Undercover sting exposes Tory crusade against clean energy


by Sunny Hundal    
8:32 am - November 14th 2012

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An undercover investigation by Greenpeace, published today in the Guardian too, has revealed that the man David Cameron personally appointed to be his campaign manager in the Corby by-election was secretly behind the campaign of a rival candidate who ran against the Conservatives.

Chris Heaton-Harris MP was recorded saying he encouraged the anti-wind farm candidate James Delinpole to join the election race against the Tories.

He added: “Please don’t tell anybody ever.”

Heaton-Harris is so opposed to clean energy he earlier organised a letter from 100 MPs opposing wind farms. The expose shows he is willing to betray his own party in order to push his extreme anti-environment agenda.

WATCH

The undercover investigation also separately recorded the new member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee – Peter Lilley MP (a climate change denier) – saying Chancellor George Osborne is trying to “get people into key positions who could get the government off the hook from (climate) commitments.”

Lilley tells the undercover reporter that a move could be made to render the ground-breaking Climate Change Act “advisory” rather than legally-binding. David Cameron was instrumental in passing the Act before the election.

These revelations come at a key time because the coalition’s energy bill is due before Parliament next month, and crunch decisions over energy policy are expected from David Cameron and Nick Clegg within days.

David Cameron must decide if he is backing clean energy and green growth or the extreme anti-environment wing of his party.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Yes, Sunny, this is truly shocking, and well worth discussing on a quiet news day.

Or perhaps, instead, we could talk about the appalling affront to the rule of law yesterday when the odious Margaret Moran was not required to answer the charges that she stole tens of thousands from taxpayers. Having been accused, she insisted on continuing to collect her salary as an MP until 2010 and hawked herself around various lobbyists.

But apparently, by the time she came to trial, being caught stealing had made her so depressed that she could not appear in court. She is now only able to walk her dog and watch TV and bursts into tears when anyone mentions her crimes. It is quite likely she will need to claim DLA for the rest of her life.

Why is she not in jail?

Discuss.

2. Chaise Guevara

Shorter version of pagar’s post:

“I don’t like this topic. It does not suit my agenda. Quick, everyone, look over there! The pope is riding a unicycle!”

3. gastro george

Ernest Saunders defence …

But the Tories attitude to green energy should come as no surprise – Cameron’s “green phase” was only ever a PR stunt. It would be no surprise if they went into the election on a white-van-man campaign of “cheap petrol/gas”.

Tories always lying. They tell 5 lies before breakfast. They lied about the NHS, they lie about the environment. They lie lie lie.

Cameron and his people like to compare him to Blair. They do this to make him sound moderate. But Blair ran away from his base. He loved kicking his base to placate Murdoch press. Cameron runs to his base, not away from them. Cameron is a British version of GW Bush.

Still, the gormless treacherous Lib Dems still prop up these criminals. Just so Nick Clegg can call himself Deputy Prime Minister. It is the nearest a lib Dem will come to be PM for another 100 years.

“I don’t like this topic. It does not suit my agenda. Quick, everyone, look over there! The pope is riding a unicycle!”

Wrong.

Shorter version.

“I’m bored with not being able to discuss interesting topical subjects (the BBC for example)because they don’t suit Sunny’s agenda. If Moran was a benefit cheat she would have got five years. Why didn’t she? Is it not a scandal?”

Pager. She did nothing different to most other scummy MPs. How many tories have gone to prison for their fraud? Duck ponds and moats? Tory expense scandals are a million times worse because they are always whining about people scrounging off the state.

They sit their salivating frothing at the mouth at so called scroungers, while they gorge themselves on £65000 tax paid for salaries. £100,000 expenses accounts, and gold plated pensions. They fuck off into the jungle to play games, living it up on the state hog. But they are worse than welfare recipients, because they are doing foreigners for private health companies, and energy companies.

Tory mps are an organised crime unit. Stealing everyday. But they talk with posh accents and went to Eaton so people give them a free pass. If you want to steal become a tory MP.

Ernest Saunders defence …

No. Saunders was convicted and went to prison.

She did nothing different to most other scummy MPs. How many tories have gone to prison for their fraud?

I don’t want Tories or politicians to go to prison.

I want criminals to go to prison and not to be let off because they’re Tories or politicians.

Pager. Fuck off to tory home or Guido shit hole. They will indulge your pea brain brownshirt fantasies all day long. This is Sunny’s site, and he can choose the topics to write about .

And if you don’t like it, fuck off, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. You won’t be missed. Seen one scabby tory troll seen them all.

“…so opposed to clean energy he earlier organised a letter from 100 MPs opposing wind farms.”

Not sure that logic holds up, it’s quite possible to favour clean energy and at the same time consider wind farms to be shit on a stick.

“She did nothing different to most other scummy MPs”

Well, if you have evidence of most other scummy MPs systematically falsifying invoices you really ought to get it to the police, pronto.

11. Chaise Guevara

@ 5 pagar

“Wrong.

Shorter version.

“I’m bored with not being able to discuss interesting topical subjects (the BBC for example)because they don’t suit Sunny’s agenda. If Moran was a benefit cheat she would have got five years. Why didn’t she? Is it not a scandal?””

Do you suffer from some bizarre medical condition where you can only discuss things with written permission from Sunny? This is whataboutery, plain and simple. People in the envirosceptic camp have done something that looks dodgy; you are a member of said camp; you can’t face the concept of someone who agrees with you being flawed, so you desperately throw out a complete fucking non-sequitur.

Such parasites SHOULD be purged from the Labour Party, and sent to jail, IMO. However given how the establishment has closed ranks to broadside the BBC for digging too deep, I remain little surprised that she has been treated with kid gloves and allowed to slink away.

Man who opposes wind farms opposes wind farms.

@ Chaise

People in the envirosceptic camp have done something that looks dodgy

No. This pathetic story was about a tribal opportunity taken to try to stir up trouble in Tory ranks. It would no doubt have ended with a discussion on wind power and it would be no fun for me or you to repeat our views on this from last week.

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/11/06/stopping-the-dash-for-gas-both-possible-and-necessary/

Instead, Sunny was ignoring the catastrophic blow dealt to our criminal justice system yesterday when Moran was allowed to escape justice for her crimes.

Again, he does this for tribal reasons.

People who don’t want energy to be expensive disapprove of expensive way of generating energy. Shocking stuff Sunny, your blinkers are obviously still on.

@ Sally

You do know Labour lead 5:1 in the “people who have been or are about to be convicted on expenses fraud” don’t you?

I also why Sunny seems to bring this non-story up, given Delingpole never even registered as a candidate in Corby, when you have the real story of the BBC, their so-called “experts” on climate change who “settled”the debate allowing the BBC, for the first time since WW2, broadcasting outside its strict limits of impartiality. That and the fact that they’ve spent huge amounts fo cash on lawyers trying to cover it up.

Now *that* is a story.

Now *that* is a story.

Indeed.

The names of the BBC representatives at that meeting they did not want made public?

Peter Rippon, Steve Mitchell, Helen Boaden, George Enwistle.

You couldn’t make it up……..

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 14 Pagar

Whatever you say, Captain Non-Sequitur McWhataboutery.

21. Robin Levett

@Tyler, pagar #18,19:

…allowing the BBC, for the first time since WW2, broadcasting outside its strict limits of impartiality…

Don’t be ludicrous. When was the last time that the BBC allowed equal time to the Flat Earth Society when discussing astronomy? Or allowed equal time to homeopaths when dose-response is an issue on medical topics?

Impartiality does not mandate equal time to mainstream and alternative science – to evolution and to creationism, for further example. Read Ben Goldacre on the subject.

Pagar @ 5

“I’m bored with not being able to discuss interesting topical subjects (the BBC for example)because they don’t suit Sunny’s agenda.

Well, what exactly is stopping you from discussing any subject on Earth, regardless of Sunny or anyone’s else’s agenda? This is the internet, you can click your own blog into existence in a couple of minutes and post any subject you feel fit. The ultimate Libertarian fantasy, surely? If you are unhappy with the fare on the stall, here, you can set up your own stall and set it how you wish. The added beauty of course that even if the market rejects what you are saying you can continue to keep saying it indefinitely, unlike, say, the pub that only wishes to sell cask ales despite the fact the market rejects this business model.

Is it fair to say, you do not lack ‘an opportunity’ to discuss the BBC or an MP’s fraudulent expenses, you lack an audience.

23. Chaise Guevara

@ 22 Jim

“This is the internet, you can click your own blog into existence in a couple of minutes and post any subject you feel fit. The ultimate Libertarian fantasy, surely?”

Zing!

“When was the last time that the BBC allowed equal time to the Flat Earth Society when discussing astronomy?”

Why would they? The shape of the earth has been empirically demonstrated in a number of different ways rather than, as in the present case, relying on a questionable set of models and causal hypotheses, using partial, ambiguous and disputed data sets. They may be right, but they most certainly are not proven beyond reasonable question, as demonstrated by the substantial number of legitimate scientists asking questions.

A dumb comparison, IOW.

Tyler @ 18

, when you have the real story of the BBC, their so-called “experts” on climate change who “settled”the debate allowing the BBC,

Not the ‘BBC’s experts’ the entire scientific community. The is no credible ‘other side’ to this debate. The debate regarding the existence and cause of AGW is settled and has been for at least twenty years. Every instinct of the Tory lice has driven them to an anti science stance, but that doesn’t actually change the laws of physics, does it?

You cunts are wrong on this, same as every other subject where clear objectively is required, but rather than address your considerable failings as human being, all you can do is whine that the BBC and ‘Left Wing’ scientists are biased against you.

It must be a cunt when your sad fucking ideology has been proved wrong AGAIN by science.

26. Robin Levett

@RichardT #24:

The shape of the earth has been empirically demonstrated in a number of different ways rather than, as in the present case, relying on a questionable set of models and causal hypotheses, using partial, ambiguous and disputed data sets. They may be right, but they most certainly are not proven beyond reasonable question, as demonstrated by the substantial number of legitimate scientists asking questions.

First – the physics behind AGW is 150 years old, and well-tested. The observations both that atmospheric CO2 content has increased through man’s burning of fossil fuels, and that global average temepratures have increased and continue to increase, are solid. The peer-reviewed literature unanimously validates AGW; in a number of different ways. Any “legitimate scientists asking questions” have not published their version of the science where it matters – in the peer-reviewed literature.

There is no legitimate “other side” in this debate, just as there is none in the flat Earth “debate”, or in the homeopathy “debate”, or in the evolution-creationism “debate”. There are arguments to be had over policy and the precise level of climate sensitivity; but not the broad principle.

“There are arguments to be had over policy and the precise level of climate sensitivity; but not the broad principle.”

Well, that gives enough wriggle room to accommodate the bulk of repectable skeptics.

“There is no legitimate “other side” in this debate, just as there is none in the flat Earth “debate”, or in the homeopathy “debate”, or in the evolution-creationism “debate”. ”

Whereas that merely marks you as a flake.

Whether or not that Independent (or other party) candidate ever entered the race, setting up the website of such a putative rival, acting as his agent, or what have you, would secure expulsion from any serious political party. The Conservative Party, manifestly, is no longer serious.

Furthermore, and no less manifestly, it now harbours a separate party, extending all the way up to the office, not to say the person, of George Osborne. That separate party, like any other, has its own membership, its own policy programme, its own underlying philosophy, and, no doubt, its own structures, its own discipline and its own funding.

Against a Conservative candidate other than one of its own, it might organise an Independent, or it might, as it now does at Corby, actively support UKIP. None of this is deemed incompatible with Conservative Party membership at the very highest levels. The formal coup might have been expected after the next General Election. But if the Corby result is quite as bad as is now expected, then might that coup happen even within the present calendar year? If not, why not?

James Delingpole claims to be the most successful non-candidate ever for his alleged role in securing the Government’s alleged change of mind on windfarms, of which there are in any case none in the Corby constituency. But here in North West Durham, even the imposition of an all-women shortlist on a rock solid Labour seat has still ended in the selection and election our our entirely local MP, until that point a Lanchester Parish Councillor along with me, who is a practising Catholic in the same parish as I am, in breach of Labour’s own rules on all-women shortlists from which Catholics are specifically banned, and who could have written most, if not all, of my more recent book, Confessions of an Old Labour High Tory. It is amazing what one can achieve from a hospital bed.

Pat Glass is rightly on course for great things under the next Labour Prime Minister, who has brought classic Labour back into the fold without necessarily subscribing to it, as surely as Barack Obama has done the same with the economically populist, socially conservative historical norm of the Democratic Party. Ed Miliband’s mostly sciving brother is now as finished as that brother’s wretched cougar across the Atlantic.

Speaking of by-elections, half of the General Committee of Rotherham Constituency Labour Party walked out last night, after the National Executive Committee had failed to shortlist any local candidate, including the hugely popular Councillor Mahroof Hussain MBE, Nick Clegg’s opponent at Sheffield Hallam in 2010. As a Muslim of South Asian extraction, the NEC considers Councillor Hussain suspect following a recent grooming scandal. Which NEC members, exactly, are responsible for this? Blairism lives, it seems. Although not, one trusts, after the next round of NEC elections.

There is talk of an Independent candidacy there, too, if only to keep the seat in the hands of a mainstream Labour figure rather than either a member of Respect or, even worse, an imposed apparatchik sharing the views of Denis MacShane, except perhaps on the sex industry and on indecency in the media.

Both of these stories have important implications for tomorrow’s elections of Police and Crime Commissioners. As an Independent, let me assure you that there is not, nor ought there to be, nor ever could there be, anything “non-political” about being an Independent. If a position is political, then it is political. Being a Parish Councillor is political. Being a Member of Parliament is political. Being a Police and Crime Commissioner is political. It just is.

29. Just Visiting

Sunny was beng misleading in his title (whats new).

This story is not about the Tory party, but about one man: as Sunny himself even wrote:

> The expose shows he is willing to betray his own party in order to push his extreme anti-environment agenda.

Jim @ 25:

“The debate regarding the existence and cause of AGW is settled and has been for at least twenty years.”

Your statement above is false! Utterly and absolutely false!

Nothing as complex as the AGW hypothesis is ever “settled” in science.

All such conclusions are tentative, because the scientific method cannot produce certainty…though it can approximate to it, asymptotically (do Google the term, Jim).

Yes, it is probably very reasonable, on the evidence available, to claim that there is at least some AGW. But it is also not unreasonable to query the evidence for AGW, as there are some deep questions over the data and their interpretation.

Unfortunately, the AGW hypothesis has been politicised. ‘Melons’ – “green on the outside and red on the inside” – have seized on the AGW hypothesis as a stick to beat ‘capitalism’.

But politicised science is always very bad science. Always! Think Lysenko in the former USSR…and then remember the vast cross-party support for the flawed theory of eugenics in the early 20th century! Both were politicised science…

Now, consider the AGW hypothesis…It is highly politicised – with opponents and advocates dividing very roughly on a right-left basis. Moreover, the evidence is not by any means conclusive: how could it be, given the science is extrapolatory and not repeatable? Yet, amazingly, the BBC decided to present one half of the argument as “settled”. It is PC beyond parody – ‘arts faculty science’ if you like. And, ultimately, such politicisation distorts funding – and so conclusions.

TONE @ 30 You’re being pedantic, the fact that scientists no longer seriously debate the existence of man-made greenhouse warming means we can safely say the question is “settled” without immediately turning into communists.

Some “settled” points are:
– The global temperature has increased by 0.7oC over the 20th century,
– Most of this warming can be attributed to human activity from the pressence of “greenhouse gas fingerprints” (google it)
– Human activity is causing global climate change at a rate not seen for a *very* long time.

You say politicised science is ALWAYS bad science? I agree, it certainly doesn’t help, but just because some lefties use the issue for political ends should not be used as an excuse to ignore inconvenient facts. Worrying about some conspiracy theory based on fruit analogy whilst ignoring video footage of Tory politicians fessing up to an actual conspiracy is pretty blatently head-in-the-sand.

Pager – Start a new post yourself about Moran but on this thread we are talking about Chris Heaton Harris. If you have the brains you can do it.

RL @ 26:

“The observations both that atmospheric CO2 content has increased through man’s burning of fossil fuels, and that global average temepratures have increased and continue to increase, are solid.”

But to be absolutely rigorous here: correlation does not mean causation…

“The peer-reviewed literature unanimously validates AGW”

And, in c.1910, you might have stated: ‘The peer-reviewed literature unanimously validates eugenics.’

That said, given the data we have, there are reasonable grounds for taking some action on climate change…

“There is no legitimate “other side” in this debate, just as there is none in the flat Earth “debate”, or in the homeopathy “debate”, or in the evolution-creationism “debate”. ”

You are grasping at rhetoritical straws here. The AGW hypothesis is not self-evident. It is preposterous to suggest that scepticism about AGW is on a par with believing that the earth is flat. And if you believe that, you simply do not understand what science is…

TONE @ 33

“But to be absolutely rigorous here: correlation does not mean causation”

No one says it does please google “global warming co2 fingerprints”

“And, in c.1910, you might have stated: ‘The peer-reviewed literature unanimously validates eugenics.’”

*facepalm* no. it. didn’t.

“You are grasping at rhetoritical straws here.”

Lol, tell us the one about peer-reviewed eugenics again?

“The AGW hypothesis is not self-evident. It is preposterous to suggest that scepticism about AGW is on a par with believing that the earth is flat.”

There’s a difference between scepticism and denialism. Sceptics don’t have absurd conspiracy theories reinforcing their preconceptions (watermelon theory?).

Dan @ 31:

“the fact that scientists no longer seriously debate the existence of man-made greenhouse warming means we can safely say the question is “settled” without immediately turning into communists”

Have I ever suggested ‘warmists’ are ‘communists’? Errrrr…No.

That said, I hold that, given the data sets currently available, it is reasonable to minimise CO2 emissions, subject to a cost-benefit analysis…

Dan @34:

“No one says it does…”

Then why the certitude? Unless you have an axe to grind?

The evidence for warming is reasonable and quite compelling overall.

Yet one can be opposed to wind farms without being opposed to ‘clean energy’.

“Have I ever suggested ‘warmists’ are ‘communists’?”

You give that impression with references to ‘Melons’ and Lysenko, but nevermind.

“Then why the certitude? Unless you have an axe to grind?”

No certitude, but strong lines of evidence support the proposition that the greenhouse effect is the dominant cause for warming. For instance nights warm faster than days, winter warms faster than summer, lower atmosphere warms (the troposphere) whilst the upper atmosphere cools (the straosphere). All these are predicted by greenhouse warming and rule out solar warming as the dominant cause.

“it is reasonable to minimise CO2 emissions, subject to a cost-benefit analysis…”

I agree, but surely the way to achieve this whilst minimise distruption to our way of life is through honest open debate rather than back room deals a la Chris Heaton-Harris enlisting people like Dellingpole.

@ Jim and Robin Levitt

Actually having done some of this science while at Cambridge doing Physics, i’ll happily reserve judgement on the science being “settled”.

The science Robin refers to is the greenhouse effect, quantified by Arrhenius just before 1900. Robin is also correct in saying that the C02 content of the atmosphere has increased over the last century.

So far so good, right?

The first problem comes from the fact that a greenhouse is simply not a good model for the Earth and it’s atmosphere. It’s a simple one, but a terrible one. If the Earth were a greenhouse, you would see far higher heating effects from C02….but you don’t in the atmosphere. Convection alone causes a big problem there, let alone accounting for the lact of feedback loops in a greenhouse which you do have in the atmosphere.

The you have the problem of actually measuring temperature. I’m sure you think it’s easy – just take a thermometer and measure it. Really isn’t that simple. Different thermometers measure different temperatures – the change from alchohol base dto mercury based ones raised global “temperatures” by about 0.5C alone. Then you have the fact that more measuring stations are now urban, and the distribution of global measuring stations is moving towards the warmer equator. Balancing out the true effects of these is non-trivial.

That’s even before you get to the computer models for temperature change. C02 is a pretty terrible “greenhouse” gas. Near enough the worst one out there, and nowhere near as effective as water vapour. But it’s used in all the models? Bit odd, right? However, it’s easy to use for modelling, as it is fairly evenly distributed in the atmosphere, where water vapour isn’t. Modelling the effects of water vapour and clouds is simply too difficult, even with the most powerful supercomputers, and is poorly understood – so most of the time people don’t and go straight for the easiest option. There are serious problems with the GISS or HADCRUT data for exactly the above reasons (not least because they refuse to reveal the algorithms they use to control and normalise data. Hardly scientific best practice). If nothing else, observed temperatures haven’t followed the expected temperature rises from computer simulation – suggesting serious problems with the models or poorly understood second order effects. Also suggesting people don’t entirely know whats going on.

I could go on, but even the HADCRUT data suggests global temperatures have only changed by 0.7C over the last 100 years, and it is very hard to comprehensively prove it is due to increased C02 in the atmosphere alone, when solar activity and other atmospheric changes (water vapour, methane, particulates) can have just as large effects.

I’m sure that there has been an effect from increased C02 in the atmosphere, but really there are far more important things to worry about, and the science certainly isn’t settled. A lot of the scare stories over the last 20 or so eyars simply haven’t come to pass (like the maldives sinking, for example) and a lot of them have other, frankly more serious man made causes than global warming (Kilimanjaro for example is losing ice at an extreme rate – due to deforestation rather than global warming though). Even the rhetoric around global warming has changed, now focusing on “climate events” than warming itself – implicitly a suggestion that the argument isn’t as settled as some would like.

I’m sure some of you will now attack me as a climate change denier. Jim will problably call me a kitten-drowing Tory Cunt. The fact is though, he simply believes this stuff. Might as well be a religion.

That the scientific predictions for global warming have been consistently wrong should give people a clue to the fact that this science is not settled by a long way, and not even that well understood.

@38

Everything is tickety-boo in Tyler fantasy land as usual.

There’s no point in arguing with blinkered idiots like him. I don’t believe anything he says, including his supposed qualifications and employment.

Tyler works in the city, according to him, but is regularly wrong when called out by others with a real knowledge of economics.

Tyler, according to himself, has two degrees from Cambridge but seems to have the intellect of Fern Cotton.

It’s all about modern righty dogma for Tyler. Facts? He’ll find some made up ones to suit his agenda.

Tyler, you are a liar. Now fuck off. End of.

And yet, Cherub, the model predictions have not been correct.

NB Sunny – will send latest temp bet data to the PP email, if you could have to courtesy to reply!!

@ 39 Cherub

*yawn*. Finished my masters at Cambridge in 2002, then went off to work in the city instead of doing a PhD because it paid a lot better.

By all means though, attack me as much as you like. All it proves is you are a petty little idiot without the brains to actually defend or argue a case -especially when it doesn’t agree with the pseudo-religious fervour of your belief structure.

I personally don’t ascribe to the alarmist nature of most proponents of AGW not because I think it can’t be happening, but because I have actually spent some of my life looking at he science and evidence. What I have taken away from that is that there probably is some warming effect from C02 but it is swamped by other effects. The models and science are very poorly understood and the science very, very far from being settled. What the incessent focus on C02 certainly does do is remove any focus on other, much more serious damage to the environment (just look at destruction of natural environments and pollution etc in China and India for example) and leads countries to waste huge amounts of money on hopeless green energy projects, increasing the price of energy for all – money which could be far better spent on improving growth and reducing poverty for millions out there.

But please Cherub, feel free to ignore everything I’ve written once again and go for another ad hom attack.

Moron.

42. Jerhovas Witless

38 Tyler

”The first problem comes from the fact that a greenhouse is simply not a good model for the Earth and it’s atmosphere. It’s a simple one, but a terrible one. If the Earth were a greenhouse, you would see far higher heating effects from C02….but you don’t in the atmosphere. Convection alone causes a big problem there, let alone accounting for the lact of feedback loops in a greenhouse which you do have in the atmosphere”

Perhaps you could expand on these feedback loops and identify which are negative and which are positive.

43. Jerhovas Witless

41 Tyler

What the incessent focus on C02 certainly does do is remove any focus on other, much more serious damage to the environment (just look at destruction of natural environments and pollution etc in China and India for example)

I thought the pollution was due to the rapid burning of coal for power generation not due to a focus on reducing Co2. Are you saying that cleaner fuels arent a way forward?

44. Robin Levett

@Tyler #38:

The science Robin refers to is the greenhouse effect, quantified by Arrhenius just before 1900. Robin is also correct in saying that the C02 content of the atmosphere has increased over the last century

Well, actually, it goes back before then to Fourier. he was the one who first calculated that the Earth’s surface is much warmer (about +33K, we now know) than it should be. Pouillet, Tyndall and Arrhenius also studied the efefct and Arrhenius quantified it.

The first problem comes from the fact that a greenhouse is simply not a good model for the Earth and it’s atmosphere. It’s a simple one, but a terrible one. If the Earth were a greenhouse, you would see far higher heating effects from C02….but you don’t in the atmosphere. Convection alone causes a big problem there, let alone accounting for the lact of feedback loops in a greenhouse which you do have in the atmosphere.

And this demonstrates that despite having apparently studied the physics at Cambridge, you don’t have the first clue about the modern AGW theory. Don’t be confused by the name; the model is not that of a greenhouse, which relies for its effect upon the difference in reflectivity of transparent materials dependent upon the wavelength of the incident light. The greenhouse effect instead arises from (i) differential absorption of IR light at different wavelengths (and hence energies) and (ii) re-radiation of the IR energy absorbed.

That’s even before you get to the computer models for temperature change. C02 is a pretty terrible “greenhouse” gas. Near enough the worst one out there, and nowhere near as effective as water vapour. But it’s used in all the models? Bit odd, right? However, it’s easy to use for modelling, as it is fairly evenly distributed in the atmosphere, where water vapour isn’t. Modelling the effects of water vapour and clouds is simply too difficult, even with the most powerful supercomputers, and is poorly understood

I have difficulty unpicking what you are saying here. Both CO2 and H2O are “used” in the models. CO2 is the relevant greenhouse gas because, unlike H2O, it is a forcing, not a feedback. The amount of water vapour (which is indeed a potent greenhouse gas) that will remain resident in the atmosphere is dependent upon the temperature of the atmosphere. Inject water vapour into the atmosphere and any increased GHG effect it may have will cease when it rains out shortly thereafter. Inject CO2 into the atmosphere, and the temeprature of the atmosphere rises – which draws more water vapour into the atmosphere, which increases the temperature until you reach a new equilibirum. The H2O operates as an amplifier of the original CO2 forcing.

Clouds are difficult; their higher albedo increases the amount of reflected light off the top, producing a negative feedback, but the water vapour they contain is a positive feedback. They are, oddly, incorporated in the models…

There are serious problems with the GISS or HADCRUT data for exactly the above reasons (not least because they refuse to reveal the algorithms they use to control and normalise data. Hardly scientific best practice).

Really? Where do you get that claim from?

If nothing else, observed temperatures haven’t followed the expected temperature rises from computer simulation

…or so the denialists say. Got any solid observations to that effect?

45. Robin Levett

@Tyler:

On water vapour – you could do worse than read this:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/04/water-vapour-feedback-or-forcing

@41

Still a liar.

@ JW

Feedback loops: There are lots. For example….

C02 storage in water (oceans). Typically slightly lower at higher water temps. So positive feeback.

C02 capture by plants, and plant growth. Higher at warmer temperatures, so negative feeback.

Water vapour concentration in the atmosphere. Warmer temperatures tend to increase water vapour in the atmosphere. As water vapour itself is a greenhouse gas this could increase warming. BUT. Clouds reflect heat before it reaches the surface, so should decrease warming. Net effect – no-one really knows because its so hard to quantify.

Convection in the Arrhenius version of the greenhouse effect (a closed system) has a massive heating effect. In the atmosphere, this is manifestly nonsense. However, in the atmosphere you have *huge* pressure heating (from the weight of the atmosphere) of the Earth’s surface – something not accounted for in Arrhenius work. Convection can move warm air to cold regions in the atmosphere and vice versa though, and combined with other weather effects this could have positive or negative feedback implications on AGW.

Then you have to take into account that all these seperate feedback loops act and interact with each other as well! It’s stupendously complicated and hard to model.

And that’s just a few of the potential feedback effects…there are many more.

In terms of pollution, again particulate matter in theory at least increase global warming. That said, it can also lead to cloud forming…which can work both ways as mentioned above.

I am not against green energy and cleaner fuels as such. What I am totally against is huge investment in horribly innefficient green energy, like wind farms, which could be invested better elsewhere for more effect on both growth and energy production. Fuel Cells for example are loads better in green energy terms than wind farms, but because they still burn hydrocarbons (though capture C02 produced) they don’t get the massive subsidies wind farms do. This waste makes us all poorer, through increased energy bills, and could easily be spent on much more productive things, which would help more people.

I am also against the fact that AGW has become the sole focus of environmentalists to a great extent, with huge amounts of money and resources devoted to it – often at the expense of much more pressing and real environmental concerns. Greenpeace and the WWF used to run huge numbers of targetted local campaigns. Nowdays, it’s easier for them to lobby for money from government on the cause celebre which is the fight against AGW. Not withstanding that, the WWF especially are quietly making lots of cash on so called green projects – not least “sustainable” logging in Brazil, which is desribed as carbon positive. Still involves chopping down rainforests though. Whatever happened to campaigning to save species and habitats?

“Sound science ” is a Right wing political correctness invention. It has nothing to do with science. What it effectively means is the flat earthers and knuckle draggers will only accept science that fits with their ideology or financial interests.

Which makes it even more absurd when they talk about “politicising science.” They are the ones who do that. In spades.

As ever with right wing ideologues….. follow the money. It always leads to the true motives.

@ Sally

Have followed the money. Leads to lefty save the planet AGW worriers getting huge sums of money from government to lobby government for more money, and cutting down rainforests to replace them with so-called “sustainable carbon positive logging”. Hugely profitable I might add.

When it comes to “politicising science” it’s fairly clear that it’s the left-leaning media who have been most involved in that – unless you think that the BBC deciding the AGW debate settled on the word of a bunch of environmental lobbyists and pro-AGW climate scientists is unbiased.

Of course, we know you live in a world where reasoned debate is an alien idea, Tories are all evil baby eaters and socialism is some universally successful greater good. Never mind Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

You do live a sad, blinkered, venomous little existence don’t you?

TONE @ 30

Unfortunately, the AGW hypothesis has been politicised. ‘Melons’ – “green on the outside and red on the inside” – have seized on the AGW hypothesis as a stick to beat ‘capitalism’.

No, that is simply not true. The science, as per the last thousand years has been politicised, by the people who have power to lose. In this case it happens to be capitalism and those who advocate it.

Previously science was challenged by the church, be it the age, shape and the position of the Earth to evolution. However, now it is the capitalists that are attacking science, with the same result. In any battle between scientists and halfwits clinging to their beliefs for the power it bestows, the scientists are always proved right, eventually. Sure you can imprison and excommunicate us and even kill us, be we always end up being proved right.

No decent human being challenges the science regarding evolution, though some of the more backward people are attempting prevent evolution and geology from being taught in schools. Even the most devout Christian would accept that the Earth is older than the bible would suggest. I have never met a decent anti science Tory in my life.

Now, consider the AGW hypothesis…It is highly politicised – with opponents and advocates dividing very roughly on a right-left basis.

Bollocks, typical Tory lies. The split is simple: scientists vs anti science morons. Try and grasp the concept: your PR men and industry paid shills are not the equivalent our scientists.

Moreover, the evidence is not by any means conclusive: how could it be, given the science is extrapolatory and not repeatable?

You will be publishing peer reviewed science to this effect?

Yet, amazingly, the BBC decided to present one half of the argument as “settled”.

No, they are presenting the science as settled because the science is settled.

All the PR shite and the campaigning is not the same as the science.

You cannot say the Party political stuff, lobby groups and big oil lies and spin are the moral equivalent of peer review science. The science debate regarding the central issue regarding the existence of AGW is over. I know you Tory scum hate it, but hate it all you want, it is over. No credible scientist on the planet is seriously disputing that human activity has contributed to a sustained warming of the planet. The BBC are duty bound by their own rules to report the science honestly, to try and suggest that there is two sides to the science would be false. The BBC reports evolution and the solar system is settled as well.

Now the political and the PR debate? That is not over and it would be wrong for the BBC to portray the PR debate to be over, but the PR debate is a separate issue to the science. I do not have a problem with the BBC discussing ‘intelligent design’ or holocaust denial or whatever in context, but neither subject should be allowed to stray into a science or history programme any more than I want a portion of the ‘Sky at Night’ to be given over to Right Wing nutters to discuss the ‘real age’ of the universe. Some religious programme tucked away when normal people are in bed? Finbe, but not a science programme.

ONE @ 49

When it comes to “politicising science” it’s fairly clear that it’s the left-leaning media who have been most involved in that – unless you think that the BBC deciding the AGW debate settled on the word of a bunch of environmental lobbyists and pro-AGW climate scientists is unbiased.

What? You do not like the science and that equates to the science having a Left Wing bias?

Listen to yourselves. You are a fucking moron and you are to blindrd by ideology to see that.

Of course, we know you live in a world where reasoned debate is an alien idea, Tories are all evil baby eaters and socialism is some universally successful greater good. Never mind Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

Er, that is exactly what the evidence has suggests. You and the rest of the lice insist that we change the Laws of physics to fit in with your political ideology.

52. Jerhovas Witless

49 Tyler

Feedback loops: There are lots. For example….

C02 storage in water (oceans). Typically slightly lower at higher water temps. So positive feeback. POSTIVE

C02 capture by plants, and plant growth. Higher at warmer temperatures, so negative feeback. NOT NECESSARILY NEGATIVE
SINCE MATURE TREE SPECIES CAN EMIT CO2 AT HIGHER TEMPERATURES. THEY ARE ONLY CARBON NEUTRAL IF PEOPLE LEAVE THEM IN THE GROUND WHICH FURTHER ON YOU NOTE PEOPLE ARENT

Water vapour concentration in the atmosphere. Warmer temperatures tend to increase water vapour in the atmosphere. As water vapour itself is a greenhouse gas this could increase warming. BUT. Clouds reflect heat before it reaches the surface, so should decrease warming. Net effect – no-one really knows because its so hard to quantify. AGREED

Convection in the Arrhenius version of the greenhouse effect (a closed system) has a massive heating effect. In the atmosphere, this is manifestly nonsense. However, in the atmosphere you have *huge* pressure heating (from the weight of the atmosphere) of the Earth’s surface – something not accounted for in Arrhenius work. Convection can move warm air to cold regions in the atmosphere and vice versa though, and combined with other weather effects this could have positive or negative feedback implications on AGW. THIS IS A NOVEL IDEA PLEASE EXPLAIN. My understanding is that Convection will distribute thermal energy around. Perhaps you can indicate why this would end up with a net gain or net loss in global energy.

Then you have to take into account that all these seperate feedback loops act and interact with each other as well! It’s stupendously complicated and hard to model.AND SADLY MANY OF THE FEEDBACK LOOPS YOU HAVE LEFT OUT ARE POSITIVE.

And that’s just a few of the potential feedback effects…there are many more.

In terms of pollution, again particulate matter in theory at least increase global warming. That said, it can also lead to cloud forming…which can work both ways as mentioned above. PARTICULATES CAN ALSO LOWER GROUND TEMPERATURE

I am not against green energy and cleaner fuels as such. What I am totally against is huge investment in horribly innefficient green energy, like wind farms, which could be invested better elsewhere for more effect on both growth and energy production. Fuel Cells for example are loads better in green energy terms than wind farms, but because they still burn hydrocarbons (though capture C02 produced) they don’t get the massive subsidies wind farms do. COULD YOU BE MORE SPECIFIC ON FUEL CELLS

This waste makes us all poorer, through increased energy bills, and could easily be spent on much more productive things, which would help more people.

THIS ASSUMES THAT THE FUEL CELLS YOU REFER TO ARE READY TO IMPLEMENT NOW AS A REASONABLE CARBON FREE REPLACEMENT TO WIND .ARE THEY?

I am also against the fact that AGW has become the sole focus of environmentalists to a great extent, with huge amounts of money and resources devoted to it – often at the expense of much more pressing and real environmental concerns. Greenpeace and the WWF used to run huge numbers of targetted local campaigns. Nowdays, it’s easier for them to lobby for money from government on the cause celebre which is the fight against AGW. Not withstanding that, the WWF especially are quietly making lots of cash on so called green projects – not least “sustainable” logging in Brazil, which is desribed as carbon positive. Still involves chopping down rainforests though. Whatever happened to campaigning to save species and habitats? .

I would appreciate the point a little more if these organisations werent focusing on deforestation which has already been mentioned as a positive feedback loop.The problem is that Governments have the climate data but have so far done little with it.Sadly if Governments wont be responsible then other cash strapped agencies taking responsibility will by implication be stretched.

Furthermore I fail to see why being an environmentalist means you are necessarily left leaning. If you are in a boat that is on fire, I don’t think it is particularly left wing to want to blow the flames out.

Finally, I would appreciate if you could furnish me with a right wing peer reviewed climate model so I can make comparisons.

On the one side the worlds scientists, and on the other a worn out vaudeville act called Peter Lilley.

Case closed your honour.

54. Robin Levett

@Tyler #49:

Have followed the money. Leads to lefty save the planet AGW worriers getting huge sums of money from government to lobby government for more money, and cutting down rainforests to replace them with so-called “sustainable carbon positive logging”. Hugely profitable I might add.

So all the world’s climatologists are in a slimy conspiracy to misrepresent the science to governments so they can get more research money?

You really didn’t look very far, did you.

The world’s proven oil reserves amount to just short of 2,800 gigatons. The amount of oil that we can afford to burn and keep global temperature rises below 2C is considered to be around 565 gigatons. How much do you think 2,235 gigatons of oil is worth? That is where the money is.

As this article (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719) puts it:

Yes, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it’s already economically aboveground – it’s figured into share prices, companies are borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have fought so hard to prevent the regulation of carbon dioxide – those reserves are their primary asset, the holding that gives their companies their value. It’s why they’ve worked so hard these past years to figure out how to unlock the oil in Canada’s tar sands, or how to drill miles beneath the sea, or how to frack the Appalachians.

@ JW

Plants tend to “breathe” C02, but as you say this can be released. Net though, plant growth captures C02 (and indeed is where carbon tends to enter the food chain foor all carbon based life). This carbon capture is the most energy intensive growth process a plant faces….and is made much easier for them at higher concentrations of C02. Indeed, most commercial greenhouses run with significantly higher concentrations of C02 in their mini-atmospheres than in “normal”air. High C02 concentrations are very good for plant growth basically.

Convection: Firstly, energy cannot be created or destroyed. Convection though jsut transfers heat around. In a greenhouse it is easy to quantify the diffusion and heat transfer. In the Earth’s atmosphere it isn’t as easy, thanks to weather patterns and other interactions – basically the convection currents aren’t regularly distributed. Hot air over oceans can actually cool the ocean (via heat transfer) as warmer water evaporates to form clouds, which can act to cool the surface. Over land the effect can be opposite. It’s really really hard to quantify the effects though, other than agreeing there are some.

By no means did I attempt to list, explain or qualify all the feedback loops in the atmosphere – just to point out there are many, mostly poorly understood and both positive and negative and sometimes both. I really was just trying to show the immense difficulty in trying to accurately and scientifically predict all the many different factors affecting the Earth’s atmosphere, before you even factor in the effect they have on each other.

Fuel Cells: Yes, I can be very specific on fuel cells…my company is building a large office/hotel/shopping complex in Johannesburg, and we are going to be going off grid by using a fuel cell. A very large Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell to be specific. it will be cheaper per Mw/h than grid electricity here by 2015 ish and will pay for itself about 5 years after that. They use methane to generate hydrogen ions in an electrolyte to generate electricity. Waste products are mostly water. They can be up to 80% efficient if you include the water heating part – which we are for the boilers and aircon heat exchangers.

For more info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_carbonate_fuel_cell

http://www.fuelcellenergy.com/

They work, but because they still burn hydrocarbons, they for some reason don’t attract the same subsidies and general promotion by greenies that windfarms do, despite having huge advantages over them (not least constand power supply).

I agree with you tha tbeing an environmentalist does not necessarily make you left or right wing. unfortunately these days environmentalism has become synonymous with anti-capitalist, anti-industrialism and a lot of “progressive” or socialist ideals. Making it more attractive to many on the left.

Apart from that, as we have seen in several of these scandals, like the CRU leak and this latest BBC number, a lot of the scientists involved have become less than objective. They have done some work to try and prove something, and their own livelihoods rely on the continuation of this work. Any suggestion that they might be wrong not only causes embarrassment, but also threatens careers. They simply have too much vested in their conviction of their hypothesis foor it to fall apart now. There are plenty of articles out there exposing some of the tricks and games some of these people have been up to to try and shut down debate – which tends not to be seen as reasonable scientific behaviour.

I’ll try and get hold of some links to some more neutral papers which have recently been published, as well as some which outright cast doubt on the nature of C02 based AGW. There are plenty out there – which is why AGW is now tends to be labelled “climate change” of late. I’ll have to revert back later though – bit busy with my actual job today….

56. Jerhovas Witless

@54 RL

Not only oil but coal, which due to fracking, commands a lower price and increased demand in Europe amongst other places.

57. Robin Levett

@Tyler #55:

Plants tend to “breathe” C02, but as you say this can be released. Net though, plant growth captures C02 (and indeed is where carbon tends to enter the food chain foor all carbon based life). This carbon capture is the most energy intensive growth process a plant faces….and is made much easier for them at higher concentrations of C02. Indeed, most commercial greenhouses run with significantly higher concentrations of C02 in their mini-atmospheres than in “normal”air. High C02 concentrations are very good for plant growth basically.

Higher CO2 is good for some plant growth. C3 and C4 plants differ in their responses; and CO2 is not usually the constraining factor. There is a problem, though, even where elevated CO2 does increase carbon fixation; that is that (certainly in wheat) concentrations of protein, minerals, trace amino acids and other nutrients drop significantly.

See the paper referred to in this release:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/101na6.pdf

Elevated CO2 also inhibits nitrate (NO3) photoassimilation by wheat; which is a bit of an issue since the best soils for wheat provide nitrogen in nitrate form.

http://www.pnas.org/content/99/3/1730.full.pdf

Convection: Firstly, energy cannot be created or destroyed. Convection though jsut transfers heat around. In a greenhouse it is easy to quantify the diffusion and heat transfer. In the Earth’s atmosphere it isn’t as easy, thanks to weather patterns and other interactions – basically the convection currents aren’t regularly distributed. Hot air over oceans can actually cool the ocean (via heat transfer) as warmer water evaporates to form clouds, which can act to cool the surface. Over land the effect can be opposite. It’s really really hard to quantify the effects though, other than agreeing there are some.

I’m sorry, Tyler, but you clearly do not understand the physics – certainly not fully. “Greenhouse” as in “greenhouse gases” is a metaphor, not a model.

Convection is pretty much irrelevant to the issue of AGW. The only way the Earth can lose heat to space is by radiation. It is the radiative heat transfer from the Earth’s surface through the atmosphere to space that greenhouse gases slow down, so the heat content of the atmosphere increases, increasing global temperature. Convection just moves that heat content around.


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