Tag Archives: global warming panic

The British Green Party expose their totalitarian mentality

Robert Henderson

The British Green Party has put its undemocratic cards blatantly on the table.  One of their most recent policy statements is a “ 10 point flood response plan” . Point number three is of especially interest:

“3. Get rid of any cabinet Ministers or senior governmental advisors who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change or who won’t take the risks to the UK seriously” (http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2014/02/14/green-party-launch-10-point-flood-response-plan/)

The leader of the British Green Party Natalie Bennett enlarged on this in an interview with the BBC conducted by Ross Hawkins  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26187711). These exchanges took place:

Hawkins: “ Every , as this [the 10 point plan] says, senior government advisor who refused to accept the scientific consensus on climate change as you describe it shouldn’t be in their post; every one of them?”

Bennett:  “Yes. We need the whole government behind this. This is an emergency situation we’re facing now. We need to take action. We need everyone signed up behind that.”

Hawkins: “ And,  I am not reducing this to the absurd;  that literally would include every senior government advisor , i.e., it could be the Chief Veterinary Officer ; it could be any  advisor whether or not they are directly connected with the issue of flooding? “

Bennett; “Yes.”

Hawkins: “And you would see them removed from their posts?”

Bennett: “We would ask the government to remove them”.

Bennett: “It’s an insult to flood victims that we have an Environment Secretary (Owen Paterson) who is a denier of the reality of climate change and we also can’t have anyone in the cabinet who is denying the realities that we’re facing with climate change.”

This is the voice of the true fanatic, so captured by an ideology that any dissent from the “true way”  becomes heresy which must be eradicated.  For Bennett it is not enough to have policies implemented , only those who unreservedly  support the policies can be tolerated in government even if they are not involved in implementing the policies themselves.

In short, Greens want the debate on man-made global warming to be officially over as far as the government is concerned.   They belong to the one class of person who should be denied a public voice, namely the class of those who would deny a public voice to others.

Bennett is a very odd sort of public campaigner.  I know her  personally  because we were both members of a group trying to stop a laboratory handling dangerous toxins  being built in the centre of London next to St Pancras station. (The site is approximately 100 feet from my front window).

Because all the major Westminster parties were wildly in favour of the project the only chance of stopping it was to show was to show that the bidding process was tainted. This I did comprehensively using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain documents which showed unambiguously that Gordon Brown had illegally interfered with the bidding process. Further details including the Brown documents  can be found at http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/the-new-leader-of-the-greens-knows-how-to-keep-mum/

Despite being a Guardian journalist with ready access to the media, Bennett refused to use the material and the campaign comprehensively failed because it was reduced to using bog-standard street politics: going on marches, making banners, sending deputations to the local council and so on.

Why wouldn’t Bennett use my FOIA material? I could never get a meaningful answer out of her. All she would say was that it wasn’t  of public interest, a self-evident absurdity as it not only struck directly at the sale of the land,   but was of general public interest because a Prime Minister had interfered in a bidding process for an enterprise he favoured.  On the face of it the story appeared to be right up the Guardian’s street.

Perhaps she refused to use the material  because she could not claim the information as her own.  Surprisingly for a journalist she made no attempt to use the FOIA herself to aid that campaign.

Population – the elephant in the global warming green room

Robert Henderson

Let me put my cards on the table: I see no hard evidence for man-made global warming, nor do I believe that pollution generally will be the undoing of humanity, although it can obviously have severe effects on particular populations. Readers interested in my reasons for dismissing environmental scares in general and man made global warming in particular may refer to “my  The overheated climate debate “ which was published in the Mother Earth Feb 2007 issue (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/the-overheated-climate-debate/).

Notwithstanding the lack of firm evidence, Western political elites, egged on by the religiously devoted greens through their powerful pressure groups, are behaving as though we shall all be going to Hell in a handcart if things do not change and are consequently burdening their societies with environmental laws. These laws, apart from making life unpleasant for the masses because of their impingement on their liberty, are imposing great costs on Western economies which are not shared by the rest of the world. Nor will these laws have any meaningful impact on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere because of the vast and ever growing increase in emissions taking place in the developing world.

This essay is designed to challenge these newly green political elites on their own grounds, to take their claims and test them against their actual policies by asking questions such as is there any possibility that the claimed necessary reductions in greenhouse gases can be achieved? Will the developed world “setting an example” persuade the undeveloped world to cut back on greenhouse gases? Can the industrialisation of the developing world continue without the creation of vastly more greenhouse gases? Is the calculation of greenhouse gases sound? Most importantly ,what are the implications of the world’s present population and projected future growth for the environment?

Population

A monstrous and ever expanding elephant sits in the green crusaders’ room. Amidst all the liberal internationalist angst about greenhouse gases and pollution generally, the greatest and most obvious cause of both is ignored by mainstream politicians: the already great and rapidly rising population of the world.

The world population is estimated to be 6.5 billion now. Extrapolations to 2050 go as high as 9.5 billion. The vast majority living now come from the underdeveloped world and their proportion of the world population will increase in the coming decades because the populations of underdeveloped countries have much younger populations than those of the developed world, viz:

“One of every six people on earth is an adolescent. In the developing world, more than 40 percent of the population is under age 20. The decisions these young people make will shape our world and the prospects of future generations. On this World Population Day, let us recognize their right to the health, information and services they need and deserve.” (http://www.forcedmigration.org/browse/thematic/population.htm)

If the swelling world population was overwhelmingly due to increases in the still very white first world you may be sure that we would be daily berated for our selfish breeding. We would be told that any increase in our population was at the expense of the third world, that every extra mouth to feed, house, clothe and supply with energy was absolutely unconscionable. Western governments would be instigating programmes to reduce our populations and some of the bolder would be advocating rationing of children and any industrial process deemed to be producing the putative greenhouse gases,

But the overwhelming majority of people living today do not live in the first world and the projected future expansion of the world’s population is due almost entirely to third world increases, the first world having at best stabilised their populations and at worst actually set themselves on the path of democratic decline through a mixture of contraception and too readily available abortion (Britain does not have a fertility crisis but an abortion crisis, with 200,000 abortions being carried out a year. If those babies were born Britain’s birth rate would be above replacement level. Such increases in the first world as occur will be due to immigration from the third world and the generally higher breeding rates of immigrants.) Consequently, the subject goes unmentioned by politicians because it is beyond the Pale for Western liberal internationalist elites and not in the interests of the developing world to raise it.

The Western green suicide national advocates

If Western politicians are as yet unwilling to advocate the most extreme measures such as a dramatic reduction of Western populations, there are pressure groups such as the Optimum Population Trust (http://www.optimumpopulation.org/) who will. They think it should be the wicked energy guzzling first world which should show the way on the grounds that each first worlder consumes zillions of times more energy than each third worlder. Their recipe is that the first world effectively commit suicide by reducing its on average below replacement reproductive level even further. Here are a couple of snippets from their website which relate to the UK. The OPT advocate the following policies:

“• (i) to welcome the current below-replacement total fertility rate;

• (ii) to oppose fiscal incentives specifically intended to encourage women to have large families;

• (iii) to reduce further (by contraception and education) the number of teenage pregnancies, which are still among the highest in Europe; “

‘The UK’s sustainable population based on current patterns of resource use is just over 17 million, less than a third of its actual population of 60 million*, according to new research from the Optimum Population Trust….

‘If the whole world lived a “modest” Western European lifestyle based on current energy patterns, it could support only 1.9 billion people. If that “Western European” world then managed to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent, this sustainable population figure would rise to 2.8 billion. However, this would still only represent 40 per cent of the current world population.’  (OPT NEWS RELEASE December 4 2006  http://www.optimumpopulation.org/opt.release04Dec06.htm)

The danger for the West is that our politicians may buy into this dangerous nonsense sufficiently to act to suppress Western breeding rates even further.

Calculating emissions

The questioning reader may have a provoking question niggling away at the back of their mind: how is that the industrialised First World with only 1 billion of population at best, a population which lives in countries which monitor and control their emissions ever more rigorously, is so much more at fault for emissions than the 5.5 billion who live in countries where the vast majority of energy is generated either by the direct burning of fossil fuels in the home or workplace or through power stations, mainly coal fired, which pump pollution into the air with poor filtration and who are responsible for far more agricultural generated greenhouse gas emissions than the First World?

The answer ostensibly lies in the convenience of scientists. Here is the UN Environment Programme website giving the game away:

“ Central to any study of climate change is the development of an emissions inventory that identifies and quantifies a country’s primary anthropogenic sources and sinks of greenhouse gas. Emissions are not usually monitored directly, but are generally estimated using models. Some emissions can be calculated with only limited accuracy. Emissions from energy and industrial processes are the most reliable (using energy consumption statistics and industrial point sources). Some agricultural emissions, such as methane and nitrous oxide carry major uncertainties because they are generated through biological processes that can be quite variable.”  (http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/national_carbon_dioxide_co2_emissions_per_capita)

Translated that means scientists rely on the sort of statistics which the developed world produces (and the undeveloped world does not ), while ignoring at worst and under-estimating at best emissions which are not readily calculated or available. Take the case of methane and nitrous oxide, the most plentiful greenhouse gases after water vapour and carbon dioxide. Here is what the http://www.physicalgeography.net/website says about methane produced by man made means:

“The primary sources for the additional methane added to the atmosphere (in order of importance) are: rice cultivation; domestic grazing animals; termites; landfills; coal mining; and, oil and gas extraction. Anaerobic conditions associated with rice paddy flooding results in the formation of methane gas. However, an accurate estimate of how much methane is being produced from rice paddies has been difficult to ascertain. More than 60 % of all rice paddies are found in India and China where scientific data concerning emission rates are unavailable. Nevertheless, scientists believe that the contribution of rice paddies is large because this form of crop production has more than doubled since 1950. Grazing animals release methane to the environment as a result of herbaceous digestion. Some researchers believe the addition of methane from this source has more than quadrupled over the last century. Termites also release methane through similar processes. Land-use change in the tropics, due to deforestation, ranching, and farming, may be causing termite numbers to expand. If this assumption is correct, the contribution from these insects may be important. Methane is also released from landfills, coal mines, and gas and oil drilling. Landfills produce methane as organic wastes decompose over time. Coal, oil, and natural gas deposits release methane to the atmosphere when these deposits are excavated or drilled.“ (http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7a.html)

And here is the journal Nature on methane emissions:

“There is a strong link between human diet and methane emissions from livestock. Nations where beef forms a large part of the diet, for example, tend to have large herds of cattle. As beef consumption rises or falls, the number of livestock will, in general, also rise or fall, as will the related methane emissions. Similarly, the consumption of dairy goods, pork, mutton, and other meats, as well non-food items such as wool and draft labor (by oxen, camels, and horses), also influences the size of herds and methane emissions. The figures below present recent estimates of methane emissions by type of animal and by region. Due to their large numbers, cattle and dairy cows produce the bulk of total emissions. In addition, certain regions – both developing and industrialized – produce significant percentages of the global total. Emissions in South and East Asia are high principally because of large human populations; emissions per-capita are slightly lower than the world average”  (http://www.nature.com/nhttp://www.scidev.net/dossiers/index.cfm?fuseaction=specifictopics&dossier=4&topic=182&CFID=2340763&CFTOKEN=59109502ature/journal/v443/n7110/full/Emissionsofmethanefromlivestock

As for nitrous oxide, here is the physical geography website again:

”The average concentration of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide is now increasing at a rate of 0.2 to 0.3 % per year. Its part in the enhancement of the greenhouse effect is minor relative to the other greenhouse gases already mentioned. However, it does have an important role in the artificial fertilization of ecosystems. In extreme cases, this fertilization can lead to the death of forests, eutrophication of aquatic habitats, and species exclusion. Sources for the increase of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere include: land-use conversion; fossil fuel combustion; biomass burning; and soil fertilization. “Most of the nitrous oxide added to the atmosphere each year comes from deforestation and the conversion of forest, savanna and grassland ecosystems into agricultural fields and rangeland. Both of these processes reduce the amount of nitrogen stored in living vegetation and soil through the decomposition of organic matter. Nitrous oxide is also released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels and biomass are burned. However, the combined contribution to the increase of this gas in the atmosphere is thought to be minor. The use of nitrate and ammonium fertilizers to enhance plant growth is another source of nitrous oxide. How much is released from this process has been difficult to quantify. Estimates suggest that the contribution from this source represents from 50 % to 0.2 % of nitrous oxide added to the atmosphere annually “ (“http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7a.html).

It is also important to understand that the quantity of the various gases in the atmosphere is not a simple guide to their effectiveness as greenhouse gases. Methane and Nitrous Oxide are thought to be much more effective than Carbon Dioxide at warming the atmosphere, viz:

“Global Warming Potential (GWP). The normal reference is Carbon Dioxide for which the GWP is 1. By comparison the GWP for Methane is 21, Nitrous Oxide 310, most of the FCs are up in the 1000s with Sulphur hexafluoride at the top with a whopping GWP of 23,900.” (http://www.envocare.co.uk/aboutus.htm).

The GWP ratings mean that methane is 21 times more potent than CO2 and Nitrous Oxide 310 times more potent.

Finally, all greenhouse gases have to be put into the contexts of (1) that greenhouse gases form less than 1% of the atmosphere and (2) that water vapour is the most common greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, accounting for the majority of the greenhouse effect.

Interestingly, estimates of how much water vapour contributes vary widely:

“If one pursues the question of how much of the greenhouse effect is due to each of the various greenhouse gases one finds a perplexing variety of answers in the literature. One source says that 95 percent of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapour, another 98 percent. These figures may be referring to the proportion, by weight or volume, of water vapor among the greenhouse gases of the atmosphere. Another source says that proportion water vapor is responsible for is between 36 and 70 percent. Water droplets in clouds account for another 10 to 15 percent so water as liquid or vapor accounts for between 46 and 85 percent of the greenhouse effect. The same source attributes 9 to 26 percent of the greenhouse effect to carbon dioxide (CO2).” ( http://www.applet-magic.com/radiativeff.htm).

If there is such disagreement and uncertainty amongst climate scientists about the extent of water vapour’s influence a gigantic question mark hangs over claims for other gases such as CO2 and Methane. Suppose 90%+ is down to water vapour, about which Man can do little, it is difficult to see that any increases due to Man made gases will be of more than peripheral importance. It is also interesting to note that that estimates of the other gases such as CO2 vary widely.

Imagine man made climate change is occurring

Let us suppose for the sake of argument that global warming is occurring largely or wholly because of man made emissions. Even in those circumstances it would be madness for Britain or any other developed country to load themselves with taxes and other burdens because quite clearly the five sixths of the world’s population which does not live in the First World is going to carry on industrialising without regard to what the First World does. China is on course to become the largest carbon dioxide emitter by 2010 , overtaking the USA. Previous “expert” estimates which said this would not happen until 2020:

“China, one of the fastest growing economies of the world is all set to overtake U.S as the leading air polluter by as early as 2010; a whole decade faster than the previous estimates of 2020.

“The International Energy Agency has concluded this based on extensive data studies, changing climatic conditions in the region etc. On the other hand the United Nations is holding a conference in Nairobi to find solutions to global warming and cutting the emission of greenhouse gases.”  (http://www.themoneytimes.com/articles/20061107/china_set_to_become_biggest_polluter_by_decade_end-id-102060.html).

China will be in this position because she is quite naturally seeking her national advantage by using a resource which she has in abundance – coal – to fuel the energy need of her rapidly expanding economy. Nor does she show any sign of slowing down:

“A blueprint to save the world from the worst effects of climate change, drawn up at UN talks in Bangkok, is under threat from China. Delegates said that Europe was insisting that the world should try to keep the global temperature rise to an average of no more than 2°C or risk “dangerous” consequences.

“But China wanted to retain the right to pump out greenhouse gases that would result in temperatures increasing by more than 2°C.

“ It was objecting to any wording that would mean it should impose a Cap on its emissions, slow its economic growth or spend large amounts on clean technologies in the future.

“China could overtake the United States as the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases by the end of this year, according to the International Energy Agency.” (Daily Telegraph 03/05/2007)

China’s “one-child” policy is also coming apart:

“China’s new rich are sparking a population crisis by disregarding the nation’s one-child rule. Under the controversial policy introduced in 1979, families face fines if they have two or more children. But rising incomes, especially in the affluent eastern and coastal regions, mean that more people can afford to pay to have as many offspring as they like.

“According to a recent survey by China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission, the number of wealthy people and celebrities deciding to have more than one child has increased rapidly, despite fines that can be as high as 200,000 Yuan (£13,000) for each extra child.

“Almost 10 per cent of high earners are now choosing to have three children because large families are associated with wealth, status and happiness in China. “ (Daily Telegraph 08/05/2007).

Of course, vast and rapidly growing as she is, China is simply part of a larger picture of developing world pollution. Take the second largest country on Earth, India. Just as China is happy to build coal- fired power stations with abandon, India is content to engage in a policy of small wood powered stations, a policy which not only introduces CO2 into the atmosphere but results in deforestation which reduces the natural capture of CO2.

India is changing its greenhouse emissions contribution very rapidly:

”Greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, contribute to global warming and climate change. According to the US-based ‘think tank’ the World Resources Institute, India was responsible for over four per cent of total emissions in 2000 — making the country the sixth largest emitter in the world. Emissions are set to rise further still over the next 20 years as the Indian economy rapidly develops. Both the International Energy Agency and the government of the United States’ Energy Information Administration predict over 90 per cent growth in carbon dioxide emissions alone by 2025….

“India’s coal consumption has increased from 110 million tonnes in 1980 to more than 350 million tones in 2000, representing an annual growth rate of almost 6 per cent. Natural gas consumption has grown similarly, at 5.6 per cent a year, to 75 million cubic metres in 2000. But petroleum consumption has grown fastest since the 1980s, at an annual rate of 14 per cent, to over 350 million tonnes in 2000….

”India emitted 16 million tonnes of methane in 1990, and 24 million tonnes in 2000 — a little under 35 per cent of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. [4] The agricultural sector dominates (see Figure 2), contributing about 64 per cent. Within this sector, the largest contributions come from livestock, which produce methane in their digestive tracts, and rice crops, which emit approximately four terragrams of methane per hectare as organic matter decomposes in flooded fields. …

”India’s greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, making up 4.47 per cent of the global total in 2000. This places India in the top ten emitters of the world. The United States leads the way, producing five times more emissions than India, at almost 16 per cent of the world total. China is the largest developing country emitter, accounting for nearly 12 per cent of global emissions “. 31 August 2006 Source: SciDev.Net (http://www.scidev.net/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=printarticle&itemid=3122&language=1).

The hopelessness of the liberal internationalist’s belief that if the “West sets an example” to the developing world is clear to see. Even if the developing world population was stabilised immediately and they restricted their emissions growth to half of the average of the first world at present, that would increase emissions by several times what they are currently. If the first world ceased to emit anything at all, the increase in the rest of the world’s emissions, through development and an expanding population, would still push the emissions level way beyond what we have now and what climate scientists consider safe.

The sane response for the first world is to accept that even if Man is creating global warming, the best that can be done is to guard against its effects by doing what it has always done, namely, use its scientific and technological skills to combat adverse effects. If Dutch engineers could reclaim much of the land which now constitutes the Netherlands in the 17 century it really should not be the wit of 21st century man to do the same.

Green laws are only for “the little people”

Although they are forever berating their populations about global warming, Western political elites subscribe to policies which positively thwart their ostensible aims. They do this for reasons of political ideology, fear of political repercussions if they follow the logic of their ideas and personal selfishness.

Their greatest hypocrisy is to sign up to the free trade, free movement of peoples agenda. The consequence of this is twofold: much energy is expended transporting people and goods around the world and much of the energy use needed for manufacture is exported from the developed world , with its high standards of pollution control, to the developing world, most notably China, where such controls are practically next to non-existent and coal fired power stations are the primary means of producing the necessary energy. The globalisation of business must also have an impact on energy use because of the increased need to transmit data over long distances by electronic means. If Western governments were truly committed to the green agenda they would be advocating much more national self sufficiency.

Then there is the mania for economic growth. All first world governments seek continual growth. None says, hold on, if we want to “save the planet” we should not be seeking ever more growth, ever more expenditure of resources. That alone makes their supposed commitment to “green” solutions to “global warming” a nonsense. If first world economies continue to grow so must their emissions, at least for the foreseeable future, because there is no ready made solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to counter the growth.

Congruent with free trade and growth is the “throwaway society”. We increasingly produce and consume goods which are thrown away because they are not worth repairing because of the cost, because they rapidly become obsolescent or which are b poorly made but so cheap that the owner is content to use them for a short period before purchasing something else. How can that be squared with the idea that greenhouse emissions must be radically reduced not in twenty years or even ten years, but right now? The answer of course is that it cannot be squared.

The general approach of Western governments is not to honestly tackle the problem they perceive to exist but to eat away piecemeal at one or two visible aspects of the putative causes of the problem. For example, “green” taxes are put on 4x4s and congestion charging applied to cities, but such policies have little effect on the overall use of motor vehicles.

Even where something is indubitably not for necessary purposes nothing radical is done. Take the case of leisure air travel. Rhetoric spouts from politicians about carbon offsetting and taxes on aviation fuel but everyone knows nothing much will happen. There is of course a very practical reason for this, the better off are the prime users of air travel. The middle classes are generally the loudest proclaimers of the virtues of green values yet they are also the ones most committed to frequent flying as they go off on multiple foreign holidays a year and regularly visit their foreign second home, but no British Government would dream of overtly actually rationing such flights however much they might talk about it. The most they will do is put on an aviation tax, which of course penalises the poor.

The selfishness of the better off is a general problem for greens, because on average the richer the person the more energy the person will consume. An hilarious example of this came earlier in the year when the “Unjolly Green Giant” Al Gore was exposed as a man whose private residence consumed more than 20 times as much electricity as the average American home in 2006:

“The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year. “  (http://www.economist.com/debate/freeexchange/2007/02/the_oscar_win_for_al.cfm)

Or take the case of the Prince Charles’ second wife who recently unconscionably embarrassed the religiously green Prince:

“The Duchess of Cornwall has flown out for a cruise, leaving Prince Charles behind and his aides counting the cost of her gigantic carbon footprint.

“ She took a private plane laid on by her holiday host, the billionaire Dr Spiros Latsis, to join girlfriends for her annual jaunt around the Greek islands on the Latsis yacht.” (Daily Telegraph16/05/2007)

The rich and powerful do not think that the green rules apply to them. They are for “the little people” ,as the American millionairess Leona Helmsley memorably said about taxes.

Why are Western political elites so keen on seeming green? The answer lies in the type of personality which is attracted to politics. Politicians are generally people who wish to control the lives of others. In addition, even if they are not formally religious they tend to have the religious temperament, that is, they have an instinctive desire to believe in something and to force that belief on others. The green ideology in general and global warming in particular provide an outlet for those religious impulses.

The combination of the desire to control and the religious impulse fit neatly together, because as every “religious” believer knows, their creed cannot stand up to rational questioning. Consequently, the natural tendency of all believers, religious and secular, is to quash dissent. When they have power they invariably do so. Hence, the abuse and censorship which currently is taking place of those who do not buy into the green religion.

The other things which the green religion does is allow the political elites to constantly interfere in the lives of the masses and to manipulate public debate to keep the general public confused and afraid and thus more malleable. Hence, we have the petty authoritarianism of ever more draconian domestic waste obligations with householders being turned into criminals for not sorting their waste “correctly” and motorists being constantly berated for using their cars and threatened with ever higher motoring costs through policies such as road charging.

The green agenda is also being cynically exploited by stories such as the one below which tap a true and real fear of our age, mass immigration:

“Climate change will take the number of refugees worldwide to a billion by 2050, according to a report. Global warming and its consequences will exacerbate a global crisis In which 155 million people have been displaced by wars, natural disasters and development projects, the study by Christian Aid warns.  (Daily Telegraph 14/05/2007)

The green message is implicit but clear: obey us or you will be swamped with immigrants.

An example of a green propaganda tool  

Generally, Western elites, both politicians and the broader elite, are happy to allow the new green religion to go unchallenged. To illustrate the absurdities which are treated as fact I will examine one prime example of this unquestioning attitude.

“Taking the past year as a whole, it has also been the hottest 12-month period since 1659. Daily telegraph 28/04/2007

The year 1659 appears with remarkable frequency in the media in connection with the English climate, often in the form “since records began in 1659”. It is a statement rarely if every questioned by anyone with access to the mainstream media.

Just pause and think about that claim. Does it seem probable that official weather records have been meticulously kept for three and a half centuries, kept before the scientific and industrial revolutions, kept before the English or British state became a bureaucratic monster? The answer of course is that it is extremely improbable and did not happen. What did happen in the third quarter of the last century is that a British meteorologist by the name of Gordon Manley attempted to produce an historical series for temperature in England which he eventually extended to 1659. His work over a quarter of a century is summarised in two papers published by the Royal Meteorological Society: The mean temperature of central England 1698-1952 (1953) and Central England temperatures – monthly means 1959-1973 (1974) The two papers can be found at http://www.rmets.org/publication/classics/cp1.phpOther academics have built on his work since.

Manley, like a good academic, was scrupulous in admitting the difficulties in constructing such an historical series: “Methods of approximation must be resorted to [when constructing any historical series], most notably in England where, despite our very long scientific tradition, almost all observation before 1841 was dependant on amateur effort so that widely scattered records of diverse length and accuracy provide endless problems… The English records offer a formidable problem”. The opening paragraph of his 1953 paper.

“Formidable problem” is understating matters. Even readings of temperature today using highly sophisticated equipment cause considerable dispute because where the measurement is taken is all important, for example, readings taken in or close to urban areas will produce a higher temperature than ones taken in areas with little or no human habitation. Trying to get a consistent environment to take temperature over a long period of time is obviously difficult and comparisons with the past questionable because we can never know what the conditions were exactly at any point in the past. Hence, even with the advent of official records early in Victoria’s reign it is not simply a question of comparing data from one time with another. For example, has can temperatures in London today be meaningfully compared with those of 150 years ago when there were no motorised vehicles and coal was the main energy source?

Once Manley enters the period before the official records (pre 1841) his caveats become ever more severe, whether it be the paucity of the data, breaks in the data, the widely different means used to collect data, the absence of any information about how data was collected and even the switch between the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1752 which means every record prior to the change has to be recalibrated to the Gregorian.

Manley’s research and analysis was honest but the most rational thing to conclude from it is that it proved no meaningful historical temperature series for England could be constructed over the period. Yet his research is trotted out as having the status of certain fact by the mainstream media, politicians and, to their shame, often by scientists when they enter the realm of public debate.

Conclusion

The only sane conclusion to draw from the way the world is developing is that nothing is going to prevent a massive increase in greenhouse gases as the developing world industrialises. That being so, the rational response of Western politicians would be to stop burdening their own countries with expensive green laws and concentrate instead on dealing with the effects of global warming if they materialise. That should not be impossible because any change will be gradual and our technological ability, already very substantial, will increase mightily in the next century or so.

Western elites must shift their mentality from that of liberal internationalism to concern for their own countries and people rather than the third world. Ultimately, it is for every nation to look after its own people and territory. Western politicians should stop kowtowing to their liberal guilt and start pointing out the facts of life to the developing world.

These facts are, that the pollution from the developing world is on schedule to utterly dwarf the pollution of the first world; that the developing world must take responsibility for their population growth; that the developing nations are responsible for the pollution they create and its effects on their own people; that the first world cannot be a milch cow for the rest of the world any longer and should not be expected to pay for any ill-effects of industrialisation created by the developing world.

Most importantly, Western elites need to stop peddling the line that the fact that the first world is industrialised is a justification for the rest of the world to industrialise to the same degree without regard to the consequences. That is akin to arguing that because ten people are on a life raft, the 100 in the water have the right to climb on as well regardless of whether it sinks the life raft.

The existing population disparity between the first world and the rest of the world places the question of development in a different moral context. Nor is this simply a case of industrialisation. The likely population expansion alone creates a great deal more pollution, whether it be greenhouse gases, deforestation, pressure on water resources or mass migration. That is the responsibility of the developing nations. If they cannot or will not restrict their population growth, they must take the consequences. The first world must look to its own interests and safety.

Strangling Freedom

Over the past sixty  life in Britain has become so hemmed about with laws and regulations that the individual is increasingly at risk of committing a crime without even knowing it.  Britons are also subjected to unremitting political propaganda in the politically correct interest by politicians, the mainstream media, public servants, teachers and the major corporations, be they public bodies, non-profit making or private enterprise.

Such intrusion into the lives of Britons is unprecedented.  Consider this list of the things that sixty  years ago you could legally  and without great bureaucratic  fuss  experience or do ; things  which are now impossible because of new laws or changed circumstances :

Say and write whatever you wanted within the limits of libel, slander and obscenity

Employ whoever you wanted to employ

Rent or sell your property to whoever you wanted

Put a property on the market without the need for an Energy Certificate

Buy a property if you were earning the average male wage

Be free of elite haranguing about being green and man-made global warming

Live without the need to sort rubbish into different “green”  defined  bins

Associate with whoever you wanted without fear of being called “racist”

Be free of elite haranguing about being “racist, homophobic or sexist”

Live almost anywhere in Britain without immigrant ghettos impinging on your life

Live without laws such as the Race Relations Act which privilege minorities

Drive without an MOT hanging over you

Drive without being faced with a breathalyser test

Drive without being expected to “belt up” or have a children’s seat if carrying children

Park a car without having to use a parking meter or being at risk of being clamped or given a penalty notice

Take a one part driving test without the need for a separate theory exam

Ride a motorbike without a helmet

Smoke where you wanted to

Sell and buy vitamins and herbal remedies at will

Buy any non-prescription medicine without restriction, e.g., aspirin

Own a gun

Carry a knife without it being treated as an offensive weapon

Go bird nesting

Take  a wild plant

Take most wild animals either year-round or in season

Kill vermin

Purchase exotic animals like tortoises and parrots

Use  drugs which are now illegal, legally

Have  a reasonable expectation of a secure job regardless of class or education

Know that all your laws were made in your own Parliament

Have a jury trial for any offence carrying a penalty greater than six months

Exercise a right to silence when cautioned by the police without incurring disadvantage if brought to trial

Know that you were free from arbitrary stop and searches

Live without being subject to administrative justice such as police cautions and on-the-spot-fines

Live without state surveillance through the widespread use of CCTV cameras

Engage in voluntary work or paid work in professions such as teaching without being subject to a police check

Live without the risk of being  held for 14 days without charge

Live without the threat of an ASBO which is a civil court order, the breaking of which results in criminal penalties

Be able to raise a family on a single wage

Live without the fear that social workers would   interfere with your family for anything short of serious criminal behaviour

Exercise reasonable discipline over your children

Allow children to go to school on their own, play without knowing exactly where they were and once they were of a reasonable age, say ten,  stay in the family home without adult supervision for a reasonable period without risk of being accused of child neglect.

As a  man, assist a  strange child in distress or stop a child not your own from misbehaving without fear of being called a  paedophile  or of running the risk of being charged with assault

Bank without any fear that the bank was legally obliged to inform the state about transactions over a certain amount

Defend yourself against an intruder in your own home without  risk of a criminal charge

Go to a school in which children behaved and were taught at least the three Rs

Run a business without being besieged with health and safety requirements

I dare say I have missed other freedoms which no longer exist, but that is a formidable enough list.  The important lesson  from it is that Britain existed perfectly happily without  these now  supposedly essential social constraints.  The reality is that the  majority have been introduced not from any need but because of ideological commitment or entanglement in Treaties most particularly those tying Britain to the EU.  Others, such as the absurd price of housing and the inability to raise a family on a single wage are indirectly due to the ideological commitment of governments since the 1979.

The accretion of laws eroding our freedom, both  petty and great, will continue unless political action is taken because there will always be politicians, mediafolk and interest groups with axes to grind which result in more and more laws designed to deal with a specific alleged ill.

The Quarterly Review Vol 4 No 4 (Winter 2010) is out

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Quarterly Review Vol 4 No 4 (Winter 2010) 

CONTENTS 

The end of the world (economy)? (editorial) Derek Turner (PDF 
available below) 
The rise of anti-Western Christianity 
Matthew A. Roberts on Third World Christianity (PDF available below) 

Too many people – the world’s worst enemy Robert Henderson on 
overpopulation 
The lure of false enlightenment Ezra Mishan on PC ‘logic’ 
The Amazons – source of sex equality? 
Kenneth Royce Moore on sex roles in ancient Greece (PDF available 
below) 
Banking on Germany 
Frank Ellis on Deutschland schafft sich ab by Thilo Sarrazin 
Lost in translation – the legacy of Edmund Burke 
Paul Gottfried on Edmund Burke by Dennis O’Keeffe 

Anti-commonsense conservatism 
Edward Dutton on 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read by Benjamin 
Wiker 

Futurology imperfect 
Derek Turner on Archeofuturism by Guillame Faye 

Cross of iron 
Leslie Jones on The Aryan Jesus by Susannah Heschel 

The last word in Holocaust scholarship 
Mark G. Brennan on Histories of the Holocaust by Dan Stone 

Ride of the Wagner debunkers 
Stoddard Martin on Cosima Wagner – The Lady of Bayreuth by Oliver 
Hilmes 

Taki’s Universe Taki on the new rich 

Assange is us Ilana Mercer on Wikileaks 

Conserve with alcohol Bill Hartley on binge-drinking in Wakefield 

The Mercenary Peter Stark (poem) 

Northwards J. K. Murphy (poem) 

  Sample article 

Too many people – the world’s worst enemy 

ROBERT HENDERSON says Third World overpopulation and industrialization 
are the real threats to the global environment 

This is an article about climate change with a difference. It does not 
deal with whether man-made global warming is occurring, for 
circumstances render that question redundant. Global greenhouse gas 
emissions will inexorably rise far above their current levels thanks 
to the industrialisation of the developing world and the still rapidly 
increasing population of the Earth. 

This article is about is the futility of the industrialised world 
imposing limits on its greenhouse gas emissions when it is clear that 
the developing countries continue incontinently to increase their 
emissions. I shall also cast a jaundiced eye over at the reliability 
of greenhouse gas emission estimates from the developing world. 

Our overcrowded planet 
A hulking elephant sits ignored in the green crusaders’ room. Amidst 
all the angst about man-made greenhouse gases, the greatest and most 
obvious cause of increases is ignored by mainstream politicians – the 
already great and rapidly rising population of the world and the rapid 
spread of industrialisation to major parts of what until recently was 
the Third World . 
The world population is projected to reach 7 billion in 2011. 
Extrapolations to 2050 go as high as 9.5 billion (1). At a generous 
estimate, a billion live in the developed world in 2010. If the 9.5 
billion projection for 2050 comes true, the disproportion between what 
are now the developed countries and the developing countries now will 
have become even more skewed in favour of the developing world, 
because the populations of underdeveloped countries have startlingly 
younger populations than those of the developed world, viz: 

“One of every six people on earth is an adolescent. In the developing 
world, more than 40 percent of the population is under age 20. The 
decisions these young people make will shape our world and the 
prospects of future generations.” (2) 

The US Bureau of Census projections for the populations of individual 
countries for 2050 show only one country (the United States) from the 
currently developed world in the largest twenty countries by 
population in 2050, with the first European country (Germany) coming 
in at number 22 (3). 

If the swelling world population was overwhelmingly due to increases 
in the still very white First World , you may be sure that we would be 
daily berated for our selfish breeding. We would be told that any 
increase in our population was at the expense of the Third World , 
that the production of every extra Western mouth to feed, house, 
clothe and supply with energy was absolutely unconscionable. Western 
governments would be signing up to programmes of ever more punitive 
reductions in their countries’ greenhouse emissions and some of the 
bolder would be advocating the rationing of children. 

But the overwhelming majority of people living today do not live in 
the developed world and the projected future expansion of the world’s 
population is due almost entirely to increases in the developing 
world, the developed world having at best stabilised their native 
populations and at worst actually set themselves on the path of 
decline through a mixture of contraception and too readily available 
abortion (4). Such population increases in the developed world as 
occur have been primarily due for several decades to immigration from 
the Third World and any increases in the next half century in the 
present developed world will probably come from the same source. 

The subject of a rising world population and its ever growing effect 
on greenhouse gas emissions goes largely unmentioned by politicians 
because it is beyond the Pale for the liberal internationalist elites 
who currently control the developed world to suggest that the 
developing world either restrain its breeding or its economic 
development and it is not in the interests of the developing world to 
raise it. This conspiracy of silence renders the debate about man-made 
global warming meaningless because the gross population imbalance 
between the developed and developing world obliterates any chance of 
reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. 

Let us suppose for the sake of argument that global warming is 
occurring largely or wholly because of man-made emissions. Even in 
those circumstances it would be madness for Britain or any other 
developed country to load themselves with taxes and other burdens, 
because quite clearly the five sixths of the world’s population which 
does not live in the developed world is going to carry on 
industrialising without regard to what the developed world is doing. 
China is already the largest carbon dioxide emitter and has reached 
that point much more rapidly than anticipated: 

“ China , one of the fastest growing economies of the world is all set 
to overtake U.S as the leading air polluter by as early as 2010; a 
whole decade faster than the previous estimates of 2020.” (5) 

Of course, vast and rapidly growing as she is, China is simply part of 
a larger picture of the developing world’s greenhouse gas output. Take 
the second largest country on Earth , India . Just as China is happy 
to build old-fashioned coal-fired power stations with abandon (one a 
week, if media reports are to be believed), India is content to engage 
in a policy of small wood-powered stations, a policy which not only 
introduces CO2 into the atmosphere but results in deforestation which 
reduces the natural capture of CO2. 

India is changing its greenhouse emissions contribution very rapidly: 

“Greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous 
oxide, contribute to global warming and climate change. According to 
the US-based ‘think tank’ the World Resources Institute, India was 
responsible for over four per cent of total emissions in 2000 – making 
the country the sixth largest emitter in the world. Emissions are set 
to rise further still over the next 20 years as the Indian economy 
rapidly develops. Both the International Energy Agency and the 
government of the United States ’ Energy Information Administration 
predict over 90 per cent growth in carbon dioxide emissions alone by 
2025…. 

“ India ’s coal consumption has increased from 110 million tonnes in 
1980 to more than 350 million tonnes in 2000, representing an annual 
growth rate of almost 6 per cent. Natural gas consumption has grown 
similarly, at 5.6 per cent a year, to 75 million cubic metres in 
2000. 

“But petroleum consumption has grown fastest since the 1980s, at an 
annual rate of 14 per cent, to over 350 million tonnes in 2000…. 

“ India emitted 16 million tonnes of methane in 1990, and 24 million 
tonnes in 2000 — a little under 35 per cent of the country’s overall 
greenhouse gas emissions.” (6) 

The hopelessness of the liberal internationalist’s belief that the 
West sets an example to the developing world is clear. Even if the 
developing world population was stabilised immediately and they 
restricted their emissions growth to half of the average of the 
developed world (roughly 13 tonnes per capita, although which 
countries are included in the developed world is debatable), something 
wildly improbable, that would increase global emissions by several 
times the current levels. If the developed world ceased to emit 
anything at all, the increase in the rest of the world’s emissions, 
through development and expanding population, would still push the 
emissions level way beyond today’s levels and what climate scientists 
who support the idea of man-made global warming consider to be safe. 
This can be seen from the current differences in per capita CO2 
emissions between developed and developing countries: 

United States               19.10 tonnes 

United Kingdom            8.60 tonnes 

China                             4.57 tonnes 

India                              1.18 tonnes (7) 

As will be seen shortly, there are problems with the way that CO2 
statistics are collected and the treatment of greenhouse gases other 
than CO2. But regardless of their veracity, the statistics have great 
importance because they are used by supporters of man-made global 
warming to justify the differential treatment of emissions between the 
developed and developing world. If the advocates of global warming 
honestly believe the statistics which support their case then they can 
draw only one rational conclusion: if greenhouse gas emissions are to 
be kept to the levels they advocate, the developing world must stop 
industrializing. 

Calculating emissions 
How is that the developed world, with only one billion of population 
at most living in countries which monitor and control their emissions 
ever more rigorously, is judged to be so much more at fault for 
emissions than the six billion who live in countries where most energy 
is generated either by the direct burning of fossil fuels or through 
power stations, mainly coal-fired, which pump pollution into the air 
with poor filtration and who are responsible for far more agricultural 
generated greenhouse gas emissions than the developed world? 
The answer lies in the availability of statistics and the convenience 
of scientists. The UN Environment Programme website gives the game 
away: 

“Central to any study of climate change is the development of an 
emissions inventory that identifies and quantifies a country’s primary 
anthropogenic sources and sinks of greenhouse gas. Emissions are not 
usually monitored directly, but are generally estimated using models. 
Some emissions can be calculated with only limited accuracy. Emissions 
from energy and industrial processes are the most reliable (using 
energy consumption statistics and industrial point sources). Some 
agricultural emissions, such as methane and nitrous oxide carry major 
uncertainties because they are generated through biological processes 
that can be quite variable.” (8) 

In other words, scientists rely on models primarily based on the sort 
of statistics which the developed world produces (and the developing 
world does not) while ignoring at worst and grossly under-estimating 
at best emissions which are not readily calculated or available. Take 
the cases of methane and nitrous oxide, the most plentiful greenhouse 
gases after water vapour and carbon dioxide: 

“The primary sources for the additional methane added to the 
atmosphere (in order of importance) are rice cultivation; domestic 
grazing animals; termites; landfills; coal mining; and, oil and gas 
extraction…an accurate estimate of how much methane is being produced 
from rice paddies has been difficult to ascertain. More than 60% of 
all rice paddies are found in India and China where scientific data 
concerning emission rates are unavailable. Nevertheless, scientists 
believe that the contribution of rice paddies is large because this 
form of crop production has more than doubled since 1950. Grazing 
animals release methane to the environment as a result of herbaceous 
digestion. Some researchers believe the addition of methane from this 
source has more than quadrupled over the last century. Termites also 
release methane through similar processes. Land-use change in the 
tropics, due to deforestation, ranching, and farming, may be causing 
termite numbers to expand…Methane is also released from landfills, 
coal mines, and gas and oil drilling.” (9) 

There is an important point on methane from domesticated animals, 
important because it is another string to the bow of those who wish to 
demonise the developed world as arch-polluters because the diet of the 
developed world is much more dependent on meat than that of the 
developing world. The implication is that fewer domesticated 
herbivores would equal less methane. This makes the unwarranted 
assumption that the land freed by having fewer domesticated grazing 
animals would not be turned over to methane-producing agriculture such 
as paddy fields or be left to Nature to populate it with large wild 
herbivores or to turn it into methane-producing marshland. 
As for nitrous oxide: 

“Sources for the increase of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere include: 
land-use conversion; fossil fuel combustion; biomass burning; and soil 
fertilization. Most of the nitrous oxide added to the atmosphere each 
year comes from deforestation and the conversion of forest, savannah 
and grassland ecosystems into agricultural fields and rangeland…The 
use of nitrate and ammonium fertilizers to enhance plant growth is 
another source of nitrous oxide. How much is released from this 
process has been difficult to quantify. Estimates suggest that the 
contribution from this source represents from 50 % to 0.2 % of nitrous 
oxide added to the atmosphere annually.” (10) 

As with methane, the major emitters of nitrous oxide seem to come from 
the developing not the developed world. 
It is also important to understand that the quantity of the various 
gases in the atmosphere is not a simple guide to their effectiveness 
as greenhouse gases. Methane and nitrous oxide are thought to be much 
more effective than carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere. 
According to the campaigning group Envocare, the global warming 
potential (GWP) of methane is 21 times that of carbon dioxide, and 
nitrous oxide 310 times. (11) 

Where responsibility really lies 

The only sensible conclusion to draw from the foregoing is that 
nothing is going to prevent a massive increase in greenhouse gases as 
the developing world industrialises. This being so, the rational 
response of Western politicians would be to stop burdening their own 
countries with expensive green laws and concentrate instead on dealing 
with the effects of global warming, if they materialize, insofar as 
they affect their own countries. This should not be impossible because 
any changes will be gradual and our technological ability, already 
very substantial, will increase greatly over the next century. 

If man-made global warming really is occurring, the two main arguments 
used to justify the call for swingeing cuts in the CO2 emissions of 
the developed world whilst developing countries have no such 
restrictions placed upon them make no sense. 

The first argument is that the developing world has the right to 
industrialize in a polluting way because that is how the developed 
world industrialized. The second argument is that greenhouse gas 
levels should be calculated on a per capita basis rather than the 
total emissions from each country, that is, each person living should 
have the right to generate the same greenhouse gas emission. Both 
arguments are clearly absurd if man-made global warming is true, for 
what is important is the global total of greenhouse gas emissions not 
whether the developed world or whether there can be worldwide equity 
in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Western politicians should start pointing out certain facts to the 
developing world. These are that greenhouse gas emissions from the 
developing world are on schedule to dwarf those of the developed world 
– that developing countries must take responsibility for their 
population growth, the pollution they create and its effects on their 
own people – and that the developed world should no longer be expected 
to pay for the ill-effects of industrialization created by the 
developing countries. 
Overpopulation, headlong industrialization, and the resultant 
greenhouse gases, deforestation, pressure on resources and mass 
migration are all the responsibility of the developing nations. If 
they cannot or will not reform their practices, it is they rather than 
we who should take the consequences. 

ROBERT HENDERSON is a freelance writer in London who blogs at 
livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com 

NOTES 

1. See GeoHive – http://www.xist.org 

2. See Oxford University ’s Department of International Development 
website at www.forcedmigration.org 

3. GeoHive, ibid. 

4. Britain does not have a fertility crisis but an abortion crisis, 
with 200,000 abortions being carried out a year. If those babies were 
born, Britain ’s birth rate would be above replacement level 

5. themoneytimes.com, 11 July 2006 

6. SciDev.Net, 31 August 2006 

7. www.carbonplanet.com/country_emissions 

8. www.maps.grida.no, National carbon emissions per capita, 2002 

9. www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7a.html 

10. www.physicalgeography.net, ibid. 

11. http://www.envocare.co.uk/aboutus.htm

London Zoo and the global warming religion

This  precious piece of warmist propaganda is plastered all over London  Zoo. (I reproduce  the gem as it appears in the Zoo, the illiteracies and capitalisation being their own).

“ 350 – THE MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER IN THE WORLD 

350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is the safe upper limit for almost all life

We are currently at 387 ppm and rising by 2ppm per year, higher than at any time in human history

SO WHAT?

The wild relatives of the amazing animals you see in the zoo today are already  at risk from:

Melting poles and glaciers

Rising sea levels

Spread of disease carrying mosquitoes to move, warmer places

Increased drought

Warming and acidifying oceans carbonising coral reefs and other species to extinction

In fact, all life, including human life is at peril

The World Association of Zoos and Aquaria supports the urgent call to stabilise atmospheric CO2 as far below 350 ppm as is possible

JOIN US

Visit http://www.waza.org and 350.0rg “

CO2  is currently “higher than at any time in human history, eh?  Well, maybe, but even that fact is far from certain.  Take this article in Nature in 2000:

‘Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years

Paul N. Pearson1 & Martin R. Palmer2

1.Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK

2.T. H. Huxley School, Imperial College, RSM Building, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BP, UK

“Knowledge of the evolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations throughout the Earth’s history is important for a reconstruction of the links between climate and radiative forcing of the Earth’s surface temperatures. Although atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in the early Cenozoic era (about 60 Myr ago) are widely believed to have been higher than at present, there is disagreement regarding the exact carbon dioxide levels, the timing of the decline and the mechanisms that are most important for the control of CO2 concentrations over geological timescales. Here we use the boron-isotope ratios of ancient planktonic foraminifer shells to estimate the pH of surface-layer sea water throughout the past 60 million years, which can be used to reconstruct atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We estimate CO2 concentrations of more than 2,000 p.p.m. for the late Palaeocene and earliest Eocene periods (from about 60 to 52 Myr ago), and find an erratic decline between 55 and 40 Myr ago that may have been caused by reduced CO2 outgassing from ocean ridges, volcanoes and metamorphic belts and increased carbon burial. Since the early Miocene (about 24 Myr ago), atmospheric CO2 concentrations appear to have remained below 500 p.p.m. and were more stable than before, although transient intervals of CO2 reduction may have occurred during periods of rapid cooling approximately 15 and 3 Myr ago.”’ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v406/n6797/abs/406695a0.html

That is saying CO2 levels are thought to have remained below 500 ppm for 24 million years or so. That means fully fledged  mammals have survived happily enough at higher concentrations than  350 ppm and in the not too distant geological past before that date,  proto mammals and of course organic life in general managed to get along with a massive 2,000 ppm of CO2.

The other thing to note is the failure to make any mention of the other main greenhouse gases water vapour (the most prevalent greenhouse gas)  and methane. This is a common  turning of a blind eye by the warmist religionists. In the case of water vapour,  they do this  primarily  because  little  can be done about reducing it,   and in as much as man is responsible for producing water vapour,  a great deal of this results from the creation of  paddyfields. As this is  something which is done overwhelmingly by developing nations ,   political correctness kicks in to produce silence amongst Western elites. It is also very inconvenient for the man-made warming argument  to have to admit that the most prevalent  greenhouse gas is effectively beyond human control.   As for methane, that also has a politically correct dimension because  paddyfields produce a large amount of the gas.

I particularly enjoyed  the plea to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere “as far below 350 ppm as is possible. “ Reduce it very  substantially and,  others things being equal,  we would be heading for an ice age or even an earth which became  a permanent snowball.  The plea  also ignores the fact that CO2 is plant food.  Lower CO2 levels means less vegetation which means fewer  animals. Atmospheric greenhouse gases  including CO2 are necessary to maintain the planet in a state in which humans can live.

What this crass piece of warmist propaganda shows is how closed are the minds of the warmists and how  determined they are to proselytise their creed without any regard for logic or  scientific  research   which undermines their case . (It is important to understand that  the place is not just a Zoo,  but also one of Britain’s leading research institutions in the field of the life sciences, this being a consequence of its foundation by the Royal Zoological Society. Hence, they have no excuse for not understanding or being aware of the science).

“…since records began in 1659″

The year 1659 appears with remarkable frequency in the media in 
connection with the English climate, often in the form “since records 
began in 1659”. It is a statement  rarely if every questioned by 
anyone with access to the mainstream media. 

Just pause and think about that claim. Does it seem probable that 
official weather records have been meticulously kept for three and a 
half centuries, kept before the scientific and industrial revolutions, 
kept before the English or British state became a bureaucratic monster? 
The answer of course is that it is extremely improbable  and did not 
happen. What did happen in the third quarter of the last century is that 
a British meteorologist by the name of  Gordon Manley attempted to 
produce an historical series  for temperature in England which he 
eventually extended to 1659. His work over a quarter of a century is 
summarised in two papers published by the Royal Meteorological Society: 
The mean temperature of central England 1698-1952 (1953) and Central 
England temperatures – monthly means 1959-1973 (1974) The two papers 
can be found at  http://www.rmets.org/publication/classics/cp1.php Other 
academics have built on his work since. 

Manley, like a good academic, was scrupulous in admitting the 
difficulties in constructing such an historical series: “Methods of 
approximation must be resorted to [when constructing any historical 
series],  most notably in England where, despite our very long 
scientific tradition, almost all observation before 1841  was dependant 
on amateur effort so that widely scattered records of diverse length and 
accuracy provide endless problems… The English records offer a 
formidable problem”. The opening paragraph of  his 1953 paper. 

“Formidable problem” is understating matters. Even readings of 
temperature today using highly sophisticated equipment  cause 
considerable dispute because where the measurement is taken is all 
important, for example,  readings taken in or close to urban  areas will 
produce a higher temperature than ones taken in areas with little or no 
human habitation. Trying to get a consistent environment to take 
temperature over a long period of time is obviously difficult and 
comparisons with the past questionable because we can never know what 
the conditions were exactly at any point in the past.  Hence, even with 
the advent of official records early in Victoria’s reign it is not 
simply a question of comparing data from one time with another. For 
example, has can temperatures in London today be meaningfully compared 
with those of 150 years ago when there were no motorised vehicles and 
coal was the main energy source? 

Once Manley enters the period before the official records (pre 1841) his 
caveats  become ever more severe, whether it be the paucity of the data, 
breaks in the data, the widely different means used to collect data, the 
absence of any information about how data was collected and even the 
switch between the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1752 which means 
every record prior to the change has to be recalibrated to the 
Gregorian. 

Manley’s research and analysis was honest but the most rational thing 
to conclude from it is that it proved no meaningful  historical 
temperature series  for England could be constructed over the period. 
Yet his research is trotted out as having the status of certain fact by 
the mainstream media, politicians and, to their shame, often  by 
scientists when they enter the realm of public debate.

If weather persists it becomes the climate

Letter published  in Sunday Telegraph 26 December 2010

  
Sir,
 
The advocates of man-made global warming meet any meteorological event such as the recent severe winters we have experienced   which does not fit into their ideology by chanting one of their favourite mantras ” weather should not be confused with climate”. The problem for warmists is that when weather lasts for years it becomes the climate.
 
Flows between decades of  warmer and colder climate in Britain are the norm. The decades leading up to the 1940s were unusually warm; those from the mid-1940s to the mid 1970s unusually cold. The odds are that we are now reverting to a colder period.
 
The warmists might care to ask themselves why the period 1945-1975 was unusually cold, when massive increases in man-made greenhouse gases took place during both that period and the warmer decades before 1945.  
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
Robert Henderson  

Man-made global warming is the 21st century phlogiston

In the 18th century a   theory arose to explain the process of oxidation (combustion and rusting). The theory involved a non-existent substance named  phlogiston (from the ancient  Greek for burning up. It was a theory which neatly accounted for oxidation processes such as combustion and rusting. Phlogiston was supposedly contained within every flammable substance and released when a substance was  burnt. This meant that the residue (the calx) of what was burnt should be lighter than the original substance. Inconveniently for the phlogistonists , experiments showed that, for example, a the calx of a metal such as  magnesium gained weight when burnt in the air. The most excitable  phlogistonists  in desperation then floated the idea that  phlogiston had a negative weight. Some of the less excitable suggested that phlogiston was lighter than air, which obfuscated matters until the measurement of the weight of gases as well as the remainders of a burnt substance became possible  through the use of hermetically sealed containers .  Eventually an end was brought to this nonsense by a combination of  Lavoisier’s  identification of  oxygen and its combinational  qualities and numerous experiments by antiphlogistonists  which  showed that results of any substance that  was combusted or corroded in air could only be explained by the phlogiston theory if phlogiston had a negative weight.  The discrediting of phlogiston theory took the better part of a century.

The behaviour  of the man-made global warmists is reminiscent of  the believers in phlogiston. Time and again they are confronted with facts which are as damaging to their  creed as the weight gain of combusted material was to phlogiston theory.  Just like the believers in phlogiston, they meet every  unwelcome fact with increasingly absurd adjustments to their  theory. It gets warmer; that proves man-mad global warming. It gets colder; that proves global warming .  Here’s my all-time favourite of such reasoning: 

Daily TELEGRAPH   1.5.08

Global warming may ‘stop’, scientists predict

By Charles Clover, Environment Editor

Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said.

Researchers studying long-term changes in sea temperatures said they now expect a “lull” for up to a decade while natural variations in climate  cancel out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas  emissions…..

… Noel Keenlyside of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Kiel, Germany, said: “The IPCC would predict a 0.3°C warming over the next  decade. Our prediction is that there will be no warming until 2015 but it  will pick up after that.”

If this was an idea believed only be a few harmless academics it would be of no account. As it is part of the politically correct political elites of  most of the developed world it is potent  danger as massive costs are piled on developed economies while the economies of the developing world carry on merrily without such costs.  It is a recipe to make the West dependent on the likes of China and India and to inflate the wealth and power of the developing world at the expense of the West.  As a matter of simple self-preservation, the West needs to rapidly change the mentality of its elites.

The age of stupid

 Film Review

 This is a film to make “An inconvenient truth”  (AIT) look like a model of

objective open-mindedness.

 Unlike AIT it does not engage in a bogus one-eyed scientific approach in  which any fact that contradicts the man-made global warming thesis is ignored and claims ranging from the highly contentious to the objectively false, eg, the “hockey stick” temperature graph, are presented as fact.  Instead it relies almost entirely on an appeal to emotion. Nowhere was there any questioning of man-made global warming, not even to examine the other side’s claims to dismiss them. Rather, it accepted man-made

global warming as an unquestionable fact, a supposed fact sanctified by the bogus claim that “99% of climate scientists support the view”.  (Note that it is not  98% or 96% but the propaganda figure of 99%). 

The film revolves around an ancient French mountain guide lamenting the shrinking of a favourite glacier over the past 50 years, a diatribe against oil companies in the Niger delta and a preternaturally wet English environmentalist called Piers and his disciple wife who first met at a party where they immediately spent absolutely hours talking about wind farms. (Note to party givers: don’t let this couple anywhere near your parties).

The one really enjoyable scene in the film involved Piers trying to get planning permission for a large windfarm in the home counties and losing the planning application by 10 votes to one. Cue much shaking of head and sighing  from Piers as he pondered the reckless folly of everyone who opposed the plan.

To add to the general green jollity , Pete Postlethwaite acts as a narrator from the year 2055 who is living in a man-made global warming ruined world. He spends his time looking  back at our own time and sententiously asking why nothing was done and adopting varying expressions denoting mystification at the sheer blindness of the mass of humanity who had refused to swallow the man-made global warming propaganda wholesale and had instead, horror of horror, carried on living their lives as normal.

 At the end of the film there is trotted out the green mantra that “Americans use 50 times the energy of those in Africa, Europeans 25 times the energy of those in Africa ” etc. These figures are meaningless because they are based industrial output and energy consumption. The only countries which have even halfway reliable approximations to such statistics are of course the advanced industrial economies in Europe, North America and Australasia plus  Japan. Figures from the rest of the world are either not available or cannot be treated seriously because they are produced by totalitarian regimes such as China. (Ask yourself who is likely to be causing more carbon dioxide to go into the atmosphere, those who use electricity which is produced in modern power stations either with  efficient filters  or in the form of non-emitting nuclear power and transport fitted with efficient filters or the individual living in the Third World who simple burn fossil fuels every day without any filtration and run ancient vehicles without filters or trains using coal).

 There is also the little matter of methane. This is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide because it remains in the atmosphere far longer. The UN website which deals with climate change admits that the estimates of greenhouse gas emissions considerably understate  the amount of methane produced, especially in rice producing countries – vast amounts of methane are produced in paddy fields. This of course, is an impossible question for the politically correct to address because rice production is overwhelmingly in the Third Word.

The elephant in the green room – population in the Third World  – went unaddressed. Whether or not those in the Third World do produce as much greenhouse gases as official estimates say, there is the stark fact that of an estimated world population of 6.5 billion, at the most generous estimate only a billion live in the First World. Thus even if the First World reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% – a most improbable thing – and the rest of the world increased their emissions to match those of this new  First World emission total – an even more improbable thing –   global emissions would increase from their present level.

 The film ended with a sinister  green utopian vision of everyone in the world having the same energy consumption by 2050 with – wait for it – a right to the same amount of energy.  

I saw the film at the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square and afterwards there was a Q and A with the director Lizzie Gillett. There were around 60 people in the audience.

 I asked the first question by describing  the mediaeval warm period – when Europe was several degrees warmer than it is now, so warm that Greenland was settled by Scandinavian farmers  who survived there  for centuries until the world cooled – and several other ups and down of climate in more modern times, including the fact that mean global temperature has stabilised since 1998.  I then asked in view of this variation, most of which could not even in theory  be blamed on human emissions,  why we should believe that man-made global warming existed? This was met by a hostile silence eventually broken by Gillett who announced that “I am not interested in getting into a debate”. Further prodding by me produced such gems from Gillett as “I don’t understand the science, but 99% of scientists says it exists and that is what I believe”and, in response to my suggestion that the film was crude propaganda a startling  “We need such propaganda”. She also made the revealing statement addressed to the audience generally that she was surprised by my intervention because during other Q and As after film showings “there has been very little climate-change denial”. The other interesting thing was the response of the audience. There was not  a single other person questioning man-made global warming but there were many standing up and becoming “born again” believers in man-made global warming in true revivalist meeting fashion. Quite a few hurled climate-change denier at me and some of the more seriously precious spoke about how my views were frightening and dangerous.

 Robert Henderson 21 4 2009

Reason is not the primary driver of Man

Man, at least in his modern secular First World form, has the illusion of free will. That is unsurprising because he is a highly intelligent and self-conscious entity with a discrete personality and an ego and it is natural for such a being to think that the choices they make are free choices insofar as they act without overt constraints from other people, their biology or brute circumstances. In fact, free will is an illusion not as a consequence of the constraints of human biology or the nature of the universe Man inhabits but as a consequence of the fact that the concept is a logical nonsense.

Imagine the most powerful entity which can exist: the omnipotent, omniscient god. Such a being can not have free will because it must have a discrete intelligence which is conscious of its existence, in short a conscious mind. Any such mind will require motivation otherwise it would never act, it must have desires, it must have what we would call a personality. Consequently, the omnipotent, omniscient god would be in the same general existential position as a man, that is, bound by its own mentality.

Of course Man is in vastly more constrained circumstances than the omnipotent, omniscient god. Human beings live within the general constraints that apply to every other organism. We copulate, eat, drink, and sleep, fight, respond to weariness perform our bodily functions in the same way that an animal does, without any great thought. We feel desire or necessity and act on impulse.

Within our bodies a great system of checks and balances – repair mechanisms and the automatic systems needed for an organism to function – continue without our conscious control or even our awareness of the functions being accomplished. Hormones and enzymes control not only essential functions but our emotions and desires. Physical illness or wellness determines how we behave.

What we experience in our minds is a very different thing from what actually comes through our senses. All we can perceive is what our biology and experiential “programming” allows us to perceive. We can only see or hear within certain wavelengths of light and sound. Our senses change in their efficacy throughout life. All external stimuli are filtered through our brains and are the brain’s best guess at what has been perceived, hence the ease with which we mistake things either through insufficient data (for example, something seen in shadow) or through the brain matching sense data with something we already know, for example, when we see a man’s face in a cloud.

Our mental world is subject to congenital differences which affect behaviour. These range from differences in mental capacity and special talents to brain defects and injuries. Someone born with Downs Syndrome, severe epilepsy or autism perceives the world very differently to someone born without such conditions. Their capacity for rational behaviour is much reduced because their level of understanding is reduced. The most severe example of innate disablement of the rational are those people born without the development of the frontal lobes, the acephaletic. These unfortunate individuals occasionally survive and behave in a manner which seems to be entirely without conscious reason.

We also know from much experience that injuries to the brain or the effects of disease or ageing can have the same effect as innate abnormalities. Those who suffer brain injuries sometimes develop behavioural traits which are completely different from what they had before. They may become more violent or more subdued, lose their initiative or develop new talents or inclinations such as artistic impulses. Frontal lobotomies subdue behaviour. Age leads to declines in rationality ranging from loss of short term memory to full blown senile dementia.

In our brains we store a myriad of memories which act as both primers for action and the means to take action. We see someone we do not like and respond with open hostility or caution. We meet a situation which appears to be dangerous because we have previously met it or a situation which resembles a danger we have imagined and feel fear and act accordingly. We see someone we love and act favourably towards them. Of course, our memories do much more than provide immediate or particular behavioural responses for they also shape our general character within the confines of the basic, genetically determined personality.

What constitutes a learned response? Not a simple thing to define. Keeping your hand away from fire after you have been burnt is obviously such. Going from A to B along a familiar route is another. Putting a cake in an oven at a particular heat for a particular time a third. But suppose I  master the philosophy of Kant. If I explain his philosophy without commentary to someone that might reasonably be described as a learned response in the sense that I am merely regurgitating what I have learnt. Yet it is also true that the act of comprehending Kant goes beyond mere memory and the effort of remembering what Kant’s philosophy is after it has first been learnt is a very different thing from recalling a piece of “inert data” such as the date of the Battle of Hastings.

Mental calculation is, of course, more than prolonged self-conscious intellectual consideration. It is what happens when someone calculates the distance to throw a ball or how to place pieces in a jigsaw or spontaneously comes up with a clever pun, as well as the sustained mental thought which led Newton and Einstein to develop their physics or Aristotle his logic.

Somewhere in between lies the great mass of considered utilitarian mental  calculation such as computer programming and applied mathematical  computation and the everyday  ability  to  see contradictions and connections  and to generally engage in  logical reasoning.

We function as organisms at various levels. We do some things without conscious thought: we breathe, produce hormones and enzymes, and circulate the blood, digest food and so on. Our biology produces basic states of mind such as hunger, fear and sexual desire over which we have little control although we are conscious of the states of mind. Then come conscious choices which are designed to give us pleasure or at least satisfaction; we decide on an activity which we know will produce pleasant sensations or avoid unpleasant ones. Finally, we have rational thought designed to solve particular problems.

Man, or at least Man in advanced modern societies, flatters himself that he is a rational being whose behaviour is the consequence of consideration. (Even without free will, a self-conscious being could still operate rationally within the confines of its existential circumstances). In fact, most human behaviour is not rational in the sense of being self-consciously decided after having weighed the pros and cons of what to do or of trusting what we perceive to be the rational decisions of others, whether by engaging in self-decided emulation or through the suggestion or order of another.

Most of what we do falls into three classes of behaviour: the repetition of rational behaviour which has previously proven successful, or at least not harmful, what our biology tells us to do, for example to drink, or as an unconsidered response which is a consequence of whatever constitutes an individual’s basic personality, for example, traits such as timidity, aggression, affection. Even when we self-consciously decide on future action, our decisions are mediated by our knowledge of what has happened before, our biology and our personality traits, both innate and developed.

Men are frequently faced with conscious decisions which they are unable to decide rationally because they lack the knowledge or intellect to do so. Sometimes they fail to make a decision because of fear. In all these circumstances the individual does one of three things: (1) he makes a decision simply to make a decision, (2) he follows the herd or (3) he allows himself to be manipulated by another individual.

Most of this (to various degrees) automated behaviour is at worst harmless and at best positively desirable – it would be an impossible world if we had to seriously consider every deliberate action before acting, not least because it would be utterly exhausting. But it can be damaging. Even when acting self consciously, humans are quite frequently in the grip of ideas which are in themselves objectively wrong or at least have no certain truth. Moreover, those afflicted with such ideas often know at some level their beliefs are suspect – the reason that believers in religions or secular ideologies are generally very keen on suppressing any questioning of their beliefs is because they know in their heart of hearts that they will not stand up to questioning. Yet men adhere to such ideas and act upon them  even though their reason tells them that they are questionable or even plain wrong because they are emotionally satisfying in themselves or they are group values from which the individual gets emotional satisfaction from sharing in the group experience.

Alternatively, group pressure may produce a state of mind whereby the individual does not actually believe something but is conditioned not to question it because at some level the mind has marked such questioning as dangerous or inappropriate. In our own time political correctness produces such feelings in many.

Where a set of ideas form an ideology the effect is particularly pernicious, both because of the multiplication of error and because the tendency to adopt a religious attitude towards the ideas is heightened, for to deny one part of the ideology is to question its general veracity. (By an ideology I mean a mental construct which consists of a menu of tenets which the adherent applies without regard to their utility or truth). The observance of the ideology becomes an end in itself. All ideologies are inadequate to a lesser or greater extent, because they are menus of ideas which are (1) incompatible and/or (2) based on premises which are objectively false or at least debatable.

An example of (1) is the attitude of libertarians to immigration. On the one hand they complain of the illiberal consequences of mass immigration – political correctness, laws which discriminate against the majority, restrictions on free speech and so on – on the other they advocate an  open border immigration policy. The two policies  are self-evidently incompatible.

An example of (2) is Marxism, whose claims of objective truth were routinely and consistently demolished by reality, the consequences of which were ever more fanciful revisions of Marxist theory to fit the evolving non-Marxist world.

 Sociological Constraints

Man is constrained by sociological laws of which he is only dimly aware. When a general election is held in Britain Members of Parliament are elected for one of 646 constituencies on the very simple basis of who gets the most votes in the constituency. There is no multiple preference voting, just a single vote for one candidate. As a platform for the study of human behaviour it is splendidly uncluttered.

Because people are voting for an individual it might be thought that the voting pattern throughout the country would vary tremendously because people would be voting on the record of the government and opposition in the previous four or five years, the parties’ stated policies if they form the next government, local interests, how the sitting MP has performed and the perceived quality of the other candidates in the constituency. In fact the voting pattern is always remarkably uniform throughout the country. If the swing from the Government is on average 5% throughout the country, there will be few if any constituencies which show a swing of less than 4% or more than 6%. This uniformity does not vary greatly with the size of turnout.

It is impossible to supply any plausible explanation for this behaviour based on the idea that Man is rational. One could see how a small population might be influenced by peer pressure and word of mouth but not a country of sixty million. Nor is it the consequence of modern mass media because the phenomenon predated television and the Internet. If I had to hazard an explanation it would be this: different personality types are distributed throughout populations in certain proportions as the consequence of natural selection working to ensure that human society functions. Each personality type will tend to behave in the same way. Hence, the aggregate societal effect in response to a particular stimulus will be relatively stable. When people vote in a General Election they produce similar voting effects because the personality types are distributed similarly throughout Britain and consequently people throughout the country respond to circumstances in a similar fashion. In other words, personality traits trump reason.

A less obvious example is the trade cycle. There is no certain explanation for why such a cycle should exist, but it is possible to provide plausible explanations for the ebb and flow of economic activity, for example, that there comes a point in the trade cycle whereby most individuals have purchased everything they want within the constraints of what they can afford and consumption lessens which in turn reduces economic activity which creates a further impetus to reduced consumption as people worry about the future. Equally, it is plausible that when the down side of the cycle has gone on for a while demand increases because goods need replacing and as consumption slowly grows confidence increases triggering further growth.

What is not so easy to provide is a plausible explanation of why the population acts uniformly enough to regularly create such a cycle. How could it be that the large majority of a population routinely respond in the same way? The answer again probably lies in a stable distribution of personality within a population.

What evidence is there for personality being so distributed throughout a population? Well, from our own everyday experience we all know that there is a range of personality types who are met in any reasonably large group, but quantifying such knowledge in an objective manner is to say the least problematical. Whether we have any “objective” statistical evidence at present largely depends how much credence is placed on psychometric tests which supposedly determine personality. Having seen them used to select people for employment I am sceptical of their predictive power, because all too often their assessment of personality fails to match the person‘s performance. More trustworthy although less focused is the information from psychological experiments. Many psychological experiments show personality differences obliquely, for example, the famous experiments of Abrahams in the 1950s on peer pressure and The Stamford prison experiment of the early 1970s. They showed recurrent patterns of obedience and disobedience and of a willingness to abuse and to accept or resist abuse.

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