Greenwashing Thatcher's history does an injustice both to her and to science and technology policy
We've been running a series of essays on scientific advice recently (e.g. yesterday's piece by Shelia Jasanoff). It's on a break today, but here's something on a related issue.
Margaret Thatcher is often celebrated for her leadership on the issue of climate change. Read, if you haven't already, her 1989 speech to the UN for example. Or the 1988 one to the Royal Society. Or to the 2nd World Climate Conference in 1990. You might be surprised.
The image of Thatcher the global environmental leader jars with some of the patterns of right wing politics we are more familiar with today. Indeed, it suits particular ends of environmentalism to wave this particularly green-tinged blue card around. But Thatcher has long been a flexible cultural image, and in recent years was occasionally used as an icon for climate sceptics too. See, for example, these June 2010 pieces by Lord Monckton writing for the Watts up With That blog and Christopher Booker in the Telegraph.
The "outgoing" UK Government's chief scientific adviser Prof Sir John Beddington can be listened here talking to Pallab Ghosh with his...you name it...it must be "man made" co2 approach....how he has lasted as long as he has in his current position I will never know!
The sooner Sir John steps down the better...IMHO he is at best a very ignorant man in regard to his privileged position advising the UK Government on how our climate works. He states you can't draw any conclusion on any one weather event and then with his next breath states how can you have one year dry and then another one wet! As if the climate is not meant to do things like that!
What has been his downfall is that he did not explain how the "science" of climate change works....how can you have over 16 years of no warming and 16 years of extra co2 Sir John?
The UK government's chief scientist has said that there is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere for there to be more floods and droughts over the next 25 years.
Prof Sir John Beddington said there was a "need for urgency" in tackling climate change.
I'm not so sure this summary from the BBC of Dr James E Hansen retirement announcement has done them any favours. The area that may backfire is that their Environment Correspondent Matt McGrath mentions the term "Global Warming" instead of "Climate Change" and at the end of the article they (BBC) have acknowledged world temperatures have remained at a "standstill", thus agreeing there is no "Global Warming" currently going on.
The only door left open on the issue of "man made" co2 is extreme weather events. I have mentioned before, the use of the term "climate change" covers all eventualities for Alarmists. So I'm glad to say this tribute to Dr James E Hansen seems a little self defeating... or is this a "get out" for them in the future! ......more to follow.
One of the leading voices on the science of global warming is to retire from Nasa this week to be more active in the fight against fossil fuels.
Oh, the The Mail on Sunday. Is there no limit to your denial of climate change?
The Mail on Sunday is a sister publication of the UK tabloid Daily Mail, and has a history of running ridiculously misleading claims downplaying the reality of climate change. Probably the worst offender is David Rose, who has been constantly hammering the idea—despite all the evidence against it—that the Earth has not been getting warmer for the past 16 years. To make this claim he has to egregiously cherry-pick his data, choosing where to look on a graph of temperatures to make it look like warming has slowed.
I’ve shown just how Rose is so fast and loose with reality in previous posts, when he first came to my attention for claiming warming had stopped (and then tried to show that the Sun’s lack of activity would cool the Earth, a claim for which there is essentially no good evidence), and then again when he posted a graph so wrong it would mean getting an F in ninth-grade math. You can also read debunkings of Rose’s ridiculosities from the UK Met Office, the national weather service for the United Kingdom, which regularly has to issue articles debunking the nonsense posted in The Mail.
This Weather Documentary for the UK Climate during 2012 made by Channel4, puts a predictable emphasis on "man made" climate change". As far as I'm concerned it shows how powerful some of the recent solar events have been, namely the Wettest Drought and the December of 2010. One day in the future (sooner then later I hope) when it is common knowledge that the Sun is responsible for extreme weather changes to our climate, we will be able to look back on these documentaries and see how silly people thought co2 was the cause of these events - NOTE This Documentary may not be available outside the UK and there is a time lock after 30 days...
In Britain we love to moan about the weather. And over the past decade we have experienced some extraordinary weather conditions, with 2012 no exception.
It has led many people to wonder if our weather really is getting worse.
The year started with storms and gale-force winds tearing across much of the UK, before our driest spring in a century left 35 million people in the UK suffering from drought.
The climate campaigners should be given a medal for their outstanding bravery and public service, not prison sentences
What if, instead of giving Marie Curie and Alexander Fleming Nobel prizes for their life-saving work on radiation and penicillin, they'd been thrown in jail? Or, instead of being awarded the Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur for his work on the germ theory of disease, Louis Pasteur was imprisoned like Napoleon on Elba?
It would be perverse to return the favour of great, public works by depriving people of their freedom. Yet that is just what we're doing in Britain right now. The contributions of the people above were remarkable, but how much greater is the challenge of preserving a readily habitable climate, and how thankful should we be to those prepared to throw their life's energy and creativity at the task?
The answer according to the British establishment currently is not at all. Their response is the kind of gratitude a Caesar might hand-out to an innocent messenger on receiving unwelcome news. He throws them first into court, and then possibly into prison. In early March many celebrated when the state-backed French energy company EDF dropped a £5m civil lawsuit against climate campaigns who occupied one of the company's gas-fired power stations for several days in 2012.
The case was seen as an attempt to intimidate and therefore frighten-off other campaigners, and the victory therefore an important signal. Less noticed, however, was that many of the campaigners still face criminal charges in relation to the occupation. Faced by a magistrates court, with no jury to appeal to on the wider issues, several pled guilty to charges of aggravated trespass. Due for sentencing on 6 June, they could be the first people in the UK sent to prison for acting to prevent global warming.
Click source and be the first to inform Andrew Simms that there IS NO GLOBAL WARMING!!!
A very cringeworthy YouTube from a group of AGW supporters....its over an hour long and something to look at when you feel like cutting your toe nails! Listen to the confusion about how much sea level will rise by 2050. It is of interest in as much the group draw spurious conclusions and feed off each other to keep their AGW belief system going. The frightening thing for me is that these type of debates are common....mind you don't cut your toe nails too short!
Our old friend the Telegraph blogger, one-trick wind farm whinger and Prospective Parliamentary less-than-entirely-Candidate for Corby, the far-Right-but-less-than-entirely-Honourable James Delingpole, has an article in the Mail.
The content is, at first glance, the same as his blogs, with the usual list of misrepresentations and fabrications, but this itself is misleading. This piece actually represents a complete reversal of James’s most deeply held beliefs. Whilst there was no obvious difference in his political opinions – climate change is a Marxist conspiracy organised by the Met Office on behalf of the BBC – there is a far more fundamental revision happening.
He still believes that Greenpeace is actually a long-term KGB sleeper cell dedicated to bringing about the new, communist world order. Billionaire climatologists are still sucking the national economy dry with their relentless and fraudulent demands for research grants, just as wind turbines suck electricity out of the national grid and are the greatest crime against humanity since the flood. (The original flood, that is – the recent floods were invented by the Met Office as part of their evil plot, and in fact ‘there has been nothing particularly abnormal about the recent rain’ as there were ‘two years, 1872 and 1768, wetter than the supposed record-breaking year of 2012’. In fact, the Met Office figures show that 2000 was wetter than 2012, but James is trying to prove that the UK is not getting wetter, and so ignores the actual record-breaking year due to its inconveniently recent occurrence). ‘Scientists’, environmentalists and most of all the shadowy power behind the throne, the BBC, remain the true face of evil in the world.
Attenborough’s claim that humanity is a plague is silly and dangerous. When natural historians use their knowledge to try to explain the human, social world and its problems, it’s almost always dangerously wrong. It is presented as a ‘scientific’, empirical approach, but is deeply ideological.
The Telegraph’s resident Gaia-botherer, Louise Gray has a short piece on neoMalthusian anti-baby campaigner, David Attenborough.
The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources. He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times. Sir David, who is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries. “We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”
Exclusive: New draft guidelines for key stages 1 to 3 criticised by scientists for 'abdicating duty to future generations
Debate about climate change has been cut out of the national curriculum for children under 14, prompting claims of political interference in the syllabus by the government that has failed "our duty to future generations".
The latest draft guidelines for children in key stages 1 to 3 have no mention of climate change under geography teaching and a single reference to how carbon dioxide produced by humans impacts on the climate in the chemistry section. There is also no reference to sustainable development, only to the "efficacy of recycling", again as a chemistry subject.
The move has caused alarm among climate campaigners and scientists who say teaching about climate change in schools has helped mobilise young people to be the most vociferous advocates of action by governments, business and society to tackle the issue...
..."If all of these aren't issues for geography classes, then where should they be taught?" asked King. "It would be absurd if the issues around environmental pollution weren't core to the curriculum.I think we would be abdicating our duty to future generations if we didn't teach these things in the curriculum."
The draft contrasts with the existing curriculum: under the heading of geography, there are several mentions of the interdependence of humans and their environment and the impact of that on change, including "environmental change". The current syllabus explicitly discusses sustainable development and "its impact on environmental interaction and climate change".