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Did Sir David King Lie To Parliamentary Committee?

May 16, 2017

By Paul Homewood



Sir David King


Last month, I looked at the Sir David King’s evidence to Parliament in 2004. This was when he stated:


I will not spend too much time on this, but if we look back in time for the globe we probably have to go back 55 million years before we find carbon dioxide levels as high as we are now at, and, of course, our carbon dioxide levels are still rising. Fifty-five million years ago was a time when there was no ice on the earth; the Antarctic was the most habitable place for mammals, because it was the coolest place, and the rest of the earth was rather inhabitable because it was so hot. It is estimated that it was roughly 1,000 parts per million then, and the important thing is that if we carry on business as usual we will hit 1,000 parts per million around the end of this century. So it seems to me that it is clear on a global and geological scale that climate change is the most serious problem we are faced with this century


In March 2014, he also gave evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Committee, in his then role as the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change.

One of the Committee members, MP Peter Lilley, grilled him about this statement, which King refused to retract.

However, King also made this extraordinary claim:


“The first hurricane to hit so far north in America was Hurricane Sandy”


This is so astonishingly wrong that I am amazed nobody on the Committee pulled him up on it.

For the record, there have been ten other hurricanes to hit New York or further north since records began in 1851:


Year Name State of Landfall Category
1858 New England NY 1
1869 Eastern New England RI 3
1893 Midnight Storm NY 1
1896   RI 1
1938 Great New England NY 3
1954 Carol NY 3
1954 Edna MA 2
1969 Gerda ME 1
1976 Belle NY 1
1991 Bob RI 2
2012 Sandy NY 1


Note that these are the states where landfall occurred. There have been many other hurricanes which have affected northern states, such as Donna in 1960.


Let us be very clear. It is an extremely serious affair to provide false evidence to Parliament. Since King was employed by the Government as their representative, this is doubly true.

He should be forced to return to the Committee, apologise and retract his untrue statement.

  1. StewGreen permalink
    May 16, 2017 12:59 pm

    Whoa Paul, “Lie” is a strong word.
    Giving incorrect evidence maybe due to being misinformed, or even under the whether.
    You know BBC/MSM use the trick of using a quote in the headline avoid being sued.
    (sorry I duplicated this comment in the other Chinese Wind thread ..delete that if you can)

  2. Dung permalink
    May 16, 2017 1:11 pm

    This is yet another test of May’s climate credentials and as usual I am sure she will default.

  3. Broadlands permalink
    May 16, 2017 1:14 pm

    The 1938 Hurricane… in detail:

    Click to access mwr-066-09-0286.pdf

  4. Broadlands permalink
    May 16, 2017 1:17 pm

    No ice on Earth?

    “Geological and geochemical evidence indicates that the Antarctic ice sheet formed during the Eocene–Oligocene transition 33.5–34.0 million years ago. During maximum ice-sheet growth, pCO2 was between 450 and 1,500 p.p.m.v., with a central estimate of 760 p.p.m.v.”
    Paul N. Pearson, Gavin L. Foster, Bridget S. Wade
    Nature 461, 1110-1113 (22 October 2009)

    • Dung permalink
      May 16, 2017 1:32 pm

      As I am sure you know already: if you stick to the geological records then AGW is impossible but they do not let the facts get in the way of a good agenda.

    • Old Englander permalink
      May 16, 2017 3:28 pm

      34Mya is the end of the Eocene; to be fair (let’s make the effort) King was talking about its beginning, c 56-55 Mya and the Eocene wasn’t at all a consistent epoch climatically, moving from hothouse to icehouse. See Wikipedia; patrolled by AGW trolls, one can’t trust it for accuracy but it lists some issues. Nevertheless collecting geological counterexamples to pCO2 marching in lockstep with temperature is always a valuable study and this is a nice one. Isn’t there a review paper on this somewhere ? Thank you.

  5. May 16, 2017 1:31 pm

    The routine arrogance with which King treats any any evidence/analysis, which runs counter to his own, suggests strongly that the combination of his surname coupled with the handles which precede it have convinced him that whatever he says is pronounced ex cathedra. As with Mann, factual accuracy is an inconvenience to be ignored as circumstances dictate.

  6. May 16, 2017 1:39 pm

    Hurricane Sandy was what we call a “Nor’easter.” The following excellent description comes from Wikipedia. “The term is most often used in the coastal areas of New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. Typically, such storms originate as a low-pressure area that forms within 100 miles (160 km) of the shore between North Carolina and Massachusetts. The precipitation pattern is similar to that of other extratropical storms.

    Nor’easters are usually accompanied by very heavy rain or snow, and can cause severe coastal flooding, coastal erosion, hurricane-force winds, or blizzard conditions. Nor’easters are usually most intense during winter in New England and Atlantic Canada.

    Nor’easters tend to develop most often and most powerfully between the months of November and March, although they can (much less commonly) develop during other parts of the year as well. The susceptible regions are generally impacted by Nor’easters a few times each winter.” Nothing to see here.

    Perhaps Mr. King would like to explain how our advanced civilization caused the climate havoc he describes 55 mya. Is Mr. King aware that the position of continents along with their massing together or breaking apart and the consequent building of mountains affects climate greatly?

  7. May 16, 2017 1:40 pm

    He only gets away with it because so many in power either:

    a) encourage it as true believers
    b) take advantage of the resulting policy outcomes in ways we can easily guess at
    c) are incredibly stupid

    Take your pick but my guess is there is a fairly even split.

  8. May 16, 2017 1:48 pm

    There are more Paul,

    700 yr Sedimentary Record of Intense Hurricane Landfalls
    in Southern New England


    Five intense (category 3 or greater) hurricanes occurring in 1635, 1638, 1815, 1869, and 1938 have made landfall on the New England coast since European settlement. Historical records indicate that four of these hurricanes (1635, 1638, 1815, and 1938) and hurricane Carol, a strong category 2 storm in 1954, produced significant storm surges (.3 m) in southern Rhode Island. Storm surges of this magnitude can overtop barrier islands, removing sediments from the beach and nearshore environment and depositing overwash fans across back-barrier marshes, lakes, and lagoons. In a regime of rising sea level, accumulation of marsh, lake, or lagoon sediments on top of overwash, deposits will preserve a record of overwash deposition.

    We examined the record of overwash deposition at Succotash salt marsh in East Matunuck, Rhode Island, and tested the correlation with historical records of intense storms. Aerial photographs taken after hurricanes in 1954 and 1938 show overwash fans deposited at the site. Analysis of 14 sediment cores from the back-barrier marsh confirmed the presence of these fans and revealed that four additional large-scale overwash fans were deposited within the marsh sediments.

    The four overwash fans deposited since the early seventeenth century at Succotash Marsh matches the historical record of significant hurricane-induced storm surge. These fans were most likely deposited by hurricanes in 1954, 1938, 1815, and either 1638 or 1635. Radiocarbon dating of two prehistoric overwash fans indicated that these were deposited between A.D. 1295–1407 and 1404–1446 and probably represent intense hurricane strikes. In the past 700 yr, at least seven intense hurricanes struck the southern Rhode Island coast and produced a storm surge that overtopped the barrier at Succotash Marsh.

  9. Max Sawyer permalink
    May 16, 2017 1:49 pm

    “He should be forced to return to the Committee, apologise and retract his untrue statement.”

    Won’t happen of course – toeing the party line is all that matters.

  10. May 16, 2017 1:50 pm

    Intense hurricane strikes in southeastern New England since A.D. 1000

    Intense, category 3, 4, and 5 landfalling hurricanes pose a significant threat to lives and resources in coastal areas. Intense hurricane strikes also play a significant role in transporting sediments and shaping coastal landforms. Potential links between human-induced climate change and the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones and the recent concentration of resources and population in areas where intense hurricanes may strike necessitate examination of decadal-to-millennial-scale variability in hurricane activity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane activity records for the western Atlantic Ocean only go back to the late 19th century. In the northeast United States historical records of hurricanes date back 370 years. We use stratigraphic evidence from coastal wetlands to extend the record of intense hurricane strikes into the prehistoric period in southeastern New England. Storm surge and wave action associated with intense storms can overtop barrier islands, remove sand and gravel from the beach and nearshore environment and deposit these sediments across the surface of coastal wetlands. In a regime of rising sea level, organic wetland sediments accumulate on top of these storm-induced deposits, preserving a record of past storms. We reconstructed storm deposition records within coastal marshes from eastern Connecticut to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We matched these records to the historic record of storms and established the age of prehistoric storm deposits dating back about 1000 years with isotopic and stratigraphic dating techniques. The ages of storm deposits at all sites correlate to historic intense hurricane strikes. Prehistoric storm deposits can repeatedly be correlated among multiple sites and are of similar character and extent to the more recent deposits that we attribute to historic intense hurricane strikes. Therefore these older storm deposits were also likely deposited during prehistoric intense hurricanes. We documented at least eight deposits consistent with intense hurricane strikes in the last 1000 years. We identified deposits associated with historic intense hurricanes that occurred in A.D. 1954, 1938, 1869, 1815, 1638 and/or 1635. In addition we identified deposits likely associated with prehistoric intense hurricane strikes that occurred in A.D. 1400-1450, 1300-1400, and 1100-1150. These records indicate no apparent correlation between the frequency of intense hurricane landfalls in southeastern New England and the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period climate oscillations.

  11. Philip Walling permalink
    May 16, 2017 2:11 pm

    Get Booker to write about this in his next S Telegraph column.
    The man’s a disgrace.
    If slippery greedy Philip Green can be threatened with the loss of his knighthood, surely King should be made to worry about his.

    • HotScot permalink
      May 16, 2017 3:14 pm

      The Royal family taught our governments all they know.

      And very off topic. I heard an interesting debate today on Jeremy Vine today, Radio 2. A religious scholar arguing for less political interference in our every day lives, confining it to defence of the country and internal law and order. He maintained everything else, including the NHS and welfare should be left to charities and the Church. As as repulsed as I am at the thought of the church getting it’s mitt’s back in charge of anything more than a collection plate, the rest is very Libertarian, a political organisation I prefer to our current political system.

  12. Alan Tomlin permalink
    May 16, 2017 2:25 pm

    What about the 16 hurricanes to make landfall in Canada’s Newfoundland since 1775? Well north of continental US states (excl Alaska)…..

  13. tom0mason permalink
    May 16, 2017 3:07 pm

    I’m sorry Paul but I can not have you call Lord King a liar!

    A dangerous fantasist who believes all the random dross floating around in his dement head — maybe. More likely is that he is just plain ignorant, however being overstuffed with his own self importance as he is, he just b*llsh|ts his way through these matters knowing nobody will take him to task over his obvious ignorance.
    Hubris left unchecked knows no bounds.

    • May 16, 2017 4:06 pm

      Yep… “supplying false info” is not the same as lying.

      I don’t want to give him excuse for asking for an apology.

  14. May 16, 2017 4:10 pm

    A complaint to the parliamentary ombudsman seems in order.

  15. Old Englander permalink
    May 16, 2017 4:13 pm

    Just read King’s comments in Q2:

    This is going to sound a little immodest, but in the negotiations and in all my discussions, I find that I am a reasonably lone figure in having a good grasp of the climate science—I can talk to the scientists in some detail about that—a good grasp of the technological opportunities, and also a good grasp of the challenges associated with climate impact. Having this scientific vantage I think places me in a fairly unique position in the negotiations.

    He’s quite right, it does sound *really* immodest !

  16. Robin Guenier permalink
    May 16, 2017 4:34 pm

    Completely off topic – but Paul I’ve sent you an email just now about a remarkable item in Labour’s Manifesto.

  17. Athelstan permalink
    May 16, 2017 6:00 pm

    Oh gawd,

    They spend too much time getting a bone on, by preening in the mirror, listening to the sycophants in the echo chamber of academia, slowly begin to believe in their own legend and King is so very typical of this type of arrogant shill.

    He was a half decent post grad chemist but so what?

    What is sad to reflect on, this egregious bombast King, erm indirectly natch……………….. how much damage has he caused the UK economy?

    Pontification, Gabbing on about his miraculous, er definitive understanding of the science of ‘climate change’ then for such a man so willing to blow his own trumpet……………………………… why doesn’t the learned professor deign to, enlighten us all?

    And maybe, playing on ignorance and stupidity, giving the gallery just what they beg King, he uses his letters after his name to appeal to the scientific neophytes, the numpties in the HoC and thus delivers all sorts of specious statistics which are 97% of lying crap.

    Come on Sorr! David, lower yourself, talk to the proles mate, you never know, you might actually learn something and wouldn’t that make a nice change?

  18. A C Osborn permalink
    May 16, 2017 6:03 pm

    The first lie is that Sandy was a Hurricane, it might have been when it was out at sea (although very hyped up by the usual culprits), but at landfall it was just a storm, A Very Big Storm with lots of water, but still just a storm.

  19. Hick From The Sticks permalink
    May 16, 2017 6:30 pm

    Assuming we’re talking about Sir David Anthony King, FRS HonFREng.
    A man who spent more than 7 years as Chief Scientific Adviser to H.M. Government under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and Head of the Government Office for Science from October 2000 to 31 December 2007 and who co-authored a book on tackling global warming (as it was then) in 2008, doesn’t have facts about climate as his finger tips is either lying or is so incompetent at his job that he should be dragged before parliament again to explain which it is.

  20. May 16, 2017 7:52 pm

    As much as I am loathed to admit I think we are on a loser here as at worst David King was incredibly misinformed about everything. In the last few years soft tissue has been found in Dinosaur bones, dating animals that were previously 120 to 150 million years old at less than 40,000. The soft tissue was carbon dated at less than this, but carbon dating is also dubious at best.

    It is increasingly obvious that we know very little of earths past history as we have made seriously erroneous assumptions about various matters nuclear that are proving not to be real, rendering our timelines null and void. My view is we can’t go back more than a thousand years before the physical evidence departs from the recorded account. Lots of people are working on this, but given that it could seriously upset the religious apple cart not to mention some very entrenched science there is a lot of resistance.

    We are not going to win the climate argument with our current scientific arguments as they are often just as wrong as the alarmist arguments albeit they are usually based around common sense given the prevailing wisdom.

    Climate change is 100% a political meme, and has to be destroyed politically.

    • Athelstan permalink
      May 17, 2017 8:40 am

      “We are not going to win the climate argument with our current scientific arguments as they are often just as wrong as the alarmist arguments ”

      Whose ‘we’ – and do you mean ‘you’ – actually.

      It is the climastrologists who make the supposition ie man made CO2 is causing runaway [any] warming of the planet. ‘We’ do not have to produce evidence, what ‘we’ do is to refute and pour scorn on, the pathetically thin body deemed by the statisticians……. ‘evidence’ provided to ‘prove’ their [alarmists] unsubstantiated hypothesis.

      Mark thee well.

      This always was about politics, never anything to do with science, some of us have been saying just the same for 20 years and more. Where UN agenda 21 is social engineering on a world wide scale, what ‘we’ are fighting here; banksterism – Internationalism, corporatism and the political claque who are even now still clinging on the hollow beseeching of such catastrophists the likes of,Sorr Dave King – he should know better but hey he goes for the $s, the man has no real conviction just temporal cravings and its salacious appetite.

      And that is what underpins the green agenda, and all the shills who clarion the great scam = taxpayers largesse, ie enforced taxation and the big moolah – it’s an endless wet dream for the likes of the investment ghouls who suck up the ‘percentages’..

  21. John F. Hultquist permalink
    May 16, 2017 7:56 pm

    if we carry on business as usual we will hit 1,000 parts per million around the end of this century.

    CO2 is increasing at the rate of about 2 ppm and is now just near 400.
    If things continue as now (unlikely), there would be less than 600 ppm in the year 2100.

    In the real world, being off by 40% causes bridges to collapse and airplanes to fall into the ocean.
    The cAGW world is a fantasy realm where to go, a person has to suspend disbelief.

  22. BLACK PEARL permalink
    May 16, 2017 9:24 pm

    Billions wasted world wide on this continuing lie.
    Yet ALL European Govts let it run as to do any other would result in lefty liberal street protests from the indoctrinated believers and potential loss in billions a year of regular guaranteed tax income which they would be lost without, along with the influential prominent people who make nice tidy sums off the back of it, fleecing & conning the plebs.
    Silence from the complicit main stream media, unless it promotes the lie.
    All these piled on invented taxes year after year and they still cant manage.

  23. Tim Hammond permalink
    May 17, 2017 8:13 am

    His statements about Antarctica are also false. Gondwana meant the climate was very different from now as ocean circulation was completely different, and the other continents were by no means “relatively uninhabitable”. That’s sheer nonsense.

  24. May 17, 2017 9:05 am

    The “CO2 Meme” pandemic strikes again. We desperately need a vaccine.

  25. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 17, 2017 7:00 pm

    Like Lord Rees the Astronomer Royal he has hung his hat on AGW and will look a p——k when it falls apart. Not a liar, just a bit clueless.

  26. Don B permalink
    May 18, 2017 1:03 am

    Hurricane Juan

    The hurricane peaked in intensity with sustained winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) that same day, losing some strength as it raced over cooler waters toward the coast of Nova Scotia. Juan made landfall between Shad Bay and Prospect in the Halifax Regional Municipality early on September 29 as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph (160 km/h).[1] Juan retained hurricane strength while crossing Nova Scotia from south to north, though it weakened to a Category 1 storm over Prince Edward Island. It was absorbed by another extratropical low later on September 29 near Anticosti Island in the northern Gulf of Saint Lawrence. [2003]

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