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Bad science and the Yorkshire Dales landscape

Friday 5 Febuary 2010

A government inspector will report by the end of this month whether the Yorkshire Dales should have an unwanted wind farm that will dominate the area for miles around. But our countryside commentator John Sheard believes that the Government’s plan to build 6,000 inland windfarms in the UK is based on panic caused by bad science

IT IS some 5,000 miles and some 20,000 feet between Brightenber Hill in the Yorkshire Dales and the Siachen Glacier on the borders of Tibet but, this week, there is a connection between the two – a connection which if the politicians get off their bandwagon could save a prime stretch of some of the most wondrous landscape in England.

Whereas the glacier, the biggest in the Himalayas, starts life above the 20,000 feet level, Brightenber Hill is but a pimple on the landscape compared with the famous Three Peaks some twenty miles away, one of the outstanding – and most popular walks – in the Yorkshire Dales national park.

Himalayen Glaciers
Himalayan moraine

But even though the land around Brightenber stands just over 600 feet above sea level, it may soon be in plain view from those peaks and other beauty spots like Malham Cove for a German energy company wants to build five, 300-plus foot wind turbines on this hillock. In other words, they want to turn a mere pimple into a pulsating boil, a pulsating, weeping sore on a panorama which spreads across the Forest of Bowland into Lancashire and to the famous Pendle Hill, once home to the infamous Pendle Witches.

Sadly, this is likely to happen, despite vigorous protests from local residents, local councillors and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. Because the Government believes that the Siachen Glacier is about to melt in the next 25 years or so – a belief based on ridiculously bad science which has now been proved to be absolute tosh.

I have expressed my views on global warming before and have been excoriated as being in denial like someone who claims the Holocaust never happened. I do believe we are going through a time of climate change but not because of human activity but as part of a natural cycle which allowed the Romans to grow grapes in York 2,000 years ago and Londoners to roast oxen on the frozen River Thames in Tudor times.

These are views I have come to from personal observation in the countryside over some 60 years but also from lengthy reading of the works of scientists who are also global warming sceptics – reading that until now has been hard to come by because much of its has been deliberately suppressed by the pro-warming brigade and politicians worldwide who have jumped onto the theme as a way of scaring people into voting for them.

There are said to be 30,000 non-believing scientists in the USA alone but, until the last few months, such views have been ridiculed or worse: careers have been damaged by people taking such an unfashionable line. But just before Christmas, the first cracks began to appear in the global warming edifice. And, for me this week, the dam finally burst.

It has been known for some time that the world has actually been cooling since 1998 although this was only temporary say the “warmers.” But their claims took a hard knock when it was alleged that climate scientists at the University of East Anglia had been suppressing such evidence – and had even tried to have the editors of anti-warming scientific journals sacked.

This came out just before the colossally expensive climate conference in Copenhagen collapsed in shambles and (much to my amusement) took place in howling blizzards as Northern Europe suffered is coldest winter for 35 years.

That conference achieved virtually nothing but it was an opportunity for the anti-warmers to get some of their once despised views across to the world’s media which, in most cases had until then swallowed the warmers’ claims. The BBC is one of the outstanding examples of this, being criticised for the umpteenth time this week for “cheap sensationalism” in exaggerating the effects of warming on sea fish numbers.

do we have to have 6,000 windfarms in the UK?

Now, the anti-warmer case has spilling out in torrents. One of the first to join in was the revered botanist, conservationist and TV presenter Dr David Bellamy. Who wrote: “Hooray! Along with tens of thousands of global-warming sceptics, the world can breathe a sigh of relief and return to the sanity of real science.”

The torrent of news from the anti-warmers has become like one of the floods that the warmers says will doom us all. Real scientists have poured scorn of so called “science” which forecast disastrous rises in sea levels, the end of the Brazilian rain forests, and the suggestion that global warming was causing freak disasters like hurricanes.

Also this week, a new attack was launched on East Anglia University because, it is alleged, the climate scientists broke the law by refusing to release findings under the Freedom of Information Acts – information which confirmed the past decade of global cooling.

But the most wounding charges were laid at the door of what used to the very pulpit of global warming dogma, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations-backed body which has been responsible for some of the most widely reported global warming scare stories.

It emerged that they had based “evidence” for hurricane disasters, the demise of the rain forests and the melting of glaciers not on pure science but on evidence submitted by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), which in turn had picked them up from newspaper scare stories. In other words, it’s all the media’s fault (as usual!).

The worst offender in all this was an Indian glaciologist Syed Hasnain, who claimed that the aforesaid Siachen glacier was due to melt by 2035 despite that fact that this was denied by many other experts in his field and has now been completely dismissed as total rubbish. In one interview, he had even gone so far as the suggest the India’s sacred river, the Ganges, would dry up – a claim that must have caused terror amongst millions of devout Indians, who bathe in the river as part of their religious ceremonials.

And that takes us back to the Yorkshire Dales and Brightenber Hill. Now that we know that the glaciers are not melting away, and that the Brazilian rain forest is being denuded by farming and logging rather than global warming, do we have to have 6,000 windfarms in the UK?

These, of course, will not be close to cities – where most Labour voters live – but in open countryside and preferably in hilly or coastal terrain: in other words, in the most prized landscapes of this small and crowded island. Now that the Himalayan glaciers have been saved from bogus science, can we not save the Yorkshire Dales too?

Feedback received on this subject:

Bad science, John? You reckon?

Have you seen how much grant money has gone to Pachauri's research company, the chief scientist of which is Syed Hasnain, the "researcher" who is responsible for the alarmist statement about the melting glaciers in the first place?

This is what 'The Times' has to say:

"UN climate chief Rajendra Pachauri 'got grants through bogus claims'

Rajendra Pachauri's Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi, was awarded up to £310,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers."

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6999975.ece for full article.

Further, the supposedly peer-reviewed paper that predicted dire catastrophes of every type and variety is also nothing of the sort. Its authors now state that there is no statistical evidence whatsoever for the IPCC's extravagant claims of doom and destruction.

This now totally discredited IPCC entry is the one that "Sir" Nick Stern based his paper on the costs of AGW on, incidentally. It is interesting to note that in the version of Stern's paper on the internet, one of the relevant numbers has changed by a factor of ten, although none of the associated calculations reflect this amendment.

Now there is another error concerning the Amazon rain forest, and further totally inaccurate statistics concerning the percentage of the population of Holland that would be affected by sea level rise. To name but two of the distortions, fabrications and just plain lies that seem to make up the IPCC's report for policymakers.

This is not bad science, this is fraud on a truly global scale.

No wonder India has pulled out of the IPCC altogether, and is setting up its own research unit, and China has announced that it is unconvinced and is keeping an open mind.

Consensus? What consensus?

But will the - proven dishonest by the expenses enquiry - Government give up its highly profitable crackpot scheme to cover the country with utterly useless - check how much power the whole lot provided during the recent cold snap if you believe otherwise - windfarms?

I'm not holding my breath.

David Walker Settle

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