Richard North, 07/11/2021  

Thousands were out protesting in Glasgow and elsewhere yesterday, midway through the CoP26 summit. This had the Telegraph reporting that leaders were gathering "to set out the action they are taking and commit to curb deforestation, phase out coal, end funding for fossil fuels abroad and cut methane emissions".

But, the paper said, "there is still a significant gap between the measures countries have committed to and what is needed to avoid more than 1.5ºC of warming, beyond which the worst floods, droughts, storms and rising seas of climate change will be felt".

This, of course, is not news reporting. Wittingly or not, it is propaganda, regurgitating the tired claims of the Climate Worshipers. Meanwhile, thousands of people – currently just under 16,000 – have signed our petition - totally disregarded by the legacy media.

That, of course, is not to say that the legacy media is ignoring the issue – as witness the Telegraph piece. But, despite attempts to get the whole of the fourth estate singing from the same hymn sheet, the Mail on Sunday doesn't quite seem to have caught the kumbaya spirit of the CoPists.

In an interesting piece, it has a commentary by Steve Hilton, Cameron former No10 special advisor, at a time the erstwhile prime minister turned lobbyist was going through his "hug a husky" phase.

With little deference to the sensibilities of the great and the good at holy gathering in Glasgow, he describes the conference as a "gigantic flatulent mess of incoherence and sanctimony", claiming that "our entire establishment has been possessed by an almost spiritual climate cult".

Possibly, some might think that this view is a little jaundiced, although he does tone it down a bit, later in his piece, defining the output as "increasingly fatuous drivel served up by our leaders in the name of the 'climate agenda'", also referring to "self-righteous green groupthink".

Given the lacklustre progress of the CoP, the Climate Worshipers might even be a little relieved that the new Tory sleaze row, amplified by John Major, the "sleaze king" himself, is taking them off the front pages – although, perhaps, they media might be saving the big blast from next week, when the conference miraculously agrees a last minute deal – enough to justify holding the next CoP is a year's time.

However, it doesn't really matter what is agreed in Glasgow – even if the prime minister comes up with a theatrical coup – the UK is already locked into the "net zero" agenda, set on its self-destructive path by law, even if no other countries follow. Unless, by our own exertions, we are able to stop the madness, that is our path to the future.

That leaves us picking up the thread of the battle, to which effect in my piece yesterday, I referred to Stephan Lewandowsky's paper entitled "Liberty and the pursuit of science denial".

Lewandowsky is, of course, well known to the "realist" community but, in his current paper, he entertains us by referring to what he calls "contrarian argumentation". This, he complains, "has been shown to be frequently incoherent, for example when it is simultaneously argued that (a) global temperature cannot be reliably measured but (b) it has been cooling for 10 years.

The point of picking up the discrepancies, of course, is to take the work of the climate High Priests at face value – something which Lewandowsky clearly doesn't understand. But, if we explore his first complaint, that global temperature cannot be reliably measured, what is interesting that no-one seems to be making the obvious point – that global temperature is not measured at all.

It is calculated on the basis of modelling, of which there many different versions, each offering different projections as to what our future might look like – mostly wrong, as it turns out, with the models consistently "running hot".

The difficulty presented to those who call themselves climate scientists is self-evident, even by approaching the problem on a smaller scale, for instance trying to represent the average temperature of a back garden in terms of a single figure, covering all the extremes through summer and winter. Trying to scale that up to a global level is obviously a formidable exercise which cannot help but be prone to considerable error.

At the very heart of the so-called "climate emergency", though, is the slavish adherence to this mystical figure, held aloft by the High Priest, who sometime seem to be confused about their own science.

That much comes over from a piece published nearly three years ago in the Guardian which grandly announced: "Global warming should be called global heating, says key scientist" – the view of professor Richard Betts at the Met Office.

"Global heating is technically more correct because we are talking about changes in the energy balance of the planet", Betts opined, a view echoed by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a professor of theoretical physics and founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. "Global warming doesn’t capture the scale of destruction. Speaking of hothouse Earth is legitimate", he declared.

The only slight, technical problem is that their fellow travellers are not actually measuring heat. While temperature can be used as a proxy for heat when monitoring a homogeneous substance of known quantity, this is hardly the case with the planet. Air temperature varies considerably with the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere, evidenced by the differences between dry and saturated adiabatic lapse rates.

And when it comes to clouds, it is readily acknowledged that these are the biggest uncertainty in climate calculations. As the article to which I link suggests, they can both shade the Earth and trap heat. Which effect dominates depends on how reflective they are, how high they are, and whether it is day or night. Things are made more complicated, we are told, because cloud dynamics are complex and happen on small scales that are hard to include in the models used to predict future climate. The article also has this to say:
Recent concern about how accurately the models handle clouds has focused on the blankets of low clouds that any international flyer will have seen extending for hundreds of miles below them across the oceans. Marine stratus and stratocumulus clouds predominantly cool the Earth. They shade roughly a fifth of the oceans, reflecting 30 to 60 percent of the solar radiation that hits them back into space. In this way, they are reckoned to cut the amount of energy reaching the Earth’s surface by between 4 and 7 percent.
This has opened a new debate about "climate feedbacks", where even the revered EU researchers is running with the theme: "Why clouds are still 'one of the biggest uncertainties' in climate change".

Here, we are told, there is most uncertainty about low clouds over the subtropical oceans. When you look at climate models, virtually all give a decrease in the amount of low clouds, but by how much varies considerably depending on the sensitivity of the model.

Researchers are finding that when you look on a larger scales in the real world, the clouds organise in a hugely complex way in terms of the shapes they form. They organise on scales of hundreds of kilometres, which they haven't been able to simulate before.

That uncertainties still exist point up the absurdity of the claims that the science is settled. The only thig that is settled is the Climate Worshipers determination to use this excuse to shut down the public debate.

When we also get the scientific illiteracy of them calling their obsession "climate heating" on the basis of imperfect temperature models, we know we're dealing with a cult rather than a true scientific endeavour. Hilton, with his critique of "self-righteous green groupthink" is probably closer to the truth than he could imagine.

Also published on Turbulent Times.

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