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Letters To The Telegraph

March 11, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Last Sunday, the Telegraph printed this letter, in response to Booker’s column on global warming groupthink the week before:


SIR – I agree with Christopher Booker that people tend to adopt the views of their “group” without checking facts or using critical thinking.

Nevertheless, his article contains inaccuracies. A big one: that climate change theory was immediately hailed as a scientific consensus. In fact, it has been challenged, disagreed with, tested, refined, disagreed with some more and, after two decades, a sort of scientific consensus has emerged. However, Mr Booker uses the scientific uncertainty, and the one case of deliberate misuse of data, to try to argue against the facts.

Mr Booker seems to be saying that a small group of scientists have pulled off a hoax of massive proportions that flies in the face of the “real” data, which he doesn’t present. He says that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is corrupt, meteorologists are incompetent, and the 200 countries who have independently researched this are all wrong. The only world leader to point to the truth is that well-known intellectual and world-renowned scientist Donald J Trump.

Simon Foster
Cincinnati, Ohio 



Today there is an excellent riposte:

SIR – Simon Foster’s claim of “a sort of consensus” in the matter of anthropogenic climate change (Letters, March 4) is extremely modest, given that adherents to the global warming meme claim that 97 per cent of scientists fervently believe the hypothesis.

In reality the atmosphere does not conform to the models, and real-world data shows climates varying within natural limits. As nature continues to demonstrate, choosing carbon dioxide as Occam’s Razor to cut through the Gordian knot of climate complexity leaves many loose ends.

Mr Foster’s closing comment about the current US president shows how politics underpins the demonisation of carbon. This helps explain why so many people find it easier to join the bandwagon rather than being sceptical, as scientists should be.

Dr Eric A Huxter
Ashtead, Surrey

  1. Robin permalink
    March 11, 2018 1:09 pm

    Bravo Dr Huxter. Science should always be about honesty, based on facts. Not about hypocrisy driven by venality

  2. March 11, 2018 1:16 pm

    I wonder why the Telegraph would print a letter from an American who clearly has no knowledge of how science is supposed to work. Dr Huxter clearly understands how science is supposed to be carried out.

    • JerryC permalink
      March 11, 2018 1:28 pm

      British expat, probably. Simon is a much more popular first name in the UK than it is in America.

    • alexei permalink
      March 11, 2018 5:13 pm

      Over the past few years the Telegraph appears to be trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds on all manner of issues, perhaps so that it can eventually be seen to be ‘fair-minded’, or eventually 50% right…… It has no apparent “parti pris” and seems to employ a lot of young journalists who have little knowledge about the subject on which they scribe. Judging by the comments, it often seems to set out just to rile many of its natural followers.

      • Rowland H permalink
        March 11, 2018 5:36 pm

        “Young journalists” mean that they are cheap.

  3. James Delingpole permalink
    March 11, 2018 2:32 pm

    Here he is:

    • John Palmer permalink
      March 11, 2018 2:52 pm

      Blimey! With that impressive CV in Science and Climatology I’m amazed that he hasn’t been snapped-up the the Grauniad or the Beeb!

    • March 11, 2018 2:56 pm

      Yes James, I already looked at his profile before commenting above. A BA in Accounting and Finance from Bristol University no less.

      • Robin permalink
        March 11, 2018 4:05 pm

        Well, that explains a lot; accountants are well known for their objectivity and accuracy. Many years ago, when working with a Board of Directors, I asked the Finance Director what he would answer if the Managing Director asked him “what is 2 + 2?”. He answered “whatever he wanted it to be”! And of course the big four accountancy firms were all very clear in their warnings about the impending credit crisis 10 years ago and Carillon’s auditors were very clear in their warnings about the imminent collapse of their client!

      • Chris Treise permalink
        March 11, 2018 4:06 pm

        You must admit that Bristol is fast becoming a radical centre for “green” thinking….momentum…antifa…hate not hope…etc etc, unfortunately, not a great deal of climate knowledge. 🙂

      • Joe Public permalink
        March 12, 2018 4:03 pm

        Reply to Robin March 11, 2018 4:05 pm

        “…. accountants are well known for their objectivity and accuracy.”

        A comment no-doubt seconded by our host.

    • John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia permalink
      March 12, 2018 1:20 am

      He has a lot of recommendations.
      “1 person has recommended Simon Foster.”

      • March 12, 2018 11:56 am

        Can you recommend yourself???

      • seeker permalink
        March 13, 2018 8:21 am

        Obviously his mother is still alive!

  4. Ian Phillips permalink
    March 11, 2018 4:37 pm

    So this thing about the 97% consensus has come back, like the imminent extinction of polar bears! It was based on an analysis by an Australian who claimed to have had responses from over 12,000 scientists. Whilst I do not have the exact information to hand, this figure arose from the discarding of around 2/3 of the whole sample on some flimsy grounds, I recall, that these 8000 odd had responded that the effect of CO2 was minimal/negligible,…… the survey was only concerned to hear from those who thought the influence significant! Of the remainder, only a modest number indicated climate being influenced by CO2, although the degree amounting to no more than some limited influence. By juggling about with all these ‘words used’ he came up with this 97% figure. When I looked at this at the time, around 5 years ago, the AGW influence actually worked out at 3% of the original 12,000 responses…..exactly the opposite of the grandiose claim.

  5. iananthonyharris permalink
    March 11, 2018 5:35 pm

    Sometimes it takes someone naive and simplistic to see the truth. Vide ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’

  6. Christopher Booker permalink
    March 11, 2018 6:50 pm

    With his background in Deloitte’s, PriceWaterhouseCooper and Spencer Stuart, poor Mr Foster may be a prime example of mindless corporate groupthink. But you should tread more carefully in pointing a scornful finger at his academic qualifications in accountancy and finance. The author of this invaluable blog, Mr Homewood, also happens to be an accountant (retired). What matters is not your paper qualifications but whether you are capable of looking properly and honestly at data, thinking straight and thinking for yourself. On this score Paul rates alpha-plus and is in serious danger iof becoming a national treasure. The corporate zombie Mr Foster is not even in the game.

    • Allan M permalink
      March 11, 2018 8:16 pm

      Quite. Education is being taught how to think, not what to think.

    • March 12, 2018 11:37 am

      And President Donald John Trump has a degree from the Wharton School of Finance of The University of Pennsylvania.

      As one with a PhD in Plant Ecosystems from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (plus a MA in taxonomy/ecology and prior, a BA in botany from West Virginia University), may I point out to Mr. Foster, that Donald J. Trump has been spot on with his analysis of climate.

      A large part of science is plain common sense. It does not take degrees as much as it takes the ability to look at reality and call it reality.

      Mr. Foster should have given kudos to that great scientist, former Vice President, Albert Gore, Jr., with a BA in something-or-other.

  7. John F. Hultquist permalink
    March 12, 2018 1:14 am

    Cutting “ through the Gordian knot of climate complexity leaves many loose ends.

    This may not be original with Dr. Eric, but it is a great line.

    I do, however, agree with the first writer — Simon F., who wrote: “The only world leader to point to the truth is that well-known intellectual and world-renowned scientist Donald J Trump.
    I’m sure The Donald” agrees.

  8. dennisambler permalink
    March 12, 2018 10:37 am

    Foster says: “the 200 countries who have independently researched this”

    And there is the myth. The idea that all the signatories of the Paris Accord have independently researched “climate” and come to the same conclusion, is the biggest farce ever. Everyone sings from the IPCC hymn sheet, which in turn was written by a hard core of agenda scientists.

    In 1990, Tom Wigley of NCAR, a former Director of CRU, produced one of the core climate models, MAGICC/SCENGEN, a coupled gas-cycle/climate model (Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change) that drives a spatial climate-change SCENario GENerator (SCENGEN). The companion product, SCENGEN, is a global and regional climate change scenario generator.

    The MAGICC model has been one of the primary models used by IPCC since then to produce projections of future global-mean temperature and sea level rise.

    You can still download a user’s manual for version 5.3, where they describe how they had to change the model to fit the AR4 conclusions. “Changes have been made to MAGICC to ensure, as nearly as possible, consistency with the IPCC AR4.”

    MAGICC and SCENGEN contain the templates that produce the colourful global pictures showing a heating planet. Anyone can obtain the program and use the pre-installed databases to produce “new research” for any region in the world. It is interactive and you can “dial a climate”.

    There are some classics in the document such as “Agreement between GCM’s does not necessarily mean they are all correct, they may all be repeating the same mistakes.”

    “Outreach” by the core institutes, CRU, Potsdam, Potsdam, Oxford ECI and others, means that climate institutes have been established around the world, all using the same materials.

    There are some more UNFCCC training materials here:…/non…/training…/ch12_introduction-to-va-1.ppt

    As Professor Lindzen once said “any lowly weather clerk can now be a climate scientist”.

    • dennisambler permalink
      March 12, 2018 10:42 am

      Sorry Potsdam, Potsdam, should have been Potsdam and NCAR.

  9. CheshireRed permalink
    March 12, 2018 2:02 pm

    Interesting that Occam’s Razor is spoken of re climate change. If it’s actually applied then it categorically comes out against AGW.

    ‘Occam’s razor is the problem-solving principle that, when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the one that makes the fewest assumptions.’

    As far as I can tell there’s a minimum of 5 requirements for AGW.
    1. It’s man made!
    2. It’s human-emitted CO2.
    3. High CO2 / climate sensitivity.
    4. Positive feedbacks & amplification.
    5. Water vapour.

    You can verify those 5 by removing any 1 of them from AGW theory. In any order at every turn, when at least 1 of those components is removed AGW theory promptly collapses. Now compare to the (obvious) alternative.

    1. Natural variation.

    Without a shadow of a doubt Occam’s Razor comes down on sceptics side.

  10. March 13, 2018 2:03 pm

    These notes were written as a submission for the UK Energy and Climate Change Policy 2017. They were probably never read.


    Understand that a nil operating margin for electricity generation in a developed economy is an existential National Emergency.

    Understand that a coming Ice Age, to whatever degree, is the climate catastrophe that really is worthy of concern for future generations.

    The reversion to a Little Ice Age is predicted for the near future, (within decades), and a Real Ice Age could well return this century, next century or this millennium.

    In spite of the vast establishment that has been created to support Green policies and the resulting huge and probably unnecessary expenditures and the increased existential National economic risks, realise that:

    * Man-made Global Warming / Climate Change is most likely a non-problem. And even if it were a problem, it could not be effectively addressed by damaging the economies of the Developed World in attempting to control their emissions of CO2.

    * Understand that there is no Catastrophic risk from Anthropogenic Global Warming. and the major error is the conflation of Man-made atmospheric CO2 with other truly toxic pollutants.

    * Atmospheric CO2 is after all plant food, the very stuff of life.

    Pursuing the Energy Policies outlined here without fear could well:

    * possibly avoid the risk of catastrophic failure of the UK electricity grid.
    * derail the vast expenditures for a Green Climate Change agenda that are already locked into the system. This expenditure, (estimated to be more than £300 billion, £300,000,000,000 by 2030), has no popular mandate in the UK
    * make the UK economy very significantly richer.
    * bring significant benefit to all UK Energy users.


  11. Robin permalink
    March 13, 2018 5:53 pm

    Those in charge of implementing Milliband’s pipe dreams should be asked individually to explain to the public why this excellent submission was ignored.

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