By: Katie Tubb, a policy analyst for the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
I’m sure President Biden will have some stupid remark to make later about the tornado outbreak and link it to climate change. Here’s what the IPCC has to say: “Low confidence in past trends in hail and winds and tornado activity due to short length of high-quality data records.” pic.twitter.com/4WQIImcXZ2— Chris Martz (@ChrisMartzWX) December 11, 2021
We have grown accustomed to climate change being talked about in a certain way. Usually, it involves words and phrases like “dangerous,” “catastrophe,” “red zone,” and “one minute to midnight.”
Equally dramatic are the policies proposed by many in Washington, D.C., to force a transition away from conventional energy to more politically preferred options. These admittedly painful changes, we are told, are urgently needed “for the common good.”
However, climate trends don’t support rapid economy-altering responses, and areas of uncertainty in our scientific understanding caution for humility in policymaking.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently reported that the earth has warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius since 1850. It noted increasing trends in heat waves, heavy precipitation, and some kinds of drought.
Sea level has been rising at roughly 16 inches per century. It also found downward or no trends for hurricanes, winter storms and extreme cold, floods, tornadoes, or thunderstorms. So, Florida may be dealing with flooding, but not necessarily from global warming.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most extreme scenario for emissions and warming—the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, which has fueled the media’s apocalyptic “code red” reporting—was downgraded to “low likelihood.”
That was good news for scientific integrity more than anything else, as this alarmist scenario assumed such implausibilities as coal consumption per capita increasing sixfold by 2100.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report begs a number of fundamental questions that should be the focus of meaningful scientific and political debate.
For example, what is the nature of global warming—is it a net positive change, negative, or some mix in between? What is the pace of future warming, and do we have trustworthy tools to make educated guesses?
Why is the climate pre-1850 so preferred such that policies by global warming catastrophists point to it as a target for policy? What is the “ideal” temperature?
Too many politicians, with a helping hand from media eager to sell bad news, have assumed the answers and ignored nuance. The reality is, there is considerable uncertainty. Just three, broad examples:
Climate models thus far have run “too hot” and been unable to faithfully replicate observed historical temperatures. There remains great uncertainty about just how much warming an increase in greenhouse gas emissions induces (called the “equilibrium climate sensitivity”). This reduces confidence that these computer models can accurately project future conditions.
Climate emissions scenarios have misframed policy discussions about how to respond. Far too many politicians, academics, financial institutions, and nonprofits continue to base their work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s worst and most unrealistic scenario (the RCP8.5 mentioned earlier).
Third, our understanding of an incredibly complex, dynamic climate is always changing and busting previous notions of scientific “consensus” (which is itself more a political term than a scientific one).
For example, a recent review by 23 scientists, who themselves have diverse opinions, expressed concern that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s low-ball assumptions about the sun’s impact on global surface temperatures were “prematurely concluded” by forcing a consensus voice.
The answer to that question alone will have major implications for policymakers, whose efforts to tamp down man-made greenhouse gas emissions might be as good as spitting in the wind.
Noting deficiencies in our understanding of climate is not to dismiss science, but rather to illustrate how much more work needs to be done.
As scientific debates continue, history provides an interesting perspective even if it can’t answer questions about the future.
What happened in this past century of warming?
Extreme poverty—the norm for most of human history—plummeted 80%, thanks to economic growth and access to energy. Global crop yields of grains increased over 200%. Deaths from climate-related disasters decreased 96%.
As a percent of global gross domestic product, damages from natural disasters have actually declined since 1990. Air pollution in the U.S. (not to be confused with greenhouse gases) has declined 73% since 1980.
It’s important to acknowledge that many are concerned about global warming because they are concerned for their grandchildren and for the beautiful places we enjoy today. But history is riddled with stories of great harm done in the name of good intentions.
As we continue to improve our scientific understanding of climate, skepticism about climate policy is merited and serves as an antibody to flawed assumptions and preconceptions.
Naples Daily News originally published this article.
Climate experts demolish the climate science used by the IPCC. https://t.co/1j7XSEfEn6— Peter Clack (@PeterDClack) December 10, 2021
THANKFULLY we usually always get to hear the inconvenient and raw truth about taxpayer funded, unelected, bloated government bureaucracies when members eventually leave and are not subject to bullying and financial repercussions. Definitely no exception here…
- Dr Robert Balling: The IPCC notes that “No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected.” This did not appear in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers.
- Dr Lucka Bogataj: “Rising levels of airborne carbon dioxide don’t cause global temperatures to rise…. temperature changed first and some 700 years later a change in aerial content of carbon dioxide followed.”
- Dr John Christy: “Little known to the public is the fact that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC do not agree that global warming is occurring. Its findings have been consistently misrepresented and/or politicized with each succeeding report.”
- Dr Rosa Compagnucci: “Humans have only contributed a few tenths of a degree to warming on Earth. Solar activity is a key driver of climate.”
- Dr Richard Courtney: “The empirical evidence strongly indicates that the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is wrong.”
- Dr Judith Curry: “I’m not going to just spout off and endorse the IPCC because I don’t have confidence in the process.”
- Dr Robert Davis: “Global temperatures have not been changing as state of the art climate models predicted they would. Not a single mention of satellite temperature observations appears in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers.”
- Dr Willem de Lange: “In 1996 the IPCC listed me as one of approximately 3000 “scientists” who agreed that there was a discernible human influence on climate. I didn’t. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that runaway catastrophic climate change is due to human activities.”
- Dr Chris de Freitas: “Government decision-makers should have heard by now that the basis for the long-standing claim that carbon dioxide is a major driver of global climate is being questioned; along with it the hitherto assumed need for costly measures to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. If they have not heard, it is because of the din of global warming hysteria that relies on the logical fallacy of ‘argument from ignorance’ and predictions of computer models.”
- Dr Oliver Frauenfeld: “Much more progress is necessary regarding our current understanding of climate and our abilities to model it.”
- Dr Peter Dietze: “Using a flawed eddy diffusion model, the IPCC has grossly underestimated the future oceanic carbon dioxide uptake.”
- Dr John Everett: “It is time for a reality check. The oceans and coastal zones have been far warmer and colder than is projected in the present scenarios of climate change. I have reviewed the IPCC and more recent scientific literature and believe that there is not a problem with increased acidification, even up to the unlikely levels in the most-used IPCC scenarios.”
- Dr Eigil Friis-Christensen: “The IPCC refused to consider the sun’s effect on the Earth’s climate as a topic worthy of investigation. The IPCC conceived its task only as investigating potential human causes of climate change.”
- Dr Lee Gerhard: “I never fully accepted or denied the anthropogenic global warming concept until the furore started after NASA’s James Hansen’s wild claims in the late 1980s. I went to the [scientific] literature to study the basis of the claim, starting with first principles. My studies then led me to believe that the claims were false.”
- Dr Indur Goklany: “Climate change is unlikely to be the world’s most important environmental problem of the 21st century. There is no signal in the mortality data to indicate increases in the overall frequencies or severities of extreme weather events, despite large increases in the population at risk.”
- Dr Vincent Gray: “The [IPCC] climate change statement is an orchestrated litany of lies.”
- Dr Mike Hulme: “Claims such as ‘2500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous … The actual number of scientists who backed that claim was only a few dozen.”
- Dr Kiminori Itoh: “There are many factors which cause climate change. Considering only greenhouse gases is nonsense and harmful.”
- Dr Yuri Izrael: “There is no proven link between human activity and global warming. I think the panic over global warming is totally unjustified. There is no serious threat to the climate.”
- Dr Steven Japar: “Temperature measurements show that the climate model-predicted mid-troposphere hot zone is non-existent. This is more than sufficient to invalidate global climate models and projections made with them.”
- Dr Georg Kaser: “This number [of receding glaciers reported by the IPCC] is not just a little bit wrong, it is far out by any order of magnitude … It is so wrong that it is not even worth discussing.”
- Dr Aynsley Kellow: “I’m not holding my breath for criticism to be taken on board, which underscores a fault in the whole peer review process for the IPCC: there is no chance of a chapter [of the IPCC report] ever being rejected for publication, no matter how flawed it might be.”
- Dr Madhav Khandekar: “I have carefully analysed adverse impacts of climate change as projected by the IPCC and have discounted these claims as exaggerated and lacking any supporting evidence.”
- Dr Hans Labohm: “The alarmist passages in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers have been skewed through an elaborate and sophisticated process of spin-doctoring.”
- Dr Andrew Lacis: “There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department.”
- Dr Chris Landsea: “I cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”
- Dr Richard Lindzen: “The IPCC process is driven by politics rather than science. It uses summaries to misrepresent what scientists say and exploits public ignorance.”
- Dr Harry Lins: “Surface temperature changes over the past century have been episodic and modest and there has been no net global warming for over a decade now. The case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated.”
- Dr Philip Lloyd: “I am doing a detailed assessment of the IPCC reports and the Summaries for Policy Makers, identifying the way in which the Summaries have distorted the science. I have found examples of a summary saying precisely the opposite of what the scientists said.”
- Dr Martin Manning: “Some government delegates influencing the IPCC Summary for Policymakers misrepresent or contradict the lead authors.”
- Steven McIntyre: “The many references in the popular media to a ‘consensus of thousands of scientists’ are both a great exaggeration and also misleading.”
- Dr Patrick Michaels: “The rates of warming, on multiple time scales, have now invalidated the suite of IPCC climate models. No, the science is not settled.”
- Dr Nils-Axel Morner: “If you go around the globe, you find no sea level rise anywhere.”
- Dr Johannes Oerlemans: “The IPCC has become too political. Many scientists have not been able to resist the siren call of fame, research funding and meetings in exotic places that awaits them if they are willing to compromise scientific principles and integrity in support of the man-made global-warming doctrine.”
- Dr Roger Pielke: “All of my comments were ignored without even a rebuttal. At that point, I concluded that the IPCC Reports were actually intended to be advocacy documents designed to produce particular policy actions, but not a true and honest assessment of the understanding of the climate system.”
- Dr Paul Reiter: “As far as the science being ‘settled,’ I think that is an obscenity. The fact is the science is being distorted by people who are not scientists.”
- Dr Murry Salby: “I have an involuntary gag reflex whenever someone says the science is settled. Anyone who thinks the science is settled on this topic is in fantasia.”
- Dr Tom Segalstad: “The IPCC global warming model is not supported by the scientific data.”
- Dr Fred Singer: “Isn’t it remarkable that the Policymakers Summary of the IPCC report avoids mentioning the satellite data altogether, or even the existence of satellites — probably because the data show a slight cooling over the last 18 years, in direct contradiction of the calculations from climate models?”
- Dr Hajo Smit: “There is clear cut solar-climate coupling and a very strong natural variability of climate on all historical time scales. Currently I hardly believe anymore that there is any relevant relationship between human CO2 emissions and climate change.”
- Dr Richard Tol: “The IPCC attracted more people with political rather than academic motives. In AR4, green activists held key positions in the IPCC and they succeeded in excluding or neutralising opposite voices.”
- Dr Tom Tripp: “There is so much of a natural variability in weather it makes it difficult to come to a scientifically valid conclusion that global warming is man made.”
- Dr Gerd-Rainer Weber: “Most of the extremist views about climate change have little or no scientific basis.”
- Dr David Wojick: “The public is not well served by this constant drumbeat of alarms fed by computer models manipulated by advocates.”
- Dr Miklos Zagoni: “I am positively convinced that the anthropogenic global warming theory is wrong.”
- Dr Eduardo Zorita: “Editors, reviewers and authors of alternative studies, analysis, interpretations, even based on the same data we have at our disposal, have been bullied and subtly blackmailed.”