Climate Change is a Lot of Hot Air

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

Pronouncements from the climate change, global warming spokespersons are greeted as though they are holy relics – far too important to be questioned. The surprise is that they are not handed down from mountaintops, carved on tablets of stone.

Three people appear to have become the poster-children of climate change mythology. Prince Charles (a prime candidate for Hypocrite of the Century), David Attenborough (a television presenter) and a schoolgirl called Greta Thunberg who is famous for playing truant from school, and seems to be regarded by millions as a new Joan of Arc. All of them, and their supporters, spend a good deal of time travelling around the world to address meetings and conferences. A decent sized climate change conference can bring 20,000 enthusiasts flying in from all over the world.

The problem is that politicians and journalists are now too frightened to ask proper questions or to deal with the issue of global change in a robust scientific manner; interviewers never ask the celebrity global change stars the questions which really need to be answered. The result is that the climate change believers get away with a good deal of pseudoscientific gobbledegook which does not bear close examination.

The first point is, of course, the unavoidable fact that the climate change spokespersons have very large carbon footprints. Although Greta famously travelled to America by boat, it was widely reported that the boat’s crew had to make at least one journey across the Atlantic by plane. It would surely have been better for the planet if she had simply flown across the Atlantic – but that wouldn’t have gathered quite as much publicity. The world would have lost all those photographs of little Greta braving the elements to save the planet. All the climate change personalities travel a great deal to conferences and meetings – but all travel requires energy and trains and electric cars rely on electricity which is largely produced by burning fossil fuels. It isn’t difficult to argue that the world would be better served if they all stayed at home.

There would, unhappily, have been problems with that since between 5% and 9% of all electricity used around the planet is used by information and communications technology. Aviation only produces as much carbon dioxide as the world’s computer data storage centres. All those banks of servers, upon which social media campaigners share their global warming nightmares, burn up vast amounts of electricity and hysterical climate change protestors probably use up as much energy as the world’s aeroplanes.

Oh, and the climate change enthusiasts who insist on cycling everywhere should realise that bicycles are a major cause of pollution. As cyclists pedal along, the traffic queuing up behind them burns up far more fuel, and emits far more pollution, than would otherwise be the case.

The climate change mythmakers have made many claims about the future of the planet.

For example, back in 1989 a United Nations environmental expert stated that whole nations would vanish if global warming was not reversed by the year 2000. In 2009, Gordon Brown told us that we had 50 days to save the planet. Eleven years ago Prince Charles stated that we had eight years to save the planet. In 2017 the United Nations revised their prediction and said that we had three years left. A while ago an American politician called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated that `the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change’. Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg recently wrote that: `around 2030 we will be in a position to set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control that will lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it’. In 2019 she stated that we have eight years left to save the planet.

Climate change campaigners have forecast that `life on earth is dying, billions will die and the collapse of civilisation has already begun’. They have also compared global warming to the Holocaust but `on a far greater scale’.

None of these predictions is ever supported by any scientific evidence and I have been unable to find one credible scientist who has ever claimed that climate change threatens the extinction of the human species or the collapse of civilisation. I can find lots of twelve year olds who say it but twelve year olds think and say lots of silly things which don’t usually get given headlines in the world’s press.

Talking of children two things come to mind.

First, in the UK half of all children under the age of 10 are driven to school every day – or at least they were in the distant days when they went to school and people tried to teach them things. If they really wanted to save the planet and help improve the quality of the air it would help if they walked to school instead.

Second, a group of British psychologists have reported that children are suffering from anxiety caused by the frightening predictions made by those predicting that climate change will affect our future – and may result in the death of mankind. The self-publicising celebrities who travel the world spreading doom and gloom might like to reflect on that.

The fact is that the global warming campaign is led by people who grew up in rich countries and who travel easily and comfortably. They have enough to eat. They have wonderful phones and computers and television. All those things require a good deal of electricity – most of which is produced with the aid of oil, gas and coal. Now those campaigners, whose lives were enriched by fossil fuels, want to stop poor people in Africa and Asia from improving their lives. The fact is that oil and coal will give them their only chance to catch up.

The campaigners who want to stop the world using fossil fuels are suppressing the world’s poor and condemning them to starvation, malnutrition and early death. That seems to me to be rather selfish – and a hell of a price to pay. Climate change campaigners want to deny poor countries the right to use cheap energy sources from fossil fuels – but they, and their countries, became rich by using such fuels. If the climate change nutters are looking for a slogan it should be `hypocrisy rules’.

There are lots of things which annoy me about the pseudoscience which is climate change and the ignorant pseudoscientists who jabber away about the climate as if they understood anything they were saying.

First, consider renewable energy. Well, the biggest source of renewable energy is said to be biomass – the `green’ word for wood and we have to remember that although wind farms and solar panels get a great deal of publicity they produce a marginal amount of electricity. The greater part of the energy which is said to come from renewables comes from burning wood pellets – biomass – and in the UK most of the biomass is imported from America. So the trees which the planet needs are chopped down, chopped up and shipped to the UK in big ships driven by diesel. And once the trees get to the UK they are renamed biomass and burned to produce clean electricity. Climate change campaigners want to stop funding so that oil companies will not find more oil. They want us to stop using oil. However, the International Energy Agency has stated that by the year 2040 our planet will still obtain only around 5% of its energy needs from renewable sources (including burning trees or `biomass’). So if we give up using fossil fuels we will have to cut back a good deal. No heating, no cooking of food, no lighting, no television and definitely no laptops and mobile telephones. If that’s what Greta and company really want then that’s fine. But they should, perhaps, understand what they are asking for.

Second, the climate change nutters are for ever claiming that global warming will kill off all sorts of animals. The most popular claim seems to be that climate change will result in koala bears becoming extinct. Well, the last time anyone counted there were around 300,000 koala bears living in the wild. And the main threat to their existence is the destruction of their habitat – often as a result of farmers requiring more land upon which to grow biofuels. And biofuels, remember, are the fuel of choice for climate change nutters. It’s also worth pointing out that the stuff known as biofuel, crops such as corn, is known to much of the world as food. By encouraging the use of biofuels the climate change nutters are condemning much of the world to death by starvation. Incidentally, the Climate change campaigners claim that many people will starve to death if the global temperature rises. There is, of course, no evidence to support this claim.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation say that crop yields will rise by 30% by the year 2050. The planet’s poorest countries will see their yields rise by 80-90%. But the increase in yields will depend on the use of tractors and heavy machinery which will, of course, require oil. Rural areas of poor countries will not be able to afford electricity and charging points until they are richer.

If the climate change campaigners get their way poor countries will be forced to stay poor and the people living in them will remain hungry.

Third, climate change campaigners claim that forest fires are a result of climate change. But experts in both Australia and America have concluded that climate change has had little or no impact on the development of forest fires – which are, in any case, less frequent than they used to be. The average annual acreage of American forest burned is now around 6.6 million. Back in 1928, the average annual acreage of American forest lost to fires was 41.7 million. As a mathematician I wouldn’t put myself in the same class as Neil Ferguson but I am pretty confident that 41.7 is a bigger figure than 6.6.

Indeed, between 1931 (the peak) and 2020 there has been a 99.7% decline in the death toll from disasters around the globe?

Then there is the economy.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that a global warming of 2.5 degrees centigrade to 4.0 degrees centigrade would reduce global GDP by 2% to 5% by the year 2100 but that the global economy will, by 2100, be between 300% and 500% larger than it is at the moment.

So, that’s another worry we can forget about.

We can also forget all that rubbish about the sea rising up and swallowing millions of square miles of land.

The IPPC’s estimate is that sea level could rise by two feet by the year 2100. How much of a crisis do you think this is, given that one third of the Netherlands has always been below sea level –some of it over 60 feet below sea level.

The fact is that there isn’t any scientific proof that if the planet is getting warmer then the warming is man-made.

You’d think that if there were any, the climate change nutters would make it available, wouldn’t you?

I apolgise if all these facts rather spoil a good story.

But the fact is that the whole climate change mularky is just another piece of propaganda. And it perhaps says a good deal about the whole thing that the three best known spokespersons for climate change are a little Swedish girl who didn’t go to school, a British prince who is better known for his habit of talking to flowers than for his intellectual abilities and who forecast that the world would end in 2017, a television presenter who has made a number of programmes with the BBC.

To those we can add an assortment of slightly hysterical priggish children who are enjoying the freedom to join a campaign about which they know absolutely nothing, the usual crew of luvvies and what seems like the entire editorial staff of the BBC, who seem happy to give airtime to any minor celebrity or pseudo-scientist who is prepared to enthuse about the dangers of climate change while denying any airtime at all to scientists who bravely refuse to follow the official BBC line.

Climate change enthusiasts have promoted their cause by throwing bombs at policemen, by holding demonstrations designed to block the traffic and pollute the air and by forging documents purporting to give their spurious arguments some sort of a scientific basis.

I’d love to interview Greta about climate change.

Perhaps the BBC would set it up.

Or perhaps they wouldn’t.

Copyright Vernon Coleman June 2020

If you want to see the evidence proving that global warming is a myth, please read Zina Cohen’s new book entitled: Greta’s Homework: 101 Truths About Climate Change that Everyone Should Read. Zina’s new book is available as a paperback and an eBook on Amazon. Once you’re read it, you will realise that climate change is a myth.