"It became clear from the Climategate scandal that the IPCC has been effectively hijacked by a small group of a couple of dozen scientists (“The Hockey Team”) who peer-review each other’s work from a common perspective; who recognise that reality is not following their predictions; and who have been prepared to use underhand methods to defend their position."
•I recently received a letter from a Party Member who is also a physicist, and questions the Party’s position on climate. I thought it might be of general interest to publish an edited version of his letter, and of my reply. Naturally I have respected his confidentiality and omitted his name.
Dear Mr Helmer
I am entering my tenth year of active UKIP membership and on the whole have had few doubts about policies, but with one exception. As a physicist, I find the policy statements on climate change ridiculous. To be blunt, the Party appears to have few if any members of any scientific standing and, in consequence, policy statements have about them an element of tap-room nonsense.
The Party should draw a clear line between the science, which it should accept, and the social policies concerned with mitigation which are an entirely separate matter and include much nonsense, mostly in the field of microeconomics.
Dear (Party Member),
Thank you for writing to me. But surely as a physicist you must know that there is a significant number of very well-qualified people (you could start with Richard Lindzen of MIT) who profoundly disagree with the IPCC’s findings. Indeed the IPCC is not so much a scientific panel as an advocacy group controlled and funded by bureaucrats. Many of its reviewers are not scientists at all, and it has been shown that many of its “peer-reviewed findings” are merely quotes from Greenpeace propaganda.
It became clear from the Climategate scandal that the IPCC has been effectively hijacked by a small group of a couple of dozen scientists (“The Hockey Team”) who peer-review each other’s work from a common perspective; who recognise that reality is not following their predictions; and who have been prepared to use underhand methods to defend their position.
You should be aware that many astronomers are convinced that solar activity correlates much better with terrestrial climate than CO2 does. The IPCC notes that solar radiation is fairly constant, but totally fails to account for the influence of the sun’s magnetic field (which changes substantially) on cosmic ray flux and consequent cloud formation and albedo.
If you are not familiar with it, I would urge you to read Fritz Varenholt’s recent book “The Neglected Sun” which deals with this question in great detail, and in terms which you as a physicist will appreciate. In particular, it refers to hundreds — literally hundreds — of peer-reviewed papers which support its thesis.
No-one denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but there is a great debate about climate sensitivity to CO2. The IPCC only gets to its extreme figure of 3ºC per CO2 doubling by appealing to positive feedbacks which are strongly disputed. My good friend Professor Fred Singer (University of Virginia, and one of America’s most distinguished climatologists) agrees that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but believes that any signal from CO2 warming is lost in the noise of other factors. He was actually himself an IPCC reviewer, and has the Nobel lapel pin to prove it.
I am not a physicist, but I am a Cambridge mathematician, and I believe that I am well able to follow the argument. I am all in favour of “accepting the science”, but in this case the science is in dispute, the predictions of the orthodox theory are conspicuously failing, and I believe that UKIP is on the right side of history.
I agree with you in one respect: if we agree to differ on “the science”, there is still a strong practical, technical and economic case against the policies currently espoused by Brussels and Westminster.