The Times’ Juliet Samuel points out that “climate change belief should be tempered by scepticism of dramatic predictions of what’s coming, theories rolled out with great fanfare and based upon massive simplifications”. Iain Martin, in a piece entitled “Naive net zero groupthink misses the point of rising geopolitical dangers“, wonders “who will be the first mainstream party leader to stop telling us fairytales and test whether the electorate can handle the truth of our situation?”.

In a hard-hitting polemic, Gerald Warner expounds on the “great fallacy regarding climate change”, namely “the assumption that because the perceived threat was global, it required a supranational, one-size-fits-all response”. From the Left, Thomas Fazi writes for UnHerd that “nightmares and elitist fantasies” have replaced “the actual material conditions of people as the basis for politics – ‘saving the planet’ becomes more important than saving actual human beings”. Similarly, Ralph Schoellhammer (“The human cost of Net Zero”) highlights the “dangerous, infantile outlook” of the climate alarmist lobby who “indulge in fantasies about the energy transition”.

One wishes that these voices had been raised before today, as the UK is committed via the Climate Change Act 2008 to rapidly decarbonising itself. The purported aim of this is to fast-track our society’s transformation into some sort of mythical evergreen carbon-free nirvana.  This single-minded demonisation of carbon (and carbon emissions) brings to mind various possible fallacies – what if we are missing the woods for the trees? 

It is an inconvenient and unfortunate truth that the momentum of a speeding juggernaut requires more energy and time to slow down. If only we could attach the Net Zero juggernaut to a generator to feed the grid. Ironically enough, in the wonderfully credulous world of the woke warriors against warming, it seems that such real-life parodies exist

Resistance to Net Zero groupthink has to date been limited to a lonely chorus of diehard sceptics who have been quietly and systematically removed from the public square. This is all the more surprising when one considers the extent to which history has been rewritten, and past misdemeanours forgotten. The 2009 story of “climategate” has been almost completely erased from the national consciousness. A reminder: the efforts of key players in the climate alarmist camp to produce data that supported the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) hypothesis were shown to be somewhat irregular. Computer code that was used to produce temperature models required the application of copious quantities of “fudge factors” to produce the temperature hockey sticks that were needed to scare the populace.  

Don’t take my word for it: even George Monbiot remarked at the time that the behaviour was “unscientific”. He also pointed out that one of the key protagonists “seems to be advocating potentially criminal activity” when suggesting that emails subject to an FOI request be deleted. Monbiot then lapsed – true to form – back into the language that we are used to hearing from such commentators about “deniers” who deserve everything coming to them due to uttering heresies that challenge the state religion.

Rare as it may be for me to agree with Monbiot on anything, he did claim to be someone who has “championed the science” and stated that “we should be the first to demand that [the science] is unimpeachable”. I agree with this last statement. However, and here is where we disagree, the science he is promoting is most certainly not settled and, therefore, not unimpeachable, despite what the tellybox might be telling you.

One of the entities that controls this narrative is the IPCC, the International Panel on Climate Change, a UN body. Through various working groups, this supranational religious order regularly publishes papal decrees that update the liturgy to be distributed to the masses by the priestly orders, such as the Behavioural Insights Team, aka the Nudge Unit. One of the fundamental tenets of this religion is that “one of the defining challenges of the 21st century [is] human-induced climate change”.  Specifically, there is an irreversible “tipping point” of warming due to the anthropogenic influence of greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, etc.) being released into the atmosphere. 

As I have written about previously, heretics who speak out against the priesthood’s wishes get quite rapidly closed down. In fact, it seems that the priesthood wishes to make such wrongspeak a criminal offence. To limit the chances of any questioning plebeian masses going off-piste, the UN works with popular search engines to ensure that top search results align with their orthodoxy. Thankfully, the flailings of the Monbiots and ludicrous talk of “global boiling” from old men in suits have provoked some modest pushback from certain quarters. The new head of the IPCC, Jim Skea, has struck a different tone from his predecessor: “The world won’t end if it warms by more than 1.5 degrees”.  Such words are in marked contrast to recent claims about man-made climate catastrophes and fatally undermine the justification for our aggressive Net Zero policies.

But the underlying articles of faith remain, as yet, unchanged. Apparently, we must still “battle against climate change”. The “short-term focus should remain expanding renewable electricity to reduce emissions from fossil fuel electricity generation and from internal combustion engine vehicles”.  Hmm.  Forgive my scepticism about throwing perfectly functioning vehicles into landfills to be replaced by a completely new technology. A new technology with a supply chain based on raiding the earth’s crust for rare elements with an as-yet untested post-processing/reuse/recycling infrastructure.

It is high time that the heretics get to say their piece. It is an article of faith for the IPCC that reducing CO2 (and other greenhouse gas) emissions can somehow effect a reversal of recent climate changes. This is a sacrament upon which rests the whole Net Zero edifice. Sub-sacraments are threefold. Firstly, CO2 emissions have gone up materially over the last few hundred years. Secondly, this is primarily due to human activity since the industrial revolution. Thirdly, there is a direct causal link that these emissions have created most – if not all – global warming/boiling/climate change.  These all have to be true to justify the breakneck pace of decarbonisation efforts. 

The first point, that CO2 emissions have definitely increased, is generally accepted even though the absolute increase of CO2 in the air has gone up over the last 100 years or so from 0.03 per cent to just over 0.04 per cent. This level is substantially lower than the optimum for plant growth – just ask anyone involved in food production, but evidence for the subsequent points is by no means clear-cut. 

Going into specifics, CO2 is often a lagging indicator of temperature (both in the shortmedium and longer-term), or seems disconnected from temperature variations. Moreover, if it is taken as read that CO2 levels are unprecedented in the current Holocene (i.e. since the last ice age), then we have a somewhat unsatisfactory scenario whereby the existing literature – both scientific and of professional historians – regarding the Medieval Warm Period (1 degree warmer, a millennium ago) and the Climatic Optimum (2.5 degrees warmer, 5-8 millennia ago) flatly contradicts recent alarmist claims that July 2023 was “quite likely the warmest month on Earth in 10,000 years”.

To overcome doubters, much work has been put in by adherents of IPCC doctrine to simplify the message and eviscerate previously published data that conflicts with the various sub-sacraments. For example, the Medieval Warm Period and Climatic Optimum have been dubbed the “Holocene Temperature Conundrum”, a thorn in the side of the faithful, as they fundamentally undermine the obsession with emitted CO2 and other greenhouse gases. 

The solution? Models! A recent Nature paper was able to erase the troublesome Conundrum by relaxing a previously stricter requirement on data points in the (vast) Southern Ocean “to increase coverage in this data-poor region” and smooth out temperature gradient over the last 10,000 years.  All this despite recognising that their model has a fundamental limitation that it is based on “priors from a single model … which are inevitably biased by model deficiencies, resolution and uncertainties in boundary conditions”.

Another attempt to discredit the historic literature is to claim that these periods of higher temperatures were actually localised events.  But this is hardly the killer argument that IPCC adherents think it is. It only highlights the current cherry-picking approach favoured by the media of highlighting isolated warm temperatures as being due to the climate, but ignoring low temperatures in other areas as being due to the weather. This is something that climate alarmists would do well to note.

The NASA analysis of the Maunder Minimum is another problem for the “global boiling” narrative. This analysis of the period from 1650 to 1710 when “temperatures across much of the Northern Hemisphere plunged when the Sun entered a quiet phase”, emphasises that in periods of overall lower temperatures, some particular geographies – such as the Atlantic and the Arctic – can in fact exhibit relative warming. So a milder Arctic could, of course, be consistent with stagnating, or even falling, global temperatures.

There are other problems for the simplistic sub-sacraments that undergird the IPCC’s creed. Water vapour is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. What of the 2022 Hunga Tonga eruption that spewed over 165 million tons of water vapour – not 50 million tons as initially thought – into the atmosphere? A combination of observations, including the earth’s recent waning magnetic field, warm localised patches of suddenly hot sea to the West of areas of subsea volcanism, lagging jumps in CO2 air concentration and the recent slowing of the earth’s rotation by unexpected microseconds (a non-trivial issue as angular momentum must be conserved – where did the energy go?), point to the conveyance of heat from the earth’s core, up through the mantle and to the surface.  The different heat capacity of air versus that of water discount the atmosphere as a source of this warming on such a rapid timescale.  

These are fascinating observations. A burning desire to explain the hugely complex interactions of our natural world should be driving a deep scientific urge to come up with creative hypotheses. 

However, the strictures of the dominant religion are not conducive to open-minded research. The peer review process is broken. We desperately need a “blue team” grouping of sceptical investigators that are not in the pockets of those who have pre-decided the outcome of such research. Quoting Gerald Warner: “The government should assemble a panel of genuine climate experts who have not taken the IPCC shilling, discounting computer ‘modelling’, when the result is dictated by the data fed in, in favour of empirical evidence… we need authentic, unbiased scientific information, not the extravagant propaganda of climate alarmists”.

Our current de facto accelerated Net Zero trajectory is going to be a bumpy ride. More worryingly, it seems that its proponents do not really want to discuss whether the sacrifice is worth it. Can we discuss whether it is just an almighty boondoggle? It may be worse. It could be a set of policies that will destroy society as we know it, and make our children’s futures incalculably worse.

We owe it to future generations to pause the current madcap pace of change and engage in an adult conversation to win over the rank and file. There are very, very good reasons to invest in sustainable and non-polluting clean energy, but as pointed out by sensible centrist commentators, there is no need for coercion

Let’s remember, CO2, the IPCC’s sworn enemy, is a life-giving substance that is present in trace quantities in the atmosphere and is contributing to the greening of our planet. It would be an unmitigated disaster if we back the wrong horse(s) by rushing to enforce a flawed doctrine derived from a mistaken demonisation of carbon dioxide.

Write to us with your comments to be considered for publication at