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.
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!
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!!!
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.
OVER the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO₂ put there by humanity since 1750. And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, “the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.”
Temperatures fluctuate over short periods, but this lack of new warming is a surprise. Ed Hawkins, of the University of Reading, in Britain, points out that surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range of projections derived from 20 climate models (see chart 1). If they remain flat, they will fall outside the models’ range within a few years.
The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now. It does not mean global warming is a delusion. Flat though they are, temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century remain almost 1°C above their level in the first decade of the 20th. But the puzzle does need explaining.
The mismatch might mean that—for some unexplained reason—there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-10. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period. Or, as an increasing body of research is suggesting, it may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.
Click source to read FULL article, I'm sure if The Economist look hard enough they may find what they are looking for!
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.
Esha Marhawa from west London says she is outraged that climate change has been scaled back in national curriculum
Over 12,000 people have signed a petition started by a 15-year-old girl to keep climate change in the national curriculum for under 14-year-olds. Esha Marhawa from Hounslow in west London said she was outraged that the draft key stage 3 geography curriculum for English schools had vastly scaled back discussion of the phenomenon.
"Climate change is the most pressing and threatening issue to modern-day society. Through lack of understanding from generations before us, we are having to fix it. And how can we do this without education?" she wrote in a Guardian blog on Tuesday, which echoed the petition to the education secretary, Michael Gove, on the website change.org.
"Our government, part of the generation who bear much of the responsibility for this problem, intends to not only fail to act on climate change themselves but to obscure the truth from children and young people. It is outrageous that Michael Gove can even consider the elimination of climate change education for under-14s. We must keep climate change in the curriculum in order for young people take on this challenge of tackling the threat posed by our changing climate," Marhawa wrote.
The petition, which was earlier gathering over 500 signatures an hour, has been signed by teachers, pupils and lecturers. One Leeds teacher commented: "I teach undergraduates and study for my PhD in a geography department. Like Esha, me and my students owe our passion for researching, understanding, preventing climate change - the defining challenge of our generation - to lessons first learned in school. The government wouldn't dream of letting young people leave school without a modicum of skills for economic survival. It smacks of hypocrisy that learning about sustainability and building a skill and knowledge base for our longevity as a species is of such a low priority by comparison.
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.
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".
The conservative movement and especially its think tanks play a critical role in denying the reality and significance of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), especially by manufacturing uncertainty over climate science. Books denying AGW are a crucial means of attacking climate science and scientists, and we examine the links between conservative think tanks (CTTs) and 108 climate change denial books published through 2010.
We find a strong link, albeit noticeably weaker for the growing number of self-published denial books. We also examine the national origins of the books and the academic backgrounds of their authors or editors, finding that with the help of American CTTs climate change denial has spread to several other nations and that an increasing portion of denial books are produced by individuals with no scientific training.
It appears that at least 90% of denial books do not undergo peer review, allowing authors or editors to recycle scientifically unfounded claims that are then amplified by the conservative movement, media, and political elites.