UK: Chief Scientist exits in a blaze of hysteria

Head scratch moment?

Head scratch moment?

Sir John Beddington is the outgoing Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government, and, like our own Sir Ian Chubb, appears to take leave of his senses when it comes to climate.

In a final whirlwind of alarmism, Beddington exits stage left, hopefully never to be seen or heard of again. As the Telegraph breathlessly reports:

The world faces decades of turbulent weather even if it takes drastic action to tackle climate change, the Government’s chief scientific adviser said today in a final stark warning as he prepares to step down.

Professor Sir John Beddington said that time lags in the climate system meant that accumulations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere now will determine the weather we experience for the next 25 years.

Climate change is already manifesting itself in huge variations in the weather, clearly illustrated by the way Britain experienced both drought and extreme rainfall last year, he said.

The scientist said that the international community’s failure to agree binding targets for cutting carbon emissions meant problems were being stored up for the future.

“They may reach agreement, and they may start to reduce greenhouse gases in the next five years, or it may be a little longer,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“But they are still climbing, and when that increase is reversed, we will be left with the weather and the climate for the next 25 years from whenever that happens.”

What’s missing from this picture? Any acknowledgement that there has been a pause in warming which was not expected or predicted by the climate models, despite the headbangers claiming that warming is accelerating.*

Sir Ian Chubb falls into the same trap as Beddington – toeing a politically-correct line rather than responding to the evidence in an impartial, free-thinking manner.

More reaction here:

*They do this by suddenly ignoring global temperatures and, like street magicians, using diversionary techniques to shift focus on to something else


  1. Good one Simon- that’s much better!

  2. thingodonta says:

    Why does being Chief Scientist automatically seem to disengage one’s mind from reality?

    I guess it is the same as the old problem with Plato’s ideal Republic, where he proposed a system whereby a group of elite thinkers, trained and selected from birth, not being democratically elected, have sole power in determining what is good for everyone else. Like Marx, he never seemed to ask one very obvious question- what such a social system actually does to the minds of those within it….

    …..And that was the end of Plato’s ‘ideal’ model for society….

  3. Baldrick says:

    The UK’s Chief Scientist now becomes the UK’s Chief Astrologer“time lags in the climate system … will determine the weather we experience for the next 25 years.” Nostradamus would be proud!

  4. Lew Skannen says:

    The only things “worse than we expected” have been the climate models and the calibre of scientists promoted to top job.

  5. I would really love each believe in CAGW to sit down and just once – just ONCE – take a look at the evidence. Not ours, theirs. That’s right, their own. Not someone said this, or the models say that, not someone’s opinion or prediction or any kind of maybe, but to dig out the proof that is supposedly behind all the hype.

    Where’s the actual evidence that CO2 is all it’s condemned as? Where’s the actual evidence for positive feedbacks? Where’s the actual evidence that the climate is “running out of control”?

    Climate scientists and politicians and regular guys and gals everywhere, all the believers – Just ONCE.

    • I have long since learned from my own efforts elsewhere, that AGW True Believers JUST. WILL. NOT. so much as click on a link, to see the easily verifiable evidence that counters the claims being made by these morons. I have even challenged the last few, to spend even One week reading at sites like WUWT or JoNova or here. Silence. No response. To do so would be to see that everything they wish to believe, is utterly wrong.

      • Hi Otter. 🙂 Yeah, I know, that’s why I wanted them to look at their own facts, as I know they won’t look at ours. Not that they will find any evidence – but that’s the point. It might make them think.

        It’s interesting that those believers who actually DO go looking become skeptics very quickly. Hence people like Jo Nova and even Anthony Watts. When they get talking about that on their sites, it’s amazing how many readers have similar stories of once believing, then finding out the truth.

        The number of believers dwindle every day, so I guess those few diehards are terrified of what would happen if they dared take a peek. Poor buggers. Imagine living your life that way? Did they never realize it’s okay to be wrong? Silly question, I know! Oh well, I suppose their very stubbornness is an indication that they know, deep down, that they are being fed BS by the alarmists and have swallowed the lot. It would be too embarrassing for them to admit they were suckered in.


    • They act on faith. It’s the new religion. They even used religious language: heretics, deniers, etc… When challenged, in addition to trotting out the aforementioned language, they state ‘the consensus is’… and rattle off the list of ‘climate scientists’ who agree… Most have never examined the curricula for said ‘Climate Science’ advanced degree. It has no science or mathematics prerequisites, and most of the course work is accounting measures to determine what to properly charge for those ‘polluters’ emitting CO2.

  6. “Professor Sir John Beddington said that time lags in the climate system meant that accumulations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere now will determine the weather we experience for the next 25 years.”


    Since the first PREDICTED warming from 1990 IPCC report to the later projected temperature inceases from the 2011 and 2007 reports never showed up.They now invent ad hoc explanations by inventing a lag in the climate system for the awesome trace gas to be able throw its weight around.


    • My guess is they are all running out of opportunities to scare the public – so they are trying wherever they can. Of course, they also want more time, so another 25 year wait would be ideal for them, followed by another and another, etc., etc.

      You are right. Pathetic.

  7. The “true believers” of any religion are oblivious to reality. Think Jim Jones. He conned otherwise intelligent, educated people into believing his crap and got them to willingly kill themselves and their kids.. There you go, Never, ever let your guard down.

  8. The “Chief Scientist” brings his office and the term ‘scientist’ into disrepute. Bizarrely, or perhaps not so, I am reminded of Dr. Zaius in the original ‘Planet of the Apes’ (1968) – “There is no contradiction between faith and science… true science!”

  9. manicbeancounter says:

    There is are crucial differences between a scare-mongering alarmist and a scientist predicting something novel about the world. Over time the alarmist, despite making a huge range of predictions which are ambiguous, will be consistently wrong. The scientist will make predictions, which despite being apparently unlikely, actually come right.
    In Britain, we have not had the extreme heatwaves predicted, nor has snow become a thing of the past. It is ironic that this week in Britain is likely to be the coldest start to spring in 50 years.
    Sir John Beddington thinks the failure to predict shows the uncertainties that of climate change. In most areas that failure would be taken as a failure of understanding.

  10. And continuing in the revealing genre of past films, in this case Superman III (screenplay, revised – Newman D and L, 1982):

    “Vulcan is the weather satellite our government put up in orbit to monitor the weather. But if somebody re-programmed it, it could do much more. It could make weather! Storms! Floods! Blizzards! Heat waves!

    “How do you do that?”

    “Like everything else in the 20th century, Gus. You push buttons.”

  11. Sceptical Sam says:

    Ian Chubb falls into the same category you say?

    That would be the Ian Chubb who indicated he didn’t know what a cyclone was called in the Northern hemisphere?

    “The argument at the moment is that there will be, for example, much more intense cyclones and whatever they are called in the Northern Hemisphere, and more intense rain and flooding.”

    And this man is advising government?

    And if that’s not laughable enough, he went on to say:

    “With respect to this cooling stuff, I have seen the claim, but the evidence that I have seen is that the last decade has been the warmest decade that we have ever had on this planet, so I do not know what this cooling stuff means.”

    Warmest ever? What planet is he on?;db=COMMITTEES;id=committees%2Fcommjnt%2F12d6eec1-1480-4c10-afb8-ce1432819993%2F0002;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommjnt%2F12d6eec1-1480-4c10-afb8-ce1432819993%2F0000%22

    With fools like that advising government no wonder science in the public sector is in such disarray.

  12. What alarms me is that the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis is now taught as scientific fact in all of academia.

    It also is accepted as fact by a lot of blogs but the sceptical ones say there is no chance of a runaway greenhouse.

    I saw a proposal on WUWT about a “steel greenhouse” where in a thought experiment Willis Eschenbach proposed a “planet” with no atmosphere heated internally by nuclear fission so it emitted 235 W/sq metre constantly to space.

    He proposed fitting a steel shell around this “planet”.

    As the shell heated it begins to radiate – half out to space and half “backradiating” to the planet.

    This “backradiation” is proposed to add to the energy from the planet until the “shell” is radiating 235 to space at which point Willis claims equilibrium is established and the whole heating process stops.

    The arithmetic balances with the “shell” emitting 235 to space and 235 “backradiation” – a total of 470 – and the planet must now emit 470 comprising 235 original from fission and the absorbed 235 “backradiation”.

    This “magic” – his words not mine – works because a solid has only one radiating surface while a shell has 2 !

    Instead of being roundly criticized for this obvious absurdity people were flocking to congratulate this piece of nonsense as a robust simplified explanation of the greenhouse effect.

    There were critics, but most concentrated on the obvious geometric problem of a larger shell has a larger surface area and thus cannot ever equal the same radiative power.

    Willis dismissed this criticism with his explanation it was close fitting and the area effect was insignificant – a mere 0.0 something percent.

    That people could argue this is “scientifically” correct simply astounded me.

    Let’s ignore the absurd argument that Willis proposes as incontravertible – that a cold shell will cause heating of the planet but this effect totally ceases when it has heated to the shell to the same temperature the planet was initially !

    Let me emphasis that for you in case you missed it – a cold object van heat up a warm object but this effect ceases when the cold object reaches the original warm objects temperature ???

    Now that is absurd – but let’s ignore it.

    Let’s ignore the complete failure of his proposal if one considers a larger radius for the shell – it doubles the power as a close fitting shell but this effect ceases if the radius increases – at double the radius it requies bot 470 but 1880 from the planet – surely a sign that something is wrong with the initial proposal if the hypothesis can be easily invalidated !

    No – let’s assume he is completely right – fitting his “shell” causes the “planet” to radiate at 470 W/sq metre by virtue of the backradiation.

    I found it amazing no one took the next really obvious step – shows how powerful brainwashing can be.

    Of course the next obviois step is that the new ensemble of shell and interior planet represents the same thing as the original planet – spherical surface radiating 235 W/sq metre to space.

    Who cares what is happening internally – it is a sphere radiating 234 to space.

    So what happens if I fit another close fitting shell ?

    Well, like the original it will heat up and radiate to space and backradiate the same until it is radiating 235 to space and 235 backradiated – that is what Willis says for the original so it must work for this new ensembel – ignoring small geometrical errors.

    But what happens at the planet in this case ?

    Outer shell – 235 to spac + 235 “backradiated” – as per original proposal. All good here.

    Let’s now work inwards – you should already see where this is going but I’ll spell it out.

    The “original” shell now has to radiate 470 outward to the new shell – just as was proposed for the “planet” initially.

    Because it is a shell with 2 radiating sides it must also “backradiate” 470 to the planet.

    And now the “planet” must now radiate 940 to balance the first shells radiative requirements.

    Just as Willis’ proposes as science we have again doubled the energy out put – it strange that somehow Willis proposed a second shell causes three times the original energy not 4 ???

    Perhaps this is to suggest his energy increasing scheme is tending to a limit rather than the obvious infinite result his scheme suggests is fact thus disguising the obvious absurdity of his proposal.

    This proposal amounts to a mathematical function which equates to 2 to the power of “n” multiplied by the original radiation power.

    For example for 235 W/sq metre original power emitted from the planet and fitting a mere 30 shells you can now have the planet emitting about 252 GigaWatts/sq metre !!

    Now I don’t want to criticize the engineering profession – but I mean – how the hell did they miss that ???

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