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Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
5 months ago

That ordinary people are being screwed by leftist environmentalism is true. That Marxism is the solution to this is a farcical suggestion.

T Bone
T Bone
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Orthodox Marxists are so good at gaslighting. I love how they use their dialectic to portray themselves as the synthetic solution to economic crisis…as if they had nothing to do with the crisis themselves. Only they can resolve the conflict between free market libertarianism and the religiosity of secular progressivism!

Oh look, we’re right back to a solution of Socialists disrupting the economy so “workers” can own the means of production.

Last edited 5 months ago by T Bone
Martin Butler
Martin Butler
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

So what is the solution? Or isn’t there a problem in the first place? It’s easy to dismiss lefty solutions whether they be greater regulation on the production of polluting products and services, or restrictions on the consumption of polluting products and services. But the only other option is to pretend there is no problem and just carry on as before.
Right wing ‘solutions’ don’t exist because environmental damage has no place within a free-market model. (It’s an externality that they simply want to ignore.). I have some sympathy with the more traditionally conservative rightwing ideologies that look backwards to a halcyon age which was less industrialised. But that’s just romanticism it’s not a solution to the present crisis. And saying ‘crisis, what crisis?’ just looks dumb.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

It is far from established that there is any crisis or emergency. 1500 scientists, including Nobel laureates, have signed a declaration that there is no emergency.
You’ll find almost no mention of these alarmist terms in AR6, documents produced by the IPCC, which was set up to investigate anthropogenic contributions to climate change, and with no remit to investigate natural variability. All the research funding is poured into the former, which, along with known journal gatekeeping, serves to suppress the latter.
Suppose that there is an emergency. What should we do about it in the UK? We have already cut harder and faster than the rest of the G7. We produce less than 1% of the world’s emissions. By contrast, the Chinese Climate Envoy to the UN has just said that phasing out fossil fuels is unrealistic (which it is). What possible moral justification can there be for further wrecking our economy and impoverishing the poorest members of our society when China is not going to play ball? It will achieve nothing, as John Gray pointed out last week. China and India can’t believe their luck. They watch us diminishing ourselves with our luxury beliefs.
Net Zero is going to die the death it deserves. Evangelist Germany has rowed back, faced with reality; we are rowing back, and I pick up rumours that Sweden is about to do likewise. In the multipolar world of the future (globalism is not coming back), what we do here in doomed, deindustrialised, resourceless Western Europe will be insignificant on the global scale. The game is moving elsewhere now, and if you are convinced there is a problem, you need to knock on other countries’ doors.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

I believe Sweden just unveiled a plan to build 10 nuclear power plants.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The only sensible option going forward.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

That Germany has been closing nuclear facilities boggles the mind…what are they thinking especially given the country’s shakey relationship with Russia & its bounteous oil supplies? One hears that Germans have taken to burning wood again!?

Last edited 4 months ago by Cathy Carron
Christopher Darlington
Christopher Darlington
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Canada is apparently doing the same as well.

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Hi Nik
No doubt we will disagree about the solution, but there IS a problem! You said that IPCC “was set up to investigate anthropogenic contributions to climate change, and with no remit to investigate natural variability. All the research funding is poured into the former, which, along with known journal gatekeeping, serves to suppress the latter”.

This is just not true. There has been an enormous attempt over the past decades to understand natural climate variability, and this continues (I am doing it myself). It is not the case that IPCC ignores this….and it is not the case that journals ignore this.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago

I am happy to be corrected, but how many consensus-challenging articles appear in Nature?
Would you dispute the idea that the IPCC was set up to legitimate the 1992 UNFCC treaty.
I don’t disagree that there is a problem; I only dispute that it is an emergency or an existential crisis.

Last edited 5 months ago by Nik Jewell
Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Hi Nik.
Well I’m not sure that Nature is a good example. Most journals are happy to publish controversial papers that question prevailing narratives, as long as they are credible and well-supported by the evidence.
We can debate whether climate change is an existential crisis (if we use the term literally then I don’t think it is). However, there are definitely ways in which climate change is an emergency. This summer has demonstrated this.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago

That made me laugh out aloud. Nature presenting controversial papers. The gender debate is a perfect mirror to the climate debate – and Nature, BMJ, Science and others have published a slew of papers attempting to deny even the category of biological sex.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

How has this summer demonstrated that climate change is an emergency?

Christopher Peter
Christopher Peter
5 months ago

Perhaps we’re getting into semantics here, but for most people I think it’s reasonable to equate a word like “emergency” with the concept of “existential crisis”. (The word “crisis” is of course now also routinely used in connection with the climate.) It is absolutely certain that there is a concerted effort to use whatever hyperbolic language is necessary by the media, agencies and governments (e.g. “the world is boiling” (c) UN) to drive the change that those bodies consider necessary. Indeed, many have explicitly admitted as such. And yet it is far from certain that there really is an existential crisis arising from climate change.
So, how exactly is something an “emergency” if it’s not an existential crisis? Such a thing may be a problem, or even a “major problem”. But emergency? You seem to define the word differently from me.

Søren Ferling
Søren Ferling
5 months ago

Nature, Science etc. have all gone woke – they are no longer scientific but ideological.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago

So the warmest year last year, and the odd weather this year is NOTHING to do with the Pacific Krakatoa in January 2022 putting so much water into the Stratosphere that NASA thought its instruments faulty?
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/tonga-eruption-blasted-unprecedented-amount-of-water-into-stratosphere
The difference between that eruption and Krakatoa was that Krakatoa pumped 25 cubic Kilometres of rock and ash into the atmosphere, a cooling effect.  
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai put unprecedented amounts of water so a warming effect. Climate isn’t Weather (except when the Greens want it to be) The weather of the past 2 years and predicted for some years to come, is going to be dominated by this eruption and the unprecedented amount of water it injected into the Stratosphere. A bit of a problem for the Greens, because as they are forever telling us, ‘Weather isn’t Climate’ – well except when they say it is.
IF you didn’t already know it, Wikipedia gives some insight in the Krakatoa eruption aftermath.
“The 1883 Krakatoa eruption darkened the sky worldwide for years afterwards and produced spectacular sunsets worldwide for many months.
Curiously there are many scientists who dispute the Volcanic Winter, the record rainfall in California from July 1883 – June 1884, and no El Nino that period. Equally curiosly I wonder who those scientists are and when they began ”doubting”? 😉

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
5 months ago

Thanks for your posts Stephan. Who are these morons that are down voting, they should be reading The Sun, maybe?

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
4 months ago

I agree with you and not those downvoting you. It is not an existential threat but is an emergency. Precisely. Well put. It is a pity that the debate in the U.K. is showing signs of going the same polarised way as it has been for a while in the US.

One can deplore the dishonesty and bias of some climate science – and especially the more simplistic slogans – despise those seeking to hijack climate issues to pursue other goals such as the overthrow of capitalism and condemn as stupid and counterproductive some of the more inane welfare destroying policy proposals YET still recognise there is a real underlying threat which needs a prudent response that does not involve impoverishing large groups or upending the whole system. It is regrettable that this sensible centrist view is being undermined so effectively from both left and right by monomaniac lunatics.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago

PS As this is your field, 25 & 26 – weak or strong?

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Sorry….I don’t understand. Can you clarify please?

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago

Solar cycles.

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Ah. Not really my field. Sorry. But variations in TSI can’t explain current climate variability. If they did, we’d then have to explain why all this GHG in the atmosphere isn’t driving warming!

Paul T
Paul T
5 months ago

Because it has increased from 300 millionths to 420 millionths; “but it’s increased nearly 50%”. No it hasn’t it has increased from 300 millionths to 420 millionths a microscopic percentage increase. The dishonesty is monstrous.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
5 months ago

Some statements from IPCC panel experts:

Dr Eigil Friis-Christensen — “The IPCC refused to consider the sun’s effect on the Earth’s climate as a topic worthy of investigation. The IPCC conceived its task only as investigating potential human causes of climate change.”

Dr Robert Davis — ““Global temperatures have not been changing as state of the art climate models predicted they would. Not a single mention of satellite temperature observations appears in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers.”

Dr Willem De Lange — “In 1996 the IPCC listed me as one of approximately 3000 “scientists” who agreed that there was a discernible human influence on climate. I didn’t. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that runaway catastrophic climate change is due to human activities.”

Dr Rosa Compagnucci — “Humans have only contributed a few tenths of a degree to warming on Earth. Solar activity is a key driver of climate.”

Dr Judith Curry — ““I’m not going to just spout off and endorse the IPCC because I don’t have confidence in the process.”

Dr Chris De Freitas — “Government decision-makers should have heard by now that the basis for the long-standing claim that carbon dioxide is a major driver of global climate is being questioned; along with it the hitherto assumed need for costly measures to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. If they have not heard, it is because of the din of global warming hysteria that relies on the logical fallacy of ‘argument from ignorance’ and predictions of computer models.”

Dr Kiminori Itoh — “There are many factors which cause climate change. Considering only greenhouse gases is nonsense and harmful.”

Dr Vincent Gray — “The [IPCC] climate change statement is an orchestrated litany of lies.”

Dr George Kaser — “This number [of receding glaciers reported by the IPCC] is not just a little bit wrong, it is far out by any order of magnitude … It is so wrong that it is not even worth discussing.”

Dr Chris Landsea — “I cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”

Dr Paul Reiter — “As far as the science being ‘settled,’ I think that is an obscenity. The fact is the science is being distorted by people who are not scientists.”

…there are many more statements expressing these concerns, from people involved with the process.

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Sorry, but I’m not impressed by a list of names of people who may or may not understand climate science. I can also provide a large list of people who support it.

I’d be more impressed if they had published papers showing how we had got the physics of the atmosphere wrong for two centuries. That’s what they need to do if they want to overthrow the climate change consensus.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
5 months ago

Stephan, these are all quotes from people who participated in the IPCC panels.

Are you now saying the IPCC’s own panel experts are insufficiently qualified to comment on the matter?

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

I’m aware of this. And I know some of them. But they were mostly involved very early on. And since the First Assessment Report to now (AR6) there has been a revolution in our understanding. And, warming has continued as was predicted.

Many sceptics were predicting a return to ice age cooling in the early 2000s (Landscheid etc). Did this happen?

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
5 months ago

It’s sounds like what you’re saying is that people who present findings that you disagree with, you have then moved into the mental category of ‘wrong / outdated / not of the right calibre’. It’s difficult to argue with that. Most climate-emergency preachers see the IPCC reports (particularly the highly rhetorically charged preface) to be like the statements from the priesthood, which is to say — God’s [Mother Nature; Gaia; Science TM] divine word / truth, delivered via the highest level self-appointed priests of the religion, here on earth. [The UN, and its tentacles].

If you point out that even within the IPCC panels there has, and continues to be, robust disagreement …then they will immediately pivot to “Well the IPCC is flawed in it’s makeup [ie because some scientists did not support the UN’s preferred consenus narrative]”…

…they will also point out, as you have, that those ‘rogue’ scientists disagreeing, have been successfully reduced in number with each iteration of the panel.

Quite true.

Whether you think this is a sign that the consensus is becoming provably more correct, or it is a sign that the UN is successfully weeding out dissenters and replacing them with more agreeable ‘experts’ …will largely depend on your views for / against the ‘climate emergency’ narrative itself.

I certainly would not be able to convince you that you may be wrong, if you are of the view that all persons producing work that disagrees with the ‘climate emergency’ narrative are in fact unqualified to speak, or their work is not to be referenced (as they’re so obviously wrong). It’s not going to be possible. The view becomes self-reinforcing, almost religious. Heretics are discarded, so yes, increasingly the voices being heard are those of the priests. See the problem?

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
5 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Great post!

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
4 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Well expressed.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
5 months ago

If your point is that all of the apocalyptic predictions made over the years have been wrong, then yes, we agree on that.

Separately, if you’re saying that the UN has carefully weeded out dissent over each iteration of the panel, such that with each passing year the consensus narrative is reinforced more uniformly, then yes, we can also agree there. That’s not a great way to establish scientific truth though; such a process is really political in nature — it’s about establishing narratives, then recruiting more ‘experts’ to support it, whilst steadily removing those ‘experts’ who question it.

The UN’s attitudes on this really don’t engender faith that they’re truly looking for the right answer. Example:

We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.
– Timothy Wirth
Former President of the UN Foundation

This is not the statement of a person / organisation honestly searching for the truth, and following the facts wherever they may lead. This is the statement of a politician, or a priest, building a defense around their pre-existing narratives / beliefs.

Last edited 5 months ago by JJ Barnett
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago

Do you have published papers that prove that the enclosed space of an 1800s bell jar is directly analogous to a complex planetary system?

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

That’s a silly question. CO2 has an impact on radiative forcing….which warms the planet. This is what we are seeing. Even if the data are noisy, there’s still a trend.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago

It’s “silly” because we both know that no such paper exists. Similarly, no paper exists after decades of intensive research and vast funding that nails down with any precision what the climate sensitivity of CO2 is. If that determination is ever made, the discoverer will be a Nobel laureate, and t-shirts will be printed with the figure or equation on the front.
I don’t dispute that it has an impact on radiative forcing. The question is, how much?

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

The comments seemed to disappear from Unherd for a while.

Of course there can be no precise definition about ECS. But we can produce a clear equation! It’s ΔT = -F / λ
I now claim my Nobel Prize…
However, it doesn’t have a precise figure. It must change all the time because the Planck response changes all the (given the Earth is not a black body and its emissions change from second to second). Not only that the feedbacks must change all the time.

Despite this, we can say that very low ECS is ruled out (by observations, and by the palaeo record). Personally, I think that very high ECS is also ruled out (by the palaeo record) but I am aware that some scientists would disagree with this.

So the sceptics are wrong about low ECS. If I were a betting man I’d guess it’s around 3-5C. More than enough to be extremely worrying!

jo O'Byrne
jo O'Byrne
5 months ago

Clauser Nobel Laureate disagrees. As for Prof Lovelock’s basically saying ‘follow the grants I don’t have to’. When asked why no Govt ,Uni Climate Scientists had joined him in recanting climate alarmism, was he joking?

Last edited 5 months ago by jo O'Byrne
Rob Mcneill-wilson
Rob Mcneill-wilson
5 months ago

No. What we are seeing, including in statements like yours, is blinkered, wilful ignorance.

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago

Hi Rob
What’s ignorant about my statement above?

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
5 months ago

There is no Climate Change consensus. There is never consensus in Science. Science is about scepticism and scientific prove. Models don’t produce scientific prove.
Listen to the speech by Dr.Clauser in Korea.

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
5 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

It is disingenuous to suppose that the extent of anthropogenic global heating as the cause of the climate emergency could be assessed WITHOUT also researching natural variability. The accusations cited above are fatuous.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

The Free Press just published an article by a researcher who said he manipulated a paper’s narrative to be more alarmist because he knew Nature would reject it otherwise.

https://www.thefp.com/p/i-overhyped-climate-change-to-get-published

Dr. Roger Pielke just published an article outlining the politics involved in the retraction of a research paper in the European Physical Journal Plus (EPJP). The paper wasn’t retracted because it was incorrect, but because of political pressure from less than a handful of researchers like Michael Mann.

https://rogerpielkejr.substack.com/p/think-of-the-implications-of-publishing

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I was kind of hoping that Stephan would realise that I was referring to that controversy. Maybe he does, but I should really have been more explicit. I’ve only recently become a (paid) subscriber of Pielke and haven’t worked that far back in the catalogue yet. Thanks for that one.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
5 months ago

I don’t see how anyone can deny, in a credible way, that the human animal warms the climate, and in a way no other animal does or could. Only the human animal has the red flower. Or better, a human being is the animal with the red flower. If human beings did not have that flower, there would be precious few human beings. This is the solution many so-called “climate alarmists” gravitate to, sometimes openly and sometimes not. That which makes an animal human is also that which makes an animal regrettable, they say. The question that hangs in the air is: Is hatred of the human animal the cart or the horse?

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
5 months ago

The biggest red flower is a yellow flower. I’m basking in its rays at the moment

Peter Gray
Peter Gray
5 months ago

Actually, the is a mound of evidence that it is true. Read Unsettled by Steven Koonin, he is on the IPCC panel, or Judy Curry, or Partick Brown or many other who got cancelled, besmearched and ignored because they dared to question the orthodoxy.
But bvesides that point, if you believe that the environmentla movement is truly for the environment and CO2 is the culprit, why is are the greenies so against nuclear energy, which has the tiniest footprint, very small volume of waste which are easily handled and no CO2 emissions while pushing wind and solar which will require us to panel-tile our fields and parks and blight our landscape with forests of giant steel windmills? Who wants to live in that paradise?

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Evangalist Germany is tearing fown wind farms to allow digging for coal, and some rumours they are about to start buying LPG from Russia via the front door (rather than the back).
Peter Lilley was on a recent Lords Climate Committee which identifed humans as only causing 10% of emissions isses. It was left out of the final report because it didn’t fit the narrative.
In the UK we are simply seeing civil disobedience being normalised – bladerunners, 20mph, stealth tape, etc. Thatcher tested the poll tax in Scotland. It didn’t go well but she doubled down and was then removed. Kahn has done exsctly the same with Ulez expansion. Bad laws have bad outcomes.

Andrew H
Andrew H
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Excellent comment

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

This is such a tired argument now. Are you seriously saying there is no problem? If you want to argue on the basis of numbers of scientists I think the ‘there is a crisis’ side can muster far far more than 1500. But it stikes me that it would be weird if pumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year (plus other even more potent green house gases like methane) didn’t have an effect. Look at a graph showing levels of CO2 over last 50 years. Even John Gray, who you mention, admits there is a serious problem.
But as Paul Kingsnorth has pointed out previously in Unherd it’s really not just about CO2. If you don’t accept that industrial society across the world is having a devastating effect on the environment – and this is particularly the case in the UK – then we clearly are on different planets.

With regards to India and China, they are on a treadmill as much as we are. Remember China’s economy is very dependent on western consumerism. But what we do shouldn’t depend on them should it? Personally I just don’t believe in endless economic growth. I’m a Paul Kingsnorth kind of guy. Anti-capitalist but not left wing in the traditional sense. Certainly not Marxist. But most people think that’s weird – so don’t expect you to agree. Infinite economic growth in a finite world is just common sense to most people. I have clearly missed something

Last edited 5 months ago by Martin Butler
Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

There is a problem but not an emergency or existential crisis.
Increasing C02 is not a proxy for increasing global temperatures. Why do you think that current IPCC scenarios vary by a factor of nearly 3 for the (undetermined) climate sensitivity of CO2? Why has the planet not warmed significantly in 3 decades when the ppm of CO2 has gone up so much?
Yes, an industrialised society is a polluter. In this country, we have largely deindustrialised, so what is the problem that is “particularly the case in the UK”?
Shall we talk about our fields being filled with rotting solar panels in a couple of decades? Shall we talk about the Chinese commissioning two new coal-fired power stations a week to power the factories that build those solar panels?
Shall we talk about the catastrophic pollution in Inner Mongolia, the Burmese Forests, or the Bolivian Salars?
Shall we talk about the Uighur slaves or the child labourers of the Congo? Neocolonialism in Africa?
COVID-19 broke global supply chains, and they will never be properly restored. We will cease growing very soon now, not by choice but by necessity.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

I think you’re overlooking the reality that growth in a digital economy increasingly means doing more with less. I used to be constantly driving to business meetings. Now the business is growing faster than ever but I haven’t been in a physical meeting since 2017 and I stopped commuting to an office more than ten years ago.

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
4 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Alas, white van man that bashes metal, does your plumbing, fixes the road and generally keeps the whole of society going doesn’t have the luxury of having coffee with the laptop at 9 Hugh.
Likewise myself working in the front line NHS for 17 years. It’s the smug comfortable middle class view of the world that’s fuelled so much of the present ULEZ nonsense that means no one wants/can afford to work in the trade.
The middle class do the policies (ignoring the science) and the poorest paid pay the price.
Could you be a little less smug. Or show me how to bed bath someone by using MS Teams?

Last edited 4 months ago by Paul Curtin
Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Paul Kingsnorth is also an anti-modern, anti-industrial pro-family, medievalist, Orthodox Christian kind of a guy…and I’m with him.

Chipoko
Chipoko
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Infinite economic growth in a finite world is just common sense to most people.”
I’m not sure what you mean by this statement.
Infinite population growth in our finite world is surely the root of the problem? 1945: 2.2 billion people on the Planet. 2023: 8+ billion people. No wonder the rainforests are being felled to make way for livestock grazing to feed our birth and fertility rates.

P N
P N
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Why do you say it’s a finite world? Obviously at one point the sun will die but there is no reason to think economic growth cannot continue indefinitely for all practical purposes.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

“1500 scientists, including Nobel laureates, have signed a declaration that there is no emergency.”
Well, if true, that would be worthy of serious consideration. 1,500 reputable scientists saying that there is no climate emergency!
Put that in your pipes, all you libs and lefties and eco types.
Unfortunately, and sorry to burst the Unherd knee-jerk upvote bubble (again), your “1500 declaration” is bogus.
It’s a well-known hoax, put about by fossil-fuel astro-turfers, one that only the terminally credulous would place any reliance on.
In reality:
The two main Dutch actors behind the declaration are Guus Berkhout, a retired geophysicist who has worked for oil giant Shell, and journalist Marcel Crok.
Both have been accused of receiving money from fossil fuel companies to finance their climate-sceptic work. They deny the allegations.
When looking closer at the list of signatories, there are precisely 1,107, including six people who are dead. Less than 1% of the names listed describe themselves as climatologists or climate scientists.
Eight of the signatories are former or current employees of the oil giant Shell, while many other names have links to mining companies. 
One of the signatories is Ivar Giaever, a joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1973 for work on superconductors. However, he has never even published any work on climate science, lol. 
According to an independent 2019 count of the declaration’s signatories, 21% were engineers, many linked to the fossil fuel industry. Others were lobbyists, and some even worked as fishermen or airline pilots.
Prorsum!

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Did you get that from DeSmog?

P N
P N
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

That’s one big ad hominem.

Dominic English
Dominic English
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Some graphs to back up your points here. Genuinely shocking when you see it lain out in front of you. https://open.substack.com/pub/lowstatus/p/holidays-in-the-sun?r=evzeq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

jim peden
jim peden
5 months ago

What an entertaining article that is. Having now read it, I would echo your comment.
As an oldie myself I especially welcomed the assertion that “From now on our old folk can look forward to being cremated in the comfort of their own homes.”. What a money-saver that will be.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago

Good graph!

Jim Haggerty
Jim Haggerty
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

NJ, spot on analysis. I almost chuckle watching the Developing World asking for climate reparations of trillions from the West as the original sin polluters. All the while the Western Govts debt levels are bloated from COVID and social spending levels. Where is all this “transition” money coming from…the bill is coming due and the average person is noticing the cost..

Last edited 5 months ago by Jim Haggerty
Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Whatever is happening in the carbon debate, it is abundantly clear that human beings are destroying biodiversity and soil health, and polluting air, water and earth. We are building ever larger cities, filling in the natural world with concrete and tarmac and now plastic too. We ignore this at our peril. Commentators are starting to point out that focusing on carbon is just a distraction and most definitely a way to keep us busy arguing with one another.
What’s also notable is that despite all the criticisms of Marxism, its whole point is to focus on class relations and not race, gender, etc etc. The fact that western governments are almost without exception pushing these latter ideologies with gay abandon (pun intended) shows me that they are trying their darndest to keep our attention away from class. So any dissing of Marxism is now making me wonder what is really going on there…

Chipoko
Chipoko
5 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

It is out of control human population growth that is the root problem!

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
5 months ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

Good post Helen.

Eric Parker
Eric Parker
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Preach, brother!

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Excellent post Nik and very eloquent!

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
4 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

You area aware that that much-vaunted declaration is a classic piece of fossil-fuel linked astroturfing, with very limited credibility? Or are you, and your 149 upticking nodding dolls, really so stewed in your own intellectual comfort food that you fall hook, line and sinker for every bit of dodgy big business agit-prop that your algorithms shove at you? 
The two main Dutch actors behind the dodgy declaration are Guus Berkhout, a retired geophysicist who has worked for oil giant Shell, and journalist Marcel Crok.
Both have been accused of receiving money from fossil fuel companies to finance their climate-sceptic work. They deny the allegations,
When looking closer at the list of signatories, there are precisely 1,107, including six people who are dead. Less than 1% of the names listed describe themselves as climatologists or climate scientists.
Eight of the signatories are former or current employees of the oil giant Shell, while many other names have links to mining companies.
One of the signatories is Ivar Giaever, a joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1973 for work on superconductors. However, he has even never published any work on climate science.
You might as well have me publishing a scientific treatise, for heaven’s sake. Barrel-scraping of the most cynical kind. And still you lap it up.
According to an independent 2019 count of the declaration’s signatories, 21% were engineers, many linked to the fossil fuel industry. Others were lobbyists, and some even worked as fishermen or airline pilots.
Far from cogent, therefore.
But obviously lapped up by the gullible right, eager for any scrap of comfort food in a nasty world. 
How skewed are your perceptions, how far gone is your objectivity, that you are unable to do even the most rudimentary fact checking on your own pet propaganda?
Prorsum!

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

The solution is to recognise that without cheap energy our society will crash and burn. It is the oxygen we depend on. We must reverse the insane hostility to nuclear power. Get Rolls Royce minis up now. Commit to a massive programme and smash the judicial overreach harming Sizewell. Keep North Sea gas flowing for jobs and growth. Stop leading – putting main eggs – on intermittent flaky renewables; the Grid is incapable of managing a four fold increase in electrification. The UK has totally de totally industrialised. We are there. Let industry find the next tech solutions viz carnon capture and hydrogen. They will…if not suffocated by the confused hapless dead hand of eco frit governance

David McCluskey
David McCluskey
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“Get Rolls Royce minis up now” – forgive me but you make it sound like it’s just a case of buying them off the shelf and getting the contractors in. I know not at what stage the technical development has reached, but just as high a hurdle (probably even higher than the technical challenge) is the need to meet very onerous nuclear safety regulations. The process for obtaining a civil nuclear licence is, quite correctly, a very demanding one. Getting certification of the design, finding suitable sites with a foolproof means of cooling (that’s why civil reactors in the UK are all located on the coast), locations sufficiently remote from communities, designing with large safety margins to withstand fire, flood, aircraft impact, terrorist attack, seismic events, etc, etc is a very onerous (and a very expensive) undertaking – not to mention getting through the turgid planning process!

Just because a nuclear reactor is small-scale doesn’t mean it gets more lenient treatment from the Nuclear Regulator. For example, when in the 1990s, Devonport dockyard – the Navy’s maintenance facility for their nuclear submarine fleet – located adjacent to Plymouth (utter bonkers, but then the military used to have – still have? – an almost free hand) was moved from the Defence to the Civil sector, the private consortium that bought the complex had to spend huge sums bringing it up to Civil safety standards.

The nearer a nuclear plant is sited to populated areas, the higher the regulatory bar, because a key safety constraint is to limit the risk to x people within y radius to a tolerable level; the corollary of which is that more fault mitigation measures would be needed, since a reactor sited at the local industrial estate would pose a risk to far more people than a Hinkley or a Sizewell, both of which are located in the sticks

Of course, whether there is an actual emergency is another matter.

Last edited 5 months ago by David McCluskey
0 0
0 0
5 months ago

I don’t think that’s even true anymore, considering how woke the military has become. Same with the private sector, at least when it comes to large corporations as well as nonprofits. Modern society seems designed to suppress the competent, capable, and the pragmatic for the benefit of the corrupt, the incompetent, mediocre as well as the fanatic. I think the problem is is that a society that’s too prosperous, peaceful and secure becomes decadent and complacent and irrational. The result it sets up for its inevitable decline. Covid, Brexit and the elites reaction towards the Trump administration just so how rotten things have become. I think a horrible shock to the system is what society needs to right itself. To get natural selection starting again and take away the safeguards that maintain the awful status quo. In which what is worthy are separated from the unworthy. Such a thing would be a very awful time to exist in but I think that’s what’s necessary for society.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

The solution lies in the free market to come up with innovations and solutions. Central planning has proven completely inadequate at addressing environmental issues. That’s why many of the filthiest, most polluted nations in the world are run by authoritarian regimes. Only in the west, with entrenched free market economies, are we wealthy enough to even consider our environmental footprint.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

The solution is nuclear and adaptation. The answer is not renewables and reducing the living standards of ordinary people by cutting them off from affordable energy supplies through ridiculous Panglossian schemes such as Net Zero 2050.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Right wing ‘solutions’ don’t exist because environmental damage has no place within a free-market model.

Here’s a quick thought experiment for you. Are Vietnamese, Indians, Indonesians, Malaysians more likely to reduce their emissions because Western liberals tell them to turn off the air conditioning that is transforming their lives and economies, or because the free market offers them cheaper ways to produce the clean energy required to run it?
It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? The market offers the only possibility of a solution. Politicians and bureaucrats are not going to solve this problem with hair shirt policies in Europe, nor are they going to devise the technological solutions. The best they can do is offer the incentives necessary to stimulate the innovation required for the wicked and evil Right-wing ‘market’ to come up with the answers.

Charles Wells
Charles Wells
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Utter tosh! Free-market societies have a much better track record of doing more to address environmental damage resulting from industrialization.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

“environmental damage has no place within a free-market model.”
Employee welfare, investment on worker safety, maternity leaves, sick pay had no place within a free market model.
Until they did.

True, measuring the extent of “environment damage” can be tricky. But this is not just for free market systems but others – for instance what is the real environment cost of government subsidised sectors – manufacturing wind turbines or EV car batteries?

P N
P N
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Climate related deaths are reducing not increasing. In 1925 they stood at just less than 500k per year on a rolling decade average. In 2019 they were less than 16,000. (Source: Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters)
Given the increase in population since 1925 that is a massive achievement for mankind, driven largely by fossil fuels and free trade.
That’s not to say we should carry on polluting but to call it a “crisis” isn’t just dumb, it’s a cynical ploy to encourage people to give up their freedom in exchange for safety from an apparently existential threat. It’s good old fashioned war socialism, a tried and tested method of eroding individualism in favour of collectivism; it’s why we have the “climate crisis”, the “cost of living crisis”, the “energy crisis” etc. All these crises yet we’re richer and healthier than we have ever been.

Lesley Keay
Lesley Keay
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Most severe environmental degradation has been caused by communist regimes. The former Soviet Union cared nothing for the impact of their industrialisation upon the environment and neither does China.

John Riordan
John Riordan
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

“Right wing ‘solutions’ don’t exist because environmental damage has no place within a free-market model.”

Thanks for demonstrating the profound ignorance of how free markets work that characterises the views of most people who think they oppose them.

You are of course wrong. Taxes and laws have existed for the entirety of the modern age of free market capitalism, and markets have simply absorbed them within the system of incentives as costs. Anything, once is possesses a financial cost, is something that free markets can accommodate, that is always what has happened, and that’s what will happen with climate change measures, which is why so many right-wing free marketers have consistently said that a carbon tax is the correct method for dealing with CO2 emissions.

The reason carbon taxes are rejected as the sole mechanism isn’t that they wouldn’t work, it’s that they are too simple a solution for the sorts of people who desperately want climate change to be so large a problem that it justifies the reversal of mass prosperity and sociopolitical liberty.

Last edited 5 months ago by John Riordan
Deb Grant
Deb Grant
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

That sounds dumb. The right solution involves solving the pollution problem with technical innovation. The kind that creates new, higher wage jobs. The kind that puts Middle East and Russian Oligarchs out of business by making fossil fuels redundant over time.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Great comment, lots of downticks from the ‘herd’ maybe they don’t understand…

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

No normal human being who has been cultured in 2023 gives a rat’s nether regions about the fate of the planet. Let future generations sort it out. Er, prorsum

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

The author is a professor at a US University. There is no point hoping for a non-left viewpoint from anyone lecturing in the universities. You don’t get employed as an academic if you are not on the left. It’s practically mandatory to be a Marxist.

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

No it isn’t. I’m not a Marxist and I lecture at a leading UK university. Thanks.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
5 months ago

Are you on the left though? Also, are you in the humanities, the social sciences, or in STEM?

Last edited 5 months ago by Prashant Kotak
Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

I’m in STEM. I guess I would describe myself as a centrist, but I certainly don’t accept many of the claims of the post-modernist left! I’m old enough to have read The Sokal Hoax, so I remember well the embarrassing failure of the PM.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
5 months ago

The situation is a little different depending on US vs UK, and STEM vs non-STEM, and also if you are an older established academic vs looking to get taken on. But the values package is now seriously encroaching across STEM as well, to give one instance for example, the way James Watson (Watson and Crick) has now been cancelled.

The overall evidence across academia now is incontrovertible, for example:

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/6/liberal-professors-outnumber-conservatives-12-1/

The left continually accuses various established institutions of systemic bias, for example the police on race. But if you point those numbers in the article at anyone, I would like to see what contortions they might engage in to make the case that left wing bias is *not* systemic across academia. The numbers speak for themselves.

Last edited 5 months ago by Prashant Kotak
Bret Larson
Bret Larson
5 months ago

You should try one day in the life of Ivan Denisovich.
Or perhaps Darkness at noon.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Bret Larson

Koesler’s “Darkness at Noon” visits my nightmares more frequently these days, especially with Canada and Netherlands arresting and incarcerating people for “misgendering”.
Ivan Denisovich was the necessary precursor to his Gulag Archipelago trilogy, which I read when I was in ninth grade, and it changed my life forever (along with PBS’s airing of a “ballet” during the “Cultural Exchange” with China that deified a young girl who denounced her parents to the Maoists and were publicly executed).
STEM people, and those in very specific discipllnes like music, tend to “stay in their lanes”. I did marketing for a college music department, and it was astonishing that the guy (our neighbor) who ran the South American Spanish Guitar major (he was truly an impresario), had zero interest at all in, say, Handel. He wasn’t alone: pianists only acknowledged winds and strings if they were working together, otherwise there was nearly no curiosity. The specialization almost makes these people autistic.
There used to be this idea about Universities: attend one, get a universal education in all things, especially the Classics, and no idea was taboo. What they are now are a money dump for parent bragging points

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
5 months ago

I guess I’m a stem person, but its perhaps only because my mother signed me up for University. And she only applied to engineering and science.
Once I was there I liked it too much and I found I could take whatever classes I wanted, and they didnt charge you extra.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
5 months ago

I think Prashant was referring to the author of the piece and not to you Stephen.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago

I’m not a Marxist and I lecture at a leading UK university. 

But for how long?

Stephan Harrison
Stephan Harrison
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Very true!

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
5 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Case in point. “ Climate-minded policymakers float or implement a policy that, rightly or wrongly, is perceived as harming the economy and working people.”. Uh that would be ‘rightly’.

Dominic English
Dominic English
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Exactly. Don’t listen to their stupid solution to this problem, listen to my stupid solution instead. On a global scale the UK is hardly responsible for any carbon emissions whatsoever. The idea that destroying our own economy will save the planet is complete nonsense. Some jawdropping graphs and entertaining observations here. https://open.substack.com/pub/lowstatus/p/holidays-in-the-sun?r=evzeq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Walter Schimeck
Walter Schimeck
5 months ago

This is not a good argument, because it is being used by politicians in nearly every sovereign state on the planet, i.e., “we’re only responsible for 1% of CO2 emissions, so why should we be the ones to reform?” It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if everyone says this nothing will ever get done on the climate-front. Now, if the question were instead about what specifically should be done, and which social strata should bear the brunt of the inevitable cost, we would at least have a starting-point for a discussion.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
5 months ago

Nah most of them are saying that, “this is a big problem, you guys need to give us all your money so we can make our net zero transformation”.

Walter Schimeck
Walter Schimeck
5 months ago
Reply to  Bret Larson

I should have said “opposition politicians”, because, as you correctly point out, most governments are entirely on board with the official climate-narrative, i.e., prophesying doom unless we mend our ways.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
5 months ago

Not true. The big factory big nations which make things – China, USA, India – say, we will tackle it for sure (and have skin in green game)…just lets us also keep things smokin for another two decades. Only Zero Factory Service Only economies can preach about 1%…but the big boys know we are a de industrialised freak. Someone has to make stuff.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

This would be a fair comment if China didn’t absolutely dominate emissions.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

NVM

Last edited 5 months ago by Nik Jewell
Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

What? where did that come from?

patrick macaskie
patrick macaskie
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

couldn’t agree more. the green lobby did exactly what he wanted them to do: attack the oil producers rather than attempt the more wearisome job of persuading electorates to consume less oil and yet he claims the opposite is the case. we must celebrate the fact he has rationalised himself into digging himself into an even deeper hole. clearly the author has never understood that asset allocation matters profoundly to poor people and for this reason he cant understand what puts food on the shelf. asset allocation matters even more profoundly for green investments. Matt Huber should stop accusing those that understand this of being anti the poor and anti the environment, when he is the real culprit. He shows utter contempt for electorates when he says: “The policy then allows Right-wing forces to mobilise mass anger against what is construed as an elite conspiracy to make ordinary life more difficult and costly — and the Right reaps the electoral gains.” i suppose it is different when the left manage to mobilise mass anger to reap electoral gains. He needs to get out a bit more. the electorates he derides, as the playthings of the far right, are much more intelligent than him. if he wants to be cured of his useless marxist delusions i recommend he meets a few working class people. Lenin was a profoundly ruthless man and admitted there was no room to delay or show any humanity because the more moderate reforms in the pipeline would transform living standards and put the opportunity for revolution beyond reach.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
5 months ago

Why is this article in effect completely ignoring the existence let alone the impact of China and India? It’s one hand clapping. How does anyone on the west think they will influence the policy directions in those countries at all?

Last edited 5 months ago by Prashant Kotak
Sam Hill
Sam Hill
5 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

In terms of the politics of net zero, this is a key point and it is remarkable how little coverage it attracts.
In effect our leaders in the west seem in one breath to tell the public that this is all a huge global problem that needs global solutions but then never talk about India and China (and Russia). To many people ‘the world must act’ seems in practice rather more like ‘the west well act and cross its fingers that everyone else will do likewise.’
Doubtless there are real questions to be asked – particularly on nuclear – that publics in the west do need to grapple with.
But the China/India/Russia dimension here is something that progressives are certainly guilty of trying to wish away.

Søren Ferling
Søren Ferling
5 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

To many people ‘the world must act’ seems in practice rather more like ‘the west well act and cross its fingers that everyone else will do likewise.’
It was also the vest Maurice Strong had in his sights. We had to deindustrialize.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
5 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

China’s energy usage is huge, and India is set to grow such that it is of that proportion by the end of the decade. And that’s not even counting Indonesia, Brazil, Nigeria etc. Within a few years the energy consumption of the newly industrialised and the industrialising, is going to dwarf that of the west (except the US). And for countries like China and India, the main form this takes is not nuclear but coal, and dirty coal at that. One look at the scale of new power stations across China over the decade will show this.

And I have no idea what the technocratic echolon across the west thinks, but anyone who thinks those countries will plunge their populations back into low growth and poverty before they fully industrialise first, is living in cloud-cuckoo land. Any government, even authoritarian ones, would be turfed out in that situation, even the CCP.

Rob Mcneill-wilson
Rob Mcneill-wilson
5 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

They don’t claim there is any possibility and, of course, everyone knows there is no chance. But that doesn’t stop them from saying that it is still a moral imperative to pursue the futile, ruinous course of Net Zero in order to keep trying.

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
5 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

So as far as India is concerned there is a lot of positive work going on. Very impressive solar targets and policies.
Yet there is also a developmental imperative. I don’t think it’s going to help the West if net zero etc targets manufacturing. The EU is trying it with a carbon tax which is surely going to invite retributive tariffs.
As someone involved in green policy matters I would say the Indian approach is grounded in a greater sense of realism.
There is also the complicated question of ” historical emissions” and the late start in industry as compared to the West.
When that is linked with increasing per capita incomes with a burgeoning population it is a rather knotty problematic.
The article needed to have looked at the ways in which to revive manufacturing in the West without immersing itself in moral sermons.

Last edited 5 months ago by Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

What has happened to Tani Gupta pray?

Sayantani Gupta Jafa
Sayantani Gupta Jafa
5 months ago

Don’t know! ” The Lady Vanishes”?!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

Indeed, very good!

Carmel Shortall
Carmel Shortall
5 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Because it’s not about “the impact of China and India”. It’s about impoverishing and immiserating people in the West – where ordinary people have got used to a decent standard of living. You, me, and all the little people who have to be crushed so that the elites and their useful idiots, slabbering and gurning on endlessly about THE PLANET, can hog everything to themselves while we chomp on lab-grown synthetic food enlivened by the odd bug, have 3 new items of clothing a year, no cars, no flights, no heating (unless we can afford all the heat pump crap), no private homes ultimately (ever heard of ‘stranded assets’?).

The ‘Climate Crisis’ is a bogus problem created to justify a ‘Net Zero’ solution.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
5 months ago

The people of West have long suspected that there was a hostile religious dimension to the eco cult and its adoption by our political masters. The problem was that the Green Agenda has been driven by Autocratic Diktat, first in the EU and then here with the CCC. It has has never been subjected to rational democratic scrutiny. As with lockdown ‘science’, we now know that they and their Evangelical Wing the BBC have been lying about the facts. The fanatics are Neo Pol Potists, neo Khmer Rouge. The people of the West have begun at last to recognise that there is a very very nasty streak of politico-religious extremism woven into the Green movement and the meek Blob who so cravenly bowed to it and Greta. They see themselves – as per Calvinism – as the Elect, a morally superior class. And the Elect are justified in hating the unconverted, the Damned. We – especially the poor northern oiks who damaged ones London house values – should be punished and hurt. But as with all the Big Lies in the USSR, they eventually get found out; Pravda/BBC hysteria exposed and their derangement, their HATE and groupthink finally revealed. Game on.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

You ignore the fact that absolutely nothing is being done

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Seriously??? Absolutely Nothing?? Thats nonsense Frank!!! Masses is being done in renewable sector. It is what HAS not been done over the two decades of EU inspired climate hysteria and general eco nuttery that has made more deft and non coercive policies imperative from now on. Those grand strategic failures were – no investment in nuclear. No restraint on nimby pro degrowth no build planners and regulations. No planned upgrade of our Grid for electrification. Maybe fracking too. Result – zero energy security. High energy costs. Economic hardship. Boom. Not supporting North Sea and pushing hard on home insulation are also huge past failures. But I think you will find it is Germany not UK reaching for coal!

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Your Excess of Capital letters is DAMAGING the impact of your Argument, Walter.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
5 months ago

As Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but climate change is a racket.”

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
5 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Eric Hoffer wrote ca. 1965 that every great cause starts as a movement, evolves into a business, and eventually becomes a racket.

As close to an ironclad universal truth as there is in social matters.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Does that apply to Unherd, then? Where are we on the map?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

1,200 words of utter rubbish. The author strung together a bunch of Marxist talking points and called it a day.

As far as I can tell, this was the thrust of his argument; “New infrastructures for energy, housing, transport built not by the middle class but blue-collar industrial workers. And abandoned industrial regions could find obvious self-interest in a public-jobs programme aimed at constructing this new economy.”

WTF. This is exactly what we’ve been told for 30 years. It’s just another set of superficial statements devoid of any meaning. Reciting a bunch of platitudes is not actually a blueprint for anything.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jim Veenbaas
Martin Butler
Martin Butler
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

And your blueprint? There is no problem just carry on as before I suppose.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Nuclear power. Done.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Nuclear fuelled STEAM power?

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
5 months ago

Exactly. All nuclear power stations do is boil a lot of water to drive steam turbines.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

I’m not sure what you mean. Isn’t that how power is generated from solar and natural gas as well?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes and the crucial word is STEAM!
And has been since Thomas Newcomen in about 1710, at the Wheel Vor mine in Cornwall of all places.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Solar is typically photovoltaic. Photons react with a semiconductor to produce an electrical current.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

If you want to generate reliable electricity without CO2 emissions, nuclear is the only option available today, unless you have access to fast moving water for hydro. If you want cheap reliable electricity you have to use fossil fuels. Either way works for me.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

How do you build a nuclear power station without CO2 emissions? Or decommission it? Or build secure long term storage for the poisonous waste? All without CO2 emissions?

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I have no problem with that – but that means EVs, and heat pumps doesn’t it. And we seem to need Chinese and French companies to sort that out as everything British has been sold off under the privatise everything policy of successive governments.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
5 months ago

“The Left” could argue that they are simply following the advice and recommendations of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The IPCC proudly declares that “The Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC (AR6) [published in March 2023], for the first time, features a chapter on demand, services, and social aspects of mitigation”. They find that there is now “high evidence and high agreement around the observation that policies and infrastructure interventions that lead to change in human preferences are more valuable for climate change mitigation”.

The IPCC’s recommendations include:

– Deliberate undermining of society’s life support systems for political ends: “[s]trategic targeting, or the identifying of specific intervention points (Kanger et al. 2020), [or] points of leverage (Abson et al. 2017)” with a “focus on undermining carbon intensive systems, thereby reducing opposition to more generalised acceleration policies”. (WGIII Chapter 13.9.7)

– Manipulative sequencing and framing of policies: in order to overcome “the potential for political contestation” policies “can generate positive feedbacks by creating constituencies for continuation of those policies, but need to be designed to do so from the outset (Edmondson et al. 2019, 2020) … Another promising strategy is to design short-term policies which might help to provide later entry points for more ambitious climate policy (Kriegler et al. 2018) and supportive institutions.” (WGIII Chaper 13.7.1)

– Political and cultural revolution: “explicit transformational system changes [which include “socio-cultural” changes] are necessary, including efforts at directing transformations, such as clear direction setting through the elaboration of shared visions, and coordination across diverse actors across different policy fields, such as climate and industrial policy, and across governance levels” (WGIII Chapter 13.7.1)

– Big government, including at the international level: “Ambitious mitigation pathways imply large and sometimes disruptive changes in existing economic structures, with significant distributional consequences within and between countries”. But governments can intervene to “moderate” adverse impacts by “integrating climate actions with macroeconomic policies through (i) economy-wide packages … (ii) climate resilient safety nets and social protection … “[p]rioritising equity, climate justice, social justice, inclusion and just transition processes can enable adaptation and ambitious mitigation actions and climate resilient development.” (Summary for Policymakers C2.5 and C5)

– Total spectrum dominance: they believe there robust evidence and high agreement that “coordination of actions and coherent narratives across sectors and cross economy, including within and between all governance levels and scales of actions, is beneficial for acceleration” (WGIII Chapter 13.7.1) … “Media can be a useful conduit to build public support to accelerate mitigation action, but may also be utilised to impede decarbonisation endeavours … media professionals have at times drawn on the norm of representing both sides of a controversy, bearing the risk of the disproportionate representation of scepticism of anthropogenic climate change”.

– Making people feel scared: “more proximate and personal feelings of being at risk triggered by extreme weather and climate-linked natural disasters will increase concern and willingness to act” WGIII Chapter 5.4.1). “When climate change is seen as distant, it is not feared – Nuclear power and accident potential score high on psychological dread. (WGIII Table 5.4)

– The indoctrination of young people and children: “Changing from a commercialised, individualised, entrepreneurial training model to an education cognisant of planetary health and human well-being can accelerate climate change awareness and action”. (WGIII Ch5 Exec Summary)

I could go on and on. When will our politicians – “Left” or “Right” – find the courage to look us in the eyes and level with us? If they believe in all this stuff, tell us. If they don’t believe in it all, tell us which bits they believe in and which they don’t. If they don’t believe in any of it, tell us. If they haven’t read it, or don’t understand it, either tell us they have no opinion on it and get out of the debate, or go and read it and get some help understanding it if they need it, and then tell us what they think. Of course they won’t do any of this. And they wonder why they are losing our trust.

Links:
Summary for policymakers: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_SYR_SPM.pdf

Working Group 3 (WGIII) Chapter 5: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_Chapter05.pdf

Working Group 3 Chapter 13: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_Chapter13.pdf

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Superb. We so need these hard facts!!

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Good info. Thanks.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
5 months ago

Anyone who can remember when this first started becoming government policy during the 00’s will know this is nothing new. Politicians of all stripes and levels have only been good at mobilising the stick and keeping the carrots only for themselves.

Take public transport for example. Most politicians are of the belief that our towns and cities shouldn’t be clogged up with traffic and want to reduce that by getting people out of their cars and onto public transport. The problem is that they either don’t invest at all in the amount of public transport needed, or at all. Sure, some of our larger cities have this system, but most of us don’t. All they do instead is make it harder for people to drive to places. This has an impact on our high streets as people deciding the experience of driving in is no longer worth it, so they order online instead. Don’t even get me started on the costs of public transport such as trains who have a very overinflated view of the quality of their services.

Glynis Roache
Glynis Roache
5 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Speaking as a simple shopper, it seems to me that a disenchantment with public transport came about with the advent of the superstore. Not only was it frequently at a distance from an existing bus route but people purchased a weekly shop in one trip and it was much too bulky to manhandle on a bus. On the other hand, the principle of the superstore was a godsend for working women with a car.

N Satori
N Satori
5 months ago

Why are the Left so enthusiastic about climate change? Could it be because the myth of a climate crisis offers such a golden, once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity for social control and social engineering? The Left, let us not forget, are ever the wannabe revolutionaries – itching to reconstruct society (ie the population) on moral grounds.
As Huber says in his final paragraph:

…the environmental movement still remains populated by middle-class activists brimming with moral certitude that their political project must include corralling the consumptive behaviour of ordinary people.

jonausten@hotmail.co.uk jonausten@hotmail.co.uk
Reply to  N Satori

It’s not looking like a myth to anyone who looks at the science and data behind it. You may have noticed some unusual weather this year. It’s going to get worse, far worse. Take a look at the Antarctic ice levels right now at nsidc and then tell me it’s a myth

jim peden
jim peden
5 months ago

According to https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/world-of-change/sea-ice-antarctic “From the start of satellite observations in 1979 to 2014, total Antarctic sea ice increased by about 1 percent per decade.” Also “Antarctic sea ice shows a nearly flat trend, but large-scale variations make the trend very noisy.”
I’m afraid climate is by no means well enough understood to support the assertions that are driving policy. All science is like this: uncertain. I’d worry more about solar irradiance and its variability in the future.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

What was the unusual weather?

jo O'Byrne
jo O'Byrne
5 months ago

I didn’t notice much Green referring to the Krakatoa sized eruption in the Pacific Jan 22 & the effects that is going to have on weather (not climate by the way) for some years to come.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

100% yes! Green is the new Red, filling the gaping ideological black hole that emerged with the collapse of Socialism/Communism in the nineties. Blair bashed Clause 4 and the Corbyny Tendency, mapping a new way which – like China – allowed capitalism but used the Citys cash to build up the leftist public sector, notably NHS. This remains the unsatisfying model for the Fake Tories too. Then came the Eco Mission. It offered the Left a virtuous way to argue for massive State intervention and spending…you just swop the word Red for Green. Hey presto! Talk of new Leylsndy Great British Energy Companies; new jobs (..er in China) and 28 billion to splash just like Sleepy Joe!! Its so crass. But it has been Uniparty groupthink for a lost decade. The plain truth is Starmers Labour and Lib Dems are Policy Zombies – quite dead in the head but shuffling along making nasty noises. They have zero ideology beyond eco mania and toxic Identitarianism. Now the Green Diktat is at last being taken on, lets see what they do.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
5 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

When one religion dies, human nature drives another to replace it. This cycle has occurred several times in the last centuries; ‘Red’ was at one point the ‘new’ religion.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
5 months ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

Agreed. There are lessons too. The Green Elite are Calvin’s New ‘Elect’. Contemptuous towards the unchosen damned outside their Virtue Circle. This is why the Coercion must be stopped. Macron gets it now. Rishi must protect us.

Patrick Turner
Patrick Turner
5 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Perfect illustration of the dogma and ignorance of the right-wing culture warriors who toss out denunciations of ‘the left’ and ‘Marxists’ in the comments to Unherd articles. Huber, by his own lights a socialist, locates the moralism of middle-class activists in the convergence of austeritarian/Malthussian tendencies on the environmental left with neoliberalism and technocratic liberal democracy. The latter is obviously not a revolutionary project but rather a class project to maintain capital. But of course in the fevered imagination of what today passes for right-wing radicalism neoliberals, the professional managerial class, and their tech-feudal overlords are actually Marxists, conspiring away at the great reset. That they might be progressive liberal postmodernists with a taste for low-friction market friendly forms of social engineering (e.g., ‘nudge’ and the kinds of libertarian paternalism pioneered by New Labour) does not seem to register here. Why? Because for the market fundamentalists who haunt the Unherd comments section the scandalous truth is that these awful people are actually your people. They are your liberal/progressive wing. Huber argues that any significant alterations to the everyday living conditions of most people should be ones that are democratically agreed upon, collectively owned, and fairly applied. That, given the parlous state of our representative democracy, probably is a revolutionary aspiration. Neoliberalism – the extension of market logic and imperatives into every sphere of social, political, cultural and economic life – is perfectly capable of accommodating to more liberal/cosmopolitan or authoritarian/nationalist modes. Huber has the liberal/cosmopolitan variety in his sights. You may have a reflex dislike of anything with a whiff of left-wing but at least be able to show a passing understanding of its basic ideological distinctions and political range before passing judgement. It might also help to gem up on neoliberalism and its relationship to right and left. Tired stereotypes and straw-men – however pithy – do not suffice for critique.

AC Harper
AC Harper
5 months ago

Back before the time of the Black Death there were (in our part of the world) workers, warriors and clergy. The clergy controlled access to the afterlife which was as important to the workers and warriors as electricity is to us today. The clergy made a good living controlling that access.
Perhaps we are returning to Medieval times. There are the workers, the industrialists, and the Green Left. The Green Left now control access to electricity and are quite prepared to make that access as difficult as possible for the workers and industrialists.
It seems that we are giving up on the better aspects of the Enlightenment – because it suits the interests of The Powers That Be.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

The ‘clergy’ came rather unstuck with Thomas Cromwell & Co.
Just ‘ask’ the Abbotts of Glastonbury, Reading, Colchester, Jervaulx, and Fountains, and many others, too numerous to mention.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago

That’s a reasonable historical account of how we’ve gotten to where we are today. The fact that Ehrlich is still feted for his Malthusianism is beyond a joke – we are facing a massive population crash. It’s already happened in Japan; it is well underway in China and across Europe. Seventy years of globalism is now over and will never return.
Deindustrialised Europe is now doomed. Unless AI saves us, we are in for smaller lives with less consumption, whatever happens. Frankly, I see no problem for us in Western Europe to solve any more. The ‘climate crisis’ is overblown and not an emergency in any case. I see even Bill Gates is backing down over it.
I’ll try to find the time to read the author’s book, though I can’t say I’m that interested in a Marxist ‘solution’.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

The population ‘crash’ is forecast to add 2.5billion to world population by 2100, tho that may be the high water mark. ‘We’ may be facing a decline in the west, China is going to lose half its population by 2100, but Sub-Saharan Africa is on a massive roll. When Nigeria (and Egypt! and DRC) has doubled its population, there may be an issue where they find their food and jobs, so I’d be wary of proclaiming the ‘End of globalisation’ just now.

N Satori
N Satori
5 months ago

Sunak’s tweaking of the UK’s NetZero policy can hardly be seen as saving the nation from eco-mania. However, it has been interesting to see the reaction of the usual NetZero enthusiasts. They really don’t want to hear about the insignificance of our national carbon footprint in comparison to major industrial nations – the USA, China and India. What concerns our NetZero enthusiasts is the loss of our supposed moral leadership – that virtue they have grown so used to signalling.

Amy Harris
Amy Harris
5 months ago

Excellent article in style, argument and content. Lost me, however, in its underlying ideology. The author speaks of looking seriously at “the problem” and acknowledges we have an obligation to “save the planet”. This is exactly the arrogance that got us into trouble in the first place. The idea that the planet needs “saving” from “destruction” is preposterous. Human beings and their toys occupy a tiny, tiny fraction of the vast natural world. We look at computer models of “the planet” and see it as something we have control of. We don’t. Planet’s gonna do what planet’s gonna do. We are the ones who need “saving”. (Our souls of nothing else!) If birth rates continue to drop, we will enter a phase of having a “top-heavy” ageing population, which is unsustainable. The earth has abundant resources, but when they are exploited for profit, ordinary people will suffer. We are adept at find solutions for local, immediate problems, like catalytic converters and unleaded petrol, which transform air quality. Waste water management, which eradicates certain diseases. Etc. And now, we are witnessing direct-action democracy… people refusing to accept undemocratic and harmful policies. In the end, people will always have more power than politicians. There’s no such thing as “left” and “right” – that’s a construct invented by politician to hoodwink the masses into thinking the fight is between ideological arguments. It’s not. The battle ground is between those who want power and the people they oppress. The current lot have abused their power so badly that the masses have woken up, and have taken back control. Maybe a soft anarchy is where we are headed, or maybe the non-compliance will eventually put the politicians back in their places. Who knows. But the game is definitely up. Too many people know they’ve been duped and those continuing to “cry wolf” will be ignored out of existence.

Karen Arnold
Karen Arnold
5 months ago
Reply to  Amy Harris

I agree it is preposterous to claim we can control the earth, we will clearly have some impact on it just by our existence and activities, it is human arrogance to think we have control. Clearly our climate is changing, it has been changing forever, as our geology shows. I would like to see some discussion of the impact of the sun on the climate, I would expect it has greater impact then we are told, but there would be little room for the eco zealots to try to control us if this were the case.

Amy Harris
Amy Harris
5 months ago
Reply to  Karen Arnold

Research and read the papers on GSM (Grand Solar Minimum)… we are most likely heading towards an ice age but how are the politicians going to tell everyone we’ve got to “heat the planet up” when they’ve been banging on about “cooling the planet down” (as if either are within our power!)

Roderick MacDonald
Roderick MacDonald
5 months ago

Stopped reading at “But now the severity of the climate crisis…”

Tony Lee
Tony Lee
5 months ago

But we are having less children. Not because of some proclamation or edict, but because the hysteria of the doomsayers is persuading us that there will be no future for our children. It is simply not true, but the media and various empty vessels lap this nonsense up and without serious investigation. What’s wrong with the Western world isn’t the realities but the obsession with depressing the hell out of everyone.

Douglas H
Douglas H
5 months ago
Reply to  Tony Lee

I think it’s more because young people can’t afford a place of their own.

Tony Price
Tony Price
5 months ago
Reply to  Tony Lee

My children tell me that their friends aren’t having children because they simply can’t afford to do so. Have you seen the cost of housing in the UK – and in so many other places I do believe?

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
5 months ago
Reply to  Tony Lee

Kids are a lot of work, and modern technology allows us to have sex without producing kids.

patrick macaskie
patrick macaskie
5 months ago

oh dear. “After all, the environmental movement still remains populated by middle-class activists brimming with moral certitude that their political project must include corralling the consumptive behaviour of ordinary people”. well at least you have rationalised your way into digging yourself into an even deeper hole. from where I sit your claim is the polar opposite of what the middle class activists (like you) have done. they have done exactly what you want them to do: to try to circumvent the electorate precisely by means of attacking ” the problem of who owns and controls fossil-fuel based production (a relative minority of society)” because they know that attacking oil production is their only shot…..persuading the electorate on the other hand involves democratic processes that are rather wearisome. Greta Thunberg personifies this strategy and she and you have been scarily successful at making fools of the middle class. the whole problem is you have a bubble economy (that is one part substance and 4 parts hot air….. largely because of the economic version of your type of thinking) and people of your ilk are hoping you can persuade everyone you can layer onto that a painless transition to a zero carbon world. you have never understood that asset allocation matters profoundly to poor people and for this reason you cant understand what puts food on the shelf and it matters even more profoundly for green investments. Stop accusing those that understand this of being anti the poor and anti the environment when you are the culprit. You show utter contempt for electorates when you say: “The policy then allows Right-wing forces to mobilise mass anger against what is construed as an elite conspiracy to make ordinary life more difficult and costly — and the Right reaps the electoral gains.” i suppose it is different when the left manage to mobilise mass anger to reap electoral gains. you need to get out a bit more. the electorates you deride, as the playthings of the far right, are much more intelligent than you think. if you want to be cured of your useless marxist delusions i recommend you to meet a few working class people.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
5 months ago

“‘This is going to disproportionately hurt the poor.’ Charles Koch, man of the people.”
If we’re going to rule wealthy people’s expressions of concern for the poor as cynical posing, then the Left is going to lose more than the Right.

patrick macaskie
patrick macaskie
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

A beautifully put observation!

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
5 months ago

“severity of the climate crisis”.
you mean we’ve had a spot of bad weather lately.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
5 months ago

At bottom, food and fuel are directly linked, because all of our food (in the west, and excepting a miniscule number of subsistence farmers elsewhere) is produced by fossil fuels.

Farms cannot be electrified – heavy batteries will flounder in muddy fields, fertilizer requires natural gas, pesticides require petrochemicals, and planting, harvest, and transport all rely on diesel or gasoline.

There is, then, no way to “end fossil fuels” without an imposed famine, a la Chairman Mao or Stalin. “Net Zero” means mass starvation, no matter how many green commissars or sustainability enforcers are hired to supervise.

Windmills and solar panels are ridiculously unreliable, inexpensive, and inefficient besides. We are far better off preparing for warmer weather, than destroying our economies on green dreams.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
5 months ago

I don’t know where the problem lies? So far all the graphs and stats I have read and looked at show, that the temperatures are increasing since the last Little Ice Age, not just since the mid 19th Century. Are we to feel guilty, because the Industrial Revolution has abolished extreme poverty in the West. Third World countries are rightly claiming, that it is now their time that the most affordable energy available will also pull them out of poverty and into prosperity.
We are told, that we currently have more extreme temperatures than in the last 500(?)thousand years, although temperature graphs already from the 19thCentury prove that some US regions were extremely hot and dry, causing prolonged droughts and suffering ( 1930s Dust Ball). Nowadays this period would be blamed on man made GlobalWarming, and the UN Secretary would be claiming in a statement to the world, that we are finally in the end stages of “Global Boiling”. Wait a minute, he just said that this summer….
As I wrote in my comment under last week’s article by John Gray, there are plenty of high calibre Scientists, who are sceptical that Global Warming is all due to our CO2 emissions. But they get no platforms and are banned from State TVs like our BBC. Prof.Judith Curry once compared the atmosphere to an Elephant and said that human made CO2 is like a hair on the elephant’s tail. She is one of the heretical Climate scientists, who lost her well paid job, because during her years in research, she became much more sceptical of the mainstream claim that man made CO2 is the sure cause of Global Change.
Apart from the many sceptical voices in the Climate Science community, we will be reliant on cheap fossil fuel for quite some time in the future till new technologies are discovered to produce affordable energy, unless we want to deindustrialise and regress into Middle Age poverty. I agree that we should pursue true environmental improvements, as the original Green Peace Organisation tried to do. One of its founders, Patrick Moore, also seems to be on the international “black list” now as he doesn’t buy into the man made Global Warming Doom hysteria. As he writes in his books: CO2 is not a polluter, but food for our plants, and what benefits plants is benefitting the human race. Also NASA reluctantlynadmitted, that increased CO2 is turning the World into a greener planet.

John Lammi
John Lammi
5 months ago

See Princeton physics professor, William Happer and MIT professor of atmospheric physics, Richard Linzen, Prof Roy Spencer, and Judith Curry, former head of climate science at Georgia Tech. There is no climate problem at all.
There is a fortune spent yearly on “climate science “; that is worthy of being looked at.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
5 months ago

For at least two decades now, the creation of ‘progressive’ policy-making has been geared towards what the political class regard as the only authentic stakeholders in their society – the liberal graduate caste from which they themselves come.
Below them are simply ethnic minorities to be protected – be that in polluted inner cities or, indeed, in the 3rd World at risk from drought or from floods.
There is your rough sociology: partisan realignment along liberal stakeholders vs conservative reactionaries, graduate or non-graduate strata. Net Zero is no different from all the discourse around white privilege.

mike otter
mike otter
5 months ago

I have always maintained the eco-freaks simply want to kill off our species – and that the best way to deal with them is to make sure they go first. This would leave the grown ups to deal with whatever problems humanity faces, including the rampant pollution and species destruction needed to keep the eco-freaks’ social media, “organic” crops and private jets going.

Douglas H
Douglas H
5 months ago

Nice critique of middle-class virtue signalling, but I don’t see a detailed alternative laid out.

Robbie K
Robbie K
5 months ago

Rather than tackling the problem of who owns and controls fossil-fuel based production (a relative minority of society), carbon behaviouralism aims its sights on the “irresponsible” choices of millions of consumers of all classes.

What a curious notion. Is the author suggesting fossil-fuel production should be cut off to solve the issue?
I’m uncertain where that would leave consumers. Ok great, they still would have plenty of choice, but hmm, the petrol stations would stand empty.
Unfortunately we are all in this together and must shoulder the burden together.

jonausten@hotmail.co.uk jonausten@hotmail.co.uk
Reply to  Robbie K

Yes, it’s painted here as a left/right issue, but we’re all in this together. Where are the plans? And to dismiss Ehrlich, who still points out that perhaps, just perhaps, 8 billion people and still rising might have something to do with it, is bizarre

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

Erlich’s predictions have repeatedly failed since the 1970s.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
5 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

It is also incorrect for the author of the article to state that fossil fuel production is controlled by a small ( presumably he means “Capitalist”) clique. Save for non Federal lands in USA it is almost universally the case that ownership of – or at least the right to extract oil and gas is in the ownership and under the control
of the State. That is certainly true for U.K. What a joke this article is.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
5 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Hey, I up-ticked you. Must be a bad day. We’re not quite all in it together though. Those with money can escape. Most of the world leaders can do anything they want to do.

Robbie K
Robbie K
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

First of many ;o)

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
5 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You seem to have some strange notions of human behavior. This world where everybody comes together and sacrifices for the common good is not consistent with human behavior anywhere or at any point in history. People are, in general, too greedy and selfish for your scheme to work. At some point, when all the wind farms are built and everyone who is willing to switch to EVs has bought one, you will see the real problem. There are going to be some people who simply refuse to toe the line and adopt your worldview, no matter how much science is behind it and no matter how many ‘experts’ you line up. Then you’ll face the bottom line, that some people will only change if they are forced to do so. You will have to be the bad guy, the totalitarian. You will have to have secret police. You will have to monitor everyone’s behavior, and a lot of people will hate you for it. You will have to send people to reeducation camps, like China is doing to the Uyghurs right now. Like Mao and Stalin, you will have to be willing to kill a lot of people. Are you? I’d just like to hear somebody with enough honesty and sense to say it out loud, instead of pretending everybody will just magically accept a lower standard of living without voting for different policies, or if the democratic process fails, turning to crime and violence to get what they want.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
5 months ago

Yadda yadda yadda, left-wing b*llsh*t, cash cheque, receive plaudits. God, I’m SO sick of you people. When I was producing webinars for a Bloomberg publishing company back in the “oughts”, I had to endure insufferable goofball women “lifestyle coaches” blathering about the new “green economy” and the jobs it would produce. They all turned out to be the “how to buy and sell real estate with no money down” for the digital age.

You guys are frauds and everyone with a brain knows it. So, naturally, you “work” (heh) for a university. Well, pal, former Chicago governor/ruiner Lori LIghtfoot, and media hack/potato Brian Stelter are lecturers at Harvard, just to name a few of your ilk.

How you have the nerve to write this pap would have been beyond me at a saner time, but, since everything is gaslighting now, we’re in a clown world of brobdingnagian proportions, so here you are.

Good God.

Last edited 5 months ago by Allison Barrows
D Oliver
D Oliver
5 months ago

TLDR version:

*Their* solution will lead to disaster. *My* solution will lead to Utopia.

Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
5 months ago

Part of the issue is the inescapable, creeping doubt about the 3% of greenhouse gasses, of which excess CO2 in a carbon based world is a tiny part, ostensibly caused by the consumptive sins of the ordinary person. The question lingers….

Now, having rendered mankind responsible after decades of accusation, the penance is giving up all advancement, invention, logic and ease or comfort in atonement. This commanded sacrifice, of course, yields no improvement to the so called climate “crisis”, let alone the lives affected.

Meanwhile, the elites happily live on, buying their indulgences called “carbon credits” as they sneer at the working class. These effetes are the direct cause of a growing populist rejection on every level. They have lied and manipulated for too long.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
5 months ago

That’s brilliant. Carbon credits and the sale of indulgences. Yet another parallel between environmentalism and organized religion. Proselytizers of this new faith should admit what they are, priests of a new religion, first to themselves and then to everybody else.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
5 months ago

There’s always some chappie in the educated class with a book out, from Marx and Kapital to the IPCC and “explicit transformational system changes” and it always proposes that we hand over the world to educated-class chappies for our salvation.
And it’s always “science,” whether Marxian “scientific socialism” or 97% of scientists agreeing that the planet is going to fry.
What I want to know is why Marx hasn’t been canceled, since we now know he was bonking one of his servants.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
5 months ago

The author is right about one thing, people in free countries with individual liberty will always choose to maintain their own lifestyle over sacrificing for the environment. That’s self-interest. Free market capitalism works because it doesn’t require anything else. Governments can push the free market in certain directions through taxation, supply side subsidies, monetary policy, and other such devices, but to a large degree, they are constrained by current technology and political conditions, in other words, the empirical facts. Facts such as this: fossil fuels are the cheapest, most efficient power source we have at the moment. The way to eliminate fossil fuels in a strictly capitalist system is to find a cheaper and more efficient way to produce energy, period. There’s no workaround, no scheme, no technocratic gobbledygook that can change the basic facts that eliminating fossil fuels, assuming its even possible, will raise energy prices to a significant degree and that will, as always, fall hardest upon the poorest. Hence the need for socialist redistribution schemes and policies to balance the equation, which moves us even further from free markets and free people. The reason this hasn’t come to a head yet is because there is quite a bit that can be done to ‘reduce’ fossil fuel usage within a capitalist framework, including persuading people using moral arguments, subsidizing alternatives, infrastructure projects, etc., but completely eliminating them cannot be accomplished without abandoning free market capitalism to a significant degree. I suspect the politicians hawking netzero are either A.) socialists or some other variant of totalitarian who believes in planned, controlled society trying to sneak in the back door what they failed to get through the front. B.) opportunists looking to make money or political gain from the issue while they can and planning to abandon netzero whenever it becomes apparent that even after building all the electric cars, wind farms, and solar panels we can, we will still be dependent on fossil fuels. Human beings will continue to burn fossil fuels until either A.) a cheaper and more efficient source of energy is discovered, or B.) we run out of fossil fuels entirely, at which point we’d probably burn whatever the next cheapest thing to burn is. Everything else is just political noise.

Last edited 5 months ago by Steve Jolly
Peter Gray
Peter Gray
5 months ago

Environmental movements were always anti-industrial and anti-development and rarely had anything to do with protecting the environment in earnest.  They always use the most current scare to serve their goals. In the past, it was opposition to industrial fertilizers, chemical pest and plant disease controls, opposition to GMOs, and now to the use of fossil fuels.  And they have been very effective at selling their narrative of the fragile Earth that is in perfect balance and only suffers from us, the humans.  The current opposition is not against CO2 emissions but against inexpensive energy; nuclear gets no recognition by today’s greenies despite being clean, having a small footprint, and having minimal environmental impact (as opposed to wind and solar).  And if you think cold fusion is the pot of environmental gold at the end of their rainbow, as they proclaim, think twice.  The technology, once developed, will be killed by an army of new environmental warriors for some other kookie reason.
Truth is the developed world, with its achievements in lifespan, time available for invention and creativity, and general well-being, needs cheap and abundant energy, something exclusively wind and solar – the sweethearts of the greenies – cannot provide.  And we are starting to see the empirical proof of it.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter Gray

“Cold fusion” was probably a scientific delusion; maybe you’re thinking of regular fusion, which has been making slow but steady progress for decades, and promises to have less problematic waste output (although we can’t be certain until we deploy it at scale, and see for sure)?

P N
P N
5 months ago

The first half of this article seemed quite sensible but the second half just descended into anti-capitalist nonsense with all the usual anti-capitalist buzzwords like “profiteer” and “neoliberal”. These are meaningless slurs.
“They hardly ever consider how the rich make rather than spend their money: organising investment and for-profit production with likely far greater effects on the climate.” The rich can only make their money by organising investment and for-profit production if people are willing and able to buy whatever product or service they are selling; people are only willing and able to do this if it makes their lives better. It is a system of consent. Therefore there has to be demand, a market for the product or service; the “rich” cannot force their evil products and services onto the noble poor.
“Capitalism is not an ‘ism.’ It is closer to being the opposite of an ‘ism,’ because it is simply the freedom of ordinary people to make whatever economic transactions they can mutually agree to.” – Thomas Sowell
Rants against capitalism are rants against freedom; the corollary is advocating coercion.
Those on the left who think socialism is the answer to our environmental threats have clearly not considered that socialist countries are just as polluting as liberal ones. Socialism is supposed to be about how resources are allocated, not about using fewer resources. That socialists end up using fewer resources is not intentional, it’s because socialism is so inefficient at extracting them.

Last edited 5 months ago by P N
Sue Ward
Sue Ward
5 months ago

Time the elites learned that if they nudge us we punch them back.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
5 months ago

“now the severity of the climate crisis is forcing these technocrats to ratchet up their strategy to outright coercion: banning fossil-fuel boilers, gas stoves, internal combustion engines, or forcing farmers to rapidly implement costly practices”

There is no climate crisis: all changes that have happened so far, or are likely to happen, are within our ability to adapt.
But even if there were a climate crisis, it makes no sense for the West to unilaterally decarbonise.
China, India, Africa and Latin America won’t willingly forgo the benefits of fossil fuels.
You can ban as many boilers as you like. Unless such totalitarian measures are implemented by One World Government, emissions will continue to rise.
To the extent that CO2 is a concern, the answer is improved technology (e.g. abundant nuclear energy), not local rationing and de-growth.
We need technology that people all around the world will eagerly adopt.

Jeff Carr
Jeff Carr
5 months ago

Underlying this article is the assumption that Climate Catastrophe is a given.
Surely we need to have a considered debate on the underlying assumptions and validity of the forecasts because I, for one, am not sure that the Climate Disaster enthusiasts are willing to debate the underlying assumptions.
Professors and Lecturers seem to be whipping their students up into a froth of fear and frenzy preaching an assumption of Armageddon. It is cult like in its phsychology rather than considered and sensible and that, again, makes me sceptical.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
5 months ago

Is climate catastrophism leftist in inspiration? I thought that “Nice” T.May was an enthusiast.

N Satori
N Satori
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Story

Bit of a non sequitur, don’t you think, Mr Story? Anyway, she recently came out of the closet as ‘woke’. I’m sure there are plenty of other Tories who have developed a distaste for actual conservatism and find their heart is really with a more left-liberal view of the world.
Perhaps you’d benefit from taking a good hard look at the steady growth of Green influence and power from its leftist roots over many decades. Might I suggest Rupert Darwall’s Green Tyranny as a well-researched starting point. Or maybe you’ve just come here to heckle.

John Riordan
John Riordan
5 months ago

The Left isn’t losing the climate class war, we all are, apart from the subsection of the political class that has so much to gain from imposing these draconian confiscations of wealth and liberty upon us all.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
5 months ago

Net zero policies do hurt the working class and no other countries around the world care in the least about them.

Just ask Russia if they think global warming is a problem.

Carmel Shortall
Carmel Shortall
5 months ago

“But now the severity of the climate crisis is forcing these technocrats to ratchet up their strategy to outright coercion”

There is NO CLIMATE CRISIS ffs! It’s all a scam to impoverish and immiserate the west.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago

Blow up the Nordstream causing the largest single human-induced release of methane in history… send depleted uranium weapons to a warzone… nothing said becase it hurts Russia, but I’ve got to trash my gas boiler and Clearview woodburner to put a useless heat-pump in my flint and brick cottage or become a climate criminal… and eat bugs instead of meat from the local farms… Meanwhile Gates jets around in his private jet which is ok because of his offsetting activity… as if he can’t travel economy like the rest of us. I never owned a car until I was 53 and never flew anywhere until the 1980s while Gates was making billions polluting the world with his mass produced devices. Sickening.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

Looks like the thugs running the censor regime at Unherd are working overtime again. About 50 of 130 comments disappeared.

Nardo Flopsey
Nardo Flopsey
5 months ago

Wow, surprised to see this on UnHerd. I wouldn’t call it Marxism, but it’s a dramatic oversimplification of a wickedly complex problem. I was surprised to also see a piece by Yanis Varoufakis in this morning’s feed. Hopefully the Guardian doesn’t face a new competitor in its own backyard.
It sure would be nice if “we” [the royal we] could just punish all the fossil fuel barons by forcing them to provide us necessary hydrocarbons with the barest minimum of profit, so that Exxon executives would have to rent out a dingy flat above a shop, and couldn’t even afford to drive. Unfortunately, this strategy is about as pragmatic is forcing all nightclub patrons to wear motorcycle helmets so that the pretty people are not forever outcompeting the plain people for desirable mating opportunities.
The bad news is that any industry-wide tax, like import tariffs, turns out to be just another hidden tax on consumers. Now, if some companies choose to behave irresponsibly, such as by dumping pollution in the air or nearby bodies of water, they should be fined severely enough to match the scope of the damage caused. But policies which punish particular offenders must be absorbed by those companies, whereas arbitrary penalties for “causing global warming” are going to hurt all participants equally, and can therefore be passed on to citizens without any single company being at a market disadvantage.
Also I notice you didn’t mention the word nuclear, which especially in the case of Germany seems like a glaring oversight. The Germans were in a mad rush to get rid of all “unclean” sources of energy, and ended up in a race to extract massive amounts of filthy lignite because they simply failed to appreciate the necessary tradeoffs in real life. Maybe they will have a second thought about nuclear energy after this winter. Now that I think of it, how come none of the greens in the US or the UK wastes their breath lambasting France for its successful clean nuclear program? Perhaps it has been forgotten due to lack of catastrophic meltdowns and affordable electricity for the working classes.
And, finally, you make no mention of the unique hypocrisy around the so called environmental movement, which is hiding in plain sight. I myself am mostly vegan, due to ethical concerns, and I’ve known MANY people who are entirely vegan for ethical or environmental reasons. How much can we do to influence the wider world to cut back on animal products? Minimally, but we can at least not contribute to the problem ourselves. I don’t notice this sort of behavior anywhere in relation to energy use. Everyone I’ve met feels that their carbon footprint is defensible, but of course others need to make lifestyle changes. Not me, no sir! My consumption is reasonable and prudent; and besides, I deserve a special dispensation, because I’m doing my part to Raise Awareness of the problem! This, I’m afraid is not a moral position, it’s merely virtue signaling. Sadly, no well-off people ever wish to take a step backward in their standard of living; and no poor people wish to remain in stasis, while the rest of the world modernizes.

Last edited 5 months ago by Nardo Flopsey
Peter Mott
Peter Mott
5 months ago

❝Like Malthus’s original arguments, it disregards the power of capital in favour of a moralistic focus on policing imprudent behaviour❞. Exactly – Malthus exhorted the masses to refrain from sex (they did not).
Today’s Green moralists propose for the masses no meat, sorting rubbish into seven bins, and no foreign holidays. This won’t fly eiother.
The Climate cult has become an instrument of class oppression as the writer suggests but the deeper problem is the climate issue itself is all but impossible to formulate.
To see this one only needs to read Judith Curry’s 2023 Climate Risk and Uncertainty. Actually, her proposal to focus on “resilience” rather than “sustainabilty” is interesting, but the problem remains what is called a “wicked mess”.

Craig Yirush
Craig Yirush
5 months ago

Agree with the critique, but what is the alternate being proposed?

Last edited 5 months ago by Craig Yirush
Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
5 months ago

The author’s contention that ‘green taxes’ were the cause of the turnover of control of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections shows only that he is an expert in selecting evidence that supports his ideological positions. (There were many causes, and those taxes were one of the smaller ones.) What a shock.
He does have a point that now that ‘net zero’ is having an impact on actual policies, and thus in the real world, we’re going to get to see how devoted people really are to that goal.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
5 months ago

How dismal. Saying It’s all capitalism’s fault – and denying what is essentially barter as the means to lifting billions out of abject poverty. This was a typical leftist agenda of levelling down, rather having faith in humankind ingenuity to solve pollution problems. People need incentives to achieve and money to solve problems. Money is created by adding value to human endeavour and it needs those who are able to create wealth before any it can be spread.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
4 months ago

No normal human being who has been cultured in 2023 gives a rat’s nether regions about the fate of the planet. Let future generations sort it out. Er, prorsum

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

The planet’s fate is to be destroyed when the solar system collapses, until then it will survive with or without us. Homosapiens however…

Christopher Darlington
Christopher Darlington
4 months ago

I’ve always thought this is true. They’ve convinced most people that it’s our fault this is happening without ever having the actual manufacturer’s do their part, ie stop making stuff out of petroleum. It’s gaslighting and has enabled giant corporate entities to keep churning out what they want and we are all supposed to feel guilty to buy it and then spend time figuring out what to do with it in the end.

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
19 days ago

Enjoy that bandwagon mate, but brace your body and mind for the obvious potholes. Why is it that ‘intellectuals’, en masse, ridicule the illogic of religions while desperately trying to impose their own semi-religious illogic as a rational alternative. Although I’m also an idiot for wasting my time on this. It almost seems that these people cannot move on from the logic of fighting the hysteria around witchcraft with more burnings (and Malthus! Still! Wtf).

glyn harries
glyn harries
5 months ago

I agree 100% with this article, but for one thing. It is wwrong to refer here to The Left. Neither are the Left pushing what is described nor have they any opportunity to do so! The Left run nothing. There is no Left govt in Europe, no Left govt in the UK, and no local authority which could be described as Left. Sadiq Khan is certainly not left!!! 😀 When you actually look at what the Left, generally speaking, say on this issues they agree with what Huber says, that the issue is structural and not individual, that it is capitalism that needs controlling, not working/middle class behaviour, and that the solution is based in creatig a Green New Deal in partnership with trade unions etc that creates both short and medium and long trm gain for working people.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Are Russia and China left wing? They cause much more environmental damage than any country in the west.

glyn harries
glyn harries
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Not but any measure no.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
5 months ago
Reply to  glyn harries

It depends where the observer sits on the ideological spectrum. To me, Johnson (admittedly in thrall to Princess Nut Nut) was a progressive; and most European governments are progressive.

Carmel Shortall
Carmel Shortall
5 months ago
Reply to  glyn harries

So much meaningless squabbling about ‘left’ and ‘right’ in these comments! Can’t you see there is only a Uniparty now? A lockstep Western Uniparty spouting the same authoritarian/covidian/pandemicist/climate hysterical/critical race theory/trans ideological etc. garbage in the service of global elites who want a one-world government with them in charge and eejits like you locked in to whatever unheated space they allocate you in your 15-minute smart city, chomping on bugs and soymush which is all you can afford on your universal basic income digital carbon credits.

YebbutyebbutyebbutSadiq Khan is not ‘left’! Whatever! He serves the Uniparty global elite as chair of the C40 organisation, playing a “key role in raising the bar on climate ambition around the world” whatever that means. Being Mayor of London is only a means to an end.

https://www.c40.org/leadership/the-chair/

And here’s his WEF Agenda Contributer page:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/authors/sadiq-khan

jo O'Byrne
jo O'Byrne
5 months ago

Correct

glyn harries
glyn harries
5 months ago

UnHerd hosts some great articles but the vomit of conspiracy theory bollox on the discussions is astonishing. The people who spout that climate change is a hoax and have found the 1 in a 1000 scientist who agrees with them and think they thus know better than the overwhelming consensus on AGW/CC are literally the opposite of what we need in society now. They are not Skeptics. They are uncritical mugs, mugged by the oil and gas industry and their massive propaganda machine, falling for the simplest of lies.

Robbie K
Robbie K
5 months ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Totally agree. Neither is this a left/right issue. It’s a human problem.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  glyn harries

I would suggest the majority of commentors here agree that CO2 is warming the planet. Like myself, many of them question the hysterical claims driving the dominant narrative that climate change is an existential threat.

glyn harries
glyn harries
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

if you read the comments you will see a range of opinions inc the idea that human produced CO2 is warming the planet.

Robbie K
Robbie K
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Well, you are so wrong. We are only at the start of this problem and it’s too late to turn it around. Humanity will be dealing with it for the next couple of hundred years.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

It’s not like this narrative is new. It’s been 35 years now. We’ve broached countless deadlines and still the planet is very livable. So when do climate related deaths start to increase because they’ve been dropping for 100 years?

John Riordan
John Riordan
5 months ago
Reply to  glyn harries

You clearly aren’t aware of this, but the notion that climate sceptics are either paid by Big Oil or merely wrongly persuaded by its propaganda is, itself, a conspiracy theory.

In actual fact what serves Big Oil the most is the official preference for solving climate change via renewable energy: the slowest possible means of actually replacing hydrocarbons in the energy industry. This, rather than being a conspiracy theory, is a theory supported by the facts, which are readily discernible when looking at the pace of hydrocarbon substitution in future based upon a renewables-dependent strategy.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Big oil has nothing to fear from wind and solar.

John Riordan
John Riordan
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Indeed. Big Oil loves renewables, it keeps them in business for decades yet.