I mentioned to my cruise mates John O’Sullivan and David Pryce-Jones over drinks down here in the South Atlantic a couple days ago that based on the available evidence, Britain is currently being governed by its second woman prime minister. They immediately offered the predictable dissent, namely, that while the description clearly fits David Cameron, Lady Thatcher was among the more manly political figures of the last century. True, that.
In no area is Cameron more slavish to conventional fashion that global warming. Only four Tory Party MPs voted against the Climate Change Act that Cameron inherited from the Labour Party and rammed through the House of Commons. But the growing backlash, prompted in part by soaring energy costs for consumers along with the revelations of huge wind subsidy payments to some of the largest and richest landowners in Britain, may be about to put the whole thing into reverse. And then there’s the presentation MIT’s Richard Lindzen gave at the House of Commons the other day. Here are a few highlights from his slides:
I wish to thank the Campaign to Repeal the Climate Change Act for the opportunity to present my views on the issue of climate change – or as it was once referred to: global warming. Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.
From here Lindzen walks through in considerable technical detail how the predictive climate models work (and especially the dubious treatment of the all important feedback effects in the models), and also debunks the alarm over changes in Arctic ice masses. Then he pivots:
Where do we go from here?
Given that this has become a quasi-religious issue, it is hard to tell. However, my personal hope is that we will return to normative science, and try to understand how the climate actually behaves. Our present approach of dealing with climate as completely specified by a single number, globally averaged surface temperature anomaly, that is forced by another single number, atmospheric CO2 levels, for example, clearly limits real understanding; so does the replacement of theory by model simulation. In point of fact, there has been progress along these lines and none of it demonstrates a prominent role for CO2. It has been possible to account for the cycle of ice ages simply with orbital variations (as was thought to be the case before global warming mania); tests of sensitivity independent of the assumption that warming is due to CO2 (a circular assumption) show sensitivities lower than models show; the resolution of the early faint sun paradox which could not be resolved by greenhouse gases, is readily resolved by clouds acting as negative feedbacks.
Lindzen also offers up this scary observation from an official U.S. government source:
“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot. Reports all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.”
Source? The U.S. Weather Bureau. In 1922.
Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating.
In the meantime, while I avoid making forecasts for tenths of a degree change in globally averaged temperature anomaly, I am quite willing to state that unprecedented climate catastrophes are not on the horizon though in several thousand years we may return to an ice age.
It’s worth going through the whole thing at leisure, after which conduct this thought experiment: A debate between Lindzen and Al Gore.
In reporting on Lindzen’s powerful presentation, The Independent newspaper wonders: “Is catastrophic global warming, like the Millennium Bug, a mistake?” Keep in mind that The Independent is a left-leaning paper, not a Morloch Murdoch rag. And if the left-leaning papers are now asking such questions, how much longer before the roof starts to fall in completely on the climateers?
P.S. Oh, by the way, the Australian Labour Party is right now tearing itself into tiny pieces partly on account of its embrace of the climate campaign’s agenda of fossil fuel suppression. It’s total collapse could come within the next 48 hours.