The following is an article from Christopher Booker's notebook which speaks for itself and is worth reading.
By Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph Last Updated: 4:00am BST 20/08/2007
Inconveniently, the 1930s were the hottest decade
Recent days have brought to light four more highly "inconvenient truths" for our global warming alarmists. The first caused acute embarrassment to Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), exposing a serious flaw in its record of US surface temperatures since 1880. The error was so glaring that, on August 7, GISS had to post revised figures which show, instead of temperatures reaching their highest level in the past decade, that the hottest year of the 20th century was not 1998 but 1934. Of the 10 warmest years since 1880, it turns out that four were in the 1930s and only three in the past decade.
The significance of this is that James Hansen, the head of GISS, has been Al Gore's closest scientific ally for nearly 20 years in promoting the global warming scare. The revised figures relate only to temperatures in North America but the fact that the pre-eminent scientific champion of the orthodoxy has been promoting erroneous data has considerable implications.
The expert responsible for spotting GISS's error was Stephen McIntyre, a Canadian computer analyst who four years ago scored the greatest coup in the history of this debate by demolishing the notorious "hockey stick" - the graph which purported to show temperatures flat-lining for centuries until they suddenly began an exponential rise in the late 20th century. The "hockey stick" was adopted as the supreme icon of the global warming lobby, led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which reproduced it no fewer than five times in its 2001 report. Since McIntyre exposed the mass of basic computer errors on which it was based, the IPCC in its most recent report quietly dropped it.
The new GISS graph, conceding that the last decade may not have seen the hottest years of the past century, follows the latest satellite figures from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing that in recent years global temperatures have not continued to rise (as orthodox CO2 warming theory would suggest) but have flattened out at a level significantly lower than in 1998.
The other "inconvenient truths" all relate to the astronomic cost of measures now being proposed to tackle our supposed "warming".
One was a study reported in Science which finds that the increasing production of biofuels to combat climate change will release between two and nine times more CO2 into the atmosphere in the next 30 years than generating the same energy from fossil fuels. To meet the EU's target of substituting 10 per cent of transport fuel with biofuel by 2020 would take up 40 per cent of all the EU's farmland, unless much of it was imported, at devastating cost to the world's rainforests and wildlife.
The second was a leaked memorandum in which officials of the DTI ( now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) briefed ministers on how to explain to the EU's energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, that the UK will not be able to comply with a European Council decision last March that the EU must derive 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The officials have calculated that this could cost UK electricity users alone an additional £22 billion a year, nearly £1,000 a year for every household. This is 2 per cent of GDP, and double Sir Nicholas Stern's estimate for the entire cost of halting global warming. The officials predicted that the target is not remotely achievable anyway.
A final awkward finding comes from the world's leading expert on the financial costs of tackling global warming. Prof William Nordhaus, of Yale, has just published calculations showing that cuts in greenhouse gas emissions on the scale proposed by Gore might possibly save $12 trillion (£12,000bn) - but that their cost would be nearly three times as much, $34 trillion, more than half the world's GDP. Even for those who still believe the likes of Gore and Hansen, it hardly sounds like the bargain of the century.