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Bringing politicians to Booker

Christopher Booker is in fine form this morning, describing in horrific detail the steady progress of the UK's energy system towards disaster. Perhaps mercifully, he does not move on to consider what this will mean for the economy as a whole and for individuals.

[It] is all insane in so many ways that one scarcely knows where to begin, except to point out that, even if our rulers somehow managed to subsidise firms into spending £100 billion on all those wind farms they dream of, they will still need enough new gas-fired power stations to provide back-up for all the times when the wind isn’t blowing, at the very time when the carbon tax will soon make it uneconomical for anyone to build them.


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Reader Comments (190)

Yes, the truly insane aspect of this is only given in the last sentence of the article. If doing all this really were going to have some effect on the planet, it might be wrong headed but it would at least be rational. Even those disagreeing about CO2 and global warming would have to admit that if the theory was right, the actions were reasonable.

What we are doing however is cripple our economy, and throw millions into fuel poverty when it will have zero effect on the supposed problem of global warming. This is because however much CO2 emissions we cut out, however much we reduce our coal burning, the results are too small to make any dent in what everyone else is doing. As the last sentence points out, but he could have gone on and pointed out that its not just India that is building coal fired plants, its China and Germany too!

This is truly insane. Given this, what we do will make no difference whatever. We are wrecking ourselves with absolutely no rational justification for doing it, even on the accounts of the most extreme advocates. What on earth are they thinking?

Mar 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered Commentermichel

Your quote is the one I homed in on as well.
Talk about disappearing up their own fundament. It would be hysterically funny in any other context!
Slightly O/T, the Telegraph is also reporting "Worst March snow for 30 years". Wasn't there something about 30 years being the point at which weather could start being considered as climate or something?

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:00 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:00 AM | Mike Jackson

"Wasn't there something about 30 years being the point at which weather could start being considered as climate or something?"

It's always thirty years from the present time, you can't get away with anything. Anyway Julia Slingo will tell you that this is what to expect from global warming, and David Viner meant our kids would never again see snow in June.

Seriously, if I'd bought into CAGW I would be wondering if there might be something wrong with the hypothesis by now. You know, just the tiniest doubt creeping in.

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Chritopher Booker forgot to mention the insanity of another attempt to spend £1bn that we don't have and will have to borrow, on the insanity of CCS.

Without repeal of the Climate Change Act 2008 and complete disregard of the EU diktat on renewable energy, this country is well and truly ****ed.

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Ah, but Booker must give some credit to the greens. After all, although the greens are not normally known for their patriotism they are trying, if I may paraphrase the words of Blake's poem/song, to build Jerusalem, or at least some dark, satanic windmills, in England's green & pleasant Land.

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Also from the Mail:

An increase in fuel costs and the extended winter means that more people are going to suffer, and more will be unable to afford to eat and heat their homes. It's a scary prospect.

Never mind, the troughers will be making more money as fuel and food prices continue to rise as a result of the renewables energy policy, which will "tackle climate change" and solve all our problems.

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:39 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I see the criminal parasites who inhabit DECC are pointing the finger of blame at "greedy energy companies"

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

What is oft forgot is the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers relations are directly benefitting from he construction of wind farms?
But hey snow will be a rare and interesting event?
Over the years I have felt powerless against the tide of absurdity and so I will actually now become powerless:-)

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Our politicians think that all is well and we are living in the best of all possible worlds. The Guardian yesterday had a statement by a spokesman for David Cameron on the threat of a gas shortage.

David Cameron's spokesman said the prime minister was "absolutely confident" that gas supplies were sufficient. "The gas market is how we source our supplies and that market continues to function well. The prime minister's key concern is that gas supplies continue. It is absolutely clear that supplies are not running out."

The words about the gas market "being how we source our supplies" are quite revealing. What they mean is that as long as we are prepared to pay enough somebody will be willing to sell us gas!

If you were starving to death you would be prepared to pay everything you had for a loaf of bread. It seems as if the government is quite prepared to let the price of energy rocket towards the heavens. After all, it discourages energy use and minimises our carbon footprints.

When Tony Blair got elected Labour used a song title (by a band containing the now ubiquitous Brian Cox) as its slogan - Things can only get better.

David Cameron seems to have chosen a different song - Always look on the bright side of life!

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

About time that the MSM started to mention the elephant in the room. The stupidity at every level of the issue is unf*ckingbelievable. Will it make a blind bit of difference to the idiots that run DECC? Not a chance. The LibDems want to ruin this country. To them it is a mission. I keep harping on about this on every blog I visit but as Philip says the country is well and truly f*cked until we have a government that understands that the wealth and the health of this country depends !00% on cheap energy.

As they say in football the next goal is all important! We need to stop scoring own goals Ed!

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

The end result?

Obviously, the political elite have total focus on green ideology and to providing the wherewithal to implement the green agenda - bird mincers and 'greening the economy' is far more important than people's lives and livelihoods.

The Westminster political elite therefore hate the British, what other conclusion can one draw?

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

I blame Met Office “scientists”, like Richard Betts, who are constantly feeding the gullible no-brains in Government with alarmist rubbish, cooked up by their useless (but expensive) models.

“ I stand by my comments of 4C or more global warming being possible by the end of this century, with local warming higher in some places, up to 15C in the Arctic an extreme but plausible case.”

I've had it with "reasonable" Richard, coming over here with honeyed words, while all the time promoting the most Alarmist scenarios to those that matter.
So come on Richard, when are we going to start to see the 0.5C/decade increases your "possibility" requires when the rate of increase over the last 100 years has been about 0.07C/decade?

For the benefit of your "model" that is about 7 times the current rate.

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

The deaths from extended periods of cold weather highlight the issue of a policy that deliberately sets out to make energy more expensive. If the government has done proper due diligence there should be reports on the impact of their artificially expensive energy on, amongst other things, mortality rates. I have asked DECC on a number of occasions to produce those reports. As yet, no dice.

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

Apparently everything written about the current stupidity is also futile. I recall an HoC meeting last year involving Ruth Lea, Matt Ridley and Donna LaFramboise calling for repeal of the CCA - but outside BlogWorld it seems to have had no practical effect.

Perhaps we should be getting around to formulating a means of forcing our elected dimwits to reconsider the CCA. Maybe we actually need some power outages to wake the sleeping electorate. The thought of the gurning idiot responsible for all this posing on the steps of no.10 - as well he might do - makes me nauseous. I don't know the answer - local campaigns to deselect MPs?

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterFilbert Cobb

It seems that many of our senior politicians are far more interested in purseuing their careers at the EU/UN than they are in the wellbeing of UK citizens. They are happy to push massive funding at those organizations 'on message'.

And the Met Office needs to bear it's share of the responsibility for this mess.

See the line for "Temperatures observed" in the 6th slide down or Page 04 - no hint of the flatlining that has since been admitted from 1998 onwards in this particular graph yet this information was pushed out in 2009 and widely distributed around the UK by the Met Office in the run-up to the Copenhagen talks.

Compare this to their recent 'decadel' forecast -

And ask yourselves why they should omit the second five years from their 'decadal' forecast.

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

And over on "Watts up with That" the MET Office's own figures (real data that is, not the rubbish turned out by models and "hindcasting") shows that winters are getting colder.

Figures released by the Met Office show the UK mean temperature for the 2012/13 winter finishing at 3.31C. This is below the long term 1981-2010 average of 3.83C.


Mar 24, 2013 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Another word smith and rather well put don't you think?

Titled: Bloody Windmills.

Neither would have been appointed if they didn't believe in bloody windmills. So they run a department that's utterly away with the fairies; today a dossier on collecting methane from cows' bottoms, tomorrow a study on farming sunbeams and next week a plan for local councils to collect human faeces in wheely bins for power stations. All the while the most lunatic tax changes and Eurostandards are closing viable power stations, raising the costs of energy to levels that cripple commerce and industry and ladling out subsidies to every crank, fool and deluded moron with a hare-brained scheme to make electricity from daisies.

Nothing to add.

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.


I agree with you. I don't trust any scientist working on "climate change" within the Met Office. One can understand that they have careers and families to consider, but the impact of their lack of integrity is resulting in the ruin of the economy, it's costing the lives of thousands of people, the well-being of millions of people and the destruction of the countryside.

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Phillip Bratby @ Mar 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Like the snake-oil pedlars of yesteryear - you don't 'come clean' when you're selling your wares, it could cut down on the good life.

One of the reasons, if not the only reason FOIA released the climategate email - was to highlight the shenanigans and 'fixing' going on behind closed doors "in the name of science".

What a joke and we've all been had - no one, not the 'scientists', politicians, green NGO's eco warriors can openly admit the truth - that CAGW is a crock - so the carousel goes round and round.

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

I welcome the MSM raising concerns over the UK's energy policy and the Daily Telegraph's leader in which they call for the recall of the Climate Change Act is to be applauded. I would recommend reading the comment section to that leader particularly the observation made by habitat21 at 04:37hrs. That comment is very much worth reading.

Whilst, I have never voted UKIP, I recall at the last election they were suggesting that by cutting our aid budget (which in any event is mainly wasted in corruption and/or proping up despot leaders/governments) and rescinding the Climate Change Act would save the UK approximately some 25 billion each year and this saving would go a long way to cutting the UK deficit in a relatively short period of time. The economic argument for such a stance was overwhelming. After all, global warming had by then stalled for more than 14 years so it was clear that Brown's mantra that we only had '60 days' (I can't recall the precise figure) to save the world was bunkum and it was clear that we had time on our side. Further, the withdrawal of aid could be temporary, once the UK economy was back on a sound footing, paying overseas aid could be reintroduced (but perhaps on a better targeted basis). Whilst the need to reign in the welfare state is long overdue, steps to do this could have been a little less painfall had foriegn aid and the Climate Change Act been slashed.

Government is simply about good management. There should only be one tripple faceted energy policy, namely to supply the citizen with the cheapest, abundant most reliable energy possible. There should be no other considerations outside that goal.

A civilised society should not subject its citizens to fuel poverty; there is little more unpleasant than feeeling cold in one's own home, and of course, it ultimately leads to an increased mortality rate. A developed nation, requires abundant cheap energy for its industrial might. Expensive energy is a drain on industry which leads to an increase in product cost to the distress of the consumer, and also leads to the closure of industry, that cannot compete on the world stage, leading to an increase in unemploymant which is a drain on the citizens.

Successive governments, but the labour government in particular has spectacularly failed in good management. They have shown a complete disregard for the needs of their citizens and they should be held accountable for this failure. Unfortunately, nothing will change until those in public office are held accountable for their actions (and inactions).

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Before the days of AGW , the Greens where quite happy and open about the need to make energy costs high and how much they hated that it was 'too easy' to access power . Nowadays they learnt enough not to say that in public .
Its worth consider that some greens still see a energy crisis has a 'good thing ' , partly because it punishes 'evil humans ' and partly becasue they think it can be used to force onto the population greens ideas , such has the end of personal powered transport , which otherwise would be impossible .

The smart ones known renewable cannot do it , the nasty ones are happy to keep promoting this none-workable idea and are willing to 'pay the price ' for the 'greater good ' no matter how many bodies make up the total.

Mar 24, 2013 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Two days ago I raised the question of when we last had such a snowy winter. A MetOffice climate scientist called Mark McCarthy said he thought 2010. He also said that this winter would not rank as a particularly snowy one. Do we have a new David Viner?

3 inches of entirely normal late March snow here this morning.

Mar 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Don Keiller

1. The rate of warming in recent decades is twice what you give for the average over the last 100 years, it's about 0.15 C per decade (see here)

2. The numbers I give are relative to pre-industrial, not present-day, and so we don't need as much as 0.5 C per decade to get there (more like 0.35 C per decade)

3. My figures are for a scenario in which the rise in CO2 concentration continues to accelerate - the A1FI scenario, see here for a graph of this.

So to get to 4 degrees by the end of this century, we don't need "seven times the current rate" as you suggest. We do need more than a doubling of the current rate, but that's perfectly possible if the CO2 rise continues to accelerate.

I'm not saying that 4 degrees by the end of the century is the most likely outcome - I don't know what is most likely - but it's easily possible, and that's the question I was asked to address for the conference.

Mar 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

The Climate Change Act WILL be scrapped; the only questions are WHEN and by how many STAGES!
I can't see Labour or the Lib Dems being brave enough to begin the process. UKIP will be unable to gain enough electoral leverage to do so in time, so it has to be the Tories who will grasp the nettle!
It won't be easy for them, given the amount that they've invested in the Green Dream, but as it becomes clearer that the country is falling into a Dark Nightmare, the only solution is to wake up, smell the fear and start the fix.

Mar 24, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Don Keiller

My feelings towards Richard Betts are somewhat ambivalent. On the one hand he is one of the few alarmists who deign to mix it with us lower ranks but on the other hand he represents an organisation that is supposed to be scientific but whose output is prone to propaganda of the worst kind and who are largely responsible for successive governments adopting policies that are inimical to the citizens of the UK.

It would be refreshing if Richard would pop by and (i) admit that current UK energy policy is causing harm to the UK economy and to UK citizens and (ii) accept the huge role played by the Met Office in getting us here. I fully understand (but completely reject) the argument that our current suffering is for the benefit of as yet unborn generations but an acknowledgement of the here and now would be truly enlightening!

I anticipate unrelenting silence.

Mar 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenternTropywins

Ntropywins: The day that the MO admits its culpability in the climate change scam will be the day when hell freezes over - not long to go then.

Mar 24, 2013 at 11:39 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Richard Betts

The maximum 30year rate of warming (WMO Standard) achieved by "The Impeccable" (HadCRTUT4) was +0.199C/Decade in Dec 2003. Since then the rate has reduced by more than 20%.

Out of the 13 years or 157 months since Jan 2000 the rate has only been at +0.195C or above (+2C per century) for only 12 months - July 03 to June 04.

The MO's latest "5 year" Decadal Forecast is predicting that the rate will be down to approx +1.3C/century by the end of 2017

So before we can start considering +4C per century, when does the MO predict that the previous high of Dec 2003 will be exceeded?

Mar 24, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Richard Betts
With respect, the rate of warming in the last decade (according to HadCRUT4 global mean) has been about -.02C (using the Mk 1 eyeball on a Wood for Trees graph).
I see no reason to assume that this "standstill" is not a prelude to a temperature decline similar to that which occurred quite naturally post-1940 (at a time when CO2 levels were increasing as indeed they have been for the last decade!).
Your "scenario in which the rise in CO2 concentration continues to accelerate" also makes the assumption that CO2 has an effect on climate which is increasingly being challenged in the literature and which is in effect challenging itself by that very standstill/slow down to which I have just referred.
Since I happen to be one of those who welcomes your contributions here I shall refrain from such blunt comments as "wake up and smell the coffee, Richard" but I would suggest that some of your theoretical alarmist projections are so far out of line with what "the science" is now telling us that it really is time to tell the modellers to stop playing silly games with the aim of scaring everyone to death and to look a little more closely at what is actually happening in the real world.

Mar 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

More disinformation from Richard- note his decision to cherry-pick fellow alarmists' paper
"Comparing climate projections to observations up to 2011"
by Stefan Rahmstorf Grant Foster and Anny Cazenave

For information Grant Foster is "Tamino", author of the ludicrously named "Open Mind" blog ( which has recently being singing the praises of Marcott et al's "Hockey Stick"

Why not use HadCRUT4, from those well-known Sceptics at UEA?

“Updates have resulted in some changes to individual years in the nominal global mean temperature record, but have not changed the overall warming signal of about 0.75 °C since 1900.”

"The rate of warming in recent decades is twice what you give".
Like the last two decades?. Even your own employer has the honesty to admit this.

Met Office officials say that by 2017, temperatures will not have risen significantly for nearly 20 years.

Mar 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Re: Mar 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Richard Betts

"The numbers I give are relative to pre-industrial, not present-day, "

I anticipated you would use this line of argument, Richard, - helpfully this graph the Met Office produced in 2009 actually points out where a 2degree pre-industrial increase would come so your 4 degree increase by the end of the century would seem to be even more alarmist than that extreme 'hockey-stick' predicted there!!!

See 6th slide down (or Page 04)

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

@ Richard Betts

Like many, I appreciate your engagement here. But seriously, have a think. In the UK, the weather is getting colder, not warmer (you're familiar with HadCET, right?). And yet you cling on to the crumbling paradigm with: "I only need a doubling of the 80's/90's rate of warming [sustained non-stop for most of a CENTURY] to hit my target - it's perfectly possible!". It's like trying to prove the sun goes round the earth by referring to inceasingly desperate epicycles.

We had a brief, a BRIEF spell of fairly quick warming (just like we did in, what was it, the 1940's?). That spell of warming ended years ago. And you come here and say well, if only that (historic, by now) rate of warming would just DOUBLE for 90 years NON-STOP, then it's "perfectly possible" for us to hit a 4 Celsius rise.

It. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Worse, because of the policies that follow from your scare-mongering, millions are people are going to suffer from severe energy rationing and many, many thousands are going to die of cold. British people. Your countrymen and women.

You, sir, should be ashamed.

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

Mar 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts,

My god, how can any knowledgeable person still be using the discredited IPCC scenarios?

Ho, wait a minute he is part of the Propaganda Machine isn't he, so that was a silly question wasn't it?

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterA C Osborn

Anyone who wants to sign a petition to repeal the climate change act, will find said petition at the above site

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Richard Betts (Mar 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM) makes reference in his first point to paper that 'derives' a change in anual global temperaturs of about 0.15 C per decade, though I note that this derivation uses 'adjusted' temperature measurements that result in a both a smoother and higher warming rate.

The explanation for these 'adjustments' is that they compensate for all the natural factors that impact global temperatures and so what we see in the results must be a 'true' reflection of a CO2 driven tempreature rise. The implicit assumption is, therefore, that we not only know ALL of these natural factors but that we can quantify their effects with sufficient certaintly to make such adjustments.

My question to Dr Betts would therefore be:
1) how confident is he that ALL factors have been sufficiently well accounted?
2) how big would the associated error bars be for such 'adjustments'?

I aske these questions because, if there are unaccounted or misunderstood natural factor that effect global climate measurements, would these 'adjustments' not suffer from the same degree of uncertainty or error as a climate model, since they must be based upon exactly the same assumptions?

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

I noted on 20 December 2012 that the Met Office predicted that 2013 would be 0.57 degrees warmer than the 1961 to 1990 long term average of 14 degrees. The year would also be one of the 10 warmest years in the record, which goes back to 1850.

Well, this is a good start.

The warming period 30 years ago was a blip. Now we are getting back to normal UK weather. The useless scientists who used the blip to create the biggest scam in the history of science should admit that they got it completely wrong and put their hugely expensive models in the bin.

Ok, I've had my rant. Even so, one would expect scientists to attach more importance to observations than to models. The trouble is that the current crop of scientists were taught by the original believers so they can't conceive that the assumptions that drive their precious models are wrong.

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I sometimes feel that Don goes a bit OTT in his comments but increasingly I find I agree with him. It is quite ridiculous for RB to refer to the fabricated adjusted trends cooked up byRahmstorf. Who does he think he is fooling? Likewise the bogus talk of "pre-idustrial", with its false implication that the earth's temperature used to be a constant. And finally there is the feature of only mentioning the high endscenario numbers, as in the notorious Myles Allen press release.

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

I remember reading somewhere that a change in average cloud cover of just 0.5% could explain all the warming/cooling in the last couple of hundred years.

Unfortunately I do not have source of this. Does anyone recognise this claim?

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Mar 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM | geronimo
"Seriously, if I'd bought into CAGW I would be wondering if there might be something wrong with the hypothesis by now. You know, just the tiniest doubt creeping in."

I think you are describing Joe Public pretty well there. The vast majority of people bought into CAGW when it started in 1988. Over the last few years, especially since Climategate and the recent run of cold winters, a lot of people have been having doubts and turning against it. I get the feeling now that there is an avalanche of people waking up to the fact that they've been well and truly had.

It will be fun watching the politicians starting to change their minds and we can watch them turn on the 'climate scientists' too. The snowball has started rolling...

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

I want to add something else, Richard.

For years, people were content to go along with "environmentalism" as long as it just meant going along with (pointless) gestrures like buying crappy lightbulbs, turning off the TV at the mains, or forsaking free supermarket carrier bags.

But now the insane green policies are just beginning to bite. People's energy bills have shot through the roof. They shiver at home through the winter, afraid to put the central heating on. They stay at home, afraid to use the car for the price of the fuel and give up shopping trips and visits to family and friends. They pass up scarce job opportunities because they can't afford the commute and so sit at home on the dole (shivering). Our remaining manufacturing industry shuts up shop and moves overseas because of the artificially high energy costs. And it's going to get a lot, lot worse.

And to what end? Can we cool the weather through our suffering? Does the weather NEED cooling, even if we could do it?

People will only play along with "environmentalism" so long as it doesn't hurt. It's starting to hurt now and is going to hurt a whole lot worse. And the hurting is for naught, because global warming isn't happening. People are getting angry. There may be trouble ahead. We need to make an about-turn on "green policies". Now.

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

"Anyone who wants to sign a petition to repeal the climate change act, will find said petition at the above site"

The e-petition currently has ~1180 signatures. Last week, Defra's email system was crashed by 80K messages asking Paterson to sign up for a moratorium on the use of some of the neonicotinoid pesticides - on which there is accumulating evidence that they damage non-target species (like honey bees) and are far more persistent in soil than the regulatory system acknowledges.

This begs a question - what is the pro-bee lobby doing that the counter movement to climastrology isn't?

Mar 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterFilbert Cobb

@Richard Betts Mar 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM

You say "a scenario in which the rise in CO2 concentration continues to accelerate" and "perfectly possible if the CO2 rise continues to accelerate".

Richard, I'm not sure you understand the term "accelerate". It means "to increase the rate of change".

The recent rate of change of CO2 in the atmosphere appears to me to be just about relentlessly constant. I can see no evidence of an increasing rate of change at all. Can you?

Please assure me that you understand the difference between dy/dx and d2y/dx2 like you were taught as a schoolboy.

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered Commentersimon abingdon

And another thing, while I'm on a roll.

I was an environmental lawyer. Having an inside track on forthcoming legislation, I (hangs head in shame) set up a company to farm Feed In Tariffs when they were first introduced. I'm pleased to say, though, that I had second thoughts and closed the company down (at some personal cost to myself) before we made a single penny. The policy is wrong and the policy is bad.

What I'm trying to say is, it's OK to say "You know what? I got that wrong". It's OK to change your mind as circumstances change and as we learn more. People who refuse to change their mind are zealots. And I don't think that you're a zealot.

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

Filbert Cobb

Good question

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Well with regard to climate alarmism very little ever really surprises me but today I have been surprised.

Richard Betts resorting to referencing "Comparing climate projections to observations up to 2011"!

It could also prove to be a significant turning point, a tactical switch and be indicative of the PR to come.

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:16 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Don Keiller

1. The rate of warming in recent decades is twice what you give for the average over the last 100 years, it's about 0.15 C per decade (see here)

Richard, you must be reading Sceptical Science too much, comparing a 100 year average with a single 20 year snapshot is shoddy, especially when the same 100 year average is made up of similar 20 year increases followed by 20 year decreases adding up to a low recovery from the LIA.

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Simon Abingdon

No, you're wrong, the rise in CO2 concentrations is accelerating, see here

Paul Matthews, Dave Salt

Actually I was referring to the unadjusted trends, not Rahmstorf's adjusted ones. He gives both in the paper I referred to.

Don Keiller

When an argument which is entirely grounded in the peer-reviewed literature is described as "disinformation", that's a sign that the other party (ie: you) is not interested in an objective, sensible conversation. I am therefore stepping out of this conversation. Sorry to everyone else.

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Richard when you quote a paper by "Tamino", rather than the widely accepted HadCRUT4, to support your point, then you also are not interested in an objective, sensible conversation.

I will not miss you.

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Breath of Fresh Air
Worth emphasising that — again.
That is one of the most dishonest pieces of sleight of hand I have come across in this whole debate.
The rate of warming for the last three "ups" in the 60-year cycle (late 19thC, early 20thC, late 20thC) have been the same within error limits.
Only by comparing a part to the whole can you argue that "it's getting worse than we thought". But what can you expect from someone like C(r)ook?
He certainly fooled BBD (not hard) who shouted and swore at me when I pointed out the "error". It's shameful that alarmists are allowed to get away with that sort of blatant dishonesty and seduce innocent minds in the process. If the science is robust enough it doesn't need that sort of behaviour.

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM | Richard Betts
"I am therefore stepping out of this conversation."

It's not easy pinning a warm-monger down...

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

Coal Tax

We should start using the term

Mar 24, 2013 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered Commentersimon

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