Why is there so much preoccupation with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions when it is well documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that the CO2 contribution to the overall greenhouse effect is so weak that it can be easily supplanted by small changes in clouds and water vapor, or natural climate-changing constituents?


Monday, 7 February 2011

Topical Storm Alert: 'Climate Week' has formed, and may be intensifying ahead of its expected UK landfall in March.

The National Association of Head Teachers is said to be supporting it, and so is Tesco, Kellogs, Aviva, EDF, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. And a great many others - a veritable roll call of the establishment.

This cyclone's energy is being raised and organised by a committee of a few seasoned organisers and a lot of fresh young ones.  They remind me just a bit of my own good self way back in the 70s, when Ehrlich and the Club of Rome were persuading us that we were doomed, would be lucky to see the year 2000, and even if we did, we'd not be having much fun, what with the starving, fighting, freezing, and choking and all.  Except, I don't think I looked nearly as good nor as cheerful as they do. But then I was an angry young man attacking the establishment's views, while they are supporting them.

The CEO is Kevin, who obviously is quick and light on his feet to complete this sort of manoeuvre - the leap across a change of government:
'From 2007 to 2009 Kevin sat on the Council on Social Action chaired by the Prime Minister, and on the government’s Talent and Enterprise Task Force. He chaired the Enterprise Campaign Coalition and was on the selection committee of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. He currently sits on the steering group of the Big Society Network launched by the Prime Minister, David Cameron in July 2010.'

Phil is Head of Communications, and is clearly into green and good causes: 'Phil has worked on numerous award-winning campaigns for social and environmental causes, including Friends of the Earth’s Big Ask , WWF’s Earth Hour, and Orange RockCorps, an initiative uniting young people with their community through music. He helped launch eco blockbuster Age of Stupid with the greenest ever world premiere and organised the UK’s first prison gig at HM Pentonville to highlight the problem of young male suicide. He is a trustee of Dramatic Need, a groundbreaking arts charity supported by Oscar-winning director (and fellow trustee) Danny Boyle, which works with severely underprivileged children in South Africa and Rwanda.'

There are 16 more, several of whom seem to have held down more ordinary jobs, and several are just setting out on their journeys to help us all out, and get paid for it at the same time.  Not that money is important when you have a planet to save.  Actually, let me rephrase that: 'the hundreds of billions of dollars, pounds, and euros diverted into climate change good works of one kind or another, are as nothing compared to the losses they tell us we would see if we hadn't spent all that money on them'.  In particular, we might not have learned how to adjust the thermostat on our global warming system, to return climate to the idyllic past of, say the 19th century?  Or perhaps we'd choose the Little Ice Age which spanned the 18th century, or the Medieval Warm Period that preceded it.  Or perhaps even a return to the golden days of the Climatic Optimum, a few thousand years earlier in our beloved Holocene, when mean temperatures were several degrees higher than in industrial times and humanity thrived like never before.  Anyway, this is to daydream...let's get back to the Topical Storm now heading our way:

'Climate Week is a supercharged national occasion that offers an annual renewal of our ambition and confidence to combat climate change. It is for everyone wanting to do their bit to protect our planet and create a secure future.
Climate Week will shine a spotlight on the many positive steps already being taken in workplaces and communities across Britain. The power of these real, practical examples – the small improvements and the big innovations – will then inspire millions more people.
Thousands of businesses, charities, schools, councils and others will run events during Climate Week on 21-27 March 2011. They will show what can be achieved, share ideas and encourage thousands more to act during the rest of the year.
You can help create a massive movement for change by making Climate Week happen where you are. Ask an organisation or group you know, such as your workplace or local school, to run an event.'

Well, I wonder how many will?  Climategate was a bit of a bummer in late 2009, and the ice and snow and sundry political farces in and around Copenhagen that December can't have helped much.  The Met Office has given climate prediction for just a few weeks ahead a bit of a bad name in 2010, issuing secret forecasts of impressive vagueness at huge expense to poor old HMG, which ran out of cash in the cold weather funds before January 2011 got underway.  The public has been up to its ears in global warming of late, and hasn't liked it one little bit.

There may even be some who have been convinced that CO2 controls climate, and that we'd all be a nice bit warmer if only we could only get more of the stuff to stay up in the air.  Somehow I foresee that their projects and events and suggestions will not see the light of day as 'Climate Week' strikes, and we are deluged with the establishment's perspective instead.  But wait! Have the Met Office predicted such a deluge for late March?  If they have, perhaps there is yet still hope ...

Update 2nd March 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/mar/02/climate-week-splitting-green-movement: the faithful of the Church of Global Warming grow fissiparous about Climate Week:

'But a section of the environmental movement that is concerned about the event's sponsors are mounting a counter-campaign which includes spoof entries for the awards and an anti-Climate Week Facebook group. Their objections centre around two areas. The first is that by focusing on "small, positive actions" you take the spotlight off the large-scale changes that really need to happen.
The second and far more contentious issue is that Climate Week is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the company cited by groups like Platform, People and Planet, the UK Tar Sands Network and the World Development Movement as one of the worst environmental offenders in the UK. In 2009, several groups tried to take legal action over RBS investments, and last summer the bank was the Climate Camp target for the year.'

Note added 31 March 2011: hard to get data for an overview, but my impression is that Climate Week has been a low-key, low-profile, low-impact event.  Thank goodness.

Note added 15 March 2013: the ill-conceived piece of astro-turfing called Climate Week is still around, but reports suggest it is on its last-legs, e.g. http://www.thebreaker.co.uk/climate-week-a-flop-in-bournemouth-and-poole/  'Climate Week, which was set up last week by Bournemouth and Poole Borough Councils, was supposed to invite people to combat climate change by making simple sustainable life choices, but not many people came along to take part in the events and the carbon footprint remains high.'  Hat-tip Alex Cull on Bishop Hill Unthreaded (Mar 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM)  There was also this observation from Latimer Alder shortly after the one from Alex Cull:
'Was it Climate Week last week?
Oh dear.. I must have missed it. Tsk, tsk, now there's a thing....
Perhaps, like snow on the Copenhagen conference, the gods were trying to tell us something as they brought on the perishing cold weather..............'

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