Flooding in Queensland in January 2011
Chris Huhne's 'carbon saving' measures could double energy bills within nine years - so Australian floods might help to wash down the British voter's bitter pills.
Sir John Beddington may have thought he was earning his £165,000 a year as the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser when he was last week reported as proposing that it should “use climate-related disasters overseas to persuade British voters to accept unpopular policies for curbing carbon emissions”.
The sort of disasters Sir John had in mind included last year’s Russian heatwave, the floods in Pakistan and Queensland and the current drought in East Africa, all of which climate zealots have rushed to blame on global warming. But Sir John, who is a professor in “applied population biology”, may not be aware that each of these examples has been shown by scientific studies not to be evidence of “climate change”.
A new paper in Geophysical Research Letters confirms that the parts of Russia affected by last year’s heatwave “show no significant warming trend” over the past 130 years. Similar studies have shown that the 2010 Paikstan floods were no worse than those in 1929.
The flooding in Queensland was lower than that in 1974. It was only turned into a disaster by the sudden release of water from a dam, which had been held back on the orders of state politicians who were obsessed with the need to store water because of their fear that global warming would cause droughts. Even the UN now says that the Horn of Africa’s worst drought for 60 years cannot be ascribed to climate change.
Updated below with comments by Piers Corbyn
In a week when Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, announced “carbon saving” measures which are predicted to double energy bills within nine years and drive more than half the population into fuel poverty, one can see that he might be desperate to “persuade British voters” that his absurdly costly gimmicks are justified.
But if he wants advice on climate change more plausible than just scare stories that echo his own prejudices, he could do with someone better qualified in that field than a specialist in applied population biology – whatever that may be.
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See also: The 2010 Summer Heat Wave of Western Russia