I’m delighted to be able to give you two very exciting pieces of news.
First, a much-delayed bumper summer issue of ‘The Free Radical' magazine is just days away from hitting the inside of subscribers’ letterboxes – in fact, the finishing touches are being put to this issue as we speak! Subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss out on your Christmas treat: all the reading you need to make sense of today’s current events.
Second, in anticipation of National/ACT’s select committee inquiry into climate change, we have a world exclusive Open Letter to John Key on Climate Change sent by the world’s leading climate ‘skeptic,’ Christopher Monckton – or Viscount Monckton of Brenchley as he’s known to his friends.
This is pure gold; the world’s leading climate ‘skeptic’ explains to NZ’s new Prime Minister that the apocalyptic vision of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is a lurid and fanciful account of imagined future events that was always baseless, was briefly exciting among the less thoughtful species of news commentators and politicians, and is now thoroughly and scientifically discredited.
To give you just a taste, here’s some leading excerpts. As you can see, it’s a thorough exposition:
- I applaud the stated intention of both Act and National to re-examine both the fatally flawed emissions-trading plans of the previous government and the fundamentals of the science of “global warming”, but I remain concerned at your continuing policy goal – pointlessly to halve your country’s economic output.
- Is climate change literally a “hot” topic? As you ponder that question, Sir, consider that the recorded temperature in the Christchurch of 2008 is no warmer than the Christchurch of 1910 – as you can establish for yourself by checking the record. Clearly, there are more facts to bring to bear than either your colleagues or your advisers have told you hitherto.
- The facts which I shall give you in this letter are taken not from my own imagination, nor from the obscurantist reports of the UN’s climate panel, nor from any lobby group, but from the real-world, observed data and the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
- Today’s temperature, in the perspective of the long recent history of our planet, is unusually low…
- At both Poles, it was warmer only half a century ago than it is today.
- A symposium of the International Astronomical Union  concluded that it is the Sun that was chiefly responsible for the warming of the late 20th century; that the “global warming” that had been observed over the previous 300 years had ended; that global cooling would soon become the norm; and that anthropogenic effects on the climate were negligible.
- From 1700-1998, temperature rose at a near-uniform rate of about 1 °F per century. In 1998, “global warming” stopped, and it has not resumed since. Indeed, in the past seven years, temperature has been falling at a rate equivalent to as much as 0.7 °F per decade. Very few news media have given any prominence to this long and pronounced downturn in the temperature trend.
The January-January fall in global mean surface temperatures between 2007 and 2008 was the steepest since global-temperature records were first compiled in 1880.
- Since the world is not warming at the rate projected by the UN’s climate panel (the IPCC), it follows that the urgency relentlessly suggested by that panel is by no means as great as the UN’s reports would have us believe. Some 20 years ago, the IPCC told us we had ten years to avert climate disaster. Today, the IPCC’s chairman says exactly the same.
- Despite rapidly-rising carbon dioxide concentrations, there has been no new record year for global temperature in the ten years since 1998; and, in the United States, there has been no new record year for national temperature since 1934.
- Greenhouse gases keep the world warm enough for plant and animal life to thrive. Without them, the Earth would be an ice-planet all of the time rather than some of the time… Two-thirds of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is naturally present, and carbon dioxide occupies just one-ten-thousandth more of the atmosphere today than it did 250 years ago: for the atmosphere is large and we are small.
- Sir, you have proposed a “target of cutting New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the year 2050.” Yet your party is supposedly committed to free enterprise, and you have said you are “ambitious for New Zealand”. Do you not think that a far greater degree of scientific certainty as to the effects of minuscule increases in carbon dioxide concentration on temperature would be advisable before you inflict strategic damage on any such scale upon your own country’s economy from within?
- A recent survey of 539 peer-reviewed scientific papers published since January 2004 and selected at random using the search term “global climate change” reveals that not a single paper provides any evidence whatsoever that “human induced climate change is real” or that “it’s threatening the planet.” The fictitious notion of imminent, catastrophic climate change is almost wholly absent in the scientific literature… Since the UN’s estimates are indeed exaggerations, and are known to be so, the only potentially-“credible” basis for alarmism falls away.
- Using computer models to predict the climate cannot ever be effective or accurate: for the climate, in the formal, mathematical sense, is chaotic… Long-run climate prediction is impossible unless we can know the initial state of the millions of variables that define the climate object, and know that state to a degree of precision that is and will always be in practice unattainable.
It is the common characteristic of any chaotic object, such as the climate, that the slightest perturbation, however minuscule, in the initial value of even one of that object’s variables can induce substantial and unpredictable “phase transitions” – sudden changes of state – in the future evolution of the object. The climate is defined not by one or two variables but by millions.
- The UN [IPCC, 2001], accepts that the climate is “a complex, non-linear, chaotic object”, and, consequently, that “long-term prediction of climate states is impossible.” Yet it then attempts the impossible by making predictions of climate sensitivity that are already being proven exaggerated by the failure of temperatures to rise as the computer models had predicted (or, recently, at all).
- All of the climate models relied upon by the UN predict that the distinguishing characteristic or “fingerprint” of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcing is that in the tropical mid-troposphere, about 6 miles up, temperature over the decades should rise at two or even three times the rate of increase observed at the tropical surface.
However (and it is crucial that you should understand this), the computer-predicted “hot-spot” over the tropics that is the supposed fingerprint of anthropogenic greenhouse warming, entirely distinct from that of any other source of warming, has not been observed in any of the tropospheric temperature datasets. Thirty years of satellite data do not show the “hot-spot” either. It is not there.
- You also need to know that the values for climate sensitivity in the computer models – in short, the central estimates of how much the world’s temperature will increase in response to a given rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – are not outputs from the models, but inputs to them. The computers are being told to assume high climate sensitivity, so a high climate sensitivity is what they find.
- Let me summarize the irremediably shaky basis for the UN’s alarmist case. It is not based on physical theory. In several fundamental respects, it is at odds with theory… Nor is the UN’s case based on real-world observation: and, as we have seen, its principal predictions and conclusions are grievously at odds with real-world observation… The UN’s entire case is based on computer modeling, in which – astonishingly – the models are told at the outset the values for the very quantity (temperature response to increased carbon dioxide concentration) that we are told they are going to calculate.
- From late 2001 on, the oceans and the atmosphere simultaneously cooled. The UN dealt with the problem by ignoring it, as did many of the news media, who simply failed to report that the world has been cooling for seven years.
- Sea level has been rising since the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. It is 400 feet higher now than it was then. The rate of increase has averaged 4 feet per century. Yet in the 20th century .. sea level rose by little more than 7 inches… There is no scientific basis, therefore, for saying that any anthropogenic warming that may have occurred over the past 50 years has had any appreciable effect on sea level.
- The UN imagines that most sea-level rise will come not from the melting glaciers about which the media so frequently fantasize, but from thermosteric expansion – sea water swelling as it warms. However, thermosteric expansion can only occur if the body of water in question is getting warmer. The oceans are not getting warmer (except in certain regions, such as the Antarctic Peninsula, where there is evidence of undersea volcanic activity).
- There is no reason to suppose that sea level will rise any faster in the 21st century than it did in the 20th – i.e., by about 8 inches…
There is not and has never been any scientific basis for the exaggerated projections by a certain politician that sea level might imminently rise by as much as 20 feet. That politician, in the year in which he circulated a movie containing that projection, bought a $4 million condominium just feet from the ocean at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco…
In a recent case in the High Court in London the judge said of this politician that “the Armageddon scenario that he predicts is not based on any scientific view.”
- Given that glacial recession began long before humankind could have had any appreciable effect on global temperature, and given that the rate of recession has remained uniform, on what basis can it be said that it is anthropogenic “global warming” that is causing the glaciers to recede?
- Finally, only a tiny proportion of the future sea-level rise imagined by the UN’s climate panel is attributed by it to melting glaciers.
- You will recall that in the 1940s the Arctic was warmer than it is today.
- Both the summer and the winter extent of the sea ice surrounding Antarctica was greater in 2007/8 than at any time since the satellite record began 30 years ago.
- But the most telling evidence of all is that the mean thickness of the Greenland ice sheet increased by 2 inches per year – a total of 1 ft 8 in – during the decade 1993-2003. Once again, there is no cause for alarm.
- Tim Flannery, an environmentalist campaigner, “predicted” last June that Sydney’s dams would run dry. He said this was “the most extreme and the most dangerous situation arising from climate change facing any country in the world right now." He made his prediction just days before a deluge that made that month the wettest June since 1964.
- Over a sufficient timescale of decades, then, a warmer climate will entail not a drier atmosphere but a moister one. Sure enough, some of the world’s driest regions – such as the southern Sahara – have experienced more, not less, precipitation over the period of the satellite record.
- As to suggestions that the world is likely to see reduced water supplies, you are yet again seeing “global warming” blamed for a problem that has nothing to do with warmer weather. As the human population expands, its demands on water supplies increase. That, and not “global warming”, is why many parts of the world do not have regular supplies of drinking water.
- There is no longer any credible, scientific basis for the implicit conclusion that “a higher incidence of extreme-weather events” has occurred because of anthropogenic “global warming.”
- A certain Tennessean tobacco-planter and politician, in his notoriously-inaccurate sci-fi comedy horror movie about the imagined “climate crisis”, cited a scientific paper that, he said, revealed that “global warming” was already killing polar bears.
However, the paper concerned, had actually said that just four polar bears had died in the Beaufort Sea, not because “global warming” had made sea-ice scarce, but because of unusually strong winds and high sea states in a severe Arctic storm. The politician had simply chosen to misstate the principal conclusion of the paper on the cause of the polar bears’ death, because the truth did not fit the great lie.
- Intrigued by this evidence that there is more ice, not less, in the Beaufort Sea, I decided additionally to check the total extent of sea ice in the Arctic on 30 November 1979 and on 30 November 2008. I found that there was almost as much sea ice on St. Andrew’s day this year as there was in the first year of the satellite record…
I also decided to check whether the global sea-ice extent had declined in response to the supposed “global warming” of the past 30 years. It had not. There has been no trend – no trend at all – throughout the period of satellite observations.
- The key characteristic of a species at risk is, of course, declining population. However, the population of polar bears is not plummeting. Instead, there are five times as many polar bears in the Arctic today than there were in the 1940s. As you may think, Sir, that is hardly the profile of a species facing imminent extinction as its habitat shrinks away.
- I have presented evidence, drawn directly from the raw data and from the peer-reviewed, scientific literature, to establish that, at the very least, there is reasonable doubt about whether destroying the Western economies on the scale now proposed ... would make any difference whatever to the climate, even if there were a “climate crisis” ...
- Sir, every one of the reasons advanced by the IPCC and its faithful adherents for alarm and consequent panic action has been demonstrated to be hollow and without any scientific foundation or merit. Yet, if your proposal to close down half of the economy of New Zealand is to be justifiable, then the false scientific and policy propositions that you apparently support must be shown to be true.
I did say it was thorough – and this is just the excerpts!
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