God's judgment

The claims that this summer's unseasonal weather are the result of global warming continue. Whether you believe that global warming is the result of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions, like the majority, or of permissive attitudes to gay relationships, like the Bishop of Carlisle, you are supposed to believe that the recent floods are nature or God's judgment on our wicked ways.

Contrary to earlier claims, the Met. Office have started to whisper that this weather is not, in fact, the result of global warming, but is more likely caused by the impacts of a La NiƱa weather system. If so, it also gives the lie to the claims that this weather was unpredictable. It wasn't, it was just unpredicted by the "experts" to whom the government and the media listen.

Let's be clear. No one who knew anything about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory should ever have been claiming that heavy summer rainfall was the result of AGW. Below is a graph produced by the Governments' UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) in cooperation with DEFRA, the Met. Office's Hadley Centre, and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, showing predicted changes in precipitation under two climate-change scenarios (Top row = Low emissions, Bottom row = High emissions). It is missing one vital piece of information, which is what each column portrays. The three columns for each block (Winter and Summer) are predictions for how the precipitation will have changed, respectively (left to right) by the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. As you can see, even under low-emissions scenarios, by the 2020s, summer precipitation is expected to have fallen by upto 20% in most of England, including most of the flood-hit areas. Heavy rainfall that delivers in the space of a few days an amount of rain equal to the total rainfall in an average summer is ABSOLUTELY INCONSISTENT with this, however much pundits might like to claim airily that the models predict more extremes.

Precipitation maps

If you want to look at this in more detail, you can download UKCIP's scenarios work from their website. The stuff on precipitation is in Section 4.3 (p.28) of their Technical Report, and more maps like the above, for a wider range of scenarios and seasons, are shown from pp.33-36.

And one last thought. Is God wrong, or is it just his representatives that are idiots? Presumably the latter. But is it really possible to believe in a God who chooses such numpties to be his mouthpieces on Earth? Once people discover that our Bishops' generalizations were crass on so many levels, should this not undermine the little remaining credibility of our spiritual leaders and the faith that they espouse? Christopher Hitchens is right. It is kind of the Church of England to go out of its way to prove his point for him.



I am sceptical about the accuracy of scientists' predictions of climate change and the likely increase in global temperatures not least because (a) it is so damned convenient, (b) it is based on predictions that have been found to be around 300% inaccurate and (c) it seems a little to easy.

Michael Crichton has a really intelligent dig at environmentalism (in the water-melon -- green on the outside, red in the middle -- sense) in his book, State of Fear. The evidence is largely not in place and, while the scientific method always seeks to find the closest convergence of observed facts to theory, I think this one's a bit too close to call.

Unlike evolution, which is another scientific theory that sceptics believe isn't water-tight (they're wrong), human-caused climate change is not an answer to many observed phenomena. The trouble is we don't have enough data, we don't understand some of the data we have and even with the data we do have and understand, we don't know the solution.

I hate to be in a position where I think 'wait and see' is the more sensible course of action (where humans will be harmed by trying to 'fight climate change') but I don't feel I have a choice.

And all that is said without touching on the impossible problems associated with the development of the Third World which we must all hope continues and quickens from a humanitarian perspective.

Yes, the overstatement of the case makes one inclined to caution. Most scientists aren't actually claiming great accuracy in their predictions. Quite modest scientific claims, on the whole, get conflated and inflated by politicians, political processes (such as the IPCC), the media, and other members of the establishment.

I'd say, rather than "do something, anything" or "wait and see", the obvious answer to a complex and uncertain threat is to treat this as a risk and create an appropriate market for the risk. The markets we have at the moment all assume certainty, not just in the scale but also over who should take responsibility for what, and thereby generate false incentives. I am involved with your party's Economic Competitiveness Review, and will shortly be submitting a proposal to that effect, but I am afraid I have left it too late (which is entirely my fault, not theirs).

The claims that this summer's weather is evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) continue to accumulate, even as the weather veers further and further from the predictions of AGW models. We have been posting occasionally on the most egregious examples. You can find the various posts under the Climate Change category.