A senior UN environmental official warned that ‘governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control’.

He said there would be ‘crop failures’ and ‘entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels’.

This was Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the UN Environmental Program, speaking in 1989. He warned of catastrophe by the year 2000 unless the ‘global warming trend’ (meaning rising CO2) was not reversed.

Thirty-two years later, CO2 has increased markedly, and the world is just fine. World food crops have been getting bigger and bigger. Human welfare has never been better. The climate is benign. There has been no dangerous warming or increase in extreme weather events. Sea levels have continued the tiny, unthreatening rise of the previous hundred years or more. Rising CO2 is having no effect on the climate that we can see but a wonderfully beneficial effect on plants.

Brown’s ridiculous warning is but one of thousands, and by no means the worst. There was a crescendo of such warnings before the farcical COP26 climate conference now under way in Glasgow (my birthplace).

Our increasingly useless mainstream media have repeated mindlessly the slogans and warnings of their woke masters overseas: ‘Last chance to save the world!’; ‘A minute to midnight!’; ‘Our burning planet!’ and of course the perennial 10-year/5-year/5-minute ‘window of opportunity’.

Stupid world leaders

In Glasgow, stupid world leaders from the West have bellowed the rubbish they have been told to bellow while the cynical leaders of India, Russia and China have wisely not bothered to attend. It is a frightening thought that Britain, the US and Germany are led by fools whereas India, Russia and China are not.

COP26 has also produced a fierce competition in hypocrisy. Who can emit the biggest amount of CO2 while travelling to Glasgow to tell everybody else to reduce CO2? Will it be John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, flying in his family private jet? Will it be some film star or pop singer flying first-class? Greta Thunberg won the prize recently for travelling in a staggeringly expensive carbon fibre yacht with a highly paid crew flying at each end to collect the yacht, emitting five times the CO2 she would have had she taken an economy-class flight.

But this time her journey was too short for such CO2-emitting extravagance. (It seems to me that the privileged climate activists such as Al Gore, Greta Thunberg, John Kerry and their Hollywood like are not against air travel as such but against economy-class air travel. Private jets and first-class travel for the elite are just fine but economy class travel for the proletariat is not.)

I attended COP9 in Milan in 2003. The view of the Alps in twilight as I flew from London is one of my most beautiful memories. The ignorance of COP9 is one of my most ugly memories. The staggering lack of scientific knowledge and scientific integrity was shocking.

In our group was Dr Paul Reiter, a long-standing world expect on malaria and other vector-borne diseases. He was appalled at the ignorance of the young climate activists, with no medical training and no previous experience in malaria, claiming that it was caused by global warming.

Actually, temperature has little bearing on malaria. It decimated Europe in the very cold weather of the 16th and 17th Centuries, and probably killed Oliver Cromwell. Reiter told me malaria is mentioned six times in Shakespeare’s plays. The worst modern outbreak of malaria happened near Archangel next to the Arctic Circle in Russia in 1922; it was caused by the breakdown in Russian health services following Lenin’s ruinous revolution.

Shouted down

Of course, Reiter was shouted down by the ignorant, which is the usual story of climate alarm. I am sad to see my birthplace sullied by this destructive nonsense.

Oh dear! I see that Western countries (some anyway) are promising to help our backward, benighted African country to make the ‘clean energy transition’ (causing considerable environmental damage) from naughty coal to virtuous wind and solar.

This looks horribly like a new form of imperialism, where Western companies force upon us the expensive energy technologies that have failed completely in their own countries. During the COP26 conference, Britain’s enormous fleet of gigantic, very expensive wind turbines failed once again. In a panic Britain had to plead with coal power stations to start up to save the whole conference from being plunged into darkness. That cost 8,000 SA cents/kWh, about 75 times more than Eskom’s average selling price.

Wind is part of our CSIR’s ‘least cost’ option, and our Department of Energy, through its awful IRP2019 plan for electricity until 2030, wants us to follow Western Europe’s failed energy policies, which have caused such misery to poor people in Europe.

Has the Western world decided to abandon science and critical thinking in favour of superstition and blind belief? Judging by COP26, the answer is ‘Yes’.

[Image: Beverly Lussier from Pixabay]

The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR

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Andrew Kenny is a writer, an engineer and a classical liberal.