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« New paper from the Netherlands on C02 emissions | Main | BBC and Nigel Lawson »

Pro-Lawson opinion

Ryan Bourne, head of public policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, offers his support to Nigel Lawson in an article in Friday's City A.M.

Even if you believe global warming is happening and it’s a significant problem, it is lazy thinking to believe this scientific insight means “Case Closed” and that the policy response is obvious. You also have to tot up what the consequences of global warming might be, the costs and benefits of different policies, and work out who picks up the tab. This requires a much-needed economic and political debate – and it’s obvious the likes of Lawson and other public figures have much to contribute.

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Reader Comments (22)

Well, it may be obvious to any even semi-sentient being but it certainly isn't obvious to the BBC.

Jul 21, 2014 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Discussion and debate is to suppressed because we the people accept that there is broad scientific agreement on climate change and we reflect this accordingly.

Jul 21, 2014 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

Climate science is a mess, but the BBC position on it is in an even bigger mess.

It started back in the days when the Team controlled peer review and publications and through their sympathetic cronies at the BBC, they strongly influenced what got said about global warming and what didn't. This is well documented in the Climategate emails.

The BBC warmists briefed their masters and held training seminars to spread the warmist creed far and wide throughout the organisation. We began to see the alarmist message enter all categories of programmes, including wildlife, science, drama and even children's television.

We saw Green activists play an increasing role in advising the BBC on broadcasting policy and the BBC Trust commissioned reports aimed at justifying the abandonment of any pretence of impartiality leading to the almost total suppression of any sceptical contribution.

BBC management spent large amounts of licence fee money on trying to conceal their "28Gate" meeting with Green activists. They remain defiant, claiming impartiality while avoiding their responsibility to report news in a balanced manner. The BBC avoids mentioning record levels of ice in the Antarctic, they do not report the increase in sceptical scientific papers or the continuing decline in climate model credibility as the pause in temperature change lengthens to 18 years.

Their relationship with the Green activists is now becoming a stranglehold. Any sceptical view expressed on the BBC is immediately followed by a deluge of criticism and complaints. These come from the usual sources together with well orchestrated howls of protest from the global warming community. The BBC now responds every time with apologies to the greens and even more pledges to curtail sceptical input, whilst insisting total impartiality.

The BBC has now lost control of the situation. This is why we see the self contradicting nonsense being put out by BBC managers. They are trying to explain why they censor sceptical views to avoid the green backlash without mentioning any of these things.

We are now entering an interesting period. The pause has continued for nearly two decades. Solar activity continues to be low and may mean that a cooling phase could take place.. A new climate model predicts cooling. Leading meteorologists predict cooling. If significant cooling does take place, the climate models cannot survive. The global warming scare will be finished.

The Green activists will claim that cooling is evidence of global warming. What will the BBC do? The Corporation has lost its way on this. They have dug the hole in which they are now deeply immersed.

Jul 21, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

"A new climate model predicts cooling".

Could this prediction mean that climate models are correct ?

Jul 21, 2014 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Unfortunately, the BBC is not the only organisation within the Establishment that accepts CAGW without question. The vast majority of MPs, from all parties, are enthusiastic converts to the Warmist's church. Cameron is a firm believer, as are
virtually all members of his cabinet: and the entire collection of Labour and LibDem MPs. There seems, however, to be an increasing number of Tory MP s who are sceptics, but they need organising. Perhaps the addition of Owen Paterson to the back benches, might become a catalyst for more coordinated action.

Jul 21, 2014 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Schrodinger's Cat
I made the comment on the Paterson thread about the credence given to the likes of Vivienne Westwood. I also thought, but didn't include it in the comment, that the BBC would probably give airtime to Roger Moore on MMR vaccine and Elton John on the varroa mite (assuming either expressed an opinion on those things) simply because they were celebrities.
And then I was suddenly reminded of Paxman's comment as he left Newsnight and realised that, emotionally at least, the BBC is staffed by 13-year-olds.
Some things they are in awe of — like celebrities and authority figures; some things they are adolescently enthusiastic about — like saving the planet; some things they distrust because they are too young to understand them — like politicians and people who take life seriously. All of this overlaid by the sort of attitude you get from the spoilt brat whose daddy gives it unlimited amounts of money to play with — because that is precisely what they are!
The cure has been prescribed more than once: cut off the endless money supply and tell them it's time to grow up!

Jul 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The annoying part is that even those who are defending Lawson's right to speak as a policy expert, can't actually point out what he said about the science that wasn't true.

Jul 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Martyn - the new model I mentioned is Dr David Evan's solar notch model.

He modelled the relationship between solar radiance and earth's temperature in the way an electronics engineer would interpret the data. This involved a delay and filters and an influence on earth's albedo that seems to be linked to solar cycles. This could relate to the solar wind, its modulation of GCRs and cloud formation. The model, which predicts cooling due to start between now and 2018 was covered by a series of posts at Jo Nova's site.

The alarmist community seems to have ignored it and a few of the more opinionated sceptics with strong technical views of their own have attacked it. Time will tell, and we don't have too long to wait.

Jul 21, 2014 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

A bit OT, but the BBC Blogs includes a blog about the BBC in which their policy director is posting on why the licence funding is better than subscription funding. It is possible to comment.

Just thought one or two of you may like to know that...

Jul 21, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Link kitty?

Jul 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Lawson's separation of the "science" from policy considerations has an analogy in medicine. Diagnosis of a condition does not mean that a treatment for that condition is obvious. Nor does the ability understand a condition give automatic expertise in finding new pharmaceuticals to cure the condition.
Where treatments are available, they might have harmful side effects, especially when administered incorrectly. Further, there might be various treatment options, which often have to be tailored to each individual patient. Most importantly, the medical profession has a duty of care, to act in the best interests of the patient.
Climate change policy is probably even further removed from climate science than diagnosis from research into new pharmaceuticals. Yet many of the leading experts cannot see the difference. They certainly do not have the ethical persepective on the harms policy can cause. In those respects Nigel Lawson has far more to contribute than a gaggle of climatologists.

Jul 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Jul 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Didn't you know that climate science is a special kind of science populated by the world's most brilliant minds. How else can you explain the fact that they have solved all of the puzzles relating to the enormously complex and chaotic atmosphere of the planet at the first attempt. So exact is the solution that there is no point debating any of the conclusions. That is how special climate science is.

Jul 21, 2014 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Sorry about the delay, I should have answered in a whisker.

Jul 21, 2014 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

No matter how much you want Evan's model to be correct, its still just a model.

Besides we'll need a 5 day blizzard in the middle of an Ashes series before any cooling is acknowledged by the climate guys who have been tweaking temperature numbers for longer than I can remember.

Out of curiosity when was the last time we had a 17 year temperature standstill?

Jul 21, 2014 at 9:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

" Out of curiosity when was the last time we had a 17 year temperature

878-895 I reckon looking at the thermometer record. I seem to recall temps have been very flat for a long time looking at a few trees.

Jul 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

ask the Ants, they eat trees by the way, so should be a good proxy :-)

Jul 22, 2014 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

"The alarmist community seems to have ignored it and a few of the more opinionated sceptics with strong technical views of their own have attacked it. Time will tell, and we don't have too long to wait."

Curve fitting exercise based on a faulty data analysis. The chance of a study like this one being useful in any sense is not quite but nearly zero. Global warming theory is rife with pointless curve fit exercises, mostly warmist, but some sceptical. All junk.

Jul 22, 2014 at 4:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

The BBC was told to stop allowing non-approved opinions on climate on the air. Ward told them and they obeyed.
So green investors like Grantham are now effectively the censors for matters regarding climate.
The BBC will not change until told to. There will be endless circular false arguments, but that is where things lie.
It is a proud time to be a journalist in the West and the BBC especially. Not.

Jul 23, 2014 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

"A new climate model predicts cooling .... Could this prediction mean that climate models are correct ?"

No. It means they've changed them until natural cooling is greater than the carbon-dioxide cooling, for a period.

Jul 28, 2014 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered Commenteranng


You arw correct. Actually you do numerous runs of the model with different values for the unpredictable variables such as ENSO and volcanoes, allowing you to distinguish between the effects of natural variation and AGW.

The model runs in which natural variation induced cooling almost counters AGW are the ones which most closely resemble the real world in the 21st century, where natural variation induced cooling almost counters AGW.

The computer models are matching reality much better than the denier propagandists would have you believe.

Jul 29, 2014 at 12:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

The computer models are matching reality much better than the denier propagandists would have you believe.
Jul 29, 2014 at 12:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Denier propagandists like me* actually point out that a model that could not replicate the past [with all the benefit of hindsight and the historical data], would score null-pointes out of 10 in any half-decent scientific modelling exam.

Merely successfully replicating the past [with all the benefit of hindsight and the historical data] might score a 1 out of 10 on my exam, but I would deduct marks if the candidate repeatedly insisted that this proved their model could successfully predict the future.

*I'm quite happy to take your attempted insult Entropic man, because it merely makes you look foolish and possibly bitter.

Jul 29, 2014 at 6:38 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Entropic man,

Thanks for the explanation. My take on it is that they're manipulating aspects of what they've already got so may have missed something. I was flailing around wondering what could be missing to trigger the pause when I looked through a couple of old 1974 books I have. The 'promising research' they pointed to was investigating whether the sunspot cosmic ray bursts when there hasn't been any sunspots for a while have different effects to when there are plenty of sunspots. This wouldn't be in any models. And we do have the lowest sunspot numbers for 100 years at the moment - slightly less than the early 70s, but probably more than William Herschel was working with when he found an anticorrelation between sunspot number and the market price of wheat in 1801.

I think the more recent research has been treating sunspots & cosmic rays as giving a regular sort of effect, which they can't correlate with either warming or cooling. This has me wondering if the atmosphere reacts in new ways towards new things, but continue as before the same-old, same-old stuff. And if so, could that also apply to carbon-dioxide concentration? Rather like ant research where very simple rules lead to complex behaviour.

Jul 29, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered Commenteranng

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