IN a column last September (‘Climate change’ faces same fate as ‘population bomb’, Manila Times, Sept. 22, 2018), I suggested that the global warming hysteria is tracking the same trajectory as the population bomb in the 1970s. I wrote:
“Climate change (aka ‘global warming’) will face abandonment in the same way that the once trendy ‘population bomb’ scare was totally deserted towards the close of the 20th century. Nobody today spouts the theology of population explosion.
That this development is imminent is suggested by the fact that more and more scientists, including some who were once climate alarmists, are abandoning the claims and scares of climate change. The literature debunking climate change now easily drowns the climate-crisis propaganda.
The goal of carbon chastity has become as elusive and problematic as clerical celibacy in the Catholic church.”
My prognosis appears to be coming to pass in the wake of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) special report on an imminent global climate catastrophe.
You would think that this grim prediction of doomsday would send he world into a panic, and create an industry for doomsday products and global warming defenses.
Instead, doomsday may have spawned the opposite.
Yawns over UN report
On October 15, the prestigious and highly influential Wall Street Journal published an editorial titled, “The UN’s doomsday climate clock.” It opened with these words:
“Have we reached peak alarmism on climate change? The question occurs after the muted reaction last week to the latest forecast from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In case you hadn’t heard, we’re all doomed, yet the world mostly yawned. This is less complacency than creeping scientific and political realism.”
It then dryly noted: “Maybe predicting the apocalypse is the wrong strategy.”
More is wrong than just the UN strategy. It is wrong on the science and the facts.
My latest harvest of articles, reports and commentaries on the UN report overwhelmingly point to rejection of the UN prognosis.
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the UN is only engaged in scare propaganda. The IPCC should not be taken seriously. This is the consensus of informed opinion, of reputable media organizations, and the majority of nations and world leaders.
As a service to readers who may also wish to follow the argument, I list below key articles, papers, commentaries and reports that helped me form a conclusion. Among the research materials, that commend attention are:
1. “Why the confusion over climate change” by Calvin Beisner (PhD), founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. The article was posted on October 15 in the Daily Caller website. Because of its cogency and brevity, I summarize it below.
2. “Global warming for the two cultures” by Dr. Richard Lindzen, 2018 Global Warming Policy Foundation lecture. On October 8, Dr. Lindzen, a former Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT and member of the US National Academy of Sciences, delivered his lecture at the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London. It should be must reading for anyone who takes an interest in the global warming/climate change debate.
At the close of his scholarly discussion, Dr. Lindzen observes: “So there you have it. 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. False claims about 97 percent agreement will not spare us, but the willingness of scientists to keep mum is likely to much reduce trust in and support for science. Perhaps this won’t be such a bad thing after all — certainly as concerns ‘official’ science. 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. Meanwhile, the IPCC is claiming that we need to prevent another 0.5◦C of warming, although the 1◦C that has occurred so far has been accompanied by the greatest increase in human welfare in history.”
Note the descriptive terms: “implausible conjecture”, “false evidence,” and “unfathomable silliness.”
3.”William Nordhaus vs the UN on climate change policy” by Robert P. Murphy
On the same day that William Nordhaus shared the 2018 Nobel Prize in economics, the IPCC released its latest climate report.
The media lauded Nordhaus and his support of a carbon tax, but Nordhaus contends that the UN policy goal of 1.5 C is absolutely ludicrous, and in fact it would make humanity much worse off than doing nothing at all about slowing climate change.
Confusion over climate change
Dr. Beisner’s essay on the confusion is very enlightening. It draws greatly from Dr. Lindzen’s lecture. He cites seven points for attention:
1. C.P. Snow identified “two cultures”:
One is the culture of the truly scientifically educated, who understand difficult concepts and theories, and have developed high-level skills in discovering and interpreting data that leave the rest of us in the dust.
The other is the culture of the rest of us, who don’t have that understanding or those skills.
2. In the debates about global warming/climate change, the vast majority of participants, even among those who think of themselves as scientifically literate, are of that “other culture.
3. The popular public perception of the science of climate (and climate change) is that it’s quite simple, really: There’s one phenomenon to be explained (“global average temperature,” or GAT, which, by the way, is a thoroughly unscientific concept). And there’s one explanation for it: the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
4. The reality is that Earth’s climate system is probably the most complicated system we’ve ever studied, with the exception of DNA and the human brain.
GAT is only one of many important phenomena to measure in the climate system, and CO2 is only one of many factors that influence both GAT and all the other phenomena.
5. CO2’s role in controlling GAT is at most perhaps 2 percent, yet climate alarmists think of it as the “control knob.”
6. Most people readily confuse weather (short-term, local-scale temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, cloudiness, and more) with climate (long-term, large-scale of each) and think weather phenomena are driven by climate phenomena; they aren’t.
7. Politicians everywhere and lots and lots of scientists who really ought to know better are dead certain that we can control GAT, that we must control GAT, that the guaranteed way to control GAT is to control CO2 emissions.
They are also certain that doing so, though it will cost in the realm of $70–$140 trillion, makes perfect sense.
Autopsy on the IPCC
No, it makes no sense.
As things stand now, nations and world leaders are repelled by the IPCC’s demand. Some countries, like Canada, are retreating from their plan to pass a carbon tax.
Many scientists have slammed the IPCC, its methods and its reports.
The most intriguing message says the world should stop listening to the IPCC.
So, sooner than an apocalypse, we could see an autopsy on the IPCC.