Crisis, what crisis? Nothing new

Breaking News

Extinction Rebellion continue to crank up the hysteria over climate change - even a hunger strike outside political party offices - but as David Challice writes, it's just the latest environmental scare


Next time Extinction Rebellion are blocking your train or super-gluing themselves to your car, just remind them of a few cataclysmic predictions that have already been made about the climate.

Ecologist Kenneth Watt announced: “We have about five more years at the outside. By the year 2000 we will be using up crude-oil at such a rate that there won’t be any more crude-oil.”

Or try this one, from North Texas State University’s, Peter Gunter: “Thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America and Australia, will be in famine.”

Or this one, from Dr S. Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution: “In twenty-five years between 75% and 80% of all species of living animals will be extinct.”

The clincher comes from Kenneth Watt again: “The world has been chilling sharply for about 20 years. If present trends continue the world will be about 4 degrees colder in 1990, but 11 degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

The common thread running through the above quotes is that they all date from 1970, and reflect fairly common scientific opinion at the time. I’m not criticising scientists but sometimes they get it wrong. Even worse: when those who disagree are termed ‘deniers’ or ‘heretics’, it means the scientific method has been turned into a religious dogma of unthinking, blind faith, fed by political pressure from those with their own agenda.

Even worse, young people are brainwashed into a mind-set of being unable to think.  Click on this link and turn on the sound.  It’s a short piece but frightening in its own way.

In 2011 the Food Standards Agency released a report saying we should move towards a vegetarian diet and cut out beef and dairy: “The switch is necessary as part of a diet low in greenhouse gases, which are associated with climate change.”

That report came from the University of East Anglia, discredited after years of illegally concealing data on climate change and conspiring to skew the peer review process (revealed by leaked emails in the Climate-Gate scandal).   In my opinion this seat of learning cannot be trusted to produce the chemical formula for Ovaltine, let alone pontificate on the nation’s diet.

As a further example of climate ‘spin’ (also in 2011) we had the headline: “Italian Alps melt in Heatwave”.

After a hot summer the snow had melted on the high passes, revealing a ‘long-talked about but never seen before’ nest of bunkers and barracks built by Austro-Hungarian troops during the First World War. The frozen body of an Italian soldier, from the same era, was also found, and paraded as proof of global warming.

Think about this for a minute. Eighty years ago it was sufficiently warm for the Italian Army to need fortifications on a high mountain pass, because they feared Austrian troops crossing through and attacking them. Not only that, but it was also technically possible to build the structure because the ground wasn’t frozen.  

But then it got cold and the ice grew and covered the fort for years. And now it’s just got a little bit warmer - though not as warm as it was 80 years ago - and now we’re all told to eat sprouts, beans and cabbage to reduce methane gas (Eh?).

Consider also the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano estimated to have pumped out more greenhouse gases in the first week of its ash-cloud than had been saved by the ‘green’ efforts of every human being on the planet for the previous five years.

Yes, I know. Let’s all have a group hug. And then a T-bone steak. You can even have baked beans with it (if you insist).


David Challice