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The BBC Green Room – Lord Chris Smith Spouts Utter Untruths.

March 17, 2010

“It’s still real and it’s still a problem”

The Green Room on the BBC website is not known for its balanced viewpoint.  It is indeed nothing short of a propaganda opportunity for those with vested interests and a mission in life to save the earth, as they see their earth of course.

I was so gobsmacked by the broad generalisations spouted by Lord Chris Smith in the latest piece that I decided to address them here, before filing my latest complaint to the BBC trust.

“The myth fostered by some parts of the media in recent months – that somehow the scientific evidence for climate change is deeply flawed – needs to be laid to rest, and soon.”

Okay Chris, so you are about to lay it to rest for us then, right here, right now?

Well, apparently not.  This is a piece high on passionate rhetoric and empty claims but short on any actual facts.

“That evidence shows overwhelmingly that our emissions of greenhouse gases are having a serious impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, and that – as a result – climate change is happening and will accelerate.”

Climate change is ALWAYS happening Chris, but is it unprecedented now?

“We need to take the argument back to the sceptics, and make the powerful, convincing and necessary case about climate change much clearer to everyone.”

Okay Chris, so do that now, go on, what ya got for me?  As it is such a “powerful” and “convincing” case I am sure you should be able to put me straight with ease.

“The evidence of change is indeed there.

The glaciers of the Alps and the Himalayas are retreating. Weather patterns around the world are becoming more erratic and more extreme.

The most intensive rainfall ever experienced in one location over a 24-hour period in England fell on Cumbria last November, and caused the tragic consequences of the severe flooding that we saw in Cockermouth, Keswick and Workington.

We cannot say for certain that these things – or indeed the intense heat recently experienced in Australia, or the droughts in Kenya – were caused by climate change.

But we can see with our own eyes that climatic, weather and temperature trends are changing, and we know that these hitherto exceptional events are likely to become more frequent over coming years.”

Okay Chris, lets address these “facts” as you take the “fight” (note that word) to me and others who have open enough minds to challenge these “facts”.

The Alpine Glaciers are retreating.

Well yes, a lot of glaciers are retreating.  Have they never retreated before then? Have they remained exactly the same since the last ice age?  No of course not, anyone know they have been melting consistently since the start of the Holocene.  Care to dispute that fact Chris?

Have the Alpine glaciers receded and then recovered in our history Chris? Well according to Archaeological evidence from the University of Bern, yes they have.  They have recently found remains of hunters and hunting tools etc in Alpine passes that have only in the past few years become ice free in summer.  Yet the remains are on the ground, ie below the ice.  The inescapable conclusion being that around 3000 years ago our ancestors were moving freely through ice free alpine passes.

So alpine retreat is not unprecedented in anyway whatsoever. Call  me out on that fact Chris?

How about that “unprecedented” rainfall in Cumbria?  Unprecedented over what timescale? Since ever?

Records only began 200 years ago, so its unprecedented in the past 200 years, but only in terms of total UK rainfall for the period.  For Cumbria it is unprecedented since 1955.  It was “unprecedented” due to a well-known low pressure system collided with exceptionally warm oceans.

But warm oceans due to what? Climate change is often shouted out as the reason, but the truth, if you read enough about it, is that scientists do not understand our ocean systems well at all.  There has been a recent shift in the Atlantic currents which may well have moved warm water north, leading to sea ice melt, this at the same time the current seems to have changed in the north Atlantic, pulling sea ice out of the Arctic circle more quickly. Once you also factor in the El Nino conditions in effect throughout 2009, and you would be very, very foolish to just slap a big red “climate change” label on the cause of 2009’s extreme precipitation.

Finally on Cumbria I would make the point that whenever we question extreme weather we are told “it is weather not climate”, but whenever it is to scare everyone into believing that climate change is going to kill us all, a once in 200 year Cumbrian flood is suddenly, according to Chris Smith, evidence of climate change. You cannot have it both ways, yet Chris Smith and others constantly feel they can, and hope we do not notice their little escape clauses within what they say (“we cannot say for certain”).

Next we have the claim that “we can see with our own eyes that climatic, weather and temperature trends are changing”.

Can we Chris?  Like what?  Nope, he does not expand on that claim.  The reason is because he cannot substantiate his claim.  What trends?  UK? Europe?  Northern Hemisphere?  Global?

Ah, but then he does give us some expert anecdotal evidence…..

“Here in England and Wales, the Environment Agency works at the very point where people’s lives intersect with environmental change.

We help people prevent and cope with flooding, environmental degradation, water depletion, and pollution.

In our day-to-day work, we can see small things that are happening all around us……”

Like what Chris?  What is so earth shattering?

“Damselflies and dragonflies are being found much further north than before, as they move with the warming climate.”

Are they Chris? Outrageous. Absolute proof of climate change then, but is it unprecedented?  Have the dragonflies moved north or south before due to climatic trends?  Which species?  All of them?  Just one?

According to the British natural history museum:

“Since 1980, 34 of 37 British species of dragonfly have expanded their range northwards by an average of 74km. This is evidence that the UK’s climate is growing warmer.”

Okay they have nudged northwards by 50 miles on average since 1980.  So again I ask, is this unprecedented? The Natural history museum says:

“The Earth’s temperature has changed many times in its history. Whenever it goes through a phase of warming, some species move towards the poles to find cooler habitats to live in while other warm weather-loving species from the south move northwards to take their place. This process is happening again now and it is evidence of global warming.”

So the earth is warming, slightly.  As it has done many times before, sending species north and south as it changes.

but its not unprecedented is it.

What other evidence do you have Chris?

“The rare vendace fish is disappearing from its former stronghold in the Lake District, and is having to be re-introduced into the colder waters of Scotland.”

Wow, now that is a startling fact.  So water temperature change has been so great in the lakes that it has destroyed that species’ population?  These must be really sensitive fish Chris, or is there another cause?

Well according to this article, the Environment Agency led a project from 1997 to relocate this dying species to Scottish waters.

but what’s this I read Chris…..

“Cameron Durie, the Environment Agency’s technical specialist said: “The loss of vendace in Bassenthwaite Lake is down to a number of reasons. They’ve suffered from competition and egg predation from illegally introduced fish species as well as nutrient enrichment of the lake from agricultural run-off and sewage.

“But the final blow is sediment that has come into the lake – we consider this to have been the most damaging factor in its decline.”

Erm, Chris, your job title is Chairman of the Environment Agency. so you say the fish are dead because of climate change, while your people on the ground, the experts, say is has absolutely nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with local conditions”. I am really looking forward to the response I get to my email to the Environment Agency challenging his conclusion.

Chris, this “fact” as part of your evidence is absolutely untrue.  As head of the Agency who conducted the studies and relocation you should hang your head in shame at not even knowing the real reason and misleading the public.

Next Chris enters cuckoo land:

“If we can hold the average global air temperature increase to 2C (3.6F) since pre-industrial times, we have a chance of surviving more or less intact.”

Everyone knows that there is no way that can be achieved Chris, it was never, ever on the table as a realistic objective.

“But if it ends up being 4C or more, the impacts on population, water resources, sea levels, agriculture, weather patterns, biodiversity, and the quality of human life across the world, will be severe.”

And of course Chris, a four degree change downwards would have exactly the same effect.  So are we to believe we can maintain the planets climate indefinitely? So despite the “convincing” case, you are basically saying we cannot stick to two degrees and are all doomed anyway.

The only thing the “Green Room” does is to provide a platform to push the agenda’s of people with vested interests in the climate change establishment.


From → BBC Climate Bias

  1. John Catley permalink

    I’m afraid that Lord Smith lacks any credibility. His knowledge of AGW is lamentable, as is clearly demonstrated in this “propaganda pie” for the BBC.
    Personally, I would not regard a homosexual man who is HIV Positive, when causes and ways to avoid infection were widely publicised, to be particularly reliable as a source of advice on how best to survive in this world.
    I think I might look elsewhere.

  2. vigilantfish permalink

    Nice debunking. I’m always happy when someone goes to the trouble to fact-check these ridiculous pronouncements and deconstructs the so-called facts that supposedly support alarmist proclamations.

  3. John from France permalink

    What never ceases to amaze me is the way those in the alarmist clan, whether scientists, politicians or journalists – or whatever, always come out with the same stereotyped language, regurgitating stock phrases they seem to have copied from Gore (well let’s give him credit for some originality, after all he did invent the internet – didn’t he?). A case in point is: “That evidence shows overwhelmingly that our emissions of greenhouse gases are having a serious impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, and that – as a result – climate change is happening and will accelerate.” – oh, he forgot the word “compelling”.

    No wonder the public smells a rat.

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