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I had an email from Greta Thunberg on Monday 1 November 2021

She told me that ”the planet is screaming for help”. And “We are catastrophically far from the crucial goal of 1.5°C.” Words like screaming and catastrophe are not scientific or measured and do nothing to encourage sensible discussion or practical solutions to the genuine problems that are part of climate change.

A new belief system

This kind of talk is hysteria and unfortunately hysteria is infectious. It has already spread around the world to create a new kind of belief system, a new kind of religion (climate activism), which is not open to discussion or questioning and is only loosely related to facts.

You can be saved

Its approach is designed to generate fear and develop a following through a desire to be saved from a Terrible Fate. It leads to such bizarre behaviour as people gluing their hands to tarmac in order to draw attention to the fear they think we all should be experiencing. They believe they can offer us salvation and seek to convert the world to their beliefs by their show of passion, conviction, certainty that they have the answer.

The reward

If we follow them we can save millions of lives, stop the ice caps and glaciers melting, stop the desertification of farm lands, stop rising sea levels, stop extreme weather events, wildfires, hurricanes and floods.

The media love disaster stories

Unfortunately, the world’s media thrive on stories of shock and horror and talk of imminent disasters and so are only too happy to spread the alarmist rhetoric. Every natural disaster is good news for the media who will not miss an opportunity to highlight it and explain its cause – climate change, of course.

Climate alarmists

Climate alarmists get a disproportionate share of the headlines as compared with people taking a rational approach to dealing with global warming.

Global warming has been happening for centuries

Scientists tell us that global warming has been going on for the last 27,000 years. 27,000 years ago an ice sheet stretched down across Scotland and Northern England as far as the Midlands and took another 16,000 years to melt off the UK. Sea levels have been rising all this time.

Continued global warming

Continued global warming is inevitable and is accelerating in some areas which is certainly a matter of grave concern.

We know where to expect natural disasters.

We can expect more natural disasters and we know pretty well where they will occur. A French atlas I have, published in 2003, shows the areas of France where natural disasters are likely to occur and what they will be. Armed with this knowledge people can make preparations to cope. Similar knowledge exists in countries around the world.

Surviving climate change  –  tested methods that work

The people of the Netherlands are not waiting for sea levels to rise. As far as they are concerned the sea level has already risen. The sea level is already higher than much of their land but by skilful water management and engineering they have saved themselves with flood defences and pumping stations.
Strengthening flood defences is a major task for many countries and may be more effective than trying to halt climate change. Quick and definite results can be guaranteed.
Hurricanes cannot be prevented but buildings can be built to withstand them.
Forest fires may be worse now partly because many occur in forests planted by humans and consisting of very resinous and highly flammable pine trees.  Seriously wide fire-breaks might be incorporated in planting schemes, so, perhaps, re-thought forestry management systems may help.
Some effects of climate change may be impossible to mitigate and so we hope policies designed to “halt climate change” may have some effect.

Nuclear power station releasing huge quantities of water vapour into the atmosphere, a climate negative, but the greatest danger is radioactivity, the risk of accident, and the long-term storage problem that has no known answer and unbelievable and unknowable cost

A climate change solution to avoid

I would like to highlight one proposed solution to the climate crises which is dangerously inappropriate as it carries huge, and very long-term environmental risks to be suffered by future generations. Please see my post on this issue. About the dangers of nuclear power.

There’s more to say about climate change

Obviously there is more to the climate change issue than considered above.
This article doesn’t cover all my thoughts on climate change so I will write another article soon. This will be on climate science and the questions campaigners don’t address.
Please also see my memories of an extreme weather event, the Fenland Floods of 1947. It includes a remarkable video.


Do you believe that if we all drive electric cars, use heat pumps instead of gas boilers, insulate our houses to the maximum, never fly again  –  then floods, rising sea levels, forest fires and all the ills of climate change will end?

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Dangerous cladding scandal – the government could quickly alleviate the problem

Dangerous cladding scandal - the government could quickly alleviate the problem

The government has available some simple (partial) solutions to the problem of the combustible cladding scandal

Homes became unsaleable

More than a million flat owners in this country find themselves to be living in blocks of flats with flammable cladding and other fire safety defects.
Most of their flats are now unsaleable, which means that they are valued at zero, a problem which especially affects first time owners who can now not think of moving on.

Huge additional costs

This is a nightmare situation but to add to this disaster flat owners are faced with crippling costs which are already causing bankruptcies and huge distress. A survey of 1,342 leaseholders by Inside Housing in February 2021 found that around 90% of respondents expected to pay over £10,000, with 62.5% facing a total bill of above £30,000 to bring their flats up to the legal fire safety standard.

Two problems and their partial remedies

Two issues need immediate attention and could save flat owners millions of pounds in unjustified extra charges which have been placed on them.

  1. Fire seekers

Because more than a million flat owners are considered to be living in high fire-risk homes they have been required to employ 24-hour fire safety wardens to patrol the outside and inside of blocks of flats. It’s a ludicrous idea that a man walking round a building or walking up and down corridors, no doubt utterly numbed by the mindless boredom of the task, is going to be the first to spot a fire. Honestly, what are the chances? Almost all flat fires start inside flats themselves. The Grenfell Tower fire started inside a flat. Nevertheless these fire wardens are required by law to operate round the clock, seven days a week, and the cost to each individual flat owner amounts to over £5,000 per year.

What the government could do about fire wardens

It’s simple. Remove the requirement to employ them.

2. Insurance

Although major, all-consuming fires in tower blocks like Grenfell are extremely rare, insurance premiums have been raised to as much as five times their previous level. This is pure exploitation. It cannot be that external fires in blocks of flats have increased five fold since the Grenfell disaster in June 2017. Premiums for building insurance per flat are now as much as £3,500 a year. To add to the scandal of these huge premium rises the excesses demanded are typically £250,000. This means that insurance payouts if a home were to be totally destroyed would be only a fraction of what could reasonably be expected.

What the government could do now about the insurance companies

At nil or negligible cost to the tax payer the government could bring in controls to

  • reduce the premiums unjustified by the actual risk

  • reduce the sums required as excesses

  • make buildings awaiting the remediation of unsafe cladding exempt from insurance tax


Who is responsible for the scandal of Britain’s unsafe flats?

Several organisations can be identified as responsible for the widespread use of potentially dangerous cladding and lack of fire safety within buildings.

  1. The manufacturers must have been aware of the characteristics of the material they were using in their product. They are morally responsible for selling a highly flammable product that was far worse than “not fit for purpose”.

  2. The inspecting organisation responsible for testing a product to be installed on thousands of buildings failed in their duty to properly test the product.

  3. Past governments, in placing the task of building materials inspection in private hands, including firms connected to the building trade, removed the independence which a government body would have had.

  4. Building firms which have failed to install legally required safety features.

  5. Building inspectors who failed to ensure that buildings met the required standards, and builders who “self certified” that their work complied with building regulations when it didn’t.

Who should pay the bill for replacing cladding which is highly combustible and making safe defectively built flats?

Some of the above made huge profits from their shameful work – sums amounting to million or even billions of pounds. They should be the ones to pay to put matters right and the government (i.e. the taxpayer) should contribute too (and is already making a contribution).

Who should NOT pay to put matters right?

In this tragic scandal only one party is wholly innocent and that is the flat buyer who purchased a home in the reasonable belief that it was safe to live in. Currently it is the flat buyer who is being asked to pay for the wrongs and crimes of others.

The guilty
The government needs to act to ensure that those responsible for the damage are the ones who pay for the remedy. The cladding scandal is not just a scandal it is also a crime and people most responsible should be identified and punished.

More information at

Government article

Excellent wikipedia article

Inside Housing

Daily Mail article

David Roberts 17 February 2021

Please consider writing to your MP or Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and share this post.

The contact link for a short comment to Robert Jenrick is

If you have insights or experience in this area please take advantage of the opportunity to comment below. 

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