Everyone else gets it, so they don’t have to.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report yesterday and declared, with a 95% degree of certainty, that every time you boil an egg a Maldivian island disappears. Predictably, within minutes of the report coming out it had been decried by those who believe wholeheartedly that driving 50 metres to the corner shop in a Land Rover is actually doing us all more good than eating carrots. Such is the polarisation of the debate.
The report’s headlines make for frightening reading for anyone currently living near a coastline and, indeed the rest of us too. Yet climate change sceptics immediately seized on the report, saying it was “full of hocus pocus science”. The stuff that these deniers come up with to justify their views is in turns baffling, disturbing and hilarious. So what have they got to say about some of the key points addressed by the IPCC report? Let’s take a look at the nonsense that four prominent sceptics have been spouting over the last few years.
IPCC report: “Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.”
Lord Lawson, senile former Tory minister: “So far this century, both the UK Met Office and the World Meteorological Office confirm that there has been no further global warming at all.”
Nigel Lawson helped Margaret Thatcher oversee the privatisation of much of Britain in the 80s, and since that’s all gone so well, he’s now decided to try his hand at global annihilation. His methods seem to involve shouting about the (very, very minor) slowing down of global warming in the last 15 years. He also likes to cover his ears and yell, “La la la not listening”, whenever anyone mentions that time and weather actually started before the 1990s. Lawson’s argument seems to be that if the world is getting hotter, then it must continually do so. If it gets, even momentarily, cooler than this whole global warming thing must be bullshit. Top logic. Still, even a screeching baby has to stop for breath eventually, so let’s hope Lawson runs out of his soon.
IPCC report: “Total radiative forcing has led to an uptake of energy by the climate system. The largest contribution to total radiative forcing is caused by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 since 1750.” (Basically, CO2 causes the planet to let out less heat than it gets in from the atmosphere).
Rupert Murdoch, failed Bond villain: “World growing greener with increased carbon. 30 years of satellite evidence. Forests growing faster and thicker.”
Old Man Murdoch sees the IPCC report as an outrageous attack on our old pal CO2, a benevolent force for all that’s lovely about the world. We breathe it out all the time, plants use it to create oxygen for us, how could it possibly be a bad thing? We emailed loveable Uncle Rupert to ask whether he would be wear an air-tight helmet attached to a tank that pumps out only friendly CO2, and no oxygen for a day. No reply as of yet.
IPCC report: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”
David Icke, mad goalkeeper: “Bullshit.”
As far as nutters go, few can weave a better basket than David Icke. For evidence, see Icke vs.Wogan. His website is pure genius – categories include State Stealing Children, Reptilian Agenda and, oddly, Isle of Wight Mafia. There is a certain time of his life that he himself refers to as his, “Turquoise period”. So who better to combat the world’s top scientists? His rants on climate change are all over YouTube, and if you’ve ever wondered if the world is run by lizards, these videos may well be for you.
IPCC report: “The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.”
David Bellamy, professional grubber: “Increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, double it even, and this would produce a rise in plant productivity. Call me a biased old plant lover but that doesn’t sound like much of a killer gas to me. Hooray for global warming is what I say.”
In the blue corner, David Bellamy, a Daily Express favourite who looks like the bastard offspring of Father Christmas and a tramp. TV hits included Bellamy’s Backyard Safari, Blooming Bellamy and other gems with his name in the title like a flithy prototype Ross Kemp.
In the red corner, Sir David Attenborough, lauded as one of the leading naturalists and broadcasters of his generation, who says, “I would be absolutely astounded if population growth and industrialisation and all the stuff we are pumping into the atmosphere hadn’t changed the climatic balance. Of course it has. There is no valid argument for denial.”
Seconds out, round…oh. Nurse! Bellamy’s shat himself again!
Image: Wikimedia Commons