Just when you thought our bleach-blonde London Mayor couldn’t embarrass himself and the people of Britain any further; Boris Johnson announces his global warming scepticism. It would seem that climatologists ought to be added to his personal “global itinerary of apology”.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Boris muses over it being “the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow” and deems this incompatible with global warming. As a self-proclaimed empiricist, one would think that he support his observations with some scientific evidence. The Met Office’s records actually reveal that last winter, and indeed, most winters since 2000, were warmer than average. On top of this, the seven warmest years on record all occurred after 2000 and global warming no longer seems to be such a “strain [to] the language” as Boris claims.
If we were to follow Boris’ logic that the winters are getting colder, one cannot fail to notice that he falls prey to a common pitfall; believing that global warming cannot result in various weather extremes, including colder temperatures. A well-established theory by some experts is that the melting of the Arctic ice caps could lead to the cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean and by proxy our Gulf Stream, thus resulting in colder weather for the UK.
More worryingly, Boris places trust in the theories of whom he describes as “the learned astrophysicist” Piers Corbyn, a potent denier of man-made climate change. Piers’ theories that the sun is responsible for everything to do with Earth’s climate and that the fate of our planet in not in our hands are yet to be published in any peer-reviewed journal.
Boris appears to be particularly taken by Piers’ idea that “there is every indication that we are at the beginning of a mini ice-age” due to “the general decline in solar activity”, and even quotes this in his column. Maybe if Boris were to associate with more reputable scientists, he would be influenced by their overwhelming evidence that man-made greenhouse gases are driving the unmistakable rise in average global temperatures.