This theory stinks of a lack of dependable, rigorous science
THE near universal consensus of serious scientists around the globe who agree anthropogenic climate change is a reality no doubt reached that conclusion by many different pathways but all had to pass the intense scrutiny of critical peer review.
Prior to publishing research they would have been foolish indeed not to have looked with extreme scepticism on their own findings.
Applying this scrutiny to Richard Collins' letter (August 29, "Did you smell awful stench?") and its weirdly dystopian, not to say paranoiac, atmospheric pollution theory he is ipso facto no climate change sceptic, though a denier certainly.
Peer review would swiftly direct him to check his intellectual nappies as the more likely source of his olfactory discomfort, having absurdly nominated odourless inorganic elements as his prime "smelly" suspects. As for his suggestion CO2 is harmless, the scientific truth is that an atmospheric concentration of between seven to ten per cent is terminal to oxygen-dependent life forms such as ourselves.
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His Rajendra Pauchari (IPCC) reference to the 15-year slow-down in global warming is taken out of context, the trend is upwards but there is also a far wider picture to consider.
The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), whose circulatory cooling effects it's now realised are superimposed on these measurements, has a 30 to 40-year cycle. The observed hiatus is not statistically significant for shorter terms than this PDO masking. See article in the Guardian, August 28.
Thermometers, even if you are able to read them, do not tell the full story of what "warming alarmists" are trying to point out. The following gives a better indication of the scale of the global warming problem than any thermometer reading: "In the past 15 years the upper 700 metres of the ocean have gained the amount of heat that would be released by around one billion Hiroshima bombs exploding.
"Hundreds of billions of tons of ice have melted, and needed millions of Hiroshima bombs worth of energy to do so. The deeper oceans have also warmed up and all of these things lead to rising sea levels which satellites see clearly over the past 15 years." - from an article in Skeptical Science, February 2, 2012.
As for the claimed primary effect of sunspots over increased CO2 on the climate, Gareth Jones, the climate science expert who led the Met Office research, said in the same article: "This research shows that the most likely change in the sun's output will not have a big impact on global temperatures or do much to slow the warming we expect from greenhouse gases."
I have to agree though with Richard's self-centred and unquestionably Freudian final statement: "Such a willfull (sic) misunderstanding of the science is wicked or stupid or both."
IN last week's paper, Nick Pyatt's courteous letter in support of wind turbines takes half a page to state – well, what?
And 100-word sentences without punctuation do not help "clarify (his) motivations and interests."
But that aside, there followed further bemusement from Guy Calder, self-professed banner carrier for turbine erectors' virtuosities: non polluting (how?), no carbon emissions (so, how are turbines made?), safe (from or for what?), British (almost all turbine parts are made abroad), sustainable (he admits decommissioning is required in 15 years), involve the community (again, how?), increase biodiversity (does he really understand that?)"
Also, though one is now beyond taking offence from this gentleman, he twice misspells our family name.
And he finishes with two entirely inconsequential paragraphs which, to complete the farce, include the infamous grocer's apostrophe ("the Mendip's" as plural for our hills).
Result: an indeterminate string of incomprehensible thoughts, linked by journalese and cliché. To quote himself: "You couldn't make it up." Quite.
But, in the gloom and puzzlement there is a speck of light. "I am going to have to retire from responding to AATOM's allegations." Oh, glory be.
May we restate the blindingly obvious? All over Britain there are hordes of profit-dedicated "developers" clamouring for the vast Government-secured profits from wind turbine subsidies – in their multi-billions – for comparatively little risk or effort. And there is nothing wrong in that, per se.
But when it stems from ridiculously misperceived and misrepresented concerns for nature, all at colossal environmental and economic cost, along with crippling property devaluation and desecration of the most beautiful countryside on Earth, those of us thus affected will fight, fight and fight again.
In AATOM we have the ability and the means, and the determination and the support – and so, we will prevail.
I MAKE no claim to expertise in any aspect of energy generation, and I have never worked for an energy company, but as an ordinary consumer, I have become increasingly irritated by the stridency with which your correspondents oppose the various forms of innovation in energy generation.
It is an undisputed fact that demand for energy is increasing and therefore needs to be matched by investment to increase supply. And yet, for every new form of energy generation proposed, there is a vocal group of those implacably opposed to whatever is being suggested.
Nuclear power? Dangerous. Look at Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Wind power? OK for most places but Not In My Back Yard.
Water power? Good idea, but no Severn Barrage thank you.
Solar power? Fine for my roof, but hands off large-scale enterprises on spare land.
Fracking? Oh horrors. The experts are all lying. It will poison our water and cause earthquakes.
So where do we go for new energy? There was a novel published in 1979 called Overload. Written by Arthur Hailey, it was about energy generation in California.
The first half of the novel described the bitter opposition to new investment proposals by small-minded special interest groups.
The second half described what happened to human beings when the lights went off. It was profoundly depressing reading. But I believe this novel should be compulsory reading for all those who oppose new investment in energy generation.
As it is, our priorities will only change when gas and electricity are no longer universally available whenever we want them.
It seems to me that we are sleepwalking into a situation where, a few years from now, gas supplies will be unreliable and electricity even more so. It's high time we woke up.
St Thomas Street