The author of Chill explains why he’s sceptical about manmade global warming — and why greens are so intolerant.
The science around climate change is not as settled as it’s presented as being. I used to think it was, until about 2003 – and then, feeling that the remedies being proposed for climate change would be more damaging to the environment than climate change itself, I took it upon myself to look at the science.
In my book on biodiversity, Beyond Conservation
, I had mentioned in one of the chapters that perhaps the man-made global warming theory was not all it was being cracked up to be. The changes we are seeing now, I wrote, suggested that some other processes were at work. I then took time out, visited the science libraries, and checked the original science upon which today’s models are based.
I was shocked by what I found. Firstly, there’s no real consensus among the scientists in the UN working groups, especially around oceanography and atmospheric physics. The atmospheric physics of carbon dioxide for example is presented as being pretty straightforward: it is a greenhouse gas, therefore it warms up the planet. But even that isn’t settled. There’s a huge amount of scientific disagreement on how much extra heating in the atmosphere you will get from carbon dioxide. It is even broadly accepted that carbon dioxide on its own is not a problem. So, you can double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and get half to one degree warming, which is within the natural variability range over a period of 50 years from now at the current rate of emissions.