Climate Change

I have not written an essay on these pages for many months but I have been shaken out of my indolence by being reminded from several quarters about the importance of designing and implementing strategies to cope with Climate Change.

In the United States the Fourth National Climate Assessment was published. It seeks to show in a measured and non hysterical way what the impact of climate change will be both in terms of danger to humanity and also in terms of impoverishing humanity in material terms. The President of the United States of America , Mr Trump, has, if I may say so a very simplistic view of climate change. Having simplistic view is can sometimes be helpful, but he approaches climate change as a matter of belief, and not as a matter of science. that is profoundly dangerous.  Mr Trump appears to confuse climate with weather, a common mistake.

Recently in the United Kingdom the Met Office published its report assessing how climate change may affect the United Kingdom over the next fifty years or so. The Prime Minister, Mrs May, did not comment on the report; she is far too busy trying to justify her Brexit policy so we must infer that for the United Kingdom government Climate Change has no priority.

As usual the short term triumphs over the long term. Present politicians will not benefit from the votes of the unborn.

The predictions made in each report are of course educated guesswork  and in many cases highly educated guesswork. The authors of the reports could be wrong and most leaders of most countries are prepared to gamble that the warnings are not as serious as they are expressed, so no real new initiatives about climate change have been or will be put into being.

I should point out that the recent monthly average for carbon dioxide recorded at Mauna Loa was 406 parts per million. It was “just” 385 when i first starting writing these posts in 2008. 240 years ago it was around 280 parts per million. Slowly and surely humanity is adding to the density of the blanket that envelops our planet making it warm and the extra layers will make it warmer.

I suspect that in the short term humanity will experience “more of the same”- more forest fires, more storms, stringer storms and hurricanes, less ice at the poles and a slowing of the great oscillations that keep western Europe warm.

Predicting the future is always a hazardous enterprise but if the climate change predictions in these reports are half right then our not too distant descendants will live more difficult and dangerous lives than any people have lived for millennia.

One Response

  1. Lots of good people believe in man made climate change.

    They have already adjusted their lives to minimise consumption of fossil fuels. They take holidays in the UK. Work one day a week from home. Install more efficient boilers. Buy more fuel efficient cars and willingly pay additional taxes to subsidise windmills and solar panel farms.

    Unfortunately, in my view, the media (especially BBC) , the UN, the IPCC, NOAA and the global energy profiteers have betrayed them.

    These organisations have deceived us and silenced genuine doubt. They have made legitimate debate and enquiry into a crime. Those who have doubts are ‘deniers’ and are portrayed as selfish and unconcerned for future generations. Guilt and virtue signalling are ‘stick and carrot’ propaganda used to silence opposition. Computer simulations are now facts and reasonable doubt is heresy.

    You cite Donald Trump’s ignorance of science yet he is one of the few world leaders who ‘believes’ (like his millions of supporters) that the media scare stories are a grand hoax simply designed to transfer wealth from the poorer to the richer.

    In my view, the credibility of ‘real evidence’ based science has been tarnished. People like Patricia Espinosa who claim that the threat to our planet has “never been worse” are now perceived as simply ‘crying wolf’ to justify their own comfortable life. There is nothing in most people’s experience to suggest that the climate or weather is any different to 10, 20 or (in my case) 70 years ago.

    To most people (ancient and millennial) the spectre of ‘dangerous’ climate change is a laughable figment. The IPCC’s dire predictions seem to rely on highly selective data and corrections thereof. Importantly, they assume that the sun will continue emitting at the same rate as in the 80’s.

    Who can say that they have noticed that winters are warmer or spring is earlier than their youth? As I see it there isn’t any ‘real’ evidence or human experience indicating that the IPCC ‘s dire predictions are realistic. Since James Hansen’s testimony to Congress in 1988 I have seen just similar repeating weather patterns. And since 2008 the same again. Even if NOAA figures are believed the warming over the last 10 years would lead to a predicted pro-rata half degree C per 50 years. But even this is improbable because the influence of CO2 on thermal capacity in the atmosphere depends on its percentage by volume in the atmosphere. So a pro rata temperature gradient matching the influx of CO2 is not physics. Meanwhile, people die because they cannot afford sufficient heating (or cooling) and industry is hobbled because of reliance on low grade, intermittent electricity from mediaeval windmills. Jam tomorrow? Only for the few!

    The sun is approaching its 11 year minimum and NOAA has yet to confirm the average global temperature for 2016-2017. Statistics out today in the UK show that in the winter of 2016-2017 was the worst in 50 years for excess deaths from cold. According to many scientists we might be approaching a Dalton minimum. If that was the case global warming would be a positive benefit.

    It’s no wonder fewer and fewer people accept that man made global warming is science. Credibility, or belief, is now the real issue and not science.

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