Millionaire Chris Huhne finds new ways to waste your money

I’ve been trying to think which politician on earth I would rather have less in a cabinet post in the current Coalition than Chris Huhne. And with the possible exception of Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il or Salma “Mrs Duckham” Yaqoob, I really can’t think of any.

Here he is this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme talking from Luxembourg where he is at a summit of European Environment Ministers. Apparently blithely unaware how hard up we all are and how we’re on the brink of a double dip recession, multi-millionaire Chris “Seven houses” Huhne is demanding that the EU jeopardises its recovery still further by hampering business and consumers with even stiffer carbon emissions reductions targets.

Where before the EU was committed to 20 per cent CO2 reductions within ten years, Huhne now wants it increased to 30 per cent. According to the EU’s calculations this will only cost another 11 billion Euros extra: 11 billion Euros being, of course, a mere bagatelle to a man as loaded as Chris Huhne.

But why spend all this money in the first place? Because, according to Huhne, if the CO2 reduction figure stays at 20 per cent, it

Makes it all the more risky that we will not be able to keep global temperatures below the two degree limit which scientists reckon to be the real danger point at which we tip into potentially disastrous weather events.

Every word of that statement is the most fantastical bilge and the fact that Huhne was capable of uttering it in a clear, confident voice shows just what a dangerously ill-informed zealot the man is.

The “two degree limit” is an entirely arbitrary figure devised by EU bureaucrats. If global temperatures were to rise by twice that amount, the benefits would far outweigh the downsides in terms of improved crop growth, lower morbidity due to milder winters, increased rainfall, and so on.

Extreme weather events do NOT increase with global temperature rises.

The precise relationship between CO2 and global temperatures is still ill-understood by scientists. They don’t even know how much of the increased CO2 in the atmosphere is anthropogenic and how much has been released from the oceans as a result of warming periods many hundreds of years ago.

The idea that “scientists” – whoever “scientists” are – believe that whether the EU can cut its plant food (aka CO2) production by 20 per cent or 30 per cent will make the blindest bit of difference to “climate change” is absurd beyond measure.

Chris Huhne is a man so dangerous and wrong in every way, and his presence in the Cabinet so stinging an indictment of Dave Cameron’s judgement and of the shoddiness of his compromise with the slimy Liberal Democrats that it almost makes one yearn for the happy, enlightened governance of Ed Balls, John Prescott and Stephen Byers. In fact I do: come back New Labour, all will be forgiven, just so long as you promise to cast the dreadful Huhne into outer darkness. (Oh, and Vince Cable, please).

28 thoughts on “Millionaire Chris Huhne finds new ways to waste your money”

  1. “They don’t even know how much of the increased CO2 in the atmosphere is anthropogenic and how much has been released from the oceans as a result of warming periods many hundreds of years ago.”

    Complete rubbish: “Measurements of carbon isotopes and falling oxygen in the atmosphere show that rising carbon dioxide is due to the burning of fossil fuels and cannot be coming from the ocean.”

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-coming-from-ocean.htm

    “The idea that “scientists” – whoever “scientists” are – believe that whether the EU can cut its plant food (aka CO2) production by 20 per cent or 30 per cent will make the blindest bit of difference to “climate change” is absurd beyond measure.”

    It’s about managing risk. More C02 = greater risk of catastrophe.

  2. Unfortunately for your hypothesis, A. Phillips, the isotope balance and falling oxygen observations are not explained so simply. Suggest you read E.M Smith’s take on the isotope balance argument. Search for “Chiefio”. He pretty comprehensively demolishes it.

    As for your last statement about managing risk and “More C02 = greater risk of catastrophe.”, we are still arguing using abstruse and exotic statistical measures about how much or even if any warming has occurred due to slightly increased CO2. Any effect from CO2 is extremely difficult to discern, let alone predict catastrophe from.

    Also James is quite correct, even if we all agreed (which will be around about when Hell freezes over) that a little extra CO2 was a problem, none of the measures proposed, including having the EU commit to a 30% cut instead of 20%, will have any measurable effect and are therefore pointless.

  3. Mike,

    EM Smith is a blogger, who describes himself as a ‘technical managerial sort.’ His claims have not been peer reviewed, or subject to any kind of scientific scrutiny. He has not demolished anything.

    We can argue about mitigation, targets etc. – those are political questions.But pretending there is no risk (against the strong weight of evidence) is not a valid position at all.

  4. I think you’ll find the guy running the skeptical science site is a blogger also. What makes his opinions worth more than E.M.Smith’s?

    As for evidence – what evidence? There is no evidence at all that CO2 is causing anything at all.

  5. Mike, that was a guest article by an oceanographer. That doesn’t mean he’s right, of course, but he’s familiar with the science, and he explained it very clearly, and also raised a serious problem for Chiefio et al: What happens to the 30 billion tonnes of C02 we release each year, by burning fossil fuels? If it’s not accumulating in the atmosphere, or dissolving into the oceans (another very serious problem), where does it go?

    Before you say, “plant food” please consider:

    “…Land use and biomass changes certainly soak up a lot of CO2, some it simply regrowth of forests etc, but the point is that the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere clearly demonstrates that they do not soak up enough.”

    “There is no evidence at all that CO2 is causing anything at all.”

    Yes there is. Ignoring it does not make it go away.

  6. Every word of this article is the most fantastical bilge and the fact that Delingpole was capable of writing it in a clear, confident style shows just what a dangerously ill-informed zealot the man is.

  7. Fine arguements all. But ‘selectively’ choosing research and conclusions that agree with your own philosophy, though human, is quite adolescent. Awaken to open-minded research and decisions, and please use some common sense, if any is left in this world. If all the maximum reductions in CO2 emissions were met, the reduction in global temperature would be so slight as to be completely insignificant. And that fact comes from thousands who are peer reviewed. Wait. I apologize for using that term, since it has come to be defined as ”Reviewed by peers who agree with me.”

    Yes, man has done some air polluting, and some terrible land and water polluting. But when it comes to global warming and climate change, a phenomenon much more complicated and mysterious than many are willing to admit, nature is in control, not man. Mankind should spend his efforts and money adapting, for world and local climates will continue to change, in all different unexpected ways, regardless his activities.

    Remove self-loathing and politics from AGW and Climate Change, and you have a background story of scientific arguements over when cooling will replace warming. Hmmmm.

  8. James, a game-changing must read IMHO:

    2010 Antarctica Peer-Reviewed Research: Ice Core Data Confirms Medieval Period Warmer Than Present

    http://www.c3headlines.com/2010/06/2010-antarctica-peerreviewed-research-ice-core-data-confirms-medieval-period-warmer-than-present.html

    “Scientists using the latest analysis techniques, conducted a high resolution analysis of the ice core retrieved from Antarctica’s Dome C station. The Dome C is located on the eastern half of Antarctica, on the polar plateau with an elevation of 10,607 feet. (The more well-known Vostok polar station is located on the same plateau at a similar elevation.)

    What did this new high resolution analysis determine?

    1. The Medieval Warming period had temperatures that approached 1°C higher than current temperatures, in spite of lower CO2 levels.
    2. The Minoan Warming period had temperatures that possibly exceeded current temperatures by 1°C, in spite of lower CO2 levels.
    3. The previous interglacial period, approximately 130,000 years ago, had temperatures in excess of 4°C versus current temperatures, in spite of lower CO2 levels.

    Clearly, the new ice core data indicates that natural climate variations caused huge temperature variations in the past. Based on this empirical climate science, it would be safe to conclude that current climate changes are predominantly driven by natural forces, not human CO2 trace gas emissions.”

  9. orkneylad – As I understand them, I’m not sure that these results allow you “safe(ly) to conclude that current climate changes are predominantly driven by natural forces, not human CO2 trace gas emissions.” I’d be more comfortable with “this research strongly disconfirms the theory that current climate changes are predominantly driven by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.” I know it’s a small point, but habitual false confirmation lies at the heart of M-B-P, (as A. Phillips obliges us by demonstrating) and we denialisti need to avoid the same trap.

  10. orkneylad

    “Clearly, the new ice core data indicates that natural climate variations caused huge temperature variations in the past. Based on this empirical climate science, it would be safe to conclude that current climate changes are predominantly driven by natural forces, not human CO2 trace gas emissions”

    The argument is logically invalid, even if the premise were true. Otherwise the following argument of the same form would be correct:

    ‘The Black Death in the middle ages is estimated to have killed more of Europe’s population than World War 2. This means that deaths during World War 2 were not unusual, and hence must be due to natural causes, not man-made’

    Tom Forrester-Paton,

    Your semantics fail to improve things.

  11. The medieval warm period being warmer than today for one thing discredits Michael Mann and his colleagues who came up with the “hockey stick” graph. Thus another pillar of CAGW theory collapses. Plus the fact that CO2 only accounts for 3.3C of the alleged total GHG effect (water vapour accounts for the other ~30C that the earth is warmer than it should be). Doubling of CO2 from pre- industril levels will only add at most 0.5C. Hardly anything to worry about.

    As for comparing the black death to WWII, that is the most useless argument I have ever seen. Clearly, most deaths in WWII were caused by millitary action and were therefore human caused deaths, we have historical and media proof of this. The Black Death was due to a biological infection of some kind, however, which agent was the cause is unsure.

    There is no real evidence at all that CO2 levels in the future can cause catastrophic warming. Certainly no evidence for this in the geologic record of climate versus past CO2 levels. However, there is plenty of geologic evidence to suggest that our climate is currently nearly as warm as it can get being at or near the end of an interglacial period and that the climate can naturally get warmer than it currently is without harming any ecosystems.
    Therefore the most likely climate change is to a colder climate, and this is the change that is to be feared. Cold, not warmth hold the real danger for life on Earth and our civilisation in the future.

  12. John of Kent,

    As for comparing the black death to WWII, that is the most useless argument I have ever seen.

    I think that’s the point.

    We could rewrite orkneylad’s post thus – “Clearly, the new ice core data indicates that natural climate variations caused huge temperature variations in the past. Based on this empirical climate science, it would be safe to conclude that natural climate variations caused huge temperature variations in the past.”

    Now that makes sense.

    There is no real evidence at all that CO2 levels in the future can cause catastrophic warming. Certainly no evidence for this in the geologic record of climate versus past CO2 levels

    Google “K/T boundary”.

    Doubling of CO2 from pre- industril levels will only add at most 0.5C. Hardly anything to worry about.”

    Google “positive feedback”. As you point out, water vapour is the main culprit.

  13. George, sorry, you are talking nonsense. There is more to scientific knowledge than making Google searches.

    The K-T boundry is evidence of the asteroid collision that killed the dinosaurs 76 or so million years ago. It is a layer of Iridium found around the world. Nothing to do with CO2. Iridium is a rare metal on the earth, common in asteroids.

    As for water vapour being a “culprit”- that is also nonsense. It merely makes the earths temperature stable and comfortable for life on earth. There has been no evidence of water vapour feedback causing catastrophic warming in the past when the earths climate was warmer. It cannot do so, or the earth’s climate would be so unstable that life would have been impossible.

    Also, water vapour if its alleged GHE fedback on itself then CO2 would not be needed for a catastrophie to occur. A temperature rise (from whatever cause) would evaporate more water from the sea into the atmosphere, this would cause more warming and set up a feedback of ever escalating temperatures and water vapour levels. This has never happened – CO2 or not- an can never happen for two reasons:-

    1) More water vapour forms more clouds (low level) this cools the climate.
    2) Clouds rain using up the energy in the hydrological cycle.

    There is the natural thermostat in the earths climate- clouds and rain. Basically weather.

    If you want to Google again see Dr Roy Spencer and Prof Richard Lindzen on these negative feedbacks. Also Ferenc Miskolczi on the saturated greenhouse effect.

    This means more CO2 added to the atmosphere has an ever diminishing effect. So called GHG’s do not “trap” energy they merely slow its progress to space. To claim otherwise goes against the laws of physics, in particular, thermodynamics.

    CO2 is vital for life on earth. It is the green gas. Add more CO2 to the atnosphere and nature will flourish. The so called “green: movement has attempted to turn the truth upside down for political ends.

  14. Tom Forrester-Paton says:
    “I’d be more comfortable with “this research strongly disconfirms the theory that current climate changes are predominantly driven by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.”

    Point taken, I agree that’s a more balanced statement.
    ____________
    George says:
    “The Black Death in the middle ages is estimated to have killed more of Europe’s population than World War 2. This means that deaths during World War 2 were not unusual, and hence must be due to natural causes, not man-made’”

    It’s not the same thing & you know it, your duncicality seems to know no bounds.

    Best,
    OL

  15. to add……
    Data of past event X shows past result Y, thereofore Y in present likely to be result of present event X.

    & your Black Death / WWII analogy:

    Past event X caused past result Y, & recent event P caused recent result Q. Ergo, Y = Q.
    dude, WTF?

  16. Hi John of Kent,

    I’ve included some links in this post, but I’ve removed the first ‘h’ from each one to prevent waiting for this post to be moderated.

    Actually the K-T boundary took place approx 65 million years ago. The impact of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs released vast amounts of CO2 from vaporising carbonate-rich rocks, pushing atmospheric CO2 levels up to approx 2,300ppm resulting in a climatic forcing of +12 W-m(-)2 that would have been sufficient to warm the Earth’s surface by 7.5°C, in the absence of counter forcing by sulfate aerosols. Paper here – ttp://www.pnas.org/content/99/12/7836.full.pdf+html

    You could also look up the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, which took place some 10 million years later. Same process, except this time probably as a result of methane released from the sea floor as a result of continental drift.

    Actually, there has been evidence of water vapour feedback causing catastrophic warming in the past. Here’s a study which highlights the importance of increased tropospheric humidity (water vapour) in amplifying a warming effect during the afforementioned Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum – ttp://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v432/n7016/full/nature03115.html

    Also, water vapour if its alleged GHE fedback on itself then CO2 would not be needed for a catastrophie to occur. A temperature rise (from whatever cause) would evaporate more water from the sea into the atmosphere, this would cause more warming and set up a feedback of ever escalating temperatures and water vapour levels. This has never happened…

    Actually that’s exactly what has happened. Past climate change provides excellent proof that climate sensitivity is high (probably around 3°C – ttp://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf) In fact, in order to explain previous changes in the global climate, we must account for positive feedbacks from a variety of sources, including water vapour. And it turns out that water vapour is in fact the largest positive feedback mechanism in the climate system – ttp://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI3799.1 A good example is he amplifying effect of water vapor that was observed in the global cooling after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, during which the cooling led to atmospheric drying which amplified the temperature drop – ttp://atoc.colorado.edu/~dcn/ATOC6020/papers/Soden_etal_727.pdf

    I’ve read a number of papers by both Spencer and Lindzen. Spencer’s work in particular seems important, however, nobody is denying the existence of negative feedbacks in the form of (for example) low-level clouds or mega-fauna. The question is whether negative feedbacks outweigh positive feedbacks. If they do, do you have another explanation for previous climate change?

    The same thoughts apply to Lindzen’s work, although I’m less assured of his ability. Ironically here’s Spencer critcising some of Lindzen’s work – ttp://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/03/spencer-on-lindzen-and-choi-climate-feedback-paper/

    Regarding CO2 saturation, observations continue to find an enhanced greenhouse effect as CO2 levels rise, see ttp://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html

    Yes there is a diminishing return but the effect is approximately proportional to the logarithm of the concentration, meaning there is no true saturation point. You might consider that Venus’ atmosphere is over 95% CO2 and its surface temperatures are almost 500°C. That makes it hotter than Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun. If CO2 had a saturation point Venus should have reached it a long time ago.

  17. Strong evidence for the Medieval warm period being warmer than today shows:-

    1) Climate does change, gets colder and warmer, does not need man and CO2 to do so, climate change is natural.
    2) The 1C warmer climate did not lead to water vapour feedbacks or any other catastrophie that the global warmers allege. Neither did it cause an asteroid to strike the earth and kill the dinosaurs all over again.
    3) The natural climate of the earth due to its normal energy balance during this interglacial may actually be warmer than current temperatures.
    4) What exactly is supposed to be the average climate temperature of the earth?? If such a concept even has any meaning.
    5) The human race flourished during the middle ages- due to the MWP. Warmer is better!
    6) Climate is almost never stable, change is the norm.

    Recent mild warming over the past 150 years merely represents a recovery from the Little Ice Age which was the catastrophic cooling phase that followed the MWP. This appears to have been due to changes in solar activity as there was a dip in recorded sunspots at this time.

  18. orkneylad,

    Don’t get yourself in a muddle.

    Past event X caused past result Y, & recent event P caused recent result Q. Ergo, Y = Q.
    dude, WTF?

    If Y = death, and Q = death, then I think it fair to say that Y = Q. Disagree?

    Let’s call bubonic plague ‘X’, and death ‘Y’.

    So, past event X caused past result Y, therefore Y in present likely to be result of present event X?

    Don’t think so.

    Watch your Ps and Qs; that’s not scepticism.

  19. George,

    Deaths from ‘viral’ event ‘X’ are not interchangeable with deaths from ‘war’ event ‘P’……I can only assume you’re just joking with me. 😉

    Your KTB link was interesting, however it appears their numerical work is all based on climate model simulation & not empirical observation of actual data. Since modelling & code is something I do have a lot of expertise in, I know it’s flaws & remain highly sceptical of results based on current methods of modelling conjecture.

    However, I’ve sent it off to my mum [MA geophys] for further analysis…….

    Best,
    OL

  20. Venus is another global warming myth. The high temperatures are due to the atmospheric pressure (95 atmospheres) and the length of the day heating the atmosphere directly and not to CO2 and the alleged GHE. Plus the suplhate clouds in the atmosphere are so thick that little sunlight gets to the surface to fuel any GHE. There is no water vapour on Venus. It is simply the sheer thickness of the atmosphere that causes Venus to be uniformly hot- which by the way

    As for alleged past water vapour feedback, this warming was not due to water vapour, as the feedbacks would have multiplied and fed back on themselves and led to the end of life on earth. So why did this not happen?? because it is impossible. The warming was due to changes in solar activity and to changes in solar insolation due to cloud cover changes. Water vapour is self limiting as I have said due to cloud formation. Read Lindzen and spencer again. Also look up Svensmark for more on clouds and solar activity and their role in the LIA.

    “The impact of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs released vast amounts of CO2 from vaporising carbonate-rich rocks, pushing atmospheric CO2 levels up to approx 2,300ppm resulting in a climatic forcing of +12 W-m(-)2 that would have been sufficient to warm the Earth’s surface by 7.5°C, in the absence of counter forcing by sulfate aerosols. Paper here – ttp://www.pnas.org/content/99/12/7836.full.pdf+html”

    That is not true, the dinosaurs were killed by the combustion of the atmosphere following the impact and by the impact winter due to dust and sulphates in the atmosphere causing a deep freeze. If you look further back in time, CO2 has at numerous times been at levels of 5000ppm during an ice age!

    “Actually that’s exactly what has happened. Past climate change provides excellent proof that climate sensitivity is high (probably around 3°C – -snmip- A good example is he amplifying effect of water vapor that was observed in the global cooling after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, during which the cooling led to atmospheric drying which amplified the temperature drop – ttp://atoc.colorado.edu/~dcn/ATOC6020/papers/Soden_etal_727.pdf


    No, the cooling was due to dust in the atmosphere for a couple of years. The atmosphere did not dry out that much! Sensitivity is low because more water vapour leads to more clouds which more than makes up for the alleged extra GHE. The references you gave have all come to the wrong conclusions based on the GHE dogma, and because it is an lazy way out for climatologists to blame GHG’s for everything where the truth is they really do not understand climate very well at all.

    Climate is driven by the sun and the stars and moderated by the oceans. there is no need to invoke imaginary “forcings” by CO2.

    Did you know that the greenhouse effect has never been proved?? It is only a speculative theory, and that physicists have recently published papers casting doubts upon the Arrenhius theory of greenhouse?

  21. orkneylad

    Deaths from ‘viral’ event ‘X’ are not interchangeable with deaths from ‘war’ event ‘P’

    Exactly. Which is why past warming from total solar irradiance, solar UV irradiance, cosmic ray flux, Milankovitch cycles etc. is not necessarily comparable with current warming. That’s not to say it isn’t, it’s just to say we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Even if the MWP does represent a period in which global temperatures were simultaneously warmer than the present day, the interesting question is why?

  22. “Even if the MWP does represent a period in which global temperatures were simultaneously warmer than the present day, the interesting question is why?”

    Of course that’s the next question that follows, yet denial of a global MWP has been part of the bedrock of AGW alarmism because it didn’t conform to the ‘politically acceptable’ CO2 hypothesis…….that stance is now a busted flush. Hopefully that why can now be addressed.

    “past warming from total solar irradiance, solar UV irradiance, cosmic ray flux, Milankovitch cycles etc. is not necessarily comparable with current warming. That’s not to say it isn’t, it’s just to say we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.”

    Agreed, but if it isn’t CO2 [based on this absence of a temperature corrolation] then we would be wise to assume the above solar irradiance, solar UV irradiance, cosmic ray flux, Milankovitch cycles etc as being the most likely culprit.

    The Science is never settled……

  23. orkneylad,

    I’ve always found that stance rather perplexing. I don’t think the existence (or not) of a MWP either proves or disproves the AGW theory. That said, I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘busted flush’ just yet.

    It’s undeniable that temperatures were warmer than today in certain areas at certain times, and I’d like to understand why that was. Re: global average temperatures, I think there’s a lot of ongoing disagreement; like you say, the science is never settled.

    We’d be wise to assume nothing. We’re currently just coming out of a solar minimum, and yet temperatures have continued to rise.

  24. John of Kent,

    Venus is another global warming myth.

    Lengthy debate to be had there, for which I’m under qualified. There is actually water vapour in Venus’ atmosphere, although it only makes up 0.002%. There used to be a lot more, but Venus succumbed to a runaway water vapour greenhouse effect.

    Venus succumbed early to a “runaway water vapor greenhouse,” in which the increased water vapor content arising from increased temperature reached an end state with much of the ocean evaporated into the atmosphere. Once this happens, it is easy for the water vapor to decompose in the upper atmosphere, whereafter the light hydrogen escapes and oxygen either escapes or reacts with rocks. One hypothesis is that the weak magnetic field at Venus, which otherwise would protect the planet from the solar wind, is one reason for why the oxygen and hydrogen escaped faster into space. Once water is lost, the reaction that turns carbon dioxide into limestone can no longer take place, so CO2 outgassing from volcanoes accumulates in the atmosphere instead of staying bound up in the rocks. The end state of this process is the current atmosphere of Venus, with essentially no water in the atmosphere and essentially the planet’s whole inventory of carbon in the form of atmospheric CO2. Earth, in contrast, kept its water, which allowed the planet to keep most of its carbon inventory safely bound up in the crust. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere of Venus is approximately the same as the amount of CO2 bound up in the form of carbonate rocks on Earth today.

    From – http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/lessons-from-venus/

    As for alleged past water vapour feedback, this warming was not due to water vapour, as the feedbacks would have multiplied and fed back on themselves and led to the end of life on earth. So why did this not happen?? because it is impossible. The warming was due to changes in solar activity and to changes in solar insolation due to cloud cover changes.

    You answer your own question. Why did it not happen? Because increasing humidity is not the only driver of climate. As I’ve demonstrated, some warming has to be attributed to the positive feedback effect of water vapour, however, you are right in saying that the trigger for past warming was (almost always) solar activity (or Milankovitch cycles). When solar activity falls, so does temperature, bringing humidity down with it. This also explains why, as you point out, CO2 levels have in the past been high during an ice age (although never at 5000ppm – the late-Ordovician would have been a contender but this recent paper – ttp://geology.gsapubs.org/content/37/10/951.abstract – demonstrates that CO2 consumption increased during the mid-Ordovician as a result of continental weathering, however levels were held up by volcanic outgassing. This volcanic activity dropped off towards the late-Ordovician, however weathering remained high. This caused CO2 levels to fall below 3000 ppm, an event not evident in the Geocarb III model). As CO2 is not the only driver of climate, it is perfectly possible to have relatively high levels of CO2 while having relatively low global temperatures. When the sun is less active, the CO2-ice threshold is much higher. For example, if the CO2-ice threshold for present-day Earth is 500 ppm, the equivalent threshold during the Late Ordovician (450 million years ago) – when the solar constant was about 4% less than current levels – would be 3000 ppm. Royer has demonstrated that when you combine the radiative forcing from CO2 with solar variations there is a close correlation with temperature stretching back to the early Phanerozoic. See Fig.2 p.4 – ttp://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/PhanCO2(GCA).pdf

    The most recent period when CO2 levels were as high as today was around 15 million years ago, during the Middle Miocene. CO2 levels were at about 400 ppm. What was the climate like at the time? Global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are today. Sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher. There was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland.

    That is not true, the dinosaurs were killed by the combustion of the atmosphere following the impact and by the impact winter due to dust and sulphates in the atmosphere causing a deep freeze.

    Perhaps I should have been more clear when referred to, “The impact of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs“, that the dinosaurs weren’t all standing directly under the meteorite at the time, and that I was refering to the consequences of the impact. Quoting from the study I provided – http://www.pnas.org/content/99/12/7836.full.pdf+html – “This finding reinforces previous evidence for major climatic warming after the KTB impact and implies that severe and abrupt global warming during the earliest Paleocene was an important factor in biotic extinction at the KTB.”

    Re: Mount Pinatubo

    No, the cooling was due to dust in the atmosphere for a couple of years.

    Partially correct. The cooling was certainly triggered by the dust released into the atmosphere, which was then amplified by the drop in levels of water vapour. See paper – ttp://atoc.colorado.edu/~dcn/ATOC6020/papers/Soden_etal_727.pdf

    The references you gave have all come to the wrong conclusions based on the GHE dogma, and because it is an lazy way out for climatologists to blame GHG’s for everything where the truth is they really do not understand climate very well at all.

    Climate is driven by the sun and the stars and moderated by the oceans. there is no need to invoke imaginary “forcings” by CO2.

    Sorry, do you have some academiccredentials that I should be made aware of? Am I to take your word over the work of the scientists I have quoted, who have had their peer-reviewed work published in distinguished journals? I hope I can.

    Yours,

    George

  25. Well, I know which argument makes the most sense to ME, a comparative layman.
    George, you ARE the weakest link – goodbye…

  26. James,
    well done for cutting through the bs. It’s always refreshing to read someone who isn’t taken in by the utter drivel of global warming alarmism.

  27. The debate was surely about Chris Huhne. I do care about preserving resources, energy security, pollution, and the thought of global warming – I still find him dangerous.

    He does have this big target – but no real ideas. At the moment it is all about turning the light bulbs off and improving insulation. Both good ideas – but really not new – and we have those pretty much in place already – ie if you wanted to improve your insulation – you could do – and there are grants available for the less well off. His programme will not help reach the 20% target let alone the 30% – I am fairly sure that he will spend most of parliament sorting out his bill and taking little action.

    The best point was that we are all “comparative laymen” – and the answer is that as individuals we do not know the answer to global warming – and we are probably split on who we like and who we do not. However:

    Fossil fuels are becoming more expensive to extract (I think that is a fact)
    We have less fuel in the UK (which is also a fact)
    I quite enjoy clean air (Do you?)
    Rainforests do contain valuable resources – and it would be good not to cut them all down (or to put pressure on them to be cut down through demanding goods that will initiate deforestation – e.g. palm oil)
    Good insulation and careful use of fuel is good from a monetary perspective – it keeps the pound in your pocket – put a jumper on if you are cold.
    Alternative energy technologies are useful – they may indeed be cost effective alternatives in the coming years as other fuel becomes more scarce or more expensive to extract.

    More contentiously I am not a big fan of nuclear power. In the same way that many posters are “enviroscepic”, I am nuclear sceptic. Can they really make it safe? (I think probably) Can they deal with the waste? (I think probably not)

    Nuclear power plants take a long time to build and commission. It is unlikely that this government will provide subsidy for them. In this situation it is unlikely that we will get loads of nuclear power plants in the short run.

    What would be more embarrassing would be an energy crisis – where we cannot produce enough energy for the countries needs. This seems to be a real issue – although short term I am more concerned with prices.

    I am disappointed that global warming is a headline grabber for Chris Huhne – I would prefer him to be dealing with practical things concerning energy – rather than false targets. Also the negative reactions Global warming seems to get – often put people in a space where they talk about the ifs and buts and ignore practical stuff like gas is now 4p a kW – and rising. We are not going to be able to simply put prices down

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