I have always been a sceptic when it comes to man-made global warming, mainly in the belief that whilst climate change maybe taking place, there was very little correlation with man's activities over the centuries, and that in any event, such activities are puny compared with nature.
Today, headlines in both the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Telegraph tell us that the Arctic ice cap has expanded by some 60% during the summer this year, resulting in the Northwest Passage having been blocked for the whole year leading to the cancellation numerous voyages through the passage. Some twenty yachts which were planning to sail through the passage are now marooned in the ice.
This confirms what a friend told me about the Antarctic, a couple of years ago, when he went there on a cruise. At that time the media were reporting that massive icebergs had broken away from the main ice and were giving dire warnings about the shrinking ice cover. In fact, due to pack ice, the ship, a Russian ice-breaker, failed to get as far south as it had in previous years, resulting in the use of the ship's helicopter to visit the sights. The ship apparently had to beat a hasty retreat northwards to avoid getting trapped as the ice was rapidly increasing, and in spite of it being the Antarctic summer, there was a real risk of being trapped.
This new news is, of course, most embarrassing for those scientists who predicted that the Arctic would be ice-free by the summer of 2013, and a boost for those who believe warming stopped during the first few years of this century. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was due to meet in October prior to the publication of its fifth assessment report, is now having to hold a "pre-summit" to discuss the situation, as the financing countries are suggesting some 1500 amendments to the draft report because it does not explain what is described as a "pause" in global warming.
Reading these, and other, reports, it is clear that it is no longer possible to claim that an overwhelming consensus of scientists working in this field believe that global warming is taking place; indeed quite a number are now admitting that the warming experienced during the 1980's has now stopped, whilst some of them are going further and are claiming that we are likely to be entering a prolonged period of cooling.
Clearly, this country's energy policy is in need of urgent updating. If there has been no rise in temperatures for the last ten years, a period during which world CO2 output has increased due to activities in India and China, there is now even less reason to believe that man is responsible for global warming. So instead of spending billions on panic renewable energy schemes, and in particular windmills, we need to get fracking fast in order to ensure that our population does not freeze when the world demand for gas and oil rises in the next few years and their prices "hit the roof".
I am waiting to see what the wider media, particularly the BBC, has to say on this matter. So far their has been total silence.
GDP up 2.1% on the year
31 minutes ago