An age of climate realism is upon us

At last, cooler heads are prevailing

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

5 December 2015

9:00 AM

When world leaders met in Paris to launch the latest UN climate conference, much of the talk behind closed doors did not focus on global warming. Instead, the Paris conference has been overshadowed by more pressing and less contentious security concerns: the war in Syria, Europe’s refugee crisis and the growing threat of Islamist terrorism in the wake of the Paris massacre. The Copenhagen summit six years ago was a massive event; this year’s climate conference barely merits a mention of the front pages.

The Paris meeting is not even attempting to achieve what the 2009 Copenhagen summit failed to do: reach a legally binding treaty on cutting CO2 emissions. Instead, the aim is to replace the legally binding targets of the Kyoto Protocol (which runs out in 2020) with voluntary pledges tailored to the national considerations of individual countries.

In short, the Paris climate deal will mean abandoning the notion of making decarbonisation legally binding — at least for the time being. Even so, governments from around the world are keen to sign an agreement that will allow political leaders to declare a victory, and to move on. At the same time, officials readily accept that painful decisions will be kicked into the long grass. Thus, the Paris accord is likely to be a ‘wait and see’ arrangement which, for the next decade at least, suspends any attempt of reaching a binding decarbonisation treaty. Such an outcome will almost certainly trigger a fundamental reassessment of Europe’s go-it-alone-no-matter-what-the-costs decarbonisation policies.

Why has it proven impossible for such summits to make the kind of progress that was, until recently, billed as a matter of saving the world? Firstly, policies that commit western governments to unilateral decarbonisation have turned out to be more costly and politically toxic than conventional wisdom proclaimed. Rather than running out of fossil fuels — and thereby making renewable energy more competitive — the US shale revolution and the prospect of its global proliferation has triggered a glut of cheap oil and gas. Fuel prices have fallen and look set to remain low for the foreseeable future. As a result, the bridge to a world powered by renewable energy has become longer rather than shorter.

Also, poor countries remain categorically opposed to signing any agreement that would impede economic growth by limiting the use of cheap fossil fuels. Rather than decarbonising, most Asian and African countries are banking on cheap coal. In Asia, more than 500 coal-fired power plants have been built in the first nine months of this year alone, while an estimated 1,000 new coal plants are set to power up in coming years.

To counterbalance western pressure, developing countries are demanding sizable funding for adaptation and the transition to renewable energy. Once, President Obama promised developing nations an annual climate fund of $100 billion, by 2020, in return for their signatures on a global climate deal. That was six years ago; most developing nations have since realised that his pledge will never materialise. Neither the US Senate nor debt-addled European governments are willing to commit to such an astronomical annual wealth transfer.

Global surface temperatures have failed to adhere to the predictions of climate modellers. Rather than rapid warming, as the IPCC has predicted, the temperature rise has been barely discernible, standing nearly still for most of the last 20 years. The global warming slowdown has enabled a number of governments to downgrade the climate agenda in favour of energy security (or affordable energy) and to take a more gradual approach. Most world leaders are aware of the controversy surrounding the warming hiatus which has given them valuable time to keep prevaricating.

The warming pause has significantly weakened public concern — giving ministers the opportunity to delay, water down or even get rid of what David Cameron famously called ‘green crap’. Cameron’s Conservative government has certainly set a new tone in recent months. It has announced that energy security and affordability of energy will henceforth be prioritised over the climate agenda. Britain’s new climate secretary, Amber Rudd, has said she ‘will travel in step with what is happening in the rest of the world’ so that energy bills remain affordable for households, business remains competitive, and the economy remains secure.

For Europe and the UK, whose heavy industries are struggling to remain competitive under the weight of unilateral climate taxes and CO2 obligations, a voluntary Paris deal would deliver a real chance to change course. The EU’s own Paris offer, pledging to cut CO2 by 40 per cent below the 1990 level by 2030, is conditional on the UN agreement being legally binding for all major emitters. But if Europe’s key demand for a level playing field is not met, poor EU member states from Eastern and Central Europe will almost certainly refuse to make the EU’s own pledges legally binding. After Paris, the battle for a return to realistic climate policy will begin in earnest.

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  • Latimer Alder

    To summarise:

    The ‘historic’ Paris Agreement will ‘Save the Planet’ because all there will agree to do something (at their own convenience) about something sometime. Maybe. If they feel like it.

    But I guess Paris is as good a place as any to meet buddies, network your way through the Green Blob, enjoy fine wines and food and do your Xmas/Winterval shopping.

    Its a boondoggle. Utterly pointless, utterly ineffective at what it proclaims. Not worth the ecofrienldy paper it’ll be written on

    And you and I are paying through the nose for 40,000 climatotroughers to have a nice jolly at our expense.

    Oink oink.

    • erikbloodaxe

      And they’ll all be quite comfortable that their CO2-emitting journeys are for the greater good, while your business and leisure trips are just selfish.

      • Latimer Alder

        There is a direct relationship between climate sanctimony and hypocrisy.

        And Climatoangsters are the most self-righteous smug bunch I know.

        A bas!

        • Gilbert White

          Anybody opining about CC should be forced to display their own energy consumption on the screen, top right?

      • samton909

        There was an article about how Obama and Hollande went to dinner at a fancy French restaurant, and the cost of their meals was about 350 dollars each Obama then got back into his limousine which gets 8 miles to the gallon and was driven to the airport.

        It’s fun to be in favor of climate progress. You get great meals, get to spend huge amounts of money on speeches that mean absolutely nothing.

    • Gilbert White

      Yes if they did video conferencing and Charlie rode a bike for his grandchildren and these immigrant chancers the new UK emission figures makers and detractors were sent packing we might take warmists more seriously? A fact is that the population of Polar Bears is healthy unlike that of the Bali Tiger?

  • Phillip2

    Climate change (aka man-made global warming) is the biggest “scientific” scam ever. The hypothesis that CO2 causes warming has never been scientifically proven. There is no evidence that any warming has been caused by CO2 emissions. Climate models have never been validated and all have been unable to model the actual natural behaviour of the climate. Any predictions from climate models are worthless.

    • Graham Thompson

      Let me guess – you’re not a scientist, are you?

      • Benjamin Blair

        It does not take a scientist to recognise B-S.

        • Graham Thompson

          Indeed. I’m not a scientist, but I know enough to recognise that everything in Phillip2’s post is, as you would say, B-S.

          • Latimer Alder

            So whether you are ‘a scientist’ or not is immaterial.


          • Graham Thompson

            Yeah, 97.4% – 2.6% = deuce.

            Let’s not do anything hasty until we have a real consensus, right?

          • chris goodwin

            Graham – sorry and all that, but youy do know where your percentages come from, do you ? A prime example of cherry picking: here is the story. Two graduate students, working under a dishonest professor, did a telephone survey of thousands of scientists, asking a few questions about climate change. Then they went to their professor, possibly because the replies were “inconvenient” as they say in these cases, and asked him how they should condense the data. He went through the list of names, and cherry picked 75 (out of thousands !) – presumably choosing people who would give the “right” answer. And lo and behold, 73 said “Anthropometric global warming is True be scared, be very scared.”

            Now look at the figures.

            Global alarmingists Sceptics
            73/75 2/75

            or, as percentages:- (your no scientist: I assume you are mathermatically challenged, too.)

            73 x 100/75 2 x 100/75

            equals (quick hocus pocus with my calciulator :_) Ta Rahhhhh

            97.3333333333 and 2.66666666666

            or, nearest, 97.3 and 2.7 (You rounded wrong, but never mind.

            This is the famous “97% of climate scientists support the alarmist position.” Based on cherry picked data. Dishonest. Deliberate lie.
            The man should be shot. Insofar as he has helped the misallocation of billions of dollars, he has helped to murder a good many people.

          • Phillip2

            So you are not a scientist, just as I thought. Whereas I am a scientist and understand what is good science and what is B-S.

          • Graham Thompson

            Sorry Phillip2, but there is absolutely no way I’m ever going to believe that anyone with so much as a physics GCSE could write your first post. I don’t mean to be rude, but my gullibility has its limits.

          • Phillip2

            I don’t care about your beliefs. I have a 1st class honours degree in physics and a PhD in physics.

          • P V

            Did you buy them online?

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘Climate models have never been validated and all have been unable to model the actual natural behaviour of the climate.’

        You don’t need to be a scientist to see the truth of this. Just be able to read a graph.


        1. The models predict about twice as much warming as nature provides.

        2. There is not something wrong with nature. It is what it is.

        3. There is something wrong with the models. Their predictive power is reliably zero.

        4. Basing decisions about our economic and technical future on failed climate models is nuts.

        5. I have a spare piece of seaweed. Ask nicely and I’ll make it available to ‘policy makers’. It’ll probably be more use.

        • Graham Thompson

          ‘Lower Atmospheric Temperatures’.

          I wonder why you chose the temperature where no-one lives?

          Is it because the surface temperature, and the ocean temperature where 90% of the heat goes, both show dramatic warming?

          Mmm, cherries.

          • Latimer Alder

            No cherries

            Just an illustration of the failure of the models to predict correctly. Atmospheric temperatures are one thing they are supposed to be good at. But as the graph so eloquently shows, they aren’t.

            You are welcome to show similar plots of any place where you think the models are doing a better job. I don’t know of any, but maybe you do

            The floor is yours. Go for it. Give it your best shot and wow us!

          • Graham Thompson
          • Latimer Alder

            Please point out which of the menagerie of plots you have presented best shows the successful predictive ability of climate models.

            Or if you feel you are spoilt for choice (not an emotion I share), your top 3 will be fine.

            Remember that we are looking for ‘predictive ability’

          • Graham Thompson

            As I said, I don’t need to cherry pick. From 1896 onwards, mainstream science has been saying that increases in atmospheric CO2 from burning fossil fuels will increase global temperature. Each of the last three decades has been the hottest on record, with each breaking the record set by the previous decade, and this decade will break the record again. And you know it. And you have no alternative explanation.

          • Latimer Alder

            Please explain how your remarks relate to the predictive ability of climate models as shown in the plot I presented earlier.

          • Latimer Alder

            Arrhenius worked out from observations that a doubling of the CO2 concentration would lead to a temperature rise of about 1.7C.

            And opined that such a rise would be beneficial overall.

            Looks like he was pretty much spot on.

            Which is more than can be said for climate models. As I have previously demonstrated, (and you have entirely failed to even address) they vastly over estimate the observed warming and are useless as a tool for policy.

          • Clive

            That is not true (my bold).
            Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere culminating in a period of extensive glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the full scope of the scientific climate literature, which showed a larger and faster-growing body of literature projecting future warming due to greenhouse gas emissions….

            So even though temperatures had been going down slightly from 1940 – 1970 they were predicting anthropogenic global warming and still are.

          • chris goodwin

            Dear Graham, you are evading the issue. The “whole orchard” you refer to is a whole orchard in the garden of a castle in Spain. Lots of growth curves, lots of bright graphics, all showing what some computer model has calculated what will happen, IF and ONLY IF the assumptions in the model are right. There has to be a reality check. Where, in your cyberspatial “orchard” is there a cherry tree that not only plots what someone, somewhere, at the time thought might be about to happen, AND ALSO a plot of what actually happened ? You know, truth? Or maybe you just do not know.

            You admit to not being a scientist. But you make it quite clear that you do not understand how science works. There is not a “mainstream” – wherein the truth is to be found. There is a widely accepted, non controversial understanding, until there isn’t: because just one scientist says, “Oops, I think not, because …” and gives some reasons. Einstein famously did it. Wegener did it with continental drift. Roentgen did it with X rays. These men all had to suffer disbelief, criticism, and indifference to their ideas. But, they persevered, and were proven right – even if posthumously. When there is universal acceptance of an idea in science, it is very suspect. It means no one is thinking about it. Until, one day, they will have to. Science is never a matter of seeing how many agree: it has to be the evidence that confirms the model, or contradicts it. Your “orchard” is merely a collection of variations of the same theory. None of them work.

          • Graham Thompson

            See below.

          • samton909

            How come it was revealed, after they announced that 2014 was the hottest year, that they were only 38 percent sure that it was the hottest year?

        • Icarus62
          • Latimer Alder

            You make my point for me
            Real temperatures tracking nicely along – always at the bottom of the predictions. The models are ‘running hot’

            And the temperatures even show the ‘hiatus’ since 1998.


            Even the IPCC agrees that the existing models are all fundamentally flawed.

          • Icarus62

            As you say, real temperatures are tracking the projections nicely. No reassurance there, especially as some of the GHG warming is presently being offset by short-lived aerosol cooling.

          • Latimer Alder


            That’s today excuse for the models’ long-term abject failure to predict temperatures with any accuracy.

            ‘Short-lived aerosol cooling’.

            I’ll write that down in my book.

            I think that’s about excuse number 47.

          • Icarus62

            As you can see, the models have projected temperatures quite accurately. Remember that they are projections, not predictions. Do you know the difference?


          • Latimer Alder

            A distinction without much difference.

            Used by climatologsists in hindsight as a figleaf to try to conceal the scale of their failure.

          • Icarus62

            It’s quite a big difference.

            A prediction: “X will happen”.
            A projection: “If X happens, the consequence will be Y”.

            Projections of global temperature have proven to be skillful, i.e. they have accurately forecast the consequences of real world climate forcings. That means we can have some confidence in their projections of future climate change.

          • samton909

            Explain the difference. Projections are not worth anything, is that the difference?

          • Icarus62

            A prediction is a statement of what you expect to happen. A projection is a statement of what you expect the consequences to be, if something happens.

            Example of a prediction: “Atmospheric CO2 will hit 500ppm by 2060”.

            Example of a projection: “Atmospheric CO2 held steady at 500ppm would lead to 4C of equilibrium warming”.

            Projections generally describe the expected consequences of a range of outcomes, because we cannot know the future, but we can say what we expect the consequences to be of various alternative futures. That then gives us guidance about outcomes that we may wish to avoid.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Actually no, because the gradient is also off. If reality contines, by 2025 ‘deviation’ will be 0.5, compared to your computed prediction of 1.5.

            I’d suggest that “off by a factor of 150% in ten years from now” isn’t what anyone could call “tracking nicely”.

          • samton909

            I thought it was the oceans that ate your homework

      • You don’t need a degree in theology to believe in God. You don’t need a degree in medicine to know you have a pain in the backside. You don’t need a degree in psychology to see when someone is talking a load of b*llsh*t. Common sense is perfectly adequate for each of these predicaments.

      • Phillip2

        It depends whether you think two physics degrees make me a scientist.

      • Sue Smith

        Whereas I think YOU are! Amazing how many there are, now that we have ‘climate change’ (notice how the language has changed from ‘global warming’? I certainly have).

      • samton909

        Let me guess. You hate facts, don’t you?

  • Observer1951

    I am a scientist so here’s a couple of key facts. Global surface temperatures have increased by around 0.8degC over the last 100 years. Global oceanic temperatures have increased by 0.1 degC over the last 100 years. The models of climate change are very poor at incorporating the effect of clouds on climate change. All people who work in climate science, note there’s no such thing as a climate scientist, accept that the inability to accurately model cloud cover is a major flaw in the models. The most important number in all this controversy is the climate sensitivity factor which is the predicted increase in surface temperature for a doubling of carbon dioxide concentration. The range for this is currently estimated at 1.5-4.5 degC. The current thinking is towards the lower end. The 18.5 years haitus is a major problem for climate scientists. Some people claim it’s not real while many papers have been published offering explanations eg changes in trade winds. Truth is most authorities accept the haitus is real but it cannot be explained.
    Hope this throws a little light on a subject which is often discussed from a belief and not a fact basis.

    • Icarus62

      It turns out that climate models have been proven rather accurate by comparison with the observations, which confirms that fast feedback climate sensitivity is around 3°C per doubling of atmospheric CO2, as has been the generally accepted value for some time. Unfortunately there is no plausible evidence for a much lower value for climate sensitivity, so no reassurance there, and no cause for complacency.


      • Observer1951

        Sorry, cannot agree. The haitus has been hidden within the extrapolation line to 2035. Show the real measured data vs the modelling for the period 1995 to 2015

        • Icarus62

          That is the real measured data.
          Plot it yourself, if you’re sceptical.

          • Observer1951

            You misunderstood my comment. I’m not questioning the data, although I do have problems with temp adjustments but that’s another story, I’m questioning the statistical ‘trick’ of hiding awkward data ie the haitus 2000-2015 period within an extensive extrapolation plot. As I say how good is the correlation between measured temp and model predicted temp over the period 1995 to 2015. I should say also that having been involved in some modelling I don’t like models which have no indications of statistical error and significance. I have no doubt humans have contributed to warming but as a sceptic (as any one who calls themselves a scientist should be) I just don’t think we understand the complexity of the chaotic climate system to make the definitive predictions and statements that are made. We have to agree to differ on this

          • Icarus62

            How good would you expect the correlation to be, over short periods which are dominated by stochastic variability rather than forced trends?

      • Tom M

        Icarus, I can predict that in two hundred years time water at sea level will freeze at 0°C. That is science. Settled science and few disputes.
        When you can provide me with an answer that fulfills the same function in terms of the climate (or even the weather) you will have climate settled science.
        Until then you are guessing. As in Mann’s Hockey Stick graph anything with as many lines as that above is totally meaningless in terms of presenting a rational argument. It only serves to confuse.

        • SunnyD

          doesn’t salt water freeze at a lower temperature than “pure” water? somewhere like -21C? will anything in the next 200 years change that “fact”?

      • Stoater

        No, they haven’t , now go away.

        • Icarus62

          How rude.

          • Mr B J Mann

            But how right!

            But you started it, insulting people’s intelligence!

      • derekcolman

        Sorry, I am looking at your graph and I plainly see the observations, which are the pale green. light blue, and yellow lines, diverge sharply downwards from the predicted average line, dotted red, starting at about 2000/2001. This graph has apparently been drafted in a way that makes it difficult to discern, but that is what it shows. I can only assume you have poor eyesight, or you don’t have much experience in reading graphs. I won’t even go into the way that the X and Y axes have been manipulated to give the impression of more going on than actually is the case. When you see a tiny increment, in this case half a degree, is 1.5 times the size of a large increment, in this case 10 years, you know that there is an agenda behind the graph.
        This video gives you a good insight into the way graphs can be manipulated to give the uninformed audience an impression removed from the truth.

        • Icarus62

          Actually the solid blue line is observations and the dashed red line is the trend of those observations extrapolated to 2035. Climate model projections are the orange, red and purple solid lines from about 2010 onwards, with the ranges of projections being the shaded areas. As you can see, the warming trend (dashed red line) is right in line with the projections (shaded areas).

          • derekcolman

            The warming trend, dotted red line, is a computer projection derived by averaging the computer projections of temperature rise, not derived from the observations. It follows observations from about 1965 to around 2005 to 2010 (hard to see where exactly), then is projected forward to 2035. Your argument is that the trend is correct because it correctly follows the temperature projections, but that can only be assessed in 2035. I have found another version of this graph where the observation lines which are hard to even see here, are made more visible by being averaged and in black. It is the third one down from the top here:-
            As you can see it emulates the observation lines on your graph, and it departs downwards from the (omitted) trend line from about 2001/2002, just as I said in my first post. Some people might think that the colouring used in the graph you linked was deliberately chosen to make it difficult to interpret what it actually shows. They look like the colours in the pastel section of my Dulux colour chart. You might also read the article. Judith Curry is not a climate change denier, but she is quick to pounce on what she considers misleading information from her own side.

          • JabbaTheCat

            Lolz…looks like he’s disappeared up his rear orifice…

      • Mr B J Mann

        It turns out that climate models have been proven rather accurate by comparison with the observations”

        And that in response to a post that reminded you that:

        “The 18.5 years haitus is a major problem for climate scientists.”

        Can you point us in the direction of a single:

        “climate models have been proven rather accurate by comparison with the observations”?!?!?!!!!

        • Icarus62

          Curious response, as you’re replying to a post where the graph clearly shows that climate models have proven accurate by comparison with observations.

          • Mr B J Mann


            Are you blind?!

            So how come even the global warming scientists admitted in private that not only:

            a) There was NO warming.


            b) Their models didn’t predict it.


            c) they didn’t have a clue why!

          • Fudsdad

            Marvellous exchange. Thank you. I have you six nil up Mr Mann.

          • chris goodwin

            ” .. the graph clearly shows … ” Your claim is flawed. Firstly the IPCC, who produced this graph, have a credibility problem – i.e. they are liars, so ignore all their “data” – it is tainted. Best avoid.
            Secondly the red dotted line is simply an extrapolation of the 1975 to 1995 data, which was already in house before the models are up and running. Over the last twenty years the rate of climb of temperature has dropped sharply.
            Thirdly, warmingists have a poor record of honesty – some have admitted earlier errors, others have had their names used despite their objection to the myths put out, but they continue to act as the annointed priests of the One True God.
            Fourthly, the “observations” of recent data are all subjected to “adjustments:” by the IPCC wonks: as part of a systematic policy of mendacity.
            Curiouser and curiouser. But then you seem to be part of the underwhelming minjority of “cliimate scientists.”

          • Icarus62

            The red dotted line is actually extrapolated from all the data from 1970 to today. Plot it yourself if you don’t believe me.

            What’s your next excuse for rejecting the facts?

          • chris goodwin

            “Facts” from “facio” – (Latin: ” I make or do something”) – make a statement, write down a data point, draw a graph, make a prediction, compare the prediction to later “facts” – select which data points are reliable, “adjust” data to suit my theory, all these (very subjective) processes are involved before we get to the “objective” facts.

            So, these are your facts. I do not have to accept them. I cannot be bothered any more with this farrago of heavily massaged, politically motivated, statistically insignificant, scientifically spurious, deliberately alarmist and dishonestly presented corrupt melange of fascist, totalitarian, conformist propaganda.

            I need no excuse to decline to swallow your koolaid.

    • Ivan Ewan

      Wasn’t the explanation “the oceans ate my homework”?

      • Swivel-eyed loon

        Yes, that was a funny comment.

    • The PrangWizard of England

      I have observed that whilst winters don’t seem as cold as they were 30 years ago, the summers are no hotter. Funny that.Any ideas? I’m a non believer in case anyone cares.

  • Steven Whalley

    The past two decades have seen hundreds of billions of pounds worlwide spent on the climate change issue, mostly to the benefit of those in receipt of subsidies or to the providers of renewable energy systems. Most renewable types require conventional systems as backup when the sun does not shine oir the wind does not blow. They do not therefore address the issue of the eventual depletion of fossil fuels in fifty or a hundred years time.

    A lot of money has been spent to no real purpose, whether it is taken as true that CO2 emissions are linked to the climate or not. The valid targets for energy conservation investment have been ignored. A rational approach would not have started with the renewable sources themselves, but with the development of economic large scale energy storage to smooth out the highly ntermittent nature of wind and solar. The rollout of renewables on a national scale should not have gone ahead without viable power storage being in place.

    The other target could have been to implement the already available Web, data, and teleconferencing systems, not just as an occasional adjunct to work, but as the accepted first preference to working practices. Those 40,000 worlwide jet travelling delegates now at CoP21 could have hugely increased the credibility of their claim to be protecors of the planet, if they had stayed at home and used teleconferencing, rather than be burdened with a fully expensed CO2 emitting week in Paris.

    • Tom M

      One or two points need an explanation:
      “…….eventual depletion of fossil fuels in fifty or a hundred years time…….” . Who says?
      “……the development of economic large scale energy storage …..” That sounds like we know how to store energy already and it is just the development of this that is lacking. I’m all ears.

      • fundamentallyflawed

        They do indeed seem to find more deposits of fuels but the fact is they WILL run out at some point and we should be making plans now (at least in terms of R and D) for alternatives.
        In terms of energy storage we can store large amounts of energy.
        We can also deliver energy at speed. We just can’t do both the same time which is what is required. Again more R&D is required.
        Graphene will solve all our problems apparently in an EFC (basically a giant car battery) but you might be waiting for a while.

        • Tom M

          I’m still agog waiting for the explanation of how we store “large amounts of energy”. You say we can do this but need more R&D. On the contrary, apart from a couple of miniscule pump storage sites we in the UK don’t store much beyond what’s in the car battery.
          Another point arises , “….. We can also deliver energy at speed….”
          You might think you can but try this. When you put the filler nozzle of the petrol pump into your car you are transferring energy at a greater rate than a 5Mw grid primary transformer.

          • fundamentallyflawed

            I said can store large amounts I didn’t say did. Why? Because we cannot store large amounts in a format that can release the energy fast enough but now I am repeating myself.
            I was merely pointing out that the R&D required is moving ahead (albeit at a snails pace) – I wasn’t suggesting we switch of the gas and coal and move to solar power anytime soon.

          • Tom M

            Ignoring the circumlocution what exactly are you talking about when you say energy can be stored and we know how to do it?

      • mumble

        Some solid-state chemistry professor at, I think, MIT, has a large-scale, fast-reacting battery technology.

    • smoke me a kipper

      Refreshing to read a view, that addresses the real issue, the policy response, rather than attempting to rubbish the science, because of a dislike of the policy response

      • chris goodwin

        Oh dear me no ! We do not need (another) “policy response”- no mere “policy” will change this. Political initiatives are always a matter of trying to identify the least bad of the current options. No problem, but also no solution. IF “our” current “best” policy option were even remotely feasible, THEN we would not have a “problem” – let alone an incipient CATASTROPHE ! (Quick, panic, call in the United Nations, call in the Mounties, down on your knees and pray, somebody “Do something”) – we would have a programme to be included in the coming years’ budgets. But when the current “best” option is deemed (by which “experts” – exactly ?) to be inadequate, so that we must accept reversion to panic mode, (Red Alert, Your Country Needs You, Rally round the Flag boys, Opposition is Treason, You’re either for us or against us, Deniers should be muzzled, TRUST your government (why now, suddenly ? Whence came such a transformative boost to their credibility ?) – We are in a War against Global Warming, so show them how little we are scared, everybody go out and buy a Humvee – you know it makes sense ! I’m a War President now (Smirk)) – then is the very worst time to expect any sensible policy response to come out of Washington. What we need now are market forces. Tap extra Beltway thinking. De-fudge the”market”. Stop the politicians giving out vast contracts to their friends with little to no oversight, for projects that have little or no chance of succeeding, just because some airhead says we need to “do something,” – (anything !) – and that will somehow miraculously save our bacon, (at least for some value of “us”.)

        But not all of us.

    • mumble

      The hole in the bucket is storing generated electricity, which issue gets close to ignored.

      Conventional electricity is consumed as it is generated, so no storage is required. Wind, tidal, wave, solar, etc. need to be harvested when available and stored against need, implying the need of battery technology.

      This technology exists in university laboratories, but no-one seems interested in plugging it in, which means that renewables can only ever supplement conventional, which doesn’t seem to be anyone’s agenda.

      • chris goodwin

        Not just “storing generated electricity,” although that is obviously a fruitful path to explore. But there is also storage of non electric energy, which could easily save 15 million tons of CO2 per day – ( or was it 15 billion tons ? I forget,) – but that’s the sort of ball park figure.

        I did the sums when world wide oil use was approx. 90 million (or billion ?) barrels per day: it may be different now. But, M or B, that is 15 times the CO2 savings available with “off the shelf” technology: iff there is a serious problem, that is.

        Don’t all rush

  • chris goodwin

    All this money spent on the”science” (or pseudoscience) is all very well, but what if CO2 really is a threat to the world’s eco-system? It is not science that is needed, but better technologies. What we have is politicians, who know nothing, running for advice to scientists, the best of whom say, “Interesting question, to which we do not yet have an answer,” – whilst the more ambitious say, “There is a problem I can solve for you if you give me enough money” (NB All scientists can do is tell you the scale of the problem: solutions are not their forte) and then the politicos turn to their in house wonks – who are arts men to a man, with a few lawyers and economists thrown in – who between them know nothing about what might be done, but who set out a programme for increased taxation to be used to sunsidise (typo – but let it be !) favoured industrial chums. Years pass. Govermint debt grows by leaps and bounds. Honest, competent men are impoverished to support govt. contracts for the MIC.

    Bring back a sensible forum to debate this issue. Where is Monty Python when you need him ?

    • fundamentallyflawed

      Then when the government does decide to do something they invite the Chinese and French over to do it for us at a frankly jaw dropping cost….

  • eat your greens

    How one topic will fascinate and excite so much is quite astonishing. In left corner we have the fuel poor how want cheap energy at low cost without caring where it comes from (these people do not care about the climate or the environment), in the right corner we have the subsidy spongers of technical and science funding, they don’t care about the climate either (seriously, they don’t). So what’s this all about?
    It’s chit chat about money, forgetting that the key factor of any development and innovation in any sector of human inventiveness, be it in medicine, aerospace, computing, farming, whatever, is …… R&D. So there we are. R&D. Who has done by far the best R&D in recent decades with regards to the saving of energy i.e. resources i.e the reduction of pollution i.e. the preservation of the environment? Because all this is connected you see. Saving means conserving. It is deeply conservative to save and conserve and protect and pretend that in the end it wasn’t about the money.

    n.b. the image chosen as an illustration exemplifies how backward this paper is with acknowledging what a modern power station looks like. You appear to have no idea do you. It is simply inconceivable for people in Britain to get their heads round this kind of thing which is, quite frankly, shocking.


  • smoke me a kipper

    If you light a fire in your home it warms up. That’s one reason why people have fires. The Earth is our home and we have been lighting fires.

    • Terry Field

      Really deep.

    • samton909

      If you turn on the air conditioning it gets colder.

  • Dignity

    Canadian delegation of 383 people to #COP21Paris
    carbon footprint for flights only (assuming if all flew YOW-PAR, which
    is not the case, since some flew from cities further away, thus emitting
    more CO2) estimated 804 t (economy class) – 1545 t (business class)
    equivalent of 587 cars ANNUALLY or what my household (heating,
    electricity for lighting, TV, all appliances) would emit during 383

    • Mary Ann

      Perhaps it’s time to ban flying for everyone except the emergency services.

      • Nice satire.

        I personally wonder whether we shouldn’t be subsidising flying instead of taxing it. The benefits of increased understanding between peoples, especially at such a perilous phase in world history, far outweigh any pollution downside for my money.

        But then I don’t believe that warming from CO2, while a real effect, is a serious threat. Quite the reverse, I think it may actually help us if, as many think, the sun does go into a colder phase for the next few decades.

      • fundamentallyflawed

        Perhaps we should increase taxes on flights so nobody flies apart from the rich.. after all we are all in this together.

    • mumble

      100,000 flights per day, and a jumbo-jet carries about 65 tonnes of fuel per take-off, so whether or not you print this e-mail makes not a blind bit of difference to the environment.


      And we note that, for example, Japan is planning a huge expansion of their airport capacity to facilitate projected increases in tourism, so a little junketing on the taxpayer’s dime is neither here nor there.

      One has the power only to make oneself less competitive.

      • Mr B J Mann

        “so a little junketing on the taxpayer’s dime is neither here nor there”

        You’d better tell the junketers that:

        They are the ones that insist every little helps.

        And that everyone should set a good example even if the big “polluters” aren’t green and clean yet.

        Only trouble is the GW Junketers are the biggest wasters on the planet.

        And the “green” energy industry the biggest polluter!

    • samton909

      Climate agitation pays very well.

  • CalUKGR

    I just wish the BBC could report on the Paris CoP and what lies behind it in the same way as this piece by Mr Peiser here in the Spectator manages. We just want some honest, unfiltered reporting on the issues, all the pros and cons, a genuine look at the science and the doubts around it.

    So much obfuscation, dissembling and misdirection by the msm, chiefly led by the BBC and Channel 4. It’s a mockery of balanced, informed journalism.

    • Terry Field

      f*ck balanced legally enforced journalism. I want a variety of views with no bluddee balance at all. As in the States.

      • Sue Smith

        Yes, and the latest fiasco is Obama’s “voldemort syndrome” – refusing to utter the words ISLAMISM and terrorism responsible for the latest massacre. Sadly, there will be many many more to come. When you have a President who is unable to utter the words of the evil force of Islam you know the likes of Trump will keep getting the poll numbers!

        • mumble

          I wish I could say you were wrong.

          After the Paris attacks, I was struck by how most of the coverage was about how most Muslims are not part of the problem.

          With further attacks imminently threatened, I thought it would be a good time to put aside, just for the moment, those who are not part of the problem the better to focus on those who are.

          • Sue Smith

            This obfuscation will not stand. Obama seems to get weaker and weaker. He just likes the sound of his own voice. Ever noticed how tired he looks these days? Meanwhile, Michelle is busy telling Ellen about her plans post- Presidency (that is, when she’s not doing the chicken dance on talk shows!).

        • samton909

          Not only that, the day before the Paris attacks, Obama announced that ISIS was contained. the morning of the San Bernadino attacks, he announced that the US was safe from attacks by ISIS. After the attacks his attorney general announced that her biggest fear was that Muslims would be attacked in America, so Americans had better be careful about what they say.

  • Gilbert White

    We have Charlie boy bemoaning the fate of his grand children and wondering what his own Jaguar inspired carbon footprint will do bring apart from filtering his own excrement through phragmites reeds at his personal Neverland?

  • sidor

    A fundamental lesson we can (hopefully) learn from this climate mass hysteria is quite general transcending the perimeter of the particular problem being discussed. This recent hysteria is just another manifestation of the much older problem of (whatever) society. The problem is in the peoples’ apparent lack of humility, which concerns both ordinary people and those having power. The substance of the problem is that people dare to discuss matters which they know to be well beyond their comprehension. The Roman Catholic Church took the liberty to make legally binding decisions on astronomy. In a similar bold manner, the US courts didn’t hesitate to pronounce verdicts on Darwin’s theory of biological evolution (and they are still doing it, although their verdict has changed to the opposite). Now we see another spectacle: a huge crowd of politicians, journalists and other kind of “climate activists”, neither of whom managed the elementary school textbook of physics, dare to impose their idiotic opinion on the rest of the mankind. And they do it in a perfectly democratic manner, in the same tradition of democracy that was manifested in the famous monkey trials.

    Somebody has to explain to Obama, prince Charles and their colleagues that they should not follow the example of the famous clown Gore and avoid publicly discussing issues which are well beyond their cognitive capacity and scope of education. There must be a red line separating science from the rest of the society impenetrable to the democracy. Science is notoriously undemocratic: the truth doesn’t depend on the opinion of the incompetent 99% of the population. They have to shut up until science produces the verdict.

    • Alex Jackson

      Spot on…. Funnily enough King Canute was able to grasp this some time ago!

  • Cheddarcakes

    The only solution is to global warming is to sterilize Africa and Asia before another 6 billion of them are born and chop down the last remaining tree to build a fire to cook the last remaining Gorilla over a spit

    • sidor

      Not that drastic. It can be done in a much softer way by stopping all the agricultural export from US, EU, Canada and Australia. For millennia the population has always been constrained by the amount of available food. Overpopulation is a result of the agricultural overproduction that occurred the last 100 years.

      • boiledcabbage

        and of the export of pharma since approx 1950

        • sidor

          A medical fact: underfed women are infertile. No pharma helps.

    • samton909

      You have to boil Gorilla. A bit tough if you don’t.

      • mctruck

        Don’t be daft. As our close genetic relatives they should be, like us, a tender and versatile white meat.
        If “long pig”, slow-roasted over an open fire is good enough for PNGinians, “long hairy pig” ought to delight our African cousins. Perhaps we should send Jamie Oliver over to demonstrate?

  • Tom M

    A very sensible assessment of the situation. One thing Benny Peiser didn’t mention was that in the UK we, unlike all the other countries, are constrained by an Act of Parliament to decarbonise thanks to Ed Milliband. That makes it a legal requirement.

  • Stephen Powell

    Global greenhouse gases track global population. There is a reason for that. Absent some sort of global population policy, all this climate conference is going to do is line the pockets of dictators in 3rd world countries.

  • Ben A

    The amount of climate denial in this article and in the comments section is gob smacking, border line irresponsible. Yes there are other critical issues that political leaders need to address, but to refute that climate change is one of them is dangerous. In my field of study, climate adaption, I am yet to come across any credible research that suggests that the world is not entering a stage of dangerous levels of human driven warming with devastating impacts that will be felt globally. Please be inforimed and please don’t distribute climate denial propaganda, for both our sakes and future generations.

    • John Andrews

      Who denies the evidence of the thermometer? No one. So ‘climate denial’ is an empty term of abuse.

      • Ben A

        “Global surface temperatures have failed to adhere to the predictions of climate modellers. Rather than rapid warming, as the IPCC has predicted, the temperature rise has been barely discernible, standing nearly still for most of the last 20 years”.

        This is climate denial.

        The IPCC AR5 report, paints an entirely different picture. I’ll take their word for it over the authors. Good to see the Koch brothers & Co propaganda campaign is still as effective as ever.

        • John Andrews

          I’d say the statement you quote is either right or wrong, depending on the evidence. Were I to say that John Smith is the current Prime Minister of the UK, I would not be in Cameron denial; I would be wrong.

    • lindzen4pm

      ‘Climate denial’.
      Like your failing hypothesis, that is total nonsense.

    • boiledcabbage

      But unbearable 60 degree temps in the Arabian peninsula etc will be the karma that is coming to that blighted part of the world. Really, good riddance….

  • “The Paris meeting is not even attempting to achieve what the 2009 Copenhagen summit failed to do: reach a legally binding treaty on cutting CO2 emissions.”

    Thanks to me, where I illustrate how CO2 is a COOLING molecule…

    All atmospheric gasses absorb infrared radiation (IR), including Oxygen and Nitrogen (both gasses constituting greater than 99% of the atmosphere’s gasses):

    “Due to their symmetry, homonuclear diatomic molecules like N2 and O2 do not exhibit a static electric dipole moment, such as H2O, nor is there the possibility to induce vibrationally a dipole moment, as in the case of CO2. Thus, there are no strong infrared absorption bands due to dipole transitions as in the case of the major greenhouse gases. However, as discovered by Crawford et al. [1949], collision-induced absorption leads to weak absorption features of N2 and O2 in the infrared [e.g., Hartmann et al., 2008].”

    The peer reviewed paper affirms the non-negligible roles that Oxygen and Nitrogen play, in the aggregate, in heating the atmosphere*…

    “This work challenges a common perception on the negligible role of O2 and N2 as natural greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere compared to species like CH4 or N2O. It is in fact the large abundance of oxygen and nitrogen which compensates for their only weak interaction with infrared radiation through collision-induced absorption bands.”

    …contradicting the bold faced lies put out by politically co-opted climate scientists, where Oxygen and Nitrogen are said to absorb zero IR…

    “You have already learned that Earth’s atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen and oxygen. These gases are transparent to incoming solar radiation. They are also transparent to outgoing infrared radiation, which means that they do not absorb or emit solar or infrared radiation.”

    “It has been understood since the 19th century that some gases absorb infrared radiation (IR) that is emitted by the planet, slowing the rate at which the planet can cool and warming the surface. These so-called greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and water vapor, as well as ozone and methane among others. Note, however, that the bulk of the atmosphere is made up of nitrogen and oxygen molecules which don’t absorb IR at all.”

    “Most of the gas in the atmosphere is nitrogen and oxygen – both of which are molecules made of two atoms. The atoms in these molecules are bound together tightly and unable to vibrate, so they cannot absorb heat [sic] and contribute to the greenhouse effect.”

    “Nitrogen and oxygen don’t absorb infrared energy in our atmosphere because their molecules – composed of two identical atoms – don’t vibrate or rotate at infrared frequencies.”

    “The presence of complicated molecules in the earth’s atmosphere impedes the earth’s ability to radiate thermal energy into space. By complicated molecules, I mean ones that have vibrations that allow them to absorb infrared light. The most abundant molecules in our atmosphere, nitrogen and oxygen, don’t do that.”

    We now see that all gasses in the atmosphere absorb IR to varying degrees, not simply the “greenhouse gasses” such as Carbon Dioxide or Methane. In fact, the term “greenhouse gas” is a misnomer—all atmospheric gasses are “greenhouse gasses”.

    However, what is more important than a gas’ IR absorption capabilities is an atmosphere gas molecule’s capability to retain the heat it generates, and Carbon Dioxide comes up short on that count when contrasted with Nitrogen and Oxygen. The heat retention for Nitrogen is cp = 1.04, cv = 0.743; for Oxygen is cp = 0.919, cv = 0.659; while for Carbon Dioxide is an inferior cp = 0.844, cv = 0.655.

    In fact, in the particular case of Carbon Dioxide it is known as a cooling gas. According to Professor Gert Venter, Agricultural Engineering, University of Pretoria; “You know, that’s why all I can do is laugh when these global warming monkeys tell me that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is not, and I have live, precise experimental situations in over 30 sites around the world that prove that it is not. These guys create a model in their computers, based on arbitrary assumptions, and then ignore all the experimental evidence to the contrary. My experiments show that INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 IS CORRELLATED WITH A DECREASE IN ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE in my agricultural environments.”



  • John Andrews

    Realism is rarely harmful.

  • Peter Stroud

    So it looks as if the lunatics have, at least, temporarily vacated the asylum. When will governments cease to fund the useless climate models, and other wild ideas, and encourage real, independent, realistic climate research?

  • boiledcabbage

    Unbearable 60 degree temps in the Arabian peninsula etc will be the karma that is coming to that blighted part of the world. Really, good riddance….

    And global burning, hellfire etc in Africa will solve the excessive breeding rate one hopes.