A “dim” sun?

The Today programme this morning told us that scientists report a “dim” (as opposed to a “cool” ) sun. Apparently sunspots and flares are not what they used to be.

Is this the beginning of a U turn? Is the BBC about to tell us it is our patriotic duty to generate more carbon dioxide to offset the collapse of the sunspot? Are we about to have warring scientists on the airwaves, with the astronomers in the cooling corner and the climate specialists in the warming corner?

I doubt it. That’s why they said “dim” not “cool”. The warmers still control the BBC and have the bulk of the public research money.

Some of us still want a big drive to cut the use of fossil fuels. We want a greener and cleaner environment with much less dependence on imported oil. There are still good reasons for that.


  1. Kevin Lohse
    April 21, 2009

    My schoolboy science tells me that a sunspot is a dark spot on the surface of the Sun. Surely if there are fewer sunspots, the Sun would appear to be brighter, not dimmer?
    With the reduction in sunspot activity, ( a regular occurrence, nothing to do with AGW), there will be less energy pumped out by the Sun. Expect an onslaught from GW enthusiasts telling us that a natural rhythm established over billions of years is inconsequential to the effect of AGW.
    Your last para is right on the money.

    1. Neil Craig
      April 22, 2009

      Kevin the sunspots aren’t actually dark by any normal standard merely less bright than the surrounding area. Sunspots are a sign of turbulence in the Sun & more activity correlates to more energy, cosmic wind etc.

      John I realise you are already a heretic within the British political class by doubting catastrophic warming but you are wrong to worry about CO2 caused by fossil fuels. More CO2 in the atmosphere helps plant growth & would actually be supported by the “greens” if they were into greenery. Moreover we are not going to run out of fuel, partly because the Canadian tar sands contain dar more than we have ever used & partly because bio-fuels grown from algae are about to become a major world industry (without government subsidy).

  2. Ian Jones
    April 21, 2009

    If the warmers argued that we need to reduce pollution to improve health and massively improve efficiency of the use of fossil fuels to achieve that as well as reduce dependence on foreign fuel then nobody would argue. Instead they insist on “creating models” and holding conferences all in order to get more research money. Money which would be better spent on discovering new technology to solve the problem than funding some third rate science drop out to build some simple “models” in Excel.

    1. Freddy
      April 21, 2009

      And, unfortunately, all that research money is given for finding evidence of global warming, not for finding lack of evidence, or evidence against … of both of which, there are enormous amounts.

  3. Lola
    April 21, 2009

    The chinese quisine element called ‘dim sum’ translates as ‘touch of the heart’. the ‘Dim Sun’ in BBC terms translates as ‘touched in the head’.

  4. figurewizard
    April 21, 2009

    The global warming lobby has never once referred to Edward Maunder and his research at the end of the nineteenth century into global famines. Thanks to more than 2000 years of Chinese observations of the sun he discovered that such events always coincided with abnormally low sunspot activity. These are now known in scientific circles as ‘Maunders intervals’. He also found that it was increased sunspot activity that finally resolved these famines.

    It may (or may not) be the case that levels of CO2 play a part in global warming but in the light of Maunder’s findings the present debate appears to be grossly lopsided.

    1. Freddy
      April 21, 2009

      CO2 does play some role in global warming, but a very minor one. Somewhere from 70%-90% of global warming (depending whose figures you believe) is caused by water vapour.

      I’ll say that again : water vapour in the atmosphere is responsible for more global warming than all other global warming agents put together. Anywhere from 5 times to 9 times more. So let’s regulate water vapour …

  5. Jack Savage
    April 21, 2009

    Yes yes yes yes.
    All I would ask for is that the debate continue. For all I know the AGW catastrophista are right but please let us not say that the debate is over before spending (our) trillions on an educated guess.

    1. Freddy
      April 21, 2009

      “For all I know the AGW catastrophista are right”

      The overwhelming balance of evidence says they are not. But the BBC doesn’t show us those bits.

      1. Jack Savage
        April 22, 2009

        My gut feeling,as a non-scientist reviewing the premise of AGW from both sides, is that AGW (or at the very least,CO2 driven AGW) is a load of baloney.
        However,the other very firm impression I have gained from many hours reviewing the matter,is that no one really has an effing clue how climate works.
        The BBC are appallingly biased.
        Here is one to make you gnash your teeth.


  6. Stuart Fairney
    April 21, 2009

    You may recall Al Gore’s famous (now discredited) hockey stick graph which alleged that CO2 and warming were linked and it showed images that suggested the same.

    In fact detailed examination shows that temperature increases tend to precede increased atmospheric CO2 and thus, CO2 cannot be a causal factor.

    However, if you look at temperature and sunspot activity, there is a genuine link.

    Problem is, you can hardly say to someone, the sun is heating up, therefore get out of your 4×4 or I will tax you. You can do that however with CO2. And thus, the AGW argument.

    Incidentally, I have read estimates that the “cap and trade” carbon market, entirely a government created fiat currency, will be worth more than the global oil market in a decade. So don’t expect them to give that up easily. Taxes for your own good old boy!

    1. Freddy
      April 21, 2009

      “You may recall Al Gore’s famous (now discredited) hockey stick graph”

      Apologies for the nit-pick : you are confusing two separate sets of graphs here.
      The ones you are describing are the graphs of temperature versus CO2 content of the atmosphere, as captured in deep ice cores. You are quite correct in saying that these ice core studies all show temperature rises preceding CO2 rises by a matter of centuries, a fact which Gore does not mention.
      This is not at all surprising: there is far more CO2 dissolved in the ocean than there is in the air. Henry’s Law tells us that as the temperature rises, more gas comes out of solutino and escapes into the atmosphere.

      The “Hockey Stick” graph refers something else: the supposed proof that 20th century warming was unprecedented over the last millenium, and could only be explained by CO2-driven global warming. You will recall having seen this a lot back at the beginning of this decade; it was one of the key propaganda tools used by the warmists to make the world believe that global warming was a serious issue. Key marketing lines were “the 20th century is likely the warmest century of the last millenium, and the 1990s likely the warmest decade”.

      It is important to note that the Hockey Stick was revolutionary: the consensus prior to that point was that world climate followed long slow cycles, of the order of 600 years in length. This was even shown in the very first IPCC report back in 1990. The last warm period was the Mediaeval Warm Period, before that the cold of the Dark Ages, before that, the warmth of the Roman Warm Period, etc.
      (I remember when I was still in short trousers asking my geography teacher why Greenland wasn’t called Whiteland, given it was covered in snow and ice. He said, it was warmer back then.)
      Given these long slow cycles, there was no reason to think that there was anything unusual about the warm years we were having around the turn of the century. The fact that they came at the same time as a supposed rise in atmospheric CO2 levels was just a coincidence.

      In order to claim that there was a definite link between between CO2 and warm weather, te warmistas had to get rid of the Mediaeval Warm Period. This was first done by a paper published in 1998 by Mann Bradley and Hughes; they published a follow up paper in 1999. This paper used a standard statistical technique called Principal Components Analysis on the raw data of tree rings from very old trees and came up wit hthe first hockey stick graph, i.e., a graph showing that temperatures were pretty much flat for most of the last millenium, then started moving up over the 20th century.

      Unfortunately for Mann, the lead author, a Canadian statistician called Steve McIntyre decided to look into thie original papers, and found that they were completely bogus – even if you accept that tree rings are a perfect thermometer (grossly dubious, if not outright wrong) the maths was simply wrong. McIntyre’s work has been confirmed at the highest level, by Progfessor Edward Wegman, the chair of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of America’s National Research Council, in testimony to Congress a few years ago.

      Yet still the Warmista juggernaut rolls on …

      For anyone interested, and able to handle higher maths and data analysis, I highly recommend Steve’s blog at wwww.climateaudit.org , which was the 2007 Weblog Awards winner for best science blog.

      Incidentally, I don’t know if we still give any sort of knighthoods to Canadians, but Steve McIntyre deserves one many times over.

      1. Stuart Fairney
        April 22, 2009

        Nit pick accepted with thanks!

  7. Frustrated taxpayer
    April 21, 2009

    Whilst I would fully agree with the comment in your last paragraph about reducing dependence on imported oil, I find the increasingly strident tactics of the Global Warming zealots worrying. For an apparently intelligent person, Lord Stern’s inability to understand that climate science is far from a settled issue is deeply disturbing – in this morning’s Daily Telegraph he is quoted as saying:
    “If nothing is done to keep emissions low, he warned that temperatures may rise by up to six degrees with catastrophic consquences.
    Lord Stern warned that Florida and Bangladesh could disappear, alligators could survive at the North Pole and millions of people would have to migrate.”

    Perhaps he should stick to economics. The Met Office admit the accuracy of their 72 hour forecasts is at best about 70%, and as the accurracy of the forecasts decreases the longer the period covered, then the accurracy of their longer term forecasts e.g. 1-year, 5-year, 10-year, etc is nothing better than a guess.

    What the zealots appear to forget (or simply ignore) is that these forecasts are based on computer models, which in turn are based on modelling assumptions. So if the prevalent view of the metrologists in the climate change industry is that temperatures will rise based on CO2 levels increasing, then that assumption will be built in to the model. What is not explained about the modelling is the choice of assumptions used in the models, e.g. if the climate scientists have chosen to ignore the possible effects of sunspot activity, we the public who pay for all this modelling will never know and the press will simply ignore this lack of transparency.

    1. Freddy
      April 21, 2009

      “For an apparently intelligent person, Lord Stern’s inability to understand that climate science”

      Given that he is a supposedly expert economist, I am more concerned about the stunning incompetence of his approach to cost-benefit analyses as evidenced by The Stern Report. In order to produce his loony recommendations, he took all the most insanely pessimistic assumptions about the consequences of continued CO2 emissions, and all the most ridiculusly optimistic assumptions about the costs of mitigation. Even then, he needed an absurdly low discount rate of about 1% to bring the two together and justify the recommendations that Tony Blair wanted to make.
      Quite coincidentally, of course, shortly after the publication of his report, I seem to recall reading that he got a nice little quango with a six-figure salary.

    2. Jonathan Bryce
      April 21, 2009

      Unlike short term forecasts, these long term forecasts are not about predicting that it will start raining at Wokingham train station at 10:43 am on 25th March 2083. Nobody has the slightest idea what the precise weather will be at that precise moment in time.

      It is about predicting what typical March weather will be like in the South of England in the 2080s, and those sorts of forecasts can be more accurate.

      1. Frustrated taxpayer
        April 22, 2009

        “Unlike short term forecasts, these long term forecasts are not about predicting that it will start raining at Wokingham train station at 10:43 am on 25th March 2083.” – This is a typical illogical extension of an objection to the faux-science that underpins the climate change hysteria.

        My post was not suggesting precise (time-based) forecasting decades ahead – that is clearly impossible given the factors involved in creating our weather. My post was simply an observation that it is essentially the same type of mathematical model that they use for long and short term modelling and the practicing metrologists readily concede that the quality and accuracy of their forecasts rapidly degrades as you increase the forecast period.

        Given the level of uncertainty in any forecast more than a week ahead, for Stern to be quoting potential 6 degree temperature rises is as accurate as prediciting there will be say only 2 Labour MPs in Westminster after the next election – a simple work of fiction.

      2. Stuart Fairney
        April 22, 2009

        Would they be as accurate as the ones I recall from the 1970’s predicting the next ice age because of humankind’s economic development?

        Or the ones from the 1990’s when they still called it “global warming” as opposed to the bet-every-horse-in-the-race term ‘climate change’

      3. Freddy
        April 22, 2009

        Certainly. I predict that March weather in the 2080s will be slightly warmer than the month before, and slightly cooler than the month after. Probably …
        You are right that this sort of prediction is different from predicting short-term weather, which is the original chaotic system, as identified by Edward Lorentz back in the 1960s. But, this being so, why does the the Met Office spend tens of millions of pounds on super-computers, and advertise their global warming farecasts as being made with the same models as used for weather forecasts ? Answer : global warming is the public sector equivalent of a magic wand – it can justify any budget or new regulation, and the associated bureaucrats.
        Further, you are correct that 100 year models are effectively much simpler, no matter how much nonsense and flummery they are dressed up with – they basically say that if atmospheric CO2 rises by X, then temperature rises by Y. Excel is more than adequate for this.
        Of course the key point is, what is the justification for the choice of X and Y, the elasticity of temperature to CO2, as the economists would put it. This is one of the many areas of gross flakiness in the warmistas’ arguments – even they are unable to come up with arguments to justify an elasticity of slightly under a degree centigrade for each doubling of CO2. Note that this is logarithmic – each extra ton of CO2 in the atmosphere has less effect on temperature than the ton before it.
        This is not nearly scary enough, so the warmistas then start talking about feedbacks. In particular, they say that CO2-driven increases in temperature lead to more water evaporating from the oceans, which leads to more greenhouse effect, etc. This is the only way they can come up with forecasts of temperature rises of 2 or 3 degrees, or 5 or 6 for the more shameless ones.
        Of course, while basically plausible, this is a positive feedback, as when a microphone gets too close to its loudspeaker. Without some countervailing force, a negative feedback, the planet would have spiralled into fiery oblivion many eons ago. Since this clearly has not happened, either the original theory is wrong, or else there must be some negative feedback. Fortunately, there is an obvious one: as the water content of the atmosphere increases, so do clouds. Which increase the albedo of the planet and reflect back more sunlight before it ever reaches the ground. See the work of Richard Lindzen – one of many very eminent scientists who does not believe in catastrophic global warming – on the “Iris Effect”.

      4. Jack Savage
        April 22, 2009

        Says you! Can you provide the slightest shred of evidence that anyone has ever correctly predicted the “typical” weather in a given month in a given place 70 years in advance? Please!
        The only reason anyone makes “certain” predictions of that nature is that they are secure in the knowledge they will never be held to account for them.
        I am sure you write and act with the best of motives but please please look into ,or continue to look into, this business with an open mind.

  8. Rob N
    April 21, 2009

    solar minimum



    Using the word dim or cool is a poor explination and in both cases as with most things from the media only paints half the picture.

    It shows that the BBC’s bias on reporting of topics may not always be due to a political/scientific slant but sometimes due to “dumbing” down of information or just plain uneducated reporters.

    1. Freddy
      April 21, 2009

      Like most newspapers, the BBC’s science reporters are just another lot of arts graduates at best. They do not investigate the stories they are given; they just copy-type whatever press releases Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth send them

  9. Richard
    April 21, 2009

    2 things are clear: 1) the apocryphal forecasts of climate alarmists over the last 20 years have so far not been borne out and 2) there is far more debate and uncertainty on this issue in the scientific community than the BBC or the ‘consensus’ view implies. The leadership of the Conservative party should be careful not to become too closely associated with climate alarmism. There is a good chance that the next few years will see ‘global warming’ revealed as another great red herring – and a lot of very clever people will end up looking rather silly.

    1. Cliff.
      April 21, 2009

      I agree Richard the Conservative leadership should not become too associated with the new religion of climate change however, as I understand it, one of our party’s biggest doners, only gives the money on the understanding we pursue his green/GW/CC agenda.
      I would suggest a more sensible approach would be to spend less on fighting man made climate change, assuming it exists which I doubt, but spend more on looking at ways to adapt to it. Humankind have survived for centuries because of our ability to adapt.
      Two questions which are never answered by the pro climate change apostles:
      1) Why are the polar caps on Mars reducing at the same rate as our own, are there 4x4s on Mars?
      2) At what time in the history of our planet was our climate fixed?

      This last week, Labour put forward a policy to give incentives to buy electric cars, this is another example of gesture politics; Given that we are likely to struggle to produce enough electricity for our current needs soon, due to a government failure to bring forward nuclear power stations, how are we going to produce all that extra power?
      The cars may be green in terms of emmissions however, what about the manufacturing process, the electricy generation process and the battaries?

      I am, like John, in favour of conserving resourses but I think a little more honesty is needed from government about the real reasons for the propaganda.
      Taxation was supposed to be a means of raising money for the work of the state; security, defence, education, health etc etc it should not be used as a method to alter peoples behaviour in relation to legal activities.

      I suspect too many people are making too much money from the CC religion for the whole trend to be reversed.

      One of our nations biggest priorities must be to reduce our reliance on oil from unstable, west hating regions, however in my opinion being in such a northern location, neither wind nor solar generation are a reliable source.

      1. Freddy
        April 22, 2009

        ” … One of our nations biggest priorities must be to reduce our reliance on oil from unstable, west hating regions, however in my opinion being in such a northern location, neither wind nor solar generation are a reliable source. … ”

        Absolutely right. Until some clever person solves the problem of storing energy, preferably electrical energy, on an industrial scale, wind and solar are going to be expensive irrelevancies. The greenies never admit it, but it regularly happens that there is no wind blowing over the whole of the British Isles; this generally happens in the middle of summer or the middle of winter. In the insane fantasy world of a Britain powered by wind, this means that either we are instantly turned into a third world country, or else we start up the real power stations that can be relied on to produce power when we want it. So we have to spend the huge amount of money to build these stations in the first place.
        The importance of hydrocarbons is not so much that they are a _source_ of energy, rather that they are a _store_ of energy, and a store that can be switched on and off relatively easily. Until such time as we can store wind energy, then release it into the Grid in a predictable fashion, then wind energy is a hideously expensive waste of time.
        With today’s science and technology, the only way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil is to go nuclear, now. Well, preferably ten years ago.

      2. Freddy
        April 22, 2009

        ” … Given that we are likely to struggle to produce enough electricity for our current needs soon, due to a government failure to bring forward nuclear power stations … ”

        Again, very true. Our nuclear stations are coming to the end of their life, and will need to close in the next few years. Some of our largest coal generating stations will be clsoed by 2015 due to the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive, or possibly sooner, if they have to stand in for closing nuclear stations. On current form, we are due to lose 40% of our generating capacity by 2015.
        So whoever forms the next government will have to overcome New Labour’s years of neglect, and replace that generating capacity, or else preside over a country with ever-increasing black-outs and rolling power cuts. I suspect that government will not get re-elected. Tories, are you listening ?

        In practice, of course, I suspect that we will have to refuse to comply with the EU LCP Directive, which will produce a major punch-up with Brussels. But this has to be done soon, before the generating companies start winding down operations at the relevant plants, a process which takes several years. In other words, this is not a problem to be left on the back burner: it is urgent.

        1. Cliff.
          April 22, 2009

          With reference to your last paragraph, I suspect it will lead to a large fine….Kerching!! However, at least one of the major suppliers in the UK are owned by the French government, I wonder what their attitude towards our energy supply would be, if the EUSSR started putting pressure on them?

          In my opinion, the elephant in the room is the increasing size of the world’s population. We breath out CO2, we have to raise animals for meat, milk etc they too breath out CO. For the extra people there are increases in demand for gas, electric and water….The pressure mounts!!
          Another factor that I have mooted on here before but have never seen any comments on is this; The human body is 65 to 70% water. Therefore, an ordinary person would store about 50kgs of water in their body; this equates to 50 litres in new money. That is over ten gallons!! If you have one million people, each storing 10 gallons or so of water that’s ten million gallons tied up. Our government suggest that our population will increase soon to 70,000,000 people; that’s 700,000,000 gallons of water tied up!! We are already running out of water or is that green propaganda too?

          It may be a difficult thing for a political party to advocate but, we must cut our population down to about 30,000,000 over the next century or so. Any area of land can only support a finite number of people and I read that, using fertilisers based on oil, it takes ten calories of oil to produce one calorie of food.
          I wonder how we will overcome the world’s food shortages, evidence of which we are starting to see now, where poorer nations cannot afford to buy their staple foods; How long before we too can no longer afford to feed ourselves….It could happen, look as Iceland.

          Perhaps a future government should look at not rewarding people for just breeding, as we now do….Kids currently unlock handouts and housing for parents or a parent, this must change in my opinion. Perhaps handouts should only be given for the first or first two children and no more.

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    April 21, 2009

    It won’t have escaped your notice that this “global warming”, now conveniently given the catch-all name “climate change”, has allowed politicians to promote revenue raising measures and the “green economy” is the buzzword which is going to rescue the world from recession. A cynic might well consider that this was a grand plan rather than an objective observation. In the meantime, proponents of this crisis such as Gore have enriched themselves with scant regard to their own personal contribution to the cataclysm that they predict.

  11. Gordon
    April 21, 2009

    We have just had eight straight months of frosts in the Midlands. In the seventies we had frost-free winters! I’d hate to have to argue the warmers’ case.

  12. jeff todd
    April 21, 2009

    What amazes me is the quiet compliance from all parties/MSM about the lies to justify the Tax take.

    How many times do we hear that spending on schools and hospitals will be cut if rising fuel taxes are reduced? So funding health and schools is dependent on a revenue stream from the oil that they do not want us to use – sustainable?

    How many times do we hear that rising fuel taxes will be spent on “green” projects? So funding “green” projects is dependent on a revenue stream from the oil that they do not want us to use – sustainable?

    When is someone going to take the government to task on what is a cynical – and cyclical – smash and grab tax raid to mask their own incompetence?

    Or are the Conservatives equally dependent on throttling the same golden goose to try and build up their political reputation?

    When will someone grow a couple and ask the question:

    “What happens when we no longer need oil?”

  13. Denis Cooper
    April 21, 2009

    But the debate is over, as Blair told us, and the EU has already embraced its conclusions.

    So that’s it.

    Even if all the leading advocates of the theory turned around tomorrow and said “Sorry, we now realise that we got it wrong, and there’s really no need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions”, the EU juggernaut would continue to roll on for years.

    Certainly nothing would be reversed. We wouldn’t find, for example, that the EU decided that in the light of the new evidence it would OK for us to use incandescent light bulbs after all, if that’s what we preferred – which is, as I’ve heard, what has happened in New Zealand.

    This is the problem with saying that the EU should stop interfering with the details of everyday life, and concentrate on the big issues like “climate change”.

    Getting the EU involved with that has actually provided the eurocrats with an ideal pretext for virtually unlimited interference with the details of everyday life, even down to the kind of light bulbs we can use in our own homes.

  14. John Bowman
    April 21, 2009

    Observed, recorded data show that warming of the lower atmosphere ceased 10 years ago and has declined for the last 7 at the rate of 2°C per century whilst CO2 levels have continued to rise. (http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/mar_09_co2_report.pdf)

    These facts being at odds with the IPCC fiction showing a rise of between 2.4°C to 5.3°C per century, having a direct link to the increasing CO2 levels.

    Why are Western politicians so keen on Globalwarmism?

    1. A great direct/stealth tax generating excuse.
    2. Allows ever more restrictive and controlling legislation.
    3. Paves the way for “carbon tariffs” on imports from emerging Countries for protectionism of domestic economies.

  15. DennisA
    April 21, 2009

    Lord Stern, via the LSE, is involved in the Global Governance movement, http://www.glogov.org, with all national and international climate institutes involved in some way. He spoke at the recent Copenhagen conference which was trying to prepare the ground for a further conference in December aimed at cobbling together a successor to Kyoto.

    It means taxes, taxes, taxes. Barack O’Bama has based a third of his budget for 2011 on carbon taxes. They are not going to walk away from it easily.

    The main input into the Stern Review was from the Tyndall Centre, set up in 2000 to socially engineer public acceptance of global warming which they were instrumental in transforming into the catch-all, “Climate Change”, as in this document from 2004:

    “The Social Simulation of the Public Perception of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change” September 2004.

    “To endorse policy change people must ‘believe’ that global warming will become a reality some time in the future.” (their emphasis)

    “Only the experience of positive temperature anomalies will be registered as indication of change if the issue is framed as global warming.”

    “Both positive and negative temperature anomalies will be registered in experience as indication of change if the issue is framed as climate change.”

    “We propose that in those countries where climate change has become the predominant popular term for the phenomenon, unseasonably cold temperatures, for example, are also interpreted to reflect climate change/global warming.”

    It obviously worked.

    The current Director of Strategy at Tyndall is a former environment adviser to Al Gore and to the World Bank.

    Wheels within Wheels….

    In 2006, Labour’s favourit think tank, The Institute for Public Policy Research, had this advice for public agencies interfacing with the public. David Miliband once worked there as a researcher.

    “Treating climate change as beyond argument”:

    “..it is our recommendation that, at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won.”

    “This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective.”

    “The ‘facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken.” (their emphasis)

    “The certainty of the Government’s new climate-change slogan – ‘Together this generation will tackle climate change’ (Defra 2006) – gives an example of this approach. It constructs, rather than claims, its own factuality.”

    And so we now have both government and opposition pushing the same flawed agenda. Very sad state of affairs.

  16. Richard Bretherton
    April 21, 2009

    Dim sun in the sky today. Dim sum in the budget tomorrow.

  17. chris southern
    April 21, 2009

    Getting any goverment to remove a tax is virtualy impossible, and that’s what we have with the “green” taxes.
    Ending our reliance on fossil fuels is worth moving towards, but it should be private firms that invest into it, not the people forced to fund it.
    When the technology is good enough to make it competetive, then it will be a viable alternative. I see that road speeds are to be lowered, is this a ploy to make electric cars appear more viable? it will certanly add to the time people spend travelling to and from work, effectively lowering the value of their labour (longer hours per week for the same take!)

    Then we have the problem of natural resources needed, the cost is going up constantly due to the extra demands. This makes the green technologies more expensive, as such, even more tax is demnded from the people, raising the amount people need to earn, thus pushing the majority closer to poverty.
    When goverments get out of the technology race and leave it to the market, then not only will the burden on the people be less, but we will once again encourage inovation (we need more people like Richard Branson who are willing to research into new technologies without goverment interferance.)

    1. alan jutson
      April 21, 2009

      Lowering speed limits will increase fuel use, as you will be running your car in second or if lucky third gear.
      So you pay more tax for the same distance travelled.
      Aware that we have to think of safety, but why not lower it to 10mph or even 5mph.
      We have had speed cameras, road humps, barriers, coloured tarmac, a proliferation of signs and lines, parking restrictions car park fees, higher fuel duty, showroom tax, vat, car tax, road tax, and the number killed each year remains about the same.
      The tax take goes up !!!
      The electric tax will come in if enough people by electric cars, its as simple as that.
      It has absolutely nothing to do with the environment or safety, full stop.

  18. Ruth
    April 21, 2009

    For about a year now I have been following an American weather forecaster via the internet, and he is a global warming sceptic. He correctly forecast the cold winter in September (almost completely spot on in terms of cold spells) while the Met Office was at the same time saying we would have an average mildish winter.

    He says he bases his forecasts on actual weather patterns and historical records instead of computer models and has trenchant things to say about the “business” of climate change and the scare-mongering. He pointed out a few weeks ago that the northern hemisphere is unusually cool at present (more ice in the Arctic, more snow in the Alps) and he forecasts a period of cooling coming up over the next couple of decades, not warming.

    While I think it is right in principle to reduce our energy consumption and find alternate sources of energy – I do my bit too – to my mind the global warming thing is overdone and based on rather narrow science.

  19. pipesmoker
    April 21, 2009

    The interesting data on this link is that prior to 14th April and then what has happened since.


  20. Paul
    April 21, 2009

    Didn’t I read in MSM the other day that Saint Barack of Obama has declared green house gases are pollutants and are therefore to be regulated as such?

    Which means that presumably you will need a polution permit in order to breath out (Co2) or fart ( methane).

    The global warming scam is another in a long line of tax/control scams Year 2 k bug being the most obvious one prior to this.

    The Sun ( dim sun? ) has a front page story today that the obese are causing global warming.

    I will not under any circumstances be voting Tory while that buffoon Goldsmith has anything what soever to do with formulating Tory party policy.

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 21, 2009

      I think that the Environmental Protection Agency is making a bid along those lines, apparently following a Supreme Court judgement.

      1. Jack Savage
        April 22, 2009

        I think it now a done deal.


        “Bury the rag deep in your face,now is the time for your tears”

  21. Adam-
    April 21, 2009

    More likely the BBC will imply that the sun is dim because of climate change.

  22. ManicBeancounter
    April 21, 2009

    A bit negligent of the BBC to slip this out two days before the budget. Undermines Mr Darling a little if he intends to slip in a few extra tax increases to help protect the environment.

  23. Derek
    April 21, 2009

    A rare moment of candour where the BBC remembers it’s actually supposed to report news. Even news it doesn’t like.

    Anyone who seriously believes in the carbon dioxide causes global warming argument must have to also entertain that we’d need to build plants pumping out carbon dioxide when all the cars have gone in order to stay warm.

    They never mention this because they don’t really objectively believe in the ‘science’. It’s just the latest vehicle for neo-marxist, privileged guilt, middle class self-loathing

  24. Fran Manns, Ph.D., P.Geo. (Ontario)
    April 22, 2009

    Climate is changing and always will. The climate celebrities, however, are linking climate and the economy. Yes, there has been warming to end the Pleistocene. Climate is a multiple input, multiple loop, multiple output, complex system. The facts and the hypotheses, however, do not support CO2 as a serious ‘pollutant’. In fact, it is plant fertilizer and seriously important to all life on the planet. It is the red herring used to unwind our economy. That issue makes the science relevant.
    Sulphate from volcanoes can have a catastrophic effect, but water vapour is far more important. Water vapour (0.4% overall by volume in air, but 1 – 4 % near the surface) is the most effective green house blanket followed by methane (0.0001745%). The third ranking gas is CO2 (0.0383%), and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves rapidly in cold water and bubbles rapidly out of warm water. The equilibrium in seawater is very high; making seawater a great ‘sink’; CO2 is 34 times more soluble in water than air is soluble in water.
    CO2 has been rising and Earth and her oceans have been warming. However, the correlation trails. Correlation, moreover, is not causation. The causation is under experimental review, however, and while the radiation from the sun varies only in the fourth decimal place, the magnetism is awesome.
    “Using a box of air in a Copenhagen lab, physicists traced the growth of clusters of molecules of the kind that build cloud condensation nuclei. These are specks of sulphuric acid on which cloud droplets form. High-energy particles driven through the laboratory ceiling by exploded stars far away in the Galaxy – the cosmic rays – liberate electrons in the air, which help the molecular clusters to form much faster than climate scientists have modeled in the atmosphere. That may explain the link between cosmic rays, cloudiness and climate change.”
    As I understand it, the hypothesis of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows:
    Quiet sun → reduced magnetic and thermal flux = reduced solar wind → geomagnetic shield drops → galactic cosmic ray flux → more low-level clouds and more snow → more albedo effect (more heat reflected) → colder climate
    Active sun → enhanced magnetic and thermal flux = solar wind → geomagnetic shield response → less low-level clouds → less albedo (less heat reflected) → warmer climate
    That is how the bulk of climate change might work, coupled with (modulated by) sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, the planets cool.
    The ultimate cause of the solar magnetic cycle may be cyclicity in the Sun-Jupiter centre of gravity. We await more on that.
    Although the post 60s warming period appears to be over, it has allowed the principal green house gas, water vapour, to kick in with more humidity, clouds, rain and snow depending on where you live to provide the negative feedback that scientists use to explain the existence of complex life on Earth for 550 million years. Ancient sedimentary rocks and paleontological evidence indicate the planet has had abundant liquid water over the entire span. The planet heats and cools naturally and our gasses are the thermostat.
    Check the web site of the Danish National Space Center.
    Keeping in mind that windmills are hazardous to birds, be wary of the unintended consequences of believing and contributing to the all-knowing environmental lobby groups.

  25. Cliff.
    April 22, 2009

    Here is a real life example how government and business takes advantage of the climate change myth to make more money; This involves a private company.
    I have just received an Email from our local cable company telling me that unless I change to paperless billing, I will be charged one pound and fifty pence a month. I am locked into a minimum term of one year, during which time, if I cancel I must pay for the whole twelve month period. I have always received paper bills. I changed my package a couple of months ago and so a new period of twelve months started.
    The cable company said the reason for the change is to save the planet and to go green…..The hypocracy of it, is that the owner of this cable company, also owns a major airline and recently has aquired an interest in a F1 racing team!! Now that is very green isn’t it.

    As I have said on here before; In this country, we give too much weight to single issue groups that then effectively dictate, aided by Labour, how we must behave and what we can say or think.
    I say, if you treat people as responsible adults, they are likely to act like adults, treat people like children, they will act like children….Everyone knows their rights but few accept the responsibilities that come with those rights.

  26. I.T
    April 23, 2009

    “big drive to cut the use of fossil fuels. We want a greener and cleaner environment with much less dependence on imported oil. There are still good reasons for that ”

    OK, but.

    As things stand, policies based on the acceptance of catastrophic AGW hypothesis are a major distortion of the energy market and the balance of our generation capacity. I don’t see how you can set out a policy without first deciding whether you buy in to C-AGW or not. Continuing with C-AGW driven policy, while using energy security as a way of covering yourself against any unravelling of the C-AGW narrative is not good enough.

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