Comparing Views on Climate Change
...Howard Curnow
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This piece appeared in the Methodist Recorder, 22 Aug 14, and is republished here by permission of the editor.

    Richard Ewbank, the Climate Adviser for Christian Aid wrote, in the Methodist Recorder, 8 Aug 2014, a piece claiming to correct points made by Rev. Howard Kernow about inconsistencies in the alleged 'scientific consensus' on man-made global warming.

    I have paraphrased Richard's main arguments:

    1.The theory of anthropogenic climate change became established scientific fact through peer-reviewed science, led by the IPCC.
    2.The earth warmed from 1940 to 1970 and has continued to warm for the last 15 years.
    3.A carbon dioxide level above 400ppm is moving us into a new environment, with dangerous consequences.
    4.Renewable energy receives a small fraction of the subsidies received by fossil fuel.
    5.Tackling climate change will be cheaper than tackling its consequences if nothing is done.

    Howard Kernow wrote a detailed reply, published 22 Aug 2014, and this is reproduced below.

    Responding to some of the points made by Richard Ewbank and Dr. Julia Edwards in response to my letter (Recorder, 25 July), I would mention that the heading "The 'Mystery' of Climate Change" (with which Richard Ewbank took issue - Ed) was an editorial addition to the content of my letter.

    Second, Dr. Edwards writes "...often the conclusions of the leading 97 per cent of climate scientists continue to be questioned...". The fact is that no-one knows what the conclusions of the leading 97 per cent of climate scientists might be!

    Not only does the statement beg the question as to who might be included (or excluded) by the term "the leading" but also the "97 per cent" came originally from some far from comprehensive surveys of doubtful scientific value. (No one need take my word for this - just go online and read the article by Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer in the May 26 "Wall Street Journal".)

    Third, while there are several points in Mr. Ewbank's letter which I could take up, I will confine myself to one. He maintains that the earth has continued to warm over the last fifteen years and that I am confusing short-term variations with long-term trends. I do know the difference, but that the earth has not continued to warm over the last fifteen years is not just my opinion: Phil Jones has acknowledged that there has been no statistically significant warming over this period, while Kevin Trenbarth has admitted, "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment"...."

    All sides of the argument about anthropogenic global warming (AGM) agree that, historically, climate change was driven by factors other than carbon dioxide; above all else by the sun. My problem with some of the advocates of the AGM theory is that they seem to be saying that in recent times all factors other than carbon dioxide have ceased to exert an influence on climate - what else can I conclude when they maintain that climate change is all down to rising carbon dioxide levels?

    Being realistic, the probability that all the governments in the world will act together and will produce significant cuts to carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere in the foreseeable future is extremely low. It would be far better, then, it seems to me, if the vast sums of money being devoted to "de-carbonising" bits of the world were used instead to help the poorer peoples of the world directly - by helping them adapt to any climatic change and by trying to meet some of their immediate needs for such things as clean water and better medical facilities.

    This is a view spelled out (very convincingly in my opinion) by Bjorn Lambert in his weighty book "The Skeptical Environmentalist".


      Other letters were subsequently published, merely repeating the official 'IPCC' line, to which I sent the following reply:

      Sir...I refer to the recent letters on man-made climate change by Rev. Howard Kernow and others.

      It is not disputed that climate is changing. What is under debate is whether man is responsible.

      Professional scientists and engineers (of whom I am one) who look behind the global warming propaganda statements have always known that there is no consensus on man-made global warming; it is a political fabrication devised for the mass media.

      Readers will also be aware that many official bodies when writing on this matter produce alarmist statements without consulting their members.

      It is a strange world when those in authority are more interested in "how many will believe this?" rather than "is it true?"


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