Wishful thinking on Climate Change

Howard Curnow

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This piece appeared in the Methodist Recorder, 5 Apr 19, and is republished here by permission of MR and the writer.

Dr. Alan Cram referred to me as a "lone dissenting voice" to the majority view of experts on the subject of climate change (MR, Feb 8). I may be such a voice in the letters pages of the Methodist Recorder, but there are many who ask the same questions as I do and who are a dissatisfied with the answers as I am (or lack of them) offered the the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change).

It is questionable whether we really know the views of "the vast majority of climatologists" and the statement that such scientists have said "there is now a 95 per cent probability that climate is changing due to human activity" does not really tell us very much.

Very few would deny that human activity of many various sorts can have an effect on climate locally; but there are more than a few highly qualified scientists who question the assumption lying behind so many computer projections, which is that climate change is largely driven by carbon dioxide emissions. Such scientists would also be inclined to question whether reducing emissions will reverse any recent changes in world climate.

Those who want to maintain that climate change is leading to more flooding, more droughts, more (and more extreme) weather events, need to take note of the fact that even the IPCC says there is no evidence for this. Those who want to claim that sea level rise means that, in some places, they are "already suffering the results of climate change" need to be aware that the NOAA (the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) recently published coastal tide gauge data measurement records covering many sites on the US coast and a number of Atlantic and Pacific islands. None of these records show the acceleration in sea level rise often claimed to be happening by supporters of the AGW theory.

They do not seem to make the headlines, but some 500 papers questioning various aspects of the belief that carbon dioxide is the 'control knob' for climate change were published in 2018. There is also an organization called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change that has produced a number of reports.

One can admire Greta Thunbery for taking a stand on her beliefs; but essentailly what she believes is what she has been told - the same could be said of young people in this country who have been protesting about what they see as a lack of government action on climate change.

Sometimes, when someone like me asks questions about the AGW theory, we are told 'But you are not a climate scientist!'. No, I am not, and neither are many of those who are very vociferous in their campaigning concerning the use of fossil fuels.

Some seem convinced that renewables can make it possible quickly to phase out tyhe fossil fuels which we now reply on for the generation of electricity; but this is wishful thinking. One thing often lacking in climate change discussions is any form of cost/benefit analysis: such studies can provide a much-needed balance to an overly emtional approach to difficult problems.

HC, Devon

    Piers Corbyn, climate scientist:
    "Listening to an ignorant brainwashed child is deranged......... Greta Thunberg is wrong and suffers mental abuse by manipulative adults."


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