingpole’s claim that all scientists in the world are communists who are trying to use climate change to destroy the economies of the industrialised nations is as farcical as David Icke’s claim that the world is secretly ruled from the moon by shape shifting reptiles called the Babylonian Brotherhood.

          • Richard
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            The point is, tackle the argument not the messenger.

          • Bob
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

            uanime5
            Have you even read the book?

      • Bob
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        @Bazman
        And how would you describe Polly Toynbee and George Monbiot?

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          “BBC think” people who think with their hearts (or guts) but Monbiot seems to have finally seen the light on Nuclear Energy (perhaps progress is being made). Toynbee is right on religion and the pointless wars I think but not much else – needless to say, like most posh lefties, she has a Villa in Tuscany I understand.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Delingpole, for an arts graduate, is remarkably perceptive and spot on in general and funny too. It is the telegraph not the Mail is it not?

        • Bazman
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          In his own words he is an interpreter of interpretations. So am I.

      • libertarian
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        Er so how come he doesn’t write for the Daily Mail? What a dense comment to post.

    • Bob
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      “…people who’s stated aim was to destroy the economies of the industrialised nations.”

      I must say that they seem to be having remarkable success, aided by Nick Clegg and his sidekick David Cameron.

      Mr Redwood do you agree with George Osborne’s assertion that QE is the act of a desperate government?

      Reply: I don’t think Mr Osborne agrees with himself any more about that. I have made my own recommendations available to produce sensible growth of money and credit which I would rather they adopted. QE becomes inflationary as soon as the banks are fixed.

      • sm
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        QE becomes inflationary as soon as the banks are fixed. Do the banks want to be fixed? Given the distributions, dividends, pay etc one could be mistaken that’s a priority.

        The laws of private bank money creation must be revoked, the financial benefit should be reserved for the state to use directly via a variable citizen income or similar.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        No sign of fixed bank of even the bank fixers yet.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          Legitimate business looking after legitimate busines. This is where it begines and ends.

    • Greg Tingey
      Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear
      GW is REAL
      AGW is proabably real – almost certainly, actually.
      Do grow up – please?

  4. Mick Anderson
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Chancellor of the Exchequer … warned that high energy prices … deindustrialise the UK

    So why does he continue with the high energy taxes that have exactly that effect?

    He needs to start leading by example and reducing taxes on fuel. Removing the odd penny on a litre of road fuel is not even close when the cost has risen by nearly half in the last five years. Don’t forget that the same penny is added back on as a biofuel tax.

    Stop spending money the Country can’t afford, and start practising what is preached. If the LibDems respond by throwing their toys out of the pram, I’ll be even more pleased.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Indeed the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not done much as yet. Actual action is what is needed words especially, from this government, are meaningless.

  5. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    You are so right! The new orthodoxy is determined to insist on its correctness. And it is usually wrong.
    Two straws in the wind.
    While channel hopping yesterday evening, I came across a detailed (American) deconstruction of the global warming scam. That is new.
    And, even more exciting, I discovered a paper which actually advocated completely free schools run, like Eton, for a profit!
    http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/images/publications/social%20enterprise%20schools%20-%20feb%2012.pdf
    I reckon that perhaps in 10 years’ time these ideas may themselves become orthodox. John Lennon’s (disastrous) ideas took ten years to come to pass, you see. So maybe this will be as effective.

  6. Cliff Buckley
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Is it your position then that governments should wait for a few hundred years until the global warming theory has been tested to destruction? That would seem to follow from your argument.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      No but as it has not warmed for 15 years perhaps we should at least wait and see and spend on the things that we know certainly will produce a positive effect. Medical care, anti malaria/aids action, clean water & basic nutrition perhaps.

    • wab
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed, under Redwood’s logic, people prior to the 20th century should have ignored Newton’s theory just in case it was proven wrong a couple of hundred years later (as it was, in the limit where you cannot ignore the speed of light). That is a daft view.

      The Newtonian theory was the best at the time and experiments backed it up incredibly well. Indeed, for example, Neptune was discovered thanks to people observing that there were potentially problems with the Newtonian theory if this extra planet did not exist.

      People can stick their heads in the sand when it comes to carbon emissions, and mumble about how the models and theories are not perfect (and they are definitely less perfect than Newton’s theory). But it does not change the reality.

      What to do about it is a different matter. As is totally obvious, just having an EU (or rich country) carbon tax will (at least in the short term) just export emissions to other countries, as has already been happening the last couple of decades. There really should just be a uniform global carbon tax which every country collects on its own behalf and distributes as it sees fit (e.g. by cutting VAT or income tax).

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        A uniform global carbon is not going to happen nor should it the C02 warming is almost certainly a gross exaggeration please read the document I link too above.

        No warming for 15 years and counting ………..

        • uanime5
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          I did read the document above and it said if CO2 levels are doubled the temperature will increase by at least 1C.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            Good it will save every one a few heating bills about 10% in the UK and the crops will grow better with the higher c02 levels.

          • uanime5
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

            lifelogic it will also cause more droughts and crop failures in Africa, so expect much more immigration from these countries.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

            You do not know it that will cause more droughts. Warmer often means wetter in fact. Crops will be adjusted as needed to local climate. After all climate changes anyway and always has. Other factors may well counteract the c02 anyway. Wait and see and react as needed is the correct policy.

      • A Different Simon
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Wab “People can stick their heads in the sand when it comes to carbon emissions, and mumble about how the models and theories are not perfect (and they are definitely less perfect than Newton’s theory). But it does not change the reality.”

        Wab , you are right that it doesn’t change the reality one iota .

        The question remains though what is the reality and what is opinion .

        Isn’t the reality that empirical evidence contradicts climate change models , just as empirical evidence contradicted Newtons theory ?

        • uanime5
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

          If there was empirical evidence that climate change wasn’t working the climate deniers would be using it instead of claiming that AGW was created by communist scientists to destroy the industrialised world.

          The scientific consensus is that climate change is correct because there isn’t any empirical evidence to contradict it.

          • Richard
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            It used to be global warming now its climate change.

            The climate has always changed.

            Why were there huge changes in the temperatures on Earth before mankind ever existed?

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            Must have been the Dinosaurs with all their Dinosaurmobiles I assume.

      • Bob
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        It is more evangelism than science, and the preachers appear to be driven more by the prospects of power and wealth than evidence.
        Why else would they be “hiding the decline”? Real scientists don’t ignore the facts.

        I recommend that you read the comment/ link by lifelogic above:
        http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2012/03/10/challenging-establishment-orthodoxies/#comment-89042

        Would also recommend the book “Watermelons” by James Delingpole.
        Watermelons refers to the characteristic of being green on the outside and red on the inside, which sums up the green movement pretty much (that includes David Cameron).

        • uanime5
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          “the preachers appear to be driven more by the prospects of power and wealth than evidence.”

          Then why were scientists in the USA proving climate change was real when George W Bush was in power? Surely if scientists wanted wealth and power they wouldn’t have told the president the opposite of what he wanted to hear.

          Lifelogic’s post shows that climate change is real. Perhaps both of you should read it.

          Finally James Delingpole’s claim that AGW was created by communist scientists to destroy the industrialised world is a ridiculous as David Icke’s claim that the world is secretly ruled from the moon by shape shifting reptiles called the Babylonian Brotherhood.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            Of course climate change is “real” it has always changed and mankind is clearly one of the (very many) factors causing that change.

          • Bob
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

            uanime5
            “Then why were scientists in the USA proving climate change was real when George W Bush was in power?”

            Who is denying that the climate changes?
            The climate has been changing since the earth came into existence, and that was billions of years before you were created .

      • Martyn
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        The reality is that ever since the AGW scare got under way no one, as in absolutely no one at all has yet been able to prove beyond doubt that there is a connection between man-made carbon emissions and a potentially disastrous climate change.

        I don’t say it is not happening, it may be so, but thus far there is no credible, scientific proof. I equate AGW with the series of doomsday political and scientific predictions like AIDS, SARS, mad cow disease, bird flu, swine flu etc etc- each of which was going to cause untold numbers of deaths or threaten the human race, all of which eventually turning out to be false – at least on the scale of disaster predicted by the experts. The tale of the boy who cried wolf once too often seems an apt comparison at the moment.

      • Epigenes
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        It is delusional to consider a computer model, reality.

        Mr Redwood states that hypotheses should be adopted if they fit the facts (not computer models) so you have no reason for accusing him of being illogical.

        You seem to be scientifically, mathematically and economically challenged. Also, try reading the articles here and do not just post your prejudices.

      • Anthony Harrison
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        You misconstrue John Redwood’s point. While Newton’s theory (that is, a good example of a hypothesis) has been tested relentlessly by experiment, current AGW theories/hypotheses remain in their native state: they were formed on the basis of suspect computer modelling, and they remain widely unproven by any credible experimentation or other means. It is this to which JR calls attention. You have just demonstrated the sort fundamental misunderstanding, or refusal to understand, that lies behind the AGW scam.

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          Indeed Newton’s law are a very good approximation and agree with real experiments in normal conditions and give useful results. The “parallel comparison” with the absurd global warming exaggerations is not useful.

    • A Different Simon
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Cliff ,

      AGW is a political construct ie control-structure not a scientific construction .

      There are plenty of armagedon theories out there .

      The difference with this one is that it presents a great opportunity for taxing human activity and for the people who really run the world to keep the little people in their place .

      There is no evidence for AGW , not one shred .

      All the empirical evidence supports the case that man is having no significant effect on the climate .

      Why should a theory based on models be favoured over one based on empirical evidence ?

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        “Why should a theory based on models be favoured over one based on empirical evidence ?”

        Exactly, especially as we clearly cannot know many of the variables such as the future sun’s activity.

        Anyway reducing c02 or removing it would be a very inefficient way to cool the planet, if ever it were needed.

        A bit warmer is anyway probably far better on balance than colder.

        • uanime5
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          NASA seems to be able to predict the sun’s activity, including when solar flares are going to occur. We can also examine how the sun has reacted and what effects this had on Earth.

          So lifelogic what’s your solution to cooling down the planet other than reducing CO2 levels.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

            NASA CANNOT predict sun activity for very long I do not think. Just as the met cannot predict the weather for more than a few days reliably.

            Lots of ways of cooling the planet are available all expensive but cheaper than removing c02 and removing c02 does not even work very well.

            Reflective crops, buildings, genetic engineering of crops many others.

          • Richard
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            Do you really think humans currently have the power or the ability to manipulate the average temperature on this planet up and down as they wish?
            Even if we humans were able to control the climate how would the UN get every single nation to agree to actions to achieve that goal.
            And that agreement would have to hold firm for centuries.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            The AGW argument is that Humans can indeed control temperature and could reduce it by limiting C02. I do not personally believe there is a real problem, but if there is limiting c02 is clearly not the best way to limit temperatures anyway.

  7. Bazman
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The trickle down effect based on crony capitalism is one of the biggest establishment orthodoxies that need challenging. Shoveling money to your chums to run state companies that are by their nature a natural monopolies is not capitalism providing choice and services like breakfast cereals. It would be interesting to know how much privatisation of British industry has cost the country in real terms such as unemployment and higher prices for the consumer. Shipbuilding still exists and is very profitable for many countries and not just low paid ones. Germany and Norwegian countries will not be building them on the cheap. The high prices of energy are a result of taxation policies. ie indirect taxes and large profits for the oil industry who constantly plead poverty.
    It’s interesting to see that much of the money being pumped into anti global warming theory is very unscientific and is mainly aimed at de-intellectualising the debate as well as many other scientific matters such as the safety of energy and food production. The money is often from corporations and rich right wing individuals hoping to drag the argument to the bottom by praying on the fears of many of the uneducated masses who’s interests they pretend to hold. What do you want hippies or roads? Ram it.

    • A Different Simon
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Bazman ,

      I reckon the dumbing down of education and various debates has been deliberate .

      The last Govt were guilty of this too , perhaps for a different reason – expediency .

      Selling our children short by brainwashing them with theories presented as facts sounds like a monumentally bad idea to me .

      Does it even occur to those in power that these things will have long term consequences ?

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Selling our children short by brainwashing them with theories presented as facts sounds like a monumentally bad idea to me .

        “Give me a child for for his first seven years and I’ll give you the man” but what sort of man or woman will this duff exaggerated scare science make them. Most of the teachers and most at the BBC believe it now even the brighter students. If you question them they think you are mad and look slightly worried.

        Many are very proud of their ignorance of science but remain convinced by the settled science on this.

        • Bob
          Posted March 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          Problem is that this pseudo science has become trendy, and the kids always want to be trendy.

          When they grow up they’ll probably be too embarrassed to admit to their children that they supported the destruction of western civilisation, in the same way that the Germans deny ever having been a Nazi. It makes you wonder how Hitler ever got an army together!

      • zorro
        Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        A dumbed down populace is less likely to challenge authority, more likely to be easily led, more malleable, easier to control……

        zorro

  8. John B
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The most astonishing thing about the AGW cause, is that politicians (except a small minority) have accepted that “scientists”‘ can foretell the future, and they – the scientists – are so arrogant that they assert a certainty about their predictions that in effect means they believe there nothing left to know that they do not already know.

    By this I mean, not just being clairvoyant about future climate conditions, but also the effect on Mankind. They assert that decarbonisation and transfer to some other energy source not reliant on fossil fuels (what?), will be “clean” and “sustainable” and harm free. How can they know?

    Coal was the sustainable alternative of the day to wood, of which there was little left in Europe. Petrol and electricity were the “clean” and sustainable alternatives to coal.

    Nuclear Power is a clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, but its development blocked by environmentalists on the unsubstantiated grounds it is “dirty” and dangerous.

    Just as our ancestors could not known that development of use of fire, invention of the wheel and smelting iron, the development of the steam engine – all of which led us into the Industrial Revolution – then the development of electricity, could lead future generations to a situation supposedly bringing doom to the Planet, how can anyone now possibly know that any alternate/clean/sustainable energy source, or course of action will not place future generations in a situation the same/better/worse than the current one?

    The UK did go to war on the blind acceptance and lack of due diligence regarding intelligence reports and military analysis about conditions in Iraq – all in the name of a cause.

    We see the same blind acceptance over the AGW nonsense, food/drink/disease panics and the economic situation, and of course the machinations of the EU… another cause.

    It seems this lack of curiosity, reasoning, and ability for critical analysis is endemic in the political class.

    No matter how frequently the scientific prognosticators and experts get it wrong again and again, the gullible politicians are ever ready to believe them the next time.

    Conclusions: not very bright – a lot of good money wasted on expensive, private educations.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Ask the Japanese how clean, cheap, and safe nuclear power is.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Best not to build it it too close to the sea in earth quake zones I agree but far more died in the tidal wave than ever will from radiation.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      “have accepted that “scientists”‘ can foretell the future”

      Yes even for 100 years no less but not for a week on Wednesday alas that stumps them.

    • A Different Simon
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      John B ,

      I like you asertions of the danger of “causes” . Must disagree with your last paragraph though :-

      “Not very bright – a lot of money WELL SPENT on expensive private educations”

    • uanime5
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      “The most astonishing thing about the AGW cause, is that politicians (except a small minority) have accepted that “scientists”‘ can foretell the future”

      Scientists are able to predict the future with a high level of accuracy. I once has a scientist predict what would happen when I dropped a marble (it fell to the floor because of something called ‘gravity’).

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Some things are predictable some on not try predicting the lottery ball positions, given their starting positions, after say 10 seconds of rotation. Weather is rather like the lottery balls, but millions of time less predictable.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          It’s all gonna be cheap isn’t it? That’s nuclaear power for those not listening. Ehhh! Yeah you.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            Spelt Nuclear wrong. I spelt it as ‘clear’ Yeah! You.

  9. Antisthenes
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    The euro has become an insurmountable problem because maintaining it or ditching it now will cause irreparable harm. The cost of decoupling would be to trigger a financial collapse (Greece’s exit will on it’s own not help) the cost of keeping the euro will be to put Northern states under enormous strain and will require them to continue to pick up the bills of the South. The dynamics that have caused the crises have yet to be properly addressed and it is those dynamics that will decide the future not politicians. One thing is certain is that the result what ever it is is not going to be a pleasant one.

    Green policies are causing billions to be committed to a problem that has not being properly identified with the solutions the consequences of which are not understood.

    The crises caused by the euro and sovereign debt are intractable until such time as politicians wake up to the fact that present economic and social models of the EU and it’s member states are seriously flawed. If the politicians do not take the radical actions needed to reform these models then the crises will deepen until such time as market forces will take over and do the job for them.

  10. A Different Simon
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    John ,

    We need a purge of all Govt departments .

    They are full of fifth columnists .

    As with financial services , regulatory capture extends to energy regulation ; DECC and Ofgem .

    Govt policy is tailored to protect big vested interests and stifle the competition – for instance UK shale hydrocarbons , underground coal gasification .

    Ofgem is the lapdoc of Centrica , the Nuclear industries and green industries .

    We’ve got the 14th round of onshore licencing coming up .

    How is it that Ukraine can achieve a licencing round in 3 months and it takes us more than 3 years ?

    No doubt DECC will be looking to reward the best blocks to big players who will promise to kill any possibility of shale development on those blocks .

    The whole thing stinks .

    Purge Whitehall .

  11. Robert Christopher
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The green establishment is crumbling:
    Monckton’s “Climate of Freedom” lecture at Union College in Schene, New York
    Monckton vanquishes Union College “Greens too yellow to admit they’re really Reds”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/10/moncktons-schenectady-showdown

    Not that the BBC would report it! Or the government change policy!

    • Bazman
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Another right wing site of dubious scientific creditability whether you believe climate change or not. A site for nit wits.

      • Bob
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        @Bazman
        Are you saying that you believe the AGW hoax, and that we can be saved by paying more tax?

        • Bazman
          Posted March 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          Back on line with a new horse power computer. Yeah! A site for nit wits. What do you not understand about nit wit websites?

  12. Peter Whale
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    While the political class can tax CO2 emissions whereby they get control and money, there will be no relenting regardless of science. Also it is beyond the remit of H.M. government and the decisions lay with E.U. Just look at the EU CO2 aviation levy where did the UK government vote for that. Campaign to get us out of the EU that is the only way to stop this stupid action against CO2, which is essential for life on earth.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know why you think CO2 is essential for life on earth. Plants are capable of respiration using oxygen, which they undertake during the night when there isn’t enough sunlight for photosynthesis.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        They need the suns energy from photosynthesis with sunlight and co2 look it up!

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          They also need the carbon, from the Co2, to grow the organic material that they are actually made of.

        • uanime5
          Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

          I states that plants used oxygen when there wasn’t enough light for photosynthesis so it’s obvious I know what photosynthesis requires. My point was that CO2 wasn’t essential as plants could survive without it.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            How on earth can they survive without the carbon and energy they need to grow their structure?

  13. Tedgo
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    UK shipbuilding was ruined in this country by Labour. Their nationalization and closure of many of the productive yards, like Smiths Dock, in favour of its trade union heartland yards on the Clyde decimated shipbuilding.

    It amazes me how many Dutch yards thrive today with large order books. Some yards in Germany, Finland and Poland are doing well.

    All we are left with are the gravy train yards building warships at highly inflated prices. If the UK wanted to reestablish a modern ship building capacity it would be difficult to find available sites, most of the old sites have been turned over to housing and office space.

    Its gone unnoticed in the media that the MOD has just placed a £450m order in Korea for 4 new fleet tankers, because no one could build them in the UK.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      I’m surprised the market didn’t create a private shipbuilding company in the UK to meet the demand for ships. I guess the market can’t fix everything.

      • Bob
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        uanime5
        “I’m surprised the market didn’t create a private shipbuilding company in the UK to meet the demand for ships. I guess the market can’t fix everything.”

        The market simply moves to a most cost effective country!
        Do you really not understand economics or are you being deliberately obtuse?

  14. David John Wilson
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    There is a huge problem of people confusing the green “we must reduce CO2” arguments with the need for the UK to reduce its dependence on imported oil. While renewable energy sources are often intially more expensive over time these differences are greatly reduced and will eventually be cheaper than the increasing cost of imported oil.
    That said there are a lot of other green agendas that need a lot more attention. Not least of these is the current desire driven by government policies to concrete over most of the south east of England. We need a lot more initiatives to revitalize the high unemploymant areas of the country with their decaying housing stock and factories. New transport plans like HS2 should be diverted into providing better access to the decaying areas.

    • A Different Simon
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      David ,

      Recent developments mean we could do an awful lot to offset imports of oil and LNG . The US is on it’s way to becoming energy independent :-

      – widespread shale oil and gas ; a second North Sea .
      – underground coal gasification (UCG) giving access to billions of tons of coal to provide syn-diesel , substitute natural gas , chemical feedstock
      – cheap surplus CO2 from UCG which can be used to enhance oil recovery from offshore fields which were considered depleted

      If we were having this conversation 60 years ago , we would talking about coal vs alternatives .

      Nuclear and natural gas were not even on the radar .

      In twenty years time it may not just be renewables , hydrocarbon fuels , uranium reactors .

      An entirely new alternative fuel might come along and disrupt the picture ; centralised nuclear fusion reactors , centralised and decentralised reactors using thorium or transmuting other elements .

      No matter how cheap and safe it is , the Green Mafia will oppose it because it threatens their renewables agenda .

    • uanime5
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      The problem with the South East is that it’s near London but much cheaper to live in, so everyone who works in London wants to live there (I don’t know why more people don’t live in East England).

      As long as all businesses want to be in London the population of the South East will continue to expand while the rest of England continues to decline.

  15. Posted March 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    nge is the internet. It used to be that the “mass media” had total control over news communication. They are still the main news source for most people but not the only opne.

    Imagine trying to debate catastrophic global warming, or economic liberty or who the people of Russia actually voted for or WW2 antecedent & atrocities of the people we set up in former Yugoslavia or elsewhere, or indeed whether the Earth orbits the sun, on the BBC alone. The censorship is still almost total, actually far more total than in Gallileo’s time when mass communication was letters & pamphlets and would be absolutely total if we didn’t have other media to know when they are lying and censoring.

    The net is why I am optimistic about the future. The state controlled media are falling slowly but they are following. That is why in the Dimbleby Lecture the President of the Royal Society was forced to quietly redefine his position on saying that catastrophic warming was “extremist” and that he and his “consensus” now held the position we sceptics always had (though in the best tradition of 1984 claimed this was no change and he had always been at war with these extremists.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    The Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) advocates had the field to themselves for several years. They were challenged only when a number of people noticed that actual recorded temperatures had not followed their predictions. On further digging it was observed that the advocates grasp of statistical methods left a lot to be desired (a point confirmed by the Oxburgh enquiry). The Climategate emails leak revealed yet more questionable practices and doubts. It is evident that the hypothesis rests on extremely uncertain datasets, and the belief that a linear prediction can be made in the chaotic, non-linear world that is the climate. Whatever the advocates may claim, it is not settled science.

    It is significant how the language of the CAGW advocates has changed over the years. First it changed to global warming, then to climate change and yet again to climate disruption. This change in the language was made necessary by the awkward fact that global temperatures did not follow their predicted trends, despite the unending attempts to revise history to make it look as though they did. It was and remains the PR policy of the CAGW advocates to speak as though the science is settled even though it is not – as the Lindzen presentation makes abundantly clear (see lifelogics link above). Furthermore it is a remarkable, if little publicised, fact that their propaganda has been funded by huge subsidies from the European Union and by the UK government. In short taxpayers unwittingly have paid to be brainwashed to believe the CAGW hypothesis. Fortunately more and more appear to be waking up to this scam.

    • Bob
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      @oldtimer
      “Fortunately more and more appear to be waking up to this scam.”

      But David Cameron is still a believer.
      He even changed the party logo and installed a wind turbine at his home.
      He took the scam hook line and sinker.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Did he think it was a PR scam or did he really believe it? Did he ever value to electricity he got in non windy Notting Hill – £20 PA perhaps at best?

    • zorro
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      He who pays the piper calls the tune…and will benefit greatly unless we stop this wide-scale proposed confiscation.

      zorro

    • uanime5
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      Let me know when you’re able to publish your scientific studies in a peer reviewed scientific journal. Until then stop spouting such nonsense.

      “Furthermore it is a remarkable, if little publicised, fact that their propaganda has been funded by huge subsidies from the European Union and by the UK government.”

      So who in the EU and UK Government is funding these groups and why? If you don’t know then just admit it’s a baseless conspiracy theory and you have no facts to back it up.

      • oldtimer
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        That is a remarkably offensive and uninformed reply.

        First regarding peer reviews, it is well established that the CAGW school of climate scientists went out of their way to suppress papers and reviews that were critical of or questioned their findings. It was one of their ways to control the agenda and has been condemned for that reason.

        If you wish to discover how the EU funds the CAGW agenda I suggest you read this analysis on ideological money laundering:
        http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/6/16/ideological-money-laundering.html

        The last Labour government was also free with tax payers money in promoting this agenda, so much so that I complained to my MP about a case of DEFRA granting £6million to a variety of organisations for this purpose.

        I note that in earlier comments you have commented on Professor Lindzen`s paper. You appear to have overlooked this comment by him:
        “The claims that the earth has been warming, that there is a greenhouse effect, and that man’s activities have contributed to warming, are trivially true and essentially meaningless in terms of alarm.”

        • uanime5
          Posted March 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

          So your whole argument is based on a conspiracy theory in which the EREC publishes policies which benefit the EU leaders (leaders of all the member states that belong to the EU). If the leaders of all the member states agree on a policy why would they need the EREC’s support when they can all just agree to implement it? Whoever wrote this article clearly doesn’t know how the EU works.

          You missed the part where Professor Lindzen says that over the past hundred years human activity has caused CO2 levels to doubled resulting in the Earth’s temperature rising by 1C. Seems like human activity isn’t so trivial after all.

          • oldtimer
            Posted March 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

            Professor Lindzen did not say, as you put it, “that over the past hundred years human activity has caused CO2 levels to doubled resulting in the Earth’s temperature rising by 1C.”

            What he does say (and is agreed on by the IPCC) is this:
            “1. A doubling of CO2, by itself, contributes only about 1C to greenhouse warming. All models project more warming, because, within models, there are positive feedbacks from water vapor and clouds, and these feedbacks are considered by the IPCC to be uncertain.
            2. If one assumes all warming over the past century is due to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, then the derived sensitivity of the climate to a doubling of CO2 is less than 1C. The higher sensitivity of existing models is made consistent with observed warming by invoking unknown additional negative forcings from aerosols and solar variability as arbitrary adjustments.”

            He further comments that most serious climate scientists agree that there has been a doubling of CO2 over the past 150 years, and that “There has very probably been about 0.8 C warming in the past 150 years.”

            He further comments:
            “The climate system is never in equilibrium because, among other things, the ocean transports heat between the surface and the depths. To be sure, however, there are other sources of internal variability as well.”

            CAGW alarmism depends on assuming/asserting that the observed changes are down to man, and relies on models and forcing assumptions that are not supported by observed evidence.

      • Posted March 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Meg’s claim that he doubts that the CRU, Carbon trust, Nerc (£450 million a year), child snuff movies etc etc are funded by our government or that FoI is funded by the EU represents the highest standard of honestty to be expected from the warmists. Pf cou7rse he knows perfectly well that this is the case.

        I challenge him, or anybody else who supports alarmism, to prove that anything he or anybody in the ecofascist movement has ever said is more than 10,000 times more honest than that.

        • uanime5
          Posted March 11, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

          Actually oldtimer claimed they were funded by the Government, I just asked which department.

          Here’s something honest environmentalists said:

          “CFCs damage the Ozone layer.”

          Let me know the last time the denier were right.

          • Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            Actualy what the most honerst “environmentalists around said was that CFC’s were so damaging that we had to stop producing them immediately (except in developing cou7ntries) becase it would be 50 years after we stopped that the ozone hole would stop growing.

            In fact it started closing almost immediately – just as the volcanic Mount Erebus stopped pouring out millions of tons of volcanic gases.

            Me5 I have previously asked a number of “environmentalists” to name a single solitary one of their hundreds of catastrophe stories which hasn’t turned out to be a lie. Catastrophic warming, catastrophic cooling, CFCs, peak oil in 1970,80,85,90,2000,2005,210, peak coal, gas aluminium, uranium, pollution bringing the death rate down to 42, acid rain,extinction of half the species etc were all lies.

            What catastrophe claim have the ecofascists ever made that you wish to pretend wasn’t a deliberate lie?

      • Richard
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Ah yes… “peer reviewed” …that wonderful system of getting other scientists who agree with your general views to look at your work and er.. agree its allright.
        This how we came to have the orthodoxy the earth was flat as one scientist after another peer reviewed each others papers

        • uanime5
          Posted March 11, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

          If you’d done real research you’d know that scientists never though the Earth was flat and there are even records from Medieval times depicting the Earth as round.

          Also peer reviewing allows scientists to find errors in other scientists works; something climate change deniers have been unable to do.

  17. Damien
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The 2011 accounts show that BIS spends £21.5 billion while the DECC costs £2.97 billion, or £58.9 million and £8.46 million every day of the year! That represents a lot of taxpayers money yet somehow this has not translated as many jobs as one would expect for such an outlay. Somehow they have been spending £24.5 billion annually and yet we do not have a single manufacturer of turbines in this country. It appears that we fund research and development that is then sold to our competitors with no return to the taxpayer.

  18. Richard1
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Global Warming appeals to lefties because of the socialistic ‘remedies’ – taxes, regulations, big role for the state, anti-business, anti-US. Remember that distinguished scientists also have political views & those on the left will be pre-disposed to believe in man-made global warming. Recent presidents of the Royal Society, inc the present one, appear unfortunately to be examples of this. Happily the ‘consensus’ is now breaking down with mounting evidence that the data dont fit the theory & more vocal opposition from dissident scientists. If it does all turn out to be a red herring it will have been a very expensive mistake!

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      What I call BBC scientists often they seem have some other religious beliefs too I note.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Let me know when you have real evidence that to back up your claims, rather than claiming that communist scientists made up AGW to destroy the USA.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        I have not described any scientists as ‘communists’. One of the strongest indications this might all be a great red herring is the hysteria of the AGW theory’s defenders (like uanime5) whenever its called into question. Why is it that almost all scientific theories are open to debate and re-interpretation but never AGW? The evidence that the AGW theory might be wrong is that the observed data don’t fit the predictions made, so the theory must be wrong – or at least exaggerated. But that sort of approach has never troubled the left.

        • uanime5
          Posted March 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

          Most of the deniers refer to James Delingpole’s “Watermelons” when claiming that global Warming is fake.

          Let me know when you have some real evidence that AGW is wrong. All the records of the temperature of the planet and CO2 levels for over 100 years are freely available to the public, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding the data you need to show that the ‘observed data don’t fit the predictions made’. Unless of course they’re not wrong.

          • Richard1
            Posted March 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

            No-one – even the ‘deniers’ as you call them rather absurdly – deny that temperatures have risen, by 0.7C since pre-industrial times. Nor does anyone deny that CO2 is a greenhouse & gas & that, other things being equal, more CO2 means more warming. All that’s agreed. What isn’t agreed & what there isn’t any evidence for is: 1) that the warming of 0.7C (which in any event has been sporadic) is due to man-made CO2 and 2) that future warming will be so great as to cause catastrophic consequences. For 2) to be true there need to be strong positive feedbacks. Warming of up to 2.0C is in any event predicted to have on balance a positive impact (by the IPCC).

            The onus is on the likes of you to justify why the world economy should be burdened by such policies as taxing productive sectors to subsidise windfarms when there is no certainty or even good evidence that we are in fact headed for catastrophe.

            My point is that advocates of AGW on the left – and perhaps you are an example? – are pre-disposed to support the theory because they are attracted to the socialistic proposed ‘solutions’.

          • Richard1
            Posted March 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            Have a look at the 1st IPCC report of 1990 and Al Gore’s evidence to Congress in 1988 & then compare them with what’s happend since then – CO2 has increased as predicted…but temperatures have been flat in the C21st. so it is true to say that the observed data do not fit the theory. In any other field of science the theory would then be questioned.

  19. Electro-Kevin
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I am not anti privatisation nor anti nationalisation. There is a right time and place for both.

    Either will fail when they are corrupted as we now see with the banking system.

    As for the railways your previous post criticised the nationalised part of the railways. The McNulty report apportions blame on the privatised part of the railway too. That part of the industry which has such thrusting privateers as Sir Richard Branson.

    BR was more integrated. That is the view of every ex BR member I speak to. It was knackered and under-invested and paid such a pittance to its workers that not many people wanted to do the jobs on offer.

    Something makes me feel very uneasy about selling off British Steel and for it to fall into foreign hands – or the sell offs of essential infrastructure for it to later become re-nationalised but under foreign governments who then fail to keep up with the rapidly changing situation in Britain.

    Reply: One of the franchises has been nationalsied. I agree that the franchise system is not ideal, creating limited duration monopolies.

    • Bob
      Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      We should follow the HK MTR model:

      Carrying an average of 4 million passengers every weekday, the MTR is regarded as one of the world’s leading railways for safety, reliability, customer service and cost efficiency.

      The MTR Corporation was established in 1975 as the Mass Transit Railway Corporation with a mission to construct and operate, under prudent commercial principles, an urban metro system to help meet Hong Kong’s public transport requirements. The sole shareholder was the Hong Kong Government.

      The Company was re-established as the MTR Corporation Limited in June 2000 after the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government sold 23% of its issued share capital to private investors in an Initial Public Offering. MTR Corporation shares were listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong on 5 October 2000.

  20. Max Dunbar
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Challenging establishment orthodoxies now can land you with a criminal record and jail. The left-wing agitators of the 1960s, many of today’s politicians, know how to deal with opposition. You label them, accuse them of heresy, separate them from society, criminalise them and set their families, friends and employers against them.
    Up here in the Socialist Republic of Scotland you can come and see it in action. Now if you attend a football match and shout something unpleasant at the opposition you can be arrested and charged for it. Furthermore, if you say anything nasty connected to football on the internet you can be tracked down and prosecuted.
    Scotland has a tendency toward extremism which has in the past been moderated by the union with England. Challenging establishment orthodoxies here is soon going to become that much more dangerous.

  21. AJAX
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious to hear an expansion on this “thought crimes” issue briefly alluded to

  22. Epigenes
    Posted March 11, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    OT, Mr Redwood my post above was to ‘wab’ although it does not seem so.

    An edit function on this site would be useful.

  23. Mactheknife
    Posted March 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    John, as I have said on this blog many times AGW Alarmists, including our very own DECC ( Huhne, Gregory, Beddington et al) have swallowed the exaggerated claims hook, line and sinker. It didn’t help that Huhne seemed deeply wedded to Greeenpeace and WWF. Interestingly a letter was pusblished a few week ago in the Wall St Journal by many eminent scientists who produced a graph which showed the claims of the IPCC against what has actually happened in terms of temperature rise etc. These IPCC claims are based on models NOT evidence, and as might expect the evidence is now showing the IPCC claims to be woefully inaccurate in almost every respect. The usual scientific method of hypothecise, theorise and experiment goes out of the window with these scientists and AGW has become a cult.

    Some climate scientists, including the cabal which are connected to the IPCC and produce the AR’s, are also activists and are prepared to stop at nothing to keep their research grants flowing from governments worldwide. Some of their behaviour is shameful, just google Peter Gleick (scientist, activist and alarmist) and see what comes up with regards to his recent actions agaisnt the Heartland Institute. (etc)
    I recommend everyone go on to YouTube and search for the speech made in the House of Commons a few weeks ago by Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT. A quite and unflapple charater who totally destroys the AGW arguement. Or read Matt Ridleys piece in the Spectator about wind power.

    This government is unfortunately wedded to orthodoxy (even tho its a crock) and it will cost us all in jobs, energy bills, economic stability etc etc.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Professor Richard Lindzen actually says climate change is real and that doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will raise the temperature by 1C. He doesn’t destroy the AGW argument, he confirms it.

      • Mactheknife
        Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        I’m afraid you misunderstand what he is saying – well thats a surprise. Climate change is real – its always changed for billions of years !! What Lindzen is saying is that it can not be put down to purely man-made change (AGW) and that IPCC predicitions are wildly inaccurate. Read his paper on satellite temperature measurements.

        • Mactheknife
          Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          Forgot this for uanime5

          “Current climate models would have predicted a substantially greater increase in the past temperature than has been observed in the past 150 years, perhaps +3 deg C compared to the +0.6 deg C we have witnessed.” (Dr Richard Lindzen (Atmospheric Scientist) Professor at MIT UN-IPCC Lead Author: testimony to the House of Lords Select Committee 2005)

          I would get your HQ to provide better rebuttals for you before positing again.

      • Bob
        Posted March 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        uanime5
        There has been no warming for the last fifteen years.

  24. Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    You will notice that whenever you mention “Global Warming” that you are guaranteed to get a greater number of comments compared to practically any other issue. Further the views are probably more polarized and politicized than any other issue.
    However, the way to proceed might not be one of hypothesis testing. The data is complex and most of the science is about future events. Rather, it might be worth using the experience with which you are more familiar.
    1. In business, a new investment proposal will just be assessed on the theoretical profits, but on the capacity to see that proposal through to actual success. The Stern Review allegedly gave the theory, but there was nothing on public policy issues of controlling policy costs, and maximizing policy benefits (CO2 benefits). Whatever the policy, this failure to focus and project management is a sure guarantee of policy disaster.
    2. In politics, the greatest threat to extremist and untenable viewpoints has been from the majority who are able to compare these viewpoints to their other perspecitives. That is why authoritarian regimes only can exist in an environment where they silence criticism. Their is growing evidence of excluding contrary views without a fair hearing in our scientific institutions, in research funding, and in the mainstream media.
    3. Science at the frontiers about making bold hypotheses that can be falsified by later testing. Similarly, the police in a crime investigation make conjectures and then gather evidence. Established science (on which policy should be based) is like a successful prosecution in a criminal case. It is about presenting the evidence and under-going a cross examination by the opponents. This to convince a randomly-selected group of people. My contention would be that the strongest evidence of catastrophic global warming is the most trivial, whilst the most alarming aspects of climate change are based on weak, circumstantial and hearsay evidence.

    Two relevant references
    http://manicbeancounter.com/2011/02/13/climate-change-in-perspective-%E2%80%93-part-2-of-4-the-mitigation-curve/
    http://manicbeancounter.com/2012/02/20/a-climate-change-global-warming-spectrum/

  25. Atlas
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Global Warming claims are indeed suspect. I had a conversation with a Global Warming sceptic a few nights ago who was quite damning on some of those in the Royal Society who have supported the GW claims.

    I do wish politicians would take disinterested advice on the subject – but I suppose not many politicians see ‘votes’ in it for them – the usual political driver.

  26. David
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m a particle physicist and have long been worried about the tone and language of the debate on global warming. First, science is never “settled” and the possible existence of a consensus is not an argument worth propounding. The consensus argument is (rightly) not used to argue the correctness of, eg, general relativity (GR). GR has established itself as a working theory of nature via a series of experimental tests. If it had failed any of these tests the theory would have been falsified and it would be back to the drawing board (and this would be exciting- scientists ought not to be overly attached to a particular hypothesis). The theory of man-made global warming has not passed such experimental tests. This is an important point to make which is often neglected. If one is to use a theory to make credible predictions then that theory must (a) describe existing measurements and (b) make predictions which allow that theory to be falsified. The global warming models are optimised to describe existing data and, when they fail to match a new observation, are modified again. This doesn’t mean they are necessarily wrong in their fundamental predictions. It does, however, imply that they have not been able to establish themselves in the same way that GR or quantum mechanics have done. These latter theories have survived a number of classic tests (i.e. prediction -> measurement -> success) and their predictions thus have credibility. Climate science isn’t sufficiently mature as to allow a classic falsifiability test – there are simply too many unknowns and adjustable parameters. Consequently the predictions can’t be taken as seriously as those from more established theories.
    If someone disagrees with the above then can they please describe a single unambiguous experimental test which could be performed (or which has been performed) which would have falsified the hypothesis that man-made global warming will cause in increase in mean global temperature of > X degrees in 50 years time.

    Another issue I have is with the behaviour of some of the scientists. It is never acceptable to withhold data and manipulate results. The original hockey stick was rightly criticized for an inept use of principal components and data cherry-picking. Ok, mistakes happens and a bias can creep into results. However, once was this demonstrated the community should have held its hands up and admitted it. Instead, they argued black was white and defended it. These plots are shown all over the world as evidence for man-made global warming. They are also a textbook example of the need for a “blind” analysis i.e. when you force yourself to decide on your methodology before looking at the final result. This is a technique we often use in particle physics and I’m at a loss to understand why it isn’t widely used in climate science.

    What this field needs in my opinion is a thorough review. I see no reason why an unbiased selection of physicists, statisticians, modellers etc. can’t be assembled and given two years to reproduce the key climate results and uncertainties which are driving public policy. The costs would be miniscule and the gains massive. Its absurd that it hasn’t been done. The illusion that the science is “settled” and that the debate is over is falling to bits. Such a review is badly needed.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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