climate change politics

Credit where credit is due

There are times when I can’t stand British politics. The negativity and outright lies of the recent local elections and referendum are a case in point, or Cameron touring the Middle East selling weapons. But there are also times when I’m really proud, and there have been two reasons to applaud David Cameron’s leadership in the last couple of weeks.

The first was the new carbon budget, making a commitment to cut the UK’s carbon emissions by 50% by 2025. The government has been under increasing pressure to drop or ignore carbon targets, with the Treasury and the Department of Business leading the assault. It’s not a perfect deal. The government still doesn’t recognise emissions from consumption, shipping or air travel, and apparently “the UK can prove that there need not be a tension between green and growth”. I doubt that, but full credit for honouring our climate responsibilities when it gets tough.

Second, Cameron has been outspoken on the importance of aid this week, making a speech to the G8 and renewing our commitment to giving away 0.7% of our GDP. For all its failings, aid remains hugely important, and many countries have dropped their aid promises like a hot rock after the financial crisis. Great to see Britain keeping up the pressure on the rest of the G8, despite an aggressive and ignorant tabloid campaign against our national aid budget. (Daily Mail claimed Britain ‘doles out more in aid than any other country‘, which Norway might want to question.)

Thanks Dave, and more of these stories please.


  1. Sorry but I don’t share your optimism. You seem to be crediting a politician for making promises. I was inspired when Blair & Brown pledged to end child poverty, as well as earlier intentions to meet a frankly pathetic 0.7 GDP target for aid.
    What does aid even mean? Does it include loans which serve only to further indebit the poor, or does it include arms to quosh them? Or is it merely vouchers which can only be spent in UK.plc?
    These promises are meaningless, especially ones which are three parliaments away. Watch them be forgotten or the figures fudged. And (my personal opinion) Cameron isn’t half the man that Blair was.

    1. I’m no fan of Cameron, and I think his legacy is likely to be disastrous one. But every once in a while, you get these flickers of possibility. Since I tend to jump up and down when he does something stupid, I only thought it was fair to mention it when he does something right.

      yes, we’ll see what becomes of the promises. Despite the Daily Mail, we’re still not actually giving away 0.7% after all.

  2. I too saw the Daily Mail headline (on the same day every other paper lead with the arrest of Ratko Mladic!) and had mixed feelings – my usual distaste for the Mail, but also a more unusual respect for the government and especially Cameron, who seems to be personally instrumental in this issue.

    I suspect they are under quite a lot of pressure from within their own party to back down on international aid, and I’m pleased their sticking with it.

    Of course it’s not enough, of course the targeting needs improving, of course it needs to be fully and transparently decoupled from ‘security’ and ‘economic self-interest’ – but I think we sometimes need to support any steps in the right direction. Positive reinforcement works wonders, especially when the alternative would be policy directed by the Daily Mail !

    I’ve contacted my MP to tell him how much I support the government on this issue (even if I’ve no intention of voting for him or it) – I’d urge everyone who supports compassionate giving by nation states to do the same.


    1. Yes, positive reinforcement is what this is all about. Good point about writing to your MP. I will do likewise.

      Sorry your comment got caught in the spam-catcher, by the way. It’s only supposed to block things if they contain two or more links, so I’m not sure why that happened.

  3. (LINKS to this comment are posted separately below.)

    Jeremy: the Coalition’s carbon emissions policy is absurd and irresponsible. It’s certainly not a cause for pride. And your post here is spectacularly ill-timed:

    Only this weekend, it was reported (LINK 1) that France, Russia, Japan and Canada told the G8 they would not join a second round of carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol; moreover, the US reiterated it will remain outside the treaty. We already know from Copenhagen and Cancun that there’s no chance that the so-called developing economies (especially China and India) signing up (I say “so-called” because these economies not only account for four-fifths of the world’s population but about half of global GDP and three-quarters of the world’s currency reserves) – So who is left? Just the puny UK. And maybe Germany – although now they have abandoned nuclear power, increased CO2 emissions look inevitable (LINK 2).

    So nothing we can do can possibly make the slightest real difference – except to further weaken our already shattered economy by, for example, driving major manufacturers overseas (LINKS 3 and 4), increasing everyone’s fuel bills (especially those of the poorest – the ultimate regressive tax (LINK 5)), undermining scientific research (ironically including “green” research (LINK 6)), ignoring the economic nonsense of “renewable power” (LINK 7) (even the more sensible “greens” agree (LINK 8) – so why don’t you?) and the pointless industrialisation of some of our wildest and most beautiful countryside – just, it seems, as we’re running out of wind (LINK 9).

    So why are we doing it?

    Well, Oliver Letwin (Cabinet Office Minister) provided the answer a couple of months ago (LINK 10). Here’s an extract from what he said:

    … this is an issue of moral leadership – we absolutely have to establish moral leadership on the issue of climate change …
    Those of us who made the case at Copenhagen for a carbon cap now have a moral obligation to show that we are true to our word by delivering green changes in our own countries. Doing so will send a signal to more reluctant countries that we are serious, and will help build the conditions necessary to reach a global agreement to act.

    Is anyone even remotely likely to take any notice? Er … no. For example, did Obama change his mind during the G8 conference? No – on the contrary he reiterated the US Position re Kyoto (LINK 1). Even the EU is most unlikely to follow the UK’s example (LINK 11). But, in particular, are India and China (two of the largest contributors to global CO2 emissions) likely to say: “Oh look, the UK is adopting a “green” energy policy – we’d better follow suit, halt our economic development and keep millions of our people in continuing poverty”? Of course not – in utter contrast, it’s they who are the main reason for 2010’s global emissions being “the highest in history” (LINK 12).

    This policy is irresponsible, foolish, arrogant, self-harming, neo-colonial nonsense.

      1. AND all my links are now caught in the spam-catcher – foolishly I posted them in pairs. (J: should I wait or post them individually?)

    1. On the contrary, it’s a very well timed post. I’m proud that Britain is pushing ahead with this even if these other countries are not. All the more reason to say I approve.

      Not sure why you think this is economically disastrous. The government has framed the whole thing as a growth strategy, making Britain competitive. They wouldn’t do it otherwise. He does the right thing every once in a while, but environmentally enlightened Cameron is not.

      The UK is not alone in this. There are still dozens of countries committed, including several that have pledged to go much further than us and go carbon neutral. As the price of oil rises, those countries will have a great head start. China may not be signed up to a Kyoto style agreement, but are you aware that their five year plan voluntarily slows their growth?

      But of course you think it’s dangerous. You don’t agree with the mainstream understanding of climate change and it goes without saying that you wouldn’t approve.

      1. Have you read my links? All of them? Any problem with them? Come on now – no doubt the government has framed this as “a growth strategy, making Britain competitive” but, like so many other such government “strategies”, this one’s plainly not going to work.

        Name a few of your “dozens of countries ” please, including some of those who have “pledged” (whatever that means) to go much further than us (evidence please). As for China, well it’s CO2 emissions are soaring ahead of even the USA’s. It’s, India’s and other “developing” economies’ emissions are accelerating. As a result, 2010’s global emissions were “the highest in history”: see my LINK 12. You may not like it, but these are the facts. I suggest you wake up from what I’m afraid seems to be an unrealistic dreamland.

        The danger that concerns me in all this is for benighted little Britain. Most of the rest of the world is quietly ignoring emission reduction (Here BTW is another LINK to add to those above). Of course, if the so-called “mainstream” understanding of climate change is correct, we’re heading for total disaster (you should be very worried). Fortunately, it’s almost certainly incorrect.

        1. In reality, prospects are good. Here’s an extract from my LINK2:

          Across the globe, energy has become a political game filled with risk and uncertainty. The economic outlook for energy is good — cheap gas, a variety of sources of energy, ample supplies to keep the global economy buzzing for 100 years. Overhanging it all is government policymaking turmoil. Overall, however, with Kyoto in meltdown, and carbon controls unlikely, and cheap gas on the horizon, economics could again trump politics and green ideologies.

          A pity the UK seems determined not to join the party.

        2. Even more good news here: Cheap gas will overtake renewables.

          An extract:

          A glut of cheap gas will see the fuel overtake renewable sources in the global race to build new energy generation, says a senior energy industry executive.


          The International Energy Agency has predicted that if the anticipated “dash for gas” goes ahead, the world will be far adrift of its greenhouse gas emissions targets. Laszlo Varro, head of gas, coal and power markets at the IEA, said: “We have said repeatedly that on our current trajectory we will miss these targets.”


          … in the US … a rush to exploit shale gas reserves is spurring the construction of gas-fired power plants. “The US will be a gas island, because there is so much local supply, and it may be cheaper than gas traded in the rest of the world,” said Varro.


          … this new “dash for gas” is likely to be at the expense of renewables. A report from the European Gas Advocacy Forum suggested that Europe could meet its carbon-cutting targets hundreds of billions of euros more cheaply by pursuing gas than by relying on renewables.

          So there you are, Jeremy: a simple solution. But not, it seems, for the UK.

        3. Sure, countries pledging to go carbon neutral include the Maldives, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Ethiopia. Among the various national commitments are Japan and Russia’s 25% cut, 34% from South Africa, Mexico 50%, the EU’s 20% pledge. China and India both have promises on carbon intensity rather than absolute CO2 emissions. Some of them have changed and others have been added, but there’s a list of individual country commitments at the end of the Copenhagen agreement:

          The UK is by no means alone.

          I know that 2010’s emissions are the highest ever. That makes it more urgent, not less.

          1. Well, Jeremy, the pledges from the Maldives etc, even if successfully implemented, would hardly even be noticed on a global scale. Moreover, Japan and Russia (along with France and Canada) have now opted out of Kyoto (see my LINK 1 above) and South Africa and Mexico were not in anyway. In any case, Copenhagen was a long time ago and, most important – unlike the foolish UK’s, none of the “commitments” you mention is legally binding (more on this below). It’s a meaningless politicians’ wish list. So, sorry – but we are alone.

            Now China and India – and you really should get better informed about what’s happening there. It’s tremendously important.

            China. First, re your carbon intensity point, see LINK A (below) – look especially at the two charts “that tell you everything you need to know”. Then read LINK B . Here’s an extract:

            The IEA estimates that China, which generates more than 70% of its electricity with coal, will build 600 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power capacity in the next quarter-century—as much as is currently generated with coal in America, Japan and the European Union put together. Nomura, a Japanese bank, thinks that may be an underestimate. It reckons China will add some 500GW of coal-fired power by as early as 2015, and will more than double its current generating capacity by 2020. It expects Indian coal-fired power generation to grow too—though more slowly.

            (More on the IEA below.)

            India. First, see LINK C – “India won’t succumb to pressure for cutting greenhouse gas“. Then LINK D – India plans to build 14 4,000 MW coal-fired power plants by 2012 (each bigger than the dreaded Kingsnorth).

            Finally, LINK E: an overall forecast by the International Energy Agency (an official, not sceptic body) of emissions to 2030 – compared with what was hoped for from those Copenhagen “commitments” you mention. It says it all really – “urgent” it may be, but China and India alone will ensure emissions increase anyway.

  4. Hey Robin! Great information. I already explained to Jeremy that Australia’s main proponent for a carbon tax, Flannery, said that even if the entire globe adopted a Kyoto style CO2 reduction regimine, it would not reduce temperatures for a thousand years. This apparently went right over his head.

    This is not about actually solving a climate crisis, this is about wealth redistribution and feeling good about oneself, wether or not one is actually doing any good.

    “Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and IPCC Co-chair of Working Group III on Mitigation of Climate Change, told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (translated) that “climate policy is redistributing the world’s wealth” and that “it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization.”

    Jeremy knows this. He supporst Soros entities that have the same goals. I’m not sure what his motivation is, but AGW is, as Ottmar said, about wealth redistribution first.

    Ottmar goes on to say… “First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone.”

    Straight from the horse’s mouth, again.

    I post these quotes showing what the AGW scam and scammers are really all about and Jeremy still clings to his unsubstantiated beliefs. Simply amazing.

    The Maldives! That’s rich!

    1. Did I say the Maldives would save the world? They’re setting an example. And note Ethiopia saying they’re going carbon neutral – and thus proving that it isn’t a choice between development and decarbonisation.

      Incidentally Gator, as a Christian who seems very fearful of the idea of redistribution, what’s your take on Acts 2, where “the believers had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need”?

    1. Hey Jeff! I have that video saved, it’s scary similar to conversations I have had with alarmists.

      This is also fun…

    2. Brilliant, Jeff! I’m reminded of the once-famous “futile gesture” sketch from the wonderful British comedy show Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s (thereby admitting how old I am). It went as follows:

      (Said by Squadron Leader to Flight Officer Perkins in WW2): “I want you to lay down your life, Perkins.”

      “Right sir!”

      “We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.”


      “Get up in a crate, Perkins.”


      “Pop over to Bremen.”


      “Take a shufti.”

      “Right sir!”

      “And don’t come back.”


      “Goodbye, Perkins. God, I wish I was going too.”

      “Goodbye Sah! – Or is it au revoir?”

      “No, Perkins.”

  5. “Incidentally Gator, as a Christian who seems very fearful of the idea of redistribution, what’s your take on Acts 2, where “the believers had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need”?”

    Did the government mandate this transaction? Because if they did, it was not charity.

    “”Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.” Pope Benedict XVI

    The Pope is making clear that ‘social justice’ is not a Christian value because it has nothing to do with what Christ taught. Christ (where the term ‘Christian’ came from) taught personal salvation, individual salvation. He was not a big government guy (cue the Pope).

    This is where you have gone off track. All the taxes in the world will not save your soul.

    Any more questions abouty Christianity?

    1. We live in an individualistic society, so I’m not surprised you read it that way. But Christianity is about society and community, not just individuals. Much of the epistles are written to communities, to a plural ‘you’. Righteousness and justice are the same word. Ancient Israel and Moses’ law was all about making a society that would demonstrate justice and fairness to the rest of the world.

      If you’ve settled for personal salvation and a heavenly future, you’ve only got half the picture.

      But, I know you’re not going to agree, and I’m not going to fight you on it.

  6. Jeremy, I too was initially heartened to hear that Cameron wasn’t going to renege on earlier carbon commitments, though my enthusiasm has waned somewhat since remembering this: 57% of UK emissions arise from goods produced overseas, which are hidden from the accounting of the UK’s contributions. The economic developments of the last couple of decades in which manufacturing in the rich world has been shifted to cheap labour markets in Asia has also effectively shifted the emissions elsewhere, despite the consumption responsible for those emissions still being homegrown.

    Gator – Last time I checked, the Apostle Paul had little trouble speaking of the governing authorities as being God’s servants (Romans 13.4). I think you are misreading the Bishop of Rome at this point (perhaps you could do a little research into Catholic social teaching). The pursuit of (partial and imperfectible) social justice needn’t be conceived as redemptive, simply an appropriate expression of Christian faith in response to the good news of Christ. What kind of exegetical support do you see for your claim that Christ taught only personal/individual salvation? And what are you opposing this to?

    1. Hey Byron! You get to Heaven through a personal relationship with God, not by joining a party.

      And I quoted the Pope verbatim. Maybe it is you who iks misguided. Taking religion lessons from wikipedia might be your first issue.

      1. Also, Romans 13.4 says, “The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.”

        It is about obeying laws, being a good person/citizen. Crime and punishment, Jesus did not want his followers gettin a bad reputation. Kind of hurts the movement.

        I will not list the entities that have used scripture in the past to justify evil deeds, you already know some of them, I suggest you study them all.

        I will give one modern day example. The Westboro “Baptist Church”. They claim God kills soldiers because He hates gays.

        “Their views on homosexuality are partially based on teachings found in the Old Testament, specifically Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, which they interpret to mean that homosexual behavior is detestable, and that homosexuals should be put to death, respectively.”

        Now back to Big Brother grabbing wealth for its own enrichment.

        1. You get to Heaven through a personal relationship with God, not by joining a party.
          I said “The pursuit of (partial and imperfectible) social justice needn’t be conceived as redemptive”. So I’m not sure where you get the idea that the pursuit of justice is equated with joining a political party, nor why a personal redemptive relationship with God doesn’t lead you into love of neighbour through the pursuit of justice.

          You quoted the Pope verbatim, but have misconstrued what he is saying by equating “social justice” with government activity being “redemptive”. I linked to Wikipedia out of convenience. I could suggest a much longer reading list of academic books on Catholic social teaching, but I suspect you can discover them yourself. My point is that it is widely acknowledged that a long string of popes have offered detailed and extensive engagement in what can be quite accurately called issues of social justice without thereby seeing themselves as having compromised the integrity of the gospel of salvation through Christ (quite the opposite).

          Romans 13 says more about the theological status of governing authorities than merely telling us to be good citizens. They are not redemptive, but they are part of God’s providential care through the restraining of evil during the present age.

          Many have indeed abused the holy scriptures. I suggest you don’t assume that I haven’t studied church history for many years.

          1. “I could suggest a much longer reading list of academic books on Catholic social teaching…”

            Yes I know, and so does the Pope. That is why he said what he did.

            Want some more?

            “”…this struggle (against all injustice), it was said, would have to be a political struggle, because the structures (of oppression) were strengthened and maintained by politics. Thus redemption became a political process, for which Marxist philosophy offered the essential directions. It became a task that men themselves could — indeed had to — take in hand and became, at the same time, the object of quite practical hopes; faith was changed from ‘theory’ into practice, into concrete redeeming action in the liberation process.”

            “…where the Marxist ideology of liberation had been consistently applied, a total lack of freedom had developed, whose horrors were now laid bare before the eyes of the entire world. Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.”
            Pope Benedict XVI

            Yes, he is referring to marxism entering churches and creating ‘collective salvation’ which is a lie and will send you to a warmer climate. ; )

  7. Would that be the same Maldives that is building a new International Airport plus has an economy growing at 8%.

    The Maldives economy has had robust growth averaging close to 8 percent per annum during the last decade.
    The Invest Maldives website “Why Invest In Maldives” page says: “The vast untapped potential in natural marine resources and the young, energetic and dynamic workforce are strong inducements to invest in the Maldives.” And: “The Maldives is socially cohesive, with a homogenous population that shares one culture, religion [Islam] and language.” (uh-oh: no diversity!)

    1. Yes, the Maldives is dependent on tourism, and that means flights. That is a problem for them and something they need to deal with. I still think they’ve made a very bold decision, as have Costa Rica, Norway, New Zealand, and a bunch of others. Why do you want to pick holes in that?

      1. Yes, Jeremy, it may be “a bold decision”.

        But (a) these are non-binding promises (as I said before, meaningless politicians’ wishes) and (b), as I also said before, even if implemented (unlikely), they would hardly even be noticed on a global scale. I’ll put that into context: the current carbon emissions of your four countries amount to about 0.3% of the current global total and 1.3% of China’s alone – far less in, say, 10 years. (Data here.)

        You still don’t get it do you? These are Futile Gestures (see Jeff’s YouTube link above and my response). Nobody will take any notice.

  8. “We live in an individualistic society, so I’m not surprised you read it that way. But Christianity is about society and community, not just individuals.”

    Absolutely false. Communalism is not Christianity. There is no such thing as collective salvation in Christianity. Get away from George Soros. Need I quote the Pope again?

    “So we go back to the original question – how is collective salvation reconciled with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? It really begins with the teachings of Liberation Theology, a movement that began in Latin America in some segments of the Roman Catholic Church. Today, it takes many other forms, such as Black Liberation Theology, Social Justice Theology, Eco-Theology – and so on – but the basic structure is pretty much the same. Essentially, Liberation Theology requires three basic ingredients:
    •an oppressed group
    •a group identified as the oppressor
    •a set of philosophical/theological principles to glue a different worldview and the teachings of Jesus into one convenient package

    The main ingredient of the glue holding it all together is Marxism. The term “Social Justice” is often an important ingredient of this glue, as is the term “Human Rights”. The new ideas also tap into the call to all Christians to do good for their fellow man.”

    Marxism does not allow for religion, it places the government on top and man/church at the bottom. Christians place God before government, and the Individual before the collective.

    Churches engaged in this pseudo Christianity are finding their moneys going to support agendas that are most definitely not Christian. Hitler coopted the church too. Study history Jeremy.

    “The money sent to ministries sponsored by the NCC go to support a variety of Social Justice values – many of which are clearly Marxist/socialistic values: communal salvation (as opposed to individual salvation), open borders, sanctuary for illegal aliens, an immediate end to the war in Iraq, and eradicating America’s Whiteness (White Privilege) once and for all. Warfare conducted by a nation (bad) is not viewed in the same light as a revolution (good). Social Justice, born of Marxist Liberation Theology, promotes the view that Jesus was a revolutionary leader and any revolution by an oppressed people against the established order is considered a Christian duty. Need I go on? . . .”

    You don’t get to heaven by joining groups. It is a personal commitment between you and Christ. You must act as an individual to emulate Christ. Community is wonderful, but it is what comes after you have made a personal pledge and changed your heart, not your party.

    For ages, evil men have coopted religion and lead the faithful astray with promises they cannot, and do not intend to keep.

    I was a social liberal in college and understand what you are thinking. Your ideals are OK, but it is for your soul that I am concerned. Collectivism erases the indiviual, and collectives cannot come to Christ. Maybe it won’t be you that gets sucked up and spit out by big brother, maybe it will be your progeny.

    The default position of man is not liberty, but oppression. God grants rights to the individual and goverments take them. Governments care not about your salvation and will not preach the gospel.

    The road to Hell is literally paved with good intentions.

    1. See, this is why I said I’m not going to fight you on it, because it goes with one giant leap to Soros, Marxism, Hitler, the pope, and hell.

      You and I are not going to agree, and I’m not going to fight you on it.

  9. George Soros is attempting to further inject Marxism into religion under the pretense of ‘social justice’. It was done in central America and has spread to the US now.

    Marxism places government first and religion last. Do you think Hitler went from politician to human oven builder overnight? Hitler’s photo was in every church in Germany. How well did that end.

    History repeats itself. It is our job to shepherd society away from known pifalls.

    1. May I suggest (to you and Jeremy) that we get back to the topic? This Christianity v. Marxism stuff, although doubtless interesting and possibly important, will get us nowhere.

        1. I’m not asking you to. It’s just not relevant to this discussion – which is about whether or not the UK’s (and some other EU countries’) climate policies are wise/sensible.

  10. “See, this is why I said I’m not going to fight you on it, because it goes with one giant leap to Soros, Marxism, Hitler, the pope, and hell.

    You and I are not going to agree, and I’m not going to fight you on it.”

    Your laissez faire attitude towards evil is disturbing. Did you notice that you capialized Hitler and Marxism and yet in the same sentence wrote ‘pope’ and ‘hell’?

    Dig deep Jeremy, find it.

    1. Really, you’re going to read evil into my sloppy punctuation? I see there is absolutely no hope of us ever having a serious discussion, is there?

      And here I was thinking we were getting somewhere near a rapprochement, after your comments about your land and my comments acknowledging the faults of the climate movement.

      1. Hey Jeremy! I think you are taking my words the wrong way. One of the issues with communicating via blogs is that my emotions are not visble to you. I am not angry, I am concerned like a father for a beloved son. There are many things that will try and pull tou from the path to Heaven, and my years of experience are given out of concern for free.

        Yes, you and I have more in common than we could ever imagine. You matter to me. You have incredible potential and I want to see it aimed like a laser at the correct target.

        Please do not take me for a ranting madhatter. That is not me.

        I hate bringing up Hitler, but he was not a myth. He as real. He really did all those awful things. I lived in Stuttgart Germany for three years and I sat and listened to the survivors. I recently revisited one of those survivors and she told me that what she is seeing in the churches and the governments today are not just eerily familiar, they are frighteningly familiar.

        The Pope did not say what he did anout governments becoming demonic as an offhand comment while gettin a slurpee at the 7-11. The Pope has a responsibility to warn the flock of dangers he sees. Threats to salvation.

        “Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.” Pope Benedict XVI

        Hitler’s slogan: “Alles muss anders sein!” (“Everything must be different!”)

        Hitler used each of these phrases to describe his own political program:

        “A declaration of war against the order of things which exist, against the state of things which exist, in a word, against the structure of the world which presently exists.”

        “revolutionary creative will” which had “no fixed aim, no permanency, only eternal change.”

        “an ethic of self-sacrifice”

        “people’s community”

        “public need before private greed”

        “communally-minded social consciousness”

        Hey Robin! It is all related. The power grab is a hydra, it has many heads all feeding the same beast.

        Now unless someone wants to argue with Hitler or the Pope, I’m done for now.

  11. Jeremy:

    It seems from your recent comments that – despite the weight of sound evidence I have presented above – you are you still “really proud” of the Cameron government’s climate change policy. Is that correct?

    If your answer is “yes”, I urge you to read this magisterial commentary by Lord Turnbull. Andrew Turnbull was Cabinet Secretary from 2002 to 2005 and before that Permanent Secretary (i.e. senior civil servant) at the Department of the Environment. Then tell me where you think he’s wrong – if, that is, you do.

    It’s full of quotable passages. For example:

    The feed-in tariff mechanism is fast becoming a scandal. Those lucky enough to own buildings large enough on which to install solar panels, or enough land for a wind farm, have been receiving 30-40p per kWh, for electricity, which is retailed at only 11p. The loss is paid for by a levy on businesses and households. It is astonishing that the Liberals who attach such importance to fairness turn a blind eye to this transfer from poor to rich, running to £billions a year. If you live in a council tower block in Lambeth you don’t have much opportunity to get your nose into this trough.

    As one commentator said, it’s a policy that would have embarrassed the Sheriff of Nottingham.

    And here’s his conclusion:

    From our politicians we need open-mindedness, more rationality, less emotion and less religiosity; and an end to alarmist propaganda and to attempts to frighten us and our children. Also we want them to pay more attention to the national interest and less to being global evangelists.

    Finally we need from our scientists more humility (“Do not claim to be wiser than you are” Romans 12), and a return to the tradition of scientific curiosity and challenge. We need more transparency and an end to attempts to freeze out dissenting voices. There should be more recognition of what they do not know. And acceptance of the Really Inconvenient Truth – that our understanding of the natural world does not justify the certainty in which the AGW views are expressed.


    Still proud?

    1. Hey Robin! More about which Jeremy can be proud…

      “The Royal Family have secured a lucrative deal that will earn them tens of millions of pounds from the massive expansion of offshore windfarms.
      They will net up to £37.5 million extra income every year from the drive for green energy because the seabed within Britain’s ter­ritorial waters is owned by the Crown Estate.
      Under new measures announced by Chancellor George Osborne last week, the Royals will soon get 15 per cent of the profits from the Estate’s £6 billion property portfolio, rather than the existing Civil List arrangement.”

      Read more:–owns-seabed.html#ixzz1O27hPBE4

      God save the Queen, and then the planet.

          1. Putting aside the fact that the royal family doesn’t govern the UK, what has ‘their agenda’ got to do with me and my views?

          2. Jeremy’s right Gator: the royal family doesn’t govern. If they make money out of this, they got lucky. Nothing to do with greed. But – because of our government’s foolish policies (of which Jeremy is so proud) – it’s the general population that pays. It’s added to our fuel bills. So everyone pays – including the poorest (the ultimate regressive tax), many of whom are already in what’s becoming known as “fuel poverty”. As Turnbull says, it’s “fast becoming a scandal”. And see this.

    2. Well, that’s hardly a dispassionate essay from Turnbull, and it contains a number of odd statements from someone who is supposed to be an expert. For example, he says the fall in temperature between 1940 and 1970 throws doubt on the theory. Not really. The system of sea temperature measurement changed during the war, exaggerating the fall, and the clean air acts contribute further. Even if he disagrees with these explanations, he doesn’t do himself any favours by ignoring them and trotting out one of the most cliched objections to climate science.

      Likewise the claim that the planet hasn’t warmed for 12 years, and he pulls the trick of starting his trend line in 1999 and ending in 2008 to show a plateau. (if you’re out to ‘prove’ cooling, you start in 98 of course) Since this was published this month, why not include 09 and 10? Perhaps because 2010 was the joint hottest year on record, 09 the 7th hottest, and adding them would spoil his point.

      So let’s not kid ourselves, this is a skeptical paper, from a skeptical think tank. Not a bad one as skeptical papers go, and he makes some good points about transparency and humility. But it’s hardly surprising it isn’t in favour of our climate policies.

      Anyway, you know why we don’t agree on this stuff. I put climate change together with oil supplies, resources, and global inequality and believe that there is an opportunity here, and you don’t.

        1. Depending on who you ask, joint hottest or second hottest. I believe your comment may breach points 6 and 7 of today’s commenting guidelines. (who the heck is C3 Headlines? and why do they know better than NASA and the Met Office?)

          1. Didn’t look at the information again I see. Jeremy, in oreder to learn someting you must acrtually absorb it, not ignore it.

      1. But the question was: are you still “really proud” of the Cameron government’s climate change policy?Are you?

  12. “Likewise the claim that the planet hasn’t warmed for 12 years, and he pulls the trick of starting his trend line in 1999 and ending in 2008 to show a plateau.”

    You mean cherry picking dates like 1979 and 1850?

    Yeah, let’s be more inclusive…

    “Created by Cuffy and Clow in 1997, and based on Greenland ice core records, this chart shows global temperatures for the past 15,000 years.
    You’ll see that today’s benign climate is not even close to being the warmest on record.
    In fact, temperatures have been warmer than today for almost all of the past 10,000 years.”

  13. “Putting aside the fact that the royal family doesn’t govern the UK, what has ‘their agenda’ got to do with me and my views.”

    There are none so blind as those who will not see. (or read)

  14. “So let’s not kid ourselves, this is a skeptical paper, from a skeptical think tank.”

    All scientific papers should be written by skeptics, if they are not, they are unscientiific because they are propaganda.

    1. Need I list out the propagandists who work on the IPCC again? Do you not remember them telling us they would lie for their agenda?

      How can you posssibly deride skeptics, when they have been shown to be the most honest?

    2. Well said.

      Here’s a quotation from Thomas Huxley (a distinguished biologist, best known for his advocacy of Darwin’s theory of evolution):

      “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”

      And Einstein:

      “A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.”

      And Stephen Jay Gould:

      “Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism – and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.”

      Were they wrong, Jeremy?

        1. That list is a joke, consisting almost entirely of papers that are not actually peer reviewed, and/or known to be false, and/or irrelevant, and/or out of date (no longer relevant), and/or not supportive of climate change denial.

          1. Great copy and paste job. I suggest you do some real work now and cite a few of the papers showing precisely how they have these characteristics. Thanks.

            Oh and BTW: do you also think Huxley, Einstein and Gould are a joke?

          2. I have done so at some length on the original post. Unfortunately, PopTech censors all comments that don’t pat him on the back.

            My link provides more links to detailed discussion of many of the papers.

          3. I randomly picked about 15 of the papers from the list to read some time ago (back in the good old days when PT was only up to 300 or so) and found them all to be irrelevant, published in E&E, outdated or not supporting the claims about the list. I link to Greenfyre because he has taken the time to wade through more of this dross. Greenfyre allows PT to comment (scores of times); PT doesn’t return the courtesy.

            Gator – you are being offensive, brother. My religion is to love the God and Father of Christ with all my heart and my neighbour as myself.

          4. Byron, tell me when was the list up to 300 or so?

            The Scholarly Peer-Reviewed journal Energy & Environment only represent 14% of the list. There are over 769 papers from 256 other journals on the list.

            Greenfyre censors most of my comments so it looks like I do not reply to what is posted against me. He has never attempted to comment at my site.

            Next time get your facts straight.

          5. Byron,

            1. Please list the papers that are not peer-reviewed.

            2. Please list the papers that have either been retracted from a journal, the author admits is wrong or the author has not defended. The existence of a criticism does not make a paper “false”.

            3. Please list the papers that are irrelevant.

            4. Please list the date where a scientific paper is no longer relevant.

            5. Please quote where the list claims a paper supports “climate change denial”.

        2. It’s a good quote. Have you got a second earth that we can use as a control, and then we’ll run an experiment by filling this earth up with CO2?

          1. No need, this planet is fine.

            There is nothing unusual or unprecedented about our current climate or how we got here.


        1. The correct term is ‘pragmatist’.

          1. a person who is oriented toward the success or failure of a particular line of action, thought, etc.; a practical person.

          Dernialism is a farce created by Mark Hoofnagle, who has a PhD in physiology and a great faith in AGW.

          Still waiting on even one peer reviewed paper that refutes naturakl variabilty as the cause of recent climate change, without it you have a religion, not a science.

        2. Jeremy can of course answer for himself – but I’m reasonably sure he meant what he said. So here’s what you should do now: read the Turnbull paper and, rather than lazily linking to a blog, show us precisely what he says that makes him one of John Cook’s (yes, Gator, him again!) so-called “climate deniers”. Thanks.

        3. Indeed. I myself am a skeptic – I don’t believe the wilder claims about runaway climate change and metres and metres of sea level rise. But there is such a thing as denial, and surely you recognise that Robin. You, I believe, are mostly skeptical. Someone else who shall remain nameless stated today on this blog that there are no environmental crises at all, that the earth is fine and always will be. That’s denial.

          1. Yes of course there is such a thing as denial – and it exists on both sides of this debate.

            My point to Byron is this: he claimed you really meant that Turnbull was a denier in the sense spelled out in the Cook article to which he provided a link. He plainly hadn’t checked – had he done so, he would have seen how absurd that was. I suspect he’s lazy and leaps to conclusions with checking his facts.

          2. Can you prove otherwise? Or will you just continue heckling myself and others with whom you disagree but cannot give reason?

            And don’t try that ‘I’m a skeptic’ nonsense with me when you dismiss 900+ papers you cannot refute.

            That is childish.

          3. I have seen that paper before. The Academic Advisory Council to the GWPF reads as something of a who’s who of denial. Jeremy might be polite and call it scepticism. I think this muddies the water of true scepticism (which is what Huxley, Einstein and Gould are referring to, as was clear from my distinguishing between sceptics and deniers) and that those who continue to reject well-established science through shoddy and discredited arguments are best called deniers.

          4. OK – just give me two or three examples from the Turnbull paper that demonstrate that he’s “in denial”. Thanks.

          5. For the record, here are five basic factual inaccuracies in the Turnbull piece. We could go on with more, but that would indeed be off topic.

            BTW, I suspect he’s lazy and leaps to conclusions with checking his facts.
            This really made me laugh. Did you just leap to the conclusion that I was lazy and hadn’t looked at the paper? 😉

            Seriously, I find it a little off-putting when I get the impression that you assume the worst of your interlocutors.


    6- Choose your links well. It will not come as news to me that there are blog posts disagreeing with me. Linking to one will not constitute evidence that I’m wrong. If you think there’s material out there that refutes my argument, try and link to actual reports or papers. The more credible your source, the more seriously I will take you.

    My links have links to original source material. These are well researched documnets. We would appreciate it if you do not act as a gatekeeper of information, as CRU did.

    7- Bring your own opinions. Debate on the internet can often go like this: a) read something you fundamentally disagree with or cannot accept. b) Open new tab. c) Google the opposite of what is being said. d) Paste link to the best sounding article on page one of the results. e) Add sarcastic remark, and click ‘submit’. I know this because I’ve caught myself doing it. We can all do better than that.

    When I post a link it is to link to data that agrees with or supports my position. I am not spamming, I am backing my argument with relevant material from reliable sources.

    Need I repost the quotes from the propagandists that work for the entities which you repeatedly cite? The money connections? The IPCC is no more credible than anything you will see me cite, and usually less so.

    1. I don’t remember the IPCC having animated gifs mocking James Hansen on their website. But perhaps I should go back and check.

      1. No, they just verbally abuse them.

        Oh, and write lies about their work.

        Then there is blackballing.

        We could go on…

        But, you are right, no snappy graphics!

  16. “Jeremy’s right Gator: the royal family doesn’t govern.”

    I never said they did. I said this is about power and greed, not ecology.

  17. Hey Robin! From your link. To me this is one of the most disturbing results of this lunacy…

    “Welcome to the neo-medieval world of Britain’s energy policy. It is a world in which Highland glens are buzzing with bulldozers damming streams for miniature hydro plants, in which the Dogger Bank is to be dotted with windmills at Brobdingnagian expense, in which Heathrow is to burn wood trucked in from Surrey, and Yorkshire wheat is being turned into motor fuel. We are going back to using the landscape to generate our energy. Bad news for the landscape.”

    My family emigrated to America from Scotland, a land I still like to consider as one of my ancestral homes. Man has been a constant resident of Scotland since at least the end of the last ice age. The landscape that has survived is now being reduced to one large factory. That’s too bad.

    1. Yorkshire wheat is being turned into motor fuel
      I agree that first generation biofuels are an abomination. Can you find any serious environmentalists who disagree?

      I live in Scotland. No landscape here has survived free of human influence. Doesn’t mean it is right to do whatever we like to it (far from it!), but the idea of untouched Scottish wilderness is a myth, whose genesis lies partially in the Highland clearances.

      1. Byron, take the train from Glasgow to Fort William. Pass Anoch Mor go toward Kinlochleven. Why are there mountain rescue stations near “the Devils Staircase”? Carry on up the coast. Hong Kong like population density. Not.

        As an aside, who do you have to get permission from to open a factory? By that I mean, as a result of the clearances, who owns the land in Scotland? The chairman of Lego owns about 10,000 acres that HE doesn’t want developed.

        So who owns Scotland? “Currently, about half of Scotland is in the possession of 608 landowners and 10% of Scotland is owned by eighteen.”

        Why? Perhaps taxation? “Highland estates have tended to enjoy a growth in value, although even this is a mixed blessing to owners wishing to pass one on to their heirs.

        The heir would need to pay 40% of the value of the estate (above £275 000) in order to become its owner! For an estate worth £10 million, the inheritor would have to pay almost £4 million!”

        Now you know why I am in Canada.

        1. I have taken that very train on more than one occasion. Untouched by humans is something very different to currently uninhabited by humans.

          The present landscape of Scotland has been shaped by hundreds of years of human activities. No major loch is not damned or managed. The forest cover was reduced from somewhere around 60% to less than 3% between the re-arrival of homo sapiens after the end of the last glaciation and the second world war and has since increased to about 17% under reforestation policies, largely with non-native species. Natural re-growth of many areas is suppressed by high stocking rates of deer (and sheep), who thrive without their natural predators, all hunted to extinction by humans. A wide variety of “vermin” were hunted to extinction by the early 20thC. A few species of birds have been successfully reintroduced. The seas of the west coast of Scotland were some of the most productive fisheries in the world, but have since largely collapsed due to overfishing and bottom trawling. Speaking of oceans, they are 30% more acidic than they were in pre-industrial times, and they are getting warmer. The soils across Scotland bear traces of atmospheric nuclear testing from the 1960s and the Chernobyl fallout from the 80s. A wide variety of invasive non-native species cause upwards of £500 million annually across the country. And of course the climate is changing due to anthropogenic influences on the composition of the atmosphere.

          1. “Speaking of oceans, they are 30% more acidic …”

            Erm (using loacal dialect), oceans are alkaline.


            7th grade science.

            Alarmism, anyone?

          2. Byron, if that is your real name, there is a reason chemists don’t use a percentage scale for pH. It’s meaningless. Pure and simple. The scale is logorithmic, exponential. As in other scales: richter, decibel, stellar magnitude, photographic f-stop, thermodynamic entropy, an understanding can only be mathematically understood if you have an understanding of logorithms.

            For instance… a solution of pH[1] has 100,000,000,000,000 times more hydrogen ions (acidity) than a solution of pH[14]. If I had a solution at pH of 8.5 the hydrogen ion content would be 3.2 x 10exp(-9) M. A 30% increase in hydrogen ion content is 4.2 x10exp(-9)M. Converting this to pH becomes… wait for this… 8.4!!!!! Yes you guessed it, nothing to write home about. It doesn’t sound half as threatening as 30% does it!?! Kinda’ makes a mockery of percentage with respect to pH, doesn’t it. Then again as you say yourself and I wholeheartedly agree…it’s “Widely accepted language (here are over 200 articles in Nature that use this language). 7th grade science indeed.” Indeed, indeed sir.

            Addendum…. Now I know I’m just an evil oil shill lackey, scientificly moronic, ununderstanding, conspiracy driven republican pontificating the tea party line…. (at least according to ‘CookieMonster’ Jon Cook). So if you dont believe me, unlike the climalological societies of lore, acting as St. Peter at the gates of knowledge… please be my guest and calculate the numbers yourself. Here is the simplest link I could find, even the monkey who outguessed NASA’s hurricane prediction could understand Thank you Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

            Thank you for listening to my rant…. Have a nice day! 🙂 Jeff

          3. Jeff, I have no idea why you would bother questioning my identity (unless perhaps you have sock puppet issues of your own). Jeremy, Robin and I have made our full names available, unlike the other two major participants in this discussion.

            I am well aware that pH is logarithmic, as are the chemists from whom I gained the 30% figure. The 30% figure is used to highlight the significance of the change to people who don’t understand the scale and significance of a shift from 8.3 to 8.1.

          4. Hi Byron! The name comment was a joke. I guess it’s a Canadian thing but insinuating something malicious or nefarious behind an obviously innocent thing “if that is your real name” is considered humour. I, and I think other readers would too, recognize the hypocrisy of a baseless allegation of motive, considering my own moniker is Red Jeff. I thus assume you didn’t ‘get it’. As I always provide a reference… subsection farce.

            As for the pH issue. If you so understand pH and want to communicate (an alarmist acknowledged problem) properly then explain it as a chemist would understand. There is no need to ‘interpret’ information to the public. I am a chemist, and obviously the person who explained pH to you didn’t do a good job. In no way is that your fault. However, it is your fault for propogating this distortion. The public is not stupid, what causes problems is when ‘scientists’ interpret fundamental properties. As I’ve shown you above, percentage is meaningless in a logorithmic world, explain it as such.

            Perhaps, like humour, you fail to understand the significance of scale. The public ‘normally’ assume’s a percentage scale rates from 0 to 100. So in the interest of mathematical fairness what percentage increas in acidity would be neccissary to lower the pH from 8.3 (start) to pure, neutral, distilled water?

            Want a hint? 2000% Do the math, explain the significance. Then realize you’ve been had.

      2. Byron: good – you’re back on topic. Which, in case you’ve forgotten or didn’t notice, is whether or not the Cameron government’s climate policy is, as I put it in my first post on this thread, “irresponsible, foolish, arrogant, self-harming and neo-colonial” – and not, as Jeremy thinks, something of which we should be proud.

        So you agree “first generation biofuels are an abomination”. Well, it’s what Cameron and co. are encouraging. So there’s one black mark from Byron against their policy. Now let’s see what your views are on a few other matters referred to in the article we’re discussing.

        1. Is it wise to levy a stealth poll tax on everybody’s power bills to pay for wind farms, solar panels, bio-ethanol plants, etc?

        2. Is it sensible that this tax takes money from us all – including the poorest people in our society – and hands much of it to the rich through higher wheat and wood prices, rents for wind farms and by paying wealthy people three times the market rate for energy if they can afford to produce it from “renewables”?

        3. Is it responsible, as a result of the above, to destroy jobs by driving up the price of electricity?

        4. Does all this have any point when carbon dioxide emissions will be virtually unaffected and probably increased (think of the conventional power plants needed to back up those windmills, the diesel used by tractors etc. in cultivating that wheat for ethanol, the CO2 emitted in burning that ethanol, the insignificance of solar power in the UK, the absurdity of harvesting thousands of square metres of otherwise CO2 absorbing wood and then transporting it and drying it so it can generate tiny amounts of energy)?

        5. In summary, does it make sense to saddle, as the author says, “ordinary Britons with uncompetitive energy prices, lost jobs, rising fuel poverty, spoiled landscapes — and higher carbon emissions too” (and, at the same time, making the rich even richer)?

        Answers please.

        1. Yes, I am proud of the government’s recent re-commitment to their climate policy, as I wrote in the first place. I’m not learning anything new from your links. I know the skeptic arguments, I know the regressive nature of the feed-in tarriff. I happen to have campaigned both for the feed-in tarriff, and for more help for the poorest (see winter fuel allowance, free insulation for unemployed, the bill in play at the moment to make landlords improve efficiency) If/when these go through, it will more than offset the tiny levy on bills.

          Destroying jobs? Nonsense – it’s creating jobs in renewable energy. Ethanol is a different thing.

        2. Robin – It is clear from Jeremy’s post that he is no particular fan of the Cameron government. Neither am I, so I feel no particular need to defend their every policy. On the contrary, Jeremy was in this post making an attempt to go out of his way to offer some limited praise for some aspects of one policy in order to be able to say something positive. Nonetheless, it is also clear that he thinks that the climate policies are “not perfect”.

          Although I acknowledge that you are raising issues within the policies that are worth engaging with, I have neither time nor present inclination to continue this particular conversation when we so fundamentally disagree on what kind of scientific authorities are worth paying heed to.

          1. And, BTW, this thread isn’t about “scientific authorities”, it’s about whether or not the Cameron government’s climate policies are something to be proud of. The question arises whether or not you accept the validity of the dangerous man-made global warming hypothesis. I assume you do – so answer my questions from that perspective. Thanks.

  18. “I randomly picked about 15 of the papers from the list to read some time ago (back in the good old days when PT was only up to 300 or so) and found them all to be irrelevant, published in E&E, outdated or not supporting the claims about the list. I link to Greenfyre because he has taken the time to wade through more of this dross. Greenfyre allows PT to comment (scores of times); PT doesn’t return the courtesy.”

    Utter nonsense. You obviously did nothing of the sort. Each and every paper is not only relevant and peer reviewed, but also published in scientific journals.

    Denialist. ; )

    1. Ah, but we already know that you have your own standards for what is and what isn’t acceptable science – ie mine’s not bona fide and yours is. This list is well known, it was drawn up originally by the Heartland Institute. It’s mostly drawn from Energy and Environment – look for yourself. There are recurring names throughout, so even if all 900 were relevant, that wouldn’t give you 900 scientists. And there are loads of scientists that are really disappointed to find themselves on the list. Including our old friend Meehl, who has expressed his puzzlement at being included.

      So Byron is right, and I did exactly the same thing as he did. I looked at a bunch of them, and realised the list was pretty much useless. As I said before, I’m sure there’s some decent science in there somewhere, but it’s knee deep in irrelevance.

      1. We will put aside that you do not know what you are talking about and play along


        How about we eliminate 90% of the papers?

        That still leaves nearly 100.

        Einstein sais I only needed 1.

        Are you smarter than Einstein?

        While are you in such denial Jeremy?

        BTW – Here is where you can force the evil skeptic to admit defeat…

        Criticisms: All criticisms of this list have been refuted or a change made to correct the issue. Please see the notes following the list for defenses of common criticisms. I make every attempt to defend the list where possible, in many cases my comments correcting the misinformation stated about the list are deleted and I am blocked from replying. Before accepting any criticism of this list please email, populartechnology (at) gmail (dot) com

        Disclaimer: The inclusion of a paper in this list does not imply a specific personal position to any of the authors. The reason for this is a small minority of authors on the list would not wish to be labeled skeptical (e.g. Harold Brooks, Roger Pielke Jr.) yet their paper(s) or results from their paper(s) support skeptic’s arguments against AGW alarm. This list will be updated and corrected as necessary.

        Formatting: All papers are cited as: “Paper Name, Journal Name, Volume, Issue or Number, Pages, Date and Authors”. All “addendums, comments, corrections, erratum, replies, responses and submitted papers” are preceded by a ” – ” and italicized. Ordering of the papers is alphabetical by title except for the Hockey Stick, Hurricanes, Cosmic Rays and Solar sections which are chronological.

        Purpose: To provide a resource for peer-reviewed papers that support skepticism of AGW or AGW Alarm and to prove that these papers exist contrary to widely held beliefs,

        1. You obviously missed by earlier point. I agree with Einstein’s sentiment. The problem is to set up an experiment that either proved or disproved AGW, you would need a second earth. You’d fill one with CO2 emitting industry and leave the other one alone as a control.

          Without that, you can never prove climate change conclusively one way or the other.

          That means you need to make your decision on the basis of risk management, rather than science. And that’s where I think the whole skeptical movement is distraction. If I’m wrong, but we’ve made a cleaner, fairer, world, we lose nothing. If you’re wrong, we lose everything.

          1. “to set up an experiment that either proved or disproved AGW, you would need a second earth.”

            My doctor has yet to require a clone of me to find maladies.

            Jeremy, that wasn a ridiculous statement.


            Stick to what you know.

            There is nothing unusual or unprecedented about our cuurent climate our how we got here.

            Quit chicken littling, you look silly.

            1. When new diseases are identified, health hazards are researched, or new drugs are trialled, control groups of patients are used.

              You can demonstrate the heat transfer effects of CO2 with two beakers with stoppers, two thermometers, a lamp, and your car’s tailpipe.

              To scale it up and see if it holds true for the whole planet, you’d need two earths.

          2. Yep, you’re right about risk management. The trouble is what I understand you to see as a good risk management policy (i.e. the UK’s) will, for the reasons I’ve explained at length above, serve only to make things worse for the UK.

            That’s the trouble with the “just in case” Precautionary Principle: its proponents so often forget that it applies both ways. Thus the action urged commonly has worse consequences than the inaction criticised. The law of unintended consequences has been shown to be valid time and time again.

            1. Let me quote from the Stern review here. I don’t agree with Stern on a lot of things (I too am a skeptic, as I’ve been saying) but this is useful:

              “If the science is wrong and we invest one percent of GDP in reducing emissions for a few decades, then the main outcome is that we will have more technologies with real value for energy security, other types of risk and other types of pollution. However, if we do not invest the one percent and the science is right, then it is likely to be impossible to undo the severe damages that will follow. The argument that we should focus investment on other things, such as human capital, to increase growth and make the world more resilient to climate change, is not convincing because of the irreversibilities and the scale and nature of the impact.”

          3. I hate to say this, Jeremy, but you can be as bad as the commentators you criticise. I’d love to discuss the “two planet” matter with you – I think you’re quite wrong about it. But, to do so, would be to drift off topic again: it’s got nothing to do with the topic.

            I urge you to stick to your own (excellent) guidelines.

            1. Hmm, I rather resent that remark. The two planet thing is merely to show that we can never know 100% how the climate works, as we have nothing to compare it to. But I can live with your disapproval and as you say, let’s not get into that here.

          4. I think Stern is wrong about this – as so many things. But I’m rather busy now. I’ll find time to explain later.

    2. Jeremy, the Heartland Institute had nothing to do with the list.

      The Scholarly Peer-Reviewed journal Energy & Environment only represent 14% of the list. There are over 769 papers from 256 other journals on the list.

      The list has nothing to do with the personal position of any of the authors. This is explicitly stated in the Disclaimer,

      Disclaimer: The inclusion of a paper in this list does not imply a specific personal position to any of the authors. The reason for this is a small minority of authors on the list would not wish to be labeled skeptical (e.g. Harold Brooks, Roger Pielke Jr.) yet their paper(s) or results from their paper(s) support skeptic’s arguments against AGW alarm. This list will be updated and corrected as necessary.

      There are not loads of scientists but a small minority. Please stop stating misinformation about the list.

      1. Hey Poptech! Jeremy has been misrepresenting my statements as well, even after being corrected.

        It appears to be a habit.

  19. Byron you said “I randomly picked about 15 of the papers from the list to read some time ago (back in the good old days when PT was only up to 300 or so) and found them all to be irrelevant, published in E&E, outdated or not supporting the claims about the list.”

    Can you tell me which papers you picked so I could verify for myself.

    Alarmists sometimes overlook the obvious, like the Medieval Warming Period, and I might be able to help uncover what you’ve missed.

    Oozing Sincerity…. Jeff

    1. Jeff – Can you please tell me every website you visited on this day two years ago so that I can verify that you are not a troll? This was some time ago – I wasn’t keeping a list. There is so much misinformation on the web that once I’ve identified a source as thoroughly unreliable, it saves time and effort to simply ignore it.

      I am well versed in the Medieval Warming Period. Thank you for your kind offer.

      1. Hi Byron! Your answer is a carbon copy of every answer alarmists give me when I ask that question. They never give me a paper’s name just “I remember it was there”. Who was that guy who carried that lamp?

        Can I get a favour from you? As you’re “well versed in the Medieval Warming Period.” can you give Mickey Mann a phone call? Coz’ he missed it. Thanks in advance!

        Pals always…. Jeff

      2. Byron, you have not presented a single legitimate criticism against the 900+ peer-reviewed paper list. Instead you just make unsubstantiated declarations in an attempt to avoid it.

  20. “Less alkaline = more acidic. Widely accepted language (here are over 200 articles in Nature that use this language). 7th grade science indeed.”

    Are oceans alkaline or acidic?

    1. Gee, crickets…

      In order for something to be ‘more’ of something, it must first be that something. Oceans cannot become ‘more acidic’ when they are not acidic to begin with.

      Red Jeff breaks it down if you have further questions.

  21. Jeremy:

    I suggest you may need to get a grip on this thread. One of your draft guidelines is the admirable “Try and keep on the topic”. The topic here is the wisdom or otherwise of the government’s climate policies. Marxism v. Christianity, the value or otherwise of those 900 papers, the pH content of the oceans, etc. are all important, interesting and worthy of discussion. But elsewhere please – they’re irrelevant here.

    1. Agreed Robin. This discussion panel is ridiculous, as is every other comment thread running at the moment. Not sure if you stand by your earlier comments that Gator was well informed and interesting, but I think it’s gone far enough. I don’t want to block anyone and make a martyr of them to brag about on other forums, but I need to consider some other options.

      1. Yes, I do stick by my comment about Gator. He’s well informed and interesting about the dangerous AGW hypothesis; indeed I’ve learned things from his comments – especially on the CCDenier thread. The trouble is they’re at best marginally relevant to the topic here: the wisdom or otherwise of the government’s climate policies. That can be tackled just as well from a warmist as from a sceptic position. And that’s something Byron doesn’t seem to understand either. For example, robbing the poor to pay the rich is surely deplorable in any event.

        And BTW I don’t agree that the discussion here is “ridiculous”. Just drifting off topic.

      2. Jeremy, Byron brought up peripheral discussions and you are the one who claims this is supposed to be Christian based ecology.

        If the thread wanders, it is just what threads do.

        If you will stop bashing me, we could speed this process up.

        The heckling is not appreciated, nor are the misrepresentations.

  22. Why is it warmists must censor?

    What are they afraid of?


    Climate Change Dispatch has, in all the years I have visited, only censored one man.


    And the only reason he was ejected was because he lost a debate (badly) and started filling the site with scripture.

    Here is what Harold said to me at one point…

    “# Harryhammer — 2011-03-26 11:50 It is starting to become clear what kind of lunatic you are.
    You are a free-market fundamentalist with a little bit of religious fundamentalism thrown in for good measure.
    You are the antithesis of what Jesus taught and showed by example.
    Jesus would probably want to strangle you.”

    Yes, he too claimed to be a Christian.

    Jeremy, you should visit his site. He has the same worldview that you have. You have so much in common.

    Harold censors his site.

    And he hates oil too!

  23. “I hate to say this, Jeremy, but you can be as bad as the commentators you criticise.”

    I second that.

    At least I do not lie about what others here have said.

  24. “You can demonstrate the heat transfer effects of CO2 with two beakers with stoppers, two thermometers, a lamp, and your car’s tailpipe.”

    There is nothing un usual or unprecedented about our climate.

    What part of ‘normal’ do you not understand?

  25. Jeremy, here’s a suggestion:

    First, a reminder. At the beginning of the CCDeniers thread, I said that those who claimed that urgent action was necessary to combat dangerous climate change should establish the validity (not proof) of each the following claims:

    1. first, that recent warming is not a continuation of natural variation, but is somehow anomalous;
    2. then that the primary cause of the anomaly is Mankind’s emission of “greenhouse” gas, especially CO2;
    3. then that, if the anomaly continues, it will cause serious problems for humanity and the environment;
    4. then that the solution proposed would avert these problems;
    5. then that the solution proposed is cost effective; and
    6. and finally that the solution proposed is politically and globally achievable.

    The CCDeniers thread was about the 1. 2. and 3. – i.e. it was a climate science thread. This “Credit where credit is due” thread is about 4. 5. and 6 – i.e. it’s a climate economics and politics thread (although 4. is a bit of a hybrid). Unfortunately, you closed the CCD thread. Had you kept it going, you could advise commentators here wishing to discuss the science to make their comments there. That way you would avoid the inevitable claims of gagging that would follow if you simply banned such discussion here. But confusing the two has changed this thread from reasoned discussion to muddled confusion. So I suggest you either (a) reopen the CCD thread or (b) start a new climate science thread. OK, I know you never intended that MWH would be about climate change per se (and I applauded you for that) but, by making these two posts, I’m afraid you’ve made it inevitable unless you ban comment.

    I understand, of course, that this analysis is really too simple. After all, there’s not much logic about discussing items 4. 5. and 6. if 1. 2. and 3. have not been verified. And it was clear from CCD that there’s a lot of disagreement about that – not least from me. But I suggest it would be acceptable to most commentators if this thread were conducted on the assumption that they are verified – purely for the sake of discussion. After all, the British government seems to think they are.

    What do you think?

  26. Just my two cents.. Jeremy, you praise David Cameron for “renewing our commitment to giving away 0.7% of our GDP”. Possibly, I’m misrepresenting your position on this (and I apologise, if so), but I think there’s perhaps a danger of viewing foreign aid as a relatively simple wealth redistribution or tithing exercise, the rich people giving some of their wealth to the poor people and so redressing the balance and narrowing the gap between rich and poor.

    I would be interested in knowing your views about criticisms of foreign aid such as those voiced by Dambisa Moyo, who argues that foreign aid has had the effect of creating a dependency culture. I haven’t yet read her book Dead Aid (although it’s on my list to be read), but here’s an article in the Wall Street Journal, where she puts her case:

    And here’s a paragraph from this article: “The good news is we know what works; what delivers growth and reduces poverty. We know that economies that rely on open-ended commitments of aid almost universally fail, and those that do not depend on aid succeed. The latter is true for economically successful countries such as China and India, and even closer to home, in South Africa and Botswana. Their strategy of development finance emphasizes the important role of entrepreneurship and markets over a staid aid-system of development that preaches hand-outs.”

    Mind you, on the other hand, the UK still appears to be giving a lot of aid to success stories India and China, according to this page in the Guardian:

    I don’t have much in the way of answers to these, but I suppose relevant questions to ask would be 1) Where is the aid going? 2) What is it being spent on? 3) How much good (or harm, perhaps) has it done? and 4) What else could this have been spent on, i.e. what are the opportunity costs?

    1. Thank you, Alex, for raising the other subject here: foreign aid. It’s a hugely emotive topic and one that is too often misunderstood. I have two books that I keep near my desk: one is Dambisa Moyo’s “Dead Aid” – the book you mentioned – and the other Paul Collier’s “The Bottom Billion”. Both are essentially concerned with Africa and ask why it is that, at a time when global poverty is falling rapidly (especially in China and India) and despite repeated well-meaning international attempts to help (especially via aid) prompted so often by non-African white men, the fate of Africa’s poor gets more desperate. Collier identifies corruption, political instability and poor resource management as the main culprits. Moyo (born and educated in Zambia) looks especially at aid. Here’s an extract from the article you cited:

      Yet evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that aid to Africa has made the poor poorer, and the growth slower. The insidious aid culture has left African countries more debt-laden, more inflation-prone, more vulnerable to the vagaries of the currency markets and more unattractive to higher-quality investment. It’s increased the risk of civil conflict and unrest (the fact that over 60% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is under the age of 24 with few economic prospects is a cause for worry). Aid is an unmitigated political, economic and humanitarian disaster.

      Nonetheless both agree that aid can be invaluable to help in emergencies and can be effective when targeted at specific projects. But it’s not the solution to the real problem. That requires sound economic development. Just consider how China’s economic growth has raised hundreds of millions people out of poverty in recent years. As I’ve said before to Jeremy, a better title for this blog would be “Make Wealth Universal”.

      These books are essential reading.

    2. Further to this, I suppose that – in a very small way – I was one of those non-African white men. Back in the 80s, I ran in the worldwide event “Sport Aid – The Race Against Time” organised by Bob Geldorf. And got the T shirt. It was what prompted my interest in aid to Africa. (Unfortunately the “Race Against Time” was defeated by Time.)

    3. Yes, the reason why 0.7% was promised is that it was worked out that if the developing world gave just 0.7%, it would be enough to end poverty and provide basic healthcare, sanitation and education to all the world’s poor. Doesn’t seem much to ask really. If nothing else, it’s worth supporting Cameron’s recommitment just as a matter of keeping our word. We promised 0.7%, and we still give something in the region of 0.56% years and years later.

      I haven’t read Dead Aid, but I’ve read plenty of other books and reports that critique aid. (White Man’s Burden is quite a good one) there’s no doubt that we’ve had a lot of bad aid over the years, mainly because it’s been self-interested rather than strategic. For every £1 given during the Thatcher government for example, £3 came back to the UK in new contracts. We do know what works though, particularly simple medical interventions and support for education.

      We give aid to India because they have more people living in poverty than any other country. I think we recently discontinued aid to China? It was certainly being discussed. Interestingly, India is also a giver of aid to Africa, so in some ways they are passing on the money we donate. That’s fine by me, since they know a whole lot more about development than we do.

      1. I do recommend that you read Moyo’s book. She makes it clear that the problem is not “mainly” that aid is self interested but that – apart from where it’s targeted on emergencies or very specific projects – it hasn’t worked. (BTW I was amused to see that you couldn’t resist bringing in the wicked witch Thatcher.) But, yes, I agree simple medical interventions and carefully targeted education (but see below) can be helpful. But the point is that aid doesn’t address the real problem: the need for economic development.

        As for India. Well, let’s just say that it’s a little odd that a country that is a major economic power house, that has nuclear weapons and a space programme, that has invested massively in the British economy and, above all, is raising millions out of poverty is the best place for our aid. I sense a touch of neo-colonialism here – or perhaps it’s your trade benefits again. And recent experience doesn’t look too good. See this Indian article re corruption for example. An extract:

        A recent report by British media revealed that millions of pounds of aid for education under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme have literally disappeared. The report put this figure at a staggering £340 million, which is around Rs 2,327 crore! To further this report, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) investigation found that almost £14 million (around Rs 100 crore) had been spent on luxuries viz. new cars, luxury beds, computers et al, that had no connection with SSA.

        1. That wasn’t a dig at Thatcher, it’s just the statistic that came to mind. I’m sure the same is true of most governments, UK or otherwise.

          Yes, Moyo’s book is on my (extremely long) list of books to read at some point. And of course, good aid is aid that helps a country to stand on its own feet. I don’t have a whole lot of time for the ‘big push’ initiatives that Gordon Brown has championed, as if throwing more money at the problem will solve it. I believe in small projects, delivered locally, using indigenous agencies as much as possible. As well as education and healthcare, I also support aid for building institutions and fighting corruption, a much neglected area because it doesn’t yield the photo op projects, but that avoids exactly the kind of situations you link to there.

          Interestingly, Britain also has nuclear weapons and high ambitions, but while India is raising millions out of poverty, the percentage of the British population living in poverty is exactly the same as it was in the 1970s.

          1. It seems then that we’re essentially in agreement.

            PS: I couldn’t resist the Thatcher comment. Sorry.

  27. “For the record, here are five basic factual inaccuracies in the Turnbull piece. We could go on with more, but that would indeed be off topic.”

    And he takes us back to Doran!

    The study that eliminated about 99% of respondents to get a 97% consensus!

    Ah, the ironing. ; )

  28. Yes, Byron‘s “response” to my question is a perfect example of his laziness. I asked him “to read the Turnbull paper and, rather than lazily linking to a blog, show us precisely what he says that makes him one of John Cook’s so-called “climate deniers””. So what did he do? Er … he lazily linked to a blog! And compounded that by finding a blog that thinks the hopelessly unprofessional Doran study says anything useful about scientific consensus.

    And I’m still waiting for (1) his response re Huxley, Einstein and Gould and (2) his answers to the five simple questions (about the government’s climate policy) I asked him on Wednesday.

    Hmm …

    1. Hey Robin! What I fins amazing is that Byron and Potech had this disdcussion last year. Poptech showed Byron the some of the many flaws of the Doran paper…

      “Poptech says:
      2010/08/01 at 14:06

      The graph is propaganda as the 97% is based on 75 subjectively determined “specialists” from the Doran paper.

      Doran and Zimmerman 2009,
      – 7054 scientists did not reply to the survey
      – 567 Scientists Surveyed do not believe man is causing climate change
      – Only 157 surveyed stated they are climate scientists
      – The “97%” is only 75 out of 77 subjectively determined “specialists” or 2.4% of the 3146 who participated in the survey out of 10,257 Earth Scientists who were sent an invitation.”

      And then Poptech proceeds to destroy the Byron’s criticisms of the then 850 paper list, and yet here he is again, with full knowledge he is wrong.

      Broken records.

      1. As I said on the CCD thread, the Doran survey is hopelessly flawed because its sample size (79 respondents) and demographic (nearly all respondents were in the USA and Canada) make its findings valueless. But in any case it doesn’t support the warmist position. Here’s why:

        Essentially, it asks two questions. (1) Have global temperatures risen since the 1700s? And (2) was “human activity” a “significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures”? I would answer “yes” to both – as did Patrick Michaels and Richard Lindzen. Note especially how (2) is hopelessly vague: what does “a significant contributing factor” mean? As mankind’s pre-1800 “contribution” was negligible, almost any “contribution” now (say 5%) would be “significant”. And neither question even mentions GHG emissions. Therefore, the survey doesn’t investigate the two key issues: were human GHG emissions a primary factor in any warming and would more such emissions be dangerous, justifying action? No, all it finds is that tiny sample of US climatologists agree that the planet has warmed since 1800 and that human activity has contributed to an unspecified amount to that. Therefore, it is not evidence of a consensus among climate scientists about the dangers of AGW. So why do warmists keep saying that it is?

        1. So they can repeat the propaganda about 97% of scientists agree. The inconvenient truth is they would be hard pressed to find a simple majority to support CAGW. The conflate support for AGW with whatever they feel like relating to CAGW.

  29. I had no idea there was so much information on the skeptic’s side. I will look forward to checking into Poptech’s offerings. Thanks for the link.

      1. Ellen: for a basic primer, you might like to read this – “My Global Warming Skepticism, for Dummies” by Dr Roy Spencer.

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