Sunday, March 17th 2013, 1:06 PM EDT
This graph shows the end of the world isn’t nigh. But for anyone – like myself – who has been vilified for holding such an unfashionable view, possibly the most important thing about it is its source: the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Since its creation in 1988, the IPCC has been sounding the alarm about man-made global warming. Yet here, in a draft of its latest report, is a diagram overlaying the observed temperature of the earth on its predictions.
The graph shows a world stubbornly refusing to warm. Indeed, it shows the world is soon set to be cooler.
The awkward fact is that the earth has warmed just 0.5 degrees over the past 50 years. And Met Office records show that for the past 16 years temperatures have plateaued and, if anything, are going down.
As the graph shows, the longer this goes on, the more the actual, real-world temperature record will diverge from the IPCC’s doom-laden prediction.
Yet this prediction is used to justify the ugly wind farms spoiling our countryside and billions in unnecessary ‘green’ taxes that make our industry less competitive and add up to £100 a year to household energy bills.
Man-made global warming has become scientific orthodoxy, with no room for dissent. Tragically, the traditional caution of my brethren has gone out of the window along with the concept of sceptical peer reviewing to test new theories.
Opponents of man-made global warming are regarded as dangerous heretics, as I learnt to my cost. Soon after the IPCC was created, I was invited to what is now the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Exeter to hear a presentation on global warming.
As the face of natural history on the BBC and a science academic, they wanted to enrol me in their cause. But when I read the so-called evidence, I realised it was flawed and refused to ‘sign up’.
I rapidly found myself cast out from the BBC and the wider scientific community. When I helped some children campaign against a wind farm as part of a Blue Peter programme, I was publicly vilified. Abusive emails criticised me. I realised my career at the BBC was over.
But scientific theory should be tested. That’s why I question the science which casts carbon as the villain that will bring about the end of the world.
Geology tells us that fossil fuels are predominantly carbon which was part of our atmosphere before being locked away in the earth millions of years ago. At that time, there were more than 4,000 carbon parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere. Over time this has been as low as 270ppm and is now about 385ppm.
It is obvious the world can live with these fluctuations in the level of atmospheric carbon.
There is a correlation between temperature and CO2, but some of my colleagues have put the cart before the horse.
The evidence shows CO2 levels follow temperature, not the other way around.
Indeed, there may be many factors that determine our climate. Australian scientist David Archibald has shown a remarkable correlation between the sun’s activity and our climate over the past 300 years. Climate scientists insist we must accept the ‘carbon’ orthodoxy or be cast into the wilderness.
But the scientists behind the theory have a vested interest – it’s a great way to justify new taxes, get more money and guarantee themselves more work.
The reality is that man-made global warming is a myth: the global temperature is well within life’s limits and, indeed, the present day is cooler by comparison to much of Earth’s history. Perhaps this will be the moment that this fact becomes the new scientific orthodoxy.