We have a new climate change consensus — and it's good news everyone

Climate change is now a question of adaptation. And it's not as frightening a question as you might think

5 April 2014

Nigel Lawson was right after all. Ever since the Centre for Policy Studies lecture in 2006 that launched the former chancellor on his late career as a critic of global warming policy, Lord Lawson has been stressing the need to adapt to climate change, rather than throw public money at futile attempts to prevent it. Until now, the official line has been largely to ignore adaptation and focus instead on ‘mitigation’ — the misleading term for preventing carbon dioxide emissions.

That has now changed. The received wisdom on global warming, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was updated this week. The newspapers were, as always, full of stories about scientists being even more certain of environmental Armageddon. But the document itself revealed a far more striking story: it emphasised, again and again, the need to adapt to climate change. Even in the main text of the press release that accompanied the report, the word ‘adaptation’ occurred ten times, the word ‘mitigation’ not at all.

The distinction is crucial. So far, the debate has followed a certain bovine logic: that global warming is happening, so we need to slow it down by hugely expensive decarbonisation strategies — green taxes, wind farms. And what good will this do? Is it possible to stop global warming in its tracks? Or would all these green policies be the equivalent of trying to blow away a hurricane? This question — just how much can be achieved by mitigation — is one not often addressed.

There is an alternative: accepting that the planet is warming, and seeing if we can adjust accordingly. Adaptation means investing in flood defences, so that airports such as Schiphol can continue to operate below existing (and future) sea level, and air conditioning, so that cities such as Houston and Singapore can continue to grow despite existing (and future) high temperatures. It means plant breeding, so that maize can be grown in a greater range of existing (and future) climates, better infrastructure, so that Mexico or India can survive existing (and future) cyclones, more world trade, so that Ethiopia can get grain from Australia during existing (and future) droughts.

Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State for the Environment, in repeatedly emphasising the need to adapt to climate change in this way, has been something of a lone voice in the government. But he can now count on the support of the mighty IPCC, a United Nations body that employs hundreds of scientists to put together the scientific equivalent of a bible on the topic every six years or so. Whereas the last report had two pages on adaptation, this one has four chapters.

Professor Chris Field is the chairman of Working Group 2 of the IPCC, the part devoted to the effects of climate change rather than the cause. ‘The really big breakthrough in this report,’ he says, ‘is the new idea of thinking about managing climate change.’ His co-chair Vicente Barros adds: ‘Investments in better preparation can pay dividends both for the present and for the future … adaptation can play a key role in decreasing these risks’. After so many years, the penny is beginning to drop.

In his book An Appeal to Reason, Lawson devoted a chapter to the importance of adaptation, in which he pointed out that the last IPCC report in 2007 specifically assumed that humans would not adapt. ‘Possible impacts,’ the report said, ‘do not take into account any changes or developments in adaptive capacity.’ That is to say, if the world gets warmer, sea levels rise and rainfall patterns change, farmers, developers and consumers will do absolutely nothing to change their habits over the course of an entire century. It is a ludicrous assumption.

But this assumption was central, Lawson pointed out, to the estimated future cost of climate change the IPCC reported. A notorious example was the report’s conclusion that, ‘assuming no adaptation’, crop yields might fall by 70 per cent by the end of the century — a conclusion based, a footnote revealed, on a single study of peanut farming in one part of India.

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Lawson pointed out that adaptation had six obvious benefits as a strategy, which mitigation did not share. It required no international treaty, but would work if adopted unilaterally; it could be applied locally; it would produce results quickly; it could capture any benefits of warming while avoiding risks; it addressed existing problems that were merely exacerbated by warming; and it would bring benefits even if global warming proves to have been exaggerated.

Ask yourself, if you were a resident of the Somerset Levels, whether you would prefer a government policy of adapting to anything the weather might throw at you, whether it was exacerbated by climate change or not, or spending nearly £50 billion (by 2020) on low-carbon technologies that might in a few decades’ time, if adopted by the whole world, reduce the exacerbation of floods, but not the floods themselves.

It is remarkable how far this latest report moves towards Lawson’s position. Professor Field, who seems to be an eminently sensible chap, clearly strove to emphasise adaptation, if only because the chance of an international agreement on emissions looks ever less likely. If you go through the report chapter by chapter (not that many people seem to have bothered), amid the usual warnings of potential danger, there are many sensible, if jargon-filled, discussions of exactly the points Lawson made.

Chapter 17 concedes that ‘adaptation strategies … can yield welfare benefits even in the event of a constant climate, such as more efficient use of water and more robust crop varieties’. Chapter 20 even acknowledges that ‘in some cases mitigation may impede adaptation (e.g., reduced energy availability in countries with growing populations)’. A crucial point, this: that preventing the poor from getting access to cheap electricity from coal might make them more vulnerable to climate change. So green policies may compound the problem they seek to solve.

In short, there is a great deal in this report to like. It has, moreover, toned down the alarm considerably. Even the New Scientist magazine has noticed that the report ‘backs off from some of the predictions made in the previous report’ and despite the urgings of Ed Davey to sex up the summary during last week’s meeting in Yokohama, New Scientist noticed that ‘the report has even watered down many of the more confident predictions that appeared in the leaked drafts’.

For instance, references to ‘hundreds of millions’ of people being affected by rising sea levels were removed from the summary, as were statements about the impact of warmer temperatures on crops. The report bravely admits that invasive alien species are a far greater threat to species extinction than climate change itself. Even coral reefs, the report admits, are threatened mostly by pollution and overfishing, which might be exacerbated at the margin by climate change. So why don’t we have intergovernmental panels on invasive species and overfishing?

As these examples illustrate, perhaps most encouraging of all, the report firmly states that the impact of climate change will be small relative to other things that happen during this century: ‘For most economic sectors … changes in population, age structure, income, technology, relative prices, lifestyle, regulation and governance will be large relative to the impacts of climate change.’ So yes, the world is heating up. But in many ways, it will be a better world.

The report puts the global aggregate economic damage from climate change at less than 2.5 per cent of income by the latter years of the century. This is a far lower number than Lord Stern arrived at in his notorious report of 2006, and this is taking the bleak view that there will be a further 2.5˚C rise from recent levels. This is the highest of nine loss estimates; the average is only 1.1 per cent.

And the IPCC is projecting two thirds more warming per increment of carbon dioxide than the best observationally based studies now suggest, so the warming the IPCC outlines is not even likely with the highest emissions assumption.

In other words, even if you pile pessimism upon pessimism, assuming relatively little decarbonisation, much global enrichment and higher climate ‘sensitivity’ than now looks plausible — leading to more rapid climate change — you still, on the worst estimate, hurt the world economy in a century by only about as much as it grows every year or two. Rather than inflict an awful economic toll, global warming would make our very rich descendants — who are likely to be maybe eight or nine times as rich as we are today, on global average — a bit less rich.

To avoid this little harm, we could go for adaptation — let poor people get as rich as possible and use their income to protect themselves and their natural surroundings against floods, storms, potential food shortages and loss of habitat. Or we could go for mitigation, getting the entire world to agree to give up the fossil fuels that provide us with 85 per cent of our energy. Or we could try both, which is what the IPCC now recommends.

But the one truly bonkers thing to do would be to go unilaterally into a policy of subsidising the rich to install technologies that drive up the cost of energy, desecrate the countryside, kill golden eagles, clear-cut swamp forests in North Carolina, turn grain into motor fuel, so driving up the price of food and killing people, and prevent poor people in Africa getting loans to build coal-fired, cheap power stations instead of inhaling smoke from wood fires cut from virgin forests.

All this we are doing in this country, with almost no prospect of cutting carbon emissions enough to affect the climate. That’s the very opposite of adaptation — preventing the economic growth that would enable us to adapt while failing to prevent any climate change.

The report is far from ideal (don’t worry, Professor Field, I know that endorsement from the likes of me would kill your career). As Rupert Darwall, author of The Age of Global Warming, has pointed out, it systematically ignores the benefits of climate change and makes the unsupported claim that crop yields have been negatively affected by climate change, its only evidence being recent spikes in crop prices — a big cause of which was climate policy, not climate change, in the shape of biofuels programmes that diverted 5 per cent of the world’s grain crop into fuel.

Did you gather from the press that the report warns of rising deaths from storms and droughts, falling crop yields, spreading diseases, and all the usual litany? Did you conclude from this that deaths from storms will increase, crop yields will fall, and diseases will kill more people? Oh, how naive can you get!

No, no, no — what they mean is that the continuing fall in deaths from storms, floods and disease may not be as steep as it would be without climate change, that the continuing rise in crop yields may not be as fast as it would be without climate change, and that the continuing retreat of malaria might not be as rapid as it would be without climate change. In other words, the world will probably heat up — but it’s not going to end. It’s going to be healthier and wealthier than ever before, just a tad less wealthy than it might otherwise have been. Assuming we do not adapt, that is.

Matt Ridley’s books include The Red Queen, The Origins of Virtue and The Rational Optimist.

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Show comments
  • Epimenides

    This whole topic is a scam. None of the alarmists have ever produced any empirical evidence that CO2 controls all of the Earth’s climate zones. In what way has (is) the climate changed?
    The planet’s climate zones have changed over the past 4 billion years but where is the evidence that climate, in any zone, has changed in the past 170 years? That was the end of the ‘Little Ice Age’. Ironically the warmists insist that this event was local – as was the Medieval Warm Period. So on that basis climate zones have not changed for 100,000 YBP, according to them.
    The data they use is based on pine cone proxies and ice cores because there is no data.
    The number of variables in their Global Climate Models is beyond solution. They do not even know how the variables affect one another. Mathematicians cannot solve the Navier – Stokes equations that govern fluid flow – there are no analytical solutions – but the climate clowns can model equations with 20+ variables. Yeah, right.

    • Peter Stroud

      Yes, and they can measure temperatures to one hundredth of a degree, with standard thermometers. They must be so very clever.

      • braqueish

        They need that level of accuracy in order to draw scary graphs when the surface temperature has only risen by tenths of a degree. You need to get with the program!

    • digglesmequick

      The Navier-Stokes equations are solved numerically. This is the basis of all weather and climate models, not to mention any model of any fluid flow.

      What’s wrong with including many variables?

      Seems to me that you don’t like it because it’s too complicated for you. Well, the climate system is complicated, and that’s why 1000s of scientists all over the world are studying it, building and testing new and better ways of modelling it – with remarkable success when you consider the scale of what they are trying to do.

      Anyway, if you prefer simpler ideas/models then just consider this:

      Under what circumstances would there *not* be a long-term increase in global mean temperature as a result of dramatically increasing the amount of greenhouses gases in the atmosphere.

      The answer can be found in any GCSE science textbook.

      • thammond

        A thing called negative feedback.

        You can find it any GCSE science textbook.

        • digglesmequick

          Apologies for my condescending tone, I rather deserved to get that thrown back at me.

          I’m interested to hear how you think increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will cause temperatures not to rise? What kind of negative feedback could do that?

          At the end of the day, it has to come down to radiative balance. More greenhouse gases in the atmosphere tip this balance towards a higher equilibrium temperature for our planet. There is no feedback effect that can alter this simple fact.

          Anyway, no need to take my word for it. The Met Office explains it much better than I can:


          • Dodgy Geezer

            What kind of negative feedback could do that?

            A minimal increase in cloud cover.

          • Frank O’Harry

            Yup. Increasing atmospheric albedo, reflecting more sunlight back to space.

          • digglesmequick

            OK! We’re getting somewhere..

            Only warming melts ice which reduces the albedo.

          • Dodgy Geezer

            And a VERY small increase in cloud cover is quite capable of producing HUGE changes in reflectivity.

            More importantly, this would happen preferentially in the tropics, which is where most of the cooling has indeed taken place.

            Game, set and match, I think…

          • Epimenides

            Try reading Le Chatelier’s Principle. Whether, or not, it is in your GCSE textbook I am not really sure.
            I would have thought anyone posting the stuff you do would already be familiar with this concept. Then you would not have ask such elementary questions.

          • digglesmequick

            What I said before is entirely consistent with radiative equilibrium. Le Chatelier’s principle refers to chemical equilibrium, so I’m not sure what relevance that has here.

            Consider an (albeit simplistic) analogy:

            If I add an extra blanket to my bed, I warm up to a new equilibrium temperature because more of the heat I emit is trapped within the air immediately surrounding me.

            A similar thing occurs with the planet, where the atmosphere is our “blanket” (i.e., the greenhouse effect). You must have learned about this?

          • braqueish

            Duh. Your bed is a static system. The Earth’s atmosphere is dynamic and chaotic (remember the Butterfly Effect?) The simplistic test-tube Navier-Stokes black body equation has been proved — yes proved — to be ineffective as a guide to climate reactions to increased CO2. As CO2 concentrations have continued to increase in the atmosphere over the last 17 years surface temperature has not increased.

            Negative feedback in action.

      • Lynn Clark

        It seems that you are one of the many who put way too much mindless credence in the words of “authority”. Time to start thinking for yourself. Spend 52 minutes educating yourself about climate modeling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvhipLNeda4

        • digglesmequick

          We may be getting to the crux of our disagreement, which is nice, in a way.

          I don’t think trusting scientists over anonymous bloggers is mindless, quite the reverse.

          • Lynn Clark

            LOL. Maybe you should listen to what they say instead of dismissing them outright. Like I said, time to start thinking for yourself.

          • braqueish

            But what if the “scientists” have their own agenda. Supposing they went into it to “save the earth”. Supposing they were, uh, biased? You think that’s fanciful? Um, check out their not so secret private emails.

          • Guest

            How much do the “scientists” get paid working for the IPCC?

            How much would they get paid if they were not?

            There lies your answer.

          • Phil Rowlands

            How much do the “scientists” get paid working for the IPCC?

            How much would they get paid if they were not?

      • Epimenides

        Yawn, what a load of patronising crap. I really do not need lectures from you on the N – S equations.
        You cannot solve equations with many variables without making assumptions so each, so – called, model is just someone’s opinion. If you knew any maths I would not have to tell you this.
        Why do you not produce empirical evidence for the way(s) the climate has changed recently – last 100 years – and that the trace gas CO2 is the only variable controlling it? Err, maybe one of the GCSE textbooks that you own can help.

        • digglesmequick

          Sounds like a good read, I’ll look it up.

          All models make assumptions, I think it’s a bit harsh to say that makes them the same as opinions though. The assumptions are based on empirical evidence.

          No climate scientist claims that CO2 is the only variable controlling our weather. It varies quite naturally from year to year and decade to decade due to numerous “internal modes” of variability such as El Nino. However, underlying this natural variability is an anthopogenic component of warming due (primarily) to CO2.

          There are many, many papers on this subject which I think you should read. For a comprehensive summary, I’d start here:


          • Epimenides

            Great stuff, pal. Quantify the anthropogenic component.

            I love the “internal modes” meaningless garbage. Nothing like an ignoramus undermining its own argument by posting nonsense.

            What are, “internal modes”?

        • Terry Field

          you do cod science quite well; for an ignoramus, you initially come across as slightly credible, but the more one reads your drivel, the more respect evaporates.

          • Epimenides

            Terry, I studied cod populations in the North Sea when doing mathematical modelling using recurrence relations. Easy stuff but thanks for the compliment.

            How is that 12X table doing? 12 X 12 = 144. There you are. No need to thank me. Always willing to help.

            And remember to hold your knife in your right hand, fork [the thing with the prongs] in your left when you are on away days from your institution.

            Cod tastes great except that I can only get ปลาขะโฝง these days. Please do not cry Terry. I’ll live.

          • Terry Field

            Fine. i accept you have a brain. If so, how can you be so irrational in your rejection of what is a clear difficulty, whose shape may be uncertain, but which in all probability will be extremely serious. That is not rational, and you are clearly a rational person.
            This your life that matters here – I am too old to be affected, but you, probably, are not.
            Why run with the denier idiots – they are simply not in touch with the physics and the observed reality. You can and must do better than this,
            You owe it to yourself

          • Epimenides

            Terry, I am so pleased you are online. My guess is that I am older than you. I am a trained meteorologist with a degree in physics but we are opposite sides of the track.
            I believe that an hypothesis should be substantiated by empirical evidence and this has not been done for AGW. There is nothing irrational in this. Indeed, it is the very essence of the scientific rational.
            You have no empirical evidence of AGW otherwise this debate would not be taking place.

          • Terry Field

            It would appear that both of us will not live to see the result of this matter – be it a damp squib, or a disaster. I have sweet grandchildren, and for them I have a concern. I try to ignore political and social distortions when looking at the subject; most people in these columns are white noise, and I ignore them. For you I am prepared to treat you as a conversational equal. Indeed you seem to have more science background than I have.
            I have read more than most on this subject in the last few years, and in summary, I have read conjectures with some data to support, that would indicate that the energy output expressed as CO2 has gone into the oceans, the ice-shhets, etc, and the total output is at the extreme end of the projected range. Now the science as expressed as outputs was for some years described with precision and certainty that seemed bogus to me; but the overall argument that CO2 output is a driver of climate change seems more than plausible. Recently the question of earth sensitivity to CO2 has been a major topic of conjecture; this obviously matters enormously, and the actuality here will describe a world of either extreme or moderate temperature change and thus climate hiatus over the coming many decades.
            BUT nobody knows the answer here – even Hansen bemoans the lack of satellite data that would help give this data,
            I was amused at Lovelock – whose most precise book – the revenge of Gaia showed the precise point when the shift up of six degrees to a ‘hot state’ would occur.
            I thought that bogus, and I thought that naive.
            Now he denies the danger, says nobody knows anything and it is all bunkum – but we should live in supercities to cope if it happens!
            Deranged or what. A cynic may suggest the book could not have been written by a man who in only few years would deny the whole thing, and that it may have been done with a beady eye on the bank account.
            I am amazed people regard 18 years of flattish air temperatures as significant, when the oceans hold something over 93% of total heat.
            I wold love there to be no issue, and I hope the thing is bogus, but I see no indication that that is the case; there seem to be good arguments that energy is directed against ice, into the oceans, and into some plant growth. But you are correct in saying the subject is ill understood and the ‘alarmists’ have pretended cetainty. Yes they have, but cut that white noise out and I still see good data and reported speculations – and what is wrong with intelligent speculation when empirical data is not yet clear – it allows for discussion, although most people take it as an excuse for intolerance.
            The AGW issue has been set upon by the socialist, big-state, hate-the-prosperous brigade as a means to expropriate their assets; this not just monstrous and evil, it produces a reaction against the very idea of the possibility it may be true by all those financially threatened, and I do not blame them, indeed I am one of them at an emotional level. BUT the arguments, for me, in favour of the reality of
            climate change seems to far outweigh the argument against.
            I am genuinely amazed that the deniers inhabit the Telegraph and the Spectator, and the protagonists inhabit the Guardian and the New Statesman.
            It seems to me FAR too important to mix up with socio-political world views.
            I am amused by the French, where I spend part of the year; there, the socialist government did a deal with the ‘greens’ (idiots and flat-earthers) to agree to close 1/4 of the nuclear stations and replace them with wind-vanes!
            One could not make them up – either a denier or a climate zealot would consider such action insane. That is the French for you.
            Re CO2, I would ask you how the climate and the temperature on Earth is regulated without the greenhouse effect of the gas. I am not aware of any scientist I have read who considers this not the case. It is true that in other warming periods the initiator has not been CO2 but its release has then driven temperature rises – or do you not accept that, and if not why not?
            Finally, I am not certain; I take a view that can be changed. Are you certain or are you open to a changed view should new information appear?
            Most people in this and other columns seem small minded and fixed in view; therefore not worth any response other than a satisfying blast of insults and put-downs. Usually while the boiled eggs are being prepared.

  • Andrew Wander

    Er… The IPCC have an entire report coming out on mitigation later this month. The title of this week’s report was Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. The title of the next one is Mitigation of Climate Change. I suspect that this, rather than Nigel Lawson’s ability to persuade the world’s scientists that they are wrong, is why the report focused on adaptation. I guess the headline ‘Climate change adaptation report focuses on adaptation’ didn’t work for you?

    • Peter Stroud

      Come off it. The IPCC has never accepted adaption before. They are only prepared to change now because their models failed to forecast the current temperature hiatus. Their climate sensitivity parameters are too large.

      • Chris Hope

        On the contrary. The IPCC WGII report from 1995 was entitled ‘Impacts, Adaptations and Mitigation of Climate Change’

      • digglesmequick

        There is a hiatus in global *land surface* temperature. The oceans are still heating up.

        for details (I’ve copied the first paragraph below):

        “It is not possible to explain the recent lack of surface warming solely by reductions in the total energy received by the planet, i.e. the balance between the total solar energy entering the system and the thermal energy leaving it. Observations of ocean heat content and of sea-level rise suggest that the additional heat from the continued rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations has been absorbed in the ocean and has not been manifest as a rise in surface temperature. Changes in the exchange of heat between the upper and deep ocean appear to have caused at least part of the pause in surface warming, and observations suggest that the Pacific Ocean may play a key role.”

        • Epimenides

          I love it. Here is the charlatan’s charter: –

          1. It is not possible to explain…

          Err, we have no idea why the climate models do not work.

          2. … suggest that…

          We have no explanation for the fact that our hypothesis is wrong.

          3. ……appear to have caused…….

          We have no idea what is happening.

          4. …….observations suggest that……
          …….it was Tinkerbelle wot done it.

          This is simply farce. The Met Office is run by an economist so you cannot expect too much.

          • digglesmequick

            Ok, so you have no response to the report then. You’re not fooling anyone.

        • braqueish

          Translation: “we can’t explain the hiatus using the computer models upon which our predictions of disaster are based. Consequently, we now propose to explain it away by positing that some magical, counter-factual, mechanism exists whereby the extra heat (which may not be denied) is deposited in the deep oceans (where we can’t measure it) without affecting the temperature of the upper oceanic layers (where we can).”

          There, that should keep the “message” going for a bit…

          • digglesmequick

            That’s not what it says at all and you know it.

          • Epimenides

            Elaborate, pal. That is what it says.

          • braqueish

            I was paraphrasing.

          • braqueish

            I was paraphrasing. I thought I got it all in there, though. No doubt you know better…

  • Dogzzz

    It is depressing to see just how long it is taking for plain old fashioned common sense and logic to even be begrudgingly acknowledged in the climate change debate. Of course we cannot mitigate climate change. To attempt to tackle “climate change” is about as useful an idea as an attempt to put the sun on a timer plug.

    Adaptation is how all of nature has coped with climate change in the the entire history of this marvelous and ever changing planet, and the climate has always changed, sometimes much faster and at a much greater rate than it is currently.

    The climate is changing, but the actual evidence from real empirical measurements shows that it is not changing anywhere near as fast as eminent climate scientists predicted with understandable alarm.
    Here is a link to over 100 predictions from these scientists about the impacts of climate change which have been proven wrong.


    When scientists make a prediction based upon what they postulate is the known mechanism of some theory, then that is known as a hypothesis. Each of those predictions was a climate scientist’s expert hypothesis, based upon what they claimed (at the time) were certain to be true, based on their interpretation of the CAGW hypothesis. They were all proved WRONG. In scientific terms, that is known as falsification.

    Why on earth should we believe what the climate scientists predict, when they have such a massive and on going record of utter failure?

    Why do they fail? Because in their certainty about the known mechanics of the CAGW hypothesis, they have their computer models of the climate coded to behave as the hypothesis predicts the climate should behave, and then run simulations of the climate with varying levels of CO2, or other particulates or gasses, or whatever variables they wish to change. What does not change is the mechanics of CO2 driven warming according to the CAGW hypothesis.

    IF that hypothesis was correct, then the models would do a far better job of predicting the likely future behaviour and conditions of the climate. The predictions that the scientists make, would be much more accurate. In fact looking at the actual, official temperature records of all the official temperature monitoring agencies, it is clear that the predictions from models, are not, and are increasingly unlikely to be found to be true. There is now a statistically significant divergence between the predictions and the reality, and that divergence is growing.

    Of those 100+ failed predictions linked above, the overwhelmingly consistent factor, is that the prediction came from a model of the climate. The overwhelming majority of alarmist, peer reviewed papers are based on the outcome from a CAGW hypothesis based model.

    The fact that I have posted a link to an incomplete list of over 100 failed predictions, and the fact that the earth has warmed by approximately only 40% of what the models predicted shows, in clear scientific terms, that the CAGW hypothesis is fatally flawed.

    If we apply the scientific method to the CAGW hypothesis, it fails.

    It is about time that climate scientists re-introduced the scientific method, and actually understood that a model output is NOT evidence, but is rather, merely a model of the hypothesis itself. It is NOT a test of the hypothesis, therefore computer models in climate science are utterly and completely invalid for providing validation of the hypothesis. A hypothesis CANNOT be self validating. To attempt to do so is scientific fraud. The only way to validate the hypothesis, is through comparing what the hypothesis’ predicts (from the model runs) with real measured data. If the prediction matches the data, then the hypothesis remains valid, until such time as the real world data disagrees with the prediction. Then the hypothesis is falsified. In real, genuine, honest science, the hypothesis is only valid until it is disproved. It is very very rare for a new hypothesis, to be unquestioningly proven, to the degree that it becomes an accepted law. In climate science, it is insulting to the intelligence, that the CAGW hypothesis is so unquestioningly accepted (because the models tell them it is true), in spite of regular falsification (by reality). That is NOT science. It is religion, or politics or just old fashioned, fraudulent, snake oil sales.

    So we should reject all the scientific papers which are based on what a model predicts, as being untested hypothesis.

    Now what is left after that? Quite a few scientific papers which actually use real empirical data which demonstrate that the ECS (Equilibruim Climate Sensitivity) is actually much closer to one than to the IPCC’s central estimate of three.

    The good news in all of this? There is no need for alarm and we can adjust to climate change, as nature evolved us to do.

    Rant over…

    • dado_trunking

      Change takes too long? You ought to ask yourself why it is that as soon as Germany moves/changes/adapts its energy policy, we follow 2/5/10 years later.

    • digglesmequick

      I’ve seen a few people cite the whatsupwiththat blog. I’m curious as to who is behind it. Does anyone know who writes / funds it?

      Going on the comments I’ve seen, I can only assume they are preeminent climate scientists, the way they so confidently rubbish all the other scientists work.

      Personally, I’d be more inclined to trust the Met Office:

      or the Royal Society:

      or NASA:

      or, dare I say it, the International Panel on Climate Change:

      Which raises another question. If the people at whatsupwiththat (and other blogs) have found flaws in the thousands of climate science papers that go into every IPCC report, why can’t they convince the climate scientists? (the simplest answer is, of course, that their arguments don’t stack up!)

      • Dodgy Geezer

        …I’ve seen a few people cite the whatsupwiththat blog. I’m curious as to who is behind it. Does anyone know who writes / funds it?…

        Yes, we do. Feel free to substitute a full stop for the comma.

        ..Personally, I’d be more inclined to trust the Met Office:…

        Er… have you looked at their disastrous weather predictions recently?

        • digglesmequick

          Their weather predictions are pretty good I think! I check it most days and can’t remember the last time it was wrong..

          Do you have a better source of weather forecasts? Perhaps the people at whatsupwiththat make better forecasts?

          • braqueish

            Barbecue summer, anyone? Snow to be a thing of the past in Britain? This winter to be drier than usual? Agreed that their three-day forecasts aren’t too bad. Long range (three month) predictions are usually 100% off.

          • Dodgy Geezer

            ..Perhaps the people at whatsupwiththat make better forecasts?..

            Now, isn’t that a funny comment? Because, of course, they do. Anthony Watts is a forecasting meteorologist, one of the foremost in the world. In fact, when the global warming idiots got the Akademik Shokalskiy stuck in the Antarctic ice a couple of months ago, do you know who was asked to work on the specialist forecast which correctly specified the time at which the ice sheet would break up and release the ship?

            Why, yes, it was Anthony Watts. How does it feel to be put down so easily?

      • Eric Cartman

        WUWT is grass-roots, skeptical science, collaborative blog. Nobody is paid, ads pay for web hosting. They debunk climate activists and MSM incompetence, as well as published bad science. If you think otherwise, you could debate in the comments.

        OTOH, big Green activism gets about a billion in funding per year, mostly from stupid governments. Some of them even comment here.

        • digglesmequick

          I was genuinly curious, I don’t know much about them. However, I’m still curious about who they are, aren’t you?

          They don’t appear to be climate scientists, so why would you trust their word over that of the professionals?

          It would be like believing in homeopathy over modern medicine because a bloke down the pub told you he’d disproved all the doctors..

          • John Byde

            “They don’t appear to be climate scientests, so why would you trust their workd over that of the professonals.” That could apply to Al Gore and Leonard di Capro, but of course you have no problems with them, do you?

        • digglesmequick

          Just googled WUWT and found this:


          More than a little disconcerting, don’t you think?

          • braqueish

            You should actually play the ball rather than the man. Watts’ blog is home to some serious discussion about the, er, issues. Far from the lavish funding that RSPB, WWF, FoE, et al receive from the UK and EU taxpayers to lobby and propagandise (why, for example is RSPB in favour of bird and bat slaughtering wind turbines?) Watts’ works on donations and pennies. Try reading the site rather than slagging it off.

            And yet, as Ridley describes in the article above, it’s the sceptics who are increasingly on the right side of the argument. It turns out that the “environmental” movement and the activist scientists who churn out papers to support the “message” have been hijacked by a fundamentally misanthropic and mythical notion of resource depletion which has, as its starting point, the idea that human beings are a cancer upon the face of the earth. In fact, the policies which have ensued are universally damaging to the actual environment (with the exception of improved home insulation).

            Ridley lists a few examples, wind turbine damage, diversion of food to bioethanol, clear-logging of US forests to provide wood chips for UK power stations, denying access to cheap energy for the poorest people on the planet (who don’t have access to electricity). You could add to these the “environmentally” sponsored clearance of rainforest to make way for palm oil, horribly toxic tailings from the extraction of rare earths and manufacture of Lithium ion batteries essential for wind turbines and battery powered cars, and the ONS estimated 25,000 “excess deaths” from cold in the UK alone which is partly due to the high cost of energy.

            People like Watts, Ridley and Lawson (none of whom I agree with politically) have bravely battled against the overwhelming societal meme (current in the comfortably-off industrialised world) that everything is running short due to overpopulation. In fact there is no shortage of resources, except where this has been engineered by policy-makers (for example by embargoing the building of reservoirs in S.E. England to meet the water needs of a significantly increased population.)

          • Terry Field

            All you have done is raise assertions and guessed the future.

          • braqueish

            Hmmm, I must have become a climate “scientist” without realising. Drat!!

          • littleted

            Suckering them in, aren’t you?

            The bottom line is that there is no real (empirical) evidence that changes to the concentration of atmospheric CO2 have affected the climate, now or ever. Period.

            Sorry, but there’s nothing you can do about it. All the cod-science about greenhouse effects is no more than a well-crafted and thoroughly discredited red herring that begs the question that it affects the climate, when it hasn’t.

            It’s over, and the latest AR (um) from the IPCC indicates the start of a major hemming and hawing as the warming establishment starts to back away from its position while they still can, seeking an exit that keeps their position and reputations intact, and themselves out of gaol.

          • braqueish

            Yah, that’s obviously a reliable source of information. Given its, er, patent balance. Stick with that. It’s rock-solid.

            What never ceases to disgust me is the way that both sides of the debate seek to denigrate their opposition with ad hominem attacks. I sympathise with people who find Michael Mann, Dana Nuccitelli, Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook to be earnest, self-righteous, zealot twats. The same goes for what passes for “environmental” journalism in most of the legacy press.

            Many of the “denialists” are egregious right-wing loons of a neo-con bent. I include in this list heroes of mine like Viscount Matt Ridley of Northern Rock, Tory bastard Nigel Lawson, the totally weird Christopher Monckton, and (excluding the neo-con slur) Tony Benn.

            As an ageing Marxist I unexpectedly find that the latter plonkers actually have something useful to say about the climate (and the political environment in which we live). The Guardianistas turn out to be on-side with a pretty despicable plutocracy of anti-human technocrats who are antithetical to democracy or any kind of human decency.

            The post-Tolkein world will, no doubt, discover its optimistic frame of mind. I grew up in a country which was optimistic. Which believed in progress. Where British pre-eminence in engineering, nuclear science, aeronautics were something to be proud of. The nation which produced Blue Streak, Fast breeder reactors, Concorde, TSR2. Somewhere we lost our confidence and belief in progress and the future. We became institutionally reactionary. We submitted to managerialism and mediocrity.

            The “green” movement has been hijacked by misanthropic reactionaries. We need to become confident again in the majesty of progress — its ability to overcome difficulties and to improve both the welfare of our environment and the people who live within it.

          • John Drummond

            I love the snobbish elitism so typical of those who call themselves Greens”. Seems only those with a University education are entitled to an opinion. Take it a stage further only those with a degree are entitled to vote. What a strange and befuddled World we would have.

          • JohnGa1t

            IF you had any knowledge of the matter you would know that the source for that statement is a press story based on falsified documents (google gleickgate).
            WUWT has nothing like the level of funding thrown at it that the warmist websites have but because the truth always carries more weight, so does the website.

        • Alice

          Yep, greedy greedy Big Green, compared to the poor, poor Big Oil, the wealthiest industry humanity has ever known.

      • Epimenides

        Met Office – 100% government funded.
        RS – 47%
        NASA -100%
        IPCC – 100% UN funded.
        But you never mentioned the Uni of Easy Access. They are the clowns that alter data, as Climategate proved, to suit the above four institutions so that their models ‘fit’. 100% government funded.
        WUWT – see Eric Cartman, below.

        • digglesmequick

          Pretty much all science in any country is government funded in one way or another. If you discount all such institutes you’re basically saying you don’t trust any scientists (on anything).

          As for Climategate, I’m yet to see any “evidence” that showed they maliciously altered anything. It’s all there in peer reviewed papers which have been checked and confirmed by independent institutes all over the world.

          So if you don’t believe UEA, you don’t have to take their word for it – ask any leading climate institute and they all say the same.

          • Epimenides

            Where is your post re the empirical evidence that CO2 controls the Earth’s climate zones? Why do not post the unequivocal evidence?
            “There is none so blind as those that will not see.”

        • mikewaller

          The great majority of those who have been pressing for control over the the use of sugar in foodstuffs and beverages for decades are also state funded. Not had much success so far have they? Big food and drink have continually undetermined them not least by threatening any MP/MEP who dares to vote in support of regulation. So it was with big oil until they too found the science overwhelming.

      • Abortion Survivor

        The IPCC tells us that the global temperature has risen a whopping 0.85 degrees celsius in 132 years. That alarms me about as much as Harold Camping’s mathematical calculations.

    • Donald Ciesielski

      You should rant some more…good points given

    • Terry Field

      ”The climate is changing, but the actual evidence from real empirical measurements shows that it is not changing anywhere near as fast as eminent climate scientists predicted with understandable alarm.”

      NOT supported by the body of scientific evidence. Sorry old chap.
      And FAR too many words, over-padded and a bit rambling, eh what???

    • I Like Terry

      You had me at “plain old fashioned common sense”, you really didn’t need to add “this marvelous and ever changing planet”.

      “the climate has always changed, sometimes much faster and at a much greater rate than it is currently”.. Wooaahhh!!!! I’m there.

  • Frederick Colbourne

    Regarding the Somerset Levels, the Minister responsible failed in his statutory duty to maintain the infrastructure. That was the cause of flooding–not climate change–not even the storms.

    Why did the Minister fail in his statutory duty?

    The reason is simple: deliberately to return the Somerset Levels to the “natural state”. The humans who own property in the Somerset Levels counted for less than the fauna.

  • http://wolfowitz.com Steven Wolfowitz

    The use of fossil-fuels to generate electricity will no doubt continue well into our future. Instead of uncontrolled dumping of the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from this original process new proven technology in Germany can convert the CO2 emissions back to methane CH4 NG which can be re-burned repetitively. That should help us all:

  • Peter Stroud

    So, at last the IPCC is accepting the views of the majority of scientific, climate sceptics: or deniers, as the warmists like to label us. Perhaps Ed Davey will now modify his desire to ban all sceptical publications: though I doubt it. The man is as bad a CAGW fanatic as his jailbird predecessor

    • Terry Field

      Chapter and verse, please.

  • Dodgy Geezer

    …Until now, the official line has been largely to ignore adaptation and focus instead on ‘mitigation’ — the misleading term for preventing carbon dioxide emissions. That has now changed….

    Er..Mr Ridley, I don’t think you understand the nature of the problem.

    Climate Change is defined as disastrous and imminent. That is not to be questioned – indeed, anyone who does is a denier and by definition is evil, funded by shadowy big business, and MUST NEVER BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK.

    The job of the politicians is to do what green activists tell them. The first thing green activists tell them is to fund green activism. The job of scientists is to agree to this.

    When the science cannot be made to support predictions of heating, some other more vague predictions need to be put in place to keep the funding going. The world may have stopped heating, but there will always be bad weather somewhere, so ‘mitigating the weather’ is a good excuse which is unlikely to go away rapidly.

    Since this excuse is a good solid one, scientists can agree to write about ‘mitigating the weather’, and activists can state that ‘scientists agree’, and politicians can keep funding them.

    Simple, really…

  • Oliver_K_Manuel

    Another leader with good technical training is expressing doubt about IPCC’s tale of CO2-induced global warming:


  • Maturecheese

    This report matters not a jot to the fanatics here as we will continue to commit economic suicide by driving the cost of energy through the roof. Our competitors must be laughing their heads off. We are sitting on large reserves of coal and gas and yet here we are building wind turbines in some stupid quest to reduce global co2. What difference is a tiny island like ours going to make?

    • Colonel Mustard

      Our government has long since descended into basing all policy on twee approval and disapproval rather than on practicality and pragmatism.

      Bread and circuses.

  • Paul Matthews

    While I agree with virtually all of what you say, it’s important to be aware of the point made by Andrew Wander. The IPCC is divided into three “Working groups”:

    WG1 – The Physical Science Basis
    WG2 – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
    WG3 – Mitigation of Climate Change

    It was WG2 that published its report on Monday, hence all the current talk of adaptation. WG3 starts its final meeting next week and their report will be published soon after that, at which point strident calls for drastic mitigation will resurface.

    • Peter Stroud

      Surely even the IPCC cannot have it both ways. Oh, sorry, they are climatologists.

  • digglesmequick

    “Until now, the official line has been largely to ignore adaptation and
    focus instead on ‘mitigation’ — the misleading term for preventing
    carbon dioxide emissions.”

    This simply isn’t true – which makes the whole article somewhat pointless. They’ve been saying for years that we need both adaptation and mitigation. For example:


    And as others have pointed out – this is the working group 2 report, “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”, so it’s not surprising they don’t talk much about mitigation, which is working group 3.

    On the plus side, I’m glad to see the Spectator finally drop the IPCC conspiracy nonsense!! I hope this is the start of a new period of evidence-based scientific reporting.

    • Epimenides

      Still trolling, pal? How much are you getting paid? $8 / hr?
      I always liked Hansel and Gretel. It seemed real when I was 5. I suppose I would believe the stuff you do if I was still 5. Are you 5?

  • Gwangi

    Most debates on the environment ignore the elephant in the room – massive population increases (from 3.5 billion in the 1960s to 7 billion today) (maybe because the elephant is now almost extinct thanks to overpopulation and Chinese demand for ivory).
    The Earth will survive anything; the environment and wildlife won’t survive such human population increase though – and nor ultimately will people.
    Re climate change. A silly phrase. The climate is always changing and always has. And anyway, unless we give up our lifestyles and go back to being cave dwellers, we realistically cannot reduce emissions much.
    But the worst thing anyone can ever do for the environment is breed in an overpopulated world – which is why I never take lectures from greenie yummy mummy Richmond-upon-Thames sorts on recycling etc.

    • davidshort10

      Who drive big cars and who have big Boogaboo buggies.

    • Dodgy Geezer

      Read Simon to find out why more population is good.

      • Gwangi

        Nothing whatsoever good about more population – it’s a ticking time bomb and THE only environment issue, because it makes all the rest far worse. Makes resources more scarce and expensive. Puts pressure on everything. Makes wildlife extinct.

        It creates competition for resources and wars (half of them at the moment); it destroys the environment and makes animals extinct. Of course the greedy parasitic corporates can sell more stuff people don’t need to yet more people – so that’s all they care about.

        Nature will sort it out in the end anyway – eventually, maybe in 100 years or less, the population will be so large that conflict, disease and famine will wipe out most humans anyway.
        Try reading POPULATION MATTERS and listening to those who know what they’re talking about on this issue.

        • braqueish

          Nonsense. The greatest threat to the environment is poverty. Check out the deforestation of Haiti. Poor people, to survive, must predate upon their local environment and wildlife. Often to an horrific extent. Prosperous people, like us, can afford to hold up a construction project for a year to allow newts to be relocated.

          “Environmentalism” and “sustainability”, of course, entrench poverty by insisting that development must be powered by hideously expensive solar panels and battery installations. You can’t build a steel industry on wind turbines.

          China, on the other hand, has eschewed “sustainability” and built a modern economy in just 20 years. In the process she has dragged the best part of one billion human beings from dire poverty and frequent starvation into an industrial working class. Now, just like we did in the C19-20th, she is starting to clean up.

        • Dodgy Geezer

          Simon wiped the floor with these simplistic Malthusian arguments back in the 1970s. You will have to try much harder than that to put over your propaganda. I notice that you have never heard of him, of course…

        • victor petri

          Your hypothesis is sadly the main stream thinking and hopelessly incorrect. I seldomly have seen so many pseudo intellectual cliches in 1 comment. Everything you say here is untrue.
          “Makes resources more scarce and expensive.” Resources are less scarce than ever, and become cheaper with time, thanks to more people. Food and metals become ever more affordable:
          Our per capita energy use has never been less scarce:
          “It creates competition for resources and wars”
          Was is in terminal decline:
          As is violence:

          There is nothing good about more population is such a sad thing to say, what about music, movies or the arts to enjoy, or new design, new research, new technology, or love or friendship.
          People are NOT problems. They are the most versatile and amazing beings this Earth has yet seen.

          Nature has tried over and over to wipe us out, to no avail, we have overcome countless times, and became ever more stronger, and so it will always be.
          Do not listen to those misanthropes of Population Matters, but try and think why we as a people have never had it as good as we do now, when we have by far the biggest population ever.

    • Frank O’Harry

      Which is why in the next 100 years, the UK and the rest of Europe will become an Islamic theocracy. Go ahead and refuse to reproduce. The Islamic world won’t buy into the pseudoscientific apocalyptic blackmail and you’ll be over run.

      • Gwangi

        Talk about a false argument! My point is that overpopulation comes from Asia and Africa mostly – populations of countries there have quadrupled in 50 years! So why precisely are we helping them to have more children who survive to adulthood and have 5 babies each themselves?

        • jack

          Suicidal Stupidity.

      • jack

        Can’t we just corrupt them with pornography and feed them full of birth-control pills. Put something in the holy water.

      • jack

        Besides you should look at the population data for Iran. During the 1980’s they went from 5 kids per women to one of the lowest birthrates in the world (about 1.8 presently). Similar things are also happening in Sunni arab countries. Hence Islamic birthrates will also drop and they will drop very quickly.

    • braqueish

      The solution to “overpopulation” is prosperity. Let the Africans build coal fired power stations. Let them develop. Developed nations (even Roman Catholic ones) have birth rates close to, or below, population replacement.

      On the other hand, as Matt Ridley has written elsewhere, the entire Earth population could fit handily into a city the size of Cuba (with the density of Singapore) leaving the rest of the world for agriculture and wildlife.

      “Overpopulation” is a misanthropic nonsense. Originally propagated by the egregious Malthus and re-heated by the equally egregious and serially disproved Paul Ehrlich in the 1970’s (when the great scare was the coming ice age).

      • jack

        Its not development, but the education of young girls that reduces the birthrate. Simply keeping them in school into their 20’s cuts the family size in half. They need some outlet to keep busy so they are not saddled with infants before their minds can fully develop. They need to avoid being trapped in lives of desperate domesticity.

        • braqueish

          Sigh. Education is a function of development. In order to fund schools and teachers and keep children economically inactive while they learn you have to have a society developed beyond a subsistence economy.

    • jack

      Don’t worry, the food shortages and the wars will cull the human population back down to medieval levels. The wolves and read deer will be roaming the streets of London in one hundred years.

      • braqueish

        Nonsense. There’s plenty of food (and it would be a great deal more plentiful if it wasn’t diverted to create engine-damaging bioethanol). Technological improvements in agriculture enable us to grow more than enough food to feed the world’s population, and to require less land to do it.

        • jack

          Increases in crop production have fallen behind population growth for the last several decades. Simply a fact of life. Moreover crop failures and drouths a increasing in frequency. Look at your grocery bill if you don’t believe me. It will get worse as the Chinese and Indians and the S. Americans begin to want more meat in the diet. Middle class people are a lot more gluttonous than peasants.

          • braqueish

            Nope, you misread your talking points, or they were incorrect to start with. Current world food production is considerably in excess of demand. Perhaps that’s why the UN and its NGO automata decided to push for biofuels, despite all the evidence of their tendency to increase CO2 emissions. Cue consternation at GreenWar.

            Before biofüles the amount of land required to grow food was in excess — that’s why more agricultural land was being set aside for forestry. A trend which has now ceased.

            Engineered scarcity is the name of the game. Starvation of the poorest people provides a “beneficial crisis”. These people have absolutely no shame. Sad that you would be their mouthpiece, Jack.

          • braqueish

            Oh, and I should add that China has gone from a starvation-prone peasant economy to one which now has an industrialised agronomy. They are now a net exporter of food. That’s progress (the thing that you and your ilk are terrified of.)

          • jack

            If you think china exports food, then you are sadly misinformed. And please spare me your 2 cent psychoanalysis. You also know nothing of my “ilk”. In fact, the only ilk really worth despising, is the ilk of people who think “progress” is inevitable.

  • dado_trunking

    Ah, so it’s about *adaptation* now is it?
    Why is this news? We did not adapt/mitigate/avoid man-made flooding, we are not adapting/mitigating/avoiding or complying with the 2008 EU Air Pollution Directive, we are not adapting/mitigating/avoiding massive energy waste when constructing legally compliant but inferior homes.

    So what is this – a refreshed Paterson begging for a second chance, nothing more.
    Go on son, you’re out of a job in 13 months time in any case. Adapt to that.

  • Colin N Maclean


    So the ‘missing heat’ has transferred itself, as if by magic, from the atmosphere to the deep ocean leaving no trace of its transference in the ‘in between’? Explain.

    • jack

      The “trace” of heat transference between the Oceans and the Atmosphere is usually called a “hurricane” by the lay community.

      • Colin N Maclean


    • braqueish

      Google “Argo buoys”. Thousands of them measuring upper ocean temperatures. No evidence of increased heat.

  • Guenier

    It’s time we stopped arguing about the science and focused on what the world is actually doing about so-called mitigation. The answer is nothing – carbon dioxide emissions are accelerating and that will continue. The next “make-or-break” UN conference (Paris 2015), like all previous such conferences, will not achieve agreement for worldwide emission reduction. The reason is that the so-called developing world (responsible for nearly 70% of emissions) is more interested in economic and political growth and poverty alleviation.

    Therefore it’s absurd that the UK has based its climate policy on emission reduction – a policy that, inter alia, is unnecessarily increasing energy costs and costing jobs. Instead we should be prioritising a strong economy underpinned by reliable affordable energy. And focusing on long-term adaptation to whatever climate change may occur.

    See this: https://ipccreport.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/why-uk-climate-change-policies-are-pointless-robin-guenier/#comments

    • jack

      If one has a greenhouse which is getting too hot, the simply answer is to put up some sun screens and block some of the light. High altitude release of very fine metallic dust using passenger jets should do the trick for a few thousand dollars a year. It could be added to the jet fuel.

  • the pope

    When it comes to planetary science, who better to lead the debate than the former Chairman of Northern Rock?

    • braqueish

      … who is one of the more sensible members of the commentariat and doesn’t resort to name-calling and ad hominem attacks. Unlike you.

  • wudyermucuss

    This,still,is the fact:climate has always changed.

  • jack

    Simply set off a bunch of H-bombs. The resulting nuclear winter will totally reverse the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

  • mikewaller

    Now we know why Northern Rock got into so much trouble: Ridley’s boundless optimism. The scientists have switched their presentational approach for one very good reason: ably assisted by the deniers and the it-won’t-be-that-badders, plus the increasingly negative effects of globalisation, the great wash of the population are far less interested in future threats than present needs. Hence the new positive spin designed to rekindle their interest.

    As for Ridley’s happy notion that we are all going to get richer and richer, forget it. A fact that the historian, Paul Kennedy, said was so important it was largely being ignored, is going increasingly to undermine the Western life style. By this I mean the coming into the World’s industrial sectors of hundreds of millions of new industrial workers whose potential output, if aggregated, would be massively in excess of economically articulate demand. Because labour costs will be a key consideration in a savagely competitive world, the reduction rather than improvement of living standards is the most likely outcome. It also seems to me that as this becomes all too apparent to Western voters, there will be an irresistible pressure to reintroduce trade barriers to protect home producers and markets. With this on the horizon, it is very much less than smart to be contemplating going it alone. However, perhaps Mr. Farage et al have knowledge to which I am not privy.

    • braqueish

      Ridley may be an inveterate capitalist, but his evidence is unarguable. My mother as a child was often cold and often hungry. She went to work at 14 because the family needed the income. As I a child I was often cold but never hungry. I didn’t start full time work until my twenties. Kids these day are rarely cold or hungry. The average person in England today is richer than a mid-level aristocrat in mediaeval times in comparable terms — before we even start talking about the Internet, TV etc.

      Industrial revolutions have three stages. Firstly the mass movement of the peasantry into urban industrial settings (causing the rapid industrialisation of agriculture); secondly high levels of pollution and workplace injury and death as the capitalists go for broke; thirdly the emergence of a self-confident proletariat who exert real political influence to get their conditions, pay, and environment improved, and who demand democracy.

      China is beginning to shift from phase two to three. Japan and S. Korea have been through the entire process and pay and conditions are similar to those in the US, Germany and here. Their workers have become consumers and are customers for iPhones, toaster ovens and cars.

      Look for this process to begin again in Africa, India, South America, and elsewhere in S. E. Asia. Eventually the entire planet will be freed from the horrors of starvation and the privations of subsistance farming.

      Historians like Kennedy have a deeply reactionary view of society. This comes from the millenarian pessimistic mindset which dreamed up the global warming scare along with its ugly sister, the “population bomb” myth.

      • mikewaller

        In the end I suppose its all a matter of judgement; but in my view the kind of happy optimism that you and Ridley display is what led to the mass failure of endowment-based mortgages. Just because a thing has worked in the past does not mean that it will inevitably work in the future. What you are selling is a “Whiggish” version of economic development i.e. things inevitably get better and better. Sadly they don’t. I have just read a National Trust guide to the Roman villa at Chedworth. One of its final lines reads thus: “Quite possibly life for the majority of the Romano-British population had long since fallen to subsistence level and the villas had fallen into decay and been abandoned for lack of attention”.

        More specifically, the three generational improvement in living standards to which you refer is already in decline, hence Miliband’s “cost of living crisis”. Where Miliband is either lying or in denial is in suggesting that he can do something about it. Indeed, we would have started to feel the effects a great deal sooner had it not been for massive borrowing (which makes the situation even worse in the long run) and the willingness of foreigners to buy up our businesses (House of Fraser, yesterday) and property along with lending us shed-loads of money. There are inevitable limits to these palliatives and the when they are reached the chickens will really come home to roost.

        The real problem is that it will not be just us who suffer. Hundreds of millions of people whose rosey futures are at least to some degree predicated on exporting manufactured goods to the wealth West, are going to find those markets drying up. Their anger at not getting what they expected – because your model is time expired – coupled with anger in the West because standards of living continually drop could result in something very nasty. Remember, a simple summation of the fundamental origins of WWI can be presented as Germany, a late developer but then the most successful entrant into the newly industrialised world, expected the same rewards in terms of a world wide empire as the earlier entrants had secured. Unfortunately the World had by then largely run out of a native peoples to conqueror and colonise. Therefore Germany turned to military action as a means of improving its position in what had become a zero sum game. In the present World, the great crisis is going to arise from much too much supply and insufficient economically articulate demand and quite how that will play out I dread too think.

        • braqueish

          I think you’re missing the point. Ridley’s contention is not that everything’s always rosy and will automatically get rosier. There was a post Roman decline (although contemporaneous documents noted that the Romano-Celts were quite prosperous). We have had epoch-defining plagues, wars, market crashes/depressions and natural catastrophes when things get worse for a lot of people. I agree with you, for example that the current economic state is highly unstable and that war is not improbable.

          However, whenever a new equilibrium is reached it is more likely than not (based on our history to date) that human resilience and ingenuity will continue to improve the lot of the ordinary people. After all, most people today (in the industrialised world) are unimaginably better off than our great grandparents could have ever dreamed of despite the slump of the 1930s and two world wars. Given the accelerating rate of change in technology, why should not our great grandchildren also live in realms of contentment unimaginable to us?

          • mikewaller

            You put me in mind of the guy who having fallen off a high building and reached the first floor, says “It’s OK so far”. I also note that the Astronomer Royal, looking out on the same world as you do, has expressed doubts as to the human race even making it to the year 2100! He lists a range of possible disasters, but in our exchanges I have been focusing on just one: the simple point that the great age of Euro-American economic dominance has been built on the premise that we made all the clever things and the rest of the world, initially, just sent us the raw materials and bought the finished product. Latterly , their role has expanded into mass producing the simple things and now, increasingly, the middle order things. That is why the balance of trade has moved so heavily against most of the Western economies and why we have had to borrow so much to maintain our standard of living. Sadly, the new economies are going to be no more content to stick at the middle order things than the Chinese were to remain in the paddy fields. Of course we may come up with a brilliant new source of energy and/or means of greatly increasing agricultural yields; however neither eventuality is going to stop cost-base differentials being the key determinant of who achieves economic dominance. What I mean by this is that, other than for the mega-rich, our current standard of living in not sustainable in the long run. Indeed, as a brilliant article in the Spectator made clear about 25 years ago, it is only the effects of equal pay that is masking how far it has already fallen. Fifty years ago, a single male earner on a comparatively modest wage could support a family, including the purchase of a house and the building up of a decent pension. Not any longer; now it takes two to achieve this and they will struggle. And, obviously, equal pay as an inducement to get both adults working is a stunt you can only pull once. What next? Child labour?

          • braqueish

            Yup, you might be right. On the other hand, imminent catastrophe has been a companion to human thought throughout history. The late Victorians, early Edwardians also had this meme in spades. My suspicion is that in the decades before and after a millennium we are especially prone to be doom-laden.

            I remember the 60’s. I don’t know if you do. This was an era of optimism, both socially and technologically. Wilson’s “white heat” of technological revolution. Scientists and engineers became rock stars because they developed Concorde, TSR2, Blue Streak and nuclear power stations.

            In the 70’s, suddenly, scientists became prophets of doom. And that’s what they seem to be stuck with. None of the deadly catastrophes they predicted have, er, actually happened: the new Ice Age, asbestos, the “silent spring”, the “population bomb”, peak oil, Y2K, BSE, the listeria bacteria hysteria, salmonella in eggs, dioxins, satanic child abuse, global warming, etc, etc, etc.

            Now you are telling me that we are all going to die because of excess debt. I have no doubt that this may be a problem and may, indeed, cause some serious economic difficulties. Why, though, would you think that Chinese economic development would be a problem? Those Chinese peasants who have become working class are also becoming consumers. The UK economy has shifted from a largely industrial base to being a service industry (although there’s a fir bit of industry left). We design, we sell, we innovate. Virtually every mobile device on the planet is powered by a chip designed in Cambridge and fabricated in Taiwan/S. Korea.

            For God’s sake lift your chin! Your catastrophism is infectious, pernicious, and groundless.

          • mikewaller

            Ice age. As there have been a series of ice ages and the current interval is beyond the average ,it was more than reasonable to propose that, all other things being equal, we
            were due another. Global warming means that all other things are not equal.

            Asbestosis. A terrible disease than continues to kill thousands each year.

            Silent spring. The book was written in response to the indiscriminate use of pesticides in general, and DTT in particular. It was a major contributor to these dangerous substances being better regulated, at least in the West.

            Population bomb. The fact that there are an unsustainable number of people all aspiring to a life-style currently enjoyed by about 5% of the World’s population is central to my thesis.

            Peak oil. If you set growing demand against available
            supply, oil’s availability to the West at a reasonable price probably has passed its peak.

            Y2K One up to you.

            BSE. An appalling disease that was only brought under
            control by scientifically designed measures.

            Listeria. In a democracy you cannot control how the wider population will react to sound advice that the very young and the elderly should avoid any given substance.

            Salmonella. Remains a killer disease that was allowed to flourish at appalling levels in the national flock until the public were quite properly alerted.

            Dioxins. Dangerous industrial pollutants that are quite
            properly closely regulated in the West

            Satanic Child Abuse. Nothing to do with proper science.

            Global warming. A fact now accepted by all but the most purblind.

          • braqueish

            “Ice age.” Are you suggesting that there’s any evidence at all that a small increase in a trace gas will prevent the next ice age?

            “Asbestosis. A terrible disease than continues to kill thousands each year.” Yes but none of them from its most prevalent form: white asbestos. Blue and brown asbestos are proven killers. White asbestos is a different mineral altogether, and pretty much harmless.

            “Silent spring.” Carson and the nascent greens got DDT banned alright — without any real evidence at all that is was harmful. As a result malaria — which was getting close to being eradicated — resurged and has killed millions. Organophosphate pesticides, which were developed to replace DDT, are toxic nerve agents and far more dangerous than DDT.

            “Population bomb.” I like people. You don’t. Lets agree to differ.

            Peak oil. Peak cheap oil is not the same as peak “we’re all going to starve and go cold” oil. People have been stridently predicting us “running out” of oil, coal, and gas since the 1890’s. We just keep finding more of the stuff and, er, improving extraction technology.

            Y2K One up to you. Ta :)

            BSE. An appalling disease that was only brought under
            control by scientifically designed measures. An appalling disease that was predicted to run amok and destroy society but didn’t.

            Listeria. In a democracy you cannot control how the wider population will react to sound advice that the very young and the elderly should avoid any given substance. Listeria is the beneficial bacterium which makes cheese possible. One rare strain which is dangerous to people with immune deficiency was talked up to blight an entire industry.

            Salmonella. Remains a killer disease that was allowed to flourish at appalling levels in the national flock until the public were quite properly alerted. It has never been established that eggs could contain salmonella (as opposed to chicken meat). However, the widespread misuse of antibiotic prophylaxis across livestock farming has now left us with multiple bacterial strains with multiple resistance.

            Dioxins. Your “sustainable” wood burning stove gives off dioxins. With toxins it’s always a question of concentration. I’m talking about the dioxin scare which wiped out virtually a generation of Belgian farmers. Are you beginning to get the picture? Activists who hate industry allying with populist right wing newspapers to splash scare stories which are simply untrue.

            “Satanic Child Abuse. Nothing to do with proper science.” I know that it’s especially prone to ideological fashions, intellectual peony and scholasticism but Social Science hasn’t yet joined the Humanities, as far as I’m aware.

            “Global warming. A fact now accepted by all but the most purblind.” Always the straw man. Hardly anybody doubts that the surface temperature has warmed by a fraction of a degree since 1890. What puzzles those of us who don’t uncritically subscribe to scare stories is why we aren’t celebrating rather than panicking. After all, cold kills a great many more living things than warmth.

          • mikewaller

            I replied to this yesterday, but my efforts seem to have got lost in the ether.

            Regarding global warming and the overdue ice-age, the inter-relationship is perfectly clear. The ice-core record suggests that glaciation is paradigm case of positive feedback. A slight drop in temperature leads to a slight increase in year round ice and snow cover which leads to a slight increase in the amount of solar energy reflected back into space which leads to a slightly larger drop in temperature etc. etc. Much like a glass of water – if deployed in the initial seconds – can put out a fire that would otherwise have consumed a house, so too with global warming and the initial temperature drop.

            Asbestosis. Yes blue and brown are far worse, but if I put a bucket of white asbestos dust under your nose, you would be a damned fool to inhale it.

            Silent spring. Carson’s book struck a cord because her readers could see the world changing around them. When I was a child uncountable numbers of butterflies on buddleia bushes were a commonplace; not any more. There were three problems with DDT: it was very cheap, very broad-spectrum and and those using it were victims of Ridley’s disease: a boundless belief that everything will turn out fine. However, I agree that its replacements are in many ways worse.

            It is because I like people that I would prefer not to see their world trashed by Ridleyites.

            What the scientists actually said about BSE (as distinguished from what the media made of it) was that the out-turn would be determined by the degree of human variability regarding incubation period. If all those affected succumbed in roughly the same timescale, the crisis would be manageable. If, at the other extreme, there was huge variation, the initially suffers would be a small outlier group of a huge normal distribution. No thanks to the casually attitude to human safety originally shown by the livestock industry, the first scenario proved to be closest to the mark.

            Oil. I go back to as statistic I quoted earlier. If you are on £14,000 p.a. you are said to be in the top 4% of World incomes. Assuming your expansionist thesis plays out, new discoveries will not keep up with World demand.

            Listeria. Check out the NHS site on the subject. That suggests it is far more widespread than you imply. Pregnant women are definitely warned against it, a range of foodstuffs have been found to carry it, one in 20 people are carriers and, if you are exceptionally unlucky and get a really bad case. it can do serous nerve damage. Surely folks have the right to be seriously risk adverse?

            Salmonella in eggs. This is an extract from the Daily Mail (not my paper of choice): “More than 150,000 Lion Quality eggs have been tested over the past two years and all were found to be free from salmonella.The government’s own Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food has found that human cases of salmonella have more than halved since the introduction of the scheme.”

            What did for dioxins was Seveso in 1976. and no doubt hat led to a major over-reaction. But what solution do you favour: suppression of all such news stories?

            Global warming: your really have to explain why after years of big oil having put a great deal of money into rubbishing the idea,it now accepts it as a fact that needs addressing. As I replied to somebody else on this list, if scientists have this magical power to mislead entire societies, why have they been so unsuccessful with sugar? The lies about fat (nowhere near as harmful as suggested) and “low fat” foodstuffs (stuffed full of sugar) have been infuriating food scientists for decades, not least because of the terrible effects on society. Sadly governments of all stripes have been too afraid of the food/drink lobby to do anything about it. What have climate scientists got that food scientists lack?

          • mikewaller

            Check the basic science. Glaciation is a classic example of positive feedback. A tiny drop in temperature leads to a tiny increase in all year snow/ice cover which reflects a tiny amount more solar energy back into space which leads to a marginally greater drop in temperature etc .etc. Stop
            the initial tiny increase and you stop the whole process.

            Yes, blue and brown asbestos are much the more dangerous;but if I stick a bucket of white fibres under your nose, you would a damned fool if you breathed any in.

            The problem with DDT is that it fell into the hands of merry optimists like you and Ridley who were confident that it would not cause any real harm so massively over used it. As it was cheap and broad spectrum it wiped out far more than its target pests and came to be seen as a serious environmental threat. Had it been sensibly introduced under the control of cautious scientists it might still have been available. I certainly agree that its replacements may well be worse.

            It is because I like people to live comfortable lives that I
            would very much prefer that we take a cautious approach to what the planet can provide.

            What scientists actually told us about BSE was that its
            overall effects would depend on the extent to which those infected differed in the speed in which the disease became apparent. If there was not much difference, the situation would be manageable; if there was a lot of difference,then we could dealing with a range of possibilities up to the first cases being mere outliers of a massive normal distribution.That is, of course, not what the popular press made of it – but you cannot blame science for that.

            Ditto with salmonella and listeria. For the most part,
            scientists try to give the facts as they understand them. Where individuals go badly wrong, as with the scare stories about the MMR vaccine, other scientists usually give them grief. But again, which way the press and public opinion will jump, is another matter entirely. Because of this, you cheery optimists may favour suppressing all but the most positive scientific conclusions, but it is not an approach with which I and many others would be happy. As to why the public is now so willing to think the worse – a predisposition the press is happy to indulge – the answer may well lie in the golden age to which you referred earlier when optimistic scientists of your stripe promised us all sorts, much of which either went wrong or was simply not delivered. The use of growth hormone on under-sized children is an example of the former and “electricity too cheap to meter” an example of the latter.

  • TheOtherTurnipTaliban

    Well that was a quick turnaround. I thought we were all going to drown unless we paid more on the electricity bill. Oh well never mind.

  • colin maclean (Guest)


    Is there any planetary warming worth noting since 1998 and should that make us become seriously concerned? Co2 emissions have considerably increased since then. Has hurricane activity done the same? Meanwhile, ‘global warming’ has stalled and has now morphed into ‘weird weather’ and/ or ‘climate change’.

    If the heat is on, and you know, and can show that it is deep in the oceans, please tell Kevin Trenberth. It would be a ‘travesty’ if you didn’t.

  • littleted

    The bottom line is that there is no real (empirical) evidence that changes to the concentration of atmospheric CO2 have affected the climate, now or ever. Period.

    All the cod-science about greenhouse effects is no more than a well-crafted and thoroughly discredited red herring that begs the question that it affects the climate, when it hasn’t.

    It’s over, and the latest AR (um) from the IPCC indicates the start of a major hemming and hawing as the warming establishment starts to back away from its position while they still can, seeking an exit that keeps their position and reputations intact, and themselves out of gaol.

    • william santos

      Just stop denier you are embarrassing yourself.


      • salt_peter

        Relax, Billie boy. It’s over. Go find another anti-British drum to beat.

        • william santos

          It was proves for over 50 years ago. Now go back to your cave of ignorance.

        • william santos

          Oh btw do you got any source 😀 Guess not right ha ha deniers thinks they know science cute.

  • Richard_Spain

    When was the industrial revolution? Some time in the 1800s if I’m not mistaken. Were there no climate changes before that? Then, were they much less significant? Computer models churn out results based on how they are designed. Do you remember the GIGO syndrome? (Garbage In- Garbage Out)

  • Tim Holmes

    The IPCC’s 2nd report always focuses on adaptation. It leaves mitigation to the 3rd report. And even then, the 2nd report just released points out that curbing climate change is “essential”, that insufficient curbs on warming will likely limit the time and options available for adaptation, that adaptation is risky, and that it may have very serious limits. Read the Summary for Policymakers yourself, it’s not long. Note in particular pages 24 and 25.


    So Ridley is simply lying, in a particularly barefaced manner. I’m hoping people will notice, actually. Because this lie is entirely transparent to ordinary people, if they bother to check.

  • Terry Field

    This is funny – a socio-political entity talks about ‘adaptation’, when the science clearly indicates we are ineluctably moving to a situation of mass global migration involving three BILLION people by the 2050s, and the supply of foodstuffs to Britain will not continue as large regions of the planet see a crash in their food production, and a banning of food exports.
    Adaptation is talk for cretins; for light-brained people who are trivial by nature.
    Unless one considers mass death as ‘adaptation’ – in which case it is spot on the mark.

    • victor petri

      This opposed to the socio-political entity that assumes omni-scientias, the existance of the all knowing entity that it urges must be followed by the people. It coincides with the belief in a guiding government, a top down approach, the government, backed by science, knows what’s best and guides the people. As if they have not changed their minds a millions time since time immemorial on what ideology and what science was correct.

      Man is severely handicapped, we are not all knowing Gods, and the world is so complex that we can never predict the future. Everybody that thinks otherwise and forces the people in that direction, can conflict great harm.

      What we are good at however, is reacting and adapting, nature made sure of that, and never created a species that could adapt as quickly and convincingly as the human race can.

      So beware of your position to inflict short term economic costs that will harm poverty stricken people living right now, to avoid perceived future cost. It could be the equivalent of charging 19th century subsistence farmers taxes to tackly the Y2K bug.

  • Terry Field

    Having read in detail the IPCC data, and the data and observations of other serious climate scientists, the idea that adaptation is possible is utterly idiotic.
    Unless adaptation includes mass death of course.
    And where does the UK imagine its food supply is going to come from??
    Utter madness from arts graduates and political fools who wish the public ‘not be disturbed’
    The idiotic deniers in this column display staggering ignorance. They really are funny. And many of them are, quite simply, either liars and / or mentally ill.

    • salt_peter

      “Having read in detail the IPCC data, and the data and observations of
      other serious climate scientists, the idea that adaptation is possible
      is utterly idiotic.”

      That is a very sentient idea, that could do all that reading.

      However, now that (presumably) you have done all that reading, and leaving aside all the glitzy distractions focussed on CO2, could you point out the part containing real (empirical) evidence that changes to the concentration of atmospheric CO2 have ever affected the climate?

      No-one else has, so far.

      By the way, don’t forget that data alone say nothing about their causes, correlation is not the same as casuation, and computers only produce what they are configured to produce, so citing their output as real evidence is only a dishonest circular argument.

      • Terry Field

        Pls refer to,NASA , Tyndall, EPA, Met Office, Max Planck, MIT, CALTEC, and many others.

        • salt_peter

          Don’t worry. There is no cause for panic or argumentum ab auctoritate.

          No-one else could find any real (empirical) evidence that changes to the concentration of atmospheric CO2 have ever affected the climate, either.

          That’s because there isn’t any.

          • Terry Field

            It is universally accepted that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. You know this; stop pretending black is white.

          • inglese in italia

            It is universally accepted that gravity is a constant, except that it isn’t. It is universally accepted that heat at the solar surface is caused by convection currents, only that it isn’t. Scientists often work with conventions knowing that they aren’t actually true until a better paradigm is discovered. We have arrived at that time when it is known that the greeenhouse effect is conventionally acceptable but it isn’t actually true.Co2 is not actually a greenhouse gas and why it isn’t has been known for six years but as you say black isn’t white. The science is settled, just as Lord Kelvin said a hundred years ago. Moron.

          • Epimenides

            Terry, black is white and white is black. Quantum mechanics tells us this. You know because you invented quantum theory, Terry.

    • Epimenides

      Terry, you are a hatemonger. Did you design the ‘Arbeit macht Frei’ sign. I think you did, Terry.
      Terry, where is your sense of decorum and bonhomie, pal? Please desist, Terry. All of the bloggers here think that you are the intellectual equivalent of pondlife but we know they are wrong, Terry.

      • I Like Terry

        I think you fancy Terry

  • R Fairless

    It’s very difficult for a layman to form a judgement on scientific papers: his knowledge and expertise may lie in other directions, or he may not even have any. How therefore is he able to form a judgement on something about which he knows little? There are some golden rules to follow which may assist. Firstly, it must always be remembered that scientists are not infallible. The history of scientific discovery is littered with discredited highly qualified scientists Their acolytes who gather around them can often exert damaging influence on public opinion. Secondly, scientific progress is made through the efforts of disbelievers and understanding is rarely achieved through consensus which should always be viewed with scepticism. Thirdly, it is sensible to apply the rule that pertains in criminal trials, that is, if a witness is found to be lying or untruthful in any way, the whole of his evidence is discounted and excluded. Nothing he says thereafter can be trusted. Lastly, it is always worth considering whether or not the scientist gets and financial reward for his opinions. Thereafter, common sense is always a useful attribute.

    • inglese in italia

      All you say is true except for the last part. Common sense is only what the rich and powerful dictate. Unfortunately for those who do actually possess it.

    • Duncan Frame

      Science may on occasion be advanced by those who propose theories that defy received scientific convention. However, the scientific community itself gives these theories legitimacy. And as time and research progresses, scientific research, especially if broadly investigated tends to narrow the options for counter theories.

      So while there may be research that brings into question some of the tentatively proposed mechanisms, the AGW theory as a whole and its impact on climate change is reinforced over time. And the opportunities for any realistic and wide reaching counter-theory have diminished into the realms of tin-foil territory.

    • Duncan Frame

      By the way all scientists get financial rewards for their work. As does any working man or woman. To suggest that because scientists get a government grant their research can consequently be drawn into question is laughable.

      Indeed great brains such as these scientists possess could easily earn more money than they earn on government stipends. Banks for example would lap them up and reward them far more handsomely.

  • ClimateLearner

    Spot on.

  • beenzrgud

    Been saying the same thing for years. We’re going to burn every bit of fossil fuels we can lay our hands on, so let’s figure out what the consequences are going to be and start making contingencies.

  • DavEd CamerBand

    We make ZERO difference to this, our last 2 steel smelters closed down last year due to EU emissions taxes, meanwhile China- booming economy, can pump out whatever it likes.

  • ClimateBarrister

    Matt, it is not surprising that Part II of the IPCC’s report (which is called “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”) does not focus on mitigation, as that was not the focus of that working group. Instead, Part III of the report which is due out this weekend is entitled “Mitigation of Climate Change”. It is rather misleading not to mention that in your article isn’t it?

  • Michael Nunez – A53

    Citizens: Knowledge is the best antidote against the superstitions and illusions of the totalitarians in our midst: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094KY878

  • H Jackson

    I am all ready to be open-minded and hear both sides in the debate, but the entire basis of this article is really shockingly disingenuous and shows a total lack of editorial oversight.

    Ridley says the report “emphasised, again and again, the need to adapt to climate change. Even in the main text of the press release that accompanied the report, the word ‘adaptation’ occurred ten times, the word ‘mitigation’ not at all.” He strongly implies that the IPCC and global policy-makers are now going gung-ho for adaptation at the expense of mitigation, and links this with the influence of Nigel Lawson and the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

    Nowhere in Ridley’s article does it mention that the lack of emphasis on mitigation is because the report he describes is the installment of the Fifth Assessment Report dealing entirely with adaptation. The installment dealing with mitigation wasn’t even released until the 13th April, a week after this article was published.

    Why wouldn’t you expect a report explicitly about adaptation to write quite a lot about adaptation, and not about mitigation? Would you expect a report on fiscal policy to talk about education? Would you conclude from this that the government thinks we don’t need education?

    Doesn’t anyone at the Spectator check this stuff, or have any curiosity or knowledge about the climate change policy process?

    The global policy community has been emphasizing the need for adaptation for years. To attribute this with Lawson’s influence is ludicrous. There are probably few people involved in climate policy outside the anglosphere who have even heard of Lawson.

    I was prepared to give Ridley a go because I like to be challenged, but I will think twice about trusting anything he writes again.

  • Abortion Survivor

    Yes, there is good news for Americans in climate change. If the Earth continues a warming trend, Alaska will rock!

  • Alice

    Long story short: fuck the rest of you I have money so I’m fine; if you have money then you are can fortress yourself and make even more money off of the peasants who cannot ‘adapt’. A silver lining to a carbon, methane toxic cloud indeed.

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