The problem with predicting doom is, sooner or later people are going to notice the lack of doom.
One reason the rhetoric has become so overheated is that the climate-change activists increasingly lack a scientific basis for their most exaggerated claims. As physicist Gordon Fulks of the Cascade Policy Institute puts it: “CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea-ice melt that is not occurring . . . and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.” He points out that there has been no net new global-warming increase since 1997 even though the human contribution to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 25 percent since then. This throws into doubt all the climate models that have been predicting massive climate dislocation.
It’s probable that man has warmed the planet some. It might even be that we’ve completely ruined the planet.
But even if we have, any plan to fix it has to be realistic. And that’s where the science ends and the politics starts – you’ve got to find something that fixes the problem without creating bigger problems in other spheres (e.g. doesn’t plunge the world into war or poverty).
And for all the work that’s gone into the science, the politics is total crap. Because all the guys you see in these rallies are not scientists, they’re political activists. They’ll line up and sign a petition to stop supporting oil companies, then they’ll jump in their car and drive home – while the leaders hop in their private planes instead.
I stumbled across this today.
Taking all the world’s sea ice together, then – as opposed to focusing exclusively on the Arctic – the picture is far less gloomy than most media outlets would have you believe. [Gee, who knew? S1] Generally the world has between 15 and 23 million square km of the stuff: at the moment it has a bit more than 18m, which is approximately 1.5m below average for this time of year. Earlier this year, though, it was nearly 1m up on the seasonal average.
There are some other things to bear in mind, too: melting sea ice, of course, doesn’t mean rising sea levels the way melting glaciers or ice sheets on land might. Then there’s the fact that the satellite record is so short and the polar regions so little known: longer term variations like the one we’re seeing may be entirely normal.
Keep calm and carry on. The world isn’t ending, and spending billions trying to stop the climate changing is taking money away from areas where it could so some real good.
(Also, this story is way cool)
Bill Gates is now pointing out that spending money on climate change could end up taking money from real, immediate causes like health.
Gates, the Microsoft Corp co-founder whose $34 billion (21 billion pounds) foundation is fighting malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases in developing countries, expressed concern about the amount of spending pledged at December’s Copenhagen global climate meeting.
Participants at the meeting agreed to a target of channelling $100 billion per year to developing countries to combat climate change by 2020. Gates said that amount represents more than three quarters of foreign aid currently given by the richest countries per year.
“I am concerned that some of this money will come from reducing other categories of foreign aid, especially health,” Gates wrote in a letter, released late Sunday, describing the work of his foundation.
“If just 1 percent of the $100 billion goal came from vaccine funding, then 700,000 more children could die from preventable diseases,” Gates added.
Taking the focus away from health aid could be bad for the environment in the long run, said Gates, “because improvements in health, including voluntary family planning, lead people to have smaller families, which in turn reduces the strain on the environment.”
There’s not much point “saving” people from sea level rises that never happen when they’re dead.
I have been proven right – I previously pointed out that the rate of Arctic ice melt suggested that we were not even close to avoiding climate change, and no lesser a leftist authority than Robert Fisk agrees.
Forecasts had projected a complete loss of ocean ice during summer months by 2040, but evidence now suggested that could happened as soon as 2013.
“There’s a sense of suppressed panic in the relevant scientific community now. Things are moving considerably faster than their models predicted,” he said.
Mr Dyer believed international efforts to cut emissions were unlikely to succeed in time to prevent average temperatures increasing by 2degC – a threshhold beyond which climate change could spiral out of control.
Not a very flattering photo either.
NRT gets a bit upset.
Last year, the Heartland Institute (a US climate-change denial thinktank) published a list of 500 scientists they say disagree with the central theses of anthropogenic global warming (that the climate is changing and that it’s our fault). Unfortunately, but perhaps as should be expected from an organisation which takes money from the oil and tobacco industries to muddy the waters around threats to their business plans, they were less than honest in their representations of people’s views. The five New Zealand scientists listed today took the extraordinary step of issuing a joint press release demanding to be removed:
…The scientists fully endorse the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as to global warming and its causes. Much of their work has been concerned with climate change over many thousands of years, which, while supporting the idea that climates have fluctuated in the past and have at times been warmer than now, does not in any way weaken the conclusions reached by the IPCC about recent changes.
(Emphasis added)Given the damage this deliberate misrepresentation could do to their scientific reputations, I’d say they have a pretty good case for defamation.
Unfortunatly, they have no case at all, because they’ve misrepresented the Heartland Institute list.
Dr Salinger had told the Herald he objected to the implication that his research supported the theory that global warming, which he believed was real, was not manmade but a result of natural cycles.
Mr Bast said Dr Salinger’s comment that global warming was real was an empty cliché.
“That list, plus a new list of 700 names whose research has found evidence of a natural 1,500 cycles in global climate, remain on Heartland’s website because both lists are accurate.”
Mr Bast said DeSmogBlog had initiated the controversy and could have misled Dr Salinger into thinking he was identified as co-author with Avery or Singer of an article expressing skepticism about man-made global warming.
“He was not. He is merely listed in a bibliography of co-authors of scholarly articles that confirm key facts and theories that undermine the notion that the modern warming is entirely man-made or will be catastrophic.”
Mr Bast said the article accompanying the list stated that not all the scientists were sceptical of anthropogenic global warming.
“The presence of alarmists in the list was, in fact, a major point of compiling the list.”
But you have to love the very vague “an organization which takes money from the oil and tobacco industries”. That’s so broad that our own government falls under that definition.
In fact, doesn’t the Labour party?