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Tipping Point? Boris Johnson writes bravely “could it be the sun?”

Posted By Joanne Nova On January 21, 2013 @ 6:29 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Mark the moment. This is unusual.

Firstly, it’s not just anyone, but Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, personality, and potential Tory leader in the UK.  (He’s got so much potential several Tories in safe seats have offered to resign to let him run.) Secondly, he’s confident, brazen and unapologetic. There are not many of the usual duck-and-cover caveats (only lip-service ones), and no bowing to the bullies who will call him names rather than discuss the ideas.

It’s snowing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age

Something is up with our winter weather. Could it be the Sun is having a slow patch?

Telegraph Jan 20th 2013

As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands — when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.

No doubt Johnson will be accused of “ignoring the longer trend” because he talks about the last five years of cold cold winters, but beneath his discussion of just how unusually heavy the snow is around London lies the awkward fact that the global warming fans didn’t predict it (not until after it happened) and the longer trend is not what the IPCC predicted in 1990 either.
His focus on the snow is not what I would have said. But then Johnson isn’t trying to make a big scientific case, merely to say that the story doesn’t fit, and it’s time to say the unthinkable — maybe the experts are wrong.

By my calculations, this is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; and by unusual I mean snow of a kind that I don’t remember from my childhood: snow that comes one day, and then sticks around for a couple of days, followed by more.

Note the half caveat — the experts have “good intentions”. Translated, he’s saying they’re “nice people” and we all know what that means:

I am all for theories about climate change, and would not for a moment dispute the wisdom or good intentions of the vast majority of scientists.

Ooh, look. When did you last hear a pollie say the word “empiricist”?

But I am also an empiricist; and I observe that something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it “warming” is obviously to strain the language. I see from the BBC website that there are scientists who say that “global warming” is indeed the cause of the cold and snowy winters we seem to be having.

… I merely observe that there are at least some other reputable scientists who say that it is complete tosh, or at least that there is no evidence to support it.

He refers to himself as amateur, a layman, and acknowledges how little he knows, but he knows enough to speak of Piers Corbyn’s work, and he’s familiar with the basics of solar history.

I can’t help brooding on my own amateur meteorological observations. I wish I knew more about what is going on, and why. It is time to consult once again the learned astrophysicist, Piers Corbyn. Now Piers has a very good record of forecasting the weather. He has been bang on about these cold winters.

When the solar acne diminishes, it seems that the Earth gets colder. No one contests that when the planet palpably cooled from 1645 to 1715 — the Maunder minimum, which saw the freezing of the Thames — there was a diminution of solar activity. The same point is made about the so-called Dalton minimum, from 1790 to 1830. And it is the view of Piers Corbyn that we are now seeing exactly the same phenomenon today.

The caveat — Johnson knows some will go ballistic:

Now I am not for a second saying that I am convinced Piers is right; and to all those scientists and environmentalists who will go wild with indignation on the publication of this article, I say, relax. I certainly support reducing CO2 by retrofitting homes and offices – not least since that reduces fuel bills. I want cleaner vehicles.

The finish — all Johnson is asking for is a discussion:

Of course it still seems a bit nuts to talk of the encroachment of a mini ice age. But it doesn’t seem as nuts as it did five years ago. I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind

This is exactly the kind of “emperor has no clothes” article which will cut through. While nothing Johnson has said is entirely new, his attitude is perfect for the times. He is staring straight at the people who say “warming causes cooling” and saying “I don’t think so.”

Read the whole article at the Telegraph


Thanks to Stefan B for the tip.

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