COP26 Glasgow: DUP MP Sammy Wilson fires broadside at climate change science of global summit

Former Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has issued a broadside at the science world leaders relied on last week when they agreed a climate change action plan.

By Philip Bradfield
Thursday, 18th November 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 9:42 am

The COP26 summit saw unprecdented agreements on forests, coal, innovation and especially methane from fossil fuel extraction and livestock.

Mr Wilson said: “I have often been labelled as a climate change denier mostly by those who don’t wish to have the rigour of their claims about man made climate change examined too closely. The fact is that I am a firm believer in climate change. It is those who have worked themselves into a frenzy about man made climate change who are the real climate change deniers because they do their best to ignore the fact that the world’s climate has continually changed even before mankind started burning fossil fuels.”

He added: “The idea that our climate hinges on small changes in CO2 - of which 97% is produced by natural causes and only 3% from human activity - is clearly nonsense,” he said. “The biggest fact driving climate change is the sun and earth’s relationship to changes in its orbit, along with ocean currents, airstreams in the upper atmosphere, volcanic activity and the release of greenhouse gases from natural sources such as melting permafrost and decaying vegetation. To suggest that our release of small amounts of CO2 overrides these massive natural forces doesn’t make common sense let alone good science.”

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DUP MP Sammy Wilson says he is ‘a firm believer in climate change’.

He says climate predictions are made with computer models similar to those used by weather forecasters - something he says climate luminaries such Dr Kevin Trenberth of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), and Dr Steve Koonin, scientific Advisor to President Obama, consider unreliable.

By contrast, he says, scientists who share his view include Patrick Moore, the founder of Greenpeace, David Bellamy and Roger Revelle, a key influence on Al Gore.

But Queen’s University Prof of Biological Science,s Mark Emmerson, says the IPCC evidence the global leaders relied on has had over 234 scientists working on “disentangling natural climate change from human induced climate change” over the past decade.

“The IPCC uses a mixture of scientific measurements from the environment, measures like temperature, the composition of gases in our atmosphere, and the frequency of severe storms and heatwaves,” he said. “They then use a mixture of state of the art models to run simulations with different scenarios and assumptions built into them”.

He affirms that the earth’s temperature has changed “dramatically” over the last 500 million years - without fossil fuels - but notes that this took “thousands to millions of years” to happen, whereas present day changes have happened “over about the last 250 years”.

Prof Paul Dunlop, Research Director in Geography & Environmental Sciences at Ulster University, notes that each of the last four decades have been successively warmer than any decade that preceded them, since 1850. Global surface temperatures in the first two decades of the 21st century were 0.99°C higher than in 1850-1900, he adds.

When IPCC computer models only include natural warming factors “there is no temperature rise” he says, but when man-made greenhouse gases are factored in, there is a simulated rise which matches that actually seen in nature.

“This is clear evidence that natural forces are not causing this increase in temperature we are seeing, you have to include man made greenhouse gas to do that,” he says.

See IPCC graphs and 2021 report here.

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