Thursday, 25 October 2007

Global warming pt. 2

Since my post about why global warming is bollocks, I have been doing a little digging. Nothing too strenuous, you understand. But a degree of digging nonetheless.

My starting point, perfectly understandable given my extreme old age, was that in the 1970s it was widely believed that we were imminently at risk from a new Ice Age. Now, on the other hand, we are equally at risk of being fried alive.

What caused these doom-laden predictions to be swung through 180 degrees so that, rather than being encased in ice sheets two-miles thick, we now apparently face being variously boiled alive or drowned by rising sea-levels as the ice-caps melt?

My first discovery was that among the earliest advocates of the new ice age was a man called James Hansen. Appealingly, he has since emerged – surely not following the money? – as one of the prime prophets of global warming. Nonetheless, in 1971 he devised a computer program that made plain that the world was heading for a 'disastrous new ice age.' You can read about it here.

It strikes me that Hansen has got his bases covered in a pretty shrewd way. Frozen or boiled? Hardly matters. We are all doomed anyway. And he's the man who told us. That's what I call far-sighted.

Yet intriguingly – and it will be interesting to see if Hansen is obliged to flip-flop back to his original domesday scenario – it seems a growing body of opinion is now emerging to suggest that it is an ice age after all that will do for us. As scientific ignoramus No. 1, I am scarcely in a position to judge. But this article kind of rings a bell, however silly it may be about Prince Philip (I mean, perhaps he did arrange for Princess Diana's death: but I don't think even Fayed would claim he is to blame for global warming).

An even better historical perspective is to be found here.

None of which changes my basic objection to the high priests of climate change. Which is (other than the fact that they are socialists, of course), they haven't got the foggiest idea what is going to happen.

They are guessing. If you can't predict what the weather will be next week, how can you know what it will be in 50 years' time? It is equally obvious that they are driven by headlines. If I was pitching for a government grant to study the world's weather, I suspect I would be more likely to get the money if I came up with something along the lines of Catastrophe Looms: Humanity Faces Extinction! as opposed to I'd Just Like To Try To Know More But Please Bear In Mind That I Am Dealing With A Vast and Near Infinitely Complex Subject No One Understands (except James Hansen).

One of the biggest sticks used to beat us round the head by the climate change believers is that there is a 'consensus' among the scientific community that man-made global warming is not just happening but that its causes are known. Leaving aside – to the extent that I can claim to understand it – the point that 'consensus' is antithetical to scientific understanding, there have been plenty of other such consensi that were wrong. Galileo may be the prime example, but those eminent men of medicine who argued in the 19th century that typhoid was caused by vapours rather than germs in water are no less striking an example, not least as they believed that the science was on their side.

In other words, no one knows. And anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or stupid. Or, more probably, both.


Saltburn subversives said...


Hope you were wearing stout boots when you were doing all that digging.

Meanwhile you might find this interesting...

The Creator said...

Dear Mr Saltburn,

Damn it! I was only wearing socks!


By the way, the link didn't work.

Can you re-send it?


(aka the Clunking Sock, on Fridays the Clunking Pair of Comfy Slippers)

Saltburn subversives said...

Greetings dear Thomas

Roll on friday eh? Comfy slippers sound like a good idea...

Sorry about the link, blogger seems to cut them off sometimes, if you just but l on the end of htm, it should work.. anyway it's from a blog called "Notes from the panopticon" which shouldn't be hard to find...

Enjoy those slippers!