It is now officially recognised throughout the developed world that we must do something about climate change.

Farmers in the Netherlands have been protesting because, as I understand it, they are blamed for most of the Dutch nitrous oxide emissions and they believe there is a threat to their livelihoods fearing there are plans to cut pig, beef and chicken production by half for environmental reasons. These threats are not made by the Dutch Government but by opposition parties anxious to be seem to do something about climate change; such is the sensitivity of people in the climate change debate that traffic was badly disrupted by the tractors (which in turn must have created excess emissions) that the farmers took to the street protesting about the possibility of their incomes being slashed in the name of climate change. Climate change is serious, as all farmers know and have experienced, but when it comes to doing something about it “not me” is the cry.

It is a feature of modern life that almost everyone agrees that climate change is a threat and should be mitigated in some way, but almost everyone thinks that the mitigation should be at the cost of somebody else. “Not me!” Blame China for climate change, blame India, blame the USA, blame Brazil, blame the government, blame industry, blame capitalism, blame socialism, blame the wealthy, blame the poor, blame whoever, but don’t blame me.

Wealthy people who fly around in private jets and lead lifestyles that create far more emissions than the average person in their community feel qualified to lecture us on the dangers of climate change. “Someone should do something about it, but not me” is the message, “not me”.

“Not me” has become the real response to climate change by humanity, and such a response is inadequate, as humanity will learn to its cost.

4 Responses

  1. What’s your view on these scientists’ collective opinion?


  2. Any comments Rob?

    From: Professor Guus Berkhout

    23 September 2019

    Sr. António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations,
    United Nations Headquarters,
    New York, NY 10017, United States of America.
    Ms. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Executive Secretary,
    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
    UNFCCC Secretariat, UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1,
    53113 Bonn, Germany
    Your Excellencies,

    There is no climate emergency

    A global network of more than 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields have the honor to address to Your Excellencies the attached European
    Climate Declaration, for which the signatories to this letter are the national ambassadors.
    The general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose. Therefore, it is cruel as well as imprudent to advocate the squandering of trillions of dollars on the basis of results from such immature models. Current climate policies pointlessly and grievously undermine the economic system, putting lives at risk in countries denied access to affordable, reliable electrical energy.

    We urge you to follow a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation.
    We ask you to place the Declaration on the agenda of your imminent New York session. We also invite you to organize with us a constructive high-level meeting between world-class scientists on both sides of the climate debate early in 2020. Such a meeting would be consistent
    with the historically proven principles of sound science and natural justice that both sides should be fully and fairly heard. Audiatur et altera pars!

    Please let us know your thoughts how we bring about such a momentous joint meeting.

    Yours sincerely,
    Professor Guus Berkhout The Netherlands
    Professor Richard Lindzen USA
    Professor Reynald du Berger French Canada Professor Ingemar Nordin Sweden
    Terry Dunleavy New Zealand
    Jim O’Brien Irish Republic
    Viv Forbes Australia
    Professor Alberto Prestininzi Italy
    Professor Jeffrey Foss English Canada
    Professor Benoît Rittaud France
    Morten Jødal Norway Professor
    Fritz Vahrenholt Germany
    Rob Lemeire Belgium
    Monckton of Brenchley UK
    Ambassadors of the European Climate Declaration

    There is no climate emergency
    A global network of 500 scientists and professionals has prepared this urgent message. Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific. Scientists should openly address the uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real benefits as well as the imagined costs of adaptation to global warming, and the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of mitigation.

    Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming
    The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no
    surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming.Warming is far slower than predicted The world has warmed at less than half the originally-predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.
    Climate policy relies on inadequate models Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover,
    they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2. In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial. CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth
    CO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global
    plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide. Global warming has not increased natural disasters
    There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, CO2-mitigation measures are as
    damaging as they are costly. For instance, wind turbines kill birds and bats, and palm-oil plantations destroy the biodiversity of the rainforests. Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches
    emerge, we will have ample time to reflect and adapt. The aim of international policy should be to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times, and throughout the world

    • It is an interesting point of view, and with all matters of genuine scientific complexity almost any view could possibly be right. There are plenty of highly qualified scientists who would disagree with the views expressed by the scientists you quote.

      Our climate is principally governed by forces that until recently humanity has never been able to influence – such as the great oscillations, sunspots, the movement of the magnetic poles and the constitution of the atmosphere. These days, by sheer weight of numbers humans can and do influence the constitution of the atmosphere which can in turn can alter the great oscillations quite radically (such as the Gulf Stream and El Nino, and the movement of air masses), and such alterations will have serious climate consequences. After all, London is on the same latitude as Newfoundland and New York on the same latitude as Madrid, and all these places have very different climates.

      In matters of great scientific complexity predictions are usually hopeless.

      The issue then is whether there is a climate emergency. This depends on the definition of an emergency – is it five years, ten years a hundred years or five hundred years?

      If emergency is defined as something devastating happening in the next hundred years that I think (but cannot be sure) that we have a climate emergency. I think we might slow it down by taking measures that humanity will find acceptable, but the most important things we can do to avoid an emergency happening in the next hundred years humanity would not countenance doing. For example, who would prevent people in Africa having the same quality of life as people is Sweden, Ms Thunberg? Who will advocate and bring into effect a massive and immediate reduction in the population of the planet?

  3. “There are plenty of highly qualified scientists who would disagree with the views expressed by the scientists you quote.”

    I wonder if you’re right. How many ‘scientists’ can you actually name? How many of those unnammed highly qualified (and unbiased?) scientists have written to the UN urging immediate action. As I see, it the IPCC and similar organisations rely exclusively on self interested scientists who already make a good living from promoting climate change as a man-caused emergency?

    Today Extinction Rebellion is again jamming the streets of London. Are they more trustworthy than the Dutch Farmers you previously criticised? Hardly! Just look at their fancy dressing up and fake blood stunts. They look like they’re at a ‘Rainbow’ parade. I would personally give far more respect those farmers protecting their (perfectly normal) means of earning a living. If you are right about global warming then these (paid?) climate change jokers/zealots undermine your cause.

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