One thing leads to another. Robin Guenier’s article How To Destroy The Claim That The West Must Cut CO2 Emissions has led to quite a discussion, and in one of the comments under the line, Robin mentioned an article on The Conversation website. This led Jit to write What About Whataboutism?, and in a comment on that article, Robin mentioned part of the Climate Change Act 2008 Impact Assessment. The reference seems to me to be far too significant to be limited to a comment on an article, and in fact it merits much more detailed consideration, so profoundly fundamental is it to the whole “Net Zero project”.

The Impact Assessment runs to 126 pages, and is too large to analyse in detail here. For instance, the claims made (based largely on the Stern Review) that the costs of inaction exceed the costs of action (viz-a-viz emissions reductions) are highly debatable, both in terms of the economic assumptions made, and when considering that the UK’s action has, by and large, not been replicated elsewhere in the world, so that the benefits of climate change mitigation have not been seen at all. In other words, we have borne the costs, but not seen the alleged benefits.

The key section for current purposes, however, appears early, on page 7:

It should be noted that the benefits of reduced carbon emissions have been valued using the social cost of carbon which estimates the avoided global damages from reduced UK emissions. The benefits of UK action will be distributed across the globe. In the case where the UK acts in concert with other countries then the UK will benefit from other nations reduced emissions and would be expected to experience a large net benefit. Where the UK acts alone, though there would be a net benefit for the world as a whole the UK would bear all the cost of the action and would not experience any benefit from reciprocal reductions elsewhere. The economic case for the UK continuing to act alone where global action cannot be achieved would be weak.

The last two sentences are crucial. What does “global action” mean in this context? I would say it means “actions, not words”, and while there have been words a-plenty, there have to date been few meaningful deeds globally in connection with reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

EDGAR Database

EDGAR stands for “Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research”. As it says on its website:

EDGAR is a multipurpose, independent, global database of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution on Earth. EDGAR provides independent emission estimates compared to what reported [sic] by European Member States or by Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), using international statistics and a consistent IPCC methodology.

Where better to look to see whether “reciprocal reductions” in greenhouse gas emissions have been achieved and therefore whether the economic case for the UK continuing to act, under the Climate Change Act, is weak or strong? The table of emissions isn’t perfect for current purposes, as it doesn’t enable us to compare 2008 (or 2009, given that the Act received Royal Assent only on 26th November 2008) emissions globally with those of 2023 or even 2022. The best we can do is compare 2005 to 2021, but that, I would suggest, is broadly adequate when considering the key point from the Impact Assessment.

Measurements are in Megatonnes of CO2. The start date in each case is 2005 and the end date is 2021:

United Kingdom: 562.09, declining to 335.36, a reduction of 40.33%.

Global emissions: 30,161.57, rising to 37,857.58, an increase of 25.51%.

China: 6,338.44, rising to 12,466.32, an increase of 96.67%.

India: 1,215.21, rising to 2,648.78, an increase of 117.96%.

Indonesia: 361.45, rising to 602.59, an increase of 66.71%.

South Korea: 516.53, rising to 626.8, an increase of 21.34%.

Russia: 1,735.03, rising to 1,942.54, an increase of 11.96%.

Pakistan: 132.46, rising to 219.79, an increase of 65.92%.

Bangladesh: 39.94, rising to 106.87, an increase of 167.57%.

The vast majority of countries, especially in the developing world, register increases, many substantial, some huge (running to several hundred percent). Of all the countries listed by EDGAR, the only ones of any size, with more than miniscule emissions, to show a decrease in emissions during the period 2005 to 2021 are the UK, the EU27 (a reduction of 24.18%), Australia (a 4.78% reduction, and its coal exports don’t count in its emissions total), Canada (a reduction of 2.5%), Japan (a reduction of 15.65%, and its emissions still represent 2.87% of the global total, compared to the UK’s 0.89%), Ukraine (a reduction of 47.49%) and the United States (a reduction of 20.14%). Thus it can be seen that of the world’s countries with emissions beyond insignificant levels in global terms, only Ukraine has made a greater proportionate reduction than the UK. The EU has managed a little over half as much in percentage terms, the USA has managed slightly half as much in those terms, and Japan has achieved even less, while the reductions achieved by Australia and Canada are extremely modest. In short, the rest of the world (with the exception of poor benighted Ukraine) isn’t following the UK’s “lead”.

If the EDGAR data, being based on changes in emissions between 2005 and 2021 is considered inappropriate, then the International Energy Agency must surely be considered a reliable authority by those who would defend the Climate Change Act – after all, they usually treat its pronouncements as Holy Writ. Well, the headline to its “Global Energy Review:CO2 Emissions in 2021” is “Global emissions rebound sharply to highest ever level”. It points out that the covid-induced reduction in economic activity, with consequent falls in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, was more than reversed in 2021. Presumably emissions continued to rise in 2022, but we must wait a little longer for those figures. Not only did emissions generally reach an all-time high in 2021 but so, the IEA tells us, did emissions from coal, and emissions from the world’s power plants reached their highest ever level – driven by the biggest ever increase in year on year electricity demand: an increase which was more than 15 times larger than the drop in demand in 2020.

Let’s remind ourselves of the words of the Impact Assessment for the UK’s Climate Change Act:

The economic case for the UK continuing to act alone where global action cannot be achieved would be weak.

Unanswered Questions

What is the point of an Impact Assessment relating to legislation if nobody ever re-visits it some years later to assess the actual impact against what was envisaged when the legislation was passed?

Why was the net zero target introduced by Teresa May’s government without any apparent reference to the Impact Assessment?

Why did the Scottish Government legislate for an earlier (2045) net zero date? Did nobody involved in that decision read the Impact Assessment relating to the UK Climate Change Act?

Why did Chris Skidmore’s recent Net Zero Review not reference the Act’s Impact Assessment?


If Impact Assessments relating to UK legislation are to mean anything, then some years after the passage of the legislation in question, Ministers should be charged with considering the impact of the legislation in terms of its Impact Assessment. If anyone bothered to do so in the case of the Climate Change Act 2008 they would realise that the Act has not led to the rest of the world following the UK’s example. Consequently, the economic case for the UK continuing to act alone where global action has not been achieved is weak. It’s time to repeal the Act.


  1. I’ve a sneaking suspicion that the Conservatives getting hammered in the local elections are in part a rebellion by the masses, acting in the only way they are able.

    Then again, it might just be my wishful thinking.


  2. Actually, Joe, I think the masses said “a plague on all your houses”, given that a substantial number didn’t vote, and turnout was very low. As usual, the low turnout is being largely ignored, but if politicians do deign to mention it, they will no doubt fail to draw the inference that the electorate is unimpressed with the political class collectively, and instead will accuse us of apathy, and say that they have to work harder to get their message across.

    We’ve got the message loud and clear, and we don’t like it! For the record, I voted Independent. I would always vote, or as a minimum spoil my ballot, rather than be labelled apathetic.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Joe, at our local election on Thursday I found a choice of 4 candidates, all representing parties that are fully signed up to the Net Zero National Suicide Project. Four different shades of green, you might say – and yet in my mind this is merely a green cloak that has been thrown around the shoulders of a vampire.

    Mark, the developing countries are naturally all in favour of the decadent West making carbon dioxide emissions cuts. I don’t believe for a second that this is anything to do with the resulting change in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. It is everything to do with improving their competitive situation. We shoot ourselves in the foot; they sell us a crutch.

    This is a perfect psychological system for self-reinforcement, because both sides benefit – albeit one physically, the other psychologically. It will remain so as long as we prefer striving to signal virtue over striving to achieve it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Senator Kennedy is making a similar point about net zero in the USA here. The Deputy Energy Secretary won’t (or can’t) say how much it will cost American taxpayers to achieve net zero by 2050, he can’t (or won’t) say how much doing so will reduce global temperatures, and he falls back on the “leadership” trope, claiming that the world won’t “get its act together” unless the USA leads. Well, while the USA has reduced its emissions by 20% between 2005 and 2021 the rest of the world has increased its emissions substantially. So how does his claim fit in with evidence-based policy-making? Watch it and weep!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s a cult, no doubt about it whatsoever, but one which justifies its existence and its prescriptive policies by reference to the supposed unassailable authority of The Science and the high priests who research and assemble The Science – the Climate Scientists.

    “So, uh, I think [sadly not, I fear], according to the climate scientists around the world and certainly the cutting edge scientists that we need to rely on here in the US . . . . . ”

    The only way we are going to break this cult is to sever its lifeline to science and, in my opinion, the only way we do that, is to take down the fake Science and expose the fake Scientists promoting this scam. Failing that, we just wait until they wreck everything.


  6. Even Sen. Kennedy is drawn in by the Fake Science; he argues against net zero ONLY on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis.

    “I’m all for carbon neutrality,” he says, speaking in Texas southern drawl.


  7. Jaime,

    He did say that, twice I think. But did he mean it, did he say it for effect, or (more worryingly) did he feel he had to say it if he was to be taken seriously?


  8. The CCA Impact Assessment was anticipated by a letter that Nick Stern (not yet Lord Stern) sent to Gordon Brown (not yet PM) on 19 June 2006.

    Some relevant extracts:

    … a multilateral response is the only way to tackle climate change.

    Co-ordinated global action will be essential …

    Building international collective action is essential for an effective response.

    This will necessitate early action by both developed and developing countries.

    … it is important to focus on how far UK actions can help to move the EU and international agenda forward.

    … effective action against climate change requires a multilateral response … national policy should be seen in the light of its contribution to generating effective international action.

    And by this White Paper
    dated February 2003: Our energy future – creating a low carbon economy. It contains many references to the need for international action. These are the most relevant:

    From Tony Blair’s Forward:

    And, because this country cannot solve this problem alone, we will work internationally to secure the major cuts in emissions that will be needed worldwide.

    From Chapter 1, section 1.9:

    Our own actions will have no impact on climate change unless they are part of a concerted international effort. A key objective of the UK’s foreign policy in future will be to secure international commitment to this ambition.

    From section 1.44:

    Addressing climate change … requires concerted international effort.

    From Chapter 2, section 2.10:

    Climate change is a global problem. It has to be tackled globally. The UK will continue to show leadership but it cannot solve this problem alone. … UK emissions of carbon dioxide currently account for only 2% of the global total. Our own actions will have no impact on climate change unless they are part of a concerted international effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s time to repeal the Act

    No doubt that’s true; but I’m afraid it’s unlikely to be possible. It might however be useful to note that the Impact Assessment was signed off by Ed Miliband.


  10. The latter is a possibility. However, I get the impression he meant it. If politicians taking to task the Net Zero fantasists are themselves bewitched by the imaginary virtues of carbon neutrality (because ‘the science’), then I fear we’re not going to win this fight. I doubt we’re going to win it even if they feel they have to pretend that they support carbon neutrality. Carbon is not a pollutant, it is an essential ingredient of life and its presence in the atmosphere (especially in such modest concentrations when viewed in the context of the geological record) does not guarantee mass extinction or climate catastrophe.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jaime,

    I have a lot of sympathy with your argument. However, I think the fight will be won when net zero-supporting politicians and/or technocrats go too far. Take cheap flights abroad away from people, force them to install expensive heat pumps, deny them ICE vehicles before EVs are ready to work for most people, and I think there will be a revolt against it.


  12. We need that revolt right now Mark, not some time in the future when it will be too late. What will happen at the next election? Many people won’t bother to vote. Those who do will vote in a Labour government who will go harder and faster on the ruinous route to Net Zero.


  13. Jaime,

    I agree, of course. Unfortunately, although I think the revolt will happen when people understand what net zero means for them personally, I do greatly fear that they will first make the mistake of electing a government that will double down on net zero, because at this stage the electorate is still ignorant regarding what is coming down the tracks. All I can hope is that the resultant pain will be short-term and will lead to long-term gain (or at least to the end of the pain).

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jaime: apologies for my interrupting your exchange with Mark with observations about early Labour acceptance that of Britain going alone on emission reduction is pointless and Ed Miliband’s signing off of the Impact Assessment.

    Anyway, here’s my take on your exchange with Mark:

    Blunting the impact of the absurd and dangerous Net Zero policy has to be our overriding priority. As I see it, the only possible way we ‘sceptics’ can progress that is by demonstrating that, even if the ‘Science’ is indeed unassailable, the policy is unachievable, disastrous and, in any case, pointless. Each of these is easily substantiated – although I accept that, in today’s mad world, that doesn’t mean it will be accepted. Nonetheless, acceptance is at least a possibility not least because it’s an approach that has the huge advantage of bypassing debate about the science.

    In complete contrast, your view that it’s necessary ‘to take down the fake Science’ may be admirable but it would plunge you straight into the maelstrom of scientific debate. At worst, you’d be dismissed as a denier unworthy of serious attention. At best, you’d be reminded about the ‘consensus’, asked to produce equivalent peer-reviewed evidence supporting your position and get bogged down in mind-numbing and endless argument. In other words, you’d get nowhere. Not very helpful.

    You say ‘We need that revolt right now’. Perhaps so – but successful revolts need public support and I see no evidence of that today. I think Mark’s right that it will only happen when people understand what net zero means for them personally; it’s at least encouraging that there are some distinct signs of that beginning to happen. And I think it will happen. In the meantime, I believe it’s up to us to pursue my recommended approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “Perhaps so – but successful revolts need public support and I see no evidence of that today.”

    I agree. Very many independent assessments of attitudes to climate change reveal a great deal that the pollsters and researchers were not intentionally probing. Not least that, for instance, the pattern of renewables commitment across nations does not depend on their climates or climate exposures or indeed any technical or rational policy, but only on cultural factors; and because different cultures interact, a great single predictor of renewables commitment in any nation, is national irreligiosity.* Anyhow, to stay on point, one of the things they also reveal is that there is no evidence of any ‘revolt’ or sudden increase in resistance to renewables, or other climate / NZ related policy, up to about the last year or so at any rate, and also in pretty much any country. If anything, a very gradual increase in support still seems discernible, although Covid introduced some minor wobbles.

    “I think Mark’s right that it will only happen when people understand what net zero means for them personally;”

    Yes. These surveys also reveal what is true of all cultural support, which is that it retreats in direct proportion to the strength of reality constraints. At the moment, as far as global publics are concerned, the reality constraints on Net Zero policies seem light, because the downsides are essentially hidden from them, indeed are hidden from many of the people informing publics, indeed like a giant onion even hidden from the politicians who ultimately engage the people who inform the publics, because everyone who believes in catastrophism (and renewables salvation) helps to keep everyone else involved blind deaf and dumb about those realities. However, it has been clear for many years, from many questions that introduce different strength constraints in survey participants minds (e.g. via competing priorities), that if the true realities were at all grasped by global publics, policy support would severely decline, perhaps to the point of complete collapse. There is tremendous inertia involved in getting that knowledge publicly grasped though, which process the culture actively resists (as a religion may resist atheist inroads).

    (* = The US excepted; the same rules apply there, but the Dem/Lib v Rep/Con polarization makes for a more complex evaluation. China and Vietnam too, only because they supress religion).

    Liked by 1 person

  16. oldbrew?

    Not sure whether you are referring to costs or alleged benefits?

    The costs are, I think, obvious – higher energy costs, renewables blighting the environment, less reliable energy supply with consequent issues for the National Grid, higher taxes to subsidise EVs, etc etc. Of course, this is only the beginning, and insofar as net zero will entail much bigger costs down the line, then I agree that we have only begun to bear the costs. Of course, my hope is that when the public understands the reality of the costs (financial and in terms of lifestyle changes) that are going to hit them, the backlash will begin.

    The alleged benefits are, I assume, a reduction in the “climate crisis”, with all that is supposed to entail. The net zero fanatics/climate alarmists are a bit stuck with that one, since their never-ending message is that the crisis (sic) is getting worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Reading through yesterday’s posts on this thread was worrying to me. I believe discussions involving opposing decisions of democratically-elected governments smacks of potential illegality regardless of the good intentions of those involved. Could we backtrack perhaps?


  18. I have always been optimistic that the support for Net Zero would crumble when its implications became obvious. I begin to doubt this. We have seen a strategy developed, whether deliberately or instinctively, which successfully portrays the side-effects of taking the medicine as symptoms of the disease itself.

    We already have the obvious gaslighting regarding fuel costs, which I touched upon 18 months ago.

    If food runs short, it will be blamed on the climate crisis, not a shortage of fertiliser. If you think about it for a few moments, *every* conceivable problem that climate change policy causes could, in an Orwellian future, be blamed on climate change. Even prolonged power cuts and rats the size of cats.


  19. Alan, I am absolutely sure that the revolution that has been called for is not one of heads on sticks. It is one where voters are able to make clear their opposition to Net Zero at the ballot box. The shame is that so far no politicians see an advantage in arguing against our present course.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Alan,

    Perhaps the use of words such as “revolt” and “revolution” has created a misleading impression. I am certainly not calling for an uprising against a democratically elected government, however much I dislike it. My hope is that the electorate will demand an end to net zero by democratic means. Of course, I think it’s fair to say that democracy is failing us, given that all of the political parties that stand any realistic chance of being involved in government are enthusiastic supporters of net zero. The public is denied an opportunity to express its displeasure at this policy via the ballot box. That is why I wrote “Net Zero Democracy”.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Alan said:

    Isn’t it the function of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to actually oppose and question the decisions of the government? The fact that the said Opposition has not functioned as intended appears to be the real problem here.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Robin, you say:

    “In complete contrast, your view that it’s necessary ‘to take down the fake Science’ may be admirable but it would plunge you straight into the maelstrom of scientific debate. At worst, you’d be dismissed as a denier unworthy of serious attention. At best, you’d be reminded about the ‘consensus’, asked to produce equivalent peer-reviewed evidence supporting your position and get bogged down in mind-numbing and endless argument. In other words, you’d get nowhere. Not very helpful.”

    We are diametrically opposed on this issue. The ‘maelstrom of scientific debate’ is EXACTLY what we need right now, in ADDITION to pointing out all the other more obvious absurdities of Net Zero. Because The Science is the fundamental foundation of Net Zero; it energises the whole agenda. I would welcome a proper public debate on the science, involving real scientists and real data. You might regard that as a ‘mind-numbing and pointless exercise’ but that is precisely the point. It would NOT be a mind-numbing and pointless exercise if the proponents of the Science did not constantly take refuge in pejorative accusations of ‘denier’ and constant appeals to authority based upon a supposed ‘overwhelming consensus’ of expert opinion. Those who defend the Science will NEVER engage in a rigorous scientific debate because they know it will expose the very serious shortcomings of their ‘science’. Real science, real evidence, proper debate, is the cornerstone of our civilised society. If you ringfence that so as to avoid the hassle of getting ‘bogged down in mind-numbing and endless argument’, then you literally throw away the keys to the kingdom.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Alan,

    Nobody democratically elected Rishi Sunak as the leader of our democratically elected government. After Johnson was ousted in a not very democratic coup, his successor, Liz Truss, who was ostensibly democratically elected as PM by the party members, was ousted in an even more outrageous coup and Sunak, formerly REJECTED by the party members, was parachuted in to take her place. Jeremy Hunt, also rejected by party members, is now the second most senior member of our democratically elected government, i.e. Chancellor of the Exchequer. Net Zero was of course in place before Johnson was elected by popular vote to be our Prime Minister. It was unanimously instituted by MPs right at the end of May’s premiership via statutory instrument. Hardly ‘democratic’ given the very far-reaching consequences for the British people. Arguably, even more justifiable of a referendum than Brexit. Johnson expressed his commitment to Net Zero beforehand, but the populace were so obsessed by his promise to ‘Get Brexit Done’ that they didn’t take much notice of Johnson’s eco-waffle, thinking it was unimportant in relation to achieving Brexit. In the end, Johnson gave us a half-baked Brexit and the legacy of net Zero is now biting hard. The only Democratic realistic alternative to Sunak’s Conservatives is Starmer’s Labour, who will go even harder and faster on Net Zero All in all, I consider talk of a revolution to be justifiable.


  24. Jaime. Agreed no one democratically elected Rishi Sinai as the leader of our democratically elected government. But then no one democratically elected any of our past leaders. It is the job of the largest democratically elected party to fulfil this task and so it was done(perhaps badly in several instances).

    Blame the electorate for not electing anyone with views that do not support climate change and methods to combat it. If pursuing zero carbon measures provokes the voting populous to change its mind about those measures it has nowhere to turn, no political party to project its views.

    If we are to move on then we must support whatever vestiges of rationality emerge from what we have in place within parliament today or which may emerge in the near future once opposition emerges from the electorate. It’s a waiting game. It should not be imposed.


  25. Alan,

    The British public voted for the Conservative Party, led by Boris Johnson. They democratically chose their Prime Minister. When he was ousted, the incumbent government lost some of its democratic legitimacy. When his successor, chosen by party members, was also ousted and Sunak was anointed as PM by senior Tories, the government lost virtually all of its democratic legitimacy. That’s why the government will probably be voted out at the next election, but the Hobson’s choice presented to the electorate will be Sunak’s Green ‘Conservatives’ (if he survives as leader) or Starmer’s Green ‘Labour’. Of course, other parties and independents will stand up candidates, but they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of forming a government, let alone taking a significant number of seats. That opportunity was wide open to Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party at the last election, but he blew it, made a deal with the Tories to stand down his candidates and hence gave Boris Johnson his huge majority. I see no way to break this stranglehold now other than by a popular non-violent uprising by the people (a revolution). Revolutions are the lifeblood of nations. They may be frowned upon but at times, they are necessary. When Starmer gets in, a revolution will be necessary. Ideally, it should start right now.


  26. Jaime – you say:

    I would welcome a proper public debate on the science, involving real scientists and real data.

    So would I. The problem however is that there’s not the remotest chance of it happening in Britain. And that’s quite simply because, as you say:

    Those who defend the Science will NEVER engage in a rigorous scientific debate…

    Therefore, rather than a futile attempt to engage in ‘proper debate’, it’s surely preferable to pursue my recommended approach of demonstrating that Net Zero is unachievable, disastrous and pointless – an approach that cannot be subjected to accusations of ‘denier’ and appeals to authority?

    However there’s another route that might be possible and, if it were, should mean a proper, rigorous debate without such accusations and appeals. It’s clear that the big ‘emerging’ and non-Western economies don’t subscribe to the West’s obsession with dangerous climate change and I suspect that’s because they have a wholly different view of the relevant science. As from the West’s perspective their ignoring calls to cut emissions must threaten the future of humanity, what could be more important than a proper debate at the international level to settle this? I spell out my thinking on this in rather more detail HERE. Note: if I were writing it today (the article is four years old), it would be rather different. For example, I’d prefer to see the US, UK and EU (and maybe Canada or Australia) on one side and China, India and Russia (and maybe Japan) on the other.

    What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Jaime, you are mistaken: you vote for a named person, not even for a named political party. Check your voting slip the next time you have the opportunity to exercise your vote. You choose from a list of named individuals. If you wish to vote for a particular party you need to remember who will represent your chosen party before you go into vote. Even those administering the vote are prevented from informing you about such matters. I believe the problems with this system are particularly bad in Wales.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Alan, you are correct. Technically, your vote is for a particular candidate, who represents both him or herself but also the party that he is affiliated to. In practice, many people cast their vote for a particular candidate based not upon his or her individual qualities but based on their affiliation to a political party and the current leader of that political party.


  29. Robin, I can see one problem with your proposal; scientists on either side might be accused of bias in that they present their scientific arguments in defence of national policy. This is why I think a politically neutral debate would be best, with scientists from different countries arguing for or against the ‘consensus’ based only upon available science and evidence, not national policy.

    “Therefore, rather than a futile attempt to engage in ‘proper debate’, it’s surely preferable to pursue my recommended approach of demonstrating that Net Zero is unachievable, disastrous and pointless – an approach that cannot be subjected to accusations of ‘denier’ and appeals to authority?”

    I’ve never argued against your approach to countering the obsession with Net Zero; it’s a fine one and worth pursuing. All I caution is that we should not at the same time cease to challenge the ‘science’ upon which the whole net zero edifice is built.


  30. The Guardian, the most fanatical and ideologically obsessed pusher of the ‘climate crisis’ and the Net Zero policy response which is supposedly the ‘solution’ to that crisis, appears to be remarkably jittery when it comes to challenges of the ‘established science’ and unassailable data which ‘proves’ anthropogenic global warming is a real thing and a major concern. Why else would they publish this feverishly constructed hit-piece against Jennifer Marohasy, giving her very little time to respond (h/t to Mark on Open Mic)? I suggest they are very well aware that the ‘science’ and the data are their true Achilles Heel. If ‘climate deniers’ are so easily dismissed, why is the Guardian so obsessed with discrediting them?


  31. “If ‘climate deniers’ are so easily dismissed, why is the Guardian so obsessed with discrediting them?”

    Because this has been the culture’s main means of dismissing them for decades. And it has worked, and continues to work, notwithstanding they need refreshes from time to time. What’s happening in society around renewables and other NZ policies ceased to be about the science decades ago. Catastrophism is not going to be defeated, or likely even dinted, by arguing about the science; showing that the policies are highly irrational even in terms of what they tout as their goals, is a far better bet.


  32. Sorry Andy but that doesn’t make much sense. The ‘culture’ initially engaged with climate change sceptics, albeit in a dismissive and highly patronising manner. But the ‘culture’ did at least attempt to counter the arguments of climate change sceptics. Now they don’t bother because they claim the evidence has become so ‘overwhelming’ and the science so ‘settled’ that they don’t need to; all they now have to do is concentrate upon those people arguing that the ‘solutions’ to a proven crisis are misguided, technically impossible or economically unfeasible. So why is the Guardian still so obsessed with Marohasy that it feels the need to construct this character assassination of her and her partner? In my opinion, this demonstrates that they are aware of a weakness in their armour.


  33. “Catastrophism is not going to be defeated, or likely even dinted, by arguing about the science; showing that the policies are highly irrational even in terms of what they tout as their goals, is a far better bet.”

    Again, I don’t disagree with the tactic of demonstrating that the policies are highly irrational. I just think that this alone is not sufficient and any tacit admission that the ‘science’ is correct is also a very dangerous route to go along. I believe that successfully challenging the science upon which NZ is based will be the final nail in the coffin of this most pernicious of cults, notwithstanding the fact that other challenges might also be successful in placing it within that coffin. It’s not logical to argue against ALSO challenging the ‘science’ unless you believe that doing so is not merely a waste of time, but is actually detrimental to the Cause of challenging Net Zero policies by other means. Then we get into a whole new ball game.


  34. “So why is the Guardian still so obsessed with Marohasy that it feels the need to construct this character assassination of her and her partner? In my opinion, this demonstrates that they are aware of a weakness in their armour.”

    It is not newly obsessed, in many outlets dominated by cultural views this has occurred for decades. The Guardian being a case in point. But it’s an exercise that needs constant update and refresh in order to continue to work, yet continue to work it most certainly does, as it has done now for a very long time. This doesn’t mean the culture can lower its guard and simply stop smearing; this is not in its interests, it would never do that. The culture is not so much aware of any weakness (it is not aware of anything), but that it constantly works at all times and by all means to pre-emptively crush all opposition. In the early days, when the culture was far smaller and weaker, it did not have the brute force bias that can crush all argument, and indeed its smear machine was orders of magnitude smaller and less effective. Bear in mind too that most of this smear is not done by people who are being dishonest, it is done by people who genuinely believe that catastrophe is coming and that only shills or ne’re-do-wells or crazy people would argue against this ‘fact’.

    I don’t think arguing the science gets in the way too much, it simply cannot work, and the effort might distract to some minor degree. If we regard arguing the science as a bare-knuckle fight to Queensbury rules, the orthodox side keeps bringing a knife and a knuckle-duster and a massive encouraging crowd (smear, bias to the point of religious belief, and the authority of practically everyone important in the world). No surprise then that, minus the knife, the knuckle-duster, and having but 2 nervous supporters, the sceptics lose. Robin suggests a different tactic, going to the county championships, grabbing the microphone and warning the crowd that team orthodox will lose them all their bet money anyhow, because they’re shysters and longer-term will eventually rig all of the fights.

    You say no, lets keep putting fighters in the ring, while being constrained, naturally, to Queensbury still (one cannot argue science by ditching science). Why? They’ll just get knifed. If you can guarantee a forum that sticks strictly to Queensbury, then sure it makes more sense, although one can’t ever avoid very strong biases, and anyhow such a guarantee is pretty hard to come by these days I think. Its not that most of the orthodox knowingly break the rules, its just that they don’t perceive the stuff that’s stacking the odds in their favour, a bit like Question Time on the Beeb genuinely thinking it was being even handed on Brexit.


  35. Jaime, you say:

    … I think a politically neutral debate would be best

    Perhaps so, but I doubt if that would be possible. Nor even desirable: in my article I say this: ‘The principal topic would be a detailed examination of each country’s position on climate science – something that’s never seriously discussed at top level UN climate negotiations.’ In other words, I would hope to see senior Western scientists trying to explain publicly their countries’ position on climate change from a purely scientific perspective – political points would I think be irrelevant, even embarrassing, in such a conference. If you’re right (and I suspect you are), they’d find it hard to do this – and especially so when faced by senior and undoubtedly competent scientists from for example the Chinese, Indian and Russian academies of science. Likewise, the latter would have to reconcile their view of the science with their countries’ emission policies – not so difficult if they don’t think climate change is a serious problem.

    That, I suggest, could prove to be a valuable way of getting the key issues on the table. But could it happen? It seems unlikely as neither side would I think be enthusiastic: Western countries because they would fear that such a debate would undermine their position – and non-Western countries because they really don’t care if the West damages its economy. But it may not be impossible – especially if the public in the West could be persuaded to put pressure on their governments to find out precisely why other economies seem to be so unconcerned about the great climate scare.


  36. Jaime:

    Because the Guardian, and their clan, use belief in climate science as a loyalty test. To have a loyal us, there must be a disloyal them. Denigrating the unbelievers is just a way of increasing the goodness of the believers.

    The world has been divided this way into angels and devils since hominids learned to talk.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. A big thank you for all the contributions on this thread. I think we have gone a little off piste, but no matter – let the discussion wander where it will. Things are often more interesting that way. Perhaps it’s time I nailed my colours to some masts with regard to issues that have been raised.

    As Jaime rapidly acknowledged, Alan is absolutely correct to say that in the UK we vote for individual candidates, and technically not even for parties. That is certainly the constitutional theory, but the technically correct theory is increasingly removed from the reality. My suspicion is that in reality the vast majority of electors vote for the party rather than the candidate (though there are no doubt exceptions where there are some exceptional candidates with a personal following). Similarly, we don’t have a Presidential system in the UK, so can we really complain when a Prime Minister is removed and replaced by Westminster shenanigans without the electorate having a look-in? It’s always happened, after all (e.g. when Wilson resigned and was replaced by Callaghan; Thatcher’s replacement by Major; Blair’s replacement by Brown). The events of recent years have made this sort of thing seem rather stark, I suppose because we have witnessed rather rapid replacements of PMs recently without the electorate getting a look-in, and also because Boris Johnson was such a unique character, a figure-head for Brexit, divisive both in that regard and in his own right. Love him or loathe him, it’s difficult to deny that many Conservative voters voted first and foremost for Boris and his pledge to “get Brexit done”. His election almost seemed to be Presidential. Is it time to re-examine how these things work, or are we returning to normality with boring party leaders back in charge? My preference is for the boring party leaders idea (if not for the individuals who currently are those leaders) and not for a Presidential system.

    Having said all that, my view is that the much bigger problem is the extent to which the electorate is denied a meaningful choice regarding many issues (of which net zero is the obvious one for current purposes) because the main parties are agreed on the issue. The First Past The Post system pretty much guarantees that one of the two main parties will form the next government, whether on its own or in coalition – but even if in coalition with a very minor party (as is the case in Scotland, where a form of PR has been of no help in offering the electorate more choice), there will be no variety in policies on offer on the big issues. I stand by what I wrote here:

    Net Zero Democracy

    Argue about the science or the policy?

    I have every sympathy with Jaime’s position, and I think we’re all agreed that we should argue about both, but also that if progress is to be made, we should concentrate on one more than the other. I am an agnostic on the science – as a lawyer, not a scientist, I am not qualified to argue about the extent to which increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere might or might not lead to a “climate crisis”. On the other hand, as an elector and taxpayer, I am as entitled as the next person to contemplate the wisdom/value or folly/waste of money of policies claimed to be necessary to avert said “climate crisis”. When the chips are down, I suspect that is how most of the electorate would see it too. After decades of brainwashing and propaganda, of “97% of experts agree” etc, I think attacking the science is a harder sell than persuading people that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to force them to ditch their very convenient and cheap to run ICE vehicle; that they won’t like being told they can’t fly abroad on holiday more than once a year (or perhaps at all), and I think it will be easy to persuade them that they should keep their gas central heating and cooker and not install an expensive heat pump. And so on. Push at both doors by all means, but I think the policy door will be easier to unlock.

    Again, I have to add a caveat. While I acknowledge that I am not personally qualified to criticise science relating to climate change, I do still have doubts and worries about the way I fear science is being corrupted to push a political agenda. Heat records are acknowledged and shouted about all too readily given that so many of them seem to be set at airports, or at locations with a limited history of measuring the temperature, or by using new state of the art thermometers that are much more capable of measuring temporary temperature spikes than old ones were capable of doing. I think all that casts doubt on much of the narrative, as does a failure (in my eyes) to acknowledge the extent of the urban heat island effect:

    Hot in the City

    And so, Jaime, please do keep banging the science drum – I’m right behind you. But I think the cracks will appear in the edifice when people realise what net zero will do to their lives rather than because they suddenly accept that they have been duped regarding the science.

    The Guardian

    Anyone who has read my comments and articles here for any length of time knows my views regarding the Guardian and its climate obsession. As an old lefty, I admit to being a regular purchaser and reader of the Guardian 30-40 years ago. In those days I lapped it up. No more, and much more (I think) because the Guardian has changed than because I have done so. Any pretensions it has to being liberal and progressive have long since become hollow. It is now illiberal and nasty, IMO, labelling anyone it disagrees with as toxic and/or far right or a conspiracy theorist (or perhaps all three if it’s really gunning for them). It thrives on generating hate and on stoking feelings of victimhood.

    The fact that it could publish what to my mind was a graphically anti-Semitic cartoon that wouldn’t have been out of place in Der Sturmer shows just how low it has sunk, IMO. The Guardian lost all sense of…sense and decency, and the reason, I think, is because in going after Richard Sharp it was doing what it likes to do best – attacking the Tories, accusing people of greed, corruption and sleaze, and not stopping to think about basic decency. No amount of mea culpas and printing of letters from disappointed and angry readers can right that wrong. The Guardian has lost the plot. Speaking of losing the plot:

    Losing the Plot

    I also commented on how it’s MO has changed here:

    Fear and Loathing in King’s Place

    By the way, when the facts change, I change my mind. Writing the above piece in September 2021 I wrote:

    When I’m offered it, I will also happily have my covid booster shot

    In total I have three covid shots. I won’t be having any more. I now calculate, thanks in part to the waning of covid’s general nastiness, that I am more at risk from the “vaccine” than I am from covid.

    But back to the Guardian. It can’t, I think, help itself. I would largely agree with the view expressed by Andy West in the second paragraph of his comment at 2.53pm (above). And thanks, Jaime, for drawing attention to Part 2 of Jennifer Marohasy’s excellent response to the Guardian piece. I wonder how many Guardian readers will make it that far. Not many, I wager.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Mark: getting back on topic, a note about the EDGAR database. If you dig back into its published data, you’ll find that it includes data from all countries from 1970 to 2021. The problem is that these data are difficult to access and use. However it’s all done for you very elegantly at the Knoema website HERE. The problem is it costs $1.99 per month for usable access.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Meanwhile….

    “‘Mind-boggling’ methane emissions from Turkmenistan revealed
    Leaks of potent greenhouse gas could be easily fixed, say experts, and would rapidly reduce global heating”

    Methane leaks alone from Turkmenistan’s two main fossil fuel fields caused more global heating in 2022 than the entire carbon emissions of the UK, satellite data has revealed.

    Emissions of the potent greenhouse gas from the oil- and gas-rich country are “mind-boggling”, and an “infuriating” problem that should be easy to fix, experts have told the Guardian.

    The data produced by Kayrros for the Guardian found that the western fossil fuel field in Turkmenistan, on the Caspian coast, leaked 2.6m tonnes of methane in 2022. The eastern field emitted 1.8m tonnes. Together, the two fields released emissions equivalent to 366m tonnes of CO2, more than the UK’s annual emissions, which are the 17th-biggest in the world.

    Methane emissions have surged alarmingly since 2007 and this acceleration may be the biggest threat to keeping below 1.5C of global heating, according to scientists…

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Mark,

    More evidence from Climate Alarmist Central itself that the forced imposition of the Net Zero target in Britain will achieve Net Zero climate benefit. More grist for Robin’s mill re. communications with his MP.


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