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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Climate (sic) "Science" Mythology and an Historical Perspective. 

Facts_1 Facts and Dangerous Myths

One of the few benefits of being old is a weary perspective - that our untameable climate has caused self-acclaimed scientists to be perpetually baffled. When it comes to this force of nature I am firmly encamped with King Canute who, possibly unlike our present king, deserves to be remembered as a debunker of baloney.

Growing up in the 60's, and fresh in my memory the winter of 1963 (Google suggests it was the coldest for 200 years) when the snow lay for 3 months in Cambridge. Even then there were 'climate scientist'. I was alarmed by the prediction we were entering another ice-age. It takes a particularly strange emaciated Swede to desire to live perpetually in that world of ice, competing with reindeer on a diet of lichen, amid tundra. The post-war population was rising fast and, as Harold Macmillan assured us, "we never had it so good". Yet amid this optimism, the doomsday lobby was predicting the twin catastrophes of post-nuclear oblivion or, and only fractionally more cheering, widespread famine as crop production declined.

It was with a degree of joy that I heard in the late 1970's that the zeitgeist of climate watchers had shifted to a theory of 'global warming' which came after the abnormally hot "Virginia Wade Wimbledon" summer of 1976. We had stand pipes in the village and a new climatic optimism.

Spending 3 years in Kuwait 1977-80 I looked forward to my return to England. I can still recall my disbelief at how very very green England was as we dropped-down into Gatwick. In fact, I have subsequently realized that 1980 was an abnormally cool and wet summer. This was largely due, I think, to the explosion of Mount St Helens in March and the billions of tonnes of ash and gases blasted into the atmosphere. This event and the vacuous hysteria of the self-styled climate scientists reminds me how the great Lisbon earthquake and resulting tsunami of 1755 was viewed in Portugal. By the clerics and king - the wrath of God revenging the sinfulness of the people. Surely this is not much different from the present 'net zero' absurdity. Fundamentally, policies are being proposed and laws made to curb the sinfulness of driving cars, heating houses, buying long shelf-life foods in hygienic plastic packaging and so on. While the actual amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is less than half of one percent, climate doomsters berate us for the sinfulness of releasing CO2. They do so with all the liberal instincts that characterized the Spanish Inquisition.

Feeling that I ought to read some "science" I asked the University for Alternative Technology for some scientific articles. I need not have feared they might stretch my 'O' level memory for it amazed me how patchy and light they were. Always be suspicious when statistics are given as 'parts per million' – 416 in the case of carbon dioxide Most people can cope with percentages - point 4 of one percent or less than half. Though the passage of sunlight back into space at night is restricted by a CO2 molecule' by about half'. There is a surprising vagueness on such a key plank of climate 'science'. Hostility to carbon dioxide ignores what a precious gas it is. Since our planet first had green photosynthesising vegetation - that absolutely all green plants depend on to grow. The absurd rewilding lobby needs to start loving CO2 and if the levels of CO2 have risen by 150 % since 1600 (previously about point 16 of one percent) then plant growth in the middle ages must have been miserable and starvation of animals and humans widespread. (Today horticulturists enhance the level of CO2 in greenhouses to massively increase plant growth)

''Climate scientists seem very vague about such obvious elements as radiation levels from the sun (NASA reported them high at the moment) small orbit changes and fluctuations of gravitational pull. The moon, for instance, which causes tidal variations, clearly has a gravitational effect on Earth that ought to be quantified by 'climate science'.

There are about 35 active volcanoes and some of these literally boil millions of cubic meters of seawater and throw vast amounts of dust and debris high into the atmosphere. When Krakatoa exploded in 1884 it produced, for several years, what today would be called a 'nuclear winter'. I have seen no references to this effect - but then because it is an unstoppable force of nature, it offers no lever to berate and control people's behavior.

In terms of 'greenhouse gas' water vapour is the largest and our true friend. Without the 4% of water vapour (WV) Earth really would cool alarmingly. No "climate" scientist has yet been clueless enough to embark on regulation of WV. With the planet 71% covered by ocean this is something totally out of human control - but it is odd that the subject is not evaluated. Likewise methane levels – the poor and hugely useful cow is chastised for releasing methane from its backside and modern farming means that this is measured in a confined environment. However all animals including domestic dogs also release methane and actually dead vegetation out in the wild or gathered into compost bins also releases it. About 25 years ago during the heyday of lauding coniferous forests for their beneficial effects on air quality, scientists were dismayed to find that healthy growing pines actually release methane.

A child's primer on geology shows that our planet has been subject to intense heat and intense cold long before hominids emerged to begin the steady process of wrecking 'natural Earth'! There are no greater fulminators than Sir David Attenborough and King Charles 111 for fanciful irrational perspectives on a 'natural Earth. They have been at the forefront of conflating 'climate change' and 'environmental damage'. Clearly the wanton disposal of materials to the detriment of other species and nature is reprehensible, but this is not to be confused with valid consumption. Nobody berates hyenas for pollution when they leave congealed blood and entrails of a wildebeest discarded on the African plain. Consumption, be it by humans, hyenas, birds and even insects and viruses is not 'immoral'.

One of the most pernicious and ill-informed proponents of false and fantastical climate anxiety is the BBC's 'Climate Editor' Justin Rowlatt. On the 10-o-clock news, July 13th 2023, Rowlatt's drivel included a precise date for the commencement of global warming 1750. "The start of the industrial revolution". The industrial age is generally accepted to have started in England, so by this calculation European if not World climate began to deteriorate because of activity on a small island in north-west Europe? Coal was burnt in Britain from prehistoric times, but it was in 1305 that coal ships first began a regular trade to London. Indeed the domestic burning of coal probably exceeded industrial use until the 19thcentury. The first great cotton spinning mill - Arkwright at Cromford - was water powered and water continued to be the main motive power until about 1800. Even after this date until well into the mid 19th century water power was widespread in cotton production. While spinning was mechanised, hand-loom weaving continued deep into the 19th century. The Luddite riots circa 1811 was a response to increasing mechanisation. Parliament set up a commission to investigate the plight of handloom weavers in 1837 and again 1841. The spectre of an instant coal fired industrial revolution is ignorant drivel. The use of coal (as coke) in iron making began in 1709 but quantities produced were small until the Bessemer smelters after 1851. In the USA hardwood charcoal was the dominant fuel in the iron industry into the 1840's. Rowlatt's image of a globe dowsed in carbon dioxide from fossil fuels immediately from 1750 is utterly ignorant.

The climate doomsters are exceedingly poor at even recognising weather events from earlier times. The period approximately 50 BC to 400 AD is climatically referred to as 'The Roman Optima', a period of benign warm weather. The Romans invaded Britain to colonise it economically and apart from mining lead, their main motive was food production including grain from the chalky plains of southern England. Nobody has suggested that the arrival and departure of this halcyon period was influenced by human activity. Nor then the subsequent thousand years of erratic but less benign climate. It seems very plausible that the Viking raids on Britain and the French coast was motivated by worsening climate at home.

In Britain, and evidentially across northern Europe, there was poor weather with a constant fear of starvation. The years 1314 to 1316 were marked by heavy rain with widespread flooding and summer chill that left harvests rotting in the fields. The later paintings of frozen Dutch rivers circa 1600 or accounts of roasting oxen on the frozen Thames are surely not climatic conditions one should aspire to replicate. The diarist Parson James Woodforde and the diary of rev William Holland provide a very coherent picture of the weather from 1750 to 1818 – well into 'the industrial age'. Woodforde records that his urine froze in the chamber pot overnight and the accounts of Holland battling deep snow to give divine service absolutely contradict the 'Industrial Revolution' perspective on climate. Other written record are the extraordinary high flood marks on buildings next to the great rivers of Europe with a particular cluster in the 1790 – 1810 period. The Corn Law of 1815 is derided by Socialists as an instrument for ensuring the privileges of the landowning class. At a time of economic dislocation following the Napoleonic War and in a period of uncertain weather it was an attempt by Liverpool's government to ensure that landowners were incentivised to produce enough for the home market and even-out grain pricing.

Poor harvests often led to political unrest and are testament to very varied climate in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The poor harvests of the 1780's in France led to a population in despair and no longer willing to tolerate the excesses of the Court. In England genuine concern for the poor was widely expressed and the Rev Thomas Malthus who predicted that grain production would not keep pace with human expansion. Poor harvests in bad weather led to a small revolution in France in 1830. In Britain Parliament considered the plight of the agricultural poor while riots took place in Tolpuddle, Dorset.

In the 1840's, with the Industrial Revolution in full swing, there was a succession of cold wet summers leading to food riots and revolution in France and Germany. In Britain the harvests failed with seed-corn being consumed. Cold wet weather in the summers of 1845 to 1852, led to potato famines widespread across eastern England and most famously in Ireland. Peel attempted to relieve hunger in Ireland by Government intervention but there was no grain available from elsewhere in Europe. In Irish mythology his shipments of maize are recalled as an intended slight, whereas actually nothing else was available. Indeed across Europe there were revolutions, in Germany and more dramatically in 1848 in France.

Hard on the heels of cold wet weather came the 'abnormal' year 1858 when The Great Stink occurred. No rain fell from mid May until mid August and the Thames became a slurry of festering sewage. The Queen was hurried-off to the Isle of Wight. MP's left gagging in temperatures up to 39 degrees passed an Act to facilitate Bazalgette's wonderful London sewerage scheme. However within just over a decade there was a return of poorer weather and farmers facing this and new imports from North America. Conditions were the subject of much debate in Parliament, with various financial and tenancy reforms in the 1880's. Climate, it seems, has always been as variable as it has been in 2022 to 2023

Warmer weather then returned and it is often a matter of sad reflection that the summer of 1914 across Europe was exceptionally fine with early cine films capturing royalty desporting themselves with carefree bathing. Yet nobody reading accounts of trench warfare in France can runaway with the idea that gorgeous weather was a feature

Moving forward to the present age readers can begin to draw on their own recollections and sure knowledge that forecasts are unreliable. That variable weather is a sure topic of conversation. Of terribly harsh winters recalled and warm joyful summers relived. Just before I was born in 1949 the intense winter cold of 1947 was recalled with horror by my parents. It was as unexpected as the glorious sunshine of 1976 or the long wonderful summer of COVID year 2020.

It is an absolute scandal and mystery how the crazy 'net zero carbon' mantra has taken hold. All the crippling economic harm, all the consequential mental damage being inflicted on populations. Populations just wishing to live modest and comfortable lives. How the world has been assaulted by such widespread ignorance and stupidity. 

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