Click images for more details



Recent posts
Recent comments
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« How it all began | Main | House of Lords on climate change »

Quotes from the Lords debate

Here are a few choice moments from the Lords debate. Some of them are rather startling. Please note that these are taken from the uncorrected transcript.

Lord Grantchester (Lab) has come up with some jaw-dropping figures on the threat of sea-level rise:

Eighty per cent of the best grade 1 agricultural land lies at or below current sea levels.

Lord Lawson had a nice quip:

Unlike George Bush Jr, President Obama came in saying that he was going to get to grips with [carbon emissions]. What has happened? Nothing. There is a Bill in the House of Representatives which is like a beached whale. After the mid-term elections today, the beached whale will be a dead duck.

There was this from Lawson too:

The only conclusion that I can reach about the Government's policy, which is no different from the Opposition's policy, is that it is both intellectually incoherent and economically illiterate

Lord Giddens (Lab) seems not to have heard of direct air capture. Or trees.

...once the greenhouse gas emissions are in the air, we know of no way of getting them out again.

Lord Hunt (Lab) seems to struggle with the difference between climatology and economics. He appears to have a limited grasp of the latter.

I return to human-induced climate change, which only economists seem incapable of understanding, although the noble Lord, Lord Stern, is a notable exception. Its increase and its impacts on the poorest communities in India and Africa can be reduced most effectively by limiting emissions, albeit over many decades.

Lord Marland too, seemed to be something of a newcomer to economic ideas. Lawson had mentioned Frederic Bastiat and broken windows, something that seemed to leave Marland somewhat dumbstruck:

I was very interested in the remarks made by Bastiat, who was not someone of whom I had heard.

Perhaps Timmy should send him a copy of his new book?

Lord Reay (Con) relayed some remarkable news about onshore wind. He quoted a parliamentary report as follows:

[there has been] a dramatic reduction in the cost of onshore wind. The result is that it is competitive in a free market with other sources of energy.

Lord Reay went on to wonder about the implications:

In that case, one might ask, why subsidise it? Perhaps my noble friend could tell us when the Government intend to reduce the subsidies for wind power if it is now becoming so efficient. So-called wind farms are not wind farms; they are subsidy farms.

Lord Smith (Lab) managed to mention eroding coasts and climate change in the same breath and went on to speak of life in 20 years' time:

when river flows are 50 per cent lower in summer months than they are now. These are going to be the realities of climate change.

Lord Stoddart (Ind Lab) bashed Lord Whitty (quite rightly) for being offensive.

I and many other people are getting fed up-sick and tired-of being described as climate change deniers. That term has a serious connotation and we do not like it. It is associated with Nazism and the Holocaust and I hope that others, including my ex-noble friend, the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, will cease to use that insulting term.

Baroness Smith (Lab) could do with reading Pielke Jnr's blog:

If we do nothing, the worst scenarios will come true. People around the world will be displaced by freak weather conditions and floods and then it will impact on everyone across the world. We should bear that in mind.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (27)

Much of this could, hopefully, soon be academic. From the Grauniad ' The new crop of Republican leaders in the House are way ahead of Palin, with plans for sweeping investigations of Climate Science and of Obama administration officials such as Lisa Jackson who heads the EPA'.
Watch out for falling dominoes !

Nov 3, 2010 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Much of this could, hopefully, soon be academic. From the Grauniad ' The new crop of Republican leaders in the House are way ahead of Palin, with plans for sweeping investigations of Climate Science and of Obama administration officials such as Lisa Jackson who heads the EPA'.
Watch out for falling dominoes !

Nov 3, 2010 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

@ toad

Yes, things will get interesting quite quickly, I suspect. Another commenter here makes the point that if Darrell Issa becomes Chair of the House committee on Oversight and Government he could cause Dr Mann some sleepless nights. Joe Barton is on the up and up, too...

Nov 3, 2010 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Judith Curry could represent the way forward for climate "scientists" with some integrity (that excludes the Mann). See

Nov 3, 2010 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Concealed in that great festering midden of feigned sanctimony, a petard dropped-

'Last week, 144 licences were granted to extract oil and gas from UK waters in the 26th licensing round'.

Nov 3, 2010 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Hmm.... embarrassingly incoherent, those peers. Is there a good reason to keep them around? Do they do anything productive for society?

Nov 3, 2010 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Meanwhile, it appears the transcript of the Muir Russell/Acton/Trevor Davies oral evidence at the HoC Select Committee on Science and Technology is now up

Nov 3, 2010 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

There are many here who would argue that Lord Lawson might be performing a useful function...

Nov 3, 2010 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

And Lord Reay.

Nov 3, 2010 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

It sounds like the majority are either seriously confused or seeking advantage. It appears that at least a couple in there may have some intelligence and integrity.

There is hope yet.

It becomes obvious just how serious it is that a meme gets loose in the comunity. And how hard it is to turn an untruth around. We need Myth Busters to do a 2 hour special on it.

Nov 3, 2010 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

@ Greg Cavanagh

Which meme?

- Climate sensitivity to CO2 is at or above the IPCC-endorsed median estimate.

- Renewables are going to turn the problem around.

It's the blurring and conflation that makes it all so impossible to deal with.

Nov 3, 2010 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

It's a sickening read overall. Notice the way Lord Lawson carefully lays out the cross-bench monitoring of his GWPF funding - proving he's not funded by Big Oil. Contrast that with the bare-faced Big Green vested interests of virtually every other speaker.

I couldn't read the whole thing - too depressing. Did anyone else speak in support of Lord Lawson?

PS. I recently read his excellent book "An Appeal To Reason - A cool look at Global Warming". Highly recommended (£4 on Amazon)

[BH adds: There were several sceptic speakers - Baroness Noakes, and Lords Stoddart and Reay.]

Nov 3, 2010 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterChilli

I find it amazing that Lord Marland did not recognize the name of Frédéric Bastiat, or the broken window fallacy. I wonder if he would recognize the name of Adam Smith, or a reference to the invisible hand?

That he might not agree, I can understand. Not having heard, that's shameful.

Nov 3, 2010 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Is this a House of Lords or a House of Ignorance?

Nov 4, 2010 at 12:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter T

I seem to remember that the House of Lords is now elected, much like our Senate.

[BH adds: No, it's appointed, apart from the Bishops and the few remaining hereditaries]

Nov 4, 2010 at 4:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda Ramirez

"Is this a House of Lords or a House of Ignorance?"--Peter

Perhaps they call it the House of "Lords" after the numerous imprecations that follow listening to some of their gibberish.

Nov 4, 2010 at 4:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Eighty per cent of the best grade 1 agricultural land lies at or below current sea levels.

What on earth? How do people get away with such statements?

Nov 4, 2010 at 5:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndy


Astonishing, isn't it!

Nov 4, 2010 at 6:28 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


I presume there was a slight ommission in the statement by his Lordship

Eighty per cent of the best grade 1 agricultural land that I own lies at or below current sea levels.

Nov 4, 2010 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Clearly a misquote, what he meat to say was "80% of the best grade 1 agricultural land lies at or below the sea levels in that nice advert we extorted tax payers money to pay for."

Who says advertising doesn't work?

Nov 4, 2010 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterMackemX

BH: "It's appointed, apart from the Bishops"

Does that mean that Your Grace was elected to his Bishopric?

Nov 4, 2010 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

Well Prescott is not just a Lord but 'a Council of Europe rapporteur on climate change issues', who thinks by picking him that anyone is going to be convinced in AGW, surely he will have the opposite effect.

Nov 4, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnH

I love the irony, Lord Prescott associated with climate change due to mans overuse of resourses, I wonder if he realises why everyone will smile when he enters a meeting!

Perhaps a better explanation of his new role is that the tide has turned and the UK is making a statement by taking the p*** in northern ship building terms.

Nov 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Well, the same ideologically trained, scientifically illiterate Labour backbenchers (and Tory ones as well, let's not forget!) who used to 'grace' the Commons now populate the HoL. Therefore it is not astounding that they spill the same hogwash which got them all to vote for the 'Climate Change Bill'.

A great pity we can't get rid of them in the way our cousins across the Big Pond did on Nov 2nd ...

Nov 4, 2010 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Much first-class farming land in East Anglia lies below the high-tide sea level. The reason being that the former wetland fell as it was drained and dried out. Water has in fact to be pumped up to get it into the river Ouse. However, as the land between the reclaimed land and the sea is higher than each no problem ensues.

Nov 4, 2010 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob Layson

In this case the meme I was refering to was any ficticious idea which takes hold and goes viral.

To be fair, it was also a sideways nod at the idea of Taxing the populace to avert disaster; at least I think this is a selfish and crazy idea.

Nov 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

Do not underestimate the the foolishness of those who will not see. Tremendous momentum has been achieved by the mainly mendacious proponents of AGW. It will require stamina from the scientists to explain the truth and resist the lies coming from massive vested interests.

Dec 10, 2010 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterferdinand

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>