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Climate Change “Biggest Threat” To National Trust

December 1, 2015

By Paul Homewood  


h/t Bill Berry  





According to the National Trust, climate change is the "biggest threat" to the land it protects.

As part of their campaign to address these supposed threats, they have published a report, listing some case studies to highlight the problems and show what they have been doing:


A) Boscastle






They claim:-




Unfortunately this confusion of “climate” and “weather” keeps being repeated.

And the facts?

The storm and consequent flooding at Boscastle were remarkably similar to the ones at Lynmouth in 1952, which led to the loss of 34 lives. Similar storms have also occurred at regular intervals during the 20thC. (See here)

Claims of hotter, drier and stormier summers to come are simply gibberish. And anybody who has been to Boscastle will know that the valley is so steep, and the harbour wide and deep enough, that drainage to the sea is a non-issue.



B) Norfolk Tidal Surge





They claim:




And the facts?


The North Sea Floods of 1953 were by far more serious, leaving 307 dead in the UK alone, including 65 on that stretch of North Norfolk coast around Brancaster. (See here.)

Thousands more died across the North Sea in the Netherlands.

And according to the Met Office’s State of the Climate Report last year, sea levels around the UK have been rising at a pretty steady long term rate of 1.4mm/yr since 1900.

At that rate, it will take 1357 years to get to the nonsensical 1.9m rise touted by the NT.





C) Flooding in County Down





The claim?




And the facts?


No long term trend in winter rainfall in Northern Ireland, or for that matter summer either.





And sea levels at Portrush have not increased in the last 20 years.



Tide Gauge Data from Portrush, N Ireland



D) Drought in Sussex




The claim?




It’s difficult to fit so much drivel into three paragraphs!


Nymans is in the Sussex Weald, the part of the country where, according to the Met Office, summer rainfall has been increasing.





And so has annual rainfall.




His claim that gardens need less rain in summer is also a nonsense. Rain is much important for growing when it falls in winter, and can enter the soil, rather than run off or evaporate. Warm, sunny weather is generally more beneficial in summer, than cold and wet.

He also forgets to mention that a higher concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere actually reduces the need for water.

As for the claims about disease, I am sure it is an extremely complex area. I am equally sure it has little do with climate. For instance, the RHS has this to say about phytopthera on holly:


The causal organism, Phytophthora ilicis, is believed to originate in northern America where it was first described and to have been introduced accidentally to the UK and northern Europe, probably during the last century. It was first recorded in the UK in 1989 and was rarely recorded at that time, but there has been an upsurge in the past ten years for unknown reasons.


Elementary, my dear Holmes!



E) Floods in Gloucestershire







The claim?





And the facts?

Westbury Court is in Gloucestershire, where, apart from the winter of 2013/14, there is no evidence of any trends in winter rainfall.







There have been some wet summers in recent years, but nothing that was not common in the first half of the 20thC, and the wettest summer was 1912.





The wettest month on record since 1910 in the South West was November 1929.

The main reason for floods becoming worse is the building over and drainage of flood plains further up stream 




There are more case studies to go. I might have a look at them tomorrow, if I have not lost the will to live!

But we see here, as we see so often, the mindless blaming of every weather event on the ubiquitous climate change.

By all means protect heritage assets from bad weather, but please do not conflate that with climate. It has nothing to do with it.

As for worrying about apocalyptic claims about what might happen in 60 years time, I would suggest the National Trust has better things to spend its money right here and right now. (Like some of these projects)

  1. Joe Public permalink
    December 1, 2015 6:32 pm

    Writers of such propaganda have to produce ‘something’, simply to justify their job.

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    December 1, 2015 6:46 pm

    Have they got Wind Turbines blighting their properties?

  3. manicbeancounter permalink
    December 1, 2015 7:16 pm

    Many years I worked as a volunteer for the National Trust both at weekends and on working holidays. It was great fun, and I met some fantastic people. There were a number of issues that were more pressing than climate change. They are
    – Control of invasive species. There is knot weed, bramble, blackthorn, silver birch and sycamore. Then there are trees to protect from sheep and deer. But the biggest threat was rhododendron ponticum. I was an expert rhodi-basher, demolishing the things in Snowdonia, the Peak District, Cornwall, Lundy Island, Cheshire, and Surrey (along with some other places). Unchecked on peaty soil they crowd out other species and poison the soil for years after they have gone.
    – Protection of the public from coastal erosion. Near Newquay I have helped construct fences to protect the public from crumbling cliffs. Nothing to do with sea level rise. The rock is a very soft shale so the cliffs are crumbling into the sea.
    – Visitors. Have helped build footpaths in a number of places to protect the landscape. In the Peak District some paths on the moors became as wide as a motorway, as people avoided the mud.
    – The weather. Historic buildings do not last forever. They corrode. Much greater than the average temperature rising is the normal seasonal variation. The difference between the lowest and highest temperature in a year is usually 30-40C. The frost is the worst, followed by gales and snow.

  4. December 1, 2015 7:30 pm

    At Gibside near Newcastle, the National Trust recently converted a riverside field into a car park, to allow more visitors, coming by car to gain access.
    It’s easy to see where their priorities are.

  5. Green Sand permalink
    December 1, 2015 8:31 pm

    It is rather disconcerting having custodians of the National trust who appear to know very little of our natural history.

    Makes you wonder how they would have fared looking after their present day charges during the Little Ice Age?

    How they would have coped with the Great Storm of 1703 and who would they have blamed?

  6. RebeccaH permalink
    December 1, 2015 9:02 pm

    Can anyone suggest what a ‘drier, stormier summer’ would be like? Can’t work it out myself!

  7. December 1, 2015 10:20 pm

    According to Morner sea level rise has stalled; as your chart so indicates from around 2002.

  8. December 2, 2015 4:56 am

    At a guess, such disasters as the activity centre flooding happens cos of bad planning from the NT. They probably spend all their money of fighting CC and none on simple things like having a flood plan and having a handy pile of sandbags or floodguards built onto the bottom of doorways.

  9. December 2, 2015 5:02 am

    The NT people are blogging from their Paris COP21 jaunt
    …at members expense no doubt.

  10. December 2, 2015 11:12 am

    I’m afraid the National Trust has been infiltrated by the green blob in the form of Dame Helen Ghosh who purports to be running the organisation. If there was any reason required to cancel support for this organisation this should be it. Vile individual.

  11. December 2, 2015 12:57 pm

    Would there be any value in members complaining and asking for a review of this foolish drivel, or would it rival complaining to the big Brother Corp.?

    Are they seriously at COP 21 as Stewgreen notes, if so why?

    • December 2, 2015 5:24 pm

      followed up stewgreen’s link and National Trust are there and spewing all sorts of enviro-babble. Have submitted my complaint that I do not support their AGW activism and it is not what members pay for.

  12. rwoollaston permalink
    December 3, 2015 2:39 pm

    As a long time member, I have contacted the National Trust pointing them to this detailed rebuttal off their assertions. I have received an acknowledgement saying that it has been forwarded to ‘the relevant team’. If I get a reply I’ll post it here.

    • December 4, 2015 8:25 am

      Normally standard response from organisations is “how can 97% be wrong and the great and good, like the prince of wallies, all agree with the proven science”.

      We’ve totally lost the battle of the meja.


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