Forget Nigel Lawson and his struggle to keep the British energy system in the privatised 1980s by denying the realities of Climate Change.
The lords (and sadly, some of the ladies) of this land want to stay rich from their shares in fossil fuels and mining. They’ll say anything to protect the value of their holdings.
But where’s your new North Sea Oil and Gas, Nigel ? Do you want to bankrupt this country by forcing us to ramp up our imports of energy as the North Sea production falls away ?
The chief executives of the “traditional” energy companies of these islands are just trying to keep themselves in a job when they decry wind power, biogas, marine energy projects.
No, Vincent de Rivaz of EdF, we don’t want expensive, inflexible and toxic Nuclear Power. No, Dorothy Thompson of Drax, we don’t want dirty coal continuing to heat up the world, poison fish and raise coughing kids. No, Rupert Soames of Aggreko, we must maintain the Renewable Energy obligations we have agreed at the European level, and raise the bar even higher, to protect the economy going into an uncertain future, by having homegrown energy.
We need an energy evolution in this country.
And so, what is needed is a social movement – involving ordinary, working people, unions, communities, academics, trained professionals from the engineering trades, local political activists and faith communities.
In my humble opinion, Andrew Neil is completely beyond redemption. He has recently invited Global Warming sceptic Nigel Lawson onto the Daily Politics show. Nigel Lawson is no scientist, apparently, and so cannot really be expected to have a learned view on Climate Change, so why was he asked to “debate” with Professor Bob Watson, a proper scientist ? A certain lack of equality in the value of their views, there, I think. Why give equal weight to both, Andrew Neil ?
Back in Febriary, Andrew Neil invited arch-sceptic Fred Singer onto the Daily Politics show. Doesn’t Andrew Neil know anything at all about the history of this man’s involvement in anti-science lobbying in the United States of America ?
It is reported that Fred Singer “bullied” a researcher, Justin Lancaster with “unwarranted” lawsuits :-
Is this Fred Singer’s main mode of public activitiy – lawsuits and denial ? Doesn’t he do any actual science any more ? Or is he just a widely-travelled after-dinner speaker funded by various industrial special interests ? It’s “plausible”, a word he himself uses in denying the last 30 years of Global Warming. So why is Andrew Neil inviting him onto his TV show as an authoritative voice ? It’s ludicrous !
So back to the recent past and the introductory film for the Daily Politics show featuring the “debate” between Professor Bob Watson and Global Warming sceptic Nigel Lawson. To my mind at any rate, the BBC film was appalling. Narrated by the young Adam Fleming, it was dripping with Climate Change sceptic thought. Here’s what I wrote to the Crisis Forum :-
“20 October 2010 : I think this was broadcast on The Daily Politics yesterday and was followed by a “balanced” discussion, chaired by Andrew Neil, between Bob Watson and Nigel Lawson – it is worse than the introductory report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11576013. While I have high regard for the BBC’s coverage of climate change, The Daily Politics frequently exercises double standards by uncritically promoting the views of ‘sceptics’ while being fiercely critical of mainstream researchers. This approach appears to reflect Andrew Neil’s own views on the subject, as can be seen through his blog (eg http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/dailypolitics/andrewneil/2010/01/the_dam_is_cracking.html). I think it is worth drawing attention to the coverage of climate change by The Daily Politics for Professor Steve Jones’s review of the impartiality of the BBC’s science coverage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/march/science_impartiality.shtml : Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science ”
Here’s what George Marshall, of ClimateDenial.org, had to say in reply :-
“21 October 2010 : On youtube there is ANOTHER dreadful interview on the Politics Show with Bob Watson and Fred Singer. The whole preamble and Andrew Neil’s handling is from a sceptic perspective :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rF2hley0SGA. So I have a few questions. One is why Bob Watson keeps agreeing to go on this show? I realise that he wants to represent the science, but, to be honest, he does not do so well enough and seems to be poorly prepared and briefed to go against these people. In any case, by appearing he is accepting and condoning the phoney debate. It does make me wonder whether there are grounds for a specific approach to The Politics Show but (as we’ve discussed Bob). Certainly I am all in favour of people ringing them up and complaining. Overall though, I think it is better to have an overall strategy for dealing with this than launch into a single skirmish – but don’t want to discourage Jo or anyone who is seeing red. George”
So my appeal is this : Adam Fleming, young reporter for the BBC – what do you actually think about Climate Change ? I know you had to narrate an appallingly inaccurate script over the Daily Politics show film, but what do you personally think of the issue ? Tell us that you’re sane, and have read something about this. Recant from the sceptic BBC position. “Come out of her my people”, and be redeemed into scientific sanctuary.
“Royal Society issues new climate change guide that admits there are ‘uncertainties’ about the science : By NIALL FIRTH : 30th September 2010…”
First up, the reporter documents the false claim that the Royal Society was “forced” to make changes to its public guidance on Climate Change science because of the views of the sceptic-deniers. Nothing could be more flimsy an assertion :-
“…The UK’s leading scientific body has been forced to rewrite its guide on climate change and admit that it is not known how much warmer the Earth will become. The Royal Society has updated its guide after 43 of its members complained that the previous version failed to take into account the opinion of climate change sceptics…”
Well, actually, the reason the Royal Society has been persuaded to issue new Climate Change guidance is because people (including Niall Firth, apparently) do not appear to have understood the science of Climate Change, as they have been listening to the inaccuracies put forward by the sceptic-deniers.
“CLIMATE CHANGE: FAILURES OF GLOBAL WARMING PROBES ‘LET DOWN PUBLIC’ : Wednesday September 15, 2010 : By John Ingham, Environment Editor : PUBLIC inquiries into the Climategate scandal have failed to restore confidence in the science behind global warming, a report claimed yesterday. It branded as flawed the three inquiries into the leaking of e-mails by scientists at East Anglia university’s world-leading Climate Research Unit. And it called for independent inquiries into the ethos of climate research and the science itself…”
We’re post-modern 21st Century humans. It’s OK to question everything. There’s every likelihood that we control our own destinies by our thoughts; that tobacco doesn’t cause lung and pancreatic cancer; that sexual intercourse between a male and a female is not the cause of human reproduction; that Jesus was Catholic, and not Jewish; that so-called waterborne diseases aren’t caused by microscopic organisms; that infection by the HIV virus doesn’t lead to AIDS; that Barack Hussein Obama is a non-American Muslim; that the CIA planned 9/11 (no, really, they did !); that mobile phone masts are killing bees (well, it can’t be the pesticides, can it ?); the moon landings were staged; that wind power will never amount to much, and that chocolate doesn’t give you spots.
If you want to believe that DDT controls malaria, then go right ahead. We live in a tolerant society, and your knowledge is just as good as mine, really :-
The not-widely-awaited “investigation” into the official inquiries into “Climategate” from the Nigel Lawson “social experiment”, the “Global Warming Policy Foundation”, looks to me rather like a botched piece of cosmetic surgery on first scan.
I’d recommend avoiding it, as it seems to me like a total waste of valuable time, based, as I believe it is, on an obvious absence of leg-shaped support.
I wouldn’t have bothered spending five vacant minutes commenting on it unless I knew my various sceptic readers were standing by, eagerly salivating over tearing me to shreds about any statements I might make.
Lunch, boys ?
If you are a proper Climate Change researcher, unless you’ve got the time and funds and staffing to launch an investigation into how the Climategate Media circus was ever allowed to happen, I’d suggest you avoid entering into any kind of discussion about this latest seemingly vapid wraith of veneer.
I am sure you will detect what looks like irascible sniping from Andrew Montford (as known as “Bishop Hll”) in various newspaper reports that follow on from this outpouring of apparently obsessive introspection into a non-scandal that’s deader than a century-old donkey’s fetid tail.
But nothing will trounce the ultimate truth – Climategate will never breathe another modecule of serious Media oxygen, even if it lives on in rabid obscurity in Internet zombie-blog-land.
I have been rather, erm, critical, of Roger Harrabin’s approach to reporting the “Climate Change narrative” in the past, but I have to say, I think he has pulled up his socks somewhat with a two-part Radio 4 presentation “Uncertain Climate” :-
But of course, the BBC has to keep people sweet, and obviously continues to “play both sides”, don’t they ? How else did Roger get to interview Steve McIntyre of the truly annoying Canadian whine (it’s not his fault, I have to add, that I find his voice unbearable) and Nigel Lawson ? And Judith Curry ?
Or maybe not. Roger Harrabin admits to a stand-up row with Al Gore. Hopefully he’s still welcome in the United States of America.
There seem to be about 50 mentions of the word “uncertainties”, and an obsession about temperature rise projections – with no focus on the melting Arctic – which is not at all uncertain as it is a demonstrable fact.
It may seem pedantic and unsisterly to have to point it out, but despite her usual high and good level of correctness, Financial Times journalist Fiona Harvey seems to have stumbled in yet more lurid green swamp mire, and quoted “ogres” once again :-
“Climate change: Lingering clouds : By Fiona Harvey : Published: August 29 2010…”
Most of us really do not want to know the opinions of Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (and his collaborator Nigel Lawson), because neither of them are expert in the field of Global Warming, only, apparently, Glib Warring.
And again, most of us are really not partial to the views of Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who seems to think there’s nothing wrong in releasing large amounts of Carbon Dioxide into the Atmosphere, even though the last times this happened in Earth history, entirely naturally due to extensive magma eruptions due to super-violent Tectonic plate movement, it ended in global megadeath.
Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli appears to be permitted to pursue in the law courts his alleged “witch hunt” of everything liberal, free-thinking, freedom-loving, tolerant and open-minded that ever breathed – just because he can – this time kicking at the pit-props of intellectual freedom in research in Climate Change Science :-
“24 August 2010 : Ruling on global warming professor coming : BY JESSICA M. KARMASEK : CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (Legal Newsline) – A ruling is expected in a week on a demand by Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli that the University of Virginia release research records of a well-known climate change researcher, according to The New York Times. Cuccinelli has demanded that the university produce information relating to grant applications by Michael E. Mann, who the Times calls a “prominent climate scientist.” It was Mann who produced the widely publicized “hockey stick” graph showing a sharp increase in global average temperatures in the industrial age. Mann worked at UVA from 1999-2005 and has since taught at Penn State University. His work was called into question in the investigations into the so-called Climategate scandal following the unauthorized release of hundreds of e-mails from a British climate center last fall. Several investigations, including an extensive review of his research by PSU, have cleared him of academic misconduct. Cuccinelli, a Republican and climate change skeptic, has already sued the federal Environmental Protection Agency to try to prevent it from imposing regulations on carbon dioxide and other climate-altering gases. Now, the attorney general has demanded that UVA release documents relating to Mann’s grant applications at the university. According to an article published in the Times on Tuesday, Cuccinelli suspects Mann may have violated the state’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act by manipulating data in applications for more than $450,000 in research grants. But Mann and the university contend the attorney general is engaged in a “witch hunt” and is violating both academic freedom and the First Amendment…”
Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli appears to be wasting a lot of the State’s time and money on this derelict non-scandal. One wonders whether the citizens of Virginia will continue to require the services of Cuccinelli in future – if so, would he be reducd to serving in roadside diners at some point in the future just to make a living ?
it seems that the Climate Change deniers simply cannot let go of the dead story and bury it. Benny Peiser of the adroitly named “Global Warming Policy Foundation” (suggested motto “We want policies to guarantee Climate chaos” ?), is to publish a report at the end of the month written by Andrew Montford, of Bishop Hill web log fame :-
Jaw-droppingly, the BBC have apologised for the contents of a Today Programme. Not the one that caused poor, deceased Dr David Kelly so much embarrassment, God rest his soul. No, the one that featured the breaking of the “Climategate” e-mail scandal :-
The BBC picked the wrong scandal story to run with, it appears.
The real scandal of Climategate is how the scientists’ e-mails were “liberated” from the University of East Anglia, and then annotated to give heavily biased interpretation, then released to the general public via the Internet, and how the Media were taken in.
Certain people at the BBC chose to go with the fake scandal, it seems – the narrative fabricated and dictated to them by Climate Change deniers.
Anyway, now the BBC have made an apology, of sorts. Better late than never, but all the same, it would have been better earlier rather than later.
Thankfully, despite the late apologies, this particular alleged witch-hunt didn’t end with a suspected suicide. Although it did include reports that Professor Phil Jones had, in fact, contemplated suicide; the reporting of which just added to his completely groundless public humiliation at the hands of the Press. Which they should apologise for, in my humble opinion. Just as good (old) George Monbiot had the good grace to offer some regret for :-
“BBC apologises to University of East Anglia for “incorrect” remark”
“The BBC has apologised for an “incorrect” remark made by John Humphrys that UEA researchers had “distorted the debate about global warming to make the threat seem even more serious than they believed it to be”.”
Glad to see Professor Phil Jones is back at work and enrolling students for the autumn on the Climate Change MSc postgraduate degree programme at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU) :-
This course would probably be useful for a number of mainstream media journalists to follow. Even if they don’t have an appropriate background in Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Environmental studies or similar, it could be of benefit to ameliorate their world view.
They could learn something from the lectures and coursework – that the Science of Climate Change is a serious and rigorous endeavour – unlike the apparently lax behaviour of their own profession over the last year or so.
Investigative journalism without the “investigation” part appears to be a mishmash of unverifiable facts and unfounded opinions. You need to know who is credible at the very least, and you can’t get that from following the vindictive views of public contrarians.
If you want to understand Climate Change, you need to study the Science, not just read denier-sceptic web logs or talk to Steve McIntyre, Benny Peiser, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts, Doug Keenan, Nigel Lawson or Christopher Monckton, and think that you have thereby become sufficiently informed.
“Climategate”-style attacks on Climate Change Scientists by negatively-motivated commentators are completely unacceptable. Media workers need to learn to identify those whose opinions they cannot trust.
My summer reading includes a number of easy-read popular science volumes, including a thoughful, factful and scholarly work called “Merchants of Doubt” co-written by Naomi Oreskes, famous for her study of the contrast between Climate Change Science and the Media representation of it, startling figures that appear in Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” :-
Image Credit : Gilbert & George, “Nettle Dance”, White Cube
I’m in the Climate Union. Are You ?
Soon we could all be, if the expansionist plans of a group of social campaigners come to fruition.
Taking in the unions, faith communities and the usual rag-tag bunch of issues activists, the Climate Union aims to establish itself as a political force for Low Carbon.
First of all, however, it has to tackle the uneasy and prickly problem of the exact name of the movement, and the principles under which it will operate.
The flag has been flown : a set of principles has been circulated for discussion amongst the “Climate Forum”. I cannot show you the finalised document yet, but I can offer you my comments (see below).
If you want to comment on the development of this emerging entity, please contact : Peter Robinson, Campaign against Climate Change, mobile/cell telephone in the UK : 07876595993.
Comments on the Climate Forum Principles
28 June 2010
I am aware that my comments are going to be a little challenging. I made similar comments during the review of the ClimateSafety briefing, which were highly criticised.
I expect you to be negative in response to what I say, but I think it is necessary to make sure the Climate Forum does not become watered-down, sectorally imprisoned and politically neutered, like so many other campaigns.
I don’t think that he should despair. What the ordinary, Tabloid-reading , Daily Telegraph-reading, Times of London-reading or even Guardian-reading man-or-woman-in-the-street thinks about Climate Change Science doesn’t really matter in the end, as long as the policymakers know the direction of travel required. That is, towards strong regulation on Carbon Emissions.
And anyway, I think that the problem of Climate Change “doubt” can be resolved relatively easily – by educating those who work in the Media.
Let me begin my argument by asking a question : is it right and fair and balanced to pitch Dr Benny Peiser against Professor Phil Jones on the subject of the Science of Global Warming ?
I ask this, because this is effectively what happened during the hearings of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 1st March 2010, when Dr Benny Peiser and Lord Nigel Lawson were first in the seats, and then Professor Phil Jones and Professor Edward Acton sat in the seats later on :-