According to the newspapers a ‘cabal of sceptics’ and ‘dinosaurs’ descended on London on Climate Fools Day. I actually attended the Climate Fools Day meeting in the House of Commons on 27th October 2010, unlike the mainstream media who stayed away.
In the UK, a few politicians are just realizing that in 5 years time (around the time of the next election) about one third of the UK power stations will be FORCED to close to meet strict new European Union Pollution (CO2 emissions) rules.
One of these politicians is Graham Stringer MP, he is on the Science and Technology Committee in the House of Commons, his concern is for the poor. It is perhaps now dawning on some other backbench MP’s that ‘keeping the lights’ on, may be more important than ‘saving the planet’ in 50 – 100 years time, to the majority of general public that actually vote for them.
So who are the Climate Fools?
According to Climate Sense they were the 620 UK Members of Parliament from across all political parties that in 2008 voted for the Climate Change Act that committed the UK to 80% reductions in CO2 emissions by 2050. The UK was the first country in the world and remains the only country to commit to this level of reductions, which has had massive implications to energy policy and investment in energy production in the UK.
Only 4 MP’s voted against the Act, only one MP Peter Lilley queried the costs:
“Neither Parliament nor most of the media bothered to discuss the cost of one of the most immense projects ever adopted in this country”
As the bill was passed, it was brought to the attention of the House of Commons that for the first time in over 73 years snow was falling in October in London.
Thus, on the 2nd anniversary of the 2008 Climate Change Act, there were two events in the UK Houses of Parliament that were of interest to ‘climate sceptics’, ‘climate heretics’, ‘lukewarmers’ ‘climate deniers’ and ‘climate dinosaurs’ alike. Climate Fools Day and the Science & Technology Select Committee (including Graham Stringer MP) were interviewing Acton, Davies and Sir Muir Russell about some of the discrepancies of the various UK Climategate inquiries.
According to Jens Robdrup, the founder of Climate Sense and the Reverend Philip Foster, the intention of Climate Fools Day (sponsored by Graham Stringer MP, Sammy Wilson MP) was the launch of a campaign to lobby the politicians with the intent to repeal the Climate Change Act.
As no single UK politician, at the time of voting or since has ANY real idea of how to actually achieve the UK and EU targets for CO2 emissions.
The Climate Sense group is made up of Copenhagen Climate Challenge,
and the Campaign Against Carbon Capitalism
,who previously sent the Copenhagen Challenge to the UN and recently to Prince Charles on the behalf of climate sceptics. The challenge asked the UN and the Prince, who has accused sceptics of “peddling pseudo science”, to prove climate change is happening and is signed by 166 scientists. (including Anthony Watts, Bob Carter, Vincent Gray, Richard Lindzen, Nils-Axel Morner, Ian Plimer, Fred Singer and David Bellamy)
My thoughts of the Climate Fools Meeting
It was a small enthusiastic, slightly eccentric looking meeting of about 70 people – aimed at persuading MP’s of the folly of the Climate Change Act, (they needed a bigger room than originally planned) Graham Stringer was not there, still busy with the outcome of the morning’s select committee meeting, but according to the Telegraph and the organizers he is now a climate sceptic MP.
Graham Capper: Copenhagen Climate Challenge – acted as the chair
Jens Robdrup: Founder of Climate Sense
Discussed Denmark’s experience with Green Wind farm technology, spoke first describing the Danish experience with wind farms. Talking about the highest energy bills in Europe, massive costs, subsidies and failure of energy policy and that all the promised green jobs seemed to have been created in China.
Revd Philip Foster – Climate Sense – A retired English vicar.
He is author of “While the Earth Endures: Creation Cosmology and Climate Change”
(he is also the UK publisher of – Climategate: the CRUtape Letters)
He spoke enthusiastically and confidently about the earth’s previous climate, and how current temperatures were neither unprecedented nor dangerous. He had read the morning headlines
Guardian: Cabal of climate sceptics to descend on UK parliament
Telegraph: Climate sceptics launch campaign to overturn green targets
Telegraph: “These guys are a remnant group of dinosaurs trying to argue something while frankly the public and political debate has moved on.” from Bob Ward, Policy and Communicatios Director, Grantham Institute.
Revd Philip Foster started with
“Fellow dinosaurs, deniars, flat-earthers we are here today to encourage the Member’s of Parliament to repeal the Climate Change Act”.
He spoke well and confidentally, I imagine 30 years in the pulpit gives very good public speaking skills. He talked about past climate, demonstrating that the climate today was neither unprecedented or a concern.
Revd Philip Foster finished with:
“Belief and Trust is for GOD, Scepticism is for Scientists”
Piers Corbyn: astrophysicist, founder and director of Weather Action long range forecasting
Piers spoke about how the Sun drove the earth’s weather and climate not CO2, he gave a good presentation in front of a receptive audience. He receives a very bad press from the CAGW http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/sep/21/climate-sceptics-evidence-gullible
‘consensus’ media as he is all to easily described by them as a ‘climate denying’ eccentric scientist, (with appropriate hair) but the fact is Weather Action http://www.weatheraction.com/pages/pv.asp?p=wact5
seems to outperform the ‘warmist’ UK Met Office medium and long term weather forecasting, the UK Met Office no longer actively promotes their seasonal forecasts, such was the public and press laughter at their recent ‘barbecue summer’ and ‘wet and mild’ winter predictions.
Piers demonstrated in his presentation that the IPCC computer model predictions/scenarios for temperatures were higher than actual temperatures in the 21st century.
Peter Gill: Physicist
He described how CO2 has had a bad press, neither toxic nor a pollutant. He covered issues like different definitions of CO2 ‘residence time’, actual amounts of anthropogenic CO2 vs biomass and oceans. The fact that the IPCC have a preference for low ice core figures for the amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, against over 90,000 historic direct measurements of percentages of CO2 in the atmosphere.
One interesting point of discussion was if the IPCC’s definition of CO2 residence time was correct, where had all the anthropogenic CO2 gone. He argues that the “variability of emissions and absorption by natural processes exceeds current anthropogenic emissions.”
Christopher Booker: Veteran Sunday Telegraph Columnist
(author: The Real Global Warming Scandal)
Spoke against the burdensome costs of renewables, including wind farms and solar in the UK and the Costs of the Climate Change Bill, 18.4 billion a year until 2050. He also spoke about the coming Energy gap in the UK, due to the coming closure (2015) of power stations due to the EU CO2 Emissions regulations.
His articles below best describe his presentation.
Renewables will add £880 a year to bills
The Thanet wind farm will milk us for billions
Britain’s Energy Policy is in crisis
Christopher Booker went into a detailed analysis about the craziness and vast cost and subsidies of the dash to wind farm technologies in the UK. He gave a convincing case that the dash to green technology would be ruinous for the UK economy. His fellow journalist James Delingpole, summarized the costs of the Climate Change act, in his Climate Fools Day blog article.
Sammy Wilson (DUP MP): Former Northern Ireland Environment Minister
Sammy was the MP that sponsored the meeting, and thanked everyone for attending.
He told some anecdotes of his time as Environment minister in Northern Ireland, including his experience when he refused to allow the now notorious ‘Bedtime Stories’ TV Ad, to be shown in Northern Ireland, this was withdrawn in the rest of the UK following 900 complaints to ASA (they stopped accepting complaints after 900)http://www.asa.org.uk/Complaints-and-ASA-action/Adjudications/2010/3/Department-of-Energy-and-Climate-Change/TF_ADJ_48225.aspx
ACTONCO2 “Bedtime Stories” TV advertisement, October 2009
This TV ad was part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s, £6 million campaign – Act On CO2, which in the run up to Copenhagen, features a small child being told a bedtime story about the CO2 monster, including drowning cartoon puppies.
I know nothing about Northern Ireland politicians, but I applaud him for that act of political rebellion. Sammy also said he refused to sign up pledges on emission cuts in Northern Ireland, for the very pragmatic political reason, that he would be criticized for failing to meet the pledge, as no one had any idea how to practically achieve them. He explained this with a smile, which probably explains why he is no longer the NI Environment Minister. Sammy came across as a friendly lively Member of Parliament, who I think the backbench MP’s may start to listen to.
John O Sullivan: Climate Realists
Gave a short speech and presented a $10,000 cheque to Piers Corbyn, from a US publisher Stairway Press ( US publisher of A J Montford’s – The Hockey Stick Illusion) They had chosen the Climate Fools Day to present the inaugural Ernst-Georg Beck Award, this was not directly a part of Climate Fools Day, see Climate Realists for the detail.
Dr Ian Strangeways: expert in meteorological thermometry
In the final minutes, reiterated the basic greenhouse physics of a doubling of CO2 levels ( ie an increase of 1.0C + or – 0.5C, his main interest is instrumentation, error skewing results in the temperature data sets and issues like thermometer shrinkage causing an increase in readings over time in the historic datasets.
Both Piers Corbyn and Peter Gill gave their presentations at a Climate Fools Day conference at Imperial College the following day, with the BBC’s Roger Harrabin attending.
How was Climate Fools day perceived in Parliament?
The meeting had run out of time for a Q & A session, though a hearty debate continued in the corridors of parliament, before a large group went off to the nearest pub.
Two of the invited Members of Parliament failed to turn up, possibly these more prominent MP’s in the declared ‘green’ coalition government had been scared away from associating with sceptics and dinosaurs, because of the newspapers articles written prior to the meeting.
The meeting and presentation (slides, presentation skills, budget) were not a patch on the extremely well funded lobby groups like Greenpeace, WWF, that can afford in-house and external green PR professionals, which in the past means politicians will have dismissed them as amateurs, whilst of course the contradictory mantra of a well funded Climate Change fossil fuel deniers meme is rolled out at every opportunity.
If any passing MP’s or journalist were brave enough to look inside they perhaps might have chuckled and thought what were this group doing (average age 55 – to be kind) and perhaps have dismissed then as ’climate dinosaurs’.
A year ago, I might have thought the same about a retired mining engineer with a blog and a certain retired US TV weatherman’s website. Then On 20th Of November of last year, I followed a link from a UK motoring forum, to Watts Up and then had a read of Harry_read_me.txt for myself.
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=205&t=775382&mid=990&i=0&nmt=Climate Cat out of the Bag? Potentially dynamite revelations&mid=990
It has been reported that UK Energy Ministers only have meetings with Energy Companies lobbying for subsidies, and the environment groups like Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Erath, Oxfam, Christian Aid, etc (tip – Bishop Hill)
The organizers of Climate Fools day intend to hold further meetings at the House of Commons, to explain to the MPs about a sceptical point of view. It may take a while for the leaderships of the political parties to move outside of the protective ‘green’ lobbying bubble that they have inhabited for a decade. I do believe that backbench MPs will start to listen to ‘Climate Sense’ as the economic consequence of the Climate Change act are becoming clear.
Climate Change (man made) in the Political context of the UK
One year ago, pre Copenhagen, the Labour Party had been in power for 13 years, the leadership of all UK political parties were convinced about climate change, the Climate Change Act had been passed. The European Union was pressing for ever wider ties between nation states and carbon taxation was considered a good means to raise an EU tax. The EU was trying to lead the world in unilateral emissions cuts and is berating the United States of America and other nations for failing in this area.
The Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Ed Milliband used rhetoric such as:
Flat Earther, Sceptics, Climate Deniers, Anti science and worryingly Climate Saboteurs.
Gordon Brown went to Copenhagen saying ’50 days to save the planet’.
A year on from Copenhagen – There is a new UK government, a Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government, that finds that it actually has to do something soon, not a convenient decade or 2 away. There are now a few sceptical politicians, so as the age of austerity, massive UK budget deficit, the realities of the energy gap hit home, more politicians may start to take notice of these sceptical colleagues.
Over 6 million people in the UK are defined already as suffering from fuel poverty,
the dash to immature green technologies underwritten by massive subsidies will push energy bills for these poor and vulnerable people ever higher.
Or perhaps the populations of the developing countries will reject catastrophic (man made) climate change. Rev Philip Foster spoke that the governments in the developing world saw that the West would look after their own interests at Copenhagen, the poor of those countries already knew they would never have actually seen any of the Western money anyway. It would have just disappeared into developing countries governmental elites pockets or absorbed into the NGO’s
I personally would love the super rich Al Gore to have a debate, about the effects of Climate Change Legislation on millions of the world’s poorest people, with someone like the Rev. Philip Foster. He worked with the poor as a teacher in Africa in the 70’s and keeps in contact with former pupils from Africa (one now a Professor of Geography) he is equally concerned for the UK poor and for the untold millions of the world’s poorest in developing nations who will be denied cheap energy and held in poverty, for the romantic environmentalist notion of ‘saving the planet’ for future generations, whilst ignoring the reality now for the poor.
Some MP’s like Graham Stringer, who are now in political opposition to a declared ‘green’ coalition government are now concerned by the future implications of the Climate Change Act on the poorest most vulnerable members of their constituencies and in UK society and perhaps finally they will take a harder look at the science and at the lobbying of the environmentalist advocacy groups. .
As a ‘Climate Cynic’, I imagine that quite soon the short term concern of being re-elected will force his fellow politicians to re-look at IPCC consensus climate change and address these concerns.
A Public Climate Fools debate held at Imperial College.
Climate Realists have some articles and photographs of the day, and their own perspective of Climate Fools Day, at the links below. (a full video will follow, according to Piers Corbyn)