Prescott puts his foot in Global Warming
Deputy Prime Minister joins sidekick John Reid in Spouting Nonsense
Just as the ABD was drawing your attention to the incorrect statements
about air quality and asthma attributed to Transport Minister John
Reid, it transpires his boss John Prescott is at it, too. The
Independent on 27 October carried the following on the subject of
Doing nothing, Mr Prescott said, was not an option. "The science is
clear and the evidence is no longer challenged," he said. "1998 looks
to be the world's warmest year on record, and this year's El Nino was
the worst on record."
"We can hardly believe this," said ABD Chairman Brian Gregory, shaking
his head. "Mr Prescott is far from stupid and has nothing but grief to
gain from his support for Global Warming Theory. We can only assume
that he is so busy running his huge department that it is easy for the
huge raft of evidence against this very convenient (for the
environmentalists) theory to be kept from him."
To suggest that Global Warming "science is clear" is absurd, but to go
on to say that "no-one challenges the evidence any more" is simply
untrue. Here is just a flavour of the groups and arguments ranged
against the idea that man's activity is catastrophically warming the
- The European Science And Environment Forum - a group of independent
scientists concerned about "premature certainty" on environmental
issues described the Greenhouse Effect as "a Political rather than a
scientific phenomenon" in their 1996 book, The Global Warming Debate.
Mr Prescott is obviously more interested in decree than debate.
- Friis-Christensen and Lassen pointed out in the Journal of
Atmospheric & Terrestial Physics that 83% of global temperature
variations since the 1500s can be accounted for by the solar cycle.
Obviously not on JP's bedtime reading list - unsurprisingly!.
- But he should have seen the Economist and in the Observer in April
1998, which extensively reported that Dr Friis-Christensen and another
Danish scientist called Svensmark proposed a mechanism involving
cosmic rays and cloud formation to explain these observations.
- This impressed Dr Kirkby and Dr Close, physicists at Cern in Geneva,
enough for them to propose building equipment to test this theory.
Obviously, what is clear to John Prescott is rather more challenging
to real scientists - a case of a little knowledge being dangerous.
- Physicist Nigel Calder has written a book - The Manic Sun - which
challenges the idea that burning fossil fuels warms the planet. But
our John doesn't know about that, either.
- Dr Piers Corbyn of Weather Action and the Southbank University wrote
a major article in the May edition of Weather Action. This began by
questioning the "conventional wisdom" of man made global warming which
were "clearly contradicted" by reliable satellite measurements. He
said that the fundamental assumptions behind GWT must be challenged.
On the front cover is a picture of Dr Corbyn talking to John
Prescott's Cabinet colleague Alistair Darling, who visited the centre
in April. John obviously doesn't have time to talk to his colleagues,
- John says 'this is the hottest year on record' (even before the year
has finished!) - wrong! In mediaeval times, global temperatures were
at least a degree Centigrade warmer than now, while GWT theory has
been constructed around half a degree warming over this century.
- Even this warming as measured at the surface, often in cities. This
is not accurate because cities have got warmer in modern times. They
are called 'urban heat islands', and temperature readings are simply
not representative. With so much hot air in Westminster, nobody should
be surprised by this.
- Computer models used to predict chaos are limited by available
computing power at the moment. When the best models are run over even
short timescales, starting with data say from 20 or 30 years ago they
cannot get today's climate right, and they go wrong when started with
today's data and are run backwards. If the assumptions put in are
wrong, so will what comes out be wrong.
- British Antarctic Survey data and websites tell the story that the
small pieces of ice sheet which are seen by satellite to be breaking
away do so for purely local reasons, and this has been happening for a
very long time.
- Global warming has happened many times before cars and industry were
invented, and to higher degree than now. Climatologists agree that
during the period 9,000 BC - 5,000 BC global temperatures were over
two degrees warmer than now, while a team led by Prof. Shamesh of the
Weizmann Institute, Israel, has shown from lake sediments in Kenya
that there was another period of global warming between 350 BC and 450
- Natural climate variation has gone the other way too, with a mini
ice age during the period 1645 - 1715 attributed to a decrease in
solar activity observed and recorded by astronomers at the time -
during this period the River Thames repeatedly froze over.
- Satellite measurements of the Earth's atmosphere during recent
decades have shown no increase in average atmospheric temperature, in
fundamental disagreement with GWT thinking
- Carbon Dioxide is touted about as 'the' greenhouse gas yet water
vapour has an absolute greenhouse effect over twice as large as CO2 ;
computer models are largely based on CO2 warming and this is another
inaccuracy inherent in these models.
- Sherwood Idso of the US Water Conservation Laboratory in Arizona
has published articles which show how 'alterations' to major climate
change publications have appeared mysteriously, comparing
pre-publication versions and that which is released (e.g. the first
definitive world document on GWT (The Science of Climate Change 1995)
he found that somehow over 15 sections had had their wording changed
AFTER scientists approved the final draft.
- Up to 25% of ice core samples (the main way of measuring historic
CO2 concentrations) are regularly rejected as "unsuitable" because
they do not fit the required theory.
- Many of the main proponents of GWT were predicting an ice age with
equal fervour just 20 years ago. Many of them have funding packages
which depend entirely on accepting GWT as a fundamental assumption
behind their work.
Clear science, Mr Prescott? Evidence no longer challenged, Mr
Prescott? We think not.
The plain fact is that, when natural sources of CO2 are taken into
account, cars generate less than one percent of global CO2 emissions
anyway - moreover domestic heating accounts for more CO2 than does
transport, yet the tax element on domestic fuel is 5% whereas for
petrol it is over 400%.
Meanwhile, our truck drivers go out of business because diesel is so
much cheaper on the continent, where they are past masters at agreeing
to things then doing nothing. The Germans are even getting rid of
nuclear power, which can only increase their CO2 emissions.
If Prescott goes ahead with his more draconian plans to achieve this
absurd 20% CO2 reduction target, the economic hardship he creates will
be one helluva way to justify raising indirect taxes from motorists.
If we are entering a mini ice age in 30 years - something which seems
just as likely as the costa del Blackpool scenario - then John
Prescott is likely to be remembered as a figure of loathing and
ridicule rather than the courageous pioneer he sees when he looks in