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Ross Clark Challenges Climate Hysteria

January 25, 2023

By Paul Homewood

Ross Clark’s new book challenges climate hysteria:




Fear is very easy to spread. Make a television documentary in which footage of extreme weather events is overlain with vague statements about climate change, and you sow the idea in viewers’ minds that we are headed for a hellish future.

There can never have been a time when some part of the world was not in a heatwave, another part was not flooded, another suffering unusually high temperatures and another unusually low temperatures.

Yet if you report on every extreme event and throw in the term ‘climate change’, you will very rapidly plant the idea that the world is in some freakish transformation.

Even when it demonstrably isn’t. A Pentagon report that came to light in 2004 claimed that by 2007 large parts of the Netherlands would be rendered uninhabitable by flooding and that by 2020 Britain would have a ‘Siberian climate’ as the system of atmospheric circulation broke down.

In his 2006 climate change film An Inconvenient Truth, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore asserted that the snows on Mount Kilimanjaro would be gone ‘within the decade’. While there has been some continued erosion in the mountain’s glaciers, they are very much still in existence.

Certainly, there is ample evidence that the Earth is warming, and there are potentially many negative consequences from that. Yet hyperbole now rules so much coverage of climate change. Changes which are benign are regularly hyped up into something ominous.

On July 19 last year, Britain experienced its highest-ever recorded temperature: 40.3c (104.5f) at Coningsby, Lincolnshire. This was the fourth time Britain’s maximum temperature record had been broken since 1990 and is consistent with a warming climate.

Yet did that justify the reporting which framed it as an ‘apocalypse’ with predictions of 10,000 excess deaths from that summer’s heatwave? In the event, excess deaths came to less than a third of that. Moreover, the middle of 2022 witnessed a large unexplained number of excess deaths beginning in March, long before the heatwave.

Let us accept, though, that heatwaves are a danger to health and that climate change is making them more common and more intense. Yet the increased risk must be balanced against a fall in deaths from the cold — which is a much bigger killer in Britain’s climate.

Official figures from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) show that over the first 20 years of this century, the upward trend in temperatures in England and Wales resulted in just over half a million — 555,103 to be precise — fewer temperature-related deaths. The headlines ought to read ‘Climate change saves half a million lives’, yet this real-word data seemed to tease out some rare scepticism from news outlets more used to presenting doom-laden forecasts and scenarios as established fact.

BBC climate editor Justin Rowlatt began his analysis of the study with the words ‘statistics can be slippery’. In effect, he was saying, I’m choosing not to believe this particular set of data.

But there were no such doubts in the media when, at around the same time, the Government estimated that climate change was going to cost the UK economy up to £20 billion a year by 2050 — even though there is no way of knowing what kind of weather or economy we will have in 30 years’ time.

Rarely is it admitted that there might even be some benefits from a warming climate. The Government’s own climate change risk assessment did identify some of these, such as the ability to grow a richer variety of crops in Britain, but this tended to go missing from the reporting.

Moreover, some of the dangers identified made you wonder: are we really so helpless as to be unable to cope? It cited ‘risks to human health, wellbeing and productivity from increased exposure to heat in homes and other buildings’. Yet people already live and work quite happily in climates far hotter than Britain will experience even in the most dramatic scenarios of climate change.

They manage to do this thanks to properly designed buildings, insulated from heat as well as cold, aided by proper ventilation and air-conditioning.

The trouble is that in Britain we have been putting up poorly engineered new buildings which are designed to cut carbon emissions to the exclusion of all other considerations, such as the comfort of their occupants.

They are stuffed with insulation and sealed against draughts — yet have inadequate ventilation and insufficient means to disperse heat from the sun and other sources. Occupants of new homes are wilting not because of climate change but, perversely, because of building standards designed to avert climate change. Yet nuances such as this are lost as we are fed a diet of ever-greater climatic doom.

There seem to be very simple rules behind the narrative being spun to the public. First, that climate change offers nothing positive, only harm. Second, that the only way to tackle that harm is to end climate change. The idea of adapting to it is considered sacrilege.

We end up not with managed changes to the climate that might improve the situation but cataclysms beyond human ingenuity. And apparently also beyond the ability of the natural world to cope.

Climate change is apparently going to kill off plants which rely on birds to spread their seeds. It is going to kill off insects — except for mosquitoes and locusts, whose numbers are going to explode

Some of what passes for warnings on climate is sheer flight of fancy. In January last year a study funded by the Met Office and written by academics at Exeter and Edinburgh universities presented five scenarios as to what might happen by the year 2100, depending on what actions are taken now.

One of them, in which the Government carried on exploiting fossil fuel, bizarrely had Britain descending into hunter-gathering and feudal warfare. Another, where green policies were adopted, resulted in the eradication of poverty by the end of the century.

This is not climate science, nor science of any kind; it is science fiction, dreamed up to serve a particular political outlook.

None of this is to say that climate change is not happening and is not a problem. The world is warming and there are many reasons why we should want to cut carbon emissions and adopt cleaner forms of energy.

But we are not having a reasoned debate as to the choices and balances which that entails. Instead, we are presented with hysteria, with terms such as ‘heat apocalypse’ being thrown about. That belongs to the movies, not real life.

Worryingly, there is now a growing divide between the statements of climate campaigners who claim to have science on their side and what scientific data actually says. At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in 2021, everyone was banging on about ‘the science’, a supposed set of truths which could not be challenged. But it was noticeable how few actual climate scientists were there delivering lectures.

Certainly not the ones who compiled the report of the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published three months earlier, which pointed to some interesting and some conflicting changes in the climate but hardly to doomsday.

Its worst-case scenario — a global temperature rise of 4c, wind speeds in the strongest tropical storms up 5 per cent and rainfall from tropical storms up 12 per cent, as well as sea level rises of a metre by 2100 — would present serious challenges in many places. But even that would hardly amount to a ‘cataclysm’ for human civilisation.

We have lived through many ice ages, with rapid warming and cooling of the climate occurring over a few decades. Surely, an advanced industrial civilisation can find ways to cope with all these changes.

Yet climate change is a world that has come to be controlled by activists and campaigners who claim to be on the side of science and reason but who are really spinning narratives which suit ulterior motives.

And they get away with it because sceptical views have been all but banned from many newspapers and news channels.

In 2018 BBC news staff were asked to go on a one-hour course on reporting climate change, in which it was made clear that interviewees who were sceptical about man-made climate change were no longer regularly to be invited on to BBC news programmes. It went further: sceptics were now branded as ‘deniers’ — an emotive term coined by climate activists to try to compare their opponents to Holocaust deniers.

‘To achieve impartiality,’ BBC news staff were told, ‘you do not need to include outright deniers of climate change in BBC coverage, in the same way as you would not have someone denying that Manchester United won 2–0 last Saturday. The referee has spoken.’ In practice it isn’t just ‘outright deniers of climate change’ who have disappeared from the BBC. I struggle to recall a single case where a dissenting opinion has been expressed on the subject over the past five years.

Yet there appears to be no parallel ban on the views of people who exaggerate the findings of the IPCC or other scientific sources. On the contrary, such people have continued to appear on the BBC, their assertions unchallenged.

In September 2021, for example, an activist with Insulate Britain, which was then causing havoc by blocking motorways, claimed on the Today programme that climate change would lead to ‘the loss of all that we cherish, our society, our way of life and law and order’, that the economy was ‘in serious danger of collapse’ and that climate change was ‘endangering billions of people’s lives’.

On none of these claims was she challenged.

There is a drive on the part of some activists to go further than simply banish sceptical opinion from the airwaves. Trygve Lavik, a philosopher at the University of Bergen, has suggested that climate change ‘denialism’ be made illegal on the grounds that it is a ‘crime against present and future generations’.

This tougher tone in the media is partly down to an organisation called Covering Climate Now, an initiative by the Guardian and other outlets with Left-liberal leanings, to which some very high-profile news organisations, such as Bloomberg, Reuters, the Daily Mirror and Newsweek, have signed up.

It offers support to journalists to ‘forge a path towards an all-newsroom approach to climate reporting’. Its guidance includes: ‘Remember, an extreme weather story that doesn’t mention climate change is incomplete and potentially even inaccurate.’

For example, when reporting a hurricane, they were urged to add that ‘this comes at a time when human-caused climate change is consistently making storms more intense’.

Storms more intense? This is not the conclusion that would be reached by a reporter who bothered to do their own digging and came across a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has done more research into this than anyone. It affirms that ‘there is no strong evidence of century- scale increasing trends in major hurricanes’.

As for the IPCC, it found that Australia is currently experiencing the lowest frequency of tropical cyclones in the past 550 to 1,500 years, while the northern Indian Ocean is seeing an increased intensity of the most severe storms but a decrease in frequency. The data tells us that, no, rising global temperatures have not unleashed lethal hurricanes and other storms which otherwise wouldn’t have occurred, and in some parts of the world there is even a downward trend in storm activity.

Yet that is not the picture that viewers, listeners and readers will have picked up from reports of extreme weather events.

Rather, they are urged to believe that the world is already in the grip of mad winds whipped up as a result of human influence on the climate, that when anyone dies or is made homeless in a hurricane they are victims of man-made climate change and that things are only going to get worse unless we take drastic action now.

Were the public to be fed a calmer, more even-handed reporting of the data, we might have a more rational debate over net zero.

So what is really going on with the climate? What, exactly, is at stake when people assert that climate change is so dire a threat that we have no option other than to eliminate all net greenhouse emissions by 2050?

The evidence from the IPCC shows that the Earth is warming, leading to a rise in extreme high temperatures and a fall in the number of extreme low temperatures over most of the globe.

The world is also seeing higher and heavier rainfall, although this is not translating into greater flood risk in most cases. A study of more than 2,000 rivers over half a century, quoted in the most recent IPCC report, found that in only seven per cent of them was there an increasing trend in maximum annual flood levels.

Storm tracks in some parts of the world have shifted, leading to a rise in storms at high latitudes and a fall elsewhere. There is no increase in tropical storms, although they may be dumping more rainfall in some places.

Some places are suffering more drought, others are seeing less dry conditions. Fire risk has increased in some places but this has not translated into an overall increase in land affected by wildfires.

Data specifically on the UK confirms an upward trend in temperature and rainfall, more heatwaves but also fewer cold spells. There is some evidence of more intense rainfall.

But none of this adds up to the idea that Britain is suffering extreme or ‘violent’ weather, ‘climate breakdown’ or any other of the hysterical claims which are being made every time the country suffers weather-related damage.

If the present trends in temperature and rainfall are maintained throughout this century, Britain will end up with the kind of climate which is already experienced in slightly more southerly latitudes. A further rise of 1.5c in average July temperatures in London, for example, would take us to the current levels experienced in Paris.

But of all the challenges presented by climate change, the most serious for Britain is rising sea levels. Many of the country’s most populated areas are in low-lying coastal locations. London sits at the end of a funnelling estuary vulnerable to tidal surges.

Yet climate change is not the whole story here. Britain sits on a tectonic plate. The South-East of England is sinking — and has been doing so since the last Ice Age. Up to half the change in sea level in the Thames estuary is down to the land sinking rather than the sea rising.

The answer to flooding is better defences. Even in the worst-case scenarios, for the next century at least, we will be able to continue to live where we do now by adopting the drainage and flood defence policies of the Netherlands.

There, a quarter of the land surface already lies below sea level and the lowest point is a full 6.7 metres below sea level. Yet flooding is rare because sea defences are strong and drainage well managed.

None of this is to say that we should not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is very much in our interests to burn less fossil fuel, and to decrease greenhouse gas emissions more generally, even to try to eliminate them eventually.

But the fact is that we are not being fried, frozen, drowned, burned or blown away by human-induced climate change.

That is hyperbole, which is being used to suppress debate over net zero and forcing us into making some very poor decisions.

We need to stop panicking. At the moment we are responding to modelled, worst-case scenarios and to assertions of climatic doom which have no scientific basis, only an emotional one.

We have somehow developed an atmosphere in which anyone who expresses scepticism is denounced as a ‘denier’, yet baseless narratives of doom are promoted as fact.

To have succeeded in creating this atmosphere is an astonishing achievement on the part of climate activists.

Their manipulation of public emotion is truly remarkable. But any calm reading of real-world climatic observations shows their alarmism to be misplaced.

Somehow, government and Parliament must start to tell us the honest story, not adopt the language of the activists in telling us we are ‘a minute from midnight’ and so on. It is two decades since I first heard the assertion that we have ‘only five years to save the planet’, and yet we are still here, unroasted, unstarved and undrowned.

Panic is a sure way to make bad decisions, invest in the wrong things, make ourselves needlessly poorer and give other, far more polluting countries an economic advantage — likely increasing overall emissions as a result.

There are technologies which may one day allow us to eliminate carbon emissions at reasonable cost, but we do not yet know which ones. We will only find out if we give them time to prove themselves or fail.

The market can play a huge part in coming up with solutions, but to think that it will come up with all the answers just because we set an arbitrary target such as Britain’s 2050 goal for net zero is foolish.

Deadlines and targets can be helpful in achieving results, but not if they are entirely impractical. We could set a target to eliminate world hunger by next Tuesday — but we wouldn’t get there, however much we threatened the bosses of the world’s food businesses if they failed.

So how far can we reasonably expect to have got by 2050? I feel sure that by then we will be enjoying the benefits of cleaner energy than we have now. We may even have cheaper energy. But will Britain or the world have achieved net zero emissions? I suspect not.

I have a strong belief that, given the choice, we will have opted for economic growth — much to the disappointment of many green campaigners who seem to be motivated by a bizarre desire to halt rising living standards.

Meanwhile, the sun will still shine, the wind will still blow, the rain will still fall, the Earth will still be very much habitable — and we will look back to the prophecies of climatic doom being made today in the same way that we now look back at the 18th/19th century economist Thomas Malthus’s predictions of mass famine, or the warnings in the 1960s and 1970s that a new ice age was on its way.

It is the way with human civilisations: we are programmed forever to worry, to believe that a sticky end lies just around the corner — but we are also imbued with an ability to adapt, to survive and to thrive.

  • Adapted from Not Zero: How An Irrational Target Will Impoverish You, Help China (and Won’t Even Save The Planet) by Ross Clark, to be published by Forum on February 2 at £20. © Ross Clark 2023.

67 Comments leave one →
  1. Douglas Brodie permalink
    January 25, 2023 10:28 am

    Malthusian globalists showed their true colours through their evil Covid “plandemic”. Their Covid lies and propaganda since 2020 should alert people to the climate change lies and propaganda they have inflicted on us for the past 30 years. See

    • Thomas Carr permalink
      January 25, 2023 10:53 am

      Too much at stake for the renewables lobby to concede anything. What would Lord Deben do then, poor thing.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        January 25, 2023 11:17 am

        He is supposed to have retired already.

  2. malcolm fraser permalink
    January 25, 2023 10:32 am

    Simply, Hallelujah!

  3. Martin Brumby permalink
    January 25, 2023 10:42 am

    Good piece by Ross, but marred by the acceptance of the lie that CO2 emissions should be reduced.
    Warming has certainly not been demonstrated to be caused by a trivial increase in concentrations of a trace gas vital for all life on Earth.

    Even if that could be demonstrated, the results of the trivial increase in temperatures, exceeded many times in the past; those results are of interest, certainly not ‘concern’.

    Liars lie. Climate liers lie on a megalomaniacal scale. Never, ever, trust a GangGreen lier to tell you something true.

    • January 25, 2023 10:52 am

      I agree. It really is disappointing that the CO2-emissions-cause-climate-change claptrap is accepted/promoted in an article such as this. Could it be that even the Daily Mail cannot bring itself to allow the truth to be told for fear of being cancelled or something?

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        January 25, 2023 12:59 pm

        I disagree. The overriding objective must be to persuade the public and politicians of the urgent need to abandon the absurd net zero policy – a policy that’s easily shown to be disastrous and pointless. And obviously adherence to a disastrous and pointless policy isn’t going to defeat a ‘climate emergency’. Making that relatively simple point is all that’s necessary. In contrast, challenging the notion of a climate emergency would be a serious unforced error – getting you sucked into the ghastly and mind-numbing world of climate change politics where debate is not allowed and where you’d be dismissed as a ‘climate denier’ and therefore unworthy of serious attention. It’s surely obvious that that isn’t the way to get the public and politicians to understand why it’s necessary abandon this absurd policy?

    • HotScot permalink
      January 25, 2023 10:56 am

      The objective is to invite debate on the subject, not alienate people.

      The unlikely CO2 influence on the subject will evolve over time. In the meantime we need to offer the public an alternative that doesn’t terrify them.

      The largely ignorant public are the victims here. Our job is to persuade, not browbeat.

      A recent poll demonstrating that globally 40% of humanity doesn’t believe in AGW. That was an increase over when the same poll was run some years ago. In France the change was 8%.

      We are winning. It might not seem like it but not all the public are incurious. A lot read this and other sceptical blogs but never comment.

      • W Flood permalink
        January 25, 2023 4:35 pm

        If you want debate try

      • HotScot permalink
        January 25, 2023 5:18 pm

        @W Flood.

        That’s one for my bookmarks.

        Thank you.

    • Ian Wilson permalink
      January 25, 2023 11:18 am

      Indeed, a shame an otherwise excellent article is marred by perpetuating this premise. I would also question the assertion the planet IS warming when the UAH satellite temperature data-base (the most reliable as it is unaffected by urban heat island effects and the tampering seen on terrestrial data) shows no warming over the last eight years and if the 2015/16 el Nino peak is discounted no warming this century.
      In fact since that 2015/16 peak the climate has cooled by 0.65 of a degree, but for some reason I have missed hearing this on the BBC.

      • Jules permalink
        January 25, 2023 1:44 pm

        I doubt the BBC would ever show the graph, too frightening for non-scientists. Dumbing down is always justified as catering for diversity. We are a long way from The Royal Institutions Christmas Lectures for children of the 1970’s.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 25, 2023 11:44 am

      Trying to argue that CO2 is insignificant is difficult, given that it is the most fundamental tenet of the climate religion. It takes a good understanding of the kinetic theory of gases and infrared spectroscopy/ quantum mechanics of molecular vibrations to begin to address the physics properly. Not in the average school curriculum these days.

      Moreover the end results are nuanced. There are still residual effects from CO2 increases. Knowledge of feedbacks and cloud modelling are inadequate to be conclusive, even though empirical evidence suggests that almost all climate models exaggerate them.

      • Vernon E permalink
        January 25, 2023 4:55 pm

        It doesn’t…. No it doesn’t, it just needs an derstanding that carbon dioxide is 430 parts per MILLION of the atmosphere and is enrirely benign – the source of all lfe.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        January 26, 2023 9:29 am

        Unfortunately it is cod science to believe that 430ppm has no effect on atmospheric temperatures. What is much harder to understand is that although it probably accounts for ~7K out of the ~33K of warming compared with what we would have in an inert atmosphere given the rest 9f its composition, further increases are only going to have a very limited effect.

        The role of CO2 in the biosphere is secondary for climate believers. They might worry if we returned to pre-industrial famines that culled some of their ancestors.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        January 26, 2023 4:57 pm

        One word for the effects of CO2 – logarithmic.

    • Vernon E permalink
      January 25, 2023 4:50 pm

      MartinB: I don’t agree that it is a good article. It is meek and contradictory. The issue, the ONLY issue, is whether there is a link between climate variation and carbon dioxide, and he doesn’t even mention carbon – just some vague ramblings about greenhouse gases. This grist to the mill for the Bob Wards of this world. Whose side is he on?

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        January 25, 2023 5:23 pm

        The issue, the ONLY issue, is whether there is a link between climate variation and carbon dioxide...’

        That’s true if your objective is to get involved in the climate science debate. But it’s not true if your objective is to persuade the government to abandon its absurd net zero policy, something that can be done by demonstrating that it’s disastrous and pointless whatever the truth about the science may be.

        If curtailing net zero is your objective – as surely it should be as it’s hard to imagine anything much more important – getting involved in the climate science debate would be a recipe for failure. And that’s because you would find yourself being sucked into the ghastly and mind-numbing world of climate change politics where you’d be dismissed by the Bob Wards of this world as a ‘climate denier’ and therefore unworthy of serious attention.

  4. The Informed Consumer permalink
    January 25, 2023 10:43 am

    The USSR had it’s government run news outlets, the Chinese still have them.

    The UK has the BBC.

  5. Mr Robert Christopher permalink
    January 25, 2023 10:53 am

    Would you accept any advice from an organisation that blows up their coal-fired power stations before their replacements are available for production?

    No, me neither.

  6. dennisambler permalink
    January 25, 2023 11:16 am

    “None of this is to say that climate change is not happening and is not a problem.”

    Statements like this are a problem.

    • Gamecock permalink
      January 25, 2023 11:37 am

      There are many problematic statements in the article, making for tortuous reading.

  7. January 25, 2023 11:25 am

    It is a shame Clark uses the fake temperature record from the weather station next to the runway at RAF Coningsby that lasted for one second. Yes, ONE second. The Met Office have refused to answer questions about this. This sort of junk data is replicated in Australia where their corrupt weather service has automated recording – datalogging that you can do at home quite cheaply now – where they set it to record every second. Exposing this fraud would be a job well done but I suppose we should be grateful for Clark’s efforts if they do start to sow some doubt in the minds of the ignorant masses.

    • Caro permalink
      January 25, 2023 11:46 am

      I agree, the temperature that was recorded at Coningsby was misleading and was used by the media to hype the global warming scam. They cannot prove that the earth is warming, as the equipment used has changed over the years and the weather stations are not in the same places, so no realistic comparison can be made.

      • January 25, 2023 12:25 pm

        I agree, Caro. (Although I would prefer “fraudulent” rather than “misleading”.

        But another point needs to be made.

        To paraphrase Jonathan Swift: – Weather Records are like Piecrusts. Made to be broken.

        I’m sure that Paul, who is singularly adept at putting in context the latest shouty “Record” being promoted by the MSM around the world could, (for an appropriate salary), generate “record” after “record” on a daily basis for the MET/BBC to use in their shameless agit-prop.

        Note that “unprecedented” weather events do not even require Typhoon jets taking off. Especially when the game is given away by admitting in paragraph seven that (whatever) hasn’t been observed for 40 years!!

        The fact is that accurate temperatures, rainfall measurements, wind speeds etc. have been available (using then best technical equipment and conscientious observers lacking axes to grind) for only a period of a few hundred years even in Great Britain, less in most ‘developed’ countries and for maybe only 50 years elsewhere.

        Is it really a big deal if a weather event exceeds even 100 years of records, even if Urban Heat Island effects, technically “improved” instrumentation effects are ignored? Of course not. And the parameters are easy to fudge. An odd high temperature may be the “record” for a particular location, or for a particular month. So we go down the rabbit hole of agonising that (whatever) was the highest, lowest, fastest, wettest, driest, or most boring number recorded on Rockall in May. So bloody what?

    • mjr permalink
      January 25, 2023 5:48 pm

      was that the second that the Typhoon fighter went past on the runway with its afterburners on ??

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      January 26, 2023 12:09 pm

      Here’s a really funny thing. The Welsh record was broken at RAF Hawarden. However, if you have Google Earth Pro you can view the site over time. It was close to the runway at coordinates 53.174766N by -2.987494 but then it was recently moved even closer to an intersection with a taxiway at 53.17542 by -2.98639 to get even “hotter” results.

  8. January 25, 2023 11:39 am

    In his 2006 climate change film An Inconvenient Truth, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore asserted that the snows on Mount Kilimanjaro would be gone ‘within the decade’.

    JANUARY 25, 2023
    One dead as heavy snow and record cold hit Japan

    Inconvenient for doomsayers.

  9. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    January 25, 2023 12:03 pm

    ‘the Government estimated that climate change was going to cost the UK economy up to £20 billion a year by 2050 — even though there is no way of knowing what kind of weather or economy we will have in 30 years’ time.’

    I’ll apologize in advance for the terrible pop up ads in the news item below.
    That said,it demonstrates how local government is already sacrificing hugh amounts of tax payers money on dubious schemes at the altar of man made climate change.
    Former middle manager from a health care background, this Labour mayor loves grandiose vanity projects.
    The latest one is district heating; created by burning rubbish in an incinerator as well as the usual wind turbines and solar pannels.
    Named City Leap all this will take place in an industrial area known as Avonmouth. Water, once heated is planned to be piped 8 miles up the road, past housing estates, to the city centre. If it works.
    It is far too easy to spend other people’s money !

    “World first’ £1bn deal for a greener Bristol launched”

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 25, 2023 1:02 pm

      Haven’t they said they will be getting us to spend £50bn a year to prevent it?

      HS2 economics in play.

      • Douglas Dragonfly permalink
        January 25, 2023 3:48 pm

        What economics ?
        This is beyond ridiculous.
        Surely they have to cost these projects before hand plus where the cash will come from ?

        The City Leap stupidity will take years to pay for – at the expense of other possibly better projects.
        Another example – Hinkley C.

  10. jamesrethomas permalink
    January 25, 2023 1:25 pm

    For the last few years, I have tutored bright young six formers in preparation for engineering degrees. I have been stuck that none of them have seen warming as a key issue likely to affect their lives. This year one of them even remarked that her and her friends see through the hype and considered it ‘a bit of a laugh’. Could this be a ray of hope that science deniers will be vanquished in the next generation.

    • Caro permalink
      January 25, 2023 1:55 pm

      I hope so.

    • Roy Roy Hartwell permalink
      January 26, 2023 4:09 pm

      I think the key is ‘Engineering degrees’ ! As a retired scientist I wouldn’t consider current scientific education as being as robust as engineering education.

  11. January 25, 2023 1:42 pm

    I follow Ross Clark in the Telegraph and like his style. I don’t always agree with him and have commented to say so. However, despite the shortcomings of the extract – and presumably his book – mentioned above, it seems to me a good sign that a prominent and generally well-liked writer on the Telegraph should be producing this narrative. Here’s hoping!

  12. Mad Mike permalink
    January 25, 2023 1:44 pm

    If you read the comments on the article in the Mail you notice, when some alarmists are confronted with people that oppose their views, they start calling them unintelligent or lacking reasoning power/education etc.

    Such closed minds and arrogance.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      January 25, 2023 5:38 pm

      I note that after 1.6K comments, this message has appeared:

      “We are no longer accepting comments on this article.”

      I wonder why…

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        January 26, 2023 12:46 pm

        On a Guardian article about the “false” 1970s global cooling/impending ice age scares, I posted 3 links to archived Guardian articles claiming that very subject. It was “removed by the moderator” so I queried why with them. They told me it was “off topic”. I further pushed the point of how on earth could linking Guardian articles about an impending ice age be off topic to an article in the Guardian about how false these prior claims were. When they declined to answer I pushed the point further to which they eventually replied that I was trolling and deleted my profile!

      • catweazle666 permalink
        January 26, 2023 6:03 pm

        Join the club!

  13. Broadlands permalink
    January 25, 2023 1:50 pm

    “There are technologies which may one day allow us to eliminate carbon emissions at reasonable cost, but we do not yet know which ones.”

    Eliminating carbon emissions keeps fuels in the ground but takes no CO2 from the atmosphere. What it does do is make fuels for the transportation required to complete the transition to renewables and EV transportation less and less available and at higher cost. That is counterproductive, especially to those in the poorer high population density countries that activists seek to help. Some reality would be better than hysteria from the likes of activists Al Gore, John Kerry and Greta Thunberg.

  14. John Brown permalink
    January 25, 2023 2:11 pm

    Ross Clark writes :

    “But there were no such doubts in the media when, at around the same time, the Government estimated that climate change was going to cost the UK economy up to £20 billion a year by 2050 — even though there is no way of knowing what kind of weather or economy we will have in 30 years’ time.”

    This would be worth it as the Government’s Mission Zero Review states :

    “The Climate Change Committee (CCC) estimated that an additional £13.5 billion of investment will be needed in 2022, rising to £50-60 billion per year by the early 2030s to meet the UK’s net zero goals.”

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      January 25, 2023 3:30 pm

      Good comment – so the cost to the economy of doing nothing might be £20 billion a year (which I doubt anyway) but lets spend £13.5 rising to £50 – 60 billion a year by no later than 2035 to mitigate that cost?

      Truly , truly stupid.

      If the cost from 2022 to 2o35 caused by climate change is 14×20 = £280 billion and the cost of acting is 13.5 rising at 3.2 billion a year for the next 13 years then on those government figures “solving” the problem will have cost us £480 billion.

      So we can save £200 billion by doing nothing.

      • Gamecock permalink
        January 25, 2023 10:18 pm

        10-4, Scientist. Considering the time value of money, it is incredibly stupid to spend money for the future.

  15. John Brown permalink
    January 25, 2023 2:32 pm

    Ross Clark writes :
    “The world is warming and there are many reasons why we should want to cut carbon emissions and adopt cleaner forms of energy.”

    Er, no…

    CO2 is not a pollutant but a vital gas for all life on the planet to exist.

    For the last 50 if not 150 million years atmospheric CO2 has been steadily declining from many times today’s level as shelled marine animals were using up the CO2 to build their shells faster than volcanoes were emitting CO2. When these animals died they formed the 100 million, billion tons of carbonaceous rocks in the earth’s crust including the rocks where oil and gas can be found.

    For the last 800,000 years the atmospheric CO2 has dropped 9 times to just 180 ppm, only 30 ppm above the minimum required for plants to survive. The last occasion being the most recent ice age which we exited just 11,000 years ago.

    If humans were not emitting CO2, and volcanos did not emit sufficient CO2 themselves, then eventually the CO2 level in the atmosphere would eventually drop below 150 ppm as shelled marine animals continued to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and the seas and all life on the planet would die.

    We need to increase the level of CO2 in the atmosphere not decrease it. Current increases have greened the planet enabling more food to be grown. Atmospheric CO2 needs to treble to reach the level used in greenhouses to optimise plant growth.

    There is no empirical evidence that shows the slight amount of benign warming is causing increasing occurrences of extreme weather.

    • Up2snuff permalink
      January 25, 2023 3:31 pm

      John Brown, don’t forget that the natural world emits CO2 as well. All living matters breathes. Some of the natural world also emits methane, especially mosquito habitats. Surprising that the so-called ‘Environmentalists’ & the UN’s IPCC do not wish to do away with many swamps as mosquitoes cause harm to humans via malaria and the Zika virus.

  16. ThinkingScientist permalink
    January 25, 2023 3:33 pm

    Following sent to my MP November 2021, perhaps Ross Clark might also digest?

    “Following the hysteria at COP26 and some statements by officials that don’t seem at all accurate, I thought it appropriate to draw your attention to what the IPCC AR6 official science report has to say about detecting trends in extreme weather/climate data. You may find the answers are rather surprising.

    Note that in the IPCC science reports “detection” means statistical detection and does not imply any attribution ie the cause of a detected change could be natural or anthropogenic. The analysis comes from Roger Pielke Jr., a well known academic researcher in in this area.

    In the AR6 science report the following are all rated “low” probability in detecting any trends. Low is defined as less than 2 in 10 or 20%. In scientific/statistical terms this means there is NO statistical evidence of trends in any of the following:

    Meteorological Drought (ie no rain)
    Hydrological Drought (weaker stream flow or groundwater)
    Tropical Cyclones (hurricanes etc)
    Extreme Winds

    The follow are listed as “medium” probability of detecting change. But note that “medium” means 50/50 so no better than a coin toss ie not statistically significant in any normal science sense:

    Soil moisture deficit
    Fire weather

    And finally the only two changes they claim to detect with any statistical confidence (at the 90% level, I think, which is still a lower threshold than the 95% confidence usually used):

    Heat Waves & Warm Days (not really surprising in a slightly warmer world)
    Heavy Precipitation

    I am very concerned that many MPs (and of course the media, environmental activists and the general public) seem to think the science supports and provides evidence of trends eg increases in hurricanes, drought or flooding when in fact the latest AR6 science report does not say that. Are government ministers being properly advised and has proper due diligence been performed by impartial scientists informing the government? Or is everyone just ignoring the science report and reading the “Summary for Policy Makers” which is not written by the scientists and appears to be politically driven?”

    • John Brown permalink
      January 25, 2023 6:52 pm

      Many thanks for this information. I will also write to my MP.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        January 25, 2023 10:09 pm

        Hope your MP is not the science equivalent of tone deaf like mine.

  17. W Flood permalink
    January 25, 2023 4:23 pm

    It is a spectroscopic fact that there is so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that adding more only produces a tiny amount of additional warming once things like clouds are taken into account. It does however produce a fantastic increase in the yield of crops.

    • Caro permalink
      January 26, 2023 4:06 pm

      I don’t know what spectroscopic means, but I do not consider 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to be ‘so much’. On what do you base your claim that adding more carbon dioxide produces warming?

  18. eastdevonoldie permalink
    January 25, 2023 5:00 pm

    It would appear that Ross Clark is trying to ‘run with the hare and the hounds’ when he accepts “the planet is warming” such acceptanc merely endorses the ecp=warriors case!

    • Up2snuff permalink
      January 25, 2023 9:59 pm

      eastdevonoldie, when you think about it, the world must be warming because we have set in the year just past a new record for the world population. I understand that world population has broken the eight billion barrier although I guess that is an estimate (guess) on the part of various world bodies.

      Every healthy adult human body, if I recall correctly, emits the heat equivalent of a 200-250kw single bar electric fire, especially so when active. Although the humans who took us past the 8bn world population barrier are still babies, in time they will be adults, too, and doing their share of planet warming.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        January 26, 2023 11:59 am

        “Every healthy adult human body, if I recall correctly, emits the heat equivalent of a 200-250kw single bar electric fire,”
        I think you might wish to reconsider that statement!

  19. Elli permalink
    January 25, 2023 5:23 pm

    I would like to add that so-called ‘activists’ (in fact paid shills) like Bill McKibben have been lying about ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ since decades.

    The guy is incensed by the mainstream media as they all roll for the same puppet masters (They were in Davos last week).

    There is only one concept to describe Bill McKibben and his useful idiots: GREE NAZIS or GREEN FASCISTS.

    Because what they want is to impose on all of us their sick ideology and their superstitions about climate.

    Rich people like Bill McKibben don’t give a damn if you can’t heat your home or can’t work anymore because you don’t have a car to do so. They live well while you struggle.

    Same for the useful idiots who really don’t have any mental capabilities left and think that removing CO2 is great.

    The retards on and all other corporate funded fake grassroots orgs should know that plants feed on Co2 and when CO2 levels go down, famines might occur.

    But facts don’t interest fanatics and lunatics, now that they have one of them in the White House, they even feel stronger.

    Fed-up about all the good people who stay silent in front of these green nazis!

  20. John Hultquist permalink
    January 25, 2023 5:58 pm

    The text mentions Mt. Kilimanjaro

    About 8 years ago there was interest in this. Al Gore latched on to reports by an Ohio State researcher. These ice fields, and others, are known to have been decreasing for over 150 years.
    In Kilimanjaro’s case there was, apparently, a fairly rapid land-cover change (deforestation) of the mountain’s foothills. Without the forests’ humidity, previously moisture-laden winds began carrying less moisture. Could be!?
    All very interesting, but most folks have moved on – and there is still some ice (reduced) on the top above 18,000 feet (~5,500 m).
    Use Google Earth Pro, or try:

  21. Ulric Lyons permalink
    January 25, 2023 7:06 pm

    “Let us accept, though, that heatwaves are a danger to health and that climate change is making them more common and more intense.”

    Rising CO2 forcing is expected to increase positive North Atlantic Oscillation conditions, so that rules out brief Saharan plumes which depend on negative NAO and the associated wavy jet stream. Like in July 2019 and July 2022.

    The longer duration heatwaves are discretely solar driven so they are a cause of climate change.

  22. Micky R permalink
    January 25, 2023 7:35 pm

    ” On July 19 last year, Britain experienced its highest-ever recorded temperature: 40.3c (104.5f) at Coningsby, Lincolnshire.”

    The back of my envelope indicates that the thermal energy content per cubic metre of the air at Coningsby on 19/07/2022 was lower than the thermal energy content per cubic metre of the air at Cambridge on 25/07/2019 (previous highest recorded temperature). This undermines the belief that higher temperatures are the result of increasing thermal energy content.

    Perhaps others with greater expertise could do the calcs?

  23. Gamecock permalink
    January 26, 2023 10:51 am

    ‘Climate change,’ whatever it means, is not a force. It can’t cause anything.

  24. thecliffclavenoffinance permalink
    January 26, 2023 11:17 am

    “None of this is to say that climate change is not happening and is not a problem. The world is warming and there are many reasons why we should want to cut carbon emissions and adopt cleaner forms of energy.”

    Climate change is not a problem
    It has been good news for 325 years
    Corbon dioxide emissions are not a problem
    They are good news for C3 photosynthesis plants
    We do not need “cleaner” forms of energy
    We need reliable and affordable energy
    Summary: The author is not qualified for my list

    This false statement (quote above) instantly excluded this article from my daily list of the best climate science and energy articles I’ve read:

    • catweazle666 permalink
      January 26, 2023 5:13 pm

      Do you have a link to subscribe to your blog?

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