We need not sleepwalk into a disaster

Mr Miliband’s latest purple prose has suggested that global warming, now called climate change, is the cause of the recent floods. He deduces from this that the UK needs to do much more to arrest the output of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Let me annoy many of you and suppose that Mr Miliband is right – that CO2 does warm the climate, that man made CO2 is the key part of that process, and that this has directly caused the recent floods. Many of you disagree with one or more of these steps in the argument, I know.

He should still ask himself if the UK cutting its CO2 output more is going to stop such floods in the future? I cannot for one moment see how that can be true. The UK’s role in total world CO2 is small. If we take yet more action to make energy dearer and scarcer here, we will simply import more energy intensive goods from elsewhere. The amount of fossil fuel energy burned worldwide will not be reduced, even if the UK stopped burning all fossil fuels over say the next twenty years.

This weekend a climate scientist made clear that the recent bad weather in the UK has been caused by the position of the jet stream. He has stated that “there is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter”. Others have reminded us that this wet winter is no wetter than some other winters over the last 250 years, and is not the wettest on record.

I will agree with Mr Miliband on one important thing. We do need a new consensus about doing more in the UK to give ourselves resilience against wet weather. It would be a good idea to build into that more resilience against hot weather as well, in case we break out of the recent run of cool wet summers and have a hot dry one for a change. We need to store more of the water when it does fall as rain, and direct more of the water away from homes and farms into reservoirs, aquifers, and into rivers and the sea in manageable ways. Surely we could all agree on that, whatever our views on the global question of warming and CO2?


  1. Warwick
    February 18, 2014

    An interesting piece in The Guardian from George Monibot (of whom I am not normally a fan).

    Six weeks before the floods arrived, a scientific journal called Soil Use and Management published a paper warning that disaster was brewing. Surface water run-off in south-west England, where the Somerset Levels are situated, was reaching a critical point. Thanks to a wholesale change in the way the land is cultivated, at 38% of the sites the researchers investigated, the water – instead of percolating into the ground – is now pouring off the fields.

    Farmers have been ploughing land that was previously untilled and switching from spring to winter sowing, leaving the soil bare during the rainy season. Worst of all is the shift towards growing maize, whose cultivated area in this country has risen from 1,400 hectares to 160,000 since 1970.

    In three quarters of the maize fields in the south-west, the soil structure has broken down to the extent that they now contribute to flooding. In many of these fields, soil, fertilisers and pesticides are sloshing away with the water. And nothing of substance, the paper warned, is being done to stop it. Dated: December 2013.

    the current government… issued… a specific exemption for maize cultivation from all soil conservation measures.

    If there is any truth to this then MPs of all parties should be vocal about having conservation measures, in maize growing areas, resestablished as a matter of urgency


    1. Alan Wheatley
      February 18, 2014

      Sixty odd years ago government was paying farmers to drain the upland fells with the objective of improving the land so more sheep could be grazed (gripping). A consequence was that rainfall ran off the fells into the rivers more quickly, giving rise to faster rising river levels and more sediment build up.

      Years later the downside was realised and the government initiate was then to block up the drawing ditches (grips).

      Makes me wonder just how much we can reply on government to ever do the right thing.

    2. oldtimer
      February 18, 2014

      Did Mr Monbiot refer to the impact of the closure (c2007/8) of the Royal Ordnance Factory near Bridgewater; the ROF played a significant role in managing water flow because it needed vast quantities of water for its manufacturing process. The EA failed to pick up these responsibilities; it decided on a relatively passive policy, reducing dredging of the Parrett (for which dramatic photo evidence is available) and permitting flooding.

      1. Mark B
        February 19, 2014

        This is NOT entirely correct ! The reasons for the flooding are varied but, they do have something to do with the EU, EA (obviously) and environmental groups and useful idiots.

    3. stred
      February 18, 2014

      Topsoil in fields next to the A35 west of Dorchester have been washed away down to the chalk. It is not only maize, but rape that is being grown for biodiesel that is causing sheep pasture to be converted. 2/3 of rape goes to be burned now. It reminded me of the Dakota disaster in the 1930s. Int he US large areas of pasture are being converted to corn for ethanol.

    4. forthurst
      February 18, 2014
    5. arschloch
      February 18, 2014

      It would not be the first time farmers have brought misery upon themselves by going against nature and then expect everyone else to pick up the bill. Remember how BSE developed from them giving their cattle feed based on dead sheep? Let alone how over ploughing got the dustbowl going in Oklahoma.


    6. Max Dunbar
      February 18, 2014

      If the silting up of the rivers is caused by changed farming techniques and the rivers are then dredged, presumably the dredged material is largely soil. What happens to the dredged material? Is it dumped at sea or re-used in some way?

      1. Monty
        February 18, 2014

        In answer to your question Max, I have read elsewhere that EU Directives require the dredged silt to be disposed of in licensed landfills. Which is rather expensive.
        They are no longer allowed to use that silt to build up the banks, or fertilise the topsoil.

        1. Max Dunbar
          February 18, 2014

          Thanks Monty.

    7. Bill
      February 18, 2014

      I also read Monibot’s piece but was not especially impressed. He wants to blame DEFRA and others want to blame the Environment Agency; the first supports the farmers and the second supports…who knows what, probably it is run by deep greens in London and sensible local people at the bottom of the chain. Thus there is in Monibot’s analysis can kind of class-based anger.

      The trouble with Monibot’s piece is that he thinks he can see cause and effect because water runs off the field into the rivers but didn’t that always happen and how on earth do you quantify that sort of thing?

      I was more impressed by the report this morning that the children of cleaners in China are doing better on their PISA maths tests that the children of doctors and lawyers in the UK. It it the failure of quantification that plagues our society: to be run almost entirely by Arts graduates is a recipe for disaster. The Chinese leadership last time I looked is made up of engineers – and hence their huge and successful infrastructural projects. When I was last in Hong Kong they were planning a vast bridge to Macau, and so on.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 18, 2014

        Indeed maths & physics A levels are now clearly about the level of the math O levels/GCSEs that were taken in the 1970 or so. Worse in that they now simply do not require anything much beyond memory & regurgitation. The science often has an obnoxious and bogus political agenda too. With nonsense concepts such as “renewable energy”.

  2. Richard1
    February 18, 2014

    Politicians such as Messrs Miliband and Davey (and now I see John Kerry) are very good at coming up with new names with which to insult their opponents on global warming, but not very good at coming up with arguments as to why we should listen to them, given the actual outturn of the climate and how wrong apocryphal forecasts have been.

    Conservatives would do best to keep a cool head on this, point out how silly the language used by people like Ed Davey is, and make sure environmental fanatics such as those who have directed the Environment Agency and other public bodies are not in a position in future to forstall sensible measures for dealing with the consequences of severe weather when it comes.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 18, 2014

      Why on earth is Ed Davey still in place he is a menace with his barmy religion. Cameron is too but at least he has now worked out it is green crap.

    2. Hope
      February 18, 2014

      Cameron agrees with doomsday climate change green quackery, he said so in parliament only a mater of weeks ago. Booker highlights, once more, how the head of the Met Office has made so many wrong predictions. In my view it is becoming an expensive joke. Another expensive quango not giving value for money. WHat do these colour coded warnings actually achieve? the other public sector bodies they warn do not take any appropriate action. How long has it taken the government to respond to Somerset? It has been under flood since mid-December.

      Once more, JR is rowing upstream against his leader. I previously raised many times how water capture and distribution is a priority when the Lib Lab Con continues its mass immigration policy (to change our culture and national identity). Spelling?, Patterson’s predecessor, was against building reservoirs because of EU directives, rivers should not be dredged because of EU directives. I am coming to the view we should scrap the expensive corrupt parliament as another useless quango and lobby our real bosses in the EU for change. Our regional UK parliament does not have the guts to even pose the right questions.

      Davey needs to be slapped down or sacked, like his party he is a fanatical minority that is costing us all a fortune each month when our energy bills arrives on the doorstep. Cameron has followed Miliband and gold plated his twaddle on the EU’s position on climate change that is the cause of our expensive energy. Your party does not offer anything different from the other two looney tunes.

      1. lifelogic
        February 19, 2014

        “£15 million to cattle ranchers in Colombia to help cut flatulence in their cattle”!

        Clearly we should be catching all the methane in cow burp and fart balloons and then burning it for heat! It might sound mad but surely rather more efficient than Davey’s wind farms, PV and HS2.

    3. oldtimer
      February 18, 2014

      I read that Mr Davey`s Department for Energy and Climate Change has been very free with taxpayers money. In its wisdom it has recently given £15 million to cattle ranchers in Colombia to help cut flatulence in their cattle. Colombia is said to be the world`s 30th richest country. I am sure we can all think of better uses for our money much closer to home.

    4. Lifelogic
      February 18, 2014

      Indeed. How on earth can anyone think that reducing (& just UK) co2 emissions (by almost nothing) with very expensive wind farms, PV cells, the absurd green deal and the rest of the green crap is the best way to deal with future heavy rain.

      Perhaps Yeo, Huhne and Davey types but surely no one else and certainly no one with any remote understanding of the science, randomness & complexity of the World’s weather systems.

      1. Richard1
        February 18, 2014

        Mr Miliband has to date got off very lightly given he was the main author of the climate change act. He is not challenged on this in interviews, nor even by Conservatives, with a few exceptions. It is becoming clear that many manufacturing jobs, such as those at Tata steel are now at risk. So working class jobs in Labour areas are under threat or have already gone due to this foolish measure enacted by Mr Miliband and other metropolitan leftists beholden to the global warming (substitute) religion.

    5. Jennifer A
      February 18, 2014

      The Miliband position simply doesn’t square with the Nu Labour position of importing millions of new people to this country whose sole aim was to increase their prosperity – in other words their ability to consume more than they could in their homelands.

      The indigenous people had got the economic message and had begun to limit births to below 2 children per couple. Now Britain is in the throes of a population explosion.

      The greenists now – of all times – start telling us we must reduce the country’s carbon footprint and cede land to the sea.

      And so it will be. Because they rule. The majority (common sense) view is confined to fringe forums like this one and goes ignored.

      Emigrate if you can. Take your skills and your wealth with you.

      1. Max Dunbar
        February 18, 2014

        Funny how the Greenists were busy exhorting us to have smaller families and ‘be responsible for the sake of the planet’ during the 1970s but population control and birth rates are now taboo subjects with them. When the older generation of genuine naturalists like Attenborough say such things today there is an embarrassed silence verging on opprobrium.

  3. Leslie Singleton
    February 18, 2014

    Never much good saying that correlation is not causation but nevertheless it is true. One major problem is that for all the current grief, which I do not seek to minimise, it could be another 100 years before flooding on this scale happens again. This is of course why the idiotic building on flood plains is allowed to go on. Often so-called flood defences are no such thing and just transfer the water elsewhere. What we need, though it is not going to happen, is two “reservoirs” suitably placed in every river, one always empty the other always full. The full one is for anti hosepipe ban defence and the empty one takes water that might otherwise cause a flood downstream. Personally I was impressed with the idea of the Swansea tidal barrier in that when necessary its gates could be shut at low water so that a flooding river would have somewhere to dump a lot of its water. This would interrupt electricity production but that wouldn’t happen very often.

    1. Alan Wheatley
      February 18, 2014

      Swansea tidal barrier – neat.

      No flooded properties means no use of electricity to pump them out and then dry them out.

    2. stred
      February 18, 2014

      More useful to shut gates at high water to stop the tide backing up. Then the reservoir fills up with river water from a low level and is let out when the tide is low, generating elctricity at the same time. Tidal reservoirs can generate twice when the tide is up and when it is down and , unlike wind, it is predictable well in advance. according to the DECC book, tidal lagoons would only cost £45 per person, compared to £250 Severn barrage, £350 for tidal stream,£650 offshore wind, £1000 heat pumps and nuclear ( figure before being ripped off by the French), and£3200 for pv farms. So far RedEd, Huhne, Davey and Barker have chosen the most expensive ones.

      BBC had Huhne, who is now a rehabilitated consultant, on yesterday blaming the flooding on right wing deniers. Then they had a professor of engineering and an author of a sceptic book on and tried to get them to pin the flooding on climate change. The professor didn’t and the author was allowed to point out that the sea had only risen by a few tens of centimetres and the temperature rise was a fraction of a degree. But then the prof upped his game and predicted much larger temperature rises and sea levels going up metres. The author was then turned off and unable to answer. Ex BBC vice chairlady Baroness Young of the Levels may still have (influence ed).

    3. acorn
      February 18, 2014

      The Thames Barrier does exactly that to protect circa £250 billion of national income generating assets in London. Somerset levels (now called Lake Paterson I read, lol) not worth quite that much me thinks.

      As mentioned elsewhere today, Owen Paterson (DEFRA) was captured by the biofuel Corn (Maize) big agribusiness lobby, and deregulated all the soil protection (binding and percolating) measures required for other food crops. Without the ground cover plants under the corn crop, it has ended up in a lot of that soil into front rooms. Laissez faire neoliberalism does these things so the 1% get richer while the 99% get poorer.

    4. behindthefrogs
      February 18, 2014

      It is only necessary to stop the flow through a tidal barrier when the levels of the river and incoming tide are equal. This would be the point where electricity would usually be generated by water flowing up stream. If this is done to prevent flooding, the filling of the “reservoir” by flood water allows generation to restart much earlier once there is equality on the falling tide.

      In view of the efficiency of such barriers in terms of electricity generation, it would be interesting to know how much of their cost could be justified by the flood defence they provide. This seems to justify a lot more of these barriers being constructed.

    5. Leslie Singleton
      February 18, 2014

      Post scriptum–I meant also to say that so-called flood-‘risk” areas are of course no such thing either: rather they are flood-“certainty’ areas; the only doubt being how long between floods. Given that houses (though maybe not modern ones??) last centuries, building on flood plains is unarguably barking mad, and in some cases certifiable . One might think the Government would see this. If all affected present houses were put up on stilts would that increase GDP? If not, why not??

      1. stred
        February 19, 2014

        It is possible to lift houses using hydraulic jacks. A buiding built on a frame, could be lifted clear of floods. The problem at the moment is that planners always put a condition on the height of buildings and the ground floor has to be kept low. Temporary jacking up would allow houses to be built in areas subject to flooding.

  4. Peter van Leeuwen
    February 18, 2014

    Although I have long given up on you lot (the British) concerning anything EU, I do feel for the people having to cope with your floods. In the Netherlands, more than 200,000 people had to be evacuated in 1995 after negligent maintenance on inland rivers and lessons had to be learned (“room for the river projects”, part of a new overall “delta programme” which also looks into dry weather and the supply of fresh water. There might be interesting parallels with your current problems: http://www.deltacommissaris.nl/english/topics/

    1. Lifelogic
      February 18, 2014

      Well the EU stopped the dredging with their contaminated waste nonsense and the OTT protection of nature over everything rules.

    2. Mark B
      February 18, 2014

      Welcome back.

      Oh, and thanks for letting us borrow your pumps. You did let us borrow them didn’t you ? being good little Europeans and all. ;0

    3. arschloch
      February 18, 2014

      More good stuff from “The Guardian” this morning on the EU. Things are not going too well in Bosnia at the moment. This time is not ethnic based violence instead the underlying causes are economic. The Bosnian journalist seems quite perceptive on how neo-liberal economics can rip away at the social fabric of a nation.

      “But there is one big difference with the riots seen in other European cities, and this is where Bosnia speaks directly to Europe’s current predicament: this is not a rebellion of discriminated and ghettoised groups, territorially contained on the outskirts of big cities. It is a rebellion of the whole population that has been subjected to economic impoverishment, social devastation and political destitution. In this, Bosnia is an image of Europe’s future: ungovernable populations, exhausted by austerity measures and left to their own devices after the collapse of remnants of the welfare state – a state with no prospect for growth, run by elites of dubious, if any legitimacy who deploy heavily armed police to protect themselves against ordinary citizens.”


    4. Bill
      February 18, 2014

      No need to give up on all the Brits. This is a particularly Eurosceptic website!

      I suppose we are surprised that the Dutch put up with being governed from elsewhere.

    5. yulwaymartyn
      February 18, 2014

      Peter: nice to hear from you again Peter. As a pro EU person I miss your contributions to this blog. I would hope that you reconsider your decision to quit. Regards.

    6. REPay
      February 18, 2014

      Thanks Peter – I appreciate your comments too…I still hope for reform of the EU, rather than an exit!

    7. Sebastian Weetabix
      February 18, 2014

      Peter, it’s nice to see you back. It is always a pleasure to disagree with you and your manner is always very civilised! Interesting link too – thanks

    8. Leslie Singleton
      February 18, 2014

      Dearest Peter–Ask us (a lot of us at any rate) how much we care about your having given up on us re the EU. Much Love Leslie

  5. Mike Stallard
    February 18, 2014

    “We do need a new consensus about doing more in the UK to give ourselves resilience against wet weather.”

    There are two schools of thought which we are up against.
    The first is headed up by George Monbiot of the Guardian. Roughly it goes like this: tidal rivers bring water into the low lying land. They ought therefore to be allowed to run slower. Oxbow lakes ought to be encouraged. Trees ought to be planted. Dredging ought to be stopped. At the mouth of the rivers, washes (salt marshes) ought to be built to raise the sea level so that flow back is prevented and local bird life encouraged. Dredging ought to be stopped as it actually increases flooding.
    This view is supported by a bevy of university hydrologists who do not live in the Fens or on the Somerset levels.

    The second view is even more startling. It was presented last night on Newsnight by a professor from Manchester University who is a scientist. (I forget his name.) His argument is that climate change is the most frightful danger which we face and every sinew ought to be stretched to reduce its effects. We ought to spend a paltry £350 billion on fighting Climate Change with renewables. (It is a small sum compared with the amount spent on bailing out the banks.) We have to get used to the idea that England will look very different in 2100 with sea levels rising and filling in the Wash and the Thames.

    Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first drive mad.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 18, 2014

      Indeed the BBC coverage on Newsnight was a complete disgrace, as is usual with the BBC coverage of this religion.

      1. Hope
        February 18, 2014

        Stop watching it. I ahvelng since given up on the Propoganda unit.

    2. Sheumais
      February 18, 2014

      The rather hysterical gentleman on Newsnight was Kevin Anderson. I was surprised he eschewed the tinfoil hat he seems well-suited to.

    3. Max Dunbar
      February 18, 2014

      Professors are ten a penny now. The next thing will be ‘Award Winning Professor from….’

  6. Old Albion
    February 18, 2014

    Absolutely spot on JR. Why on earth do you not run for leader of the Cons?

    1. Lifelogic
      February 18, 2014

      He did, but the half witted (and larger) wing of the party preferred to go over the cliff for 3 + terms with the proven wrong ERM, unapologetic disaster that was John Major. The wing is still there as we saw with A list Laura Sandys on Newsnight last night.

    2. Aunty Estab
      February 18, 2014

      A lot of this country`s trouble stems from everything being run by” public school/Oxbridge’ people who haven`t a clue, somehow we need to get rid of all these people who have never had a proper job and seem to lack the most elementary common sense.

      1. lifelogic
        February 19, 2014

        Not that much wrong with Oxbridge scientists and engineers in general. What we have far too much of is Oxford, silver spoon in the mouth PPE graduates, Keynesian economists, art graduates, divinity graduates, green religion nutters, climate change experts and endless lawyers.

  7. petermartin2001
    February 18, 2014

    Mr Redwood,

    Yes what you say is true. “The UK’s role in total world CO2 is small.”

    It’s a classic ‘tragedy of the commons’ situation.

    If I stop grazing my goat on the common then it really doesn’t make any difference if 99 other goats are allowed to carry on grazing there. I may as well make it 100. But then of course the common is overgrazed and becomes unfit to support any goats at all. Whereas if a sensible quota had been applied it could have sustainably supported 50 goats.

    This is the 21st century. Surely we are intelligent enough to come up with a plan to prevent that happening?

    1. Alan Wheatley
      February 18, 2014

      It is not a question of intelligence, it is a question of international politics. Thus, every “goat” is owned by a different national government, each one looking after its own interests.

      So, for instance, when we have a problem attributed to global warming we hassle our government for a solution rather than the Chinese government for making the problem worse.

    2. lifelogic
      February 18, 2014

      “It’s a classic ‘tragedy of the commons’ situation.”

      Well it would be if there were any real evidence that CO2 emissions will cause Catastrophic global warming and there really is no. A little warmer is better on balance and there is no reason to assume positive feed backs will cause any catastrophic runaway.

      Even then we cannot even stop pointless wars so what chance have we got of controlling C02 emissions?

    3. Ken Adams
      February 18, 2014

      So the commons can support 50 goats it cannot support 100 thus our 1 makes no effective difference. The situation is worse than that because humans are producing more CO2 each year your commons is going to get a bit crowded with all those (foreign ed) goats.

    4. Max Dunbar
      February 18, 2014

      ‘This is the 21st century.’
      We were probably saying the same thing here in the fifth century shortly after the Romans departed.

    5. Stephen O
      February 19, 2014

      Well if you want to put it in terms of goats. Taking our goat off the commons does not leave 99 goats on the common as someone else replaced it with their much hungrier goat (i.e. production in the UK moving to countries with lower environmental standards, generating more polution per unit of production).

      In this case keeping our goat on the common is actually better for the commons than the alternative. As for coming up with a plan, that did happen, but it is abundantly clear that the big pollution contributors are not going to join it. Without that collective decision to manage the common, the UK’s higher energy costs are actually making things worse by making global production shift to countries with lower standards and increasing global polution overall.

  8. DrJohnGalan
    February 18, 2014

    At a Parliamentary Committee (HC 898, 3 Dec 2013), Graham Stringer (a labour politician) asked Ed Davey about the overall impact of Mr Miliband’s Climate Change Act. I quote: “ … I think you are missing the point. I am not talking about emissions, [in the last 12 months] emissions are up. I am talking about the total carbon footprint of the amount of carbon that this country is responsible for because what seems to be happening is that although emissions before this year are down, because we are importing goods that are produced less efficiently and have to be transported here, our overall carbon footprint is up, which I think you have accepted. Processes are less efficient and we have to pay the carbon price of bringing goods here.”

    He did not get an answer that made any sense. Yet another example of the unintended consequences of extremely costly government action.

    1. lifelogic
      February 18, 2014

      Has Ed Davey ever said anything that has ever made any sense. What answer would make any sense to that sensible question. I have never heard him say anything sensible at all, he is a man of religion, the green irrational, anti-science religion? So why is Davey still there, and David Laws and Maria Miller? Still at least Huhne and Yeo have finally gone.

      It is because Cameron made his vote blue get green crap, hug a husky photo shoot agenda and threw the last election away by ratting and giving Clegg equal TV billing. Soon the throw the next one too.

      Why anyone thinks he can win the next election is totally beyond me.

      A shame Miliband is full of the same green garbage but what is the difference. Miliband does have half decent science A levels so perhaps he might see the light post election.

    2. Mark B
      February 18, 2014

      ” . . . we have to pay the carbon price of bringing goods here.”

      The ‘we’ being the consumer, or to put it another way, tax payer. This is just a clever Socialist scam to deprive people of their wealth through guilt driven stealth taxation.

      Taxes, which go to feed the ever growing Governmental behemoths.

    3. behindthefrogs
      February 18, 2014

      We need a major exercise to improve import replacement. We need to reduce the number of containers leaving the UK empty.

      We need to make home produced goods more competitive. Firstly by reducing and if possible removing employers’ NI contributions. Secondly by making the tax on foriegn lorries the same as for UK lorries. Charge fuel duty on the large tanks of fuel brought into the country.

    4. miami.mode
      February 18, 2014

      Agree with this.

      Davey et al are probably deluding themselves as well as us by claiming that we are doing well on emissions.

      There should be a way of calculating the worldwide emissions a country is responsible for i.e. usage plus imports less exports.

      Obviously it would be difficult but might turn current thinking on its head.

    5. Tom William
      February 18, 2014

      Three points about CO2 emissions.
      The total CO2 produced in the installation of most wind farms is likely to be greater than the reduction in CO2 in the lifespan (about 20 years) of the farm.

      The effect of increased CO2 as a greenhouse gas is logarithmic, in other words a doubling of CO2 does not double its greenhouse effect.

      CO2 in the atmosphere continues to rise but temperatures have not. Why?

      1. lifelogic
        February 19, 2014


  9. nigel
    February 18, 2014

    It would appear to be better to spend some money on dredging, rather than throwing £15 millions at Colombian farmers to help them reduce flatulence in their cows.

    1. APL
      February 18, 2014

      nigel: “It would appear to be better to spend some money on dredging,”

      You know why dredging is considered so expensive?

      Because the sediment pulled from the bottom of the river is classified as ‘industrial waste’ and has to be disposed of in the most expensive way the EU can dream up.

      So dredging has been made ‘uneconomic’ not because it is too expensive, but because dumping the mud from the bottom of the river on the river banks – which is where it came from originally, is considered industrial waste and a penal tax regime applied.

      Talk about Kafkaesque.

    2. bigneil
      February 18, 2014

      Wouldn’t it be better to actually increase the flatulence of Columbian cows? -after all, it is said to be methane, and would therefore be FREE energy. Not have to be fracked. Just add a balloon to each cow, when there is enough methane in the balloon to start lifting the cow off its feet, time to empty the balloon. Surprised the “good causes” group from Lotto haven’t come up with it. Must go -time to take my pills.

    3. Steve
      February 18, 2014

      How exactly do they reduce flatulance in cows even with £15m? What is the £15m going on, plugs?

  10. PoliSci
    February 18, 2014

    Thanks for going against the grain of what most of your followers seem to understand about the weather and it’s potential link to climate. Just a point, if you were referring to Dr Francis from Rutgers University, it is a she.

  11. Mike Wilson
    February 18, 2014

    Whether CO2 emissions do, or do not, cause climate change is, to my way of thinking, academic. Who would burn carbon by choice?

    We should have invested in nuclear in a big way. We should have enough nuclear power stations to power all our energy needs. We should invest in electric cars and make them viable.

    Energy infrastructure is one of the few areas where we really need a government to be in charge. But our 5 year pass the parcel with power between Labour and Tory governments means we have no long term view on anything. Why can’t the two of you agree to build, say, 15 nuclear power stations over the next 15 years.

    1. lifelogic
      February 19, 2014

      Who would burn carbon by choice?

      Virtually all animal life on earth does and always has done.

  12. ukgoldbug
    February 18, 2014

    Whenever any politician is in favour of extra taxation or regulation just ask yourself who gets the benefit of the cash. In this case the money flows directly to the government where it is distributed to “green” business (normally with political connections, MPs as directors or consultants) and to various activist groups that will support political allies. A big chunk of the money will be retained by government to spend on increasing it’s power and staffing levels. None of the stolen money will contribute towards fighting man made climate change, due mainly to the fact that no such thing exists nor ever has. The losers, as usual, will be the tax cattle that have to work even harder just to pay to keep the lights on and their house above freezing in winter. We live in the time of the parasitic class. Ayn Rand’s When Atlas Shrugged becomes more vividly realistic every single day.

  13. APL
    February 18, 2014

    JR: “Many of you disagree with one or more of these steps in the argument, ..”

    Shrewd guess there, Mr Redwood. But suppose …

    Then we should arrest the increase in CO2, which your political class has already done by its policy this last sixty years of the de-industrialisation of the UK. Since 1945 – to today, our Iron founding and smelting industry has been almost completely transferred abroad, our indigenous automotive industry has been shut down, and new ( presumably lower energy cost ) foreign owned plants introduced, our train coach building industry has been outsourced to the Germans, and the mines closed.

    The UK has already met its ‘Carbon’ reduction targets if you look at the post war period. Therefore we do not need to do nothing more on that score!

    Now, since CO2 is an insignificant agent in ‘Global warming’ which itself is an insignificant phenomena, the whole process is a waste of time and an extraordinary waste of money.

    If you are concerned about an energy gap, and you should be, then you should be looking at safer alternatives to the plutonium or uranium cycle – for example, nuclear power based on the Thorium fission cycle.

    Divert the wasted resources currently flowing into building windmills to commissioning and constructing a Thorium cycle nuclear plant. It could be the foundation of a successful export industry.

    1. Steve
      February 18, 2014

      Disgraceful decision to place the contract for the new trains with Siemens, I read that the British trains were as good and as competitive financially however a finance option made the German’soffer favourite, I do nt think the financing option was even used…no consideration made of taxs to be paid by English workforce, business taxes etc. disgraceful by Hammond but he has shown a complete disregard for British jobs in every department he goes to.

      1. APL
        February 19, 2014

        steve: “Disgraceful decision to place the contract for the new trains with Siemens,”

        Yep, but if I remember correctly, it was EU competition ‘law’ that was at the root of the decision.

  14. Iain Gill
    February 18, 2014

    Its pointless pushing the costs of production up here with “green” taxes, ever tighter emissions regulations, higher energy costs, and all the rest of it when all it drives is production shutting here and restarting in India and China with less anti emissions gear than we ever used here pushing UP world pollution. “Green” measures which push up world pollution, and kill British jobs, should be obviously nonsense even to the green lobby.

    The only way to deal with pollution is multi laterally and that means pressure on India and China.

  15. Alan Wheatley
    February 18, 2014


  16. Edward2
    February 18, 2014

    We have the balance of spending wrong.
    We have spent too much on our attempts to reduce our CO2 and not enough on our attempts to mitigate the effects of what experts tell us are the consequences.

    It is worth saying it is around 15 years since the experts changed the emphasis of their predictions from ones warning us of dryer years to ones now warning us of wetter years.

  17. Lifelogic
    February 18, 2014

    Well is does not even annoy me. Clearly c02 has an affect on climate and may have have had an effect on recent precipitation (as may millions of other inputs and feed backs). It is only the absurd certainly of the green loons and the firm catastrophic predictions we dispute. The evidence, so far, is entirely consistent with there being no problem and little hotter is likely to be better on balance anyway.

    Suppose we have no warming for another 10 years taking it to 27 (with C02 still increasing) what will the BBC say then? If we still have to suffer it.

    Clearly we need to cancel wind subsidies, pv subsidies, electric car subsidies, hs2, the green deal and all the rest of the green crap (which save virtually no co2 in any event). Then we can spend the money on obvious engineering solutions like dredging, pumping, reservoirs, sewage systems, railway lines that are not washed away ……….. Things we know will actually work.

    All this is surely blindingly obvious but then not to Cameron’s A list, pro EU, fake green, lib dem think MPs like Laura Sandys on Newnight last night. Why are these people not in the LibDems.

    The BBC had dug up Chris Huhne, Professor Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director of the discredited Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Laura Sandys MP all pushing the daft agenda.

    Laura Sandys even said (after trotting out the absurd 98% of scientists drivel) “And even the climate change sceptics are only sceptical about whether it is man made or not.” What a pointlessly idiotic statement the climate always changes and what else it there to dispute about their silly catastrophic man mad global warming scare agenda?

    It is simple:

    Warmer is probably better.
    C02 is only one of millions of input to the weather.
    Engineering solutions can usually work and are far cheaper than reducing c02 which will not work.
    Reducing C02 in the just the UK slightly is totally irrelevant
    It has not warmed for 17 years anyway
    The climate always has and will change.
    The recent rainfall is nothing unusual historically even before the c02 increases.
    Wind and PV save virtually no C02 anyway and cost billions.
    People like the met office who were predicting a dryer than average this winter and summer droughts are rather unlikely to be right on the 100 year long range.

  18. Bob
    February 18, 2014

    There are billions of years worth of evidence which proves that climate change is a natural occurrence beyond the control of man. What makes Miliband and his fellow travellers so reluctant to acknowledge this?

    The UK has a rapidly increasing population and clearly needs to upgrade it’s water storage capacity, regardless of the future weather patterns.

    It’s time to scrap HS2 and other such non essential money squandering projects and build some new reservoirs.

    Has anyone else noted the suspension of Chemtrailing over recent weeks?

    1. arschloch
      February 18, 2014

      No but looking up at the sky tonight I note its nearly a full moon which is more likely effecting you behavior

      1. Max Dunbar
        February 18, 2014

        …..and your spelling!

      2. Bob
        February 19, 2014

        Should I deduce from your glib remark that do not believe in the existence of Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering?

  19. English Pensioner
    February 18, 2014

    As I mentioned in my own blog, the BBC reports that
    “Severe flooding in the UK is not unusual.
    “Between May and July 2007, England and Wales experienced the wettest conditions in 200 years. Nearly 50,000 households were affected.

    So even the BBC, one of the country’s staunchest climate change enthusiasts admits things were not so bad and that severe flooding in this country is not unusual.

    But even so, Milliband chooses to jump on the bandwagon and prefers to propose more CO2 cuts rather than dealing with the root causes, the failure to dredge riverbeds and excessive building, particularly on flood plains. This country produces a tiny fraction of the global CO2 and even if we stopped producing any at all, it would not make any statistically significant difference in global figures. I wonder how the natural CO2, produced by the recent volcano eruption in the Far East compares with the UK output?

  20. Bert Young
    February 18, 2014

    I don’t subscribe to the climate change argument and I agree that our contribution to heat in the atmosphere is minimal compared to other countries such as China . Boosting our production output and reducing imports has a significant influence on our economy and ought to be seen in this light rather than in any format . We must pursue a low cost energy factor and disregard the temperature addicts .

  21. oldtimer
    February 18, 2014

    Lord Lawson, who set up the Global Warming Policy Foundation, gets a lot of stick from the Miliband`s and Davey`s of this world for being a “denier”. I think his position is more nuanced than that; closer to agnosticism. I think his position is that we do not understand the multiple influences that govern the complexities of climate change and that the man made element is trivial in the greater scheme of things. He sensibly believes in a policy of adaptation to change as it occurs – not the mad, ill-informed rush to waste billions on the basis of useless computer models of what it is claimed will happen between now and the year 2100. That usually has been the way that people have adapted to change – with practical, here and now measures to deal with known problems.

  22. Peter Stroud
    February 18, 2014

    I think I am right in believing that David Cameron, and a number of his cabinet believe the same, non scientific rubbish that Miliband is spouting. Perhaps you might explain to them the facts of the matter: as you have in this piece.

  23. Roger Farmer
    February 18, 2014

    That climate changes is an historical fact from millions of years before history was ever thought of, is a given. I believe that the coal we mine today came from a period when our climate was tropical and the UK land mass was at a totally different latitude to that which it enjoys today.
    The sheer naivety and dishonesty of those that think that human beings can in any measurable way bring about climate change is intellectually beyond the pale. Maybe an all out atomic war would bring it about, but then there would be no one to argue it left. Man cannot compete with the sun, asteroids or earthbound volcanoes.
    Nothing much has happened to the climate in the past twenty years that isn’t contradictory. Both polar icecaps increased in size this year against the predictions of the green lobby.
    This green lobby and a bunch of quite unscrupulous politicians have hijacked this unproven, baseless thesis to their own ends. Maybe with the decline in smoking they were desperate for another tax stream. Whatever, they could not resist an opportunity to claw money from the general public, some of whom could be conned into thinking they were subscribing to a good cause.
    These brilliant intellects of Europe and Westminster have in their ignorance managed to burden UK industry with some of the highest energy costs in the World, in the process of following this fake religion.
    Yes we should conserve our resources, re-cycle where viable, and avoid polluting our immediate atmosphere with lung debilitating gases. By any standards the design of houses is poor in terms of insulation and the use of natural energy, so why not put this right. It can be done without resort to any new quasi religious conversion.
    When the current floods are analysed I suspect you will find that it is down to neglect of the basic systems for the flow of water to the sea. A neglect that has not been visible to the general public until the last two months, unlike that of our roads which by any standards are appalling. Political and management failure are the problem not the vagaries of weather.

  24. Kenneth R Moore
    February 18, 2014

    Okay so the ‘experts’ believe that dredging isn’t the answer…


    Tackling ‘climate change’ in response to the floods is about as idiotic as slaughtering a goat because we have had a bad harvest. Yet again people that actually do useful things with useful machinery are heaped onto the scrapyard to be replaced by Chris Smith type yes men that know everything and nothing.
    I’m sure that the people in Somerset are comforted to know that the EPA spent thousands on Equali tea mugs and sponsoring gay pride marches.
    Since when did parliament become so weak and feeble it is unable to prevent odious ex Mp’s using taxpayers money to fund pet projects.Says everything about the priorities and leadership of this organisation.

  25. stred
    February 18, 2014

    Until recently, for some reason, unlike the US and France meteos, the Met Office have not shown much interest in talking about the jet stream. The night that the 1987 hurricane force storm struck the SE, I was watching french tv, as I could pick it up from the Caen transmitter. Their forcast predicted the storm and damage to glasshouses, showing the reason as a cold jet stream above warm air arriving around a depression. Michael Fish told us not to worry as another viewer who had it right was wrong.

    There are other things that are never mentioned such as the North Atlantic oscillation, which is thought to be responsible for the severe winters in the 60s and 40s. But what they are good at is picking out individual monthly records in rain and temperatures and this gives the soothsayers something to panic about. RedEd and the DECC boys just couldn’t resist the latest record to reinforce the message. Any pointing out of pre-warmist record rain, snow, heatwaves and floods are just so off message. Then the deniers have to be also the meanies who wouldn’t pay for the flood defences and made it worse. And don’t mention Baroness Young of the Levels.

  26. Dan H.
    February 18, 2014

    One other trick apart from dredging which really ought to be considered is the building of large barrages on big tidal rivers. The rate at which water flows down a river is dependent not only on the depth of the river (which dredging can affect) but also on the slope from river to sea. This can be altered by putting a one-way gate on the tidal section of the river, so that the rising tide is blocked and the flooded river continues to flow into the estuary.

    As most of these tidal rivers are important for birds and wildlife, the barrage ought not to be kept permanently in this mode, and ought indeed to be kept open most of the time to allow the river to remain tidal and natural, but the ability to temporarily increase the flow rate of flooded rivers is a very useful one.

  27. JimS
    February 18, 2014

    We don’t even need to make the ‘assume they are right’ line.
    Assume that the climate is changing and assume that the ‘evidence’ is drought, flooding, mild winters, cold winters etc. in other words ‘unpredictability’. How then is it sensible to rely on wind and solar power when the wind might not blow and the skies might never be cloud-free?
    It seems to me that there is a lot of long-term ‘planning’ that is based on things staying the same when the driver is the perception that things are apparently changing. Perhaps the ‘changes’ will abruptly stop on the installation of the two millionth solar panel or fifty thousandth wind turbine?

  28. Richard
    February 18, 2014

    CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) has all the hallmarks of an extreme religious sect where all reasoning and sense of proportion is thrown to the wind.

    It may indeed be sensible in the long-term to be able to control or reduce our output of CO2, even though this gas represents just 0.04% of our atmosphere and where much of it comes from natural sources, but in the meantime it is more important that practical ways should be employed to mitigate the effects of any climate change.

    Our CO2 reduction should be achieved through science and technology devising carbon free energy at cheap prices and not through enormous subsidies given to inefficient, expensive and unreliable power sources such as wind turbines, which will soon be out-of-date.

    Money should be put into research into safer nuclear power, such as thorium reactors and, hopefully, eventually nuclear fusion. Research into improved photovoltaic cells should continue.

    I think it is amazing that the temperatures on our planet are so constant and reliable despite the fact that it is almost entirely dependent upon a 5 billion year old thermonuclear fireball 93 million miles away !

  29. Raddy
    February 18, 2014

    ” We need to store more of the water when it does fall as rain, and direct more of the water away from homes and farms into reservoirs, aquifers, and into rivers and the sea in manageable ways.”

    Interesting idea John, although I doubt it will catch on.

    After all what has 10,000 years of human settlement taught us since the first human said. “I’m sick of bison steaks for 3 meals a day, I really fancy a sandwich, but I’ll have to learn to manage the land first”. How can we so arrogant to compare the sum total of human endeavour as of any value, against the wise words of PPE graduates.

  30. Larry SilverStein
    February 18, 2014

    Too late to stop it; “Global Warming” is here! Spend the eco-tax cash on flood defences rather than silly expensive wind-mills which generate little electricity and do little to reduce the huge amount of C02 which China and India’s 1000 coal power stations are spewing out into the atmosphere.

  31. Atlas
    February 18, 2014

    John, we can agree on doing more as you described, however we have the problem about our scarce resources being wasted on unneccesary windmills etc instead of the good works you, and even our resident EUphile Peter V. Leeuwen, suggest.

  32. Bill
    February 18, 2014

    Completely agree with John’s posting. This is why quantification is needed. We need to work out (a) what the impact of huge investment in inefficient green technology will be on our present and future economy (b) what the impact of this green technology will be on the speed of global warming (assuming it is occurring) and (c) whether the money spent on green technology would be better spent on flood defences.

    If we were really clever we could make the flood defences capable of generating power whenever they were needed.

  33. Max Dunbar
    February 18, 2014

    I know this sounds unkind but does Miliband look as if he has a clue about the countryside and the weather. He seemed completely out of place and unaccustomed to any kind of outdoor activity when photographed staggering around in some dirty water recently. I doubt that he would know one end of a spade from the other.

  34. Dennis
    February 18, 2014

    Yes cutting UK emissions won’t do anything but cutting them will not happen whatever we do with the clamour for more economic growth and the acceptance of an increasing population which politically needs getting 30 plus millions working which further adds to the emissions together with the decline of the UK’s carrying capacity to boot.

    The political agenda of all parties is to exacerbate this destructive path resulting in an insane life environment because they know that the public will not contemplate any sort of sacrifice for their children and their progeny. This is not their fault but through ignorance as the politicians, even if they know but seeming not, will not explain where this greed will take us.

    We can only be greedy without environmental detritus with a population that small that its emissions cannot possibly upset anything. This applies to the whole world too of course.

  35. Ken Adams
    February 18, 2014

    I agree with Mr Redwood even if the warmists are right we are paying extra taxes for a process which is obviously not working. Far better to use money to prepare for the effects of Global warming than to continue pretending we can do something about it by exporting the right to produce even more plant food.

  36. bigneil
    February 18, 2014

    You really must stop writing articles like this – -using obscene words like “we all agree” – -good god man -you are a politician -you must at least blame “the previous govt” or UKIP. Carry on like this and people will have no respect for you.
    Seriously – -nice article.

  37. Denis Cooper
    February 18, 2014

    1. Because of both historical and current experimental data being adjusted, massaged or fraudulently misrepresented, it is far from clear what has been happening with the global climate.

    2. Even if all the input data were accurate, so far the current climatological models have proved inadequate and have very poor predictive power.

    3. Even if it had actually been proved beyond doubt that we could avert harmful climate change and its effects by reducing global manmade emissions of CO2, which it hasn’t been, the UK is now contributing only 1.4% to the total and if we entirely eliminated those emissions it would only take the Chinese alone about eight months to restore the rate of flow of CO2 into the atmosphere to its previous level.

    4. Shutting down swathes of our economy and running the rest in a sub-optimal way on the basis of an increasingly dubious theory helps nobody and least of all ourselves, and when a range of other wrong-headed policies are adopted, whether because of the EU or otherwise, that becomes counter-productive from the point of view of dealing with the practical effects of any climate change which may be occurring.

  38. stred
    February 18, 2014

    Talking of sleepwalking to disasters, when Mr Milliband was the first minister for DECC, he said ‘I am aware that our current policy not to grandfather(ie. guarantee for 25 years) the support given for biomass.. has caused significant investment concerns within the industry’. At the time Drax Group plc were planning to stall the conversion of some coal stations. Its CEO had said she was’ not confident that the subsidy, for what is one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy’ would be met etc. Drax were then quoting costs as – coal £31 against biomass £40. (Check site Electricity Forum/ Selby)

    Today the figures given for the ‘strike price’ are £105 for converted coal biomass wood pellet burning stations such as Drax and £125 for dedicated (new) stations.

    It is interesting that the land area necessary for biomass generation in America is given as 534 sq.km/ 100 Gw, compared to wind 72 sq.km and conventional around 1 sq.km. Areas the size of Rhode Island are cut every year to keep Drax going. This means that wood pellet making in the US is now big business and growing fast. The wood is supposed to come from cuttings but some US enviromental groups are claiming that whole trees are being used. A lot of Americans are against the idea.

    Graham Stringer MP pointed out in the parliamentary meeting 20.3.13 that although coal stations were being shut because of pollution, biomass emissions in 2010 were 160 tons of chromium and 130 tons of arsenic. Jackie Doyle Price pointed out that Tilbury station only breached its emissions when the A13 was congested and G.Stringer asked whether the life of the station could be extended because, even though it had been converted to biomass, it had to close because of the EU directive, which allowed flexibility. It closed last year.

    Wood pellets have less combustion energy than coal and the converted plant therefore has to put 50% more CO2 into the atmosphere than coal for the same output. It is interesting that DECC have decided that the carbon debt caused by the fact that the tree is burned in seconds but takes 30 years to grow is ..nil. The argument is that other trees are growing in its place and gobbling up the CO2. And by the time it reaches the EU all the transport and manufacturing CO2 is forgotten too.

    1. stred
      February 19, 2014

      Correction. The area of land supports 1000Mw = 1Gw.

      1. stred
        February 19, 2014

        And it should have been Gwh and Twh. May be the onset of brain rot.

  39. Antisthenes
    February 18, 2014

    Whether or not climate warming/change is happening is irrelevant as far as low carbon emitters like the UK are concerned as spending billions on it’s reduction is money wasted. Far better to tackle local problems using local expertise and people like flooding with some of that wasted money and turn it into money well spent. Extreme weather conditions are not new perhaps their are effects are or these days better reported. Tackling the effects of problems from extreme weather and pollution globally will also be better tackled locally as slowly the combination of effort will reduce those pollutants and make habitats safer for people. Of course there are some things that need world wide cooperation to tackle because some do not have the means to cope on their own or the expertise or involve more than one country . So instead of world conferences that set stupid co2 and other emission targets that only a few will bother to adhere to they should have conferences on how to tackle specific problems like deforestation, soil erosion, wild life poaching and the like. Also how to promote innovation and technology to tackle unsafe levels of gas emissions and to make research into them more transparent, devoid of political and vested interests interference and be more honest about the accuracy which to date appears to be more the inaccuracy of the research and predictions.

  40. Vanessa
    February 18, 2014

    It is interesting that not even you, John, mention the “elephant in the room” the EU. The amount of directives which kick in regarding wetlands, dredging, disposing of ‘waste’ etc. etc. is the REAL cause of our horrendous floods. Councils just cannot make it affordable to do it as the EU would jump on them with one or more of their Bl….y laws.
    Do read EUReferendum.com to see an (honest) piece in the Spectator and then click on the button marked LISTEN – it is very revealing. Why is everyone in the UK in denial that we are ruled by Brussels. ???

  41. uanime5
    February 18, 2014

    Mr Miliband’s latest purple prose has suggested that global warming, now called climate change, is the cause of the recent floods.

    1) Global warming is causing the climate to change.

    2) The scientific evidence shows that global warming is causing the ocean’s temperature to rise and warmer oceans make storms more violent.

    So Miliband’s claim was correct.

    He should still ask himself if the UK cutting its CO2 output more is going to stop such floods in the future? I cannot for one moment see how that can be true. The UK’s role in total world CO2 is small.

    The UK has 1% of the world’s population yet produces 2% of the world’s CO2 so perhaps we should reduce our emissions to a more reasonable level. It would be even better if we could get the rest of the EU to also reduce their emissions, which won’t be difficult due to all the EU plans to further reduce CO2 emissions.

    If we take yet more action to make energy dearer and scarcer here, we will simply import more energy intensive goods from elsewhere.

    Which goods will be imported depends upon their value to weight ratio. I doubt cement will be imported as its high weight and low value almost always make transporting it from outside the UK more expensive than producing it in the UK.

    The amount of fossil fuel energy burned worldwide will not be reduced, even if the UK stopped burning all fossil fuels over say the next twenty years.

    Since the UK’s emissions count towards the worldwide emissions the total worldwide emissions will always be lower if the UK doesn’t burn any fossil fuels.

    He has stated that “there is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter”.

    At present no one knows what’s causing this so while global warming is unlikely it cannot be completely ruled out.

    Others have reminded us that this wet winter is no wetter than some other winters over the last 250 years, and is not the wettest on record.

    However of the 10 wettest winters several have occurred in the past decade; such as the 2007 and 2012 winters. Just like several of warmest years on record have occurred over the past decade.

    1. Edward2
      February 18, 2014

      I sometimes wonder if you write the nonsense you write in order to wind up others on here Uni.
      You don’t actually believe the stuff you have posted above is correct do you?
      Take this statement of your as just one example:-

      “Since the UK’s emissions count towards the worldwide emissions the total worldwide emissions will always be lower if the UK doesn’t burn any fossil fuels”
      Think about it Uni, if any nation, at any time in the future, increases their emissions, as they inevitably will if they expand their population and their economy, then worldwide emissions WILL rise!

      1. Max Dunbar
        February 18, 2014

        U5 could have a job dreaming up false answers for multiple choice exam papers.

      2. APL
        February 19, 2014

        Edward: “I sometimes wonder if you write the nonsense you write in order to wind up others on here Uni.”

        Nope, he’d have to have some self awareness to do that. It’s just a 1950’s teleprinter with a punched paper tape spouting the results of a clan of monkeys walking over the keyboard.

        Ask him for a single fact – like the plot of CO2 concentrations between 1913 and 1958 and it can’t even do the research, cite it’s sources and produce data to corroborate it’s wild claims.

    2. Richard1
      February 18, 2014

      Well until last year we were told to expect drier winters – in fact after the recent cold winter we were told to expect them colder as well (by the met offices chief scientist). So it could be wetter, it could be drier, it could be warmer or it could be colder. Or perhaps it will be about the same. Any which way the weather comes its evidence for global warming. This hypothesis is unfalsifiable. As a pure hypothesis, global warming theory is nothing upon which policy should be based.

    3. Mark B
      February 19, 2014

      U5 said;

      “Global warming is causing the climate to change.”

      So what about the Ice Age ? Was that Climate Change too ? And if so, what were the CO2 levels back then ? Were they more, or less than today ? ie 0.035% of the Atmosphere !

      “The scientific evidence shows that global warming is causing the ocean’s temperature to rise and warmer oceans make storms more violent.”

      And the Ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctica are getting bigger according to NASA. So where is all this extra heat and water coming from ?

      “The UK has 1% of the world’s population yet produces 2% of the world’s CO2 . . . ”

      So if we reduced our CO2 output to zero, that leaves a whopping 98%. And this assumes that the other nations of the world do not increase their CO2 levels.

      I’m impressed by you logic and reason. What medication did you say you are on ?

      “At present no one knows what’s causing this so while global warming is unlikely it cannot be completely ruled out.”

      I think we all can have a pretty good guess as to which main ‘actors’ affect the earth’s climate. One being (on a clear day) that great big shinny thing in the sky. What’s it called ? Oh, the Sun !

      Records only go back so far ! And they only tell a story on a particular narrow time period. but as you point out yourself, weather is not climate – remember that !

    4. A different Simon
      February 19, 2014

      Portland cement is expensive because of the amount of energy required to slake the lime .

      Fly ash from coal powerstations is used to substitute some of the Portland cement in concrete .

      Thus ash from coal power stations saves natural gas from being wasted on producing Portland cement .

      If the coal is gasified in situ we won’t get the ash but we won’t get the mercury either if we take the opportunity to scrub it from the syngas stream .

  42. margaret brandreth-j
    February 18, 2014

    If many scientists tell me there is global warming, and being much more informed than myself and qualified to make these statements then it may be arrogant to disagree, yet I agree that many do not agree or, is that because it is easier to hide their heads in the sand.
    Something must be done, as you say John to save the abundance of water we are blessed with and control its course through low lying flat lands.
    By the way what is the difference between purple prose and mandarin,do youknow?

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    February 18, 2014

    I’m quite prepared to accept that a continuing increase of CO2 in our atmosphere is not a good thing. And I’m quite prepared to accept that the main reason that global temperatures have not risen over the last 15 years is that warm water is transferring down to the deep Pacific ocean – provided only that I can see the source data, for I have lost all trust in self serving, government funded, ‘climate change scientists’.

    What I am not prepared to accept is people ignoring the influence of world population growth on energy consumption. In theory, the world’s population could consume less energy per head but in practice they don’t. Every time that an ingenious energy saving device is invented, another energy using device appears on the market.

    So let’s more towards world zero population growth by first ensuring ZPG in the United Kingdom. Necessary steps towards this achieving this are (1) etc ed (2) Making illegal immigration increasingly difficult (3) Making it illegal to preach against birth control, and (4) Limiting development.

  44. BobE
    February 18, 2014

    If you are going to sacrifice houses to flood planes you should first buy out the houses. Those people now have unsaleable, unisurable worthless properties. Its very shamfull. To just shrug and talk about casualties. Absoloutly shamfull. Hold your collective heads in shame. All of you probably knew about the change in policy and you did nothing. Buy out those houses and the correct rate and let those people move away. Have politicians no shame!!!!!!

    1. Bob
      February 18, 2014


      Have politicians no shame!!!!!!

      Err, can I get back to you on that?

      1. Richard
        February 19, 2014

        In the case of the Somerset Levels it is those in charge of the Environment Agency who made the decisions to allow flooding to take place through lack of dredging etc..

        These are unelected officials taking their orders (known as Directives) from the EU in Brussels and it is they who have no shame.

  45. DaveK
    February 18, 2014


    Andrew Lilico posted an article in last nights Telegraph (online) that parallels your post, worth a read.


    1. peter davies
      February 19, 2014

      I read that as well – knocks the nail on the head

  46. Chris
    February 18, 2014

    I think this may be one of the answers to the flooding problems?
    SIR – The French look at the responsibility for flooding from an entirely different angle from us. The mayor of the coastal town of Faute-sur-Mer in the Vendée and four others are to go on trial for manslaughter over the deaths of 29 people in the Xynthia storm floods in 2010. They are accused of causing the deaths by allowing housing to be built on land liable to flood.
    Christine Clegg
    St Aubin-le-Cloud, Poitou-Charentes, France

    1. Mark B
      February 19, 2014

      The French have a history of disposing those in high office who displeases them. Its one of the very few things I like about them.

  47. Roy Grainger
    February 19, 2014

    Accepting the counterfactual argument that Milliband is correct, why the automatic assumption that climate change is a bad thing anyway and that it needs to be stopped ? We know that cold kills more people than heat for example. Just locally we know there have been water shortages in the South of England in the past. It would appear that climate change will help with both problems.

    As a PhD scientist in a relevant discipline I can tell you that the biggest problem with the warmists theory is embodied in Milliband’s assertion that climate change caused the flooding. There is absolutely no way at all that can be scientifically PROVED to be true or false. To extend that argument and express it formally, the theory of climate change is not falsifiable. There is not a single real-world observation we could make which will PROVE the theory is wrong. We have seen this in action, whatever weather event we have whether hot or cold or wet or dry is held up as supporting climate change.

    This inability to observe anything which would prove the theory wrong means, according to the work of the philosopher Karl Popper, that it is not a scientific theory at all and rather pseudoscience.

    As an example of a proper scientific theory consider the theory of gravity. What could we observe which would prove the theory is false ? Simple. If we drop an apple and it falls up. It is falsifiable. It is a proper scientific theory.

    I think in their own befuddled way the warmists were dimly aware of this problem when they used to call the issue “global warming” – in that case an observation over several decades that the earth wasn’t warming at all could be taken as disproving the theory. In that case it would have been a real scientific theory, albeit one that had been proved to be wrong. By renaming it “climate change” they have ensured it is not falsifiable, no one can ever prove it is wrong, Milliband is on safe ground making his claim.

    Lesson over.

  48. cerberus
    February 19, 2014

    Is it not the case that the EU has prevented us building new reservoirs?

  49. David Cockburn
    February 19, 2014

    It reasonable to suppose that a big increase in atmospheric CO2 would have an impact on climate and for us to discuss what to do to mitigate or adapt to the change.
    However, atmospheric CO2 levels may actually be lower than they were in the 1940s. http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/realCO2-1.htm

Comments are closed.