A VERY CONSERVATIVE EXPERIMENTHostilities in the climate wars often commence with the combattants accusing each other of having axes to grind. Since some few of them employ PR firms, these charges may at times have merit, but far from being a radical postmodern enterprise, climate science has been taking the future with a large grain of salt since before the Civil War,
when John Tyndall used optics cut from infra-red transparent crystals of rock salt to measure radiant heat absorption by gases, as M. Fourier had proposed back when John Quincy Adams was equipping the White House with energy efficient whale oil lamps.
In 1861 Tyndall's peer reviewed work appeared in a journal established in the eighteenth century: The Philosophical Magazine :
"Now if, as the above experiments indicate the chief influence be exercised by the aqueous vapour, every variation of this constituent must produce a change of climate.
Similar remarks would apply to the carbonic acid diffused through the air, while an almost inappreciable admixture of any of the hydrocarbon vapours would produce great effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate." --JOHN TYNDALL FRS: 'On the absorption and radiation of heat by gases and vapours'
Victoria & Albert's science advisor did not need a computer model or Fourier transforms to make his point. His steampunk experiment employed nothing fancier than a large grain of salt, a bunsen burner and some curious bits of Victorian plumbing , yet so strong and reproducible is the absorption of heat by carbon dioxide that the difference in projected warmth can be felt when a salt-windowed tube of CO2 is interposed between a heat source and the palm of an observer's hand.
153 years of getting the same very conservative result might convince any disinterested Tory that Tyndall was on to something. Word of his researches spread to the far limits of the Empire, witness this Victorian letter, remarking on the Duke of Argyle's discovery of tropical plant fossils in the chilly coal measures of Scotland:
Many ingenious hypotheses have been proposed to account for the warmer climate of earlier times, but are at best unsatisfactory; and it appears to me that the true solution of the problem may be found in the constitution of the early atmosphere, when considered in the light of Dr. Tyndall's beautiful researches on radiant heat. He has found that the presence of a few hundredths of carbonic acid gas in the atmosphere, while offering almost no obstacle to the passage of the solar rays, would suffice to prevent almost entirely the loss by radiation of obscure heat, so that the surface of the land beneath such an atmosphere would become like a vast orchid house, in which the conditions of climate necessary to a luxuriant vegetation would be extended even to the polar regions.
ALBERT K. VARLEY, F.R.S. Mount Gambier, Australia , June 12, 1884.
But word has yet to reach UKIP Übertwit James Delingpole , whose column has decayed into the ravings of a very low Whig:
"MEGHAN McCAIN - THE HANOI JANE OF ENVIRONMENTALISM , OR : WHY CONSERVATIVES SHOULD NOT BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE
Have you ever wondered why conservatives don’t talk more often about ...the urgent need to rein in economic growth in order to give the planet a more sustainable future?
We interrupt this embarassing diatribe to bring you an comment from a dedicated Delingpole fan, a soi disant "Retired engineer/ scientist / writer active in exposing the FRAUDS of Carbon climate forcing, 'sustainable' energy, 'peak' oil and big bang...":
" What is it about elitist directed FAUX SCIENCE that you refuse to comprehend ? ? ?
Carbon climate forcing, 'sustainable' energy, 'peak' oil and big bang are all CRAP false paradigm narratives.
We have been systematically LIED to about everything, but your too simpleminded to notice."