Skip to content

Melanie Phillips: The Real Western Civilisation Emergency

Melanie Phillips

The “climate emergency”, which we are told threatens the imminent collapse of civilisation and the extinction of humanity, is a dogma being enforced by a culturally totalitarian tyranny. Threatening the living standards of millions, permitting no challenge and wrecking the livelihoods and reputations of any who dares dissent, it has been created by a repudiation of science, humanity and reason: the very markers of modernity and the west. This is the real emergency.

Melanie Phillps

A few commentators have begun to stumble towards the fact that the policy of becoming “carbon neutral” by 2050, as adopted by the UK and the EU, would undo modernity itself.

On Unherd, Peter Franklin observes that, if carried through, the policy will have a far greater effect than Brexit or anything else; it will transform society altogether.

It will continue to transform the power industry, and much else besides: every mode of transport; how we build, warm and cool our homes; food, agriculture and land use; trade, industry, every part of the economy”.

Franklin is correct. Even so, he seems not to grasp the full implications of the disaster he intuits – because he thinks there’s some kind of middle way through which the imminent eco-apocalypse can be prevented without returning Britain to the Middle Ages.

In similar vein he quotes Rachel Wolf, a co-author of the 2019 Conservative manifesto, who is prone to the same kind of magical thinking. She wrote:

Government has committed to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions because it does not want the side effects of the energy sources we have used for centuries to destroy the planet. At the same time, we do not want to return to an era where children (and their mothers) regularly died, and where the majority of people lived in what would now in the UK be considered wholly unacceptable poverty. This is a staggering challenge”.

This is what we might call an understatement. What is truly staggering is, first, that any sentient person thinks this can be done and, second, that it should be done.

For it’s not just that the carbon-neutral target will destroy the livelihoods and wreck the living standards of millions of people. It’s not even that it would take Britain and the west backwards to a pre-industrial way of life.

More fundamentally, it shows that policymakers and politicians – even those who may not fawn idiotically over Greta Thunberg and who rightly view Extinction Rebellion as a bunch of anarchist vandals – have not the slightest scintilla of a clue that the whole idea of a “climate emergency” is bogus from start to finish.

Those who point this out are vilified by the chillingly offensive term “climate-change deniers” and written off as a small bunch of cranks. This merely shows the terrifying effects of groupthink. The claim that “97 per cent” of scientists support the prediction of planetary disaster through anthropogenic global warming – a figure that is itself said to have misrepresented the evidence – denies the key scientific principle that science is never settled.

It also ignores the hundreds of scientists in related fields, many with stellar reputations and some of whom themselves served as expert reviewers for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change until they decided the IPCC was hijacking science for ideological ends, who have shown repeatedly that the evidence for a “climate emergency” doesn’t hold up for a moment.

What these scientists are telling us is that policy-makers are intending to destroy the west’s economic and social ecology even though:

* There’s no evidence that current changes in the climate are different from the fluctuations in climate over the centuries;

* The idea that the non-linear, chaotic and infinitely complex climate can be significantly affected by anything human beings may do is intrinsically absurd;

* All climate forecasts are based on computer modelling which is unable to process this level of complexity and unpredictability, and which is also susceptible to false assumptions fed into the programmes which produce false results;

* Much evidence of current environmental trends is ambiguous and contested;

* Much climate-related research is scientifically illiterate or the product of outright intellectual fraud;

* Scientists in climate-related fields can often only obtain grant funding if their research corresponds to apocalyptic AGW theory. This innate distorting mechanism will be hugely exacerbated by the $10 billion which Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced he is investing to “save Earth” from climate change, “the biggest threat to our planet”.

Nevertheless, scientists with intellectual and moral integrity are continuing to challenge this bogus science with actual facts. I reported several of these in my 2010 book, The World Turned Upside Down. Here are a few more recent examples.

* Professor Ole Humlum, Emeritus Professor of Physical Geography, University of Oslo, has said that the World Meteorological Organisation is misleading the public by suggesting that global warming and its impacts are accelerating. He wrote:

Reading the WMO report, you would think that global warming was getting worse. But in fact it is carefully worded to give a false impression. The data are far more suggestive of an improvement than a deterioration. After the warm year of 2016, temperatures last year continued to fall back to levels of the so-called warming “pause” of 2000-2015. There is no sign of any acceleration in global temperature, hurricanes or sea-level rise. These empirical observations show no sign of acceleration whatsoever.”

…The temperature variations recorded in the lower troposphere are generally reflected at higher altitudes also, and the overall temperature ‘pause’ since about 2002 is recorded at all altitudes, including the tropopause and into the stratosphere above. In the stratosphere, however, the temperature ‘pause’ had already commenced by around 1995; that is, 5–7 years before a similar temperature ‘pause’ began in the lower troposphere near the planet’s surface.The stratospheric temperature ‘pause’ has now lasted without interruption for about 24 years”.

* Paul Homewood wrote here that the Met Office’s Central England Temperature Record shows that temperatures have barely changed in 20 years and that there has been no increase in extremely hot days either:

The summer of 2018 had just one day over 30 degrees, while 1976 had six. The Met Office’s data show that hot days are just not becoming more common.” And there seems to be little to worry about on bad weather front either. There has been a gentle decline in storminess, and in most of the UK, there has been no change in either average rainfall or rainfall extremes”.

* A leading climatologist, Professor John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has said that the computer simulations used to predict global warming are failing on a key measure of the climate today and cannot be trusted.

They all have rapid warming above 30,000 feet in the tropics – it’s effectively a diagnostic signal of greenhouse warming. But in reality it’s just not happening. It’s warming up there, but at only about one third of the rate predicted by the models.”

* Professor Ray Bates of University College Dublin says the IPCC’s Special Report on a Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR1.5), which makes a “costly and highly disruptive recommendation” that carbon emissions be reduced to zero by mid-century, lacks the scientific rigour to support such a proposal.

There is much recent observational and scientific evidence that the IPCC report has failed to include and which supports a more considered mitigation strategy than the extreme and unrealistic measures called for in the SR1.5 report”.

* A review of Met Office weather data found the UK climate was more stable than was being suggested.

The review, which examines official temperature, rainfall, drought and other weather data shows that although temperatures increased slightly in the 1990s and 2000s, there is no evidence that weather has become more extreme. And intriguingly, extreme heat is, if anything, slightly less common than in previous decades.In particular, heatwaves have not become more severe and nor have droughts. Data also suggest that recent warming has had little effect on the severity of flooding in the UK”.

Full post