Warmer winters?

With EDF raising the price of gas and electricity by 11% as another winter approaches, it may be worth a brief look at those warmer winters we were so confidently promised. Is there a risk we won’t get them? Surely not.

In many ways, climate change is a global political attempt to skew our perceptions of risk. From this angle, it isn’t so surprising that climate propaganda is both state-sponsored and scientifically unreliable. There are many precedents for state-sponsored skewing of our perception of risk, from passive smoking to alcohol to drug addiction and crime.

Yet a simple risk assessment is one way to look at climate propaganda, rather than delving too deeply into the science, which is worth doing, but only accessible to a technically proficient audience. So how should we assess climate risks?

Because the behaviour of our climate is so uncertain, the risks are ironically, very easy to assess, at least in broad outline. To begin with, I think it’s worth saying that we cannot put numbers against climate risks because climate uncertainties are too great, in spite of what we are often told. The big climate lie is buried here:-

Uncertainty.

It can hardly be stressed too strongly just how uncertain the reality behind climate propaganda really is. What do we mean by uncertainty? Well climate science is inherently uncertain – even global temperatures are uncertain, but to my mind it’s worth beginning with climate theories.

We don’t know which is the best climate theory.

That’ll do as a start if we’re looking at uncertainty. Charlatans and their useful idiots talk about CO2 while genuine scientists will admit that we don’t actually know which is the best climate theory. The CO2 theory was just a guess which became entangled with the ambitions of powerful global bureaucrats.

So why the confident predictions?

Ask away until you are blue in the face – there is no rational answer. Theories based on solar activity moderated by ocean currents seem to be a good bet, but with lots of caveats and uncertainty still to be resolved.

The CO2 theory is largely discredited and probably only worth pursuing by a small number of researchers in case CO2 does have some measurable impact. So far the consensus seems to be that it may have some impact but not much. Possibly not even measurable.

So back to risk.

Firstly – likelihood. How likely is it that the global climate will warm or cool over the next few decades? With no significant global  temperature rise so far this century, we are probably justified in assessing the risk of future warming and cooling as equal. Nobody knows what the climate will do even next year, so the state of our knowledge may be represented by the toss of a coin.

There is of course the possibility that it will neither cool nor warm for years to come, but I’ll ignore this possibility, if only because climate change does seem to be cyclical. However, it remains a possibility.

Secondly – impact. The outcome of a few degrees warming has been grossly overstated, largely by wildly exaggerated claims about sea levels and storm and hurricane frequency. On the whole, moderate warming would be beneficial for global agriculture and energy costs. This is a matter of common sense and historical experience – not just science.

Cooling on the other hand, would lead to crop failures, lower levels of agricultural output, more deaths among the vulnerable and higher energy costs. Another common sense conclusion.

So a rational climate strategy based on risk would ignore warming and have us prepared for at least moderate cooling. The cheapest actions we might take if sanity ever returns are obvious.

  • Remove all climate-related subsidies and tax breaks based on warming.
  • Repeal all climate laws and regulations based on warming.
  • Grant fracking licences.

Insulating homes and conserving energy are worthwhile and it’s a pity such measures became entangled with lunatic climate propaganda. Subsidies and tax breaks for erratic and unreliable energy sources such as wind and solar are not worthwhile. These technologies may be worth a limited amount of further research, but that’s it.

Climate propagandists are not only pushing scientifically absurd policies, but policies which do not even address climate risks in a rational way. We may not see global cooling, but it’s a risk to which we should pay far more attention than warming.

17 comments for “Warmer winters?

  1. john in cheshire
    November 2, 2012 at 10:43 am

    You’ll get no disagreement from me. It’s a commonsense approach, but unfortunately commonsense is in short supply in the Western world.

    • November 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      It is – we are losing our sense of proportion.

      • November 3, 2012 at 5:59 am

        As ivan points out below, it’s become a religion now, and it’ll be clung to with just as much fervour as any other…

  2. ivan
    November 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

    You know you are fighting a loosing battle. Bringing common sense and logical thought into what is now a religion, after all the greens don’t do real science or use common sense.

    I remember, when I was younger, there was the scare that we were starting to enter a cooling period that could end in an ice age. When that didn’t scare enough people they turned it into warming. Now they are trying to turn it into some sort of social guilt thing that we should look after the earth – the earth is quite capable of looking after itself – thank you.

    • November 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      It may be a losing battle because the goalposts are changed so readily, but we have to plug away at these things.

  3. Greg Tingey
    November 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    NO
    We are promised more extreme weather, of both sorts.
    A globe which is warmer has more energy in it, & so the weather becomes more extreme – at both ends & as regards preciptation as well – it trends towards more of an “all-or-nothing” set of events.

    • November 2, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      There is no evidence of a CO2-related increase in extreme weather events. Just the opposite – in spite of Sandy.

    • David A. Evans
      November 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      A globe which is warmer has more energy in it

      Bullshit! Temperature alone is not a measure of energy and you should know that. No-one has measured the energy of the atmosphere even if it was significant and the technology is not in place to make a good fist of measuring oceanic energy content either.

      DaveE.

  4. Dave_G
    November 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    When a political theory (which is what the whole AGW/CO2 meme is about) becomes arguable – and you begin to LOSE that argument – you need to change tactics hence we’re moving away from AGW/CO2 and into the realms of ‘sustainability’ – something that’s impossible to define therefore easier to argue a case FOR taxation.

  5. Greg Tingey
    November 3, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Oh dear.
    There are two separate arguments here.
    1] The scientific one – is GW real? [YES] – is AGW real – [ 90-95% Yes ]
    and
    2] The actions of politicians and business groups seeing GW as a gravy-train, whose actions are, actually doing nothing useful AT ALL about the findings from [1]

    And those arguments are SEPARATE, difficult though it is to do anything about it.

    What SHOULD be done is:
    Nuclear power – lots of it.
    Really large (10m diam at least) undersea turbines, driven by tides & currents
    Lots of distributed small-scale power in various forms …
    Water-mills & PV (remember PV is getting cheaper all the time)
    Serious amounts of money into both artificial photosynthesis & electrical storage.
    All of that would solve the real problem.
    But it isn’t being done, because the present vested interests would rather just rip us off.

    • November 3, 2012 at 11:35 am

      “1] The scientific one – is GW real? [YES] – is AGW real – [ 90-95% Yes ]”

      How did you derive the probability range 90-95%?

      • mikebravo
        November 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

        Simples. If you are Tingey you just make it up and call anybody who disagrees an IDIOT!

    • Dave_G
      November 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Even so-called ‘deniers’ accept that climate change is real – it’s been going on since the planet was formed. AGW however is hotly disputed and no theory can support it without empirical evidence – something that, after all these years, has STILL not happened. Spouting the 90-95% of ‘all scientists’ meme is dishonest, delusional and indicative of desperation.

      • November 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

        “the 90-95% of ‘all scientists’ meme is dishonest, delusional and indicative of desperation.”

        I agree – and it isn’t evidence either.

  6. November 3, 2012 at 9:52 am

    You know the debate got dodgy when it changed from “global warming” to “climate change” – when exactly did that happen?

    • November 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Both terms came into common use during the eighties. For some reason, “climate change” became more common round about 1994, well before the last warming phase had obviously ended.

  7. Rossa
    November 4, 2012 at 7:20 am

    What always got me about the AGW argument was the “science is settled” certainty of the climate change/global warming protaganists when science is never settled otherwise we wouldn’t need science any more.

    At one time the science was settled on the Earth being flat and the Sun orbited around the Earth…..

    Historically we have had a down turn in temperatures like the Dalton and Maunder minimums at the turn of previous centuries. So it’s not completely wrong or any form of denial to prepare for what may become a cooler time before no doubt the climate will change yet again and the temp go up again.

    The Earth has a very effective self-regulating bio mechanism and can take care of itself. It has been here a lot longer than we have. Man’s hubris and arrogance in assuming control of it is nothing more than fantasy.

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