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Thatcherism and the Climate Catastrophe

With the passing of Britain’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, much will be heard from the conservative side of politics about all the good that she did. But for the sack of truth, something she cared much about [1], let us also consider her role in helping to build the illusion of catastrophic climate change.

Margaret Thatcher was no friend of science, but she was a friend of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) that was established in the School of Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 1972.

This is the same institution that Climategate exposed as being up to its neck in scientific fraud.

The establishment of the CRU only just preceded Thatcherism. With Thatcher’s market economics applied to public science none of the scientists at the CRU were ever guaranteed a salary. They had to generate their own income through grants and contracts.

Much of their money did end up coming from government but it had to be earned, they had to show their value to the politician and this is now par for the course [1].

It was following the miner’s strike in the UK and Prime Minister Thatcher’s increasing impatience with Arthur Scargill, then president of the National Union of Mineworkers, that the first tentative links were drawn between coal mining and the possibility of a climate catastrophe.

Various luminaries from that time have told me that Prime Minister Thatcher was keen to reduce Britain’s dependence on coal. She drew the connection between rising carbon dioxide emissions and coal mining before it was fashionable because she thought there was perhaps some scientific justification, and because she was keen to find justification for alternative energy sources, particularly nuclear.

Indeed her government became a strong supporter of climate research in the mid-1980s. Mrs Thatcher visited the CRU and assembled her entire cabinet to hear a seminar on climate change at which Tom Wigley, then director of CRU, was the star performer.


[1] “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.” – on her election as prime minister in 1979

[2] Bob Carter explains in ‘Science is Not Concensus’ how during the 1980s there came a restructuring of the way in which government science operated. Public-good programme funding for the activities of government science agencies shrank, to be replaced by funding for individual projects with limited lifetimes.


97 Responses to “Thatcherism and the Climate Catastrophe”

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  1. Comment from: John Sayers

    I know all that Neville. I’ve heard him on Jones and Bolt and I know his background.

    But Jones says outright it’s a fraud and a hoax! yet when Lomborg says: “Yes, global warming is real and mostly man-made,” he does Jones and other sceptics no favours. He’s a liar and he lies so he can retain MSM publishing.

  2. Comment from: cohenite

    “I’ve only seen Lomborg lose his temper and that was in a debate between Lomborg and Lawson VERSUS the Canadian greens leader and Monbiot, just before Copenhagen.”

    Do you have a link for that Neville?

  3. Comment from: Neville

    This is the debate Cohenite but I’ll need time to find the right place. It’s a long debate and the Green dill baited Lomborg over some point and he reacted.

    Mind you this silly fool would test a saint.

  4. Comment from: Luke

    Sayers still can’t read – are you that thick John. Like what’s the problem. Probably no idea about stats except what you’re told eh?

    Cohenite – tell us here why he’s a liar. Go on …. we can add it to your credibility file. Like all those embarrassing op-eds – what a hoot. I hear they’re now collectables. Is rabies curable?

    Neville’s source – Bolt and Jones – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

    Jones insists that he is a commentator and should not be held to journalistic standards. Last year he told Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes: “It’s called the Alan Jones Show for one very special reason – this is what Alan Jones thinks. I’m a broadcaster – I don’t pretend to be a journalist.”


    Your standards mate. It’s a show mate – theatre – survives on conflict. Like snotty Bolter.

    “John there isn’t a person the alarmists fear more than Lomborg. ”

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAA – who – this is obviously wanker hour. And the star – Neville – this is just puerile dross Neville. Where do you come up with it.

    “John there isn’t a person the alarmists fear more than Lomborg. ” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

    Look out – don’d go into the woods. Lomborg’s gonna get ya.

    As your were creeps – carry on ….

  5. Comment from: Neville

    Cohers it seems that a large chunk of that debate has disappeared from youtube. Lawson and Lomborg won the debate and shifted about 8% more of the audience to their position. You can only watch the debate here if you’re a member.

    But I’ll keep trying to find it. Geeezzz Luke you’re hopeless, but good for a giggle.

  6. Comment from: cohenite

    Thanks Neville; I’d like to see Lomborg annoyed; you can learn a lot about a person when the veneer slips. For all that Cool It and The Skeptical Environmentalist are great achievements.

    Luke, you dill, Schmidt lied about the THS being proof of AGW.

    He also said the most stupid but revealing thing when he said the world society was built on the assumption of a stable climate; if that is the case we are buggered even if AGW is not real unless you believe in the fairy tale that the climate will stay the same for ever unless humans change it.

    I don’t trust the guy, but he has lost some weight.

  7. Comment from: Neville

    Cohers if you look at the first 3 minutes 30 secs of this part you’ll see what I was talking about.
    But I think I’ve done Lomborg an injustice, because she just lets fly at him and the moderator but they’ve turned down her sound. But what a clueless fool she is, typical green.

  8. Comment from: Neville

    Sorry try starting at 50 secs through to 3 minutes 30 secs. That’s if you can stomach this woman.

  9. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Neville, thanks for that link. BL came across very well controlled in spite of the green stupidity I thought.

    Good analogy on how to deal with hiv-aids.

  10. Comment from: Neville

    Lindzen, Stott and Crichton won the debate Luke linked to by 46% to 42%. That was a big shift in numbers.

    But what a joke the other side were. They talked as if there really was a dial that could be adjusted if we’d only make a start and try hard enough.
    Lomborg has covered this all through his book and there is zero we can do for hundreds of years to alter the temp or climate by any useful amount.

    Just for example if every country signed up to Kyoto straight away and achieved all the goals we would postpone temp rise and SLR by just 4 years.

    Or if we did nothing we would have the same temp and SLR in 2100 instead of 2096 and at a cost of endless trillions of dollars flushed down the drain for that ridiculous miniscule gain of 4 years.
    These people are barking mad and haven’t a clue how ridiculous they are.

  11. Comment from: Neville

    More from Steve McIntyre on the REAL scientists and their careful selection of proxies to produce the desired result. What a con.

  12. Comment from: cohenite

    Thanks Neville; ha, what a waste of space, the green and monbiot were!

  13. Comment from: Neville

    Cohers how would you like to be marooned on a desert island with that woman? I think I’d top myself.

  14. Comment from: Luke

    Meanwhile back at the science –

    Nota bene Cohers – they’re published – you’re not.

    History will just piss on your graves. Here lies a denier….

  15. Comment from: Robert

    “Nature” always starts with a dogma and work back from it. A silly rag for pretentious hicks who are easier to impress than educate.

  16. Comment from: el gordo

    So the heat is hiding in the oceans, especially in the tropics.

    Hmmm…. sounds a bit dodgy, but for the sake of argument, what do the models predict for 2020?

  17. Comment from: el gordo

    ‘… the 1995/96 La Niña created the warm water that fueled the 1997/98 El Niño. In turn, the 1997/98 El Niño released enough of that naturally created warm water from below the surface of the western tropical Pacific to temporarily raise the sea surface temperatures of the East Pacific (90S-90N, 180-80W) about 0.5 to 0.6 deg C.

    ‘Keep in mind the East Pacific from pole to pole covers about 33% of the surface area of the global oceans. And there was enough naturally created warm water left over from the 1997/98 El Niño to cause the sea surface temperatures of the Atlantic, Indian and West Pacific oceans (the rest of the global oceans) to warm about 0.19 deg C, where they remained until the next strong El Niño in 2009/10.’

    Bob Tisdale in a guest post at Watts

  18. Comment from: Luke

    Is Bob published yet? Alas no ….. sigh. So meaningless in the big swim – echos on a blog cosm – lost in time by tomorrow’s sooking.

    But how about something more vivid

    Devastating rebuttal Robert. Bit hard to beat that.

  19. Comment from: Robert

    Nature. Giggle.

  20. Comment from: el gordo

    ‘While I don’t necessarily buy Trenberth’s latest evidence for a lack of recent surface warming, I feel I need to first explain why Trenberth is correct that it is possible for the deep ocean to warm while surface warming is seemingly by-passed in the process.’

    April 8th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

  21. Comment from: el gordo

    Readfearn is a ratbag….lift yer game Luke.

  22. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    “Is Bob published yet? Alas no ….. sigh. So meaningless in the big swim – echos on a blog cosm – lost in time by tomorrow’s sooking.”

    Is Jesus published yet ? Alas no . Just a load of hearsay – echoes in a chatter cosm- surely lost in time.

    As people like John Pilger, Ian Wishart, and Jesus have found , getting published is sometimes not an easy thing, but in the long run the truth WILL out

  23. Comment from: cohenite

    luke, my computer security describes Nature as a risk and won’t show it.

    You’ll have to describe the paper you link to yourself;

    “Nota bene”


  24. Comment from: KuhnKat

    Cohers and crew,

    How do you put up with the whining from Little Lukey. That is just like having to babysit the neighbors spoiled brat. I’ve never had the patience.

  25. Comment from: cohenite

    I don’t know whether luke is Eccles or Bluebottle:

    Maybe he’s the piece of paper.

  26. Comment from: el gordo

    Global warming is a total crock of shit.

  27. Comment from: Luke

    “Is Jesus published yet ” – yep same goes for him. Not a lot of peer review there ! And some miracles difficult to reproduce.

    Anyway speaking of emissions – I thought you guys would love these Bates Hotel – is the guy at the trunk Cohers? hahahahahaha

    Pimp my ride guys.

  28. Comment from: cohenite

    You’re going to be a real nuisance when you reach voting age luke.

  29. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    Who cares if the miracles cannot be reproduced, Luke. All the Climate Commissioners’ stuff can’t either and they are ” PUBLISHED ”
    Seems that ” love your neighbour ” and stuff seems to have worked and the marsupial hunter’s predictions about no rain didn’t.
    In 2,013 years , you and the ” Climate Commissioners” , will be an example of how you can’t change the world, if you throw everyone out of work and some virgins down a well

  30. Comment from: Luke

    Oh Ian what twaddle – do you lot actually worry what Flannery may or may not say. Do you think serious water policy is based on his “Advice”. Perhaps you also believe in miracles eh?

    It’s just a talking point for sceptics to fuss over. Meanwhile back at the science you’re all nowhere to be seen or having a little squawk over 0.001% of the literature. How dreary.

    “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” also applies to sceptics and includes sophistry.

    “In 2,013 years , you and the ” Climate Commissioners” , will be an example of how you can’t change the world, if you throw everyone out of work and some virgins down a well” ahhh a prediction for the Abbott government I see.

  31. Comment from: Neville

    Good post by Jo Nova on the Antarctic ice mass.

  32. Comment from: el gordo

  33. Comment from: Neville

    Looks like it’s Combet and Luke who are the biggest BS artists and certainly not Tony Abbott.

    The EU co2 price will be low for years and therefore from 2015 our companies will be able to purchase these fraudulent credit certificates for about 3 or 4 $ from Europe.

    Meanwhile while Luke and Combet promote Labor’s plan ? our budget will be in hock for years and years.
    That’s if people are MAD enough to vote for Labor or the Greens or other morons of the left.
    But could Swan’s once surplus budget now show a deficit of 15 to 20 billion $?
    We should know in a months time. Whatever it will be a monster turn around.

    But you have to laugh. Their ABC on AM are wringing their hands about the collapse of the co2 price in Europe.
    Also ABC are showing concern because the co2 obsessed EU is such an economic basket case. BOO HOO.

  34. Comment from: kuhnkat


    based on the circular logic, he could sub either of them and they could sub for Schmitt, Hansen, Mann…

    Thanks for the laugh. Never saw them before.

  35. Comment from: KuhnKat

    Little Lukey,

    ““Is Jesus published yet ” – yep same goes for him. Not a lot of peer review there ! And some miracles difficult to reproduce. ”

    Dang, ya mean there were no buddy reviews for Jesus?? Not surprised. He was never PC.

  36. Comment from: Neville

    Another new paper shows low sensitivity to increased co2 emissions.

  37. Comment from: el gordo

    Fracking lowers US emissions to 1995 levels.

    ‘One can virtually prove that shale gas has been the major influence driving the fall in US emissions. Just ten years ago, the natural-gas industry was so sure that domestic production was reaching its limit that it made large investments in terminals to import liquefied natural gas (LNG). Yet fracking has increased supply so rapidly that these facilities are now being converted to export LNG.’

    Read more:

  38. Comment from: Neville

    Sinclair Davidson shows by use of one graph why Fairfax is going broke. Unbelievable rubbish is allowed in their newspapers.
    What an embarrassment to Australia.

  39. Comment from: el gordo

    Solar activity over the next 500 years is down, but not a Dalton or Maunder.

  40. Comment from: el gordo

    Could someone explain how the European collapse of the ETS effect us?

    ‘Without some intervention to reduce supply, “the ETS will almost certainly collapse,” said Kash Burchett, a London-based analyst at consulting company IHS Energy.

    “Prices will likely sink below €1 per ton as participants recognize that there is no political will at present to restore the market mechanism to functioning order,” he said.

  41. Comment from: el gordo

    ‘The collapse of the European price has been so severe, however, that the investment incentive component of the trading scheme has been seriously undermined. Funds in China and elsewhere that were set up to create green projects assumed a much higher carbon price than now applies, and the profitable sale of carbon credits that enabled their projects to hit their rate of return hurdles. They are now stranded, and their investors have retreated.’

    Read more:

  42. Comment from: sp

    Dont worry – with Julia and Australia leading the way and setting an example the rest of the world will be shamed into following us in reducing the planets temperature.

    Julia and Combet will issue a new statement to set the world straight and get the carbon price back up. Simple.

  43. Comment from: el gordo

    Much amusement…

  44. Comment from: el gordo

    As we suspected, the models are flawed.

  45. Comment from: Another Ian



  46. Comment from: kuhnkat

    Looks like everyone owe us DENIERS an apology!! 8>)

    Solar Storm Dumps Gigawatts into Earth’s Upper Atmosphere

    “Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats,” explains James Russell of Hampton University, SABER’s principal investigator. “When the upper atmosphere (or ‘thermosphere’) heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space.”

    “For the three day period, March 8th through 10th, the thermosphere absorbed 26 billion kWh of energy. Infrared radiation from CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total back into space.”

    NASA appears to be changing with James “coal trains of death” Hansen leaving as another indicator.

  47. Comment from: Graeme M

    Don’t know if this has already been posted, but interesting in light of SD and my efforts over at Deltoid:

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