July 10, 2007, 1:56 am News

JULY 10 2007

Predicting the Climate

Dr Vincent Gray

A senior scientist recently challenged me to provide a better tested hypothesis on what is happening to the planet than the hypothesis that it is due to increases in  greenhouse gases.

I replied that I do not have one, but that does not mean that the greenhouse gas hypothesis is right.

I then realised that I had said an awful thing. It would seem that humans are scared to death of anything they cannot explain. They are so scared that they are prepared to adopt the most ridiculous and irrational explanations rather than accept that maybe they do not have an explanation at all.

The most widespread irrational explanations are the various forms of religion. This is even enshrined in our law. Anything for which a rational explanation is not forthcoming is called "An Act of God". The almost-atheist philosopher Baruch Spinoza put the matter succinctly when he said: "God equals nescio".

Evolution wreaks havoc on traditional religions as it shows that humans evolved just like any other animal, so they have no claim to a special divine supervisor, or life after death. Darwin and his main disciple Joseph Hooker were the only members of his circle who accepted these inevitable conclusions of evolution, and to this day even most biologists are unprepared to accept that humans are just other animals, without any special claim for superiority over other creatures.

In Darwin's time, many of his associates who accepted evolution realised that that Christianity was incompatible with it and found the need for an irrational explanation for anything not explained by evolution by adopting doctrines such as spiritualism. Even Alfred Russell Wallace, co-discoverer of Darwin's theory, embraced spiritualism.

There are still spiritualists today, but they have had to withstand its fraudulent nature, so people are continually searching for alternative irrational beliefs which can provide an "explanation" for things that we currently do not understand.

One of these is the climate.

We do have an international system for forecasting the weather. One of my favourite historical characters was Admiral Robert Fitzroy. He was Captain of the "Beagle", with Darwin as his companion, on its legendary voyage, so could be considered co-founder of Darwinism, even if he repudiated it because of his religious beliefs. He was second Governor of New Zealand, when it mattered, and he retired in disgrace because he believed, prematurely, in the human rights of New Zealand Maoris. He was the first Director of the UK Meteorological Office where he produced the first weather forecasts, storm warnings for ships. He wrote to all his mariner friends to acquire information on how to predict a storm. The acquisition and interpretation of data are now much more sophisticated, but the essential technique is the same. He was so depressed at the public comment when his forecasts were wrong that he committed suicide at the age of 59.

Forecasts today are also not always right, but they are essential to all our lives.

All practical forecasters know that even with all the current sophistication, weather forecasting gets more and more unreliable as you go ahead. Beyond a month or two is very dicey, although I have two friends who claim good results even then.

Given this firmly based experience, it is remarkable that the world is currently in the grip of a doctrine which claims to forecast climate one hundred years ahead, It is based on a perfectly plausible scientific theory that increases in greenhouse gas emissions could cause climate change, but it is truly amazing that no evidence has been presented that this effect can be detected, or that it might be serious. Predictions that can be checked are never made. "Climate Change" must therefore be seen as yet another substitute for religion amongst people who can no longer accept that heat waves, droughts, floods and hurricanes are "Acts of God"

It might be noted that people had so much trouble blaming recent British floods on "climate change" that God is making a comeback, in the opinion of none other than Sir John Houghton, prominent promoter of the IPCC.

These newsletters have given copious reasons for the absence of evidence for a responsibility of greenhouse gas emissions for detectable climate change, but if you really want more, try my book at>

or our website at

I would like to draw attention to the hypocrisy of the global warmers who try to argue that   while "weather" is unpredictable "climate" is predictable (provided, of course that the predictions are so far ahead nobody could check).

The following Frequently Asked Question" appears in Chapter 1 of the recent IPCC "Climate Change 2007"

 You might note that there is a big difference between "weather" and "climate". "Weather" is "chaotic". This looks like yet another irrational substitute religion. Since it is currently unpredictable you have to invent a reason why you could never predict it.

But, of course, "climate" is eminently predictable as "chaos" has suddenly disappeared. The real difference between weather forecasts and "climate" predictions is surely obvious. We can all tell when weather forecasts are wrong. We cannot know if the IPCC predictions are right, because they are so far ahead that their perpetrators will have long ago enjoyed their comfortable retirement before they are found out.

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