DR Moeller (Need scientific balance on climate change issue, Letters last week) is unaware of the history behind ‘climate science’.
A key to this was in the 1980s, in this country, when Mrs Thatcher was fighting the coal miners. John Houghton (then head of the Met Office) and Sir Crispin Tickell told her about Bolin’s speculation that CO2 caused warming. Grasping at this straw she used the idea that burning coal was ‘bad’. She then gave a lecture to the chiefs of the Royal Society (1988) in which she offered taxpayers’ money if they would prove it.
They took the money and so prostituted their science.
No scientist can get a public grant to research ‘climate change’ from a sceptical perspective – the very essence of good science.
There is an understandable but mercenary reason for this: if it is shown to be false, then there is no crisis and taxpayers’ money for research will rightly stop flowing and scientists will need to look for new employment.
The scientific journals don’t want to derail the gravy train.
In the USA grants for ‘climate research’, in just 10 years, went up from $120million to $2billion. The key moment for this explosion of funding came, also in 1988, with James Hansen’s infamous presentation to the Senate of imminent catastrophe from warming.
Significantly this was the same period that fear of the ‘Red menace’ was vanishing, so the ‘climate menace’ stepped in to replace it.
To keep up the pretence of a crisis, some climate scientists were starting to cook the books. The huge scandal of Climategate shows precisely this going on. Worse, scientists at UEA refused to release their data for scrutiny. Prof Phil Jones said ‘Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?’
Given that this data constitutes a crucial basis for our very costly climate policy, we should certainly hope some researchers would spend a lot of time scrutinising it for errors.