Friday, February 28, 2020


Help.  It's looking like there will be no ringing or birding until the middle of next week.

As if this isn't bad enough I’m assaulted on all sides after posting a few doubts that according to that eminent scientist Professor Prince Charles, the Earth and life as we know it will end ten tears from tomorrow. A fellow bird blogger on the other side of the world blacklisted me because I view Extinction Rebellion as a bunch of anarchist vandals and pointed out that Doom Goblin is an emotionally damaged, traumatised child.

And then C4, BBC newsreaders and Countryfile insert into every other sentence the phrase "global warming", and I lose the will to live.  I'm old enough to remember when the BBC was a trusted institution and Countryfile was about the countryside rather than a chance to mark my Bingo card with buzz words.

"Carbon footprint", "hot weather records", "cold weather records", "drought/climate change", "floods/climate change", "CO2 emissions", "bio-fuels", "turnips", "fossil fuels", "vegan sausage roll".  House!

“We’re not going to give a platform to climate deniers,” is the current mantra from mainstream media who all agree that humans are mostly to blame for altering Earth’s climate.  “The science is settled”. 

"The Science Is Settled"

I’m neither a “denier” nor a “believer”.  I’m an ordinary open minded bloke who does his best to seek the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from the complexities of the climate change story. 

This post is not to debate the merits of today’s apparent consensus that humans have a decisive, apocalyptic impact on the climate. It might be correct, but there is enough doubt and curiosity in my mind to want to examine and question it; more so when it is accompanied by a fervour equivalent to religious fanaticism.  Perhaps my cynicism stems from the time as a child when my parents packed me off to Sunday afternoon Salvation Army while they found better things to do?

Funny that.  At the time I really believed in the Biblical Flood and Noah's Ark.  Fell for it hook line and sinker.  Mind you, back then I was seven or eight years old.

Noah's Ark

The point is that if someone is absolutely 100 percent convinced that there is a Climate Emergency, as evidently 99% of mainstream media do, they have a right to say their mind is settled.  But please never say the science of this or any equally complex subject is “settled.” I could quote many, many examples from ornithology where the science is ever changing and far from settled. But, leave that aside for another day. 

The crucial lesson was learned centuries ago, when something far simpler than Earth’s climate was hotly debated.  Back then the scientific community was convinced beyond doubt that the planet lay at the centre of the universe.  In the sixteenth century, Nicolaus Copernicus, a “geocentric denier,” to use today’s scornful labelling, was mocked for believing the sun was at the centre of everything. Mainstream scientists and university professors of the day decreed the science settled and justified their “evidence-based” derision of Copernicus by citing the piles of data in favour of the geocentric consensus. Tragically, if a good number of today’s “trusted sources” had been around, silly old Copernicus would not have been allowed to argue his case. 

Ditto for that other notorious geocentric denier, Galileo Galilei. In the early seventeenth century even the Catholic Church, which had long since reconciled scripture with science’s earth-centred consensus, condemned Galileo for his wayward thinking. Declaring that both science and scripture were settled, the Pope’s chief inquisitor sentenced the aged astronomer to house arrest but only after shaming him into publicly recanting his denial of geocentricism. 

Albert Einstein once faced a similar kind of lynch mob. In his day the scientific establishment believed that time and space were absolutes, and cited as incontrovertible proof a vast literature of peer-reviewed, published studies. Collectively, mainstream scientists mocked Einstein’s belief that space and time were relative. Yet, as everyone now knows, Einstein, like Copernicus, Galileo, and scores of other vindicated “deniers” over the centuries, ultimately disproved the promoted scientific consensus. 

The list is long of examples in history where scientific consensuses have been disproved. Worse - disproved only after “deniers” were crushed and destroyed for questioning nonconformist interpretations of available evidence. 

The lesson should be crystal clear. Science, the most brilliant discipline, the only method for understanding the universe, is fallible and therefore always up for debate. 

Current policy is dangerously unscientific. And so are the calls by many individuals to not just silence, but also to punish or deny a voice to anyone who dares to question the current consensus of human caused climate change. 

What these “scientists” are telling us is that a Climate Emergency will destroy the west’s economic and social ecology even though: 
  • There’s no evidence that current changes in the climate are different from the fluctuations in climate over many centuries 
  • The idea that a chaotic and highly complex climate can be significantly affected by anything human beings do on their tiny pinhead of a planet in a vast universe is intrinsically absurd 
  • All climate forecasts are based on computer modelling which is unable to process this level of complexity and unpredictability; modelling that is also susceptible to false assumptions fed into the programmes, programmes that go on to produce false results 
  • Much evidence of current environmental trends is ambiguous and contested 
  • Scientists in climate-related fields can often obtain grant funding only if their research corresponds to the theory of apocalyptic anthropogenic global warming. 
Nevertheless, scientists with intellectual and moral integrity continue to challenge this bogus science with integrity, curiosity and facts. Kudos to them.

Meanwhile our old friend John Kettley just stuck his head above the BBC parapet. Lucky for him he no longer works there otherwise he would be collecting his P45 on Friday.

John Kettley

Don't worry John.  The BBC will soon become extinct too.


Wally Jones said...

We sensible Americans have an answer! In the midst of a presidential election year, the Democrat candidates almost all agree that, should you elect them, they will institute legal prosecution for "climate deniers"! Re-education camps have been suggested.

I'm with you, Phil. Not a denier (please don't arrest me!), not a devout believer. "Settled science" may be the ultimate oxymoron.

Follow the money and it will be a simple matter to determine why some "leaders" are so vehemently certain the rest of us are so ignorant.

Long live Saint Greta!

The sun is shining, the sky is blue and I must go birding. Only ten years left to pump up my life list.

Anon said...

Hello, I sent a comment yesterday but unfortunately I hit the publish button before previewing my comment.
Please don't post it but send it back if possible so I can preview it.

Rhodesia said...

I read this yesterday and had no answers to comment with. Reading it today I still feel much the same. I have no idea who or what to believe, but if this year is anything to go by yes we have global warming. Having said that winter may still arrive! Most important to me is the loss of animals and birds due to a few idiot human beings. I see young Trump has just gat a licence to go and shoot a grizzly!!!!

Have a good week, Diane

Tanza Erlambang said...

Your view is similar to my professor views about climate changes when I studied in Aarhus University, Denmark.

Have a wonderful day

Angie said...

Phil - thanks for your thoughtful post. I do believe that the earth was due for a warming trend, AND that the earth is warming more quickly than it would have without contributing factors such as CO2 emissions. Whether I am right or not, I do not see any downside in working to reduce CO2 emissions or addressing other factors that we can reasonably believe are affecting our climate and the flora and fauna that should be thriving.

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