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?


Friday, 9 March 2012

Climate Week UK - a weak week weaker than ever in 2012?

That time of year again, and here I nearly missed it.  Climate Week, 12-18 March 2012.  It must be getting harder and harder to stir up enthusiasm for it.

It has as ever a list of supporters that would provide a decent resource for any sociologist researching into the spread of climate madness through a society.  Here's how it starts, with a few politicians, one a reformed terrorist, and how it continues with various 'eminent individuals' such as Al Gore and Nicholas Stern, two famous alarmists, and a star of the 10:10 terror film 'No Pressure', Gillian Anderson:

'Political leaders

The Prime Minister, David Cameron
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg
The First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond
The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones
The First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson
Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness
The Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband

Eminent individuals

Al Gore, former US Vice President
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General
Lord Anthony Giddens, sociologist
Lord Nicholas Stern (author of the Stern report)
Sir Paul McCartney
Michael Palin, presenter
Gillian Anderson, actress'

The whole, far longer, list can be found here.

It does not seem to include CRU, but it does have the Royal Society and the Foundation of Holistic Therapists on board, to name but a few.  On the business front, alternative energy companies and the like are well-represented, the Prince's Mayday Trust is there, as is the UK Rainwater Harvesting Association and the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.  Climate Week is not just about scaring and misinforming people, not least the very young, but there is money to be made through promotions and image-building events.

One construction company,  possibly in a time warp, is proposing to run public showings of the notorious and ludicrous 'An Inconvenient Truth'.   Another company is encouraging their employees to have good lunches that week:
'Each day during Climate Week, Sunvil Holidays will be providing our staff with a daily buffet of local and British produce.
On Thursday 15 March, all staff are encouraged to bring in their own local/British dish and the office will hold a lunchtime picnic.'

In Devon, students are helping out with a cider and ale festivalWell, who said CO2 was all bad?

Chester Zoo on the other hand is more mainstream - it seems they might be going to shut themselves down for a week: 'We are having a Big Switch Off at Chester Zoo' 
We shall have to hope for good sunny week for any tropical beasties that may be there.  Chilling children is bad enough, but imagine the uproar if animals were to be so mis-treated.

On the education front, what do we see?
One school in Surrey announces 'During lunchtime break,members of the Green Team will be offering a ‘plant your own sweet pea’event.'  Now that does not show much in the way of self-sacrifice, self-criticism, and general flagellation that this great 'crisis of a trace gas' calls forThey might wish to learn from National Star College where 'Students & staff are being asked to focus on switching off lights, computers & electrical items on standby as well as turning down heating.'  That's more like it.  Next year, they might like to try boarding up any north-facing windows, or perhaps just try sitting still in classes while volunteers put ice cubes on their heads to symbolise both the disappearing icecaps and the gross indulgence of past students wanting to be warm all day.  Meanwhile near Glasgow another school is being even more ambitious - their charges are being encouraged to control the very cosmos:
We are holding two competitions within our school. The infant department are completing a climate-related dot-to-dot challenge. The upper school are to design inventions to help reduce climate change. We are excited!  I'd be excited too, if I could somehow convert my dismay into something more positive.

So what will it be like, this 'Climate Week'.  In last year's post on it, I added this footnote when it was all over:
'...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.'

Same again this year? 


  1. "Next year, they might like to try boarding up any north-facing windows, or perhaps just try sitting still in classes while volunteers put ice cubes on their heads to symbolise both the disappearing icecaps and the gross indulgence of past students wanting to be warm all day. "

    Do I detect a note of cynicism with a dash of sarcasm here? Like me, you're not just a "climate denier" (how on Earth did Gleick imagine anyone could use that term?), but a cynical, sarcastic, and insightful one too. (Note the use of the comma before "and" in a list, correct in my opinion Who'da thort blogs would be discussing commas as a "signature"?)

  2. Well how appropriate....Climate Week has got SodaStream as one of its 'Supporting Partners'. In their own words "SodaStream drinks makers work by dispensing CO2 from a gas cylinder in the back of the drinks maker, into fresh tap water to make your sparkling drinks". But wait a minute, isn't increased CO2 responsible for Climate Change? So what is really going on? Do they recruit SodaStream so that they can help monitor C02 levels (which may have been found to be particularly high in the proximity of fizzy drinks)? Someone help me here. I'm confused about this CO2 thing. Is it a 'bad thing'? Am I'm I doing my bit if I stop drinking fizzy drinks?

  3. It's interesting to compare the Climate Week website as it is now, with the site as it was a year ago (courtesy of the Wayback Machine.)

    Last March, Climate Week was "a supercharged national occasion that offers an annual renewal of our ambition and confidence to combat climate change". Now it is "Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future".

    Last year, it was a "massive movement for change". Now, "it showcases practical solutions from every sector of society."

    Small differences, perhaps, but this year it definitely comes across as more low-key, less "supercharged", as it were. And the recent shift towards "sustainability" rather than simply "climate change" is apparent here, as it is elsewhere. Three of the four updates currently highlighted on the Climate Week home page mention sustainability ("sustainable Cornish monkfish", "NHS Day of Sustainability" and "celebrating sustainable fashion"). That does seem to be the direction of travel.

    Yesterday I asked people in my office "Do you know what next week is?" but it turned out none of them were aware of Climate Week. Ironically, being the resident CAGW sceptic means tending to know more about any climate-related ritual observances occurring during the year (Earth Hour, et al) than my fellows. My awareness has obviously been raised!

  4. @ Fang Tentmate - The CO2 in the fizzy drinks machine was obtained from the atmosphere, along with oxygen, nitrogen & all the other constituents. This is a standard industrial process, carried out by companies like BOC and Air Products, all over the world. So all that's happening is this gas is being "recycled".

    The allegedly "harmful" increase in atmospheric concentration is nothing to do with your gin & tonic!