OK, tell me who’s the EU High Representative for Foreign Relations and Security? See, you’ve already forgotten. It is, of course, Catherine Ashton. I mention this because, by pure coincidence, I read this morning a September article about her having to fight to avoid losing her job as Trade Commissioner. Which, of course, she now has. There are some in Spain who see her promotion from a position she looked like losing to one she wasn’t even seen as a candidate for as a masterpiece of British diplomacy. But I beg to differ. Of course, I can’t really explain her rise but I do feel that the Spanish, like the Iranians, have a tendency to over-estimate the acumen of the British government. Maybe it stems from a long-standing inability to get Gibraltar back. Despite a Foreign Office desire to get shut of the place.
Having finished an article written in September, I turned to the long section of an October magazine dedicated to Global Warming and the Copenhagen conference in December. From the many thousands of words there, I recorded these basics:-
- CO2 levels are rising and the brate at which this is happening is increasing.
- However, no one really knows what they are. “The worldwide system of measurement is open to error and abuse and only half of global emissions are accounted for.”
- There’s a consensus that the world can tolerate a 2% increase in temperatures.
- They’re said to have risen by 0.75% over the last hundred years
- They’ve reduced in the last ten years but the majority believe this is a blip which doesn’t invalidate the fear they could rise by more than 4% over the next X years, unless drastic measures are taken.
- The majority believe the trends reflect human activity in the past and are susceptible to human measures in the future.
- In absolute terms, China is now the world’s biggest emitter, with India coming up fast.
- The Australians are the highest per capita emitters in the world
- Kyoto has not been much of a success
- Such is the complexity of matters and the huge vested interests at stake, the chances of a what the majority would consider a good deal coming out of Copenhagen are small
- The chances of attaching any real sanctions to failure to implement undertakings coming out of Copenhagen are even lower.
- Population control might well be better than anything else in reducing emissions but no one wants to talk about it.
- All the measures being considered have humongous price tags attached to them. Equals taxes.
Of course, it’s now the end of November and we are mired in what’s come to be called Climategate. This is a scandal centred on the emails exchanged between the small group of scientists at East Anglia University who are responsible for the data and the conclusions on it which drive the global warming agenda and the lobby which surrounds it.
In a word, a huge question mark has been put against the data used to prove that, despite the current blip, the world has been warming up for the past X years. In a travesty of the scientific method, the leading scientists have been found to have been not only refusing to share their methods and data with others but actually going to illegal lengths to hide and destroy it. In effect, they’ve been acting as zealots unwilling to even talk to people they dismiss – doubtless with the very best of intentions – as heretics. Five hundred years ago, I guess they’d simply have had them executed. The situation is so bad that one of the gods of the AGW movement – George Monbiot - has actually apologised for using this data in his analyses and doom-laden prognostications. We now wait to see whether governments and the bodies they set up to advise them do the same. Beyond that, we now look forward, I guess, to objective attempts to replicate the calculations justifying the trillions of dollars, euros and yen currently tagged for measures which will save the world. And leave us all much poorer.
Personally, I don’t much care which way things go, so long as we achieve a true consensus about the data on which massively important political decisions are taken on our behalf by the self-serving bureaucrats who are in charge of us now.
Postscript 1: I believe that Mrs Ashton was replaced as Trade Commissioner by a Spaniard but, to be honest, I actually have forgotten his name.
Postscript 2: Endorsing my comment above about British diplomatic competence/incompetence, it’s reported today that the French are gloating about how they’ve wiped the floor with the British in giving Brussels the power to regulate the City of London. If I were a cynic, I’d say this could possibly in the interests of Paris and Frankfurt.