Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
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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.

There is no climate crisis


Congratulations are due to the Bruges Group for the timely publication of Climate: All Is Well, All Will Be Well, by Jeremy Nieboer. This is a scholarly and well-written publication, displaying immense intellectual rigour. It needs to be read by every MP and policy-maker.

We do not agree with each of Nieboer's conclusions. In particular we do not accept that the rise in CO2 since 1850 has been materially influenced by human emissions. At about 3.3% of the total they are simply too low to have made much of a difference.

However we entirely and respectfully agree with Nieboer that CO2, which is a trace gas only, is only responsible for only about 5% of the Greenhouse Effect. We also agree that there is no climate crisis and that the planet is currently in a cooling phase, as Sir Patrick Moore, the distinguished astronomer, predicted as far back as 2000. Indeed Sir Patrick thought that we might be entering a Maunder Minimum, that is to say a prolonged period of reduced solar activity, leading to lower temperatures.

The thrust of Nieboer's shows the world is cooling, the major influence on our climate is the Sun and human emissions of CO2 are incapable of affecting the climate to any measurable extent.

Amongst the more important takeaways are that CO2's ability to absorb infrared radiation from the Earth's surface becomes almost static above 280 parts per million (ppm). Put another way, further increases in atmospheric CO2 will have only a negligible effect on the Greenhouse Effect.

As Nieboer points out the planet is actually cooler in the current, Holocene, interglacial than it was in the last. This can't have been because early man was running around in SUVs! Moreover CO2 levels have been much higher in the past. Furthermore CO2 increases follow temperature increases, not the other way round. The lag seems to be between 750 and 1,000 years.2 Current CO2 levels are tracking the Medieval Warm Period.

The Medieval Warm Period, in which grapes were grown in Greenland (try planting some vines in Greenland these days and see how far you get!) is hugely inconvenient for warmists. That's why they tried to get rid of it, in the notorious hockey stick graph (see below).

Nieboer is rightly scathing about the IPCC's attempt to reintroduce the hockey stick, using different data but with the same flawed result. The purpose of the hockey stick graph is to convince unintelligent people (journalists, Cabinet Ministers and so on) that planetary temperatures were flat for a millennium then suddenly started rising about a century ago. It's the climate science equivalent of the Piltdown Skull.

As Nieboer confirms, the cooling phase lasted until 1975, giving rise to a different sort of climate scare – a new ice age. If the past is any guide we may well enter a new glacial period sometime in the next 1 – 2,000 years, although the entry will be gradual, giving us ample time in which to adjust. We are perhaps only a decade away from the Fusion Era, when electrical energy will become both abundant and cheap. We won't be living under the ice - we'll be turning it into fresh water. The skiing will be marvellous and there'll be lots of white Christmases.

Where to from here? The good news that there is no climate emergency and that we can carry on burning fossil fuels if we want to means that there is no need to overturn the Western world's energy base. We can abandon net zero. Shell can happily develop the Cambo oilfield.3

The dramatic differences between Western governments and the BRIC nations were well illustrated by news of major forest clearance in Brazil during the COP26 gathering in Glasgow recently. These differences pitted economic imperatives against climate change diktats from the IPCC4. Such dissonance is likely to become increasingly fractious unless a halt is called to this nonsense.

Unfortunately, British energy policy is in thrall to the dictates of the IPCC, as confirmed by the energy minister, who fully embraces their lunatic aim of reaching net zero by 2050. The Government claims that 250,000 new green jobs will be created. What they do not say is how many jobs are being lost due to expensive and unreliable green energy.

Meanwhile, farmers have been told to expect subsidies for environmental purposes only, not food production, the bulk of the £8.5 billion grant to the Common Agricultural Policy being redirected by the Treasury.

Is it too much to ask that our politicians might unite in ensuring that whilst the UK cannot be self-sufficient in food production, that the country should at least be able to achieve energy independence? Even during the chaos of the 1970s, the UK managed to bring ashore North Sea oil and gas, and during the 1980s the petro-pound arrived.

Unlike Norway, mistakes were made by dissipating the revenues instead of creating a sovereign wealth fund. We didn't need to rely upon the US to build our oil rigs, such as Piper Alpha, which was sabotaged in July 1988 and could have wiped out the entire oil and gas field through blowback to feeder rigs.

The target for net zero emissions by 2050 actually relies upon vast increases in cement and steel. IEA Mining calculates that an offshore wind farm will use nine times the resources needed for a natural gas plant, with some eight tons of copper needed to produce just one megawatt of power. Electric vehicles require six times as much nickel, cobalt, and lithium as a traditional combustion engine. Herein lies the paradox. Only incremental mining can provide the resources for renewables. In short, it doesn't work.

Should our present government actually phase out the internal combustion engine by 2030 to make way for electric vehicles, our National Grid, with only a 5-day spare capacity, would probably collapse. On present plans there is no way it could cope with the increased demand.

Fortunately, the UK is blessed with a second chance. The massive South Atlantic oil and gas fields are just waiting to be developed. The viability of fracking needs to be reviewed, and the new coal mine in Cumbria given the go ahead. We also need to press ahead with new nuclear power stations, both large-scale, using thorium, and modular, as a greener and more reliable alternative to unsightly wind farms. The turbines can be taken down.

To promote such policy proposals of course invites howls of protest from the green lobby, who have overstayed their welcome in the UK. How will they succeed in convincing the subsistence farmer in India to jettison his diesel tractor in favour of an EV vehicle, or persuade the authorities in China to halt construction of coal-fired power stations? Since the UK contributes a meagre 1% to human CO2 output, about .03% of overall CO2, their gift of persuasion is clearly needed elsewhere.

Some policy makers are urging that the UK abandons net zero because other countries, in particular China, won't go along. Others have fallen for the hoax but say that warmer is better than cooler and that it would be both easier and cheaper to adjust. We take the high ground. There is no climate emergency and no need to decarbonise at all.

Sir William Jaffray, Bt 

1 The Global Warming Hoax, Issue 077, June 2019.

2 The Vostok ice core samples suggest a lag of 1,000 years. Since CO2 started increasing after 1850 a lag of about 900 years may be about right. On that basis We should expect CO2 to go on rising for another 125 years or so, with beneficial effects for plant growth, cereal production and crop yields.

3 Lying north-west of the Shetlands in over 1,500 fathoms, Cambo is estimated to contain 800 million barrels of oil, enough to meet the UK's entire consumption for about 18 months.

4 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a propaganda organ established by the UN in 1988 at the instigation of the German agent Maurice Strong, a Canadian socialist. Strong was probably recruited in New York in 1947. 

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