Science and Technology CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Brian Gallagher (CLC037)

1. Initially, I mistook the purpose of this exercise for an open-minded investigation. However, the wording plainly suggests the objective is public opinion manipulation—not what is expected of an evidence based, objective science project. I mean no disrespect to Committee Members but this does not get things off on the right foot.

2. This is what I mean: Foresight cautions that “should scepticism continue to increase, democratic governments are likely to find it harder to convince voters to support costly environmental policies aimed at mitigation of, or adaptation to, climate change.”

3. There is an urgent need for the Science and Technology Committee (ST&C) to understand that growing numbers of the electorate who have taken the trouble to inform themselves on climate and energy/power are well aware of the disconnect between what is unsubstantiated theory and what is observably plausible and capable of verification.

4. I am sending these thoughts directly to ST&C Members because this will likely be a box-ticking exercise based on a pre-conceived outcome with “sceptical” feedback discarded irrespective of relevance. When even respected parliamentarians find it difficult or impossible to influence a return to proper debate, ordinary members of the general public (as I am) feel disenfranchised. I do not make these points lightly. The subjects at issue here are of fundamental importance for all Britons ... and it is like watching a slow motion train crash.

Climate

5. Those wanting balance in their understanding of climate and power cannot rely on the likes of the BBC which, in violation of its own Charter, chooses not to report what is at odds with its warmist agenda. That leaves the inquiring individual to seek credible “alternative” sources elsewhere which, fortunately, are plentiful. Scientific advances depend on scepticism. The promotion of a rigid establishment pseudo consensus and the branding of “deniers” is the kiss of death for progress and enlightenment.

6. This 20 April page is a case in point http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/4/20/the-low-carbon-fairy-story.html It concerns the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee and Peter Lilly MP. ST&C Members will see a number of books written by climate and power realists on it. There is also an extensive list of science and political blogs which provide the essential balance lacking in mainstream ideology.

7. Look at reader comments following any Christopher Booker climate or power article to gauge an important slice of public opinion. Put at its simplest, this is my position and that of most people I know. It is completely illogical for the AGW theory to be portrayed as “settled science”. It is a theory—nothing more. Global warming stalled in the late 90s and even the Met Office acknowledges none is expected in the foreseeable future. This firmly undermines the asserted correlation between Co2 and rising temperatures. The increasing but tiny Co2 concentration is essential for crops and life on earth. It has been up to 20 times higher in the past without catastrophe. It is a benign gas. The weasel words Climate Change will not do. Climate has always changed cyclically and always will. What are being termed “extreme” weather events are a part of it.

8. The effects of sunspot activity and atmospheric water vapour feedback are not well understood. Until they are, there is no honest possibility of even theoretical scientific conclusions nor adequate computer modelling. The elephant in the room is a Mini Ice Age. The present Holocene interglacial is showing disturbing signs of ending. The ST&C should take full account of astrophysicist Piers Corbyn’s findings and other scientists who agree with him. To focus on warming theory to the exclusion of this distinct possibility is irresponsible.

9. Increasingly, people are distinguishing between agenda driven efforts to convince them of a non-existent “consensus”, as distinct from rigorous science free from spin. That is at the heart of mounting scepticism—not any lack of misguided “PR communication”. The revealing attachment is but one of many in a similar vein which renders the “settled science” assertions distinctly disingenuous.

Energy/Power

10. Just about everyone I know recognises that wind isn’t working. Turbines generate a) plenty of money for the few at the expense of the many b) fuel poverty c) property blight d) tourism blight e) bird and bat destruction by the million globally f) the need for constant conventional backup because they are so inefficient (so no Co2 reduction) g) ill health (particularly chronic sleep deprivation) which the NHS doesn’t need. When will there be a proper epidemiological study to confirm the growing weight of medical observation? h) miles of costly, countryside-disfiguring pylons to carry the dribble of intermittent power from remote sites to centres of population—by which time transmission losses have reduced it further j) significant seabed environmental disturbance k) offshore maintenance nightmares for blade breakage, gearbox failures etc during the majority of time wild sea conditions make servicing impossible k) waste running into £billions each year l) an absurdly generous bonus for operators when turbines need to be switched off m) grid de-stabilisation n) serious peat bog disturbance (for turbine foundations) causing release of immense amounts of Co2. o) the realisation that turbine output load factor of about 25% at best declines within 10 years and real world life expectancy is about 12 to15 years not 25 years p) imminent risk of blackouts.

11. Wind output data from http://www.bmreports.com and other sources reveals what dire “value” for money the fitful output is. That is setting aside the subsidy cost doubling cost for onshore turbines, triple for offshore and the devastating effect on competitiveness which is driving businesses away from the UK. The fictional touted “green job” creation has been discredited by the Spanish experience. At a time of severe austerity, blowing £billions on a futile gesture is monumentally senseless. China, India, Germany and the rest are adding coal power stations at a rate which dwarfs any UK “aspirations”.

12. For power realism, Profs Ian Fells and Dieter Helm will set the record straight—as can any good electrical engineer working at the generation and distribution “coal face”.

Conclusion

13. On the one hand there is the IPCC (set up to promote warmist ideology, not to determine the balance of scientific probability), Profs Michael Mann, David King and John Beddington, Drs Steve Jones and James Hansen. the Met Office, Al Gore, Tim Yeo, John Gummer, Ed Davey and the BBC. On the other are Profs Richard Lindzen, Fred Singer, Nils-Axel Mörner, Freeman Dyson, Bjorn Lomborg, Kiminori Itoh, Ivar Giaever, Will Happer, Ian Plimer, Patrick Michaels, and James Lovelock, Drs Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon and Alan Carlin, Nigel Lawson, AW Montford, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, Anthony Watts, Christopher Booker, Matt Ridley, Roger Helmer, and Struan Stevenson.

14. For me it is no contest because it’s between political, financial, ideological, and funding conflicts of interest against something without an axe to grind—transparent and in the public interest.

15. Sad to say that apart from a possible acknowledgement, I don’t have high hopes for engagement or any indication that what I have written has been absorbed, still less acted upon, but at least I’m not sleepwalking into the climate bear trap and looming power disaster. However, perhaps there is a glimmer of hope in this 16 April Daily Telegraph piece so long as we abandon the “leading the world to greenness” make-believe.

16. “The European Union’s climate change policy is on the brink of collapse today after MEPs torpedoed Europe’s flagship CO2 emissions trading scheme by voting against a measure to support the price of carbon permits. The price of carbon crashed up to 45% to a record-low €2.63 a metric ton, after the European Parliament rejected a proposal to change the EU emissions-trading laws to delay the sale of 900m CO2 permits on the world’s biggest carbon markets. -- Bruno Waterfields, The Daily Telegraph, 16 April 2013”

17. Out of interest. might I ask how many ST&C Members have studied any of the following? I ask because the so-called orthodox position has received saturation coverage, but it seems to me reaching an informed position on these matters sufficient to consider policy is dependant on familiarity with all the issues even if some are “inconvenient truths”.

The Hockey Stick Illusion, Climategate and the Corruption of Science—AW Montford

The Propaganda Bureau—AW Montford

Hiding the Decline—AW Montford

Climate: the Counter-consensus—Professor Robert Carter

The Climate e-books of Joanna Nova at http://joannenova.com.au

The Age of Global Warming, a History—Rupert Darwall

The Wind Farm Scam—Dr John Etherington

So Much Wind: The Myth of Green Energy—Struan Stevenson

Footnote

18. Greenpeace activist Baroness Worthington’s role in the 2008 Climate Change Act (“the most expensive suicide note in history”); circumstances allowing her to “get away with it” and the distinct lack of political realism/opposition to it should not be forgotten when jaundiced views of the electorate are considered.

Declaration: I am a member of the general public and have no interests to declare either political, financial, ideological or funding related.

April 2013

Temperature change in a Nutshell

The UK Met Office long term Central England Temperature recordi has kept a continuous and consistent data set since the 1660s. It appears to be reliable and to have maintained its quality. It has not been adjusted as have so many other official temperature records.

Although the CET record covers only a small part of the northern hemisphere, it has shown a consistent rise since the end of the little ice age in 1850 at a rate of about +0.45°C/century or about +0.67°C in the last 150 years. This rise accords well with other temperature records.

However since the year 2000, diminishing solar activity in solar cycle 24, moving back towards little ice age patterns, appears to be having an real effect.

So since 2000 the CET shows an annual temperature diminution at the rate of -0.49°C/decade or -0.59°C in 12 years: this negates ~80% of the entire CET temperature rise since 1850. Although this is a very short period, the extent of the climate change that has been observed since the turn of the millennium is remarkable.

Using the March 2013 CET value it is possible to show the winter temperature values up until March 2013 with a combination of the four months December—March for the first 13 years of this century. The diminution of the four winter months temperatures is more remarkable at a rate of -1.11°C/decade or -1.49°C in the last 13 years. This compares with a winter temperature increase rate from 1850 to the year 2000 of +0.32°C/century or +0.48°C for the whole 150 year period.

There are substantial shorter term fluctuations in temperature and since about 1850 world temperatures have been recovering from a Little Ice Age up by about +0.7°C up until the year 2000. These fluctuations have correlated well with solar activity observable by the number of sunspots. There was a particularly active solar period from about 1970 onward coinciding well with sunspot cycles 21–22–23: it lead to comparatively rapid warming.

However the current cycle 24 is very much weaker and sunspots are diminishing to the levels of the earlier Little Ice Age.

According to the astrophysicist Piers Corbyn,ii well renowned for the quality of his medium to long term forecasting, “so begins a Little Ice Age”.

Piers Corbyn reports that these colder conditions lead to a southwards diversion of the Jet Stream over Europe, as could be seen on 2 April 2013,iii when the upper atmosphere air flow was passing over Northern Africa, rather than as was normal in warmer times to the North of Scotland.

Such a jet stream pattern leads to very wet summer conditions and remarkably cold winters as have occurred in the last five years throughout Northern Europe and the rest of the Northern hemisphere. This adverse colder climate could well persist for several 10s or even hundreds of years as it certainly did for the pervious Little Ice Age.

Humanity has thrived in our current Holocene interglacial world. The comparatively warm last 10,000 years have been responsible for the development of the whole of civilisation. The GRIPiv Greenland ice core data, supported reinforced by several other similar long term ice core records show this effect very clearly.

Over the past 10,000 years the current epoch has been progressively cooling since the early “climate optimum”. Overall in the 10,000 years the world has cooled gradually by about 1.0 °C. There were other well documented temperature high points during the period, including the Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods.

However the most recent period of 1000–2000 AD was the coolest millennium of the whole epoch: see John Kehr the Inconvenient Sceptic.v

However a longer term record shows that only 13,000 years ago the world was in the depths of a real ice age with temperatures about 12°C lower than at present.

So interglacial periods of about 12,000 years have been occurring regularly about every 120,000 years. They are interspersed by real 100,000 year long ice ages, when vast ice sheets cover large parts of the world beyond the tropics.

The previous Eemian interglacial epoch was some 130,000 years ago. At its peak it was about 3°C warmer than our current Holocene interglacial: hippopotami thrived in the Rhine delta. The Eemian also lasted about 12,000 years.

The pattern repeats itself,vi there have been five interglacial events in the last 500,000 years.

At ~10,500 years our current cooler but benign interglacial is coming towards its end and the reversion of our planet to a real ice age is foreseeable.

References

i http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

ii see: http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=525&c=5

iii see: http://www.woeurope.eu/cgi-bin/expertcharts?LANG=eu&MENU=0000000000&CONT=euro&MODELL=gfs&MODELLTYP=1&BASE=-&VAR=jeps&HH=3&ARCHIV=0&ZOOM=0&PERIOD=&WMO=

iv http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/greenland/greenland.html

v see: http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/chapters-8-10/

vi http://www.climate4you.com http://geoweb.princeton.edu/people/bender/lab/downloads/Petit_et_al_1999_copy.pdf

Prepared 1st April 2014