David Cameron’s Kept His Head Down, So Let Him Chillax

David Cameron
Getty

David Cameron was in the news again this week after being paid £1 million a minute to give a speech explaining why Brexit was a terrible mistake at the annual Gay Stranglers’ Guild gala dinner at a brutal dictatorship in central Asia, before spending a week cruising the Baltic on the yacht of Putin’s second-favourite oligarch with the prettiest members of the Russian men’s lacrosse team.

No, wait. My bad. Had he done that, as we know from similar cases, he would have got off scot-free. Instead, the ex-PM did something far, far worse in the eyes of our ever watchful media: he was photographed enjoying himself at a Cotswolds pop festival with a glass of booze in one hand and a fag in the other.

The press launched themselves on Dave with all the ravenous glee of those evil- parasitic sea fleas that gnawed the leg of the Australian boy who went paddling in the sea off Melbourne and turned it into a jellied pulp (just Google it — but only once you’ve had your breakfast). That’s because, get this, our Dave hadn’t just been caught out-rageously letting his hair down at Wilderness Festival; he’d been photographed talking to a woman wearing a sequined jacket with a neon pink heart embroidered with the word ‘Corbyn’. Oh the hilarity!

According to the Independent (an online freesheet) it was Just. About. The. Most. Embarrassing. Thing. Ever. It quoted the jacket’s owner, Lucy Edwards, as saying: ‘He was so mad when he saw me walk off with what was on my back.’ Which I’m sure was exactly what Cameron thought — he wasn’t just being polite to a pushy stranger at a festival or anything.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

Mr. Delingpole’s Sporting Tour: “I Must Establish a Career Where I Can Afford to Hunt Three Times a Week”

I’m writing this on a Monday morning and I remember the sensation all too well: it’s exactly the same sense of despondency and nostalgic yearning I used to feel after a weekend’s clubbing in the late 80s. Only this time, it’s not an Acid House all-nighter I’m coming down from, but a day out with the “Chid and Lec”, better known as the Chiddingfold, Leconfield & Cowdray Hunt.

Gosh, what a fun meet. All I can think about is the instant friends I made that day.

When I arrived — as a guest of joint-master Robin Muir — I didn’t know any of them from Adam. But five hours of hard riding and gentle quaffing later, they felt like my dearest mates.

From the 90 or so who were at the meet to enjoy the lavishly generous whisky mac stirrup cups in front of FitzHall, home of Rupert and Louie Uloth, to the 20 knackered stalwarts who stuck it out to the end.

“No sex,” complained our field master, Paul just before our huntsman Adrian “Sage” Thompson blew for home. I thought this was hunt-speak for “not much action.” But it turned out I’d misheard him.

He’d said “No scent. They just can’t pick up the trails.” Which was a bit sad, really, because according to various informed sources who’d heard it from the great Nigel Peel MFH (who began his career with this hunt) we were hunting over some of the best scenting country anywhere in England.

Quite a bit of it was marsh. At times, it almost felt like being cavalry at Passchendaele. Everyone ended up so mud-spattered we looked like a herd of leopards. But despite the conditions and the lack of sport, we did seem to do an awful lot of insane galloping. This often involved some very slippery right angle turns on the edge of stubble fields that you’d never do if you weren’t hunting.

That’s why we all so love hunting, isn’t it? It’s a license to do naughty things.

Read the rest at Horse and Hound.

Mr. Delingpole’s Sporting Tour: My First Day out Hunting

“Don’t worry, we’ll take things very carefully and bring him back in one piece,” Jane Spencer promised my wife, somewhat rashly, I thought.

Jane was talking on the eve of my first proper day’s hunting — in “Monday country”, with the Pytchley — and like most non-hunting spouses, the Fawn (as she’s known) wasn’t looking forward to the prospect one bit.

It’s not that the Fawn is anti-hunting. Her mother — quite rightly — thought that it was the greatest sport on earth and before she died she ceremonially handed down to me her cherished hunting whip.

But the Fawn knows what hunting is like and, worse, knows what I’m like: reckless, impetuous, irresponsible, immature, hopeless. As I demonstrated only the other week when I broke our daughter’s ankle.

I’ll spare you the ugly details. Suffice to say that it was a riding injury and as the parent supposedly in charge at the time, I got all the blame. It could hardly have happened at a more inconvenient moment — the day before school started and, worse, the beginning of the autumn hunting season.

How in God’s name was I to persuade the Fawn that riding isn’t dangerous when we had such strong evidence to the contrary, stomping round the house with her boot and crutches and being as bolshie as only a hobbled female teenager can?

Anyway, to my first proper hunt. I say “proper” because although I’ve been out one or two times over the years — once, with the Devon & Somerset staghounds, just before the ban, for an article in The Sunday Times; once with the Cotswold for a TV documentary in praise of toffs — I’ve only ever done the really important bit, the jumping bit, by accident.

Jumping petrifies for me, because though I’ve been riding on and off since I was a cold, reluctant eight-year0-old (“Ianto. T-rot!”), horses aren’t in my blood and I never did Pony Club or anything proper like that.

Read the rest at Horse and Hound.

Twitter wars: another proxy battleground for the future of Western civilisation | James Delingpole

August 4, 2013

Twitter, yesterday

So I’d just got back from doing a shop at Aldi (*) last night when I noticed that in my absence I’d been mentioned in 120 new tweets. “Ulp!” I thought. “What have I gone and done now?” In Twitterland, you see, being mentioned in lots of tweets is usually a sign you’ve been naughty.

(* Aldi’s aged sirloin Aberdeen Angus steak is unsurpassed)

Anyway, it turned out that I had enraged the usual Twitter suspects. Some had chosen to take umbrage over a link I’d put up to another superb piece by Russell Taylor in which he had an entirely justified dig at the ghastly Co Op and its war on lads’ mags; others were rising to the defence of publicity-seeking Labour MP Stella Creasy who can’t seem quite to make up her mind whether she is a delicate wallflower in need of protective regulation or a feisty, fearless interweb provocatrice. The general verdict was that I was immature, mentally ill, devoid of love, psychologically damaged, inadequate and DEFINITELY NOT FUNNY, let alone worthy of a voice in the national debate.

So, as you do, I had a glance at the self-descriptions of my self-appointed Twitter jury and here are some examples of what I found:

“Labour party activist”; “Middle-aged old style socialist”; “leftie”; “Guardian-reading liberal”; “gig-going lefty”; “Socialist Labour party”; “Local government worker and political activist”; “Labour cllr (Withington)”; “@owenjones84.”

Can any of you notice what they have in common? Yes. That’s right. These are the kind of people who, if I wrote a 10,000 word panegyric on the beauty and wisdom of their mothers, would focus solely on my abject failure in paragraph 57 to include an exclamation mark after “and her crochet skills are fantastic too…” The kind of chippy malcontents, indeed, who are quite heftily over-represented in the comments section below this blog, busily pointing out stuff like how the spell of nice weather we’ve had recently makes a total mockery of my evil, Big-Oil funded climate change scepticism, or noting that because I suffer depression I am mentally unstable, or just spitting bile over the fact that they’ve got worthless degrees in climate “science” from the “University” of East Anglia and all that lovely work they had as advisers in the renewables sector seems to have dried up rather of late. Not normal people in other words. Not neutral voices who’ve thoughtfully weighed up the pros and cons before chipping in their tuppenny hapenny’s worth. But shrill, angry, politically motivated, logic-proof, blinkered, standard issue greeny-lefty trolls.

Why am I telling you this? Because many of you, I know, consider that the goings-on at Twitter this week are beneath your lofty attention. Of course I understand why you think this: Twitter is indeed a bare-knuckle bear pit of a witch hunt frenzy nightmare of bile, invective and round, unvarnished evil. (Though it does have its plus sides too, or I wouldn’t waste so much time there). But what some of you appear to be unaware of is its significance in the broader culture wars.

In these culture wars this week’s Twitter debate is Leveson is Toby Young’s free school is Drummer Lee Rigby and “Islamophobia” is climate change is Christopher Snowdon’s “fake charities” is Piers Morgan and gun control is Trayvon Martin. Which is to say that every one of these issues serves as a proxy battleground for a much broader, and much more important conflict which is raging around the world right now and on whose outcome the future of our fragile civilisation depends.

What this war has very, very little to do with is whether nasty Mr Murdoch’s wicked henchmen caused Milly Dowler’s phone messages to be erased or about whether that idiot’s undeniably stupid, offensive and wrongheaded rape threat to Stella Creasy was any more sincere than Paul Chambers’s tweet “threat” to blow up Robin Hood airport. You’d never guess this from the way these stories have been gleefully spun by the leftist media – the BBC and the Guardian especially – but it just doesn’t, it really doesn’t.

What all these disparate issues are really about is the things they’re always really about: the bitter, ongoing struggle between those on the one hand who cleave ardently to the statist religion of equality, diversity and sustainability in which society’s “best interests” are decided by an “enlightened” elite of bureaucrats, technocrats, petty officials, social workers, Local Agenda 21 groupuscules, administrators, UN and EU apparatchiks, Guardian editorial-writers, grandstanding politicians and members of the BBC Trust. And on the other, those of us who have sufficient faith in human nature to take the view that – barring the odd safety net here and the occasional piece of protective legislation there – the best route to creating a more fruitful, enjoyable, richer and, yes, fairer world is for us all, pretty much, to be left to live our lives the way we want to live them, unencumbered by confiscatory taxes, Nannyish government edicts and pettifogging regulation which seeks to micromanage every last detail of our daily existence from how many different coloured bags we put our rubbish in to the degree to which we’re permitted to be rude towards our enemies on Twitter.

I know which side I’m on. This columnist here seems to be equally sure which side she’s on. You can all decide for yourselves where you belong on this ideological battleground. But don’t kid yourself that this is a war where you can just sit on the sidelines or where there’s a “reasonable middle ground”. Ultimately, it’s about liberty v tyranny; about freedom of speech v creeping state control; free market capitalism v anti-growth collectivism; personal responsibility v suckling on the teat of the state; optimism v pessimism.

You choose.

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What really happened on BBC Any Questions | James Delingpole

June 10, 2013

One of last night’s protestors.

I did very much enjoy recording Any Questions in the belly of the beast – aka Eco Loon Central, aka the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth – this week. But I’m not sure it necessarily had the makings of brilliant radio.

The big problem with radio – as opposed to TV – is that if things start kicking off in the recording venue (as they very much did with last night’s unusually lively audience of yoghurt-weaving yurt-dwellers) there are no cameras to relay what’s going on to the outside world. If you were listening last night – or if you listened to today’s repeat – all you’ll have heard is some background protestations from the audience and the sound of Jonathan Dimbleby trying to keep order.

I think the technical term for what the BBC did with this programme was “trolling.” Step one: arrange to record your panel show in ground zero of green lunacy. Step two: invite one of Britain’s most infamous climate sceptics and one of Britain’s most outspokenly anti-wind-farm, pro-fracking MPs (Owen Paterson – who was partly responsible for effecting the government’s recent policy shift making it easier for groups to oppose wind farms). Step three: light touch-paper and run.

That noise you’ll have heard in the background was partly all the mung-bean-munchers in the audience jeering and hissing me when I expressed scepticism about climate change; but mainly – the real rumpus at the end – was when a small group of anti-badger-cull protestors in the front row tried to hijack the show by loudly shouting insults at Owen Paterson. Annoyingly this was at the very moment when it was my turn to speak about wind farms and I ended up having to shout into my mic so as to avoid being drowned out by the yelling badger huggers.

Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot, as I think Paterson did too. We didn’t feel threatened, the volunteers from the Alternative Technology Centre were all very sweet and welcoming, and of course it’s always tremendous fun getting to tell a bunch of eco loons to their face that they’re a bunch of eco loons – and have it broadcast all over the country.

But I fear that the real – and thoroughly undeserved – losers from all this were the thousands of people all over mid-Wales who are struggling desperately to stop their matchlessly beautiful landscape being destroyed by wind turbines and pylons. Taking the train to Machynlleth on Friday I looked out of the window slack-jawed at the magnificence of mid-Wales’s The-Shire-like hill country which has been rendered more lushly green than perhaps at any time in recent history thanks to the atmospheric abundance of glorious CO2. And the question I kept asking myself is: “How could anyone who really cares about our natural heritage possibly want to destroy this with wind turbines?”

Under current government plans, 800 turbines – some over 400 feet tall – are to be built in mid-Wales, with another 100 miles worth of pylons to be built across Montgomeryshire and into Shropshire in order to connect their expensive, intermittent, unreliable electricity with the national grid. This is going to cost a minimum of £2 billion. Yet, for about one fifth of that cost you can build a gas fired power station capable of producing nearly three times as much power – without blighting the countryside for miles around and without draining the pockets of the poor, put-upon energy user with unnecessary green tariffs.

These people deserve better than to have the cause dearest to their hearts trivialised in the way it was on BBC Any Questions. Given a bit more space and given a more balanced audience, I could have made a much more persuasive case for them. Instead, I was forced to bellow my point, slogan-like, into the mic in the last few seconds before the show closed while the badger protestors were barracking Paterson. Exciting for some us, perhaps, but not really fair on the people who really matter: the thousands of victims of the unconscionable wind energy scam still being forced on them by our Coalition government, the Welsh Assembly and Alex Salmond.

UPDATE: I’ve written some further thoughts on this which I think a few of you might enjoy. There’s a particularly delicious section on one of our house trolls.

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‘Trougher’ Yeo: we mustn’t laugh… | James Delingpole

June 10, 2013

Tim “Trougher” Yeo MP has been caught with his trousers down.

Some of you, I know, are expecting me to gloat. And I must agree that on the face of it it does look pretty shoddy.

Tim Yeo, after all, is the Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. Its job is to “examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and its associated public bodies.” Therefore, clearly, it would be an issue of grave concern if an MP with such an influential regulatory role were found to be abusing his power by offering to grant special behind-the-scenes favours to green vested interest in return for wodges of cash.

Yet this, it would seem on first glance, is what Yeo has been caught doing on camera by a newspaper sting operation.

“The reporters approached Yeo posing as representatives of a solar energy company offering to hire him as a paid advocate to push for new laws to boost its business for a fee of £7,000 a day. He told them he could commit to at least one day a month, despite the fact that he already held four private jobs and was in negotiations to take a further two. Setting out what he could offer, the MP said: “If you want to meet the right people, I can facilitate all those introductions and I can use the knowledge I get from what is quite an active network of connections.” Asked if that extended to government figures, Yeo replied: “Yes.” The House of Commons code of conduct forbids members from acting as paid advocates, including by lobbying ministers. Yeo also said he could help them by guiding them on submitting evidence to his own committee, which he described as “a good way of getting your stuff on the map”.”

It’s true that this is not the first time Yeo’s green business activities have come to the attention of this blog.

There’s Tim Yeo: No Headline Can Do Him Justice.

and Trougher Yeo recants on Global Warming

and Just Why Is Tory MP Tim Yeo So Passionate About Green Issues

and Tim Yeo: like a cross between Ebola and Chris Huhne

and Lilley Sticks It To Trougher Yeo

In some of these blogposts it may gently have been hinted, with this column’s characteristic delicacy and tact, that there may be a degree of conflict of interest between the £200,000 plus per annum Yeo snaffles from his green businesses (on top of his MP’s salary) and his fierce advocacy in parliament and behind the scenes of the kind of environmental regulatory measures without which this kind of business would be unlikely to survive commercially.

But not in this one. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this and I realise that there’s no way any half-decent human being could do what Tim Yeo has been accused of doing and live with the shame. If the allegations against him were really true, he would have retired to his office with his bottle of whisky and his old service pistol months ago in order to do the right thing.

The other day Patrick Mercer MP got himself into deep doo-doo for what I genuinely consider a venial slip of no consequence to anyone. It really doesn’t matter one jot that he was prepared to take a few thousand quid from the Fijian government to lobby on its behalf, because the difference, if any, it would have made to UK policy would have been negligible and it wouldn’t have cost the taxpayer a penny. Far sadder to my mind was what the story tells us about the miserable lot of a backbench MP: if we’re really to get the calibre of parliamentary representatives we deserve then we’re going to have to pay them properly. Otherwise, they’re going to go on having to scrabble around having to earn extra on the side, instead of sticking to what they should be doing which is acting in the interests of the country and protecting us from crap regulation.

What Tim Yeo has been accused of doing is of a different order of putrescent disgustingness entirely. It’s not that he was apparently prepared to trouser £7,000 for using his influence per se that’s the key issue, it seems to me. Rather, it’s that Yeo appears on the surface to be one of those MPs most consistently responsible for using his power and influence to prop up one of the most expensive, corrupt and dishonest scams in history.

The great Climate Change hoax has cost the UK not just the odd thousand here and there. It has cost it billions. Thousands of old people have been condemned to miserable deaths in fuel poverty; good businesses have been crippled by layers of environmental regulation; bad businesses have gorged themselves on free money they simply don’t deserve by sucking on the teat of the subsidised renewables sector; property rights have been confiscated, views ruined, sleep disturbed, people’s health damage, birds and bats chopped to pieces by wind turbines; our economic recovery has been held back by idiot green taxes and the idiot ongoing attempt by DECC and its allies to stop us exploiting our abundant shale gas reserves.

And where has alleged Tory MP Tim Yeo MP been in all this? Has been carefully scrutinising the scientific evidence for this alleged climate change threat? Has been overseeing DECC’s policies to be absolutely damn sure they’re not doing more harm than good?

Er, not exactly, no. Instead, he’s been doing everything in his power to keep the green gravy train going – long after the evidence to justify its existence has lost all credibility – in order, it would seem on the first casual glance, to benefit from it financially.

If this is true, as I say, it really ought to be whisky and service pistol time.

That’s why I am quite sure there must be another explanation. I think what is far more likely is this:

Yes, the secret camera footage is real all right. But the bloated, pasty-faced trougher in the expensive shirt and jacket prostituting his services at a Chinese restaurant just can’t be Tim Yeo. I’d say it’s a spookily convincing doppelganger, genetically engineered by the Koch Brothers – or possibly Exxon – in order to make the global warming industry look corrupt and evil and dishonest and vile.

Poor Tim Yeo. My thoughts go out to him at this difficult time – as I hope yours do too.

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‘Trougher’ Yeo recants on global warming | James Delingpole

May 30, 2013

 

Yeo: “Even though I’m wrong I’m totally right”.

So even Tim “Trougher” Yeo admits he was wrong about climate change. (Well done young Matthew Holehouse for screwing this admission out of him.)

Here’s what he said in 2009:

“The dying gasps of the deniers will be put to bed. In five years time, no one will argue about a man-made contribution to climate change.”

And here, less than five years on, is what he is saying now:

“Although I think the evidence that the climate is changing is now overwhelming, the causes are not absolutely clear. There could be natural causes, natural phases that are taking place.”

We’re going to see a lot of this in the coming weeks and months: “the even though I’ve been proved completely wrong, I was right all along really” non-apologetic retraction from all those former full-time climate alarmists – eg the Met Office; Oxford’s Professor Myles Allen; even certain of my Telegraph blogging colleagues – who are now trying to escape from the collapsing edifice of the great AGW scam while trying to salvage as much professional dignity as they can muster.

Notice that weasel phrase “I think the evidence that the climate is changing is now overwhelming…” It’s the sort of technique you might learn in an advanced NLP class as a way of pulling wool over the eyes of the unwary. What the phrase implies is that there has been a long-running debate as to whether “climate is changing”, that Yeo has always been on the right side of it and that now he has been vindicated. Truly this a slimy trick worthy of the man they sometimes call “Trougher” and sometimes “Ebola”. As we all know here, there has never been a debate about whether the “climate is changing”. Not even Mr Thick the Thickest person on the planet; not even Mr Fossil Fuel, the most lavishly Big-Oil-funded denialist denialista; not a single person anywhere on earth ever in our lifetime has ever suggested that climate doesn’t change. Indeed, that has been the whole point that those of us on the right (ie my) side of the argument have been making all along. Climate change is a normal, natural and perpetual process which occurs, and has always occurred, with sublime indifference to man’s puny input.

Still, it’s good to see Yeo taking at least the first tentative step on the path to redemption. Admitting you were totally wrong about something, that you’ve been made to look an utterly despicable, greedy fool, that even the Conservatives in your constituency hate you, that no one trusts you as far as they can spit, that you’ve done immeasurable damage to your country’s landscape and economy with the abysmally counterproductive environmental policies you not only helped promote but from which you may have benefited financially: these are things no man would ever wish to admit to himself.

But it’s OK Tim. I can help. In the last two years, for example, you have earned getting on for £250,000 on top of your MP’s salary, from your various green interests. Imagine how much happier you’d be in your skin if you could divest yourself of that money which you have now realised is tainted money. Imagine if you’d been given a blood diamond by Charles Taylor; imagine if you’d produced a DVD called “Now Then, Now Then: the Very Best of Jimmy Savile”: you couldn’t, in all conscience, keep the profits from that, could you?

Well, Trougher, me old mucker, I’m afraid the same rules apply with your green business interests. Here’s the thing: that industry you’ve profited from simply WOULD NOT EXIST had it not been for that toxic combination of junk science and hysterical fearmongering to which you have made such a vocal contribution.

I know quarter of a million quid is small beer next to the profits being raked in by your mates in the renewables industry. But for some people out there it would make a real difference, especially the victims of the wind industry which the Committee for Climate Change (Prop: Tim Yeo) has done so much to encourage.

£50 buys someone a decent night’s sleep in a B & B away from the insomnia-inducing low frequency noise of a wind farm

£500 buys a sporting rifle which – not that I’m recommending such illegal behaviour, heaven forfend! – might be used to blast away at the nacelle of the nearest wind turbine

£30,000 pays for a QC to represent a local community at the wind farm planning appeal to which, of course, by rights they should never have had to be subjected. After all, it’s not as though the planning committee of their district council didn’t already turn down this application to plonk an industrial turbine in the middle of their cherished beauty spot on two occasions, once by 11 to 1 and second time by 11 to 0. But hey, that’s the situation we’ve got at the moment with Dave’s Greenest Government Ever: still committed to building more of the turbines which no one save scrounging landowners and principle-free renewable energy companies actually wants….

£50,000 pays for the subsequent judicial review.

£250,000 buys a bespoke resignation speech, written by top author James Delingpole, for when you finally realise that being a decent Tory MP doesn’t fit comfortably within your skillset and that there are careers more closely aligned to your moral outlook. I’m thinking, maybe rare-earth mineral mining in China. Growth industry. Really green!

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‘Global warming’ was always far too important to be left to the scientists | James Delingpole

April 24, 2013

Now that global warming is completely unravelling, I want to elaborate on a point I made a few blogposts back about the role of humanities graduates in this great debate.

On the face of it, their record isn’t good. Some of the most influential promulgators of climate nonsense have been arts graduates – among them Bryony Worthington (the FoE activist turned peer responsible for the Climate Change Act), the BBC’s Roger Harrabin and a fair few of the Guardian’s 2,800-strong Environment Department. I think future historians – looking back on this period of mass hysteria in which so many people were persuaded by and so much expensive, damaging policy was based on the largest confection of lies in junk science history – could put together a reasonably persuasive thesis that it was mainly the fault of scientist-manque arts graduates too easily impressed by men in white lab coats.

Against that, though, you’d have to set people like me and the Booker. Neither of us – as the Warmists like endlessly to remind us and taunt us – has a science degree; yet we’ve dedicated most of the latter part of our careers towards exposing the scam. And we’ve done so with confidence not because we’re scientists but, rather, precisely because we’re not scientists. I don’t want to upset the many scientists here present who make such fascinating and enlightening contributions to this blog, for which I am always (well unless they’re trolls from the UEA….) extremely grateful. But as I tried to explain the other day in my brief spat with Wattsy, this debate isn’t mainly about “the science” and it never was mainly about “the science.”

This is something most of my journalistic contemporaries – such the one whose irksome private correspondence I quoted in the first version of this blog before someone persuaded me this was dishonourable and that I should take it down – have failed to understand. Even now, I think, in the journalistic mainstream, the view remains that “climate change” is a scientific debate about man’s influence on global warming. And it so isn’t. What it really is is just another proxy conflict in the culture wars: between those who believe in limited government, low taxation, minimal regulation, personal responsibility, free markets and liberty on the one hand; and on the other those who believe in an ever-enlarging state (perhaps even to the point of One World Government), high tax, more regulation, and rule by an elite of technocrats and “experts” on the other. I argue this, as those of you who have read it will know, in Watermelons.

In his latest column the excellent Lawrence Solomon makes a similar point about scientists versus historians:

Many blame the public’s confusion over global warming on a widespread ignorance of science. A scientific grounding wouldn’t hurt but it also wouldn’t help much – few laymen, no matter how well informed, could be expected to follow the arcane climate change calculations that specialist scientists wield.

The much better explanation for the public’s confusion lies in a widespread ignorance of history, not least by scientists. Any child can understand that the Romans conquered the world when temperatures were warmer than today, that the Dutch invented the ice skates during the Little Ice Age five hundred years ago, and that melting glaciers off Newfoundland a century ago produced the iceberg that sunk the Titanic.

He’s dead right. We all have our part to play in the debate, humanities and science graduates alike. Our gravest mistake in this particular one, I think, has been to put far too much faith in scientists as arbiters of ultimate truth. We have elevated them to the status of priest, almost – as you can hear, for example, in the broadcaster’s reverential tone on the BBC every time he or she invokes the word “scientists”.

One of m’learned commenters (remind me and I’ll H/T you) traces the problem back to CP Snow’s 1959 Two Cultures lecture. Ever since arts graduates – note, eg, its effects on Melvyn Bragg’s career – have thought meanly of themselves for not having studied a proper science degree.

For years, I must say, I felt much the same about my own mere English Literature degree.

But not any more. Climategate and its aftermath changed all that. It’s not a science degree you need to negotiate the complexities of this tottering edifice of propaganda, tortured data, lies, misinformation, political wrangling, rampant greed, corporatist manoeuvring and establishment cover-ups: it’s the mental clarity you develop translating the Battle of Maldon, the powers of endurance you develop from reading the Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, and the critical nous you acquire while trying to understand what the hell Spenser was on about when he wrote the Faerie Queene.

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10 thoughts on “’Global warming’ was always far too important to be left to the scientists”

  1. m brown says:7th June 2013 at 9:38 pmJudging from the number of comments here no one reads this stuff. You are too extreme even for the loonies.
  2. Angus Rose says:15th June 2013 at 9:01 pmWhat promulgators of climate nonsense? Every academy of science supports the conclusions of the IPCC. The causes of climate change are known. The foundations of the supporting science were established back in the 1800s! Read up on Jean Fourier Baptiste (1824), John Tyndall (1859) and Svente Arrhenius (1896)… the list goes on. The scientific support is very broad and the evidence too.

    What is uncertain is the degree and timing of long term temperature projections, currently 1.1 to 6.4 deg C by century end, with a high degree of probability that it will be 3 deg C of warming. The modelling of any highly complex system is going to include simplifications, assumptions and some uncertainty. Ethically, scientific uncertainty is not grounds on which one can disregard the risk of harm to people, nations and ecosystems. It’s ethically reprehensible to only consider one’s own benefit of GHG emissions, when those same emissions place others at risk.

    Governments, non-national governments, organisations, corporations and individuals all have responsibility to reduce the risk of harm of others. Harms are already been experienced by many, with the WHO currently attributing 150,00 annual deaths due to diarrhea, malaria, drought, famine from climate change.

    Mr Delingpole, your disinformation campaign puts many many people at risk. Your arguments of ethics, science and evidence is flawed. If you’re insistent on acting purely in self interest then I would suggest you go back to the drawing board, as the legacy you’re trying to build won’t be worth tuppence when the majority in the UK start believing in the causes of extreme weather rather than your propaganda.

    1. Circuit Ben says:19th June 2013 at 2:20 pmHe’s a Tory, self interest is religion.
  3. M Yass says:19th June 2013 at 5:19 amI see ol’ Jimbo here still peddling his climate denial claptrap. So where’s his big expose? 4 years on and he’s produced nothing. Still, the guy’s got to earn a living.
  4. Circuit Ben says:19th June 2013 at 2:19 pmFor someone who gets his “Information” from oil companies, you’ve got an awfully smug way of denying scientific evidence. How much are they paying you? I thought journalism was supposed to expose corruption.
  5. Cicero says:1st July 2013 at 10:01 pmAmazing Angus that you actually believe the nonsense you have written.
  6. Gordon R says:6th July 2013 at 3:31 amDelingpole, a useful idiot for the fossil fuel lobby.
  7. millymolly says:19th August 2013 at 11:56 pmWhatever, I just can’t believe that ‘modelling’ although superb for many scientific applications, is the real, hard science that shows and predicts (with a high rate of certainty, let alone proof) what is happening climate-wise, or likely to happen.

    There are other factors which environmental or atmospheric scientists just ignore, perhaps because they can’t be modelled or not easily incorporated into the modelling?

    There’s that huge molten nuclear factory throwing x-rays or solar flares or magnetic storms towards us. Not to mention our not yet fully understood solar wind, and the heliosphere.

    There’s our molten inner core which I used to think couldn’t possibly matter until I read that heat from it does affect or at least comes to the surface more often in areas of high geo-thermal activity (I know ….should have thought it through).

    Then there is our axial progression which takes about 26,000 years – not to forget the hole in the ozone layer (or has it gone away) as well as what is presently known re gases etc being emitted from live volcanoes.

    After all the above has been incorporated into the modelling, then I think atmospheric scientists’ work should start.

    1. terry99 says:6th October 2013 at 5:32 pmEverything that could possibly warm or cool the atmosphere has been included in the models including the sun ,volcanoes , heat from the earths core, aerosols , soot, changes in earths orbit, water vapour, movements of the oceans and atmosphere,El Nino, agriculture, cattle,forestry, natural and manmade co2 etc . The suns output has been studied in great detail. The computer models output for past temperatures (“backward prediction”) matches accurately the actual measured temp record. This improves confidence in its ability to predict future temps.. The models do not PROVE agw but is one line of evidence among many that human produced co2 is causing warming .
  8. Terry 99 says:6th October 2013 at 4:35 pmWhen Mr Delingpole was asked by Paul Nurse if he would trust his own ” medical research” rather the scientific consenus of the medical team operating on him in a heart operation scenario he stumbled and fumbled ,could not answer and changed the subject. His understanding of the scientific method of enquiry is childish. Science and technology advances by the accumulation of knowledge from repeated experiments and theoretical debate leading to scientific CONSENSUS . The mobile phone was not invented by a brilliant journalist waking up one morning with a clever idea but on the accumulated knowledge of centuries of experiment (Newton,Faraday,Maxwell etc). Has mr Delingpole ever heard of these people ? What an Igoramus!!

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Vote Delingpole! Vote often! | James Delingpole

March 1, 2013

Masterpiece by Fenbeagle

Blimey, I’m up for a prize – my first ever Bloggie award nomination. I’d be so pleased if I won because, unlike most journalistic awards, the Bloggies aren’t decided by a cabal of pinkos and unimaginative, career-safe lametards from the decaying, dead-tree establishment but by the only people who really matter – you the readers.

See that subtle, sucking-up thing I did there? But I also happen to mean it. Without your vote I don’t win a prize. Without your readership and support I’d just be another of those desperate saddoes like the trolls who haunt this blog in order to try to leech off some traffic for their own pitifully dull, billy-no-mates online musings.

So that’s something else to consider: when you vote for me, you’re not merely voting for the cause of all that is righteous and true – but you’re also doing the equivalent of taking away a troll’s online donkey porn account: and you know how miserable and bereft that would make them feel, right?

The only sad aspect of this is that I’m up against my good friends at the Global Warming Policy Foundation, whose superb reports and daily bulletins are the source of half my best material. We serve very different functions, I think, in the great climate wars: they are mature, solid, measured, weighty, authoritative. And I’m, well….. Anyway, it’s a great honour to be in the same category as them and I wish them the best of luck.

Whatever happens, though, we’re all winners in a way because, as Anthony Watts notes at Watts Up With That?, there has never been a year in which quite so many climate sceptical blogs have been in the running. Watts Up With That? is up for Best Science or Technology Blog (in a first class line up with Climate Audit, JoNova, Tallbloke’s Talkshop and Skeptical Science) and for Weblog of the Year (Go, Anthony!); Australian Climate Madness is in the running for Best Australian or New Zealand Blog; Small Dead Animals is in the running for Best Canadian Blog;  then you’ve got me and the GWPF in the running for the Best Blog About Politics (in a strong field which includes the superb, incisive American Thinker; the on-the-money Politico; and, er, Occupy).

May the best man win, so long as it’s me!

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No, David Attenborough: Africa hasn’t warmed by 3.5 degrees C in two decades | James Delingpole

February 12, 2013

Attenborough: nice, well-travelled, but doesn’t know squat about climate change

It’s not often one looks to the Guardian’s environment pages for an incisive and thorough critique of green propagandising. But hats off – really – to Leo Hickman for this ruthless deconstruction of an erroneous claim made by David Attenborough on his latest BBC nature documentary that in the last twenty years Africa has warmed by 3.5 degrees C.

3.5 degrees C in two decades? That would indeed be a remarkable temperature rise in anybody’s money. (Remember, since 1850 global mean temperatures have risen by about 0.8 degrees C – and we’re supposed to find that worrying and significant). Which is why, you might have thought, the BBC would have spotted so obvious an error and removed it before the programme went out.

To his credit, this troubled Leo Hickman, too.

I’d never heard this arresting claim before. If that rate of temperature rise continued over, say, a century, then those parts of Africa would see a deathly rise of 17.5C?! Could that claim really be true?

So began his wild goose chase to track down the source of the BBC’s factoid. As you’ll see from his superb piece he never got a terribly satisfactory answer.

I was told that it came from a report published in 2006 by the “Working Group on Climate Change”. The full title of the report was “Africa – Up in Smoke 2: The second report on Africa and global warming from the Working Group on Climate Change and Development” and it was “written and compiled” by Oxfam and the New Economics Foundation, with the support of a wide range of environmental and development NGOs such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, WWF, Cafod and the Institute of Development Studies.

This, in turn, takes him to a report produced by Christian Aid; and thence to the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia – which has a stab at citing a “peer-reviewed” article in Nature, which doesn’t support the claim made in the programme either.

What’s rather touching about this is that Hickman is so surprised. Those of us who follow Donna Laframboise’s research, for example, will have long been wearily familiar with the extent to which the IPCC’s supposedly authoritative reports depend on “grey literature” – ie propaganda – produced by activists at organisations like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Cafod, etc.

Hickman writes:

Personally, I find it bizarre – and frustrating – that an otherwise exemplary series, which took years to film, has been tainted – in my mind, at least – by such a sloppy piece of research. Why rely primarily on a seven-year-old report published an NGO? Why not just directly ask climatologists who would have the latest available data to hand? And how did the BBC’s researchers even come across such an obscure fact? You get the sense they simply Googled “Africa temperature rise” and went for the first thing they found.

I agree. But it’s so much nicer – and frankly more damning – when instead of my saying it comes from someone on the other side.

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2 thoughts on “No, David Attenborough: Africa hasn’t warmed by 3.5 degrees C in two decades”

  1. Warren T says:12th February 2013 at 2:46 pmhere is my idea for harnessing the strongest winds. too bad climate anything is a giant hoax.

    https://sites.google.com/site/verticalwindfarm/

    too bad i could care less about the world than you over-educated geniuses. make sure you suck extra exhaust for me. pedal to the metal. pollute on!

    the antichrist

  2. tckev says:9th March 2013 at 5:17 pmAs much as admire the sainted Attenborough, his programs would improve no end if his advisers/researchers would stick to facts, or at least keep well away from dubious statistics that only go to show the holy-one in a less than angelic light.

    P.S.
    It appears Warren T is having a bad day. (missing the meds?)