My Contribution to the next Climate Change Conference

Dr Vernon Coleman MB CB DSc FRSA

The Secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency has written inviting me to write a paper for their International Conference on Climate Change. They’ve kindly sent me a form so that I can claim for an attendance grant.


Every generation has its fake fear. In my time we have been terrified by nuclear war, overpopulation and AIDS. The popular, fashionable terror at the moment is climate change (aka global warming, aka global cooling.)

I love the fact that the world is awash with conferences in lovely places to which people can fly to discuss the dangers of air travel and other sins.

I have sent the Secretariat the following:

‘The climate change silliness has been developing for well over a century. The campaigners like to think they invented it but pseudo-scientists have been putting forward the theory that greenhouse gases could change the climate since the 19th century. Only the converts (the pseudoscientists who see the whole business as a way to become rich and famous) think the evidence is convincing. Independent scientists admit that there is no genuine evidence that the earth is heating up. (I was taken in during the 1970s and 1980s but I no longer accept the dubious evidence as honest.) Moreover, even if the earth is getting hotter, there is no way to know if this could be caused by burning fossil fuels.

Second, the alternatives to fossil fuels are frighteningly inefficient. For example, it takes more energy to make a windmill than the windmill will ever produce. So, the more windmills we produce the more energy we waste. Wind farms and solar farms are examples of entirely pointless rural vandalism; tributes to the self-serving sanctimoniousness and rank hypocrisy of an ignorant generation.

Third, the clever alternatives to oil and the internal combustion engine are also silly. Using food to make fuel (the biofuels nonsense) exacerbated the starvation problem and the Greens have condemned hundreds of thousands to death by campaigning for yet more food to be turned into fuel for rich people.

Fourth, electricity, though very nice and useful stuff, only provides about 20% of our energy needs. The other 80% comes from nasty old gas, oil, coal and nuclear power. And it is nigh on impossible to increase that proportion. It’s impossible to power ships and aeroplanes with electricity.

Fifth, an awful lot of people rely on gas for their central heating and cooking. If all those people are forced to use electricity for heating and cooking then there is going to be a great shortage of electricity because we are already using up every drop of the stuff that we can make.

Sixth, renewables such as solar energy and wind power provide only a tiny portion of our current electricity needs. We would need to carpet the countryside with solar farms and wind farms to increase that proportion significantly. And without subsidies (paid by consumers to rich landowners) the electricity produced would be horrifically expensive.

Seventh, maintaining windmills and solar panels requires more energy than the windmills and solar panels actually produce. The much loved renewables are actually a negative source of electricity. For example, when there is no wind the windmills have to be turned by electricity to stop them seizing up.

Eighth, there is no evidence that it is a bad thing if the earth is getting hotter. Rising tides would be bad for people with beachfront properties in some parts of the world. But if there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere there will probably be more plants on the planet and then there will be less starvation. Surely we can all agree that would be a good thing?

Ninth, all the bizarre taxes forced upon by the European Union are costing a fortune. Because of subsidies paid to rich farmers operating wind farms and solar farms, ordinary people are having to pay more for their heating and many thousands more are dying in the cold weather. Is that supposed to be a good thing?’

I hope they find that helpful.

I won’t be going to the Conference, even though it is in Vienna which has some of the very best cafes in the world.

Copyright Vernon Coleman March 2019