Gautam Kalghatgi: Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) do not represent a significant improvement over internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) in terms of their carbon dioxide footprint unless all the energy for their manufacture and use is CO2-free. That is not likely to happen in the next ten years. A large investment in infrastructure is needed to enable wide deployment of BEVs and possibly continuing incentives to encourage people to buy them. Also, a large increase in BEV numbers will bring other problems, such as the impacts on human health of mining for the minerals, although these take place far away and are often ignored. Even with a hundred-fold increase in BEV numbers to 10 million by 2030, over 85% of transport in the UK will still run on internal combustion engines.
Ole Humlum, Professor of Physical Geography, University of Oslo, Norway: According to the instrumental temperature record (since about 1850), 2019 was a very warm year, but cooler than 2016. Since 2004, when detailed recording of ocean temperatures began, the global oceans above 1900 m depth have, on average, warmed somewhat. Since 1972, however, snow extent has been largely stable. Data from tide gauges all over the world suggest an average global sea-level rise of 1–1.5 mm/year, while the satellite record suggests a rise of about 3.2 mm/year, or more. The noticeable difference in rate (a ratio of at least 1:2) between the two data sets still has no broadly accepted explanation. The focus in this report is on observations, and not on output from numerical models.
Rubert Darwall, strategy consultant and policy analyst. Fellow of the Real Clear Foundation. Read economics and history at Cambridge University: The stated aim of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate system. 1.5°C to save small islands is a brilliant soundbite that turns out to be 100% wrong. On what basis did the IPCC mandate net zero by 2050? The process of revising the carbon budget demonstrates it is more of a smoke and mirrors exercise than hard science. Unilateral net zero will make companies, their shareholders, employees, customers and local communities poorer. There is no economic, social or ethical justification for self-impoverishment, as it benefits no-one but green rent-seekers and the West’s competitors.
Richard Lindzen is an atmospheric physicist, Emeritus Professor at MIT. An implausible conjecture backed by false evidence and repeated incessantly has become politically correct ‘knowledge,’ and is used to promote the overturn of industrial civilization. What we will be leaving our grandchildren is not a planet damaged by industrial progress, but a record of unfathomable silliness as well as a landscape degraded by rusting wind farms and decaying solar panel arrays. There is at least one positive aspect to the present situation. None of the proposed policies will have much impact on greenhouse gases. Thus we will continue to benefit from the one thing that can be clearly attributed to elevated carbon dioxide: namely, its effective role as a plant fertilizer, and reducer of the drought vulnerability of plants.