Last week was not a good one to be a climate change refusenik: this year’s smallest extent of Arctic sea ice, which 40 or so years ago measured around eight million square kilometres, recorded a record low of less than 3.5 million. Moreover, this was over half a million less than the previous record low (recorded in 2007), despite beginning from a higher starting point.
This was on top of earlier news that this year, the Greenland ice sheet had experienced melting across the whole of its surface. That event caused much constructive spinning from the usual suspects, who tried to suggest that NASA, the BBC, and anyone else they didn’t like had suggested that the entire ice sheet had melted, but of course they had not.
So no doubt there will be more accusations levelled against the deeply subversive Guardian, the BBC (again), Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and WWF, though the evidence looks on the face of it to be clear cut. The melting of Arctic sea ice has brought that record low, despite climatic conditions not looking conducive to it. So what form will the sceptic charge take this time?
Well, from the likes of James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole there will no doubt be wall to wall abuse, just for starters. Del Boy’s latest tilt at this particular windmill included him suggesting that Labour MP Barry Gardiner was “vilely dishonest or just incredibly stupid” and calling him “Dork brain”. Gardiner’s sin had been to discuss effective subsidies given to fossil fuels.
But while Del was ranting and frothing, the wind power on which he has poured so much scorn was breaking records: last Thursday night, it hit a maximum of 3.98GW and sustained more than 3.5GW overnight, which for a total demand of 34.9GW, meant it was supplying over 10% of the UK’s electricity. This supposedly expensive power source thereby drove the spot prince down by £1.60 per MWh.
His mentor Christopher Booker has also been busy spinning: after suggesting that green groups have been sidelined by Government and suggesting that ministers like Ed Davey have said things they certainly haven’t (check Booker’s suggestions with actual quotations in the Guardian piece on Arctic sea ice), he then reverts to telling his more impressionable fans that shale gas is just around the corner.
That France, one of the countries he mentions, has banned the hydraulic fracturing technology used for shale exploitation, is not mentioned. Nor are readers made aware that Booker’s sources are just more of the flat earth circle jerk. Nor are those same readers made aware that the asserted change in energy policy has not happened, and isn’t going to happen.
Spin and abuse cannot deflect reality. Get over it, denialists.