Even the Oil Industry Predicted Global Warming (1968)

The Stanford Research Institute for the American Petroleum Institute concluded:

If the earth’s temperature increases significantly, a number of events might be expected to occur, including the melting of the Antarctic ice cap, a rise in sea levels, warming of the oceans, and an increase in photosynthesis…. Significant temperature changes are almost certain to occur by the year 2000 and these could bring about climate change.

This was in 1968!

[“Smoke and Fumes” report 1968]

Can We Trust Earth System Models? Are the Climate Sceptics Right?

The distinguished climate scientists Thomas Anderson, Ed Hawkins and Phil Jones addressed this issue raised by some climate sceptics who thought that the climate system was too complex for meaningful analysis by ESMs. In a deeply researched paper Anderson, Hawkins and Jones totally repudiated such a view.

They concluded that ESMs were essentially trustworthy and had made a compelling case that global climate would continue to undergo significant warming in response to ongoing emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. This was even in the best scenario of reducing emissions.

Endeavour, July 2016 (online)

Have we only recently discovered Global Warming?

There us a widespread impression that the fact of global warming was only discovered recently. This is wrong.

The idea has been around for more than a century but it was only really put on the scientific map through the tremendous research of the British meteorologist and steam engineer Guy Callendar. He published a ground-breaking paper in 1938. A year later he reported a 7% increase in anthropogenic CO2 since 1900, the result of industrial emissions, the burning of fossil fuel:

“As man is now changing the composition of the atmosphere at a rate which must be very exceptional on the geological time scale, it is natural to seek for the probable effects of such a change. From the best laboratory observations it appears that the principal result of increasing CO2… would be a gradual increase in the mean temperature of the colder regions of the earth” (too little data was available for the southern hemisphere at that time).

Quarterly Journal Royal Meteorological Society (1939).

The Weather Nut and Global Warming

Scholars from ancient Greece to Fourier in the 18C, John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius in the C19,, and since 1900, had debated the nature and causes of climate change they had observed (unsystematically). But it took a “weather nut”, Guy Callendar(1899-1964), first to identify that global warming had taken place by at least 0.5 degrees Celsius in the first three decades of the C20; and scientifically to identify expanding CO2 in the atmosphere from industrialisation as the likeliest culprit.

He estimated there had been a 10% increase in the concentration of CO2 between 1900 and 1938, the year he wrote a truly pioneering paper on the subject.

Callendar, who was a distinguished English steam and combustion engineer, a specialist in high steam temperatures and pressures, applied this knowledge to atmospheric heating. Always obsessive about collecting data (on railway engines for example), he painstakingly compiled weather statistics from around Britain and then the rest of the world, over many years. He not only showed global warming but effects such as the melting of glaciers. His theory was met with consternation and scepticism, but would be revived and expanded in a few decades time. Climate change is now recognised for the global crisis it it

For more details see James Rodgers Fleming, The Callendar Effect: The Life and Work of Guy Stewart Callendar …The Scientist Who Established the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change (2007).

Democracy is the Least Hateful System: Forster

E. M. Forster defended democracy in Two Cheers for Democracy as “less hateful” than other contemporary forms of government.

” The people I admire most are those who are sensitive and want to create something, or discover something, and such people get more of a chance under democracy than elsewhere. They found religions, great or small, or they produce literature and art, or they do disinterested scientific research, or they may be what is called ‘ordinary people’, who are creative in their private lives, bring up their children decently, for instance, or help their neighbours. All these people need to express themselves; they cannot do so unless society allows them the liberty to do so, and the society which allows them most liberty is a democracy”:

” What I Believe” (1939)

What is Wrong with Capitalism?

As one of the great Anglican archbishops put it, if an economic system ” is abundantly effective in producing and distributing material goods, but creates or intensifies divisions and hostilities between people, that system is condemned, not on economic but on moral grounds, not because it fails to deliver the goods, but because it is a source of wrong personal relationships”:

William Temple, Christianity and the Social Order (1942).

The State Exists for its Citizens

William Temple wrote that each individual was the child of God ” and destined for eternal fellowship with God… All life should be conducted and ordered with this dignity in view. The State must not treat the person as having value only so far as they serve its ends, as totalitarian states do; the State exists for its citizens, not the citizens for the State” , as people like the Nazis believed.

Christianity and the Social Order (1942)

Does Evolution Make Life Meaningless?

“As we look at the continuous course of Evolution, we ought not to say: ‘ After all, it all comes from a nebula with no life or meaning, so it , too, is without life or meaning’. Rather we should say: ‘ See what has come from that dead nebula; how full of potentiality it really was”.

We cannot interpret the higher and more complex in terms of the lower and simpler; rather we must interpret the lower in terms of the higher, seeing in it the potentiality of the latter. Origin is not to be confused with either essence or validity. If people tell us that religion is the survival of natural magic, we reply: ‘ And so is the science that told you so; but that does not affect the validity either of the science or the religion’ “.

William Temple, The Nature of Personality (1915)