Paul Homewood takes square aim at the BBC’s “Climate Change – The Facts?” with David Attenborough, showing that Attenborough’s “facts” are not just tendentious, they are in many cases very obviously false, from increasing forest fires to massive coral die-offs to drought to dead bats. And it’s very odd because if a man-made climate change crisis is so obviously upon us, it should be possible to demonstrate it based on truth.
It is extraordinary the number of mistakes, or fibs, Homewood outlines. Some of it is merely tendentious, like Attenborough showing one particular “graph of global temperature trends, (though omitting satellite temperature measurements which show no increase since 1998). But he fails to explain why temperatures rose sharply in the early 20thC, long before CO2 emissions began to rise significantly. Nowhere either does he tell us that the 19thC marked the end of the Little Ice Age, probably the coldest period since the end of the Ice Age.”
It stands to reason that global temperatures, which fell for natural reasons for about 400 years after 1300, would then rebound. But whatever part of the rebound is due to natural causes cannot also be due to man-made CO2. And since the models deliberately exclude natural causes they exaggerate the impact of CO2, which is the big supposedly mysterious reason they consistently “run hot.” But Homewood catches Attenborough and the BBC doing a lot more than twisting data.
He quotes the program quoting the always-alarmed Michael Mann that “You’re going to get more frequent and intense heatwaves. You’re going to get worse drought”. And the program cites “last summer’s heatwave in the UK… as an example of climate change, even though it was actually no hotter than the summer of 1976.” In fact, Homewood says, average summer temperatures have risen a bit but winters are milder meaning Peter Stott’s quoted claim that “The frequency of extreme temperatures is increasing” is “ludicrous”. Besides, Homewood says, “daily temperature extremes are not increasing, in the UK at least. The hottest day in [the Central England Temperature series] was 33.2C, set in 1976, and equalled in 1990. No day last summer got anywhere near that.”
The piece goes on to show that heat waves are becoming less common in the United States, and dismisses the dead bat stunt (due to last summer’s 42C temperature in Queensland, Australia) by observing, which of course Attenborough does not, that Queensland’s all-time record of 49.5C was set in 1972. And on it goes, with the false claim of increasing drought refuted, along with the claim of increasing wildfires (and the fact that even if Greece did have more last summer it didn’t have an especially hot summer). But we won’t reprint the whole thing here.
Rather, we’ll note that a lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its boots (often wrongly attributed to Churchill or Twain but apparently having its distant origin in Jonathan Swift’s “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it”). But while Swift added pessimistically that “when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect”, we do not agree.
If the alarmists could make an argument based on facts (and leave out the abuse about skeptics being corrupted by money, especially since the resources are on the side of the BBCs and Attenboroughs of his world not the Climate Discussion Nexuses and Watts Up With That’s) they would win. The fact that instead they barrage us with lurid claims that do not withstand scrutiny and scary predictions that don’t come true, and then glue themselves to things, explains the phenomenon they find so frustrating that people increasingly just yawn or turn away as they threaten us with apocalyptic disaster yet again.
Their problem is another old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you.”