Skip to content

Open Letter To My Local MP

May 10, 2013

By Paul Homewood

 

I know it’s been tried before, but I am writing to my Member of Parliament, to ask how she can justify continuing  to support the UK Climate Change Act.

 

The draft is below. Any comments would be appreciated, and everyone is welcome to use this template if they wish.

 

 

Dear Angela

I am writing to you with regard to the UK Climate Change Act 2008.

Perhaps I could start by listing some relevant facts, and ask whether you are aware of them or not.

1) Global Temperatures

Global Temperatures in 2012, according to the Met Office’s Hadley Centre, were lower than 1998, and the 10-year running average has been falling since 2010.

Head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri accepts that there has been a 17 year pause in global warming.

2) UK Temperatures

As measured by the Central England Temperature Index, maintained by the Met Office, UK temperatures have been falling for the last 10 years.

The 5-year trend is now back to where it was in 1991.

3) Heatwaves in the UK

The forecast increase in frequency and severity of heat waves has failed to materialise. UK summer temperatures in recent years have, instead, been falling. The summer of 1976 remains by far the hottest on record.

In Sheffield, there have been no days since 2006 when temperatures reached 30C, in contrast to many such years in the 1970’s and 1990’s. The record temperature of 34.3C was set in 1990. Again, the summers of 1975 and 1976, along with 1995, stand well above any other summers since on the temperature record.

4) Drought in the UK

According to the Met Office, last year’s drought was not unusual by historical standards, and was not as intense as the drought of 1975/76.

5) Global Warming Projections

In recent years, climate models have consistently forecast an increasing rate of global warming, that has totally failed to materialise.

For instance, in 2007, the Met Office predicted that by now global temperatures would have increased by 0.20C, compared to 2005. Instead, they have fallen by 0.08C. The difference of 0.28C may not seem a lot, but it is about the same amount by which global temperatures have increased since 1981.

The failure of these models of the Met Office, IPCC and others to forecast the current standstill in temperature casts grave doubts over their ability to forecast longer term trends. Yet we continue to base government policy on them.

Significantly, in December 2012, the Met Office produced a new and totally different forecast, which totally overturned their earlier ones. This effectively predicts no increase in global temperatures for the next five years.

6) Sea Level Rise

A survey of all of the current tidal gauge sites around the UK coast shows that sea levels have actually fallen slightly in the last 10 years.

7) CO2 Emissions

In 2011, the last year figures are available for, the UK emitted 124 million tonnes of carbon. By contrast the increase in emissions by China/India was 267 million tonnes.

China’s government has announced that its emissions will continue to increase substantially for many years to come.

I have been informed by DECC that they do not know, and have not asked, what effect the Climate Change Act 2008 will have on global temperatures.

8) Coal Power Stations

While we are shutting down coal power stations, Germany are building new ones, including two opened last year, six to open this year, and another six planned to open by 2020.

Together, these will be capable of supplying 19% of Germany’s electricity.

According to DECC, coal remains by far the cheapest source of electricity, and does not share some of the volatility we see with the supply of natural gas.

9) Fuel Poverty

A study by the Scottish Government suggests that the number of Scottish households suffering from “fuel poverty” increased from 13.4% in 2002, to 32.7% in 2009. In the UK as a whole, DECC have estimated a figure of around 20%.

The increase in energy bills, anticipated by DECC as a direct result of the Climate Change Act, will plunge many more households into fuel poverty.

10) Green Jobs

While there is little evidence of large numbers of “green jobs” being created, there is direct evidence of many jobs being lost as a result of the Act.

For instance, the shutting down of many coal and gas power stations will lead to thousands of redundancies.


Can The Climate Change Act Now Be Justified?

According to the government’s own figures, the Climate Change Act will cost about £18bn p.a. This represents more than £800 per household every year.

Again, I would stress that I have been told by DECC that they don’t know, and did not ask beforehand, what effect the Act would have on global temperatures.

In the light of the above facts, and many others that I could produce, could you let me what justification there is for continuing with the Act?

Yours faithfully

Paul Homewood

31 Comments
  1. May 10, 2013 9:57 pm

    Just a reflection from a pedantic old git but you don’t need the apostrophes in the dates.

    ‘1970s’ and ‘1990s’ is the same as writing ‘nineteen-seventies’ and ‘nineteen-nineties’.

    I’ve a nice article awaiting clearance from the author (Tony from Oz) titled
    Power Plant Comparison – Coal-Fired Versus Wind
    which is a follow up to an earlier one looking at costs of wind energy. When I send a copy of your letter to my MP, I will add the links as well.

    There is no justification for the hugely expensive mitigation process the Government is pursuing, even if CO2 had any impact on global temps.

    Thanks for all the work you do, btw. All we can do is hold their feet to the fire and hope they recant before we are all done for.

  2. May 11, 2013 12:08 am

    Brilliant letter. Straight forward and not emotional. I like it just as it is. She’d look a fool if she continues to back the Climate Act, and you’ve given her plenty to want to look into if she is open to do so. Even if she isn’t, all those facts and figures must whet her appetite just a bit.

    Good luck with it.

    Cheers!

  3. tckev permalink
    May 11, 2013 2:42 am

    I may be borrowing this as the basis of my own letter. Thanks and keep at them.

  4. tckev permalink
    May 11, 2013 2:55 am

    6) Sea Level Rise

    A survey of all of the current tidal gauge sites …

    You have surveyed them all? I’m impressed.

    7) CO2 Emissions

    In 2011, the last year figures are available for, the UK emitted 124 million tonnes of carbon.

    Please if you would call it carbon dioxide not just carbon.

    …the UK emitted 124 million tonnes of carbon dioxide .

    • May 11, 2013 9:28 am

      Carbon is the term that CDIAC use – CO2 would be a bigger number.

  5. tckev permalink
    May 11, 2013 3:28 am

    It may be useful to put the word ‘computer’ in front of in incidences of model and forecast, and measure where measurements have been taken. Thus emphasizing the virtual nature of the model results and predictions.

    e.g.

    5) Global Warming Projections

    In recent years, computer climate models have consistently forecast an increasing rate of global warming. These have totally failed to materialise.

    For instance, in 2007, the Met Office computer predicted that by now global temperatures would have increased by 0.20C, compared to 2005. Instead, the measurements show that the have fallen by 0.08C. The difference of 0.28C may not seem a lot, but it is about the same amount by which global temperatures have increased since 1981.

  6. @BusterGasket permalink
    May 11, 2013 5:46 am

    Great initiative!

    Two editorial suggestions

    Significantly, in December 2012, the Met Office produced a new and totally different forecast, which [delete ‘totally’ insert ‘completely’] overturned their earlier ones.

    In the light of the above facts, and many others that I could produce, could you let me [insert ‘know’] what justification there is for continuing with the Act?

    These are in addition to the other comments above, wth which I agree.

    Best of luck!

  7. May 11, 2013 6:08 am

    I wish you luck, but the massed ranks of “climate change” propagandists are a powerful force.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/green-pleasant-land-british-countryside-nature-crisis

    http://www.lwec.org.uk/resources/report-cards/biodiversity

  8. adrian permalink
    May 11, 2013 9:43 am

    loss of jobs in aluminium industry. rtz blames carbon taxes

    • Joe Public permalink
      May 12, 2013 1:02 pm

      And recognition that the Climate Change Levy costs jobs by the special, and unique exemption, given just to the Pottery Industry, in the last Budget.

  9. mitigatedsceptic permalink
    May 11, 2013 12:45 pm

    Excellent piece – thank you – I shall plagiarise extensively.

    One small suggestion- after “some of the volatility we see with the supply of natural gas” add (your own words, not DECC’s) – “Putin has announced his view that natural gas is a strategic weapon and already has demonstrated its use in this way. We are heavily reliant on Russian gas.”

    How about making it easy for her to reply by adding tick boxes:Yes I knew: Yes I agree: I disagree: space for reasons for disagreement.

  10. W Bowie permalink
    May 11, 2013 4:04 pm

    I have just posted a letter to David Cameron & Geo Osborne saying that the 80% reduction in CO2 planned in the Climate Change Act is a ‘bridge too far’.
    I ended the letter by suggesting;
    I don’t see concrete plans for marine, wind or nuclear power and hence firmly believe the wish for an 80% reduction in CO2 cannot realistically be achieved. We need a new, numerate Secretary of State for Energy and for us to bite the bullet and revoke the Climate Change Act before the UK goes bankrupt due to energy costs doubling [or X3] forcing industry overseas. If you don‘t do this I suspect UKip will.

  11. Joe Public permalink
    May 12, 2013 1:08 pm

    Great letter Paul.

    I too have already written to my MP pointing out the Met Office’s data on Temperature stability vs the NOAA Mauna Loa logrithmic rise in CO2.

    Incidentally, I’m with tckev on this. It’s carbon dioxide we emit, not carbon. It’s a chemical compound, not a ‘term’; it’s a gas (at room temperature), not a solid.

  12. J Martin permalink
    May 12, 2013 1:35 pm

    Very good. But as the recipient of your letter holds what is effectively a religious belief in the co2 God you cannot afford to allow any chinks in your argument that will allow Dear Angela a chance to ignore what she has just read.

    Take point No. 7 for instance. Because you didn’t state what the actual reduction in global temperatures will be as a result of the climate change act should it achieve it’s goals, then psychology dictates that Angela will believe that you left out that figure for a reason, that reason being that it must destroy your own argument. Leaving her with no choice but to think that the effect will in fact be a significant and worthwhile reduction in global temperatures.

    As the reduction is infinitesimal and strengthens your case, you must state what that figure is and preferably from as AGW significant a source as possible, preferably something like the Hadley Centre.

    Point No. 1. James Hansen of NASA is also on record as recognising that temperatures have paused. Phil Jones of Hadley has also said the same thing and in addition has admitted that the climate models failed to predict this.

    In your conclusion you mention the cost of the climate change act as being £18bn per annum. Interestingly this is about the same as it would cost to supply and fit each and every home in the UK that is heated using electricity with a heat pump which would (the following is a guess and needs some calculations) produce a reduction in co2 many times greater than the entirety of any amount of windmills.

    NB. I Googled the number of UK homes heated by electricity and found that it is 2.2m with another 1.1m using oil. A typical heat pump costs £5000 I assumed £2000 to fit. Since heat pumps have a COP of typically 4.5, lets say 3 in practise those homes could reduce their heating bills by two thirds. Regretfully I have no idea what sort of typical saving that would be or how much co2 that would save. But I would hazard a guess that that saving alone would far exceed any putative benefits of any amount of windmills and be far far cheaper.

    Some 20m homes use gas central heating, no doubt many of those boilers are of an old non modulating design and are 30 to 50% less efficient than a new boiler. If we assume that half of those boilers are changed at a typical cost of say £2000, then that adds up to 20bn.

    So for the cost of two years of the misdirected climate change costs a very much higher reduction in energy usage and co2 could be achieved than by any other means, dwarfing the reductions achievable by solar cells and windmills.

    But then again common sense and politicians are mutually exclusive. I’m afraid your letter will fall upon deaf ears, or blind eyes.

  13. A C Osborn permalink
    May 12, 2013 1:45 pm

    It is a great letter, however you are talking about an MP now.
    You should never, ever confuse them with someone who cares and or understands simple logic and facts.

    • May 12, 2013 1:49 pm

      I’m not overly optimistic myself!

      But at least I can publish her reply and show her up.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        May 15, 2013 2:21 pm

        That would be a great idea, especially if a Newspaper were to “accidentally” pick it up LOL.

  14. J Martin permalink
    May 12, 2013 2:19 pm

    PS. Good luck. We can but chip away at them. Perhaps some of our MPs will eventually wake up from their co2 reverie. If you could deal with point 7 I will email a copy to my local MP John Redwood. Hell, I’ll probably send it anyway, but I sure would like to know what trifling and pointless difference the UK climate and economy destruction act will make to global temperatures.

    • May 12, 2013 4:27 pm

      I did a back of the fag packet, and came up with 0.02C,about the equivalent of moving three miles south!

      • J Martin permalink
        May 12, 2013 5:22 pm

        Thanks for that. I shall be quoting it to everyone I know.

  15. Joe Public permalink
    May 12, 2013 3:17 pm

    Paul, this is the response from my (Conservative) MP relating to the apparent lack-of-relationship between global DeltaT vs CO2 which I pointed out to him:-

    “Thank you for resending these and I can understand your scepticism of the connection between global warming and CO2 levels.

    According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on average, across all land and sea surfaces, temperatures have warmed 0.74ºC over the last century. More than half of this warming, around 0.4°C has occurred since 1979.

    You are right to say that this is a small number, especially when compared to the rising C02 levels, however I would point out that it does take huge CO2 increases in order to push up global temperature. The problem is that even small increases, such as 0.74ºC can still have a huge environmental impact on the Earth.

    Whilst the increase in CO2 certainly isn’t matched by the rise in global temperate, there is still a clear link between the two and it should be in Britain’s long-term interest to reduce this. However, as I said in my previous email, the Government’s focus right now should be on keeping fuel prices low for British families, and not pursuing ‘green’ alternatives which will only push them up.”

  16. J Martin permalink
    May 12, 2013 3:17 pm

    I think I’ve worked it out. If the IPCC think that the median temperature rise by 2100 will be 3.5 degrees and that if all countries met their co2 reduction targets, then the temperature rise would be limited to 2 degrees C. Thus the reduction in temperature rise would be 1.5 degrees C. But the UKs contribution to co2 output is 1.5%, so the UKs contribution to the reduction in temperature would be an unmeasurable and irrelevant .0225 degrees C.

    Sadly this argument will be wasted on Angela as she probably believes that if the UK sets an example and destroys itself, the rest of the World will follow.

    OK. I’m going to copy and paste your letter and add my .0225 figure and also add a point No. 11 mentioning that the Sun is widely expected (including NASA) to go into a slump leading to a sustained and possibly severe drop in temperatures until at least 2030 and possibly to 2100. I’ll email it to John Redwood and ask him for his comments.

    Should be good for a laugh as I doubt that I’ll get an enlightened or researched answer. What’s the betting that the answers we both get back are from a House of Commons climate change “How to respond to voters questions” identikit.

    • Philip Aggrey permalink
      May 13, 2013 9:03 am

      John Redwood is an AGW sceptic and is pro-fracking. I would expect you will get a considered and thoughtful response.

  17. J Martin permalink
    May 12, 2013 4:14 pm

    You missed the word ‘know’ out of your last paragraph.

    • J Martin permalink
      May 13, 2013 7:29 am

      In the light of the above facts, and many others that I could produce, could you let me ???? what justification there is for continuing with the Act?

      know

  18. May 12, 2013 4:26 pm

    Would be worth adding the 5 cold winter periods which we continue to be woefully prepared for in relation to our neighbours. It has killed how many pensioners? It is quoted as a reason for poor economic figures. Fuel bills paid by ordinary voters are shooting up causing fuel poverty. The minimum wage so pushed by Labour is a bit pointless if all it does is go to heating the home. This is what voters care for.

    The MetO have been woeful in preparing the public (2010 was a one off ahem) and we are told ad infinum to prepare for a Med climate which is suicidal for our growers. Crops this year are 4-6 wks behind after a difficult 2012.

    http://ahdb.createsend1.com/t/r-l-ohriyhy-jytkdhjtkd-o/

    Prepare for climate change yes (it always changes) but it is a deraliction of duty for the parliamentary Labour party to be supporting Tory land owners with wind subsidy not the people of the UK.

    Basically you have to throw ‘Labour values’ back at her – even if they were abandoned long ago they like keeping up the ‘Greggs Pasty’ pretence. To her you are prob a UKIP clown, so easily dismissed.

    Good luck anyway 🙂

  19. J Martin permalink
    May 12, 2013 4:35 pm

    It is done. I have copied your letter to John Redwood MP and added this foreword,


    Just a little over two years ago I was a firm believer that co2 was a danger and that mankind should act to reduce it, though I had never done any actual research into the subject, and so it was with some degree of shock that I discovered that sceptics existed let alone had arguments against the perceived wisdom of the day.

    After many (hundreds) hours of study on the internet I have changed sides completely and am now not only convinced that the warming effects of co2 have been overstated, but that we are in fact likely to undergo a period of sustained and possibly severe cooling as the sun is widely expected to go into a state of reduced activity last seen back in 1810 a period known as the Dalton Minimum.

    I would appreciate to know if you consider placing UK manufacturing at a competitive disadvantage will be worth the speculative benefits of the additional hardships that the climate change act will bring aside from the destruction of what little is left of British Industry.

    Below is a letter created by a climate sceptic which I have copied and added point number 11.

    I also added point No. 11.


    11) Global Cooling and a few other points

    It is widely considered amongst solar scientists that the sun has entered a period of reduced activity which is expected to continue until 2030 reducing to the point where sunspots and solar activity may match the period known as the Dalton Minimum at about 1810. Some expect that cooling might even continue until 2100 in which case we may possibly be looking at a repeat of the 1645 to 1715 Maunder Minimum. Whilst a repeat of the Dalton may not challenge modern farming technology unduly, I doubt that a modern economy based on windmills will prove very successful at keeping it’s population warm and gainfully employed.

    I would also add to point 1) above, that James Hansen ex head of NASA GISS is also on record as admitting that warming has stalled, and in addition the head of the UK Hadley Centre, Professor Phil Jones has not only stated that temperatures have plateaued, but that the climate models failed to predict this event.

    Whilst I don’t currently have the figures for it, I believe that we could provide and install a heat pump in every UK home that is heated by electricity for a similar price to the £18bn quoted below and get a larger reduction in co2 as a result.

    Instead of destabilising the electric grid once the number of windmills reach a critical number which we are nearing, this will help maintain a stable grid. Furthermore, the co2 benefits of windmills have come under scrutiny and have been shown to be virtually non existent since they need a particularly wasteful form of backup generation to support them.

    In short, there are more efficient ways to cut co2 and energy use that benefit households and the economy instead of building windmills that will cause the opposite effect.

    Regardless of ones views as to whether co2 reduction has any worth, we cannot build a low carbon economy with our industry in tatters, we must therefore frack for gas.

    And I added this PS.


    PS. I have calculated that the UK contribution to the reduction in the increase of temperature expected by the IPCC will be .0225 degrees Centigrade, should the UK meet it’s climate change obligations.

    Is it worth destroying the economy and families hopes for the future for an immeasurable .0225 degrees centigrade ?

    • J Martin permalink
      May 12, 2013 5:01 pm

      I have had a remarkably quick response, especially considering it is Sunday afternoon.

      The response I received is as follows;


      Thank you for your email. I have regularly called for cheaper energy to prevent more industry leaving the UK for countries with lower energy costs. I did not vote for the 2008 Act, and do not think the UK should singlehandedly – or –perhaps with some other EU countries – be trying to cut back its carbon dioxide output when the rest of the world is not imposing dearer energy charges, carbon taxes and the like.

      Well, there we go. It would seem that my local MP John Redwood is on the side of common sense.

      I think I might even take up voting once more.

  20. John Billot permalink
    May 12, 2013 4:42 pm

    Excellent letter and thank you Paul for all that you do. I will be using much of this to tackle my MP, Alan Duncan.
    Pedant note – I’ve always understood one signs “Yours Sincerely” if one has addressed the letter to a named individual (other than say, “Sir” or “Madam”).

  21. December 18, 2014 1:25 pm

    Only just came across this. Paul, did you or anyone else get any replies?

    • December 18, 2014 1:26 pm

      whoops, ignore, just spotted the related post.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: