First on the doom merchants' list of 'Things To Do About Global Warming' is to get everyone to accept without question that those rotten human beings are destroying the planet and the Big Theory, and its off-shoots, are correct.
Step Two is to persuade the rest of us that politicians are capable of doing something constructive about Climate Change. And that they will do the right things.
Some environmentalists (i.e. people who are hoping to profit from global warming) are portraying climate change as a runaway train, which will become more and more difficult (and expensive) to stop if action is delayed and the train gathers momentum. Nice analogy but there's no proof that it's relevant.
What is more likely is that the environmentalists are looking for funding for themselves right now! And they're also hoping to put 'saved the planet' on their CV rather than letting their successors have a shot at winning this honour (assuming it can be won or needs to be won).
|Questions to be asked|
| Will the latest international conference save the world or is it just another junket for politicians & their hangers on?|
Is this week's message of doom what 'experts' were saying 10 years ago or is it just the latest shock-horror story?
How much cash is the doom merchant of the moment hoping to make out of his/her campaign to save the world?
What can be done to make The Theory 'true'?
The environmentalists' tactics involve issuing increasingly apocalyptic messages about what will happen in the near future (their guesses rather than anything concrete) in the hope of grabbing the attention of politicians through scaring them to death. And if they use computer models based on dodgy assumptions; well, who understands computers but the 'experts'?
Another tactic is to jump on dissenters and exclude them from scientific bodies Dr. David Bellamy is the obvious example and suppress dissent in the scientific literature.
Climate-change papers sent to the major journals with a 'hold on a minute, this doesn't fit the Big Theory' message are being rejected on the grounds of 'lack of interest' as a means of keeping them from the peer-review stage. That way, everything 'dangerous and supported by convincing evidence' suffers the same fate as everything that's plain wrong.
The most obvious example is the message that storms and hurricanes will get worse in the coming decades. Papers supporting this hypothesis will be printed in the main scientific journals as a matter of routine. Those that don't contain a message of doom and gloom generally end up in obscurity on the author's website.
|Is the politician sincere or is he/she just trying to:|
| Look good at an international conference|
Make someone else look bad at the conference
Create a new tax which won't be spent on saving the world
Plant a tasty sound-bite before moving on to the next personal publicity opportunity
Solution or a worse problem?
Politicians are inclined to go along with the 'We Should Change The Climate' bandwagon as it gives them opportunities to slap taxes on things, e.g. the Carbon Tax, and then spend the proceeds on their own pet projects rather than attempts to change the climate. The politicians, who have the usual eye on the main chance, are also hoping to add 'saved the planet' to their CV.
But while the eyes of the world's politicians show that gleam which goes with a good taxation opportunity, it would be a good idea to think about what they hope to achieve by halting, or even reversing, the present climate trend.
What will be the consequences for Britain of a warmer climate in the future?
For starters: the requirement for energy used for heating will be reduced if things get warmer, which is good news for consumers but bad news for both utility companies and the governments which tax them. Fewer people will die from the effects of cold weather. Crop yields will increase in a warmer climate and it will be possible to grow the warm climate, 'exotic' crops which have to be imported at the moment. And more tourists will come to the UK.
Evidence from history; something which New Labour would prefer everyone to forget unless government spin doctors are writing it; shows that humans have prospered during warm periods in the past and that cold periods mean a down-turn in agriculture, the economy and biodiversity but an up-turn for disease.
|The International Panel on Climate Change reached this same 'warm is better' conclusion in a draft report but it was evicted in favour of some doom and gloom in the final report issued in 2001|
Killer heatwaves versus cold-weather massacres
The opponents of a warmer climate are fond of chucking around statistics like: '2,000 more people will die every year if temperatures rise as predicted for the UK over the next 50 years'. But they keep quiet about the other side of the coin; that 20,000 fewer people will die every year from the effects of cold weather if things get warmer.
The return of malaria to Britain is another favourite for the doom-merchants, even though the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has assessed the risk and rated it as 'highly unlikely'.
The polar ice caps will melt and everyone will drown!
Predictions of rises in sea-level of five or six feet used to be common, coupled with warnings that coastal cities will become uninhabitable and a lot of Pacific islands will disappear. Things have gone rather quiet on that front recently as the latest sea-level change estimates talk of rises of anything between zero and a few inches.
Even the The International Panel on Climate Change has been forced to accept that millions of people won't be made permanently homeless by flooding, and that humans are quite good at adapting to climate changes. And as a bonus, the permafrost in the Arctic regions is now melting, which will make vast areas of land habitable after thousands of frozen years.
The wrong message
The doom merchants' message ignores the benefits of a warmer climate and makes the false assumption that humans will not be able to adapt to climate change that even if they have done so in the past, they will not be able to do it this time.
The doom merchants also ignore the simple truth that the impact of climate change can be lessened by timely action because their cause is reversing climate change (even though there is no guarantee that they can do it) rather than adapting to it. For example, if crops start to wilt in a warmer climate, farmers can replace them with more heat-resistant types.
Good gas, not bad
Higher levels of Carbon dioxide, subject of the notorious Carbon Tax, are predicted to provide an increase in around 20% for yields of wheat and rice, and getting on for 40% for clover, an important foodstuff for grazing animals.
Thanks to higher carbon dioxide levels, tropical forests, such as the Amazon region, have shown much higher growth levels since the 1980s. In fact, the main problems expected for a warmer Earth are ensuring that higher crop yields can be distributed and ensuring that developing countries are able to develop new crops.
|"Economic studies clearly show it will be far more expensive to cut greenhouse gases than to pay for the cost of adapting to a warmer planet."|
Professor Bjorn Lomborg of Copenhagen Business School
Good gas, not bad II
Recent research into the after-effects of the 1783 eruption of the Icelandic volcano Laki have shown that sulphur dioxide, author of acid rain, isn't so bad after all. The Laki eruption encouraged sulphur-eating bacteria in wetlands, which killed off the ones which produce methane, which is a much worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. As a result of the eruption, there was a period of global cooling which lasted for a decade. But it is the current policy of our politicians to cut sulphur dioxide releases by industry and encourage global warming.
The latest doom & gloom counterblast suggests that cutting pollution will send global warming out of control and lead to the sort of mass extinction not seen for 65 million years. Pollutants emitted into the atmosphere as fine dust particles and aerosols of liquids play a vital part in absorbing sunlight and keeping the planet cool. Aerosols also extend the lifetime of clouds and the protection which they offer the Earth.
Removing pollutants to make the world 'greener' will increase the amount of solar energy reaching ground level and achieve exactly the opposite of the aims of would-be planet saviours. What seems to be lacking from the whole climate change issue is any sort of overview of what is going on. Instead, each lobby is pressing for cash to line its pockets and promote its programme with little regard for knock-on effects.
|A House of Lords committee has examined the climate change forecasts published by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and found them wanting. The global temperature rise forecasts are open to serious doubt and their lordships said:
"The IPCC is allowing climate science to be determined by political requirements rather than by the evidence."|
They added: "We are concerned that there may be political interference in the nomination of scientists to the IPCC."
The committee also pointed out that the IPCC is ignoring all of the benefits of a warmer climate (possibly for political reasons).
Nature good, mankind bad!
The doom merchants have taken as their creed, the view that everything Nature does is a 'Good Thing' and things the inhabitants of the Earth do are automatically wrong. By rights, Earth should have been heading back into a ice age for the last few thousand years but that didn't happen because mankind has been thwarting Mother Nature with a combination of chopping down forests, agriculture and burning biomass.
By rights, Earth should be in the same state that it was 400,000 years ago and we British should be living with vast ice sheets all over the country and bitterly cold conditions, and the average temperatures should be 6 deg.F lower in summer and 8 deg.F lower in winter.
Is this really what we want? Because it's just what the doom merchants and their politician allies would like to force on us.
Can we trust politicians to do what's right rather than what they think will make them look good? Because this is how central London will look if the doom merchants get their way!