In February 2007, the United Nations promoted a report in which its Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change blamed global warming on increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere as a result of human use of fossil fuels. The UN claimed that the report was backed by some 2,500 of the world's leading scientists.
This claim has now been exposed as spin. The list included the names of scientists who disagreed with the report's compromise conclusions and the exclusion of evidence contrary to the proposition that human intervention is causing global warming. Some of them, including Professor Reiter of the Paris Pasteur Institute, had to threaten legal action to get their name removed.
Professor Ian Clark of Ottawa University, an expert in palaeoclimatology, has found that rises in carbon dioxide levels are not necessarily accompanied by warmer periods in Earth's history. On the contrary, his study of evidence from ice cores has shown that warmer periods tend to occur some 800 years BEFORE rises in carbon dioxide levels if the Earth is left to its own devices.
Even worse, for the Carbon Con-men, is the evidence of what happens when humans start burning fossil fuels at a serious rate. There was a major increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels after the conclusion of World War Two, but global temperatures FELL between 1940 and 1980 and started to rise again during the period of industrial depression in the 1980s.
Solar activity, cloud cover, greenhouse gases all may be factors in the equation, but it is too complicated at present, and the available computer models for the climate are so inadequate, that the relative contributions of the likely suspects cannot be assigned with even a small degree of accuracy.
And so when politicians start promising to prevent global temperature rises of 3-4 deg.C., all they are doing is venting hot air to the atmosphere. THEY DON'T HAVE ANY SOLUTIONS. And all their carbon-trading schemes are just scams, designed to extract cash from companies and individuals for the politicians to waste on pointless carbon-saving schemes, or blow on buying votes.
New Labour has set targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions of a 12.5% reduction by 2012 and a 60% reduction by 2050. The government claimed in its 2005 energy review that it will achieve a reduction of 29-31% by 2020, but an audit by Channel 4's Dispatches programme has found that the real reduction will be 12-17%.
This means that the 2020 target is unlikely to be met until at least 2050 and the 2050 target is just pie in the sky and spin. New Labour reached its bogus conclusions in the energy review by the usual method; fiddling the figures.
It uses artificially low numbers for the amounts of carbon dioxide released by the air transport and motor vehicle industries.
It is setting unrealistically low thresholds in graded vehicle excise duty, which is intended to force motorist to abandon gas-guzzling vehicles in favour of more fuel-efficient models. This won't happen in practice as the top rate is £215, the average gap between the 7 bands is £35, and even the top rate isn't going to have much influence on someone who is prepared to pay out £65,000 for a Range Rover.
The government is also relying on a switch to bio-fuels to replace part of existing petrol and diesel formulae. But the UN is already noting that fuel-plant production is raising the prices of cereals and creating a direct conflict between foodstuff to consumption and foodstuff for fuel. Worse, creating plantations of oil-bearing plants for fuels, e.g. palms, ultimately creates 10 times more carbon dioxide than the use of petroleum products.
'Carbon neutral' homes which won't be; 'second-generation biofuels', the list of bogus 'savings' from unrealistic expectations goes on and on. New Labour's approach to saving the planet is just what we have come to expect from them: pious words, extra taxation and zero benefit to the poor old taxpayer and the planet.