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« Improving peer review | Main | The greening of the Sahel »
Sunday
Jul142013

Ed Davey on Sunday Politics

Ed Davey was given a pretty thorough interrogation by Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics today. Well worth a look, and probably due-a-line by line examination as well.

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Reader Comments (157)

I too consider that Andrew Neil conducted a good interview and was correct to concentrate on the pause in rise of surface land temperatures and model failures to predict the pause.

I doubt that Mr Davey will be back for round 2 on sea surface temperatures, ice caps (arctic and antarctic), and an increase in extreme weather events. Surely, his advisers will inform him that antartcic ice has been growing and they has been no diminuation in the combined ice caps, so he will find it difficult to stand his ground on ice cap malts supporting AGW. No doubt his advisors will inform him that the IPCC's own report into extreme weather events has found no connection with global warming, so he will lose that particular spat. That leaves him just with sea level rise. the material issue here is that whilst it appears that sea levels have been rising, the rate of sea level rise has not increased. The average viewer may not appreciate the subtle distiinction and may not appreciate that it is the fact that rate of rise has not accelerated which is material to this debate. Thus Davey may be able to win one of the three items up for grabs on the basis that the issue will go over the viewer's head. Of course, his PR advisors will advise that he did not come accross well so I envisage that he will avoid Mr Neil like the plague.

You can tell that Davey has no objectivity since any rational person would have answered the question pertaining to re-evaluation of policy in the event that the temperature stasis contines for 20 years in the positive. It is obviously reasonable to re-evaluate in these circumstances and one would have expected Mr Davey to have at least been open to the possibility of review.

As for the 'no regrets' argument, regretfully, Far from the energy policy being a 'no regrets' policy, I expect that the UK will be regretting this policy for decades to come.

This winter there were many premature deaths due to the cold weather and the high costs of energy. I wonder whether Mr Davey has any regrets that the policy that he promotes has already claimed lives and is likely to claim even more in the coming years. I would have liked Andrew Neil to have put that question to Mr Davey.

Jul 15, 2013 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Come on people, they *our masters* are always right(ish) only on a green moon - They all are liars, cheats and fraudulent criminals - These so called masters need being brought to book for what they do - It will never be in our *The peoples* interest at all - These so called servants need a wake up call.

Jul 15, 2013 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Galleywood

"Video not available in your area"... Not available in the USA?
Why?
What'd we do? Well, besides having an equally absurd eco-potus.

From the descriptions, brief passages and many many comments, my opinionated take;

Ed Davey is a polished political professional, he could be sweating bullets yet you'd never see them. Too bad we can't get honest feedback from those who briefed him about Davey's personal opinion of the interview afterwards.

The big trouble is that the interview will stand huge in the minds of all the CAGW alarmists who desperately avoid debating qualified scientists. The only skeptics they'll even allow in the same room with an open mike are those who are far too polite to make waves.

I'm hard pressed to think of a single CAGW climate deceiver who wouldn't be quickly gibbering about how we heathen scientists deserve our ends, (I sure hope so :), after such an interview.

About Ed Davey's poise under fire; I've always hoped that rational people listen for the parts or impacts they understand and then listen carefully to responses. Since I grew up in the land of 'tricky Dick', I pay close attention to note when answers fail to contain responses or provable facts. Yeah, most politicians speak twenty minutes when a ten word response is all that's needed. That's what a good mediator is for, to ring the gavel and halt false bluster. A great mediator tracks questions, answers, facts and fiction for the audience; preferably without their persona dogma interfering.

Now we really need to put some of the CAGW alarmist deceivers to the same sort of spitting and roasting.

Three cheers for Andrew Neil!

Jul 15, 2013 at 3:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

If the heat (generated by all this CO2) is not being shown in land surface temperatures nor sea surface temperatures, is it hiding in the deep oceans? Can somebody attempt to give me a rational and simple explanation of how warm water sits, hidden, under all that cold water?

Jul 15, 2013 at 4:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

mikeh: you're right that drawing attention to the trivial affect of UK CO2 reduction has had little effect. But that, I think, is because the point is not made often enough: as the warmists demonstrate, repetition is the key to getting a point over. I completely agree with you BTW about the effectiveness of a good use of charts - and an illustration of existing and planned coal plants in India and China would be an excellent example

Green Sand: "Typical example of a politicians mindset, thinks that this year's crap survey negates two decades of observational data". I think you're seriously mistaken. What Davey believes is that this survey is a powerful tool for sidetracking an interviewer who is trying to undermine his position: "Neither you nor I are scientists" [he's saying] "... but here's strong evidence that the vast majority of scientists agree that my policy is correct." The survey may be "crap" (I'm sure it is) but it does the job that's intended. It's a major error to underestimate the effectiveness of your opponent's position.

richard verney: you talk of Davey (in the future) finding "it difficult to stand his ground". But consider the interview carefully: when a possible problem emerges, he simply moves on to new ground. He's a skilled operator, and by no means the chump that many commentators here seem to think.

Jul 15, 2013 at 7:17 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

"Video not available in your area"... Not available in the USA?
Why?
What'd we do? Well, besides having an equally absurd eco-potus.

(...)

Jul 15, 2013 at 3:44 AM ATheoK

You could try ExpatShield: http://www.expatshield.com/

Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Some like Martin A (who I respect a lot) think sensitivity is a worthless concept. (...)
Jul 14, 2013 at 8:41 PM Richard Drake


Why thank you, Richard.

Climate sensitivity is remarkable amongst the unverified model-based concepts of what is known as "climate science" because it seems that even sceptics (or 97% of them) believe it means something.

Jul 15, 2013 at 7:25 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Jul 15, 2013 at 7:19 AM | Martin A
//////////////////

In Spain, one cannot view BBC iplayer directly.

Expatshield works and as far as I know contains no viruses. There are 2 versions, one of which is free; the free one having annoying pop ups and perhaps limited functions.

Robin Guenier: I used the future since I was explaining why I do not consider that Davey will take up Andrew Neil's invite and appear in the autumn. I agree with your comments on the usefulness of the 97% survey. It is a PR coup. Your comment equally applies to papers which are published and be damned, with retractions/clarifications being made after the initial PR hype of the 'over egged' paper and the retractions/clarifications not being picked up by the press since they are by the time they are made stale. In press terms, yesterday's news and this does not sell today's papers. The writers of such papers are well aware of the PR scoup/potential of their papers and are well aware that the effectiveness of the PR will not be undermined by later retractions/clarifications which are forced upon the author.

Jul 15, 2013 at 7:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

@richard verney
Perhaps the MSM are missing a trick? My wife, a non-technical linguist, always says "Oh God not another scientists say" for any prophecy of doom.

A few headlines along the lines of "Scientists Mistaken" would work wonders, as someone with a technical background I believe that 97% of scientists don't get it right every time, the other 3% get it wrong most of the time. We actually need people to think how many mights/coulds/worst case/possibles does this article contain and know that it's only a guess at what the future holds.

It might make press releases more realistic, and might have the positive effect of driving funds into useful research into thing benefiting mankind.

Jul 15, 2013 at 8:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Martin A:
"Climate sensitivity is remarkable amongst the unverified model-based concepts of what is known as "climate science" because it seems that even sceptics (or 97% of them) believe it means something."

The simple fact that the upper ocean and land surface has warmed while the mythical tropical tropospheric hotspot hasn't, demonstrates that the surface temperature is sensitive to the amount of cloud cover, not carbon dioxide levels. The amount of warming of the Earth compared to the Moon due to back radiation is likely around 7K out of ~93K, and is stable. Most of the rest is due to the fact that the ocean must rise to a temperature where it can convect and radiate as much energy as arrives from the Sun, due to the limit sea level air pressure places on the rate of evaporation.

The simple fact that changes in co2 level lag, never lead changes in surface temperature, at any timescale, demonstrates that fluctuations in the level of airborne co2 are an effect, not a cause of temperature change. Water vapour is the only 'important' greenhouse gas, and the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere is stable, no matter what humans burn, because it is controlled by forces many orders of magnitude more powerful than human activity.

Jul 15, 2013 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterRog Tallbloke

For all it's faults (Neil didn't seem to have been briefed enough to counter some of Davey's fibs - let's not call them lies - he's probably been ill-briefed too) - step back for a moment 3 or 4 years.

The fact this interview is happening at all is a massive leap forward.

Davey seemed surprised that the 97% paper has been discredited, he was surprised that the Met office have admitted they don't understand the pause, the didn't know about Arctic ice melt. He seemed to be putting all his eggs in the "sea temperatures" basket (like AGW alarmist itself). I hope what comes out of this is that if he gets embarrassed enough by interviews like these, he kicks spAd asses who are presenting their own biased views to him.

Jul 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

"He seemed to be putting all his eggs in the "sea temperatures" basket"

The upper ocean has been cooling since 2004 as shown by ARGO data (before they 'adjusted' it by dropping buoys showing rapid cooling in 2011. No climate scientist has offered a physical explanation of how 'missing heat' (an artifact of a failed theory) can pass through 700m of cooling upper ocean to hide in the abyss in contravention of the second law of thermodynamics. 'Downwelling' is not observed, but assumed. No measuring system has enough data points to determine whether the deep ocean is getting warmer. The claim relies on models using (sparse) salinity change data.

In reality the Earth' energy budget has gone into negative territory, as demonstrated by comparing CERES flashflux data with ARGO data for the upper 700m of ocean.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/working-out-where-the-energy-goes-part-2-peter-berenyi/

This means that stable surface temperatures over the last decade are due to the fact net energy is coming out of the ocean, not going in.

Jul 15, 2013 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterRog Tallbloke

Yes, I wish Neil had the time (and notes) to counter his "sea temperature" naivety as well, it allowed him somewhere to weasel out to - as well as claiming (falsely) that climate 'science' scientists don't consider 1980 as the starting point of warming. Let's hope a well-briefed Neil gives him an ocean temperatures kicking in the autumn as promised.

I think the most telling admission he wrought from the slime-ball was that even if the science is changed, he won't be changing his policy. That's OK, Davey, you will be chip-shop paper by then, mate.

If you're watching Andrew Neil, I'm sure there are many here will be happy to brief you to counter all their slimy weasel words.

Jul 15, 2013 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

For viewers 'outside the area', you can see it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKYszIxaUxY

Jul 15, 2013 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterharold

For all it's faults (Neil didn't seem to have been briefed enough to counter some of Davey's fibs - let's not call them lies
Jul 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM TheBigYinJames


No. To lie you have to know roughly what the truth is.

Bullshit is saying what you think might be right (or might be wrong - you don't really care) to have the desired effect on the listener.

If you sincerely believe your bullshit, is it still bullshit? I think it is, particularly in the case of someone who (despite appearances) has the intelligence to ask questions and ascertain the truth if he wished to do so, rather than swallowing the guff he is fed by a corrupt civil service.

Jul 15, 2013 at 9:42 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

@ Richard Drake

Our real concern should be that the very expensive is about to be locked in by long term contracts for difference

Indeed, and the only way I can see any future government being able to get out of these terms is by showing that the contracts were induced by bad science predicting a looming climate catastrophe, and that the bad science was funded by the company on the other side of the contract. It might then be possible to get the contract set aside. I wouldn’t bet on it though and I doubt if any of the entities farming the subsidies is exactly the same as any donor to the cause, for just this reason.

It raises an interesting question of how, as a sceptic, you make money out of being right about climate psyence. Normally I wouldn’t touch a utility stock, because they’re over-regulated and the returns reflect this. A utility that gets to lock in enormous margins on power it will never be called on to generate – like wind – could be a good bet for all the wrong reasons. Likewise these guys building diesel generators, a fuel already in short supply in Europe, would be a great punt if any of them is publicly quoted.

Jul 15, 2013 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

In one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's best-known Sherlock Holmes stories, Silver Blaze, the vital clue is the curious behaviour of a dog.

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

As far as the economic impact of "green" policies is concerned the British trade union movement is the dog that has not barked. Don't union leaders care about the rising energy bills faced by their members, or the ruination of what is left of British industry by the government's "decarbonisation" polices?

Conservatives have been claiming that Milliband is controlled by the unions but union leaders show no signs of putting pressure on him to abandon policies that will obviously harm their members. Perhaps the union leaders think their members will all be able to get cushy jobs as "climate change officers" in the public sector.

Jul 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

"Our real concern should be that the very expensive is about to be locked in by long term contracts for difference"

Over the weekend I heard a radio broadcast in which the CEO of Drax (Dorothy Thompson) proudly stated that the biomass pellets that Drax was converting to cost three times as much as coal. But never mind - she was going to make lots of money from it because profits were certain due to HMG's carbon taxation policy (I think she said until 2027?). And, of course, biomass was "carbon neutral", which gave her great pride....

So, faulty science, corruption, greed and circular reasoning combine to produce a suicidal energy policy that will wreck our economy. When will we ever learn?

Jul 15, 2013 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

I thought the interview was OK as far as it went. Neill was asking more penetrating questions than you'd expect on the subject and Davey was replying with stock twaddle.

Real change will occur when there's a general realisation that we're spending a fortune, putting up costs and doing nothing - can do nothing - to influence a GLOBAL supposed problem. Wasting an immense amount of money to damage the economy, inflict misery on the old and the poor and line the pockets of some very dubious people, and all for a policy which has every appearance of a political vanity project, is ineffective by its own measures anyway, and which has had to to imposed by underhand means, FITs etc.

Jul 15, 2013 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Roger Longstaff:

"He has the gravitas of Lawson and the tenacity of Paxo."

You mean Davey got stuffed?

Jul 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM | Registered Commenterdennisa

@ pesadia

I would like someone to create a comprehensive explanation showing just how ridiculous this argument really is

It’s been done, in the shape of Pascal’s (long-debunked) Wager. For the benefit of those not familiar, Pascal was a 17th century French logician and philosopher who considered whether, given the choice, you should bet for or against the existence of God.

Essentially his analysis was that if you bet against, and you’re right (God doesn’t exist), you gain nothing. But if you’re wrong, you lose an eternity in paradise.

Conversely, if you bet for God’s existence and you’re right, you get paradise, but if you’re wrong, you’ve lost nothing. Therefore, the logical choice is to bet on God’s existence, because no bet carries any cost but only that bet is capable of producing a benefit.

The two flaws in Pascal’s reasoning (which he was certainly aware of, of course) were, first, that you can only bet on one God, and risk picking the wrong one; and second, it’s a false assumption that there is no cost to betting on God. There is a huge cost. You have to waste resources building and maintaining churches, waste time praying in them, pay for a clergy, accept its interference in matters of state, forego pleasurable pursuits such as sodomy, bacon and moneylending in line with its arbitrary strictures, accept the likelihood of religiously-driven social schism, mount and repel invasions because other people believe in different gods. And so on.

It is at this point that the resemblance to the contemporary secular religion of climate change emerges. What evil twits like Davey are arguing is that we should act against climate change 1/ as if any meaningful action is even possible and 2/ without acknowledging the cost, which is always either denied altogether or dismissed as trivial. The case for action against climate change is the Argument from Pascal’s Wager - there’s a presumption of no cost to any choice, except the one where you do nothing.

The precautionary principle should also apply, however, to the precautionary principle itself. This is why people like me consider it deranged to spend trillions on climate change prevention when there may be nothing different happening, it may be beneficial, it will be more affordable in the future if it has happened, and the misdirection of resource now creates guaranteed deaths and hardship now.

Of course Pascal’s wager isn’t the real reason for the enthusiasm for wind turbines and whatnot. The real reason is just graft. The rationalisation is Pascal, though, and it’s astonishing to find the are still suckers for this crap 400 years on.

Jul 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Roger Longstaff,

So, faulty science, corruption, greed and circular reasoning combine to produce a suicidal energy policy that will wreck our economy. When will we ever learn?
==========

All these things, but don't forget that British politicians seemed to think they were taking a moral lead in the world on this, and that's when they at their silliest and most dangerous.

Also, the political establishment has invested so much in the climate change mularky that they are not about to admit it was all nonsense and they made a mistake. Note the desperate Band Aid of STOR and the horror at the prospect of shale gas.

Jul 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

I agree that Neil did a good job of countering Davey's statements with facts... unfortunately, I have to agree that Davey still sounded convincing enough to the ordinary viewer. However, having also watched the Lindzen debate at the Oxford Union, I wonder if the best way of countering Davey would be to highlight both the futility of current policies as well as their inherent danger, since his argument seemed to be founded upon the 'Precautionary Principle'.

Anything that highlights the folly of Davey's approach to the voter (e.g. it's just a political sop that will cost a fortune, destroy jobs, kill people and will have effectively no impact on climate change) will likely do more to undermine his policies than any amount of debate about the science.

Jul 15, 2013 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

cosmic and Dave Salt: yes, you're right. Most unfortunately, at the current rate of progress, that "general realisation" will come about when it's far too late to do anything about it. The answer - the only answer to my mind - is to stop trying to debate the "science", thereby giving the warmists yet another opportunity to deploy their "stock twaddle", and to start actively and repeatedly making your points: damage to the economy and to jobs, misery to the old and poor - and, above all, the utter pointlessness, in view of global economics and politics, of what the UK's trying to achieve.

Jul 15, 2013 at 10:42 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

I had to stop after 10 mins because the stupidity of Davey could be catching. I did not hear one claim by Davey that was scientifically correct. All based on the models that are demonstrably wrong.

Jul 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Wow. Just read the transcript. That man is astonishingly stupid.

Made me think (with my conspiracy hat on) that the Conservatives might be using him and his kind as a 'Get out of jail free' card should the science/weather/reality become impossible to avoid.

"Look," they can say. "The DECC was in the hands of our nutter, sandal-wearing Lib-Dems. They were all in bed with the Greenies. We couldn't do anything about it. But don't worry. We've got rid of them now. Let's crack on with Thorium and Fracking."

Jul 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Poor Mr Davey, he's just another politicised opportunist who picked the wrong side for his big play. Here is some more background on the world he inhabits: Shooting a messenger of truth

Tory MP John Hayes was fired as Energy Minister for secretly plotting to persuade an electricity boss to challenge Government policy.
Climate change sceptic Mr Hayes had asked the head of power giants E.on to warn of blackouts unless the Coalition watered down its green crusade and made a U-turn on the closure of coal-fired generators.
But Mr Hayes’s boss, Energy Secretary Ed Davey, hit the roof when he found out about the ‘treachery’ – and demanded he was sacked.
Two weeks later, Mr Hayes was dismissed and given a minor backroom role in No 10, advising David Cameron on links with Tory MPs.
But his dire warnings about energy shortages were later vindicated by regulator Ofgem, which warned of an even bigger risk of power cuts.

Hat-tip: Greenie Watch

Jul 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

@ Roy:

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."
-------------------------------------------------------
Roy, excellent comment. As an afficianda of classic crime novels, and a student and practitioner of public policy, I agree that the question is very apt.

Why indeed, did not unions (and I speak from Australia) not bark?

The answer seems to be that they were too enmeshed in their private struggles about who would get what to care. Also, in Australia at least, the deal offered ongoing job security, higher wages and/or very generous redundancy benefits to employees working in highly unionised power stations.

Bugger the rest of the workers, whose prices (in NSW) rose 40% in about 5 years.

Jul 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

ED "Lets take out a little insurance policy to tackle climate change"

A LITTLE!!!!!

Jul 15, 2013 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

The insurance analogy is utter crap. You take out insurance to remunerate yourself against a potential loss - that's not what he is doing, he's trying to stop the loss happening.

What he's doing is more akin to rebuilding your house every five years just in case it suffers from subsidence. i.e. nonsense.

Jul 15, 2013 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Ed Davey's argument equates to prescribing chemotherapy just in case a freckle turns out to be melanoma... then telling that losing your hair will also save you money on shampoo and conditioner!!!

Jul 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

This man is in charge of our energy policy..?

He is completely and utterley barking mad...

Jul 15, 2013 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

He's not mad, he thinks he's saving the planet. He's just very very mis-informed, and apparently wilfully neglectful of due diligence on the things he's saying. Less SpAd and more reading - despite what you say Mr Davey, climate "change" science is not as complex as they tell you it is (to stop you looking for yourself) so go and educate yourself.

Jul 15, 2013 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

TBYJ

Not sure you can say he is not in some way "mad", at least to the extent his mental faculties are not totally engaged in his decision making. You really can not be sane and believe in his policies and he DOES believe in his policies.
The more dangerous character is Deben who has a whole other agenda and is not coming clean about it.

Jul 15, 2013 at 2:26 PM | Registered CommenterDung

@ Jul 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM | ferdinand

Logarithmic effect? The two variables were linear until 2000 at which point temperature dropped away.

Jul 15, 2013 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterblingmun

Justice4Rinka

@ Jul 15, 2013 at 9:52 AM and Jul 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM

I don't see that the Government could get out of the contracts on the grounds suggested by you since the Government relies upon the IPCC and/or is following EC directives. It has not been misled by science put forward by for example windfarms, save perhaps with respect to noise levels (where there may be some underhand practices not providing the full story with respect to noise).

However, a government can always breach a contract without paying compensation (see for example Argentina and Repsol). The government could pass a new law withdrawing all subsidies and specifically debarring any claim for compensation arising out of the withdrawal of the subsidy etc. The problem is one of reputation. Companies will not do future business with government who resile from agreements.

"The precautionary principle should also apply, however, to the precautionary principle itself." I have been saying this for years. The precautionary principle is being misapplied. The worse case scenario is taking steps to avoid what is perceived to be the worse case sceanrio but the steps that you take are unsuccessful. It is having to deal with a mess after you have spent your last buck.

The worse case as far as climate change is concerned is that the globe warms to alarming levels (lets say greater than 4 degC with alarming consequences) notwithstanding all the stpes that are taken to mitigate warming, ie., a near total decarbonisation of developed nations with trillions being spent on mitigation. It does not matter why the steps taken to mitigate failed but lets say they failed because global warming was a natural event, not caused by CO2 emissions.

In this scenario, we shall need to adapt because the temperature rise is over 4degC with alarming consequences (lets say huge sea level rises, droughts. plagues etc etc). The problem in this scenario is that the world has run out of money having spent trillions on the unsuccessful mitigation. Further, having decarbonised the economy, it does not have the capability to quickly mobilize the industrial might that would be required for rapid adaption.

Mitigation works in only one scenario, ie., where global warming is caused by manmade emissions of CO2 and if these were to be allowed to be emitted unabated a catastrophic result would ensue. In all other cases, mitigation fails. Materially, it fails if temperature is not strongly controlled by CO2 and it fails where a warming world with higher levels of CO2 would in practice have been a god sent providing benign conditions for human kind and crop and food production.

Adaption is the only sane policy since it works every time. It worlks if CO2 is truly the devil incarnate. It works if CO2 does not cause warming and the warming was natural but harmful. It works where the warming is in fact contrary to current mantra beneficial. Adaption is targeted. This is important since global warming is not truly global but rather regional, with some regions warming, some in statsis and some cooling. Further, the effect of climate change is felt regionally some areas being more sensitive than others such that a targetted response is more efficient and effective.

Mitigation is an insane policy and is built on a faulty perception of the precautionary principle. Nr davey says his policies are no regret policies. I for one regret that 10,000s of vulnerable people are needlessly prematurely dying these past few winters because of his policy (which is a continuation of the policy instigated under Labour). I for one regret that there are so many people living in fuel poverty who cannot afford to properly and adequately heat their homes and thereby living in misery for several months each year sometimes having to make hard choices between being able to buy something decent to eat, or to heat their home. It would appear that Mr Davey is very thick skinned if he has no such regrets about the policy he is pushing forward.

Energy policy should be to make energy as cheap as possible and reliable

Jul 15, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Jul 15, 2013 at 8:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Perhaps the MSM are missing a trick? My wife, a non-technical linguist, always says "Oh God not another scientists say" for any prophecy of doom.

A few headlines along the lines of "Scientists Mistaken" would work wonders…

"Politicians Mistaken" would be good too.

At the last election, the only party to ring me were the Tories (West Worcestershire is a pretty safe seat). When after some discussion, incuding climate and energy, I said that I could respect a politician who had the coJones to hold his hand up and say, 'this policy hasn't worked well, but we have learnt from our mistakes, and we reckon the new policy will correct them.'

The fellow didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Simply an authoritarian system. When, as a young fellow, I joined the Labour Party (only for one year; I was bored rigid.), we used to laugh at the old duffers with their 'my country, right or wrong.' However, what we were doing was 'my party, right or wrong;' even more small minded.

I surmise that it's all about saving fæces, not faces.

Jul 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

Thanks to all those who responded to my request regarding the precautionary principle.

there is a clever political device (used in sales technics) to obtain a yes from your client by framing a question in such a way as to control the answer.
DO you have house or car insurance? Of course we do and we look for the most competitive premiums
in order to do our own cost benefit analysis.
Who amongst us would pay 25 or 30% of the value anually to insure anything. Certainly not me.

Jul 15, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

The Register is reporting here on a new report published in Nature that provides the ammunition that Andrew Neil will need should Davey return to argue about sea level rises.

Basically, the report says "nothing to see here".

Jul 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

"Video not available in your area"

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/media-hint/

Firefox and Chrome.

Jul 15, 2013 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

Do you think it's sensible that we gamble, that we say "Well, actually, even if most of the scientists say it's happening, we should ignore them"? I say that we take a cautious approach and just as you, and many others - I hope, all your viewers - insure their houses against the very unlikely chance of fire burning heir house down, I think, given the risks of climate change are much greater, with more devastating effects, we should - to humankind - we should invest in a little insurance policy to tackle climate change.

Isn't it odd that Davey is obsessed with a 'little' insurance policy to tackle climate change whereas his party seems to think that an insurance policy against a nuclear threat is entirely unnecessary:

Mr Alexander’s plan, to be spelt out in a speech to the Royal United Services Institute, would end the “continuous at-sea deterrence” offered by the four Trident subs, one of which is always on patrol. In a gesture towards disarmament, the two boats would not necessarily be armed with nuclear weapons unless there was an imminent danger to the UK.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/trident--fleet-may-be-cut-to-two-submarines-in-new-lib-dem-plan-8708328.html

More than a little cognitive dissonance in the Lib Dem party. Must be their brilliant leader.

Jul 15, 2013 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

For those not in the know, what does the acronym SpAd stand for, please?

Jul 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

SpAd = Special Adviser

Jul 15, 2013 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Billy Liar,

Thank you. Now it's so obvious.

Jul 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

Actually Davey does say something reasonable here:

I say that we take a cautious approach

My idea of caution would be to sit on the fence for a while and see what happens. Davey has bet the bank, the economy and our standard of living on CO2 causing dangerous warming. Who was it who said Davey was not mad? ^.^

Jul 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM | Registered CommenterDung

If we clubbed together and bought a drone, say a Reaper or better still the BAE Taranis, we could take out Davey and nobody would know it was us! ups I should not have said that :P

Jul 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM | Registered CommenterDung

good thinking Dung, has to be solar powered obviously,firing channeled lightening bolts.

with the HEATWAVE we are having in our UK SUMMER it could be up there for years.

sarc off /

Jul 16, 2013 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

I cannot see how Ed Davey was damaged by Neil, who seemed to be getting more and more red faced as the interview went on. I called it a draw.

This interview leaves hollow claims that the BBC is biased against skeptics. The omissions were quite stark, and designed to put Davey underpressure, but Davey was quite obviously right on some important points

1) The graph shown was quite unrepresentative of the overall historic trends, I could have chosen a shorter timescale which showed warming this decade.
2) The complexity of the earths climate and the different reservoirs for heat and CO2 must be considered in order to get a full picture of climate change, and they were not!
3) CO2 concentrations were mentioned but they are not static;just becasue they reached 400ppm they have not stopped, they are continuing to rise with current global emission at 30 billion tpa. This means future CO2 concentrations are likely to reach 550 ppm by 2045, and double again by the end of the century (if we do not reduce them). What then?

The " why should we bother when... argument " is not a good one when you think of the influence we still try to exert with a population of 65million out of a global one of 7 billion

If we are prepared to take the lead in politics, send thousands of troops to fight wars or claim the right to sit on the UN Security Council as permanent member (when countries far larger than ours are prevented) then we must be prepared to take the lead in other areas such as climate change. Leading by example is said to be a virtue in other areas of life, but only when it suites does not seem a very clever policy

What is apparent is there is some doubt over the models, but is that really new information?The met office updated decadal forecast was based on a new model they were running to improve accuracy. Ed Davey was also right when he said that whilst all scientists can see a downturn in atmospheric temps in the short term they do not dispute the fact that earth is more likely to warm by a few degrees rather than fall, and I have yet to see any science that can demonstrate why they or I should change my mind.

Jul 16, 2013 at 1:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterBlathra

I wasn’t impressed with Davey, from his straw man argument that “climate change Deniers” believe the climate does not change to the tedious explanation that the heat is now going into the ocean. If the heat is going into the ocean please cite a paper that has observed this and has an explanation for the switch between heating the ocean and heating the air, if there are no papers that explain this then cut the rhetoric about something that not even the exalted “climate change science community” have a clue about and don’t even have a Cook standard paper out to explain. When Andrew Neil put up the 400ppm CO2 figure I would like to know how many of those ppm are the anthropogenic component, is it as much as 4 or 5ppm? Is it higher or lower than the amount of natural variance?

Jul 16, 2013 at 8:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterJaceF

re last post man made ppm are 14 or 15ppm, so 385ppm are natural.

Jul 16, 2013 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterJaceF

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