This piece appeared in the Methodist Recorder, 17 Apr 15, and is republished here by permission of the editor and Howard Curnow.
I am rather uneasy about some of what has been said about fossil-fuel companies, both in John Anderson's letter (Recorder, April 24) and in 'Recorder Comment' (April 10). Mr. Anderson says that such companies are "helping to destroy life as we know it", but it cannot be disputed that for the foreseeable future, "life as we know it" would be impossible without fossil fuels as a source of electricity.And to imagine that windmills and solar panels can supply all our needs for electricity is completely unrealistic.
Mr. Anderson also asserts that "we know" there should be 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to preserve the integrity of God's creation - I am not quite sure what is the basis for this figure, as it was about 280 a couple of centuries ago (before humans could have any real influence on it)!
The "Recorder Comment" refers to a call for disinvestment from 17 Anglican bishops, who are concerned, it is said, with "unprecedented climate crisis". They say, "We accept the evidence of science: human activity, especially in fossil-fuel-based economics, is the main cause of the climate crisis. We heard of extreme weather and changes to seasons....".
It cannot be stated too often that there are many reputable scientists who dispute the anthropogenic global warming theory in the simplistic form it was first presented to us, who would question that there is a crisis and who have been strongly critical of IPCC reports. (It must not be forgotten that IPCC is not a body of scientists, and that there are strong political factors at work in the production of its reports.)
When it became apparent that global warming had "paused" for fifteen years or more, the term got dropped in favour of "climate change". The new term, it seems, is not "change" but crisis" - unprecedented climate crisis. And much of the so-called evidence for this (extreme weather events, etc) is anecdotal. The flooding of the Somerset Levels, for instance, was cited by some as proof of "climate change" - but many of those who know the area well say if there was a human factor it was nothing to do with carbon dioxide and everything to do with the stopping of dredging of the channels. Some of the wilder predictions of climate "alarmists" - such as tornadoes of greater frequency and power - are simply not borne out by the facts.
It is a common accusation that any scientist who does not accept the IPCC line is in the pay of fossil-fuel companies, the implication that vast sums of money are expended by these companies to support "sceptical science" research. If this is so, it should equally be noted that vast sums of money from governments and green organizations are poured into research which is designed to endorse the "consensus". The belief that "he who pays the piper calls the tune" cuts both ways.
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