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10 Things The Archbishop Needs To Know About Climate Change

March 31, 2014

By Paul Homewood




The former Archbishop of Canterbury, in his new capacity as chairman of Christian Aid, has weighed in a subject, that he appears to know precisely zip all about. The Telegraph report:


Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has attacked Western lifestyles for causing climate change that is “pushing the environment towards crisis”.

Writing in the Telegraph, Dr Williams says that the “appalling” floods and storms that devastated parts of Britain this winter were a demonstration of “what we can expect” in the future.

He also takes a sideswipe at climate change sceptics.

The floods in Britain and weather-related “catastrophes” in the poorest countries on Earth, he insists, are the clearest indications yet that predictions of “accelerated warming of the Earth” caused by “the uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels … are coming true”.

His plea to combat global warming by reducing consumption of fossil fuels comes on the eve of the publication of the most authoritative study yet into the impact of climate change.

Dr Williams, who quit as leader of the Anglican Church just over a year ago, writes: “We have heard for years the predictions that the uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels will lead to an accelerated warming of the Earth. What is now happening indicates that these predictions are coming true; our actions have had consequences that are deeply threatening for many of the poorest communities in the world.

“Rich, industrialised countries, including our own, have unquestionably contributed most to atmospheric pollution. Both our present lifestyle and the industrial history of how we created such possibilities for ourselves have to bear the responsibility for pushing the environment in which we live towards crisis.”

Dr Williams, writing in his capacity as chairman of Christian Aid, said that the winter storms that battered Britain had brought climate change to the fore in this country and that the IPCC report published at a specially convened meeting in Yokohama in Japan tomorrow puts “our local problems into a deeply disturbing global context”.

The IPCC, he says, will be “pointing out that … we [the UK] have in fact got off relatively lightly in comparison with others”.

While the “chaos [of the flood] came as a shock to many”, other countries in the developing world such as Bangladesh and Kenya among others had suffered far worse catastrophes caused by climate change over many years.

Dr Williams goes on to attack global warming sceptics and climate change deniers. “There are of course some who doubt the role of human agency in creating and responding to climate change, and who argue that we should direct our efforts solely to adapting to changes that are inevitable, rather than modifying our behaviour,” says Dr Williams.

“That approach might be “all very well” in the UK where flood defences and other measures can be adopted relatively cheaply but in the most vulnerable, poorest countries worst affected by global warming that is not an option.”




 So, here are 10 things Dr Williams might like to know about the subject.


1) Although he talks about “accelerated warming of the Earth”, he ought to know that there has been no statistically significant warming for over 17 years.

2) His apocalyptic predictions are all based on climate models, which have consistently failed to match up with real world observations.

3) He mentions the recent storms and floods in the UK. Is he aware that, during the Little Ice Age, the incidence of severe storms in Europe increased fourfold? Does he not know of the Great Storm of 1703, perhaps the greatest storm ever recorded in the south of England?

And perhaps he has not heard about the Grosse Mandrenke or the All Saints Day storm,or many others that killed hundreds of thousands during those bitterly cold centuries? These storms were much worse than any thing seen in recent years.

4) During the Middle Ages in Europe, agricultural output flourished as a result of a warmer climate, and as a result population doubled. One of the results of this was the widespread building of huge, impressive churches and cathedrals, only made possible by the availability of pools of labour not required to till the fields. It was rightly called the golden age.

5) By contrast, famines were a recurrent theme in the following centuries of the Little Ice Age, brought on by poor weather and advancing glaciers. It was no coincidence that this was the time when witches were burnt.

It seems strange that Dr Williams should hanker after a return to the climate of those days.

6) He talks of events in Kenya and Bangladesh as if they were something new. Famines in Africa and elsewhere have happened throughout history.

Droughts like the “Great Chinese Famine of 1876-79”, regarded as the worst there in the last 300 years. Or the recurrent droughts in India during the 19th and early 20thC, which killed millions.

More recently, there was the long lasting Sahel drought of the 1970’s, when the Earth was cooling down. As HH Lamb explained at the time, a colder global climate caused the world’s anticyclone belts to move, bringing serious drought to a wide belt from Africa across to Central Asia.

And, of course, by far the worst cyclone to hit Bangladesh in the last century was Bhola Cyclone of 1970.

7) Even the IPCC itself has been unable to find any evidence that there has been an increase in extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and cyclones. Does the ex Archbishop know something they don’t?

8) The western lifestyles, that he talks so disparagingly of, and the industrial revolution that made it possible, have brought vast improvements to people’s lives. No longer do billions have to put up with the backbreaking, grinding poverty of their ancestors.

Instead, they are well fed, healthy and able to lead fulfilling lives. How dare he attempt to make people feel guilty about it.

Does he seriously expect people to give all this up, and return to some earlier, imaginary idyll?

9) There are so many third world issues that we should be concentrating on, such as helping them to feed themselves, reforestation, cleaning up the environment, bringing freedom, democracy and security to billions, and enabling third countries to freely trade with developed ones.

At best, the debate over climate change is a distraction from these things that need to be done. At worst, it threatens to divert massive resources away from the real problems.

10) One of the things the third world needs above all is access to cheap energy. Neither Rowan Williams nor anybody else has the right to deny them this.

Weather disasters have always happened, and always will. We need to help countries in Africa and elsewhere develop their economies and infrastructure, so that they have the resilience to withstand natural disasters.




The blaming of  bad weather on people’s lifestyles is superstition worthy of the middle ages. Rowan Williams was a dreadfully poor Archbishop of Canterbury, and it appears he will be little better in his new role.

  1. Chris permalink
    March 31, 2014 4:19 pm

    Where are the data that proves the Earth is warming? As far as I understand, there has been no warming for well over a decade. Who is trying to alarm us? Why, no less than the UN, and all their hypocritical partners.

  2. Retired Dave permalink
    March 31, 2014 4:42 pm

    Hear Hear Paul – another pontificating numpty.

  3. March 31, 2014 4:58 pm

    That, Paul, is an excellent summary. It ought to be more widely read. Any chance of seeing if the Gruiand would print it?

  4. March 31, 2014 4:59 pm

    Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    An Archbishop appeals to a higher authority…who knew it was the IPCC?

  5. Keitho permalink
    March 31, 2014 5:01 pm

    Well done Paul. I use your stuff as my rebuttal for all this “extreme weather” nonsense.

    Then I ask them what is causing all of the average weather. That normally results in the happy sound of crickets.

  6. Robin Guenier permalink
    March 31, 2014 5:13 pm

    “Rich, industrialised countries, including our own, have unquestionably contributed most to atmospheric pollution.”

    Except that the developing world is responsible for 67% of current emissions,** China’s per capita emissions are the same as the EU’s,*** and, in particular, the developing world is responsible for at least 50% of emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution.****




  7. March 31, 2014 5:47 pm

    Former Archbishop.

    He can’t threaten us with the “wrath of God” any more so he has to turn to “climate change”.

  8. March 31, 2014 6:27 pm

    “Both our present lifestyle and the industrial history of how we created such possibilities for ourselves have to bear the responsibility for pushing the environment in which we live towards crisis.”

    Hear, hear, Rowan.

    Please remind us how many churches & cathedrals over a century old, have had CO2-creating heating installed since construction? In winter, would parishioners attend without it?

  9. March 31, 2014 7:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Real Science.

  10. March 31, 2014 8:54 pm

    His article is incomplete without the views of the Chief Rabbi on the present state of Arctic Sea Ice and the Pope’s masterly exposition on sea-level rises.

    Islam’s take on the greening of the Sahel has been long in preparation but it is going to be a game changer when it finally comes out!

  11. M E Wood permalink
    March 31, 2014 9:31 pm

    The poor man was not equipped to be anything else but an Oxbridge lecturer with an interest in theology as an academic subject. He did a lot of harm to the world wide Anglican Church. which is fragmenting.
    His training would not include history or science judging by his pronouncements on any of these matters.

  12. March 31, 2014 10:55 pm

    Interestingly, if we returned to the world as Mr. Williams wants, he would most likely be dead, due to the life expectancies.

  13. J Martin permalink
    March 31, 2014 11:03 pm

    Given his astonishing lack of historical knowledge one doubts he even attended school.

  14. April 1, 2014 1:11 am

    Reblogged this on Climatism.

  15. John F. Hultquist permalink
    April 1, 2014 3:05 am

    Guilt is the emotion that keeps on taking whether demanded (Mea culpa X3) by the clergy, eco-loons, or the UN. They make up stuff and demand their hand in your wallet. Have a nice day!

  16. April 1, 2014 4:24 am

    Warming and CO2, which are not related except insofar as higher SST causes ocean outgassing, are much to be desired.

  17. April 1, 2014 11:08 am

    At the time of the “great storm” in 1703, the clergy were saying virtually the same thing, except that the “strange unseasonableness of the weather” was blamed on “divine displeasure” and predicted worse to come if the people “didn’t turn towards a renewed contemplation of God.”

  18. Andy DC permalink
    April 1, 2014 11:16 pm

    A repeat of the 1703 storm would cause unprecedented bedwetting on the part of the MSM and their alarmist friends.

  19. Jimbo permalink
    April 2, 2014 7:22 am

    Here is a reminder about bad weather. I have chosen just 2 years!

    wild weather of 1935

    wild weather of 1936

    Here are some of the Great storms of the Little Ice Age

  20. April 4, 2014 4:42 pm

    I guess when making science “god” failed, it seemed like a good idea to invoke God in place of science and see if that works. Religion is better at laying on the guilt, so in this case, science decided God was useful. Interesting how God only seems to exist in science when he can be explointed.

  21. Peter Carabot permalink
    March 3, 2015 5:11 am

    Very funny if it was not so serious.
    You have to admit the guy has b##^s! The Church needs money, lots of money, they have commitment of a very worldly nature to fulfill. So, if nothing moves you to donate your cash to the church, a bit of guilt for the life you live might encourage you to give freely ( so that they can pay themselves 200K a year). Every religion is the same: Guilt, penance and punishment! Because you are using lots of fuel you have to Give us money for Climate research, otherwise you will roast while you are drowning…..Fools!!

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