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« Quote of the day | Main | Conveying truth »

A letter from the future

This was provided to me by Phillip Bratby.

Letter from Bob Ward Junior (chief scientific advisor to the Department for Climate Change and Energy (DCCE)) to the Secretary of State for Climate Change and Energy, Ed Miliband Junior.

December 2031

Dear Ed,

First of all congratulations on being the youngest ever MP appointed at the age of 16 and, following your degree in political communication, being appointed the youngest ever Minister of State at the age of 19.

It is my duty and honour to give you a scientific briefing following your appointment.

As you are aware, climate change remains the biggest threat that the country faces and global cooling is still accelerating.  Climate scientists have been saying this for over 40 years.  In 2015, computers at the UN were hacked into by fossil-fuel industry shills and the first five IPCC Assessment Reports were changed by these climate deniers to show that so-called “greenhouse gases” (the pollutant carbon dioxide) emitted by the fossil fuel industry were beneficially warming the planet.  On his appointment as Minister of Justice at the UN World Government, now located in the UN country of The Bahamas, your father Viscount Miliband had the reports changed back to their original form showing that human emissions of so-called “greenhouse gases” were in fact cooling the planet.  This is due to the remarkable ability of carbon dioxide to emit infra-red radiation out to space and cause planetary cooling.  The back-radiation and surface heating that climate deniers were advocating was shown by top climate scientists to violate the laws of physics.

Climate scientists’ computer models have always been predicting cooling as a result of positive feedbacks on the cooling effect of “greenhouse gases” and this has now been vindicated by evidence.  Indeed, archive film from the BBC shows top climate scientist Sir Phil Jones stating in 2009 in an interview with Lord Shukman that “for the past 15 years there has been no statistically significant warming”.  Incidentally, Sir Phil has just retired from his post as Emeritus Professor of Statistics at the Huhne Climate Institute.

At the US Congressional Inquiry in 2024, Professor Michael Mann, speaking from his retirement home at Miami (now unfortunately 50 miles from the sea), said “contrarians and shills for the fossil industry in an unprecedented attack on science attempted to hide the decline in global temperatures by plotting my iconic and Nobel Prize winning hockey-stick graph upside down to show warming rather than cooling.  This is clearly evident in the book “The Hockey Stick Illusion” by contrarian Andrew Montford, where my iconic and Nobel Prize winning hockey-stick graph is shown inverted”.

Incidentally, the leaders of the climate change denial conspiracy (mostly based in California, Canada, Scotland, Yorkshire and Australia) are now a part of history.

In 2014 Scotland was granted independence from the United Kingdom and promptly closed its remaining conventional power stations.  Unfortunately the cooling was much more severe than predicted by some climate models and the glaciation of the Cairngorms and Highlands was so rapid that the three years without a summer, coupled with collapse of the electricity supply, resulted in massive starvation, hypothermia and complete depopulation.  The likelihood of climate refugees had been correctly predicted by climate scientists many years earlier.

As you know, my father (President Bob Ward of Tuvalu) was able to buy the island at a knock-down price following propaganda from climate deniers that it was about to disappear under the rising sea level.  The existing population unfortunately relocated to Alaska, being fooled by the deniers into thinking it was going to become a green and pleasant land, rather than be swallowed up by the northern polar icecap, which now extends from Greenland through Canada, Alaska, Siberia, Scandinavia and Iceland.  Tuvalu is now expanding at the rate of several hundred meters per year as the sea level falls and has an ever-expanding capacity for beach-front property developments to sell to climate refugees.

The last few years have seen the ice sheets over the Pennines, Lake District and Wales thicken and expand at the rate of several miles per year (as predicted by climate scientists), but we continue to feed the diminished population with food grown in real greenhouses on the expanding south coast.  The climate refugees from the rest of the UK remain a problem and the dwindling population in the south is now reliant on electricity from the aging nuclear power station at Sizewell, some power from France (when there aren’t conflicts over where the boundary between France and England lies) and intermittent electricity from the wind turbines (when they are not frozen solid).  The shale gas that climate deniers were advocating back in 2011 now fortunately lies inaccessible under the Lancashire ice sheet.

The independent Committee on Climate Change recently held its 400th meeting under the chairmanship of elder statesman Viscount Clegg.  With the 2050 carbon budget of an 80% reduction by 2050 having been met in 2024 and 100% reduction being met in 2027, they are still grappling with the thorny issue of what the next target should be.  They expect to produce a report within the next 4 years after another public consultation.

One issue that you must resolve in the next 6 months is the Met Office request for £3bn for a new supercomputer to replace the one they received in 2025.  They wish to locate it at their new offices at the 500acre campus on the British Virgin Islands in the Carribean, where the 8,000 Met Office staff have been relocated following the winter of 2026 when none of them were able to access the old offices in Exeter due to the prolonged white-out.

As you know, I spend most of my time on behalf of your Government commuting between the UN climate change conferences held every few months in Singapore and Sri Lanka.  Several thousand of the world’s top climate scientists still meet regularly to discuss the science and what should done to mitigate climate change.  I do not have much time to return to London to give you a personal briefing, but you can rest assured that you are welcome to visit me any time at my father’s palace in Tuvalu.

Yours ever,


Bob Ward Junior

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Reader Comments (40)

Good satire. Very funny. Thanks.

Jan 4, 2012 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Nice Phillip, and I think that by 2031 at least 1 thing in this satire will have actually happened.

Jan 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterrc

No less believable than current events.

The one thing that does concern me is that in this satire the principal advocates of AGW did so well out of the scam that they and their spawn bask in fame and fortune.

Jan 4, 2012 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller


If you can think of a way to stop them continuing to gain fame and fortune, let us know.

Jan 4, 2012 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Jan 4, 2012 at 3:46 PM | Don Keiller

"The one thing that does concern me is that in this satire the principal advocates of AGW did so well out of the scam that they and their spawn bask in fame and fortune".

Alas Don, 'twas ever thus!

Jan 4, 2012 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

"One issue that you must resolve in the next 6 months is the Met Office request for £3bn for a new supercomputer to replace the one they received in 2025."

Presumably that request was instigated by Julia Sligo Jnr?

Jan 4, 2012 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterAJC

Do bear in mind that Bob Ward is not known to have a sense of humour.

Jan 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBedZed

'Do bear in mind that Bob Ward is not known to have a sense of humour'


In fact he is not known for any kind of sense at all :-)

Question: Why does alarmism attract such a high number of socially and intellectually inadequate souls? Discuss.

Jan 4, 2012 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

it is funny but you haven't published in Nature or GRL so we cannot possible consider your pov.
never mind its us who gate the publishments.

Sons and daughters of professional politicians are been recycled everywhere actually
It is not just 3rd world kowtowed-at faux democracies like Kdaffy, or Pakistan and its Bhuttoes of different plumage anymore

Belgium is a good example of this pathetic petty-bourgeois-ism
It is common place there, already, that if mom or dad have had a glorious, or not so glorious, career in politics then so must the clueless offspring.
It saves the once-feral public meejah the effort of introducing names. the offspring is always just a carbon copy of the parent as well re inspiration or political goals and "aspirations" (=get rich quick, mostly).

Jan 4, 2012 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterOhNoNo

Probably one of the most accurate predictions ever made in connection with these honourable gentlemen.
In their dreams maybe.

Jan 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Was the letter encoded in superluminal neutrinos transmitted by the Large Hardon Collider?

Jan 4, 2012 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

Phillip, I still remember you defending me over at the D.M.some time back when our resident ....consensus troll had a pop! Me being a "lowly" engineer, I have read and watched your learned physics and still wait for the true answers to our simple questions!

Is it not nice having the time, to put young pups in their place? Is it not sad that the simple scientific procedures, taught to us in early school days , are now ignored? Would you or me have even got an "O" level by hiding data? Hell, remember one of the first experiments taught to us with a ring of steel and metal ball to show expansion? I still have my notes from the 60's and guess what.... No data was withheld!

Jan 4, 2012 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete H


Yes indeed. And over at tallbloke's shop, there is another interesting article concerning the lapse rate debate and thermodynamics. If only there was enough time to get in-depth involvement in all the fascinating physics.

Jan 4, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Excellent satire indeed!

I remember my physics experiment on expansion consisted of a steel bar, resting on a pin with a flattened straw attached to it, as the bar was heated, it expanded & the straw rotated as the pin rolled under friction - two in one! I also seem to recall physics & maths teachers were rather fussy about one showing one's workings to demonstrate how one arrived at one's answers, wouldn't do today!

Jan 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

I well remember those physics lab sessions at universtity. It wasn't a case of coming up with the right "consensus" answer. It was showing all the measurements, thinking about all the uncertainties in the data and trying to put some uncertainty bounds on whatever the conclusions were.

Jan 4, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby


And I suppose it may well prove prescient, if not about details of the weather, then at least about the continued good fortunes of many alarmists. Such wheelers and dealers are not going to be put off by a change in direction of temperatures, models, or anything else. They have been supremely successful at playing the system. Indeed they are now part of it.

The cooling is also supportive of the little cameo I put together for D on another thread (Poisoning the well):

Child Grandpa, Grandpa, we've had another lesson at school about 'Silly Science, Silly Laws'
BBD (for it is he): 'Go away, I don't want to hear about it.'
Child 'But it was so funny. I can't believe what you people fell for in the olden days! '
BBD: 'I'm going out fishing at our ice hole. I'll try to get us a fish for the summer solstice. Don't forget to do some pedalling to charge up the stove before I get back'

Jan 4, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Many a true word, written in jest.

Jan 4, 2012 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

More stuff from the future

It takes the entire electricity supply of Geneva to accelerate just one single proton around the six mile tunnel at the large hadron collider at CERN to near the speed of light

This Youtube clip illustrates the sort of power we are talking about
But please remember this vessel of a few tons being probably made of a as yet uninvented composite fibre for smuggling illegal contraband and dare i even say it narcotics( sorry scifi fans)

But somehow a dont think all the wind turbines in the world could proberly even come close

Jan 4, 2012 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

There was a piece on Channel 4 News this evening about the promising-looking Coal gasification plans in the UK. (no doubt viewable on their website shortly - about 30 mins in).
After the filmed report there was a studio discussion with a hack from the Grantham institute and a Prof with Sustainability in his job title. I found a compelling reason to be elsewhere at that point.

Jan 4, 2012 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Phillip, I am working on a means of ensuring that key players in the AGW scam do not continue to enjoy the benefits of their con.

I have quite high hopes of success.

Sorry to be cryptic, but all shall be revealed in the near future.

Jan 4, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Elder statesman Lord Cameron, in a rare interview with the BBC's venerable climate commentator Richard Black, praised the sagacity and foresight of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which he secretly nurtured during his premiership with philanthropic passion, for demonstrating the overwhelming dominance of natural climate variability, championed during his watch.

Lord Huhne, the unforgettable Liberal Democrat Energy guru, with scarcely concealed emotion, said- I made huge personal sacrifices and faced enormous public derision at the time, but I always told myself I would be vindicated by history. And indeed, my Royal Society Honourary Fellowship speaks for that.

Jan 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

This post has been debunked at the site now known as "skeptical astrology".

They claim that emeritus professors do not retire so the entire post is obviously flawed.

Jan 4, 2012 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Excellent satire, Phillip, many thanks for providing a bit of light relief. But why oh why do I have this uneasy feeling that much of it could well come true!!
Will just have to redouble our efforts and make sure it doesn't!

Jan 4, 2012 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Ah the nostalga. The iron bar and straw expansion, showing the workings and ah yes the "it can be seen from the graph above " sentence which was followed by a swift clap round the ears wit the words "no it can't, prove it"
You guys are showing my age !!!

Jan 4, 2012 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

"a prof with sustainibility in his title" .. lol .. that does not bode well.. maybe George Moonbat was his mentor.

anyways even characters with "professor in physics" as title can be borderless clueless tw-ts
the BBC has one as its mascot

Jan 4, 2012 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterOhNoNo

Huhn is german for chicken

Lord chicken would be a better title

Jan 4, 2012 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterOhNoNo

Jan 4, 2012 at 8:13 PM | artwest

I posted on this on Unthreaded - the discussion at the end was good and the Prof (all in favour of gasification) blew the clueless green stooge away.

Even Jon Snow sounded bored with the merchant of doom.

Give it a look!

Jan 4, 2012 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Wonderful satire, Phillip! Thanks for brightening my day :-)

Jan 4, 2012 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov

so much funnier than Paul Ehrlich's Jack Beale Lecture at the Uni of NSW in Australia which was repeated on TV to coincide with the New Year! you get a taste of it here in an interview with ABC the day he actually gave the lecture. amazingly, the ABC journo asked harder questions than the gushing audience and host at the University:

31 Oct: ABC The World Today: Eleanor Hall: Population analyst warns of catastrophe
ELEANOR HALL: But this is the sort of population explosion you warned would be catastrophic in your famous book, The Population Bomb, 40 years ago.
Why should anyone believe your warnings now when you've made such dire predictions before and they've proven to be unnecessarily alarmist?
PAUL EHRLICH: Well first of all, the predictions that most people quote were actually scenarios, little stories about the future we said would not come exactly true but when you figure that something like 240 million people have starved to death since we wrote the book, since we now have faced the fact that the ozone layer has deteriorated, that we are losing the biodiversity that runs our life support systems, that we are going to have to try and expand agriculture which is the thing that attacks our life support systems worse and yet is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases, which in turn are going to change the climate and hurt agriculture.
Everybody who understands the situation is scared witless however there are a lot of people who don't understand the situation and they are very vocal.
ELEANOR HALL: But you did warn in your book that the battle to feed humanity had already been lost in the 1970s and that an expanding population would bring about a higher death rate. In fact the reverse ended up being true...
PAUL EHRLICH: That is not correct. What we said was the battle to feed all humanity is over, and since we said that, 240 million people roughly have died of starvation. So in what sense was it wrong to say the battle to feed all of humanity was over?
ELEANOR HALL: You predicted it would bring about a higher death rate and it hasn't. I'm wondering did you then and do you still underestimate the human capacity for adapting to problems...
PAUL EHRLICH: I am very hopeful about the human capacity to adapt to problems. What I haven't seen is any sign, any real sign of that adaptation.
Australia can still lead the way, you know, you've got a cap and trade system at least in place, Australian could have a thriving solar industry and make lots of money and lots of jobs.
So I mean Australia has got a chance of really leading the way and that's one of the reasons Australia is one of our favourite places...
ELEANOR HALL: So what would you like to see governments in countries like Australia and the US do about this?
PAUL EHRLICH: Well, face the really big problems. How are we going to re-engineer the entire energy infrastructure of the planet if we have to start re-engineering our water handling infrastructure. Gradually we have to start reducing the size of the human population humanely and what we can do fast is change our consumption patterns.

Jan 5, 2012 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

....I love you Brits. This site is THE site I go to, simply because of your humor and your way with the English language.

When I feel beat down by the True Believer AGW Climate Change Lemmings in the U.S., I can come here and my spirits get lifted.

Thanks, Brits......

Jan 5, 2012 at 1:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterbaldrad

As Britain's population will be under 20 million in December 2031, due to methane clathrate emanations which decimated the planet last month, we won't need anything like as much power as expected.

Jan 5, 2012 at 3:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

"Well first of all, the predictions that most people quote were actually scenarios, little stories about the future we said would not come exactly true..." --PAUL EHRLICH

EHRLICH: "My teeth may be getting old and dull, but my...uh...uh..."
CHOMSKY: "Memory"
EHRLICH: "...Memory is as sharp as ever!"

Jan 5, 2012 at 3:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Rick, from that article you linked:

The "hydrate hypothesis" (if validated) spells the rapid onset of runaway catastrophic global warming. In fact, you should remember this moment when you learned about this feedback loop-it is an existencial turning point in your life.

Jan 5, 2012 at 3:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Lovely work, Philip, but my guess is that by 2031, unless the economy of the West has been so enfeebled as to remove the source of its middle-class guilt, we will have seen at least one successor to CAGW as a means of post-Christian, expiatory displacement activity, and that it will concern some field of "science" at some remove from climate.

In short, what will Al Gore jr be wittering on about?

Jan 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTomFP

Great stuff, Phillip, if a little unsettling! I'm sure you're right about the key players being kicked upstairs, although we can but hope that t'internet and blogs like this will impede their efforts to rewrite history. Viscount Milibean is too awful to contemplate!

Jan 5, 2012 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

@James P
Any Millibean, is, by definition, 'too awful to contemplate'.

Jan 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterEvil Denier

"Department for Climate Change and Energy (DCCE)"

Just spotted that reversal.. :-)

Jan 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Dear Bob Ward junior,

There's just one thing I wanna know:

what happened to all the sheep in Wales?
Are they all stuck under the ice sheets, have they been eaten, or what? And what about the innocent lambs?

That letter just shows that all you juniors have no feelings for the poor sheep! And innocent lambs!!

In tears, sincerely ...

Jan 5, 2012 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

“the predictions that most people quote were actually scenarios, little stories about the future we said would not come exactly true” (Ehrlich)

Not something we would have heard, I feel, if they had come true.

I am currently reading The Rational Optimist, and thoroughly recommend it to anyone suffering from a surfeit of gloomsters, the Grauniad, or just plain old January blues...

Jan 5, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Don Keiller
you say

"Phillip, I am working on a means of ensuring that key players in the AGW scam do not continue to enjoy the benefits of their con.
I have quite high hopes of success.
Sorry to be cryptic, but all shall be revealed in the near future."

keep it up Don, i know half the story probably from CA comments, take it you can not expand even a little bit?

Jan 6, 2012 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

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