By Paul Homewood
I discussed David King yesterday, but it is worth going into greater detail:
King was Chief Scientific Advisor to Tony Blair between 2000 and 2007. His training is as a chemist, but that never stopped him from having strong views on climate change. Unfortunately many of his utterances were so far off the mark that they call into question is credibility.
In 2004, he gave testimony to the Select Committee on Environmental Audit, and made two specific claims:
Quite where he got the first claim about the South Pole is a mystery, but it is needless to say baseless. There is enough ice in Antarctica to raise sea levels by 58m, so if King was right, London would already be submerged!
There is even now no evidence that the Antarctic ice cap is shrinking at all; some studies say it is, others say it is growing. But the former only put the loss since 1979 as 0.01%, well within any margin of error.
Even under the most pessimistic assessments, it would take 105,000 years for the ice sheet to melt, not 1000. This in fact would be a physical impossibility anyway, as most of the ice is land based in East Antarctica, whereas the losses are in West Antarctica where melting takes place below sea level.
As for Greenland, the idea that it could all melt within 50 years is equally preposterous. No serious scientist would claim this. Quite apart from anything else, we know that temperatures in Greenland were just as high as now eighty years ago, and higher still for most of the last 10000 years. During that time, the Greenland ice cap has remained remarkably stable; the only noticeable changes have been around the periphery, where glaciers meet the ocean. Currently these valley glaciers are more extensive than they used to be.
I appreciate that much of this is speculation of what might happen. Nevertheless, as Chief Scientific Advisor, it was King’s job to provide sound, fact based and objective advice to Parliament, which clearly he did not do. Instead he made outlandish claims, which he must have known were nonsensical, with the sole objective of pushing his political agenda.
This however was not the only occasion when King misled Parliament. In 2014, he gave evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Committee, where he made the claim that Sandy was the first hurricane to hit so far north in America:
This is another flat out lie. Since 1950 alone, there have been nine hurricanes which made landfall further north than Sandy.
It is a serious offence to give false testimony to Parliament, and King should have been forced to return to both Committees to apologise.
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June 21, 2021 at 05:00AM