An Australian Scot’s view of COP 26.


ScoMo doesn’t need to go to Glasgow. I grew up there and can tell him all he needs to know

Stuart Ballantyne

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This article questions the need for Cop26. I have already published articles in support for action on climate change. This is for balance. It was first published in the Spectator Australia. The author is a close friend of Professor Alf Baird.

SOME BACKGROUND ON THE AUTHOR

Stuart Ballantyne is the Glasgow born (now Australian) inventor and designer and multi-award winner of the medium-speed steel-hull catamaran passenger/car ferry which he has built and sold to more countries than most other designers. He’s also a big indy supporter given his parents like many others had to take their large family to Oz to find work and a future back in the 60s. His mantra on Scotland under Westminster rule was: ‘anybody with get up and go got up and left’. His global ferry industry experience suggests temperature has not altered that much and neither has sea levels, and he should know as he has built a lot of ferries and ferry ramps which go into the sea around the globe, so he is well aware of what has been occurring with Mean Sea Level. Stuart makes a sojourn back to Scotland most years to try to convince the bureaucrat’s at CMAL-CalMac and the Scottish Government to buy his sensible and proven designs of ferries, without success so far, though his designs have operated successfully in Orkney for that past decade and more and are so efficient they don’t need any subsidy – and make a healthy profit to boot, plus lowering emissions by 50%. That’s probably good enough reason for CMAL-CalMac and the Scottish Gov and RMT to reject them! They’re just too good!
Stuart, a former Chair of World Ferry organisation Interferry and of the World Ferry Safety Association is chair of Sea Transport Corp based in Brisbane and Singapore, and currently in the process of building 30 ferries for the Philippines plus others for various global markets. He offered to build 30 of his proven designs of catamarans to replace the entire CalMac fleet for the same amount of money the Scottish Government is currently spending (wasting – £300m) on just two ferries, the yet to be completed poorly designed C-MAL ferries currently building at Port Glasgow: Ferries | Naval Architects, Consultants & Surveyors (seatransport.com)

I grew up close to Glasgow on the River Clyde, and from our kitchen window you could predict the weather with astonishing accuracy. If you could see the peak of Ben Lomond it was going to rain, if you couldn’t see Ben Lomond, it was raining. Pretty simple stuff.

After seven years globetrotting as a merchant navy officer, I changed careers, studying ship design and until recently, ran a successful ship design office in Australia. 

Our early car ferry designs in the mid 1970’s had a start point of the Mean Sea Level — MSL –and the shore concrete ramp toe point or tangent point was allocated from the MSL depending of course on the size of ferry, freeboard and so on. 

My first task was in Western Samoa, followed by Natovi in Fiji where I personally assisted the midnight construction company by building a shore ramp for the impending arrival of Fiji’s first roll on roll off passenger ferry, the 60m “Ovalua”.  

After visiting 70 countries 10 times, I managed to sell our innovative ferry designs to 47 countries around the globe. All of the shore ramp geometries were based off the MSL  

During my travels, I observed Maurice Strong, the founder of the UN Environment Program creating a significant business based on fear of global warming by declaring that “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialised civilisations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about ?” Strong’s influence lasted for 20 years until 2005 when he was disgraced, but his legacy of fear lives on.   

We all heard Al Gore’s bold predictions of catastrophic global warming, melting glaciers and of course drastic sea level rises. As a ship designer, I was very happy with this prospect of water coverage of the earth increasing from 71% as it would need more ships. Secondly, I could take the dinghy from my old yacht right into my favourite coffee shop and provided the staff had welly boots or gumboots big enough, pick up my coffee in style. 

Alas, in 2013 the song sheet of “global warming” changed seamlessly into “climate change” when the UN’s IPCC finally ‘fessed up that the earth had actually been cooling for the previous 17 years. Despite this revelation, the closed shop of UN bureaucrats and self-promoting scientists, the fear generated by Strong and his sycophants had already captivated the minds of millions of people and media outlets globally, all too lazy to check the facts.  

Do I believe in Climate Change? of course I do! Climate is temperature. Sit out in your backyard for 24 hours with a beer in one hand and a thermometer in the other and watch the climate change hourly.  

The capital of climate change is definitely Melbourne. I still tell the story of a ship’s captain, who had a pet cat. This cat would do a forward somersault if it was going to be a nice day, or a back somersault if it was going to be a rainy day. After three days in Melbourne, the cat died of exhaustion.  

Anyone who has been there is aware that for Melbourne, picking the right clothes for a day out in and around this interesting city is indeed a challenge. I know, I used to live there, and like many locals moved to Queensland where the temperature is more pleasant and fluctuations are smaller.  

Do I believe in global warming? No, because after flying through Singapore for over 50 years, they always tell us on arrival the temperature is between 29-31 degrees. 

So in the last few months, I have contacted many operators of our ferry designs to find out what is the change in the Mean Sea Level, using the local harbourmaster’s wooden tide gauge, not a computer model. From Venezuela, Bahamas, Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, UK, Abu Dhabi, Holland and Africa, some were up some were down, but the average was marginally higher by around 25 millimetres. Almost imperceptible, but that’s not what government computer modelling continue to tell us. 

Would that small increase come from melting glaciers? I doubt it, but I have observed in most countries visited over decades, massive waterfront reclamation projects, with billions of cubic metres creating airports, new container ports, residential land and assorted activities. Governments love doing this as it creates land that they can sell, and also source tax on an ongoing basis. But they are generally quiet about such activities and happy to head nod about melting glaciers as the culprit. Wellington’s waterfront streets were all reclaimed land. Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai have had recent massive reclamation as have cities along China’s coastline.  

More recently the world has witnessed the diminutive Spratley islands having a massive reclamation by China into a sizeable defence base, while the bewildered Filipino leadership stood idly by. 

So as an Australian taxpayer, Prime Minister, please do not waste our taxpayer funds by going to Glasgow’s COP gabfest. Stay here, focus on getting the eight imposters off the bridge. Then surround yourself with people in the real world, not the sycophants of Maurice Strong 

I am happy to go as your representative and truthfully stand up and tell them my findings of what is actually happening around the globe (and visit my Scottish rellies at the same time). 

32 thoughts on “An Australian Scot’s view of COP 26.

  1. Hallelujah ! A dissident voice amongst the * consensus * ” WE’RE DOOMED ( unless you follow OUR imperatives ) ” hysterics intent on imposing even more restrictions and – no doubt – taxes on * everyone * – not the Windsor Freeloaders , obv – which , as always ,will have the greatest , negative , impact on those who can least afford it .

    The same bogus * consensus * has taken control – in fact has always been in control – of the Bubovid Master Narrative : like the Climate * Crisis * narrative , excluding/ridiculing/censoring any/every contrary opinion , irrespective of it’s sound , SCIENTIFIC provenance .

    Taking the two dominant narratives together , one feeding into the other , we have the perfect recipe for the global power-brokers and their malleable , wannabe big players politicians ( Masked -up virtue signaller and committed Globalist Sturgeon in our – unfortunate – case ) to make a meal of all of our freedoms and capacity to have a decent quality of life .

    A banquet to which we the * common * people have not been invited but will be expected to pay for , as well as leaving a generous tip in the form of reelection for our wonderful * life/planet saving * representatives

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Spoken like a true Australian “She’ll be right” – He should not have gone to Scotland to try and sell ferries to the Scots, He should have gone to Westminster for Scottish ferries are all very political, nothing to do with efficacy, cost or convenience. Glad to see that Australia has not robbed him of his Scottish sense of humour.

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  3. Climate change is very real. Having spent the last two decades working in aviation, it doesn’t profit me in anyway to say this, but it is real. Climatology is not weather.
    Have a look at how the jet stream drives our weather (my focal point is on the northern hemisphere because that’s where I live), and have a look at what drives the jet stream – the temperature difference between the equator and the poles and also the coriolis effect.

    Have a look at the temperature, no, not outside your door, but in the arctic circle, where temperatures of more than 30deg are becoming more and more common. These incredible conditions have triggered Siberian fires which on their own are actually bigger than all the other global fire events combined. It is also causing the non-linear increase in the release of methane from the arctic tundra and the arctic seas. Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

    Reduced temperature difference between the jet stream and the poles also results in the slackening of the polar jet stream – that upper wind in the stratosphere that can take you from Newark to Glasgow in under 6 hours. This slackening causes the jet stream to ‘meander’ causing big peaks and troughs where the weather ‘sticks’. Rather than a few days or a week of a continuous period of the same weather, you get a month or more, of that weather, which in itself can be devastating. That could be a month of drought or a month of snow. And yes, I see changes on the ground. I can tell you, running a market garden in east Scotland for the last few years, this has definitely been our driest year. We are now rethinking and re-planning what we grow and how we grow it to cater, not only for long dry spells, but for continuous long wet spells, and increasing extreme weather events. Fife recorded a 1 in 1000 year rain event in August last year. We can expect more of these as the atmosphere becomes more and more energetic. We are also painfully aware that Scotland needs to be growing much more of its own food in order to increase our food security.

    Prolonged periods of inclement weather can destroy entire crops. Imagine just a small extension days of extreme weather in our global bread baskets. It doesn’t take much. That’s food shortages, skyrocketing prices, and for many, starvation.

    Sea level change isn’t just about ice melting into the ocean, it is also about increased temperature causing thermal expansion of our seas, which make all the difference in a storm or tidal surge.
    ‘Well I don’t see any difference’ demonstrates our classical, and very dangerous linear thinking. Non-linear change seems to happen slowly at first, but by the time you notice it, it is already out of control. Take an unstable Boulder at the top of a mountain. You can likely prevent it from being dislodged by the application of some fencing. Try stopping the boulder after it starts rolling down the mountain. The energy of that boulder varies with the square of the speed – you double the speed, you quadruple the energy, and we’re not even talking about the other boulders dislodged as a result. James Hansen from NASA also observed the ‘lag’ effect. For example, the conditions we are experiencing now are the effects of what was out into the atmosphere 25 years ago. Of course, this ‘lag’ reinforces our linear thinking until it’s too late.

    There’s far too much to go into in a comment on a blog, but I wrote this because the article really worries and depresses me. I flew commercial aircraft for the past twenty years but, having read the science for the pats 10 years , I acknowledge for the sake of our kids/grandkids, that we can’t keep on our current path. I won’t engage in a ding-dong with climate deniers. If folk want to cite some marginalised wacko on YouTube then go for it.

    An independent Scotland needs to move away from hydrocarbons, and we certainly can, provided we become monetarily sovereign. Look to Denmark, who during the opec crisis chose a different path. We can do that too.

    I do agree with the author however, that travelling to COP in Glasgow is a waste of time.

    To me, these are just gloried trade fairs. If western governments took this seriously, we wouldn’t be having COP meetings, we would just be getting on with it.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. The jet stream is controlled by solar activity. The climate is controlled by solar activity. The primary source literature is pretty clear on this now despite climate science having been settled years ago. We do not need to move away from hydrocarbons. To do so would be civilisational suicide.

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      1. “We do not need to move away from hydrocarbons. To do so would be civilisational suicide.”

        How so?

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    2. There is also methane in deeper-water seabed sediments, preserved as clathrates / methane hydrates.. See ‘bottom-simulating reflector’ if you need more. These will become unstable and release the gas if they warm up too much. How much is too much – I don’t know. But I’ve been told their stability decreases with H2S content, a variable.

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  4. Tell the story to anyone who ice climbs and ask them how their hobby in Scotland has changed over the years.

    It is a fact that the Romans were growing grapes around Hadrian’s Wall 2000 years ago. It is also true that in the 16th. And 17th. Century the Forth was frozen for months and roads crossed the ice. People talk about the hottest or coldest day on record and forget that detailed records are a tiny short snapshot of global weather measurementsgoing back a few hundred years at best.

    Yes evidence exists of 400 year climate cycles and 10,000 year cycles in the hard records of fossils.

    However the reality is that we are damaging this planet, we are polluting the very atmosphere we breath.
    We can select and debate the numbers all we wish but as the writer of the article did when he asked the harbourmasters to check the wooden pole for change in MSL . Simply step outside and breathe the air in any City.
    Watch the News of massive forest fires, floods, rivers and wells drying,

    So the argument comes down to
    Are we as humans contributing 5%, 10% or more to damaging the plant.
    Is the time scale for action wrong. Should it be Now, 5 years or 50years

    What is the downside of making homes better insulated, reducing household energy demands so that we need less power stations, making engines more efficient, making the air we breathe a better quality etc etc.

    In reality the article really only says it is not happening as fast as the scientists are saying, not that it isn’t happening.

    If we act we reduce the cost of heating a home. We reduce City pollution, we reduce plastics in the sea we make the bubble we live in better.

    What if the writer of this article is wrong – then we waste another decade/generation and damage our thin layer of atmosphere further

    Does anyone really believe man is not damaging this planet?

    Arguing over his percentage contribution is pointless. Debating the speed of change delays progress.

    How many land fill sites are near you? What is the quality of the air like when you take the kids to school. Do not get bogged down in numbers or computer models. There is no downside to taking sensible action on a raft of issues.

    I find it very hard to understand why people feel determined to argue that the issue be pushed back another generation.

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    1. You’ll find that people generally argue for nothing to change when they’re doing very nicely out of the current status quo, thank you very much. In other words: “I’m alright Jack”.

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  5. The one certain fixed point in a kaleidoscopically changing world is that the guy you’re seeing and hearing _now_ — in a blog or or on tv, in a newspaper or up at the saloon bar, in a group of friends, or at your Monday team meeting, wherever, whenever — is the one sole person on the face of Planet Earth who truly understands what is going on and has always known and loudly advocated the only right thing for everyone else to do or not do for more than 25 years. This is getting way, way beyond boring. In the 1960s, I remember, Americans used to say that the Brits were heading into a future in which we would sink giggling beneath the waves. At least we were going to be giggling: not any more.
    You want to know the score in the Climate Change game? it’s updated every month in the CO2 concentration measurements published by the Scripps Institute. If we ever do anything to alleviate the crisis, that’s where hope will show up first!

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  6. It’s interesting that all the opponents to the idea that climate change is caused by humans have something to lose if the changes needed to slow or halt the process were implemented.

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  7. Stuart, I wouldn’t worry too much about COP26, they never do anything after the meeting is over any way, and with Australia the USA’s tip of the spear in goading China, in which the Chinese premier Xi Jingpin is not attending COP26, China will just open up more coal mines to create more weapons.

    As for Al Gore, he has been exposed as a fraud in Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans. Closer to home the Scottish government should’ve taken you up on your deal to build the ferries.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m afraid that’s a result of how the powerful states view their international legal obligations. There is also a terrifying amount of those in positions of power, who ground their world-view in the Cartesian mind/body dualism that supports anti-scientific beliefs, such as climate change denial and the woo woo that humans are separate from and above nature, so are able to change their biological sex simply through the powers of imagination.

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  8. Stuart it doesn’t matter how many missed “under water by such and such a date”, inundated by the year so and so” and “completely melted by…whatever” dates and years come and go they’ll always be back with more!

    Pollution is a serious problem. It is best dealt with at the macro level, not the micro.

    I don’t choose to buy my meat in plastic – the supermarket makes that decision for me.

    I don’t choose to drive to work because Scotland has a crap (and getting worse by the day with the Scottish Government seemingly not giving a damn) Public Transport “system” – the State has decided that for me.

    I feel no personal responsibility because I have no power – the people with the power talk big but do little, which lets me see they probably don’t believe in it either.

    In any case what has Scotland got to do with it? This is a de-industrialised husk, even if what the alarmists say is true anything we do here is irrelevant.

    Never mind, I’ll just sit back and enjoy the Pantomime on the Clyde, no doubt starring Greetin-faced Greta and Charlie Big Ears!

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  9. Good to see some balance on the climate issue.
    It could be more science based though.
    Problems like the tampering of the temp record & the ridiculous excuses for this, the accumulating evidence of solar activity/cosmic ray/cloud formation link, the failure of Total Solar Irradiance as a measure of the earths energy budget, atmospheric heating from energetic particle bombardment and a host of other issues with the narrative need to be exposed and discussed thoroughly.

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  10. ‘What’s the difference between global and local sea level?
    Global sea level trends and relative sea level trends are different measurements. Just as the surface of the Earth is not flat, the surface of the ocean is also not flat—in other words, the sea surface is not changing at the same rate globally. Sea level rise at specific locations may be more or less than the global average due to many local factors: subsidence, upstream flood control, erosion, regional ocean currents, variations in land height, and whether the land is still rebounding from the compressive weight of Ice Age glaciers.

    Sea level is primarily measured using tide stations and satellite laser altimeters. Tide stations around the globe tell us what is happening at a local level—the height of the water as measured along the coast relative to a specific point on land. Satellite measurements provide us with the average height of the entire ocean. Taken together, these tools tell us how our ocean sea levels are changing over time.’

    The guy might be right, but given the coastal flooding which there is I’m not sure.
    I think that this might just count as climate Change Denial and i would hate that to become part of the Scottish Independista narrative

    the quote comes from https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

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  11. He asked the wrong question. Should have asked – ‘Has there been increasing occurrence of high water events?’ – I think he would have got a different answer. Sea level rises are only one consequence of climate change and not the most serious.

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    1. I recall from when I worked in the oil business that there was comment about wave heights in the North Sea. I’m not sure whether anything was published at the time. Essentially platforms were designed for clearance at anticipated wave heights. These were being exceeded, waves were hitting cellar decks if I remember right. This, at the time was said to result from worsening bad weather.

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  12. What I don’t like is politicians and big business using a real problem to push fake solutions such as Nuclear energy or Hydrogen derived from fossil fuels instead of Green Hydrogen.
    I detest those like the Royal Family who jump on the bandwagon to up their profile while being absolute hypocrites in the lifestyle they pursue.
    The Environment is being damaged but politicians live in election cycles and big business lives in the land of profit.
    Unfortunately we have a Green Party more interested in the Trans campaign than our Planet. Why is it these days I have to take the “full package” of any political Party? Tory greed and Nuclear Power plus WMD or Labour, LibDem Tory Lite. Or SNP, Green loony Science denial on Biology but Science acceptance on Global Warming?

    The NuSNP wants to save the extinction of spieces……..except Female Adult Humans.

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  13. As an ordinary old common-sense 60’s style ecologist, I’ve always believed that the fall-out from sustained large scale industrial activity over the years was bound to harm the planet and was therefore, unsustainable into the future.

    This time next year, I’ve no doubt, we’ll discover that the interests of the world’s countless, overly influential share holders and their equally problematic corporations have triumphed yet again, despite the ultimately forlorn blatherings of COP 26 delegates and world leaders alike. It would be wonderful to be wrong.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. The biggest threat to the planet is the size of the world’s population and associated increased demands for resources.

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  15. John Watt pretty much nailed it with his comment. The climate change/global warming problem is essentially one of unchecked human consumption on a planet overpopulated by humans. Our planet has undergone numerous climate changes throughout the aeons of its existence; as climate change deniers/sceptics are always keen to point out. Only, it didn’t have a population of 7 billion (and growing) humans to sustain until comparatively recently, during a tiny proportion of the unimaginably long timescale during which humans evolved. The point many fail to grasp is that it’s the human species that needs ‘saving’ from its own behaviour; not the planet, which will adapt as it always has done. At least until the dying Sun burns it to a crisp! Climate change and global warming aside, the planet’s resources (particularly fresh water) will be hard pressed to sustain a global human population of 11 billion or greater. No amount of recycling, reusing or asteroid mining is likely to alter that uncomfortable fact. Amongst many others, David Attenborough has been trying, with limited success, to raise the issues around human overpopulation for years. His problem seems to be that people are only prepared to listen when he’s talking about the plight of animals with smaller brains. Meantime, if the boat builders stop trying to tell the climate scientists how to do climate science; the climate scientists will probably refrain from telling the boat builders how to design ferries.

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  16. And this post and comments are exactly why people are exasperated by the contortions of all the supposed experts grandly proposing and espousing their beliefs and interpretations of what the evidence apparently means whilst ridiculing and dismissing other experts evidence

    It is the same with covid and other threats , so much information disputed and disbelieved with multitudes of videos and contrary opinions circulating and they all BELIEVE they are right

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  17. Hi Stuart
    Nice to know that you have been able to help so many people across the planet.

    PS don’t tell anyone that the world is ever so slowly slowing down and therefore if you live in the northern hemisphere you had better get a boat.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. OK, and in other news, the recent massive wildfires in Australia wear caused by a careless smoker chucking a lit fag end oot the car windae.

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