On February 2nd the Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society debated the motion “Implementing green policies to combat global warming is imperative to save the Earth”
Mike Swadling opposed the debate, and below is his speech delivered to the society in Coulsdon. As always at this excellent society the debate was good natured, well proposed and drew out great comments from the audience.
“Implementing green policies to combat global warming is imperative to save the Earth” – Opposing motion
1970 Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within
15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken”
least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next
ten years.” The Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich declared in the
January 1970, Life Magazine reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and
theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions:
- In a decade,
urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution
- by 1985 air
pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half”
In January 2006 Al Gore predicted that we had ten years left before the planet turned into a “total frying pan.” – anyone else have their heating on today?
In 2008, ABC News predicted that New York City would be under water by June 2015. (1)(2) – Nope didn’t happen
Earth might quote Mark Twain in saying “Rumours of my demise have been greatly
thank the Chair and the members for getting the title right in calling it
global warming. Let’s dispense with the
nonsense called “climate change”.
climate changes. Yes we know that. Global temperature is not fixed, we know we
had ice ages, we know we have had warming periods.
believe the premise here is the following:
- The globe is
- The warming
is man-made – if this isn’t as a result of human influenced greenhouse gas
emissions, then the currently prescribed actions are meaningless.
- And finally
that the warming will be catastrophic – there is little point in taking action
if the impact is only two more weeks of summer and not much else (3)
believe that last two premises you have to believe in the predictions of the people
who told us food would run out in the 1980s and that New York City is currently
I’m not convinced we ran out of food or you can swim to the top floor of the Empire
important to look at these in detail, as our civilisation, all of this
abundance you see around you, that has allowed billions of people to move from calorie
insecurity to having commodity goods, in our lifetimes is feed by fuel, mostly fossil
is our civilizations manna from heaven.
It is a manna showing no end. We
have more oil reserves than all the oil we have ever used, with new technology
opening up even further access to fuel. (4)
you have a proven, working, source of fuel that reduces pollution great let’s
you are saying we need to change the basis of our modern civilisation and put
at risk the food supply chains for billions of people, you better be dammed
sure of your predictions.
first premise on which all others are built is that the world is getting
- Warmer since when?
- Warmer compared to what?
years ago sitting here would have been cold, very cold. We wouldn’t be under ice, but Scotland,
Wales, Ireland and the North of England all would be.
would be linked by Ice to Norway and Denmark, and by Land to France. (5)
we warmer than then – yes. But perhaps
we would all agree that’s a good thing.
I’m sure many of you are aware much of our cultural view of white Christmases comes
from Charles Dickens stories rather than our actual memories.
11 times in London in the last 60 years has snow fallen on Christmas day. (6)
course this was not always so.
River Thames held its first frost fair in 1608 and the last was in 1814. These took place during the Little Ice Age
lasting from about 1300 to about 1850. (39)
we have warmed since then. The Little
Ice Age started without man made input and ended before any serious global
almost as if temperatures change without a man mad cause. Incidentally the Coldest Christmas day on
record since 1659 was in 2010. – so much for global warming.
what if I was to pick other dates, different dates to measure warming. What might conclude?
English wine market is once again growing, centred in the South East and South
course the Romans grew grapes and made wine at Hadrian’s Wall, not something we could
do today without artificial heaters. (8)
records show the Britons extensively grew their own wine grapes in the 11th
to then we are colder not warming.
later growing took place in the Medieval Warm Period lasting from around 950 to
1250 AD. (10)
warming during this period saw the Vikings break out of Scandinavia concur much
of Europe and even grow barley in Greenland. (11)
same warming in the east produced more rain, and grass for the grazing animals that
Genghis Khan’s Mongolian horseman rode and feed off.
abundance allowed his descendants conquer much of Eurasia. (12)
The Medieval Warm Period was not caused by car journeys, aircraft, coal fuelled power stations or even ‘trial by fire’ used by Saxons.
The climate changes it often has little to do with man.
Compared to then we are colder not warming.
again I ask.
- Warmer since
compared to what?
was this ideal period of warmth. Who is
to judge this.
are the starting dates that prove the climate scientist clams we are warming any
more valid than the start dates I have used?
all these are the same climate scientists that told us. (13) (14)
- In 2002 that
Britain would suffer a “famine” within 10 years.
- And that in
2009 we had “eight years to save the planet”
are often told Climate Change is Settled Science. Yet Science is knowledge that is testable,
repeatable, observable, and falsifiable. (15) (16)
it’s that falsifiable that really matters here.
Science cannot by definition ever be settled.
a claim can’t be falsified it’s a matter of faith, of religion, of ideology,
but never ever Science.
often here the claim 97% of scientists believe in manmade global warming. But who are these scientists?
really not clear, where the figure comes from.
source of support for this is from the University of Illinoi. A survey which over 3000 scientists responded
to, selected a subset of just 77 who said they agreed that ‘global temperatures
had generally risen since 1800, and that human activity is a “significant
contributing fact”. (17) (18)
this the basis on which to change the modern world economy? On the say of just
77 carefully selected opinions?
Should we give up the industrialisation that dragged our ancestors out of poverty and is still giving the first real hope of a good life to billions in the developing world, on this basis?
often made claim is that “2,500 scientists of the UNs Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change, the IPCC agree that humans are causing a climate crisis.”
of course it’s simply not true.
number is based on the number of scientist reviewers of all of the IPCC reports. Only 600 were involved in the report with
this statement and proposals. (19)
not even clear that the 600 all agreed with the outcome of the report.
on the subject of the IPCC, their 2001 report featured the Hockey Stick graph. This showed broadly flat temperatures with a
sharp upturn. The graph was used to
prove the need for urgent change.
now discredited and dropped hockey stick graph ignored the medieval warming
period and little ice age as if they simple didn’t happen. (20)
We could all show the bank manager a graph of our increasing bank balance if we ignored all our out goings
These scientists simply ignored the facts to make their argument.
To believe in the projections of these scientists you have to believe the Thames Ice fairs didn’t exist and all evidence of farming in Greenland was simply made up.
Are we warming?
was in Sydney the first two weeks of December.
From a view point in the Blue Mountains I could see half a dozen fires
over a fifty square area.
tragic, the loss of humans fighting the fires, and animals is something I am
sure we all agree is terrible.
is it anything to do with global warming?
1642 expedition saw smoke drifting over the coast of Tasmania and noted
blackened trunks and baked earth in the forests.
1770, Captain Cook’s crew saw autumn fires in the bush burning on most days of
of these fires were deliberately set by Aborigines across Australia.
farming was used to producing lusher grass to fatten kangaroos, they also burned
fire breaks as a precaution against bushfire. (21)
suffered major bush fire outbreaks in 1851, 1898, 1925, and 1938.
occurred before the massive industrialisation in India and China and before any
of the supposed trends for man-made global warming.
this year’s fires are tragic. Worse than
the causes are complex, environmentalists have stopped the clearing of land near
residential areas and stopped selective burning to create fire breaks.
of course we have Arsonists. New South
Wales Police reported 716 of this year’s fires did not occur naturally. (22)
the hurricane seasons of 2010, 11, and 12 the second and joint third most
active years on record, we were told due to global warming hurricanes would
become common place.
of course in 2013 we had the fewest hurricanes since 1930. The number of storms have been fairly low and
stable ever since.
here we on occasion have some flooding.
a story of flooding in the UK hits the news, we hear the familiar cry of
despite heavy and consistent rain this winter we have thankfully had little
flooding. We see the here and now, we
often forget the past was often as bad s.
Much as when Devon and Somerset flooded
in 2013 largely because it appears we stopped dredging local water ways. Natural disasters can have a man-made
component. But let’s not confuse that
with a systemic problem.
Odd natural events happen, they make
compelling stories, but they are not a reason to change the world.
the impact of global warming is hard to find it’s worth asking, are we even
if we ignore the need for an answer to the question “compared to when” and
that’s a massive issue to ignore, are we warming right now?
the start of 1997 and the end of 2014, average global surface temperature
stalled. This 18-year period is known as
the global warming pause” (24)
the Met Office concluded the last decade was the second hottest in the past 100
years in the UK, slightly behind 2000 to 2009. – So err I make that we are
cooling decade on decade. (25)
official NASA global temperature data shows from February 2016 to February 2018
“global average temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius”. The biggest
two-year drop in the past century. (26)
to predictions polar bear numbers have never been higher rising 30% since 2005.
is now at about 412 ppm, or 0.041%. This
plant food is helping the earth become greener.
the supposedly dangerous level of CO2 of 1 part per 2400. Life has never been better. (27)
mortality has never been lower.
expectancy never higher.
- An estimated
3.2 billion people, or 42 percent of the total world population, are now in the
global middle class. Many of them
enjoying today in countries we used to consider third world a better standard
of living than some of us grew up with.
believe the doom mongers. The world is doing
just great. It’s not clear if it’s
warming, it is clear the scientists predictions are wrong.
Why so wrong?
are the scientists and their political bedfellows getting the predictions so
is never settled and not about consensus, but scientists are people. They naturally want to be part of the
majority. They want to conform.
many years around the middle of the last century many scientists wouldn’t
support the Big Bang theory even as more and more evidence with experiment
had for some time believed in the steady state theory of the universe. This is had always existed. Many Scientists didn’t want to believe in the
idea of a beginning to the universe because it opened the possibility of a
beginner or a god, something that the then modern science was against.
the evidence was there. Scientists
understandably being people weren’t following the evidence but rather the
sticking to the ruleset they had been brought up in. (28)
now, are driven by grants and agendas to support global warming. When your economic self-interest is driven by
a viewpoint it becomes easier to follow that viewpoint.
1989 and 2009 the US Federal Government funded to the tune of $1.6 billion and
year climate studies. (29) Clearly no
one was expected to find no change to keep the money coming in.
am not suggesting corruption in these cases, more I am simply noting it is much
easier for your research to find the required answer when paying your mortgage
depends on it.
there was clear corruption however was with the 2009 Climategate scandal. Leaked emails from the University of East
Anglia Climatic Research Unit, showed a number of scientists collaborating to
data to show a 156 year warming trend in New Zealand that simply hadn’t happen.
- Eliminating 75%
of the world’s temperature stations from new data with a clear bias toward removing
higher-latitude, high-altitude locations. (30)
are a number of possible reasons politicians push the climate change agenda.
Chinese like it because we hamper western industry whilst they continue to
build a new coal fuelled power station every other week.
of our politicians like that all solutions to global warming require more taxes,
and power for the politicians, and less rights for the people to make choices
in their own lives.
also like the new jobs it creates and the power they have to disperse them.
Council recently announced it has a appointed a lead for their Climate Crisis
Commission. They can’t collect the bins
on time, planning is a joke but the council can appoint people to a Climate
like Al Gore I suspect do it simply for the money. Why else would you preach climate catastrophe
and rising sea levels whilst spending $8,8million on an ocean front villa with
six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms. (32)
either believe the oceans are rising or you buy a beach property, surely not
not so clear why so many celebrities and indeed some of our own royalty are so
keen to push green policies. My own view
is they simply don’t like the plebs spoiling the holiday destinations.
would not normally be some unkind in assigning motive, but I can simply find no
other reason to understand how you can fly by private jet to a climate change
camp where you then deliver a speech about the environment while barefoot, as
Prince Harry did last year. (33)
else would Emma Thompson fly the 5,400 miles from LA to London to support the Extinction
Rebellion protests? (34)
I ask your indulgence for a show of hands on who has flown in the past year….
Al, Harry and Emma, want to stop you doing that.
they are so determined that they won’t stop buying mansions or jetting around
the globe, until they have stopped you having your annual fortnight in the sun!
What to do?
all want to live in a good environment, we want to improve the world around
us. The best way to do that is to simply
let people get rich.
nations and peoples care little for the environment, survival rightly takes precedence.
nations like us move to the post industrial age, and we value experiences more
that things, we use less carbon.
carbon output per person has gone down for 6 years, this has little to do with
direct green policies, and much to do with technology improvements. (35)
Zealand is planting a billion tress, partly because they can afford to. (36)
amount of land used to produce food for the every growing population is stable,
and in the west reducing, with some being returned to the wild. New science, actual science not computer
models has made this possible. (37)
We didn’t face starvation,
our cities are still above water, and you are still at risk of polar bear
attack in the icy north pole.
We are warmer than two
centuries ago, but colder than when Genghis threaten much of the globe. The biggest threat many face today is in a
massively reduced standard of living following the policies preached to us by
the rich and powerful.
Life is good, and getting
GDP per capita in Africa has
increased in real terms by 60% since the year 2000, by 50% in Latin America,
and doubled in Asia.
That’s a real terms increase
in prosperity. Why would you want to change
Why would we want to put at
risk the abundance we have based only on the predictions and fear of those so
often proved wrong?
The world is doing well, people’s
lives which were through all of human history an immense struggle are
improving, all over the globe.
Let’s not throw that all away
for fanciful and consistently wrong computer models.
Lawson sums up the situation well.
fact remains that the most careful empirical studies show that, so far at
least, there has been no perceptible increase, globally, in either the number
or the severity of extreme weather events. And, as a happy coda, these studies also show
that, thanks to scientific and material progress, there has been a massive
reduction, worldwide, in deaths from extreme weather events.’
some ways worse that the economic impact of the global warming scare is the
impact to the mental health of the next generation of adults.
to the Royal College of Psychiatrists there is now a condition called eco-anxiety.
of a ‘climate crisis’ has led to an upsurge in young people reporting feelings
of anxiety, helplessness and guilt. (38)
Christmas Channel 4 screened a special edition of Gogglebox with children
watching claims by Extinction Rebellion that ‘scientists say we have only 11
years to act’.
child counted on her fingers how many years she had left to live and worked out
that, the world could end when she was just 19.
mother described how her daughters had asked what the point was in taking their
GCSEs if they weren’t even going to be here a few years later.
are all old enough to know to ignore Prince Charles when he says the world is
ending in just 11 years, someone who is 11 years old is not.
the Prince said that the world was ending in 11 years, over 11 years ago.
are easily influenced. Especially once teenagers
they like little more than to tell their parents how wrong they and their whole
Telling children the world will end before they get to be adults is immoral, it damages their mental health and has been proved time and time again patently false.
want to be part of something big, we like to think our influence on the world
around us is greater than it really it.
world is just fine, humanity is doing great.
the bureaucrats out the way and the natural inventiveness of mankind will
ensure things keep getting better.
Leave well alone and lets enjoy the great world we live in.
Image by Mojca JJ