Melanie Phillips

12 January 2004

The global warming fraud

Published in: Daily Mail

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Daffodils are on sale in some of our shops unseasonably early. Such evidence that spring seems to be arriving before winter has departed, along with excessively hot summer temperatures, has convinced many that global warming is well under way.

Unease that something funny is happening to the weather is reinforced by constant reports claiming imminent environmental doom, such as the article in Nature magazine last week claiming global warming will cause more than one million species to die out over the next fifty years.

In another article in the journal Science the government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King, claims global warming is an even more serious threat to the world than terrorism. He maintains that the ten hottest years on record started in 1991, that global warming is causing the ice caps to melt and the seas to rise, and that mankind's activities in producing carbon dioxide have been proved to be the cause.

With all due respect to Sir David's eminence, every one of these claims is utter garbage. What science actually tells us is that we just don't know whether global warming is happening and, if it is, why. Much of the research behind this theory is specious, anti-historical and scientifically illiterate. If the world's climate is indeed warming up beyond normal patterns, this could be due to natural reasons rather than the actions of mankind.

It is not true that the seas are generally rising. Some are; some aren't. The claim is based on the atypical North Atlantic, ignoring the seas around Australia where levels have remained pretty static. Indeed, around parts of New Zealand and elsewhere they are falling.

What's more, there's no correlation between rises in climate temperature and sea levels. During the 'Little Ice Age' in the Middle Ages, sea levels rose; and between 1900 and 1940, when temperatures rose, sea levels actually dropped.

The ice-caps tell a similar story. Some are melting; some are not. The Larsen ice shelf in the Antarctic is breaking up, but most of the Antarctic ice is increasing.

Then there's the claim that the climate is now the hottest on record. But this statistical record only goes back a few centuries, if that. Yet there's plenty of other evidence that the climate in Europe was warmer than now by at least 2 degrees in 1100, when vines grew in Northumberland and farmers settled in Greenland. Since this was followed by the Little Ice Age which lasted until about 1880, it's hardly surprising - and surely a cause for rejoicing - that since then the climate has warmed up by about 0.6 degrees, well within normal patterns.

As for the presumed villain of the piece carbon dioxide, this makes up such a tiny fraction of the atmosphere that even if it doubled it would make little difference to the climate. And like sea levels, it doesn't correlate with climate change. Historically, it has increased hundreds of years after the climate has warmed up. Between 1940 and 1975, when industrial activity - which produces carbon dioxide -rose rapidly, the climate actually cooled.

Far from being proved, the claim of man-made global warming is a global fraud. Instead of being drawn from observable facts, it is based on computer modelling which churns out wholly artificial - and eminently manipulable - visions of the world.

Computers can only process the information fed into them. This is an inadequate procedure, not least because climate change is affected by billions of variables which are beyond any computer programme. The sea level 'rise', for instance, omits the full influence of certain crucial natural meteorological changes. And if the disaster scenarios of global warming are fed into the computer as a premise, it is hardly surprising that it will then 'predict' the disappearance of species as a consequence.

In other words, if you feed rubbish into a computer, you get rubbish out.

The claim that there's a scientific consensus behind global warming is also utterly bogus. In 1992, more than 40 atmospheric scientists said the theory was highly uncertain and warned against using theoretical climate models which they said were not supported by existing records.

In 1997, dozens of meteorologists, geologists, atmospheric scientists and other experts said global warming was based solely on unproven scientific theories and imperfect computer models.

In 1998, 18,000 scientists signed the Oregon petition which again criticised this 'flawed' research, said historic evidence showed that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide was environmentally helpful, and predicted that the 1997 Kyoto agreement to reduce industrial emissions would keep the developing world trapped in poverty.

One of the world's most eminent meteorologists, Professor Richard Lindzen, has also protested that while the science behind the Kyoto protocol was suitably equivocal about global warming, the document's highly politicised summary - the part actually being used to force reduced industrial activity onto the western world - was written instead by government representatives, who had conjured up 'scary scenarios for which there is no evidence'.

Indeed, global warming has little to do with science and everything to do with politics. Those scientists who endorse the theory command the lion's share of government-funded research grants. Since the global warming prediction emerged in the late 1980s, climate science funding has gone through the roof.

Scientists know, however, that they won't get funded unless their research confirms global warming. Too many enormous reputations would go down the plug otherwise; too many political agendas depend on the theory. So global warming has become big business.

This is ironic. For it is yet another variation of left-wing, anti-American, anti-west ideology which goes hand in hand with anti-globalisation and the belief that everything done by the industrialised world is wicked. The agenda to cripple this world is revealed by highly questionable assumptions made by climate modellers about likely developments in economics, technology or population movements, which affect emissions and consequent temperature predictions.

As the Economist recently pointed out, they assume growth rates that are beyond any historical experience, resulting in predictions of a bizarre economic future in which the United States stops growing and developing nations overtake the industrialised world. But that reversal of fortune is, of course, precisely the objective.

And if anyone objects, they are demonised. As Professor Lindzen has protested, science is now being used 'as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens'.

Dr Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish statistician who became famous for his book 'The Sceptical Environmentalist', paid a heavy price for pointing out that richer countries were cleaner countries, and observing that the costs of implementing the Kyoto protocol for less than one year would provide clean water for every human being on Earth.

For his demolition of the environmental scam, he was vilified across the globe and accused by a Danish scientific committee of 'dishonesty' - a disgraceful verdict that has now been demolished by a superior committee that tore into Dr Lomborg's inquisitors for intellectual inadequacy.

The claim of man-made global warming represents the descent of science from the pursuit of truth into politicised propaganda. The fact that it is endorsed by the top scientist in the British government shows how deep this rot has gone.

About Melanie

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

Read full biography


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Melanie Phillips
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