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Climate Assembly

One of the things I missed during my failed New Year’s Resolution attempt to be less involved in Cliscep was Jaime’s reference to the Climate Assembly at the end of her article on the government’s kow-towing to Extinction Rebellion. The 20-odd comments under the article contain more useful information than are to be found in any mainstream news source (thanks everyone.)

Paul Homewood at Notalotofpeopleknowthat also has an article on the subject in which he raises the question of how many of this self-selecting group (110 people chosen to be representative from 2000 who responded to an invitation sent out to 30,000 random households) will be eco-loons. I pointed out in a late comment that the organisers have done what looks like a reasonable job of making the panel representative, including attitudes to climate change among the factors for choosing the panel.

The Guardian, in an article here also raises the question of representativity and quotes one of the organisers:

Of the assembly members, three people are not at all concerned, 16 not very concerned, 36 fairly concerned, 54 very concerned, and one did not know, organisers said. The selection process meant those chosen could include climate deniers or sceptics [..] “It is really important that it is representative of the UK population,” said Allen. “Those people, just because they’re sceptical of climate change, they’re going to be affected by the steps the government takes to get to net zero by 2050 too and they shouldn’t have their voice denied in that.”

As I point out in my comment, this won’t stop the over-representation of extreme Greens. The overall response rate to the invitation to participate (which involves three weekends in Birmingham being lectured to by the likes of David Attenborough and Professor Ed Hawkins) was just 6%. One imagines more fervent Green types would be keener to attend than average Joes who just watch wildfires and worry, so the 54 attendees who claim to be “very concerned” about climate change probably contain more than their fair share of XR-type militants.

One can never repeat too often that asking what is the real level of concern about climate is like asking what’s the length of a piece of string. 50% of punters are “very concerned” about climate, but only 3% vote Green, and only about 0.1% sign up with Extinction Rebellion. Concern is as variable as the weather, which is what – for 99% of the population – it’s all about.

But bias is also possible at the other end of the spectrum. What’s the chance that among the three Assembly members who are “not at all concerned” and the sixteen “not very concerned” are a number of informed sceptics? Pretty high, I’d say. After all, “not being concerned” is a very good reason not to go to Birmingham to discuss it, unless you are concerned about what the government intends to do about it. Most of the 14% who are “not very” or “not at all concerned” according to the Ipsos/MORI poll on which the organisers based their selection of Assembly members will eliminate themselves by not responding to the invitation, leaving more room for us. It would only require a half dozen awkward customers to give the organisers a hard time.

So what will happen at the Assembly? Answer from this parliamentary committee site:

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee said:

Adopting the net zero target was a major milestone for the UK, reflecting the strong cross-party support for action on climate change. We now need to set out a clear roadmap for the actions to achieve net-zero. It’s very clear that we will all need to play a part in meeting this target and that we all share a responsibility to future generations to do so. Finding solutions which are equitable and have public support will be crucial. Parliament needs to work with the people and with Government to address the challenge of climate change. The Climate Assembly UK will advise Parliament on how people want us to meet the net zero target, and suggest policies that the Government can implement to secure success.”

Key themes to be discussed at Climate Assembly UK will include how people travel, what people buy and household energy use.

The small detail snuck in here under the radar is that the Climate Assembly isn’t about climate at all. It’s about eliminating CO2 emissions by changing the way we live. No more petrol, plastic, steel or concrete for a start. Part of the first day has apparently been devoted to explaining why climate change makes this necessary, but th at won’t be part of the remit of the Assembly to discuss. It is no concern of the Assembly whether the Central England Temperature, which has been rising off and on since the time of Isaac Newton, goes up or down or sideways, or whether the Climate Change Act is based on sound science or is just another one of Dirty Deben’s Delusions. They’ve been chosen to meet a target, and that’s it.

The Assembly has a Twitter thing, the musical sharp note sign (dunno where it is on this keyboard) followed by ClimateAssemblyUK plus a website. The likes of Caroline Lucas and Jonathon Porritt, present as observers, are already commenting favourably.

Here you can find a list of the three groups of experts who will be aiding the Assembly in their deliberations.

The Expert Leads,responsible for ensuring that the information provided to Climate Assembly UK assembly is balanced, accurate and comprehensiveand that the assembly is focused on the key decisions facing the UK about how to achieve net zero emissions by 2050” are:

Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change

Professor Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy and Research Director at the University College London Institute of Sustainable Resources

Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, environmental psychologist, specialising in perceptions and behaviour in relation to climate change, energy and transport, based in the School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Director of the UK Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST).

Rebecca Willis, Professor in Practice at Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University. Her work focuses on energy and climate governance.

TheAdvisory Panel supports the Expert Leads. Its members were chosen to represent stakeholders with an interest or expertise in the areas of emissions reduction that Climate Assembly UK will examine. The are:

Fernanda Balata: New Economics Foundation

Tannish Beebee: Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

Patrick Begg: National Trust

Allen Creedy: Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Audrey Gallagher: Energy UK

Professor Michael Grubb: University College London (UCL) Institute for Sustainable Resources

Eamonn Ives: Centre for Policy Studies

Ann Jones: National Federation of Women’s Institutes

Chris Jones: National Farmers Union (NFU)

Chaitanya Kumar: Green Alliance

Kirsten Leggett: 2050 Climate Group

Matthew Lesh: Adam Smith Institute

Nick Molho: Aldersgate Group

Luke Murphy: Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

Tim Page: Trades Union Congress (TUC)

Doug Parr: Greenpeace

Dr Alan Renwick: Constitution Unit, University College London (UCL)

Dhara Vyas :Citizens’ Advice

Rebecca Williams: RenewableUK

And finally, the Academic Panel, which is made up of researchers working on areas of climate change to be covered by the assembly. They are:

Professor Jillian Anable: Professor of Transport and Energy, University of Leeds

Professor John Barrett: Professor of Energy and Climate Policy, University of Leeds

Professor John Barry :Professor of Green Political Economy, Queen’s University Belfast

Professor Jason Chilvers: Professor of Environment and Society, University of East Anglia

Professor Nick Eyre: Professor of Energy and Climate Policy, University of Oxford

Dr Clair Gough: Senior Research Fellow with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester

Dr Rosie Green: Assistant Professor in Nutrition and Sustainability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Dr Jo House: Reader in Environmental Science and Policy, University of Bristol

Professor Tahseen Jafry: Professor of Climate and Social Justice and Director The Centre for Climate Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University

Professor Carly McLachlan: Professor of Climate and Energy Policy, University of Manchester

Professor Dale Southern: Professor in Sociology of Consumption and Organisation, University of Bristol

Professor Benjamin Sovacool: Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex

Note that, as far as I can see, not one of these experts is an expert on climate. The only one who works at a climate research centre is Dr Clare Gough of the Tyndall Research Centre, but her experience is in “integrated technical and social science analyses, featuring the use of long-term scenarios and public and stakeholder participation in the context of energy and climate change.”

So that’s it. The Citizens’ Assembly will be hearing from experts on climate, like David Attenborough and Professor Ed “Stripey” Hawkins, but the panel of 35 experts whose job it is to ensure that the information provided to Climate Assembly UK is “balanced, accurate and comprehensive” contains not a single climate scientist.

What’s going to happen if one of the Assembly members (or one of the expert policy wonks, for that matter) suddenly dons a red dervish robe and starts chanting a prayer to Gaia to spare us extinction in twelve years’ time? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is what I want to know.

Answers below please. I’ll be looking further into the tangled web of greenery from which the experts have emerged, and help with that will be appreciated. Plus there’s Twitter to follow. It’s going to be a busy three weeks.

92 thoughts on “Climate Assembly

  1. Panelists.. .
    I speak for the youth….

    When got to questions later..
    Member of public: What percentage of the youth agree with your views….

    LOL..
    She Didn’t know

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  2. I would not be confident about the percentages professing particular positions on climate.

    First, let me ideate a conspiracy theory. As a dedicated alarmist, I receive the invitation – but reason that they will be snowed under by people like myself. What I really don’t want is any devils on the panel. So I tick the box saying I am a devil, planning later to have a miraculous conversion into angel thanks to the bestowed wisdom of Sir David et al. That way, the chance of any real devils getting picked is reduced.

    Second, I don’t believe the people who genuinely ticked “very concerned” are “very concerned”. Saying you are concerned is like sympathizing with a stranger in trouble on the other side of the world. Until you put a number on it, out of your wallet, every week for the rest of your life, this means nothing. Therefore, most of the “very concerned” are actually probably “prefer to spend my money on stuff for me, ta.”

    Not sure those things are mutually compatible, but.

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  3. Kirsten’s presentation is only five minutes.

    In it she says: “I eat, sleep, breathe, and live the climate crisis and taking climate action… In the year 2050 I will celebrate my 56th birthday. That’s only the age of Michelle Obama today. The decisions made no will affect me and millions of other young people for the rest of my life and beyond…” followed by a detailed CV of this hyperactive youngster.

    I’m willing to spend some time transcribing this stuff, and I imagine Alex will be happy to host it at MyTranscriptBox. If they’re not transcribing it themselves, we could then offer it to the government committees who have financed this project as evidence to be included in the record of their subsequent deliberations – together with our own expert comments perhaps?

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  4. JIT
    Opinion pollsters have done studies of how many people behave as you suggest, and they’re pretty rare, though not negligible when you’re dealing with groups as small as the number of people who vote Green (hint: 97% of people don’t. Does that figure sound familiar?) Whether the people who ticked “very concerned” really are doesn’t matter too much, since your argument applies equally to the Ipsos/MORI poll from which the Climate Assembly folks took their data. Whether they’re really “really concerned” is something they may find out for themselves in the course of the discussions, when the experts explain what they’ll be expected to give up.

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  5. “..We now need to set out a clear roadmap for the actions to achieve net-zero…”

    Okay.
    We will pretend we are listening to a variety of opinions and proceed anyway on a road built on sand and madness.
    When does someone actually say…
    “You know this net zero thingy is complete and utter bollocks and is not possible”
    I am really concerned that no one will state this.

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  6. I suspect those members of the public there that responded to a survey that says they are very concerned… are more likely than not, not ‘very concerned’min the same way as many of the panelist’s are…

    The organisers may not like the outcome.

    One question from the audience, from a fairly bluff sounding chap… what is a bigger carbon footprint. ‘British beef’ or avocados….. (note the ‘british’. Not just beef, and you have to hear the tone 😉)

    (At times some of the panellist had rabbit in headlight look, not used to be asked wrong sort of questions, or expecting tough complex questions… yet being hurried along to give short pithy answers because time is short, and not enough time for all the questions)
    Videos are on youtube, I’ll try and find links directly latter..

    Good one, that had Prof Stewart Capstick’s head exploding on Twitter

    Question for Ed Hawkins. Is there a risk of runaway greenhouse effect
    Ed: No

    (And with that, maybe some those audience members that answered very concerned, to a superficial survey, dropped down into fairly concerned tick boxes)

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  7. Will the organizers have a duty of care to organize psychiatric sessions at the end of the assembly for all those driven to distraction by the experts? Three weeks of intense indoctrination. Sounds like a recipe for “The Manchurian Candidate”.

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  8. The Youtube link embedded in my comment above goes to the presentation of the whole day’s proceedings, and you have to go to the sidebar to find individual talks and Q&A sessions. I’ve had a quick look at Professor Haigh’s presentation and Q&A. Here’s what I’ve found so far:
    4 minutes in she puts up a slide saying:

    How do we know if/when climate has changed?
    Records are carefully compiled from many sources including:
    – Satellite measurements since 1970s
    – Instrumental measurements from across the globe since about 1850
    – Indicators in tree rings, corals, stalagmites and stalactites over thousands of years
    – Trapped air in polar ice cores over hundreds and thousands of years
    – Records in ocean sediments over millions of years

    At about 3 minutes she says:

    “We’ve now got forty or fifty odd years of satellite data telling us whet the temperature’s been doing over the world. But going back further than that of course there weren’t satellites. The instrumental period, thermometers could be used from about the 1850s, and they’ve been at various weather stations over the globe, and again, the data is collected and analysed,, and that’s a very careful subject that needs to be done taking into account all sorts of factors about different thermometers and different places and whether the air is changed in terms of urbanisation and that sort of thing. So very carefully collected data over the world.
    “Going back over longer periods over thousands of years we can tell especially what the temperature and humidity have done using indicators like in tree rings and in corals and in stalagmites and ocean sediments can tel us what the temperature and humidity has done over these very much longer periods.”

    [“carefully collected” seems a bit of a stretch for sea temps measured in a bucket. The satellite temps aren’t on her graph, as far as I can see, and why rely on coral and stalactites for 150 years after the invention of the thermometer, and what about 3000 years of recorded human history? Are people less reliable than stalactites?]
    Ten minutes in, Professor Haigh was running two minutes late, so skipped the discussion of these factors (visible on the screen behind her)

    Responses which can reduce the initial warming (or cooling)
    – changes in humidity, clouds and ice
    – heat storage by oceans
    – natural variations & “noise”

    After having said that water vapour was the principal greenhouse gas, at 10’20” she says: “We can’t add to the water vapour in the atmosphere because as soon as – if we were to try and put more in, it would just rain out again, it’s sort of controlled.”
    On the Mauna Loa CO2 measurements she says:

    “This is a quite incredible picture, and it’s showing that since 1960 the composition has gone in these units from 320 to over 400 units”

    carefully avoiding mentioning what those units are: parts per million.
    18 minutes into her Q&A professor Haigh says: “The Chinese government has decided it’s not going to build any more coal-fired power stations.”

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  9. Geoff,

    You are clearly worrying yourself too much. That nice MR Harrabin at the BBC has pointed out:

    “But this aims to be an extraordinary gathering of ‘ordinary’ people, with no preaching.”

    Mind you, he is also at pains to reassure us all that a participant has reported there were only “a few people [present] who are a bit sceptical.” Phew! Thank Greta for that.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51258368

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  10. 18 minutes into her Q&A professor Haigh says: “The Chinese government has decided it’s not going to build any more coal-fired power stations.”

    Jaw hits floor.

    Well, that’s all sorted then.

    Thanks for this very helpful intro to the Climate Assembly Geoff. Or assemblies, if it comes to that.

    I’d already set a time limit for my relatively heavy involvement in Cliscep in the last week or so: I’d stop when we got to the subject of the assemblies. Not because they are definitely unimportant but that there’s no guarantee that they will be. It depends on the government and the level of cynicism that prevails in how they are used. I need to be off doing other things. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

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  11. Above comment in reference to Joanna Haigh’s claim that China was building no more coal fired power stations.

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  12. JOHN RIDGWAY
    “Only a few people present who are a bit sceptical” ?

    That’s not the impression I get from listening to the first half of the Q&A session with Profs Haigh and Hawkins. Questions are filtered (but not very well, since many were off-topic for these two, being about policy, not science) but many were sceptical. As I said in a comment at Notmanypeople, the sceptical tone might just be revenge for having been bored to tears all Saturday afternoon in a conference room in Birmingham.

    RICHARD DRAKE
    The importance of the assembly comes from the fact that it’s organised by parliamentary committees. When you give evidence to one, you’re under oath. When you give evidence to an assembly which will then present its results to the committee, you’re surely bound to make sure your evidence is ok. That’s what the 36 experts I list above are for. Will they be issuing a list of corrections to howlers like Haigh’s? Should we give them a helping hand?

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  13. The assembly is an assembly designed to put lipstick on the climate consensus.
    I hope enough of the members see through the sham and blow it up.

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  14. and I’m blocked.. by @netzerouk #climateassemblyuk (which may be run by the @eciu – Richard Black’s outfit)

    presumably for saying this.

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  15. As Jaime’s earlier piece pointed out, the whole Citizens Assembly bit is a demand by XR.

    One of the driving forces behind XR and therefore these Citizens Assemblies, is Gail Bradbrooke: “Compassionate revolution – Gail Bradbrook – Off grid Festival 2106” (the date typo is from the video! It was of course meant to say 2016)

    She was preaching confrontation, mass trespass and public mischief. It was a seminar on public activism, with techniques that we have since seen in operation. She has many novel ideas, like borrowing lots of money, give it to climate change groups and not pay it back.

    “Gail Bradbrook is an economic justice campaigner and compassionate revolutionary. She runs a charity focussed on universal access to the internet, is a Mum and has a PhD in Molecular Biophysics. Here’s Gail talking about economics and the need for a different kind of economy and how you can bring things about using techniques of social change and compassionate revolution.”

    This is her showing her current face ( and other bits of her body) to the public: https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/london-protest-extinction-rebellion-bradbrook-2710501
    The demand for a Citizens Assmbly is iterated in the article from October last year.

    There is a lot of background on Bradbrooke in a series of articles here: https://nowhere.news/index.php/2019/04/01/astroturfing-the-way-for-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/. Ignoring the politics, it has good source material and is worth spending the time reading the series. There is some weird stuff elsewhere on this site but I find the info on Bradbrooke to be well supported and credible.

    They use a lot of material from the website http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2019/01/17/the-manufacturing-of-greta-thunberg-for-consent-the-political-economy-of-the-non-profit-industrial-complex/, a series of articles which traces the money paths behind the current climate hysteria. This is a fascinating and well researched series which has been heavily criticised by left wing environmentalist groups.

    NowhereNews mentions “The Climate Mobilization” – a group set up by Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Director of Fundraising’, Margaret Klein Salamon. On the advisory board is Michael Mann and long time activists such as Gustav Speth, founder of the massively wealthy and influential US NGO’s, World Resources Institute and Natural Resources Defense Council. He is also a former UN Development Programme Director.

    The roots go deep and a long way back.

    https://nowhere.news/index.php/2019/05/11/extinction-rebellion-and-the-theory-and-practice-of-oligarchical-collectivism/

    “Exactly a month on from the beginning of Extinction Rebellion’s demonstrations in London, the British Parliament has approved Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s motion to declare a national ‘climate emergency’ – being one of the group’s three demands. This comes two days after pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum declared its ‘union’ with Extinction Rebellion in the Guardian. The rallying of the climate movement under the Labour party is an entirely predictable affair. And already we have cardboard cut-out ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband declaring that “Politics needs to be on a war footing to deal with this enemy.”

    https://www.ippr.org/environment-and-justice/commissioners/

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  16. Maybe what she meant to say was China are not building any more coal fired power stations near densely populated areas? Because then she goes on to waffle about air pollution and how the Chinese are not doing it for the love of Gaia, but for practical reasons. A US senator recently claimed the same. Can’t recall who. What an utter shambles it all is. Parliament and the Government should pull the plug on this farce immediately.

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  17. So they’ve blocked Barry for pointing out Haigh’s howler. What were the others blocked for?
    I wouldn’t call Prof Haigh a liar. She’s just grotesquely misinformed. She’s a retired professor of atmospheric physics, and, without wanting to get personal, she was a poor choice to open a presentation of this kind, and so was Ed Hawkins. Neither were capable of answering basic questions on the hoof. Maybe no-one’s ever questioned them before.

    She’s more culpable I think for the omissions and skirting round the subject on the science. Her temperature graph, for example, attributed to Imperial College and the Grantham Institute (she’s an ex co-director) seems to have the usual 4 or 5 ground measurement sources, but not the satellite data. She mentions tree-rings, coral and stalagmites, presumably referring to MBH1998 and its sprogs, without actually saying the word hockeystick, and with no visual or other indication of what we learn from these sources over what she says are “thousands of years.” Really?

    You can be a professor of atmospheric physics and just not know what the Chinese are doing, because no-one in the multi-million dollar organisation you head has ever told you.

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  18. Hunterson7 says:

    “The assembly is an assembly designed to put lipstick on the climate consensus.”

    Or, to put it less delicately, to put lipstick on the end of the knob that will soon be shafting us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. After the scientists comes Chris Stark, head of the Climate Change Committee, charged with deciding exactly how many trillions we will spend over the next 30 years ruining ourselves. Force yourself to listen to some of this and you’ll pass into another dimension, and you will experience a sudden Biblical clarity of vision. Suddenly it all makes sense.

    As a sample, after describing the meaning of “net zero” at some length Stark says:

    There is a bigger story here going on which you will hear about, about what’s sometimes called our carbon footprint. And we have a bigger carbon footprint than just those emissions that we produce here in the UK. So think about the things that we import in particular. Think about something like steel for example. So steel is a thing that is produced by an industrial process, and a lot of the steel that we use is imported from another place. And that industrial process has emissions associated with it, and what we import therefore means that we are responsible for something that happens outside of the UK. Now if you look at that question, that’s sometimes called consumption emissions because we’re consuming that product. There is a bigger number associated with that than the emissions we produce here. So it’s a bit.. but 50% or so bigger than the emissions we actually produce here, so we are responsible for something a bit more than just the emissions that we produce here in the UK, but the emissions produced in the UK are still the biggest part of our impact on the climate, so it’s the biggest, it’s the biggest thing that we are responsible for, those things that happen in the UK. I’m going to talk you through very quickly those production emissions overall….

    Remember, Haigh the scientist was running two minutes over, so had to cut out all discussion of feedback, clouds, humidity, ocean heat storage and natural variation. But Stark the wonk has all the time in the world to burble about steel which is a thing that is produced by an industrial process, a lot of which we use is imported from Another Place..

    (Whisper the Forbidden Word to him somebody – China!)

    Stark is a character from Hogarth’s picture of Bedlam, trying desperately to keep his crumbling mind together by ratiocination, knowing that he’s got just another twelve years of this before he expires from his own emissions.

    Or maybe he’s just a typical Brit, vaguely conscious of the fact that this once leading power in the world is sinking into irrelevance, and that at least sticking your head up your arse in search of your carbon footprint is better than starting World War Three (though the two are not incompatible.)

    I’d rather watch a red robed dervish gluing himself to a bus.

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  20. Irrelevant factoid: Those dervishes’ red robes were devised by a state-funded drag queen and ringmaster during or shortly after his second visit in three months to a music and psychedelic drug festival in Panama.

    Slightly less irrelevant: XR hates the 2050 target (they say it’s a death sentence for millions of people) so is ambivalent about the Climate Assembly inspired by its antics.

    Even more irrelevant: Here are some photos of Gail Bradbrook with her tits out:

    https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/residents-strip-off-go-nude-protest-incinerator/05/07/

    She was protesting against a waste-to-power plant. (Cos, you know, it’s much better that waste is shipped to Asia to be dumped in the sea and become bondage gear for bored turtles.)

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  21. The Committee for Climate Change has too much Taxpayer Funding to burn.

    Cummings may have mentioned this to BoJo.

    Burn the CCC not the Taxpayer

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  22. Why are the organisers using an Ipsos Mori poll to work out the composition of the climate assembly? The logical thing to do would be to use the UK Government’s own polling statistics.

    BEIS (Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) publish a document called Public Attitudes Tracker every few months, and they cover attitudes to climate change in March of each year. The last document that surveyed attitudes to climate change, Public Attitudes Tracker Wave 29, is this one:

    Click to access BEIS_Public_Attitudes_Tracker_-_Wave_29_-_key_findings.pdf

    The attitudes of the public to climate change are given on page 11:

    Very concerned 35%, Fairly concerned 45%, Not very concerned 13%, Not at all concerned 5%.

    For the 110 people making up the assembly that translates into:

    Very concerned 39, Fairly concerned 50, Not very concerned 15, Not at all concerned 6.

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  23. I’m sorry to see that Barry Woods and I seem to be the only ones actually paying attention to what is being said. There’s material here for a good fat pamphlet for the GWPF, if people would only lay off the conspiracy theories about the make up of the panel and pay attention to what’s happening.
    (I actually think the Parliamentary Committees have done a rather good organisational job. The videos are already on-line and subtitled, sometimes with hilarious results. Chris Stark’s Scottish accent seems to give the transcribers problems. So “total UK gases” become “total you keep gases” and “peat in the soil can absorb carbon” becomes “people in the soil can absorb carbon.” )

    So far, my impression is that the project could have been purposely designed to turn the members of the Assembly into sceptics. It’s not the Parliamentary Committees’ fault if the first four speakers were abysmal, but they’re going to have to live with the result of a project which is biassed from the start simply because it follows rigorously government guidelines, which won’t allow the least freedom of expression.

    Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change, and therefore the man charged with leading our Long March to zero emissions, put a slide up detailing what the Assembly will be discussing over the next four weeks:

    Information on climate change and the UK’s net-zero target
    Energy supply
    How we travel
    The energy we use in the home
    Food; farming and the use of land
    What we buy
    Removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere

    Note that climate change itself is not up for discussion, only “information on climate change.” Which is just as well, given the standard of explanation from the two scientists present.

    Professor Haigh for example had to field a question about the mid-20th century cooling, (a subject she hadn’t mentioned, so there’s at least one well-informed sceptic among the Assembly members.)

    Q&A 21’20”
    Q: Why did the global average temperature flatten off between circa 1930 and 1970 before increasing again?
    Professor Haigh: So this is an interesting question. You could see on that temperature graph of course the temperature’s wobbling around all the time. It’s influenced by all sorts of natural factors as well as the greenhouse gases. I mentioned the volcanoes and the sun, but another very important aspect is the heat that’s coming in and out of the oceans, and there’s a certain time scales on that, so when the temperature flattens off it’s sometimes because there’s just that reason in that particular period as more energy has gone into the oceans and then it’s subsequently come out again. Also during the middle of the century there was – before that period – there was lots of industry putting lots of particles into the air, so the industrial particles was cooling it off and sort of, well, not strangely, but when there was Clean Air Acts, trying to clean the air up, took the particles out and of course that made the heating come back again.

    Would you buy a trillion pound change in your lifestyle from this lady?

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  24. To facilitate addressing Geoff’s point, here’s the direct link to the list of talks and Q&A sessions.

    https://www.climateassembly.uk/meetings/january-24/agenda/

    Most of them have (dubious, as noted by Geoff) transcripts below them. Intriguingly, as far as I can see, the only one that does not have a transcript is the first Q&A part one, where Joanna Haigh makes the false claim about China closing down coal. I wonder if this is related to Barry’s remarks about that.

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  25. Paul, thanks for the link. Here’s another example of these geniuses at work:

    “Tim Hughes: So I’m just gonna ask a quick follow-up question because it links to the first point you made Rebecca. Which is about the tax revenue that you can’t claim from electric vehicles. So if no diesel or petrol vehicles, i.e. all electric vehicles, where is the advantage to raise money to spend on other things? Tax revenue? Go on – it’s about raising tax.

    #
    Rebecca Willis: That is an excellent question. And if you have the answer, you might want to tell the Treasury because they’re not sure either. There have been, so you know, the revenues from fuel tax at the moment are quite high, and, you know, we need those revenues, for example, to fund the health service. So there are alternatives. One thing that’s being considered is road pricing, so that you pay per mile travelled rather than paying for fuel. And that would pay for the road network, and it could also potentially pay for other public services. But, I mean, they’re genuinely – I’m looking at Chris – that’s genuine an open question at the moment, right?

    #
    Chris Stark: Yes, it’s a very open question, but that in particular fuel duty raises, I thinkthe figure is £27 billion a year at the moment. Now, if we all tomorrow start driving electric vehicles fuel duty would very swiftly start to dwindle. So that’s money that’s lost to public services unless there’s a different way of raising that. So it’s a really good example of how tricky is to frame up the policies and government to make this transition work.”

    They seem to agree it will cause a big financial problem, and offer no solution (other than road pricing, where no detail is offered as to how it would work). Brilliant!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. MARK HODGSON
    This extract is a brilliant example of some of the problems the government is aware of, but which it hasn’t shared so far with the public, and why I think the whole thing may backfire spectacularly.
    What I’ve heard so far of the questions posed suggests a high level of awareness and interest. I’ve started writing a summary of the first weekend in a separate article (though if anyone else wants to do it that’s fine by me) using the bits of transcribing I’ve done. I’d just written:

    Forget the search for carbon capture and an efficient, non-polluting battery. The real effort is going to have to go into persuading people to give up cheap flights and unlimited car mileage.

    This gem from Mark makes the point perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. What I have noticed in reading through some of the Q&A transcripts is the large percentage of questions identified and described by the organizers as being “excellent” or “very good”. Apart from deliberately sucking up to the questioners, what this reveals is that the presenters have not thought the whole exercise through beforehand. Some of the “excellent” questions could well have been anticipated and should therefore have been covered within the presentations that form the precursors to the Q&A sessions.
    I do wonder if the Q&A sessions are more controlled than is being admitted. Are there perhaps “ringers” in the audience, primed to ask leading questions if the proceedings start moving in unwanted directions? If I wanted certain outcomes, this would be one obvious way to influence matters.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Geoff: “This extract is a brilliant example of some of the problems the government is aware of, but which it hasn’t shared so far with the public, and why I think the whole thing may backfire spectacularly.”

    I’ve assumed it’s more Machiavellian than that. They want it to backfire spectacularly. Only then may policy be able to go in more sensible directions.

    (But I’m not meant to be contributing for a while.)

    Alan: “If I wanted certain outcomes…”

    You’re evil. That’s why you’re so useful around here.

    Like

  29. ALAN KENDALL
    I don’t buy the theory that the Q&As are being controlled (though I bet they will be next weekend) simply because I’ve seen the speakers too often non-plussed for comfort, often by questions which, as you say, they should have been able to foresee, and coming from people who are obviously favourable to the project. What this shows (and it’s a huge revelation to me) is that, not only are they not able to counter sceptical arguments, they’re not even able to clearly enunciate the project to their own supporters. The first three speakers were all professors, perfectly used to addressing a room with a hundred people in it. Yet they fumbled nervously, despite being assured by the make up of the group that 85% were on their side.

    I’ll be enlarging on this in a future article, but here’s a taster of what I mean. Chris Stark’s first question is an absolutely banal one about why governments haven’t done more to invest in rail. Stark (who is running this trillion pound project for us) starts his response:

    I can’t answer that question because it’s a political one really, but hidden in that question is a really good point…

    I’d love to see the faces of the audience at that point. If they’re not allowed to discuss the science, and the experts aren’t allowed to discuss politics, what are they going to be doing for the next three weekends?

    Like

  30. could we send a transcript of q/a1 to Rebecca at Climate assembly, they seen to have forgotten to do one..

    Prof Haigh in Q/A 1 said the Chinese government has decided not to build any new coal fired power stations..

    In Q/A 2 Rebeca says in response to:

    Sarah: How committed other countries like the USA and China to net zero?

    Rebecca.. “…China is a very interesting case because its emissions have increased rapidly over recent years, partly because it’s dependent on coal and because it manufactures things that then get shipped around the world. And you hear different views from China, but certainly they’ve expressed pretty strong ambition levels around climate and there are plans in China to reduce emissions, so they are playing their part.”

    Now I think that is very partial information, as many would say (Trump and Greenpeace included) that China are not doing their part, but depending on coal, building coal, and funding coal throughout Asia and Africa… whilst Rebecca can argue that point, she is not presenting all the side/information to the assembly.. it is THEIR job to decide , not Rebecca’s/Haigh’s to decide which partial information they see..

    And the question was NET zero, and how committed. and the answer (at the moment about China) is not at all.. the Paris agreement allows them to keep whatever coal they have in place by 2030, and zero mention of anything committing them to close them all down.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. BARRY
    Certainly I’ll send a transcript of whatever I do. My first aim will be to get a list of fundamental errors/omissions out before the weekend.

    I thought of asking if they’ll ever publish a complete transcript of the proceedings, as they publish transcripts of their committee hearings. If they do, it’ll be too late to influence proceedings over the coming three weekends. I guess that the videos are subtitled in accordance with a House of Commons rule for the hard of hearing. This is the advantage of a project organised by House of Commons Committees. They have strict rules to follow, and the means to do a good job (good quality videos etc.)

    That they omit a lot is not surprising. Haigh was asked to summarise the thousand pages of IPCC AR5 WG1 in ten minutes, and Hawkins was supposed to do the same for WG2. My impression is that it was only during the Q&A, faced with softball questions, that they realised the enormity of what they had (and hadn’t) done.

    Like

  32. Just to say that YouTube has an auto-generated transcript that can be copied, pasted and edited, makes the process quicker. You can also use a macro to remove the line breaks and time stamps, making it less of a faff to tidy up!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Hi Geoff. Every other speech, talk and Q/A has a transcript posted up by the Climate Assembly UK now, except Q/A part 1.. (Haigh/Hawkins (they do have the video)

    One thought.. how is this audited.. someone will write a report from the Climate Assembly.. Will the Climate Assembly members get an overview and questioned whether they support the report as written as a fair and accurate account of their deliberations.

    Whoever who controls the pen, writes history…. whether that is accurate, is anybodies guess. (whilst reading it)

    [Sorry to be cynical, but the whole set up comes across like a public planing consultation, where everyone present, including the public, know it is a foregone conclusion)

    Like

  34. Barry, I wasn’t aware of it myself until Stewgreen let me know – it should also be possible to upload pure audio, like a podcast or segment from a radio programme and YouTube will then transcribe it, although I haven’t tried this yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. ‘Note that, as far as I can see, not one of these experts is an expert on climate.’

    Even the experts aren’t really experts beyond a certain point. They’re just more aware of what they don’t know – or should be.

    Like

  36. PAUL Many thanks for the link. I didn’t realise there was a transcript as well as the video at the Assembly site.
    ALEX, BARRY
    Many thanks for that information. Seems as if I won’t need a Macro, whatever that is. I’ll finish the transcription of the missing first session with Haigh and Hawkins.
    BARRY
    On the question of how is this audited and who controls the pen, that’s most definitely The Expert Leads, “responsible for ensuring that the information provided to Climate Assembly UK assembly is balanced, accurate and comprehensive…”
    they are:
    Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change
    Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy at UCL,
    Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, environmental psychologist, Cardiff University (co-author of Adam Corner) and
    Rebecca Willis, Professor in Practice focussed on energy and climate governance.

    Chris and Rebecca are also providing much of the information they are charged with ensuring is “balanced, accurate and comprehensive,” Saturday PM and Sunday too.

    I don’t regret having wasted a few hours transcribing their contributions. Transcribing is slow and tedious, involving paying attention to every word, every pause, every intonation – a bit like the work of a psychoanalyst, I imagine. I feel I’ve learned a thing or two.

    Like

  37. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/28/extinction-rebellion-charges-against-five-protesters-dismissed?

    What a surprise. Officially approved protest movement is handed freedom from prosecution, whatever they do.

    “The deputy district judge, Vincent McDade, said there had been an “abject failure” by the Crown Prosecution Service. A police officer who had been due to be a prosecution witness was not given enough notice about the date of the trial and had booked a holiday.”

    In labour tribunal terms, that would be considered “constructive dismissal”.

    Before the hearing on Tuesday, the former government chief scientist Sir David King had backed Extinction Rebellion over the climate emergency. “What we are talking about is the most important issue humanity has ever had to face up to,” he said, speaking outside the court. “And when I say humanity I mean all of us. We’re all in this boat together.”

    “No government, including ours, is doing enough today,” King said. “So what we need is much more action and we need it with a public voice. That’s what Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion have done. They’ve put it back on the front pages.”

    King had written a witness statement that could have been admitted as evidence in the case. In it, he said: “It is hard to see how the global temperature rise is to be limited, on average, to 1.5C in the very narrow time frame still available unless it becomes a matter of real urgency within the spheres of national and global politics.”

    In November, charges against more than 100 Extinction Rebellion protesters were dropped after the ban forbidding protest in London in October was ruled unlawful, though other cases continued. About 1,800 protesters were arrested and detained between 14 and 19 October.”

    Liked by 1 person

  38. This response just posted on Twitter from Climate Assembly UK. Expected to level off? Really?

    No apology for misleading information either.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. The page for that discussion now has a transcript, preceded by an admission that Joanna Haigh got it wrong:

    Professor Haigh also said that “…the Chinese government has decided it’s not going to build any more coal fired power stations”. This was not accurate. It is difficult to find information on the precise plans for new Chinese coal-fired power plants, but the available evidence shows that their construction continues in China.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Paul Homewood points out the following:

    In its review of the government’s five-year-plan, China Electricity Council (CEC) – the influential industry body representing China’s power industry – recommended adopting a ‘cap’ for coal power capacity by 2030 — but the 1300GW limit proposed is 290GW higher than current capacity. The target is for the country’s coal-fired capacity to continue to grow until peaking in 2030.

    The cap would enable China to build 2 large coal power stations a month for the next 12 years, and grow the country’s capacity by an amount nearly twice the size of Europe’s total coal capacity.

    This means of course that any reduction in CO2 emissions which the UK manages to achieve at huge financial and social cost will be dwarfed by the rise in emissions coming from China alone in the next decade, emissions which will level off and decline only slowly thereafter. After having built all those coal fired plants, they’re not suddenly going to decommission them.

    Like

  41. will they tell the assembly members that correction?? (who will bet they don’t?)

    Like

  42. To put some figures on this, if I’m not mistaken:

    Total primary energy consumption across all sectors (transport, industry, domestic, services) in the UK in 2018 was about 140 million tonnes of oil equivalent – 140Mtoe

    This converts to 1628 TWh in 2018

    Paul Homewood says that fossil fuel power stations in China will be generating 4902TWh of electricity per year in 2030.

    This means that the electricity generated just from fossil fuel power stations in China in 2030 will be more than triple the TOTAL amount of energy used by all UK residents right now! If the UK sank beneath the waves by 2030 (due no doubt to the melting Arctic and Antarctic) and therefore used no energy at all by then, the Chinese would still be consuming 3 times the amount we Brits used to consume in total just in electricity generated from fossil fuels alone!

    Like

  43. The madness in Europe:
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/emissions-trading-scheme/news/what-will-germanys-coal-phase-out-mean-for-the-eu-carbon-market/

    “Germany has finally agreed a roadmap to shut down its coal-fired power plants, which generate a total of 42 GW of electricity – all by 2038.

    According to some estimates, the carbon savings could range between 150 and 250 million tonnes of CO2.”

    In just one year, from 2017 to 2018, China increased its emissions by 226 million tonnes. In 2018, China produced 193.5 million tonnes each week, 28.5% of global emissions.
    (Derived from http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/en/CO2-emissions)

    It’s only money:
    “German coal regions to be allocated €40 billion as part of coal phase-out plan”
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/german-coal-regions-to-be-allocated-e40-billion-as-part-of-coal-phase-out-plan/

    Someone, perhaps Mrs Merkel, or a Green politician, must be able to explain how Germany’s energy sacrifices and this massive economic cost, will have any impact on global temperatures.

    In 2018, UK emissions were 379 million tonnes, 1.07% of global total. If UK emissions stopped tomorrow, the global total would still be higher than it was a year earlier.

    Meanwhile, the EU is trying to stop coal production in Poland:
    https://www.export.gov/article?id=Poland-Energy
    “Almost 80% of Poland’s electricity is produced by hard and brown coal, mainly from Polish suppliers.
    The majority of Polish coal-fired power plants were built between 1960 and 1980. Currently, many of these plants are worn-out and do not meet strict EU environmental requirements for greenhouse gas emissions. For these reasons, 10 GW of old coal plants will be retired and replaced with newly-built, conventional capacity plants by 2025.

    The Ministry of Energy has announced that Poland will build 5-6 new conventional power plants valued at USD 12.5 billion by 2025. Two newly build large power plants – Kozienice (1,000 MW) and Opole (2×900 MW) have already been operational, and there are four large, highly efficient coal-fired power plants under construction in Poland. . These include the Ostroleka power plant (1,000 MW – developed by GE), Kozienice (1000 MW), Jaworzno (910 MW),and Turow (450 MW). Several CHP plants are being developed, including the gas-fired CHP Zeran (420 MW) and CHP Stalowa Wola (450 MW), as well as the coal-fired Pulawy CHP.”

    https://www.powermag.com/poland-pushing-back-against-eu-goal-to-end-coal-fired-generation/
    “Poland defies Brussels by vowing to stick to coal”

    Energy security is higher priority than EU emissions goals, says government official. “Responsibilities for the planned EU target should be shared among EU states, taking into consideration every country’s situation and possibilities,” he said. “The cost of this idea rises to hundreds of billions of dollars. Politicians trying to proceed with such a process, they are not living on the ground.”

    Indeed.

    At 344 million tonnes in 2018, Poland was 0.97% of global emissions.

    Like

  44. More ‘clarifications’ required

    Like

  45. I assume that everyone here already knows that China’s per capita emissions are higher than the UK’s (and the EU-28’s) but would you be surprised to learn that the following countries’ per caps are enormously higher than the UK’s – Barbados, Botswana, Grenada, Ireland, Mongolia, Palau, Paraguay and Trinidad (amongst many others)?

    Botswana’s officially reported emissions zizgag wildly from year to year…

    https://www.climatewatchdata.org/ghg-emissions?breakBy=regions-PER_CAPITA&regions=EU28%2CAUS%2CBWA%2CBRA%2CCAN%2CCHN%2CDEU%2CIND%2CIDN%2CIRN%2CJPN%2CKWT%2CLUX%2CMNG%2CPRY%2CQAT%2CRUS%2CGBR%2CUSA%2CIRL

    …so I suspect that bad data would be more blameworthy than Botswanans themselves if Botswana ever goes before the World Ecocide Court.

    And poor little Palau, which is expected to sink under the waves sometime last week, can surely be forgiven its huge per capita but tiny total footprint.

    Ireland, however. What are you playing at? Get a grip! This is a climate emergency!

    Like

  46. Since there is clearly a period of time between when a question is posed by a member of the audience and it being chosen (and rephrased?) by a facilitator, moderator (or whomever) surely there is an opportunity for the answering “expert” to be corrected in their errors by a team of instant fact-checkers. The two howlers (Chinese coal; no industry support for nuclear power) should never have occurred. Scandalous and predictable?

    Liked by 1 person

  47. F### !

    BBC: Climate change: Worst emissions scenario ‘misleading’

    “…Rather than being seen as something that only had a 3% chance of becoming reality, it became known as the “business-as-usual” scenario, by climate scientists and has been used in more than 2,000 research papers since.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51281986

    and the rest of it, is everything I (and many others, especially Roger Pielke jr) have been saying for years. And Roger started this recent recantation/analysis. on twitetr., no mention of Roger

    F### !!

    BBC –
    Does this mean that climate scientists have been exaggerating the threat?
    This is more about scientific assumptions added to a communications cock-up.

    Very few scientists realised that RCP8.5 was originally a 90th percentile outcome, not a most likely or business-as-usual outcome. They assumed too much, when they should perhaps have checked, say the authors of the review.

    “At the end of the day, scientists have to take responsibility for what they choose as input data, and there should be a degree of due diligence,” said Glen Peter, from the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway.

    “How many of your average climate scientists know the nuances of RCP8.5? It would certainly be interesting to know.”

    The media, taking their steer from scientists, have tended to use the highest impacts when reporting on projections based on emissions scenarios.

    “That’s not to say that these highest-end impacts are impossible to happen, but it is not business-as-usual. And that’s the point we’re really trying to make in this piece.”

    Liked by 1 person

  48. BBC – “This is more about scientific assumptions added to a communications cock-up.

    Very few scientists realised that RCP8.5 was originally a 90th percentile outcome, not a most likely or business-as-usual outcome. They assumed too much, when they should perhaps have checked, say the authors of the review.

    “At the end of the day, scientists have to take responsibility for what they choose as input data, and there should be a degree of due diligence,” said Glen Peter, from the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway.

    “How many of your average climate scientists know the nuances of RCP8.5? It would certainly be interesting to know.”

    Think about it. the BBC have just published an absolutely brutal criticism of possibly hundred of climate scientists (1000s of papers) and effective said they were utterly incompetent. not understanding data/scenario input into their own work..

    F### !

    Like

  49. Thanks greatly, Barry. This was my best shot at doing justice to the story in three tweets.

    There’s going to be a lot more to be said.

    Like

  50. “Does this review mean human extinction is less likely from climate change?”

    Beeb still trying to find a cloud in the silver lining. Mind you: my chin is still hurting from being uppercut by the floor.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. Oldbrew:

    Roger Pielke junior started a massive debate on twitter about RCP8.5.. and a comprehensive analysis, especially with Zeke.

    This [BBC] crucifies the competence of hundreds of climate impacts scientist, who ONLY used RCP 8.5.

    BBC – “This is more about scientific assumptions added to a communications cock-up.

    Very few scientists realised that RCP8.5 was originally a 90th percentile outcome, not a most likely or business-as-usual outcome. [b]They assumed too much, when they should perhaps have checked, say the authors of the review.[/b]

    “At the end of the day, scientists have to take responsibility for what they choose as input data, and there should be a degree of due diligence,” said Glen Peter, from the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway.

    “[b]How many of your average climate scientists know the nuances of RCP8.5? It would certainly be interesting to know.”[/b]

    Think about it. the BBC have just published an absolutely brutal criticism of possibly hundred of climate scientists (1000s of papers) and effective said they were utterly incompetent. not understanding data/scenario input into their own work..” – BBC

    F### !

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Grieving time more like – all that wasted effort and time, all those scared children.

    Like

  53. In regards to finally admitting that RCP8.5 is a phony basis for likely scenarios:
    Once again skeptics proved correct.
    Or as a certain teenager would say,
    “How dare you!”
    Or as Steve might say, ” It only happened because skeptics are so stupid.”

    Like

  54. Funny how the amateurs could see it was garbage right from the start, but the professionals (or a lot of them at least) couldn’t.

    Like

  55. they knew – if you want to find an “impact’ result for a paper.. best way use the worse case scenario (AND leave out all the other scenarios) headlines, press releases, and more grant funding.

    Like

  56. “The Expert Leads 🎓, [are] responsible for ensuring that the information provided to Climate Assembly UK assembly is balanced, accurate and comprehensive”
    SNORT!!! 😷

    Like

  57. Look’s to me like some climate scientist have come to realise exaggeration of critical facts has negative consequences (Thunberg, XR and ruinous Government policy initiatives) and perhaps are now trying to right a wrong.

    Like

  58. ALAN KENDALL

    “The Expert Leads …SNORT!!!

    Nothing to do with climate, but an interesting insight into How Science Works here:
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jan/25/has-physicists-gravity-theory-solved-impossible-dark-energy-riddle

    ..in 2011, when De Rham and her collaborators … published a landmark paper on massive gravity, the response was swift and hostile. “People have their egos,” she says. “If you say ‘Well actually what you did 40 years ago wasn’t quite right’, they’re not going to say ‘Let’s talk about it’.”

    The suggestion is that, despite the egos of scientists, an attempt to solve a fifty-year-old enigma sometimes starts to gain acceptance ten years after the publication of a paper. Science is self-correcting, you see, at least when governments and Swedish teenagers haven’t staked their reputations on one particular theory.

    Like

  59. Geoff. Still nothing to do with climate, but “gravitational rainbows”?!!
    How wonderful is the human mind.
    Could there be pots of gravitational gold?

    Like

  60. BARRY WOODS
    So that’s Long-Bailey. Looks like the Tories are in for twenty years.

    Note the use of the “O’Grady Switch.” It used to be: “Scientists say: “Do this.” Now it’s just: “Do this.”

    Like

  61. This was deliberate hyping of the least likely scenario. From the deceptive “Business As Usual” name, to the dishonest way it was presented. Once again, skeptics were right. Those who defended the consensus were wrong. Those who helped write papers attacking skeptics and skepticism, like Lewandowsky, were at best unwitting hacks.
    Our very own ATTP and Steve placed themselves firmly in the side of deception.
    But the most evil are those who knew better but allowed the manipulation of children, like Greta, because it helped their goals.
    Nihilistic irrational groups like ER were inspired by the “Business As Usual” deception. Media sold its soul to pimp lies based on “Business As Usual”. People pay ever higher prices for less and less quality of power because of this deception.
    It is far past time to have an honest conversation about climate. It sure as heck hasn’t happened yet.

    Like

  62. “there’s a real high risk of the Amazon rainforest turning into more of a savannah type ecosystem in the long run,” said Zeke Hausfather.” (In the BBC report)

    Like it used to be when it was colder?

    SOUTH AMERICA DURING THE LAST 150,000 YEARS – Jonathan Adams, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    “In general, it would seem that 150-130,000 y.a. the continent showed the general glacial-age pattern of colder and more arid conditions. After about 130,000 y.a., climate warmed and moistened and the forests reached a similar area to the present. After 115,000 y.a., cold and aridity began to influence the vegetation, to an arid, cool maximum around 70,000 y.a., followed by erratic but generally fairly cool and drier-than-present conditions throughout the continent. A second cold, arid maximum began around 22,000 years ago and lasted until about 14,000 14C y.a., after which rainfall and temperatures increased and the forests returned over several thousand years.”

    https://web.archive.org/web/19980704172829/http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nercSOUTHAMERICA.html

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Professor Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of BioGeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, wrote this in 2003:

    “At the end of the last ice age, only some 12-18000 years ago, the tropics were covered by seasonal savannah grasslands, cooler and much drier than now. There were no rain forests in the Malay Peninsula and much of Amazonia, and, despite the increasing human development of forested space, there are still more rain forests persisting than existed then. As in Europe and North America, the forests came and went as climate changed; there is no Clementsian “long period of control” under one climate. Beneath many rain forests, there are sheets of ash, a testimony in the soil to past fires and non-forested landscapes.”

    Liked by 1 person

  64. On the Rebecca Willis comment on future nuclear power in the UK:

    “Rebecca Willis: Um, it could increase. It’s seen as a low carbon form of generation. Each country tends to take a different approach to their electricity mix. Some countries, like France, has been got three quarters of the electricity from Nuclear, and in the UK, it’s now just under 20%. There have been plans to increase that, but at the moment there aren’t really companies coming forward wanting to build nuclear power stations so it’s unclear what’s gonna happen there.”

    The most obvious interpretation of the ‘companies’ that she is talking about are companies in the engineering sector, and as a number of people have pointed out earlier in the thread, that is not true.

    But she could be talking about companies in the financial sector. Engineering companies might be keen on building nuclear power stations, but if the financial community doesn’t want to finance the construction, then they don’t get built. The financial community has a lot of Green-leaning people in it and the community could even be said to be ideologically opposed to and fearful of nuclear power.

    To give some evidence for the idea that the international financial community is fearful of nuclear power, consider this news story (a Daily Telegraph article, but free-to-view) about the foreign workers who fled from Japan at the time of the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/globalbusiness/8466207/Rebuilding-Japan-Special-scorn-for-flyjin-foreigners-who-fled-country.html

    Out of the professional foreign workers in Japan who fled from Japan while the incident was ongoing, the vast majority were from the financial community. Basically the foreign contingent of the financial community assumed Japan was ‘toast’ and buggered off. With this sort of attitude to nuclear power being prevalent in the financial community, it’s going to be very difficult to get them to finance new nuclear power plants.

    If you want nuclear power plants to be built, my view is that the State has to finance it. All the nuclear plants built in France, which produce three quarters of its electricity, were financed by the State. The existing nuclear plants in the UK were financed by the State. The new nuclear plant under construction in the UK, Hinckley Point C, is financed I would guess mainly by the French state. I think even in the USA the most recent nuclear power plants under construction, small in number, are being financed under US Government loans.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. It is claimed that ” .. Three groups of experts have been appointed to advise the soon-to-be-established Citizens Assembly on climate change .. “. It appears that among those “experts” there is not a single specialist in the processes and drivers of the different global climates, never mind an expert in the subject.

    Expertise in the subject of climate change is founded on sound education, training and experience in the hard sciences such as physics, chemistry, meteorology, etc. not the social sciences, politics or economics, which appears to be the area of expertise of those claimed “experts” advising Citizens Assemblies on climate change.

    Yes, climates change – and have been doing so for billions of years – but there is no convincing scientific evidence that the world is heading for climate emergency, chaos or catastrophe due to our burgeoning use if fossil fuels. That is simply scaremongering by those with a vested interest in promoting Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC) propaganda, such as environmental campaigner K Chaitanya Kumar, policy advisor at the Green Alliance. Kumar is not an expert in any of the relevant hard scientific disciplines, having studied computer science, energy policy and sustainability.

    Pete Ridley (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.com/2019/04/spotlighton-extinction-rebellion.html)

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Correct me if I’m wrong but, as I understand it, this assembly is organized to offer parliament and the government advice as to what the British population think about how we should proceed to reach a goal of drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Thus it is more or less assumed that this is a goal that will be sought. Thus discussions about the correctness of human induced climate change are, for this assembly, totally irrelevant. If our present government are expecting anything of value from this exercise it would be an assessment of how far the population can be pushed without strenuously reacting negatively, and can the population be pushed to a greater degree by following certain pathways?
    If I am correct, then much of the discussion is off-piste.

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  67. Hi Alan,

    The citizens’ “Climate Assembly” is founded on the false assumption that the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC) hypothesis has been validated.

    You suggest that this CACC “Citizens’ Assembly” nonsense is ” .. an assessment of how far the population can be pushed .. “. If the success of the rabble-rousers behind the Extinction Rebellion movement (http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.com/2019/04/spotlighton-extinction-rebellion.html) is anything to go by then the gullible among the world’s public are not being PUSHED but rather easily LED.

    Educators (from primary to post graduate) share with parents the responsibility for failing to encourage gullible youngsters to question what they are told. It makes it more difficult to control their behaviour but does pay dividends in the end.

    The fact that so many citizens have swallowed the CACC propaganda spooned up by the likes of Greta Thunburg, David Attenburgh, Princes Charlie and Wills is an indicator of what the Citizens’ Assemblies will deliver.

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  68. Alan: I don’t think you are wrong. And it’s also just advice. Setting it all up without allowing any questioning of the science and the uncertainties thereof is not leadership. I’m hoping it’s a really cynical exercise. Isn’t that inspiring.

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  69. Pete Ridley. Opposition to measures designed to reduce CO2 emissions in the UK that will impinge upon citizens’ ways of life will not come from the die-hard believers of CAGW (as you point out they are leading the charge) but from those who deem their lives impoverished by such changes and for no discernible gain. My suspicion is that the government fears a backlash from the latter and the assembly is but one small attempt to prepare for such eventualities. It certainly doesn’t wish to be sidetracked into discussing issues that it has been assured have been settled and from those who ought to know. I can quite believe that, with this particular brand of government, even discussion of alternative views about climate change and what needs to be done about it could become criminal activities. Happy days!😱

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  70. Richard
    “And it’s also just advice.”
    This I do not believe at all. If the Assembly participants can be directed to support certain statements or propose certain actions, the various parliamentary committees will be able to call upon them to support controversial policies with claims that they sought advice from the populace. Alternatively it is a device to get aggressive groups, like Extinction Rebellion, off their backs, at least temporarily (and something useful just might emerge).

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  71. Hi Alan, we are talking about politicians here, so I agree with you – excepting that I would replace “alternatively” with “also”. They rarely miss a trick!!

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  72. Alan: That is the factual position, as far as I know: Boris has not given a commitment to turn any or all output of the assembly into legislation. Has he? This is what gives me my interest in the different strands in the new administration. I’m backing a hunch that not everyone is saying everything they think on this subject. I urge all of them to go the Ross McKitrick route.

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