What can we learn from the science on global warming?

 

Over the last two days we have examined the rift between sceptical scientists on global warming, and the scientific establishment. The sceptics point out that observed data is more complex than the simple theory that increasing human CO2 will always produce rising temperatures would suggest. Climate models have been wrong in the past, and need further complex computing to get them to cope with the many variables affecting average temperatures – factors like water vapour, cloud cover, wind speeds and direction, ocean currents, natural CO2 , other greenhouse gases, the warming of the deep ocean and the patterns of solar energy to name a few which they try to quantify.

The scientists on the establishment side tell us  they need bigger computers and more complex models. They agree they cannot predict average temperatures for next year or for the next decade. They go so far as to suggest it might be 50 years of low or  no warming before they question their underlying thesis of a defined relationship which is quantifiable between extra human produced CO2 and average world temperatures. They agree there is still a lot they do not understand fully or cannot accurately model, which is why their forecast of warming from manmade CO2 may be wrong for a  decade or more. Cloud cover and water vapour are two such variables. They see the role of water vapour as an accelerant of global warming  by asserting that it mainly  changes in response to CO2.

So what are we to make of it? I merely conclude two things. The first is the science is not settled. The fact that most of the funding and the people are on one side does not mean the sceptics and critics from within the climate academy are necessarily wrong on all counts. The bad way they are treated makes some of  the lay public suspicious. The second is that the scientists themselves in their honest and enquiring moments agree there is  more they need to understand before they can produce a model which does predict average temperatures decade by decade or year by year.

As a specialist in economics and politics I use other arguments and take into account other matters when considering what response we should make to possible changes to the climate. I have never ruled out the possibility that average temperatures may start to rise again soon, and of course accept  there is a greenhouse effect. Indeed some of that is crucial   to life on earth as we need to avoid extreme cold. Sufficient  carbon dioxide is also central to plant life which in turn supports all of us. Mankind needs to study and watch the weather and the longer term trends which they  call climate, and adapt our way of life and our physical surroundings as necessary.

I have been an advocate of the UK putting in more fresh water capacity for some time, to deal with the rising population and any dry periods we might face. I have also been working with the government. Environment Agency and others on projects to handle excess surface water during periods of heavy rain, which are made  more necessary by increased building to accommodate a rising population. I would like to see the government start work on a plan for a second Thames barrier, further downstream, to protect the people and large investment in  eastern London.

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82 Comments

  1. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    We all learned about photosynthesis round about the ages of 11 years. We all accept that livings things are composed of carbon . We realise without good supplies of O2 we cannot respire. We know the harmful effects of carbon monoxide and don’t put our noses too near exhausts. We are thankful that there still many trees around to allow us to breathe those 2 life giving molecules. This green crap actually keeps us alive. I suppose some may go off in an absurd tangent and give overcrowding /immigration (human gasses of expiration) a reason for high levels of CO2.
    I am not sure that fracking and burning carbon based substances is the best way forward.We are told that as water levels rise the sea water becomes less dense ,as the salinity becomes more dilute. This apparently can also contribute to eventual cooling as the warm currents cool. So the CO2 build up, the warming , melting and subsequent cooling of sea and land mass, then freezing will take us into the next ice age.
    I was watching on the box the formation of nebulae .As an allusional ( a new word) observation the appearance to myself looked like ovarian follicles promising new life.That life however, through billions and billions of light years, on our tiny planet, only appeared because of a certain balance of gasses.Let us not upset the balance by saying we know this and that and ignore the little knowledge we have to take chances with life.
    The information we are receiving via light waves from other galaxies at present only tells us what happened in the past and still we cannot make head nor tail of it !

    • Hope
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      With 28 countries in the EU and all the resources it has at its disposal, collectively and individually, why do the governments have to interfere with allegedly independent reports from the IPCC so it reflects their agreed policies? It does not help Cameron’s cause and the public’s lack of trust in him.

      Cameron made it clear in parliament he believes in this, with his arrogance he is unlikely to listen to anyone else. Whether that is scientists or anyone else. By character he will tell us to move on. We have seen this with energy, Gary marriage, EU referendum and his own recent MPS expense scandals. He does not listen and he does not get it it ie public opinion.

      Today we had pathetic Grayling trying to justify why murderers are allowed to walk about towns from open prisons. And when pursued on the point he admitted murderers will be released. As if it was inevitable. Most of the public would not want this and a life sentence was meant to be in exchange for the death penalty. Now murderers walk out of jail after a few years while victim families are still greaving. The Tory cabinet is not fit for purpose and definitely not in tune with the public. I presume this is in line with ECHR policy that life no longer means life? It means a few years. How demeaning to the victims and society.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        Do the over 500,000 immigrants that come to these islands annually add to the carbon footprint with all their energy needs and cars? Does building on the greenbelt to accommodate them help? Overcrowding and waiting lists for everything growing.
        Your leader has said he is happy for the potential free movement of 485 million EU citizens. No renegotiation there. He refers to them as workers and that the Brits can go in the reverse direction. How many go to Eastern Europe? 2 million retirees go to France, Spain, and Cyprus where they are no burden to the indigenous population. The other numbers are so small they can be ignored.
        We are taxed to pay for the health, education and housing of these people, many of whom are on the minimum wage adding substantially to British taxpayers public service costs.
        Whilst we are in the EU we must have 20% renewables (Windmills, solar panels) by 2020 that the legacy parties agreed to, even though most of them DONT work. Whilst paying £55 million daily to be in this club.
        All this talk on climate change when there are European Elections in a few days would make you think this is part of the legacy media and parties attempts to suppress discussion on the undemocratic, costly burden of the EU and all its negative policies and the loss of sovereignty to the UK and its people!
        The smear campaign continues unabated. Never witnessed anything like it in my 55 years!

      • Dan
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Well said!
        If arrogance was an imprisonable offence, a large swathe of the current MP population would simply not be there.

        Can they not find it in themselves to be humble and accept that there is much they don’t know, simply don’t understand? They accept expert opinion, but haven’t the knowledge to spot what isn’t adding up.

        Being an elected representative has become centred on personal fame and fortune, it should be about neither. too often the wrong people are being put forwards for election.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        “Grayling trying to justify why murderers are allowed to walk about towns from open prisons”.

        One assumes they have some computation they do – cost of keeping violent people likely to re-offend in prison less the acceptable number of new murders, stabbings, shooting and violence by the people released. But then what are the cost of investigating (and then imprisoning) the countless the new offences not to mention the violent offences that are not ever pinned down to re-offenders.

        Then again what the state sector is actually interested in is new jobs and good pensions for crime “experts”, lawyers, court workers, prison workers, rehab workers, psychologists, public enquiry (conductors of), doctors, social workers …… Criminal and crimes are a very great help in this job creation.

        Pleasant jobs preferably like sending silly letters or offers of counselling to “victims of crime” are preferred rather than dealing with the real problem people. I get taxed to pay for such silly letters and also to compensate the victims of crime (including offspring of alcoholic mothers now I note).

        • Hope
          Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          If they stopped jailing people for not having a BBC licence more prison space and money could be used for criminals.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        ……….and this from the so-called ‘party of law and order’.

        I got fed up with trying to change Tory party policy many years ago. I still have copies of a questionnaire a friend and Tory MP helped me to compose way back in the early 1990s. Not many Tory MPs wanted to complete it as it must have touched a raw nerve, but I did get one not-so-noble Conservative lord (as it later turned out) to go through it and sign it, who then gave a rousing speech at the following autumn’s conference, and I was well and truly placated. This, I thought, was the turning point and we could finally break away from the mamby-pamby liberal crime and punishment measures!

        Alas, no, it was just another con to get people to vote for them. The phenomenon is not new, but now, the tide is turning because most of the people won’t be taken for a ride all of the time.

        Tad

      • APL
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Hope: “As if it was inevitable. Most of the public would not want this and a life sentence was meant to be in exchange for the death penalty. ”

        And you can see how the liberal elite work. Baby steps leading to giant strides toward dystopia.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        With 28 countries in the EU and all the resources it has at its disposal, collectively and individually, why do the governments have to interfere with allegedly independent reports from the IPCC so it reflects their agreed policies?

        Care to provide some evidence for this claim that the EU interfered with the IPCC report.

        Today we had pathetic Grayling trying to justify why murderers are allowed to walk about towns from open prisons.

        Is it because prisoner are so overcrowded, yet politicians keep calling for longer sentences?

        I presume this is in line with ECHR policy that life no longer means life? It means a few years.

        Actually the ECHR’s judgement was that you couldn’t jail someone without the possibility of parole and recommended reviewing the conviction every 25 years. If the UK’s government releases prisoners after a few years it was their own decision.

    • APL
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      margaret brandreth-j: “This green crap actually keeps us alive. I suppose some may go off in an absurd tangent and give overcrowding /immigration (human gasses of expiration) a reason for high levels of CO2.”

      Well, you could just be on to something there, in my lifetime the population of humans on the planet has risen from roughly three billion and has passed six billion some time ago.

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      “We are thankful that there still many trees around to allow us to breathe those 2 life giving molecules”

      Statements like these are a major part of the problem with trying to rationally discuss changing climates: people mistaking their opinions for fact and then using them to parading their superciliousness. In fact about 80% of the oxygen in the earth’s atmoshpere comes from plankton, kelp and algae, and only about 25% of the oxygen we actually breathe comes from trees. If you’re mixing up basic premises like that (either accidentally or purposely) the rest of your arguments doesn’t hold alot of weight.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Indeed adapt if and as needed is the only rational approach. A little hotter is probably better than colder anyway.

    I am not sure why the UK (which has plenty of water) is so reluctant to provide storage for it and prefer to ration it in the summer through bans. I assume it is just better for water company profits that way. Perhaps water just needs to be a little more expensive in some summer periods.

    Do we need a new Thames Barrier perhaps, I am not sure – if we look at the East Coast floods of 1953 with 2551 total deaths in several countries (but clearly nothing to do with AGW) then perhaps we do. Just a very high tide, combined with a storm, high wind in the wrong direction and low atmospheric pressure lifting the sea. Just imagine what the AGW exaggeration industry and the BBC would make of a recurrence. Engineering solution where practical and cost effective are by far the best solution. Reducing CO2, wind farms, PV, bikes, road blocking with bus/bike lanes, islands, environmental areas ….. are perhaps the daftest, most expensive (and clearly doomed to failure) policies going.

    Our actions should be about costs, risk and reward in lives and property saved. Bear in mind we have 50,000 preventable deaths just in the NHS PA perhaps we need a sensible structure in health care first.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Listening to Miliband on radio 4 this morning (talking slowly as usual, aimed at dim 7 year olds’ one assumes) he sounded rather like Cameron but even worse. Talking drivel on the minimum wage. How can two people go to Oxford study Philosophy, Politics and Economics yet still come out have not even a basic grasp of O level economics. Can the public sue the University for not doing its job perhaps?

      Why too is UKIP constantly branded as racist (slurs) when they are clearly the only party which does not have a blatantly racist immigration policy. Anyone from the EU can come (criminals, alcoholics, drug addicts, benefit scrougers, black marketeers, people with who have never held a job). Yet it is largely closed doors to hard working people and good students from Australia, India, China, New Zealand, Canada, the US, the commonwealth, South America ….

      Let the people in we need on a points based system and those who can pay their way please.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        “Let the people in we need on a points based system and those who can pay their way please.”

        But first do the democratic thing and hold a referendum to directly ask the existing body of citizens how many foreigners they would like to come here each year to join them as new citizens.

        At present we have a situation comparable to the directors of a company deciding to hand out free shares in the company to people who are not shareholders without bothering to get approval from the existing body of shareholders.

        It would not be difficult to hold a referendum in which voters could choose between a range of options for the maximum number of immigrants each year, and then analyse the responses to discover the median value, that is the number which half of the voters would think too high while the other half would think it too low.

        When that is done for the responses in the opinion poll mentioned here:

        http://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2013/03/there-is-no-left-and-right-expect-in-political-imagination.html

        it turns out that the median response was about 70,000 a year.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          Under the EU treaties the UK signed up to we can’t simply create a quota for all immigrants. The best we can do is a quota for all non-EU immigrants.

          • Hope
            Posted May 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            Correct and therein lies the problem. The Uk cannot control the quality of quantity of EU citizens coming here.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Denis – Do the decent thing and seek a reasonable limit on migration through the ballot box (other ‘victim’ groups may choose other means ed) and your party of choice is smeared via a concerted and unprecedented media/political campaign.

          The Bank of England Governor claims that there is a housing crisis the answer to which is to build build build with no mention of record levels of migration.

          The ‘Conservative’ party effectively smears its former supporters with the same ‘racist’ slur that Labour did and colludes with The Guardian to do it.

          At least we are now clear where we stand. Mr Farage has forced the Tories to show their true face.

          • APL
            Posted May 21, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            Anon: “The ‘Conservative’ party effectively smears its former supporters with the same ‘racist’ slur that Labour did and colludes with The Guardian to do it.”

            Interesting that many of the high profile UKIP media branded ‘nutjobs’ were until a short while ago members of the Tory party.

      • Hope
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        The main reason why Farage is being slurred is because the LiBLabCon cartel are threatened by the public to overturn their closed EU shop. Secondly, if their claims are true let us have Grayling produce the criminal offences and prison statistics relating to Eastern Europeans so that we can make up our own minds. You will not get this before Thursday because the figures are damning. So, once again, Farage was right while the cartel tries to spin otherwise. A bit the the pharmaceutical debate when he was shouted down by the cartel and the Bias BBC condoned their appalling actions to suppress free speech.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          The main reason why Farage is being slurred is because the LiBLabCon cartel are threatened by the public to overturn their closed EU shop.

          Surely if the EU was a closed shop then Farage wouldn’t be able to become an MEP. Nor would any other party that wasn’t LiBLabCon.

          Secondly, if their claims are true let us have Grayling produce the criminal offences and prison statistics relating to Eastern Europeans so that we can make up our own minds. You will not get this before Thursday because the figures are damning.

          I’m fairly certain that the majority of prisoners in the UK aren’t Eastern Europeans. After all most prisons are full of UK criminals who’ve been given a life sentence.

          • Hope
            Posted May 20, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

            Drivel once more Uni. The LibLab con all want to be part of the closed Uni. You have gone off on the wrong track, again. The statistics will provide the answer what proportion are in prison and from what country.

    • stred
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      We recently went for a walk along an estuary in Essex. The flood defence banks were about 15 feet high with farmland behind. The recent storm surge had left a mark on the grass and the level was only just below the top. It would be simple to raise the banks higher but apparently the matter is having to be debated with the experts.

      There is time to wait until more economical nuclear is available before committing to a very expensive deal with the French. It is only the government decision to force the pace of change which is making it so expensive. American standard reactors are being developed which are manufactured and brought to site as a kit. They will produce more electricity than the offshore wind arrays and all the time rather than occasionally.

    • Alan in Derby
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      ‘I am not sure why the UK (which has plenty of water) is so reluctant to provide storage for it ….’
      I think some of this may be be explained by Agenda 21, the Sustainable Development non-binding agreement made by 179 nations in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Chapter 18 deals with Fresh Water, the term ‘demand management’ crops up several times, see paras 18:17 and 18:76 . It is a given that you accept that climate change science is settled and that in future we will not have so much fresh water available.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 20, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        But if it is warmer you should get more precipitation not less.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    “The first is the science is not settled. ”
    Is anyone going to tell the BBC?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      How will all those dim art graduates, who often do not know the difference between a Mega Watt and a unit of energy or confuse “positive feedback” with “a positive thing” take it. It will be quite a shock to their BBC belief system. They might tell them women earn less due to life balance choices they make. This as woman without children already earn more than men. Even that the Lib/Lab/Con immigration policy is clearly racist not the sensible UKIP one.

      Perhaps it would all be too much for them at one sitting.

      • Hope
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Why has Labour not explained or justified mass immigration and its true purpose, why has the coalition allowed it to continued and why has Cameron not accepted that he cannot control quality or quantity of EU citizens coming here. He might also like to explain why he still has not introduced a system to count people in and out.

  4. Antisthenes
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    You reinforce climate sceptics views that causes and effect of climate change whether natural or man made is anywhere understood enough. Therefore putting in considerable doubt the necessity of the policies being currently pursued. Those policies are diverting economic resources into investments that promises no financial benefit. In fact it is not even a speculative gamble as at the end of the day no profits can possibly be made from it for the bulk of the population and indeed subject most to a decline in their disposable income. It would appear that we are all being pressured into supporting policies by many vested interests none of which have the best interests of all at heart even though they purport to do so.

  5. acorn
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    What can we learn? The cave dwelling wing on this site won’t learn anything! What we do know is that to become a Conservative Party PPC, you have to be, at the very least, a Eurosceptic and a Climate Change Sceptic; even if you have to fake it.

    • acorn
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      BTW. Can you get Wokingham Conservatives to take out the line on their website, “A business man by background, John tried out many different jobs before being elected as MP…”. Doesn’t exactly read right ;-) .

    • Peter Davies
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      @acorn

      I know its difficult but do try and read the articles of the host of this site before making cheap throwaway comments. You might learn a thing or two.

      • acorn
        Posted May 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Forgive them Lord, for they haven’t got a (word left out ed)clue how this election game works.

        JR, Thursday is looking like a one in four turn out. I am willing to bet that half of those who are saying they will vote UKIP, will have a “road to Damascus” conversion before they get to the voting booth!

  6. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    So here we are on the Blue/Water Planet and what we get from climate analysis is far too contentious. We have ground weather stations, satellites and folk with various measuring sticks. Thats apart from geo examination and a few short documents on recent history. The main product of that seems to be harassment and now more (etch ed)

    And this group want bigger Super Computers for modeling? Real time monitoring might be better but is a huge undertaking that I could not possibly trust to academics and PPE’s.

    Fresh water has been on the agenda for a long, long time and again energy comes bouncing back. Desalination?…nah, won’t do that. Energy… nah, lets sleep on that one. Yep, lets have a few wars instead and lay in another useless level of government. Priority…completely on its head!

    Adaption…well, I never.

  7. Richard1
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    It is clear that there is far more scepticism amongst scientists than the global warming establishment will admit. It is clear that the evidence is very uncertain. It therefore makes no sense to impoverish and deindustrialise the UK and other developed countries by forcing green crap policies, they won’t make any difference to temperatures in any event as most of the world won’t adopt them. Adaptation – flood defences, desalination plants in hot countries etc makes eminent sense. Adaptation doesn’t need great international agreements, we can just get on with it, and the measures will have a value even if there isn’t any more warming and the global warming theory turns out to be wrong.

    I still can’t get over those 2 scientists telling MPs that we need a 50 year pause in warming before they will agree the climate models are flawed, a figure plucked out of thin air to shut down debate. This is confirmation if ever we needed it that in this field of science standards of rigour have fallen far below where they are in other fields, and below the level we taxpayers are entitled to expect.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Indeed so we need to piss billions away on renewable nonsense for another 50 years only to realise they were wrong. The billions could have be used to save millions of lives instead, using technology that we actually know works. Basic medical care, flood relief, clean water, nutrition, stronger buildings, a functional NHS…….

    • uanime5
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      It is clear that there is far more scepticism amongst scientists than the global warming establishment will admit. It is clear that the evidence is very uncertain.

      Yet for some reason all the scientific research throughout the world keeps showing that global warming is real and the evidence is correct.

      It therefore makes no sense to impoverish and deindustrialise the UK and other developed countries by forcing green crap policies, they won’t make any difference to temperatures in any event as most of the world won’t adopt them.

      Germany gets more of its energy from green sources than the UK and it hasn’t impoverished deindustrialised their country. I guess you can go green without suffering from the problems you mentioned.

      Adaptation doesn’t need great international agreements, we can just get on with it, and the measures will have a value even if there isn’t any more warming and the global warming theory turns out to be wrong.

      Given that it’s impossible to adapt to constantly increasing temperatures, especially once it becomes too hot to grow food, adaptation isn’t viable in the long run.

      I still can’t get over those 2 scientists telling MPs that we need a 50 year pause in warming before they will agree the climate models are flawed, a figure plucked out of thin air to shut down debate.

      Given that climate change is measured over years and decades you’d need a long pause, while CO2 levels are increasing, before you can draw any conclusions.

      This is confirmation if ever we needed it that in this field of science standards of rigour have fallen far below where they are in other fields

      How does this show that standards in science have fallen? Not everything can be determined over a short time period.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        All scientific research does not support the conclusion that we face catastrophic global warming. That is what the Prof Bengtsson episode is about – he is a distinguished climate scientist and his conclusion is that no such catastrophe is threatened. What is clear is the global warming establishment are seeking to suppress such dissident research, in a way we do not see in other fields of science.

        The climate models do not admit the possibility of a 50-year pause. this is an unscientific attempt to make the global warming hypothesis un-falsifiable. We should not allow public policy to be made on such a spurious basis.

        Germany’s energy policy is widely viewed by business in Germany as a disaster. There are many good things about the German economy, but it has succeeded in spite of and not because of its energy policy. The energy policy is so expensive it is likely to change.

  8. Alan Wheatley
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I was recently in Somerset, and made a point of finding out more from local people about the recent flooding of the Levels. Some of the so-called expert comment about cause and remedy seems to me to have been wide of the mark.

    One chap, who came across as definitely knowing what he was talking about, suggested what seem to me to be a sensible and cost effective means of alleviating flooding: inter-tidal gates on the River Parrett.

    If London can have its Thames Barrier, and perhaps a second one, then why not the Parrett Gates for the good people of Somerset?

    • Dan H.
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      The problem that Somerset has is that the King’s Sedgemoor basin is actually a swamp, in the process of silting up. It hasn’t finished silting up yet, despite having been at the task since the last Ice Age. This is why it is fertile (all that silt) and this is why it floods so readily.

      There are several things we can do about this. First and foremost, accepting that this area will flood if enough rain falls, and positioning farms and settlements on the higher ground away from the danger zone is only sensible. Compensating the farmers who need to be moved is only fair in such circumstances, as we cannot protect them.

      Secondly, the drainage of this basin needs to be optimised. The rivers need to be kept dredged (and the silt spread onto the King’s Sedgemoor basin, to help slowly build up the land there) and tidal sluices put on the river Parrett. Three things affect the rate at which water can be removed from this basin; in order these are the slope of the rivers, the capacity of the rivers and the drainage into the rivers.

      The first can be affected by putting one-way sluices onto the Parrett, to prevent the tide flooding back up into this estuary every high tide, and possibly also by putting large pumps onto the King’s Sedgemoor Drain at the point where it joins the Parrett. There’s an industrial estate here, major power lines and it is handy for the motorway as well, so this shouldn’t be difficult. Pumping would really only need to be done at high tide.

      Doing all this will optimise the drainage and minimise the flooding, but severe events will still cause flooding. Mitigation measures and a willingness to accept the fact that a flood basin will still flood need to be there.

    • Hope
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      It was deliberately allowed to flood by the EA and Cameron stood by and did nothing because of the EU directive. After Prince Charles visited the area every politician wanted to visit and out pledge each other with the action they would take. However, Cameron’s grants turned out to be loans for those who lost their homes. The government should be held to account for allowing this to happen in the first place and failure to act in a timely manner. Better still, the money could have been given to those effected instead of wasting it on overseas aid!

      People in the area worked out about 600 years ago water power was more reliable than wind, DECC might change its thinking one day.

  9. Bob
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Government economic models depend on perpetual increase in population size, which means more housing estates, more roads and more cars, more sewage and pollution etc.

    Don’t expect this to be without consequences.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Bob,
      Correct. Net immigration at over 200,000 per annum and then politicians and the Governor of the Bank of England tell us we are not building enough houses. Who would have thought it? They never consider reducing demand and continually fail to increase supply.

  10. John E
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I agree with the need for a new Thames Barrier to be planned. Would it protect Boris Island, or would he need to build a very tall island for his proposed airport?

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I remember the days when various theories about the earth’s climate past present and future were interesting but were not taken too seriously. We might see a programme on TV in which one group of scientists advanced a certain speculation while other groups had different ideas, but it was an academic debate which could have been about the climate on Mars for the relevance it had to everyday life on this planet. If after some years one theory was shown to be defective and an alternative theory gained popularity it made no difference outside academic circles; that change in the most widely accepted theory had no more practical implications than one theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs being supplanted by another. Now climatological theory is driving politics in the same way that religious belief previously drove politics in this country and in fact is still driving politics in many other countries around the world. Many of those involved in propagating the modern global warming or climate change mania are not ignorant or stupid, any more than the scholars who drove the medieval witch mania were ignorant or stupid; but some of them have strayed a long way from being dispassionate scientific investigators into becoming impassioned political activists who have set aside their own scientific integrity in order to further their cause and are determined to suppress dissent by all available means, and of course in an outer circle around them there are those who have no interest at all in the science but are driven by their own personal, often financial, interests. Over time common sense began to prevail and more and more people began to question whether the theological theory really provided a sound basis for a public policy of exterminating tens of thousands of alleged witches, whole towns on occasions, and in the same way more and more people are now beginning to question whether there is any climatological theory which really provides a sound basis for public policies leading to massive economic damage with all the consequent human cost. Of course there will be resistance, both from the fanatical true believers who have infected scientific circles and from those who are not in any way scientists but are taking advantage of the mania for their own financial gain or are just seeking to protect their own careers.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Now climatological theory is driving politics in the same way that religious belief previously drove politics in this country and in fact is still driving politics in many other countries around the world.

      The only difference is that there’s evidence that global warming is man made, unlike religious beliefs.

      Many of those involved in propagating the modern global warming or climate change mania are not ignorant or stupid, any more than the scholars who drove the medieval witch mania were ignorant or stupid

      The only difference is that the scientist have scientific evidence to back up their claims while the witch hunters didn’t.

      but some of them have strayed a long way from being dispassionate scientific investigators into becoming impassioned political activists who have set aside their own scientific integrity in order to further their cause and are determined to suppress dissent by all available mean

      In other words scientists all over the world are saying things you dislike because of some huge conspiracy, rather than the evidence proving that you’re wrong.

      more and more people are now beginning to question whether there is any climatological theory which really provides a sound basis for public policies leading to massive economic damage with all the consequent human cost.

      Given the inevitable result of constantly increasing the global temperature is that the earth will become uninhabitable it’s no surprise that all long term plans for national security involve reducing the effects of global warming.

      Of course there will be resistance, both from the fanatical true believers who have infected scientific circles and from those who are not in any way scientists but are taking advantage of the mania for their own financial gain or are just seeking to protect their own careers.

      You forgot about the deniers who are spending millions to criticise scientific evidence that conflicts with their ideology or profits.

      • Hope
        Posted May 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        No they do not Uni. Only a couple of weeks ago an article from a professor made it clear how reports were being influenced by governments. Just because you keep trotting your rubbish out does not make it true.

    • David Price
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Agree mostly though rather than politics being driven by science I would say areas of science have become highly politicised with politicans and activists encouraging and exploiting this situation for their own ends.

      The Michael Crichton 2003 lecture refered to by BigD in the “Can scientists predict the weather in 50 years time?” blog a few days ago remains valid a decade on.

      The question is, what to do about it.

  12. Bert Young
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Another day of wonderful sunshine ; I will enjoy every second of it and will not concern myself with what the scientists need . On Thursday I will put my cross down for UKIP with extra force believing that the highlighting of all their , so called , racist chanting is the result of a centralised orchestrated campaign against them . I hope the sunshine will produce a big turn out of voters and a massive re-think at Conservative Central Office .

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    JR: ” the science is not settled.”
    I have said before that your collegues at home and internationally together with most of their lackeys in the MSM don’t care about that. Take a look at what Breitbart London publishes today : “The German Ministry of Environment has falsified the conclusions of a UN climate change report in the German-language version released last week, in an attempt to hide the fact that the country’s ‘green policies’ are useless.”

  14. oldtimer
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    What can we learn from the science on global warming? you ask.

    First, it is an immature “science” that relies on models which are incapable of replicating, let alone predicting or projecting, observations of nature – in this instance global temperature change. It is doomed to failure because it is attempting to forecast a chaotic, non linear system that is affected by numerous influences – some predictable (such earth orbits) and some unpredictable (such as volcanic activity). In consequence it fails Richard Feynman`s definition of the scientific method to discover a new law of science
    Second it has achieved overwhelming influence over political decision making to the extent that the Climate Change Act is in the process of beggaring the nation by the colossal subsidies granted to inefficient and ineffective means of energy generation at a cost of £billions per annum. The political leaders who promoted and continue to promote this cause are Emperor`s without clothes. Some but not all of the media either look the other way or actively continue to promote the delusion. This condition extends to the EU and the UN. So much face and reputation now involved (especially of western political leaders) it is unclear how the damage will or can be undone without the risk of them becoming the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      First, it is an immature “science”

      It’s existed for over a century.

      it is an immature “science” that relies on models which are incapable of replicating, let alone predicting or projecting, observations of nature – in this instance global temperature change.

      What about all the evidence obtained by measuring the temperature all over the global and comparing how much the temperature has risen every decade? That’s nothing to do with models.

      It is doomed to failure because it is attempting to forecast a chaotic, non linear system that is affected by numerous influences – some predictable (such earth orbits) and some unpredictable (such as volcanic activity).

      Just because you can’t understand something doesn’t mean other people can’t understand it. Scientists are able to predict how much each of these variable will affect their prediction and create a range of outcome. The more scientists understand all these variables the more accurate their predictions will be.

      Second it has achieved overwhelming influence over political decision making to the extent that the Climate Change Act is in the process of beggaring the nation by the colossal subsidies granted to inefficient and ineffective means of energy generation at a cost of £billions per annum

      Well given that the vast majority of scientific evidence shows that global warming is man made it’s no surprise that politicians are making decisions based on the evidence they have available.

      Also what’s your source for the cost of the climate change act?

      The political leaders who promoted and continue to promote this cause are Emperor`s without clothes.

      But not emperors without evidence.

      Some but not all of the media either look the other way or actively continue to promote the delusion.

      In other words they’re reporting facts rather than wishful thinking.

      So much face and reputation now involved (especially of western political leaders) it is unclear how the damage will or can be undone without the risk of them becoming the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

      How are they going to be the laughing stock of the rest of the world when the scientific evidence comes from all over the world?

      • oldtimer
        Posted May 21, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        A 100 years is a relatively short period of time in terms of scienctific thinking. The understanding of and technology for measuring the numerous influences on the climate are immature and incomplete. In short the scientists don`t know – as JR pointed out in his earlier post (a couple of days ago) on the presentation to MPs by a representative of the RS and of the US Academy.. Evidently you either have not read what they said or do not understand what they said.

        Assertions based on ignorance is not a sound basis for the public policy measures that have been imposed by the Climate Change Act.

  15. hefner
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    FYI: an interesting and balanced report on “Communicating Climate Science” on

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmsctech/254/25406.htm

    Particulalrly telling is point 54.

    And in terms of recent OBSERVATIONS of things that might/could be related to anthropogenic climate change

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-148

  16. ian wragg
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    It would seem the influence of UKIP is far greater than just upsetting the established political applecart. Being the only party that is sceptical of the whole AGW scam it is forcing debate which up until now has not been possible. The establishment must be very afraid as they are being shown up on all fronts to have no clothes.
    Perhaps we have reached a turning point when a light will eventually shine and all the nonsense subsidies for so called renewables will be stopped.
    I see the newspapers are in overdrive to rubbish Nigel and even the electoral commission has allowed a UKIP look alike logo to be used on Thursdays ballot paper to try and deflect the voters.
    I can imagine the noise if this was UKIP emulating Labour or the Limp Dumbs.
    I hope the ploy fails miserably.

    Reply A lot of us think and study without being influenced on these issues by UKIP! We also read and argue about the EU without drawing our headliens from UKIP!

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Your problem is that your party disagrees with you on these issues and yet you continually support them and expect us to do the same, that is to vote for a party that doesn’t represent our views. No thanks.

    • Hope
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      With the greatest of respect, as I am a supporter in the main for your type of conservatism, you have not led to the issues being put on the table in public debate in the same way UKIP has. Cameron ignores you and your colleagues. If he listened then perhaps so many of us would not have left supporting the Tory party.

      Reply He listened to us and changed policy to negotiate and decide in a referendum!

      • Hope
        Posted May 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        He would not give a straight answer on the point the other day, he kept evading what he would lead the auK out of the EU.

    • Timactive
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      That may be the case for you Mr Redwood. However, the established legacy parties and media are clearly rattled by the peoples army and their views! No discussion on policy, all personal attack as the arguments are won.

  17. Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    What we have learnt is that the scientists do not know for certain.

    However, the BBC has gone ahead of the scientists and has, on several occasions, made definitive statements of the certainty of global warming (sorry, climate change).

    On Monday, 13 December, 1999 a report by the BBC entitled “The First Horseman: Environmental Disaster” stated that:

    “Thanks to global warming, El Nino is occurring more and more often.”

    This report was also broadcast on BBC tv’s Newsnight (written by John Simpson).

    Although there have been more frequent El Nino episodes I cannot find an example of any scientist that has gone as far as the BBC in claiming that this is caused by global warming. Certainly this is one theory but this is not an established fact.

    Why does the BBC insist on making absolute statements that scientists cannot back up?

    What is the point of trusting the BBC with providing news stories when the information contained in them cannot be backed up and why should public money be used to pay for this propaganda?

  18. Atlas
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    You’ve mentioned it briefly in an earlier post, but just how much thought is being given to the point that – based on ice-core data – we are getting to be overdue for the next cooling in the ice-age cycle?

  19. Neil Craig
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    The fact (undisputed even by the warmists who simply change to insults whenever the question is raised) is that there is not 1 scientist, anywhere in the world, out of millions, who support the CAGW (quesitonable conclusions ed) and aren’t paid by the state. Mathematically this is simply statistically impossible unless the supporters are almost all doing it for government money.

    I am glad to say there are actually very few scientists (well people claiming scientific qualifications) promoting(this approach ed) – the same few names are used by the politicians and state controlled media (mainly the BBC) time after time.

    So the only lesson is the ability of (word left out ed) politicians, with control of the money and the media, to promote (quesitonable arguments ed). The answer would be a free society with the BBC privatised or melted down and government funding of science down by a non-political system like X-prizes. Of course that is only the answer for honest people. The answer for most of the LabConDems is that you can get away with murder.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      The fact (undisputed even by the warmists who simply change to insults whenever the question is raised) is that there is not 1 scientist, anywhere in the world, out of millions, who support the CAGW (quesitonable conclusions ed) and aren’t paid by the state.

      How many climatologists are paid by private companies? If the majority of climatologists work for the state then it’s not surprise that the majority are paid by the state.

      I am glad to say there are actually very few scientists (well people claiming scientific qualifications) promoting(this approach ed) – the same few names are used by the politicians and state controlled media (mainly the BBC) time after time.

      The BBC and politicians ask leading experts for advice because these experts will have read academic papers by other scientists. This is much easier than asking hundred of scientists for advice.

      The answer would be a free society with the BBC privatised or melted down

      Care to explain why research from scientists in countries that don’t have an equivalent of the BBC still shows that global warming is man made.

      government funding of science down by a non-political system like X-prizes.

      How can you have government funding that isn’t political when the government is a political body? Perhaps you mean that funding should be provided by an independent body.

  20. Tad Davison
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Not totally unrelated as burning gas is somewhat better with regard to pollution than burning coal.

    I mentioned some weeks ago that Russia is seeking new trade links with China, including the sale of vast quantities of gas. That is now being declared as the ‘deal of the century’ in Russia, and I’m sure cheap energy will further enhance the Chinese economy.

    China is now passing the US as the world’s biggest economy. Too bad the US and the EU were so quick to urge regime change in the Ukraine and impose sanctions for Russia’s subsequent annexation of Crimea. Russia might not need the EU so much in future, so that powerhouse of the European economy, Germany, might have to burn lignite to remain competitive. Nice one! Great forward thinking there!

    I wonder when the EU countries, including the UK, will wake up to the fact that our best interests aren’t always best served by being the US’ poodle?

    I had hoped Mr Cameron might have told us before Thursday’s election, just what he hopes to change with regard to our relationship with the EU. Surely we hadn’t ought to fall into line with their disastrous foreign policy, but that’s not the impression I get from listening to him and his Foreign Secretary. Between the two of them, they seem only to keen to promote it, like good compliant Europeans.

    According to many commentators, his efforts thus far haven’t achieved much at all. Here he is again, asking us to trust him, without telling us what’s in his mind. Another snow-job in the making.

    Still, perhaps the UK could at least sell shale gas to Germany after Russia pulls the plug. And of course, Russia isn’t in the EU, so we wouldn’t need to be either.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Hope
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Well said. Of course we need to know will the UK have a foreign policy which acts in stark contrast to the EU one if it is in the national interest? The EU not being interested in nation states or national interest in its quest to come a superstate.

  21. Terry
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Yes, WE certainly can learn GW from science. OUR problem is that the IPCC make up their own science to fit their own theories and their own disastrous and highly inaccurate computer models. And still they take the money.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      OUR problem is that the IPCC make up their own science to fit their own theories and their own disastrous and highly inaccurate computer models.

      So you’re claiming that the IPCC’s reports aren’t based on thousands of academic papers but have simple been made up and that no scientist in any country has noticed this. Sounds like a nutty conspiracy theory to me.

      • Hope
        Posted May 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Uni, a professor concerned has already made his point the report was altered to suit governments.

      • terry
        Posted May 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        “Thousands of academic papers”? What good are “papers”? Evidence always proves a case – or not. And “thousands”? I thought I have already told you fifty five Billion times, not to exaggerate.

        Alas, that is exactly what the IPCC thrives on. Grotesque, exaggeration. But it (is good for the incomes of some of the people in the global warming movement ed)

        • Terry
          Posted May 22, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          You are too diplomatic, John (ed). A pity but I’m not so sure the ‘softly, softly’ approach works anymore. Especially in our socialist dominated society.

  22. forthurst
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    The fact that warmists do not now claim to be able to predict average temperatures this year or for the next ten or that they would require an hiatus of 50 years in warming before admitting their hypothesis invalid, indicates that they do not have the ability to model climate accurately at all; however whilst there was warming, they ‘knew’ that the warming was caused by anthropogenic CO2 because, by selecting the appropriate scales, they could demonstrate a concurrence of the increase in the two over a short period of time. Since warming has ceased, instead of admitting that they had drawn an inference which they deemed a logical deduction about climate which was manifestly false, they changed their propaganda towards claiming that warming is still taking place, but it is being sequestered in the oceans, or that it is being utilised to initiate ‘extreme’ weather events such as floods.

    Instead of policy makers absorbing warmist propaganda and taking actions which are manifestly absurd, causing rapid increases in electricity prices and closures of industrial plant, they should offer to reward scientists with a prize for producing a functioning model of climate, meanwhile taking no action at all, since in any case the Orient isn’t, to deliberately inflict damage on their consituents interests, etc ed

    • uanime5
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      The fact that warmists do not now claim to be able to predict average temperatures this year or for the next ten or that they would require an hiatus of 50 years in warming before admitting their hypothesis invalid, indicates that they do not have the ability to model climate accurately at all

      Actually it shows that climate change takes place over a long period of time, not that the model is inaccurate.

      however whilst there was warming, they ‘knew’ that the warming was caused by anthropogenic CO2 because, by selecting the appropriate scales, they could demonstrate a concurrence of the increase in the two over a short period of time.

      How is a century a short period of time?

      Since warming has ceased, instead of admitting that they had drawn an inference which they deemed a logical deduction about climate which was manifestly false, they changed their propaganda towards claiming that warming is still taking place, but it is being sequestered in the oceans, or that it is being utilised to initiate ‘extreme’ weather events such as floods.

      1) Atmospheric warming didn’t cease, it slowed.

      2) Average seas temperatures have continued to rise at the same rate.

      3) There has been an increase in extreme weather conditions, such as category 5 hurricanes.

      Instead of policy makers absorbing warmist propaganda and taking actions which are manifestly absurd, causing rapid increases in electricity prices

      Studies by the government showed that increases in price rises were due to profiteering by energy companies, which is why their profits increased so much since 2010.

      • Hope
        Posted May 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Utter rubbish. Government acting vindictively towards energy companies for raising the cost of green tariffs or environment obligation tosh.

  23. James Reade
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    This is surprisingly sensible a post regarding the current consensus on climate change, which is encouraging.

    Anybody who is actually engaged in academic work for the sake of learning more is well aware that matters such as this, involving forecasts so far into a future that hasn’t yet happened, one cannot be certain and to claim otherwise is to be over-confident. Those engaged in it for other reasons (make a name for themselves, etc) may well over-state things, and make claims that cannot be supported with the appropriate levels of certainty.

    A concern though that I have with your continued commentary on man-made climate change is that the inference it is easy to draw is that you simply do not believe it is happening, and you do not believe it poses any risks for us.

    Because if you did believe it posed risks for us (or perhaps more likely those in more hostile climates – not the south east of England), and potentially very great risks, even with a small probability, then your expertise in economics ought to tell you via a simple cost-benefit analysis that it is probably worth taking some level of preventative measures now. To do otherwise seems rather reckless; you’re fond of talking about the debts our children and grandchildren will inherit in monetary terms, but you’re surprisingly cavalier about the kinds of debts (un-repayable potentially) that they might inherit because you oppose many (all) of the policies that are aimed at such mitigation.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      But billions are already being spent in the name of mitigating climate change already James.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      The argument of global warming sceptics such as Lord Lawson is precisely that it is worth taking measures to adapt to potential climate change, if it happens, such as sea defences, flood management, desalination plants in hot countries etc. What is not worth doing is rendering large swathes of industry uneconomic by forcing extremely expensive ‘renewable’ energy on it, and also causing poverty and hardship to poorer people for whom energy costs are a high proportion of disposable income. All this on the off-chance that the more extreme forecasts of global warming will be correct, and despite the fact that most of the world are not carrying out such measures, meaning those implemented in the UK and elsewhere will in any event have no effect.

  24. Robert Taggart
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Global Warming be for real and has happened before.
    Industrial Activity by Mankind has exacerbated matters this time.
    Global action to combat this be a good idea – if it means we all clean up our acts and air.

    Solution to this conundrum ? – fewer people would help – this sprogless batchelor being doing his bit !

  25. Observer
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    How much CO2 did Krakatoa produce? What is the likelyhood of another eruption occurring soon. Yellowstone, Iceland, Vesuvius, Etna, St Hellen’s, etc

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Oh I am sure the warmists’ computer models know all these future events to the second or their eruption and have put them into to their soothsaying computers!

  26. Peter Stroud
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I see that the climate science establishment are moving the goal posts again. They want even larger computers, and tell us that their hypothesis, and CAGW is only a hypothesis, may not be verified for fifty years. So it will be my grandchildren who will know if they are right or wrong.

    It does not matter how large their computing capacity, if they are entering incorrect parameters, and variables. As for fifty years before models will be verified. What rubbish. If this is so why were
    the foremost warmists predicting, only ten years ago,that there would be snowless winters, very soon. And there could be tipping points, very soon. Why are we being urged to burn imported wood to generate power? Why are parts of the country being covered by wind and solar farms?

    The science is poor, because the problem is too complicated to be solved by crude models. The science, for what it is worth, has been thoroughly politicised. We are suffering under a ridiculous Climate Change Act, dreamed up by a scientifically illiterate left winger, but embraced by our PM and the vast majority of Conservative MPs.

    The science trained sceptics should be listened to. Their positive ideas should be embraced. The word denier should never be used to describe the real sceptics. It is a nasty insult invented by the CAGW school. Few, if any sceptics deny tha CO2 warms the earth. Most are well aware of the established science. Yet they are treated as outcasts by the esablished climate scientists. Why?

  27. adam
    Posted May 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Hi John.

    Thanks for your interest in the subject.

    Global Warming predictions – the alarming ones – rely upon:

    1. Predictions about the future which have a degree of uncertainty

    2. Tipping point theory

    The tipping point is integrated into most predictions but is rather unknown. The idea is that we may reach a tipping point where change happens all of a sudden, very quickly and hence suffer from global warming and its consequences soon – within just a few hundred years.

    However it is purely theoretical and not a reliable prediction.

    It is true that the science on the planet warming is settled – and that the IPPC came up with a 90% likelihood rating that humans are responsible for most of the warming we have seen in the last seventy years – however predictions about the future are not part of this settled science.

    The two are often conflated.

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted May 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      “The tipping point is integrated into most predictions but is rather unknown.”

      So it is unknown! Also, the Earth has been a lot warmer than today, the famous hockey stick being famous for being wrong, so the tipping point temperature, if there was one, would be a lot higher than we have experienced recently. We would need crops growing in Greenland before we even started to experience ‘unusual climate’!

      And the Science is not settled at all.

  28. Robert Christopher
    Posted May 21, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Is Lord Deben really the government’s top independent climate advisor?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/tories-scepticism-about-climate-change-melts-after-winter-floods–in-their-constituencies-9406073.html

    Who is saying that? Lord Deben?

    And is what he says correct?

    1) Tories’ scepticism
    Tories’ scepticism about climate change melts after winter floods – in their constituencies

    “Senior Tories have shed their scepticism about climate change after winter floods wreaked havoc on rural constituencies and scientists debunked key sceptic arguments, according to John Gummer [aka Lord Deben], the government’s top independent climate advisor.”

    2) Debunking of two ‘artificial hurdles’”
    “Lord Deben said his case had been helped by the debunking of two ‘artificial hurdles’”, involving “The Pause” and the other, the amount of Antarctic ice.

    3) Bengtsson’s resignation of GWPF due to ‘peer’ group pressure
    Lord Deben acknowledged that there is still considerable opposition to climate change, pointing to a front page article in The Times last week [about Lennart Bengtsson] which he dismissed as “ridiculous”.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. 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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