and gentlemen of the jury, we have the cross examination for the
defence of the esteemed expert, Dr A.N. Cliematologist, who is a
prosecution witness for the whole of mankind. (barrister speaks in
Your name is AN Cliematologist, a professor in cliematology, who is proposing to convict and punish mankind for emitting CO2
How is this exactly going to happen?
it is very simple, man has emitted so much fossil fuel that the CO2
levels are so high as to raise the temperature, possibly to a dangerous
Please could you explain the mechanism by which this may happen?
currently our atmosphere makes the planet 33C warmer than without it,
and the 260ppm of CO2 in 1850 and before added 1C. Doubling it may add
more than 1 more C as when it becomes warmer the oceans evaporate more,
releasing the far more powerful gas water vapour.
How far, exactly, has this process gone on for?
actually quite a long way, the CO2 is now a whole 50% higher than it was in 1850, while the temperature has risen almost 0.8C
Is this dangerous in itself?
no, the official turning point, where the benefits (gasps heard from the court) are outweighed by the problems, is 2C.
Although I am not a mathematician (titters from the court), if CO2 has
risen 50% and the total temperature has risen 0.8C, if you double that,
is not a doubling under 2C? (audience cheers)
correct, but as Al Gore says...
Objection, he is not a scientist
as James Hansen says, we may suffer runaway climate change at the
tipping point where it is impossible to turn back. Even if we stopped
emitting CO2 the amount already in the air would make the temperature
What, exactly, would cause this tipping point? Is it in any literature
I have to say, 97% of scientists agree on this, the topic is no longer up for discussion
The witness has operated the right of silence, if this happens it is
not an admission or implication of guilt. Tell me, is the existing 0.8C
all down to the rise in CO2?
no, around half was deduced by the models, as since the end of the last little ice age the temperature has been recovering.
So, this means if you doubled the amount your models claim is from CO2
alone, it is surprisingly close to the exact 1C figure when doubled, is
this correct or have I missed something?
is it time for lunch yet?
(Judge)- I am the only person in the court authorised to adjourn, and the answer is no, continue.
this is only a temporary natural effect, the warming is still continuing in the background and may shoot up at any point.
Is there a scientific principle behind this sudden rise?
if the poles melt the reducing ice will reflect less heat making the
sea warmer, as will the increased water vapour, increasing the stronger
That is a valid theory, when was it expected to begin to happen?
I do not quite understand the question?
Am I speaking in a foreign language suddenly? It is a very simple
question, we have established the lack of positive feedback after a 50%
rise in CO2, so what was the predicted mechanism for the delay in the
corresponding runaway rise in temperature?
it is partly due to
natural causes, many of which we do not fully understand (more audience
gasps), while it is possible our twenty years of action has worked to
keep the temperature down.
Without wanting to sound patronising, what is the nature of this action?
incentives and taxes to reduce CO2
And what exactly was the result of this?
sorry your honour, I did just answer that question?
Excuse me, I will rephrase my point. How much has the CO2 reduced in order to reduce the temperature exactly?
it has not reduced, it is rising faster than ever before since the carboniferous era.
(chattering from the court) Silence!
So, you are saying the feedback has not begun because of unknown
factors, but using my legal training, I may suggest to the jury if the
CO2 is rising so fast, then the measures are clearly not working, and
therefore would suggest your theory of positive feedback may be flawed.
the cliematologist faints, the judge calls for an adjournment.
Before we retire for our lunch, I must point out to the jury without a
further interview, which may or may not follow, the lack of a response
from our witness again is not an indication of truth or attempts to hide
the truth. The right of silence, from any cause, is absolute, and you
must only decide on the evidence given. However, I must point out the fact that evaporating water can
both form the greenhouse gas, water vapour, or clouds, which block out
the sun. I can tell you now the models are unable to factor in cloud
response so is currently absent from their models. I intend to raise
this after lunch should our witness be fit to testify but it is an
essential fact the jury must know to complete their deliberations.
Tomorrow's case. Who kidnapped the invisible fairies at the bottom of my garden?