EDITORIAL: by Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
High-profile scientists rebut climate change threat
, April 26, 2014
Not long after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest Assessment Report warning that the world is facing environmental catastrophe due to global warming, or at least “climate change”, a group of high-profile scientists released their report, contradicting the IPCC on every significant point.
The title of their work, Climate Change Reconsidered II, is a response to successive statements by the IPCC, including its most recent report. The rebuttal was released by the Heartland Institute in Washington, DC, on April 7.
One of the key aspects of the report is the comparison between what climate models have predicted over the past 35 years — i.e., since 1980 — and what has actually been measured by observations obtained from balloons and satellites.
As the report indicates, the climate models have consistently over-estimated the impact of rising CO2 levels on global temperatures, and have completely failed to predict that average global temperatures would not rise over the past 15 years. In fact, the models predicted that temperatures at the earth’s surface would be nearly 1°C higher than actually measured over this short period.
The significance of these figures arises from the fact that the IPCC’s models have been the basis for its predictions over the next century of rising temperatures, melting ice-caps, rising sea-levels, more droughts and floods.
In their report, Climate Change Reconsidered, the authors pointed out that despite the yawning gap between the climate models and real temperatures, the IPCC claims even higher levels of certainty that rising CO2 levels are causing rising world temperatures.
In its Second Assessment Report in 1996, the IPCC said that it was more than 50 per cent certain of the link between rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures. In the next report, in 2001, it was more than 66 per cent certain. In the following report in 2007, it was more than 90 per cent certain, and, in the latest report, more than 95 per cent certain.
The growing disparity between the climate models and measured temperatures at the earth’s surface is reinforced by an IPCC report, due to be released in July 2014, but leaked recently to the left-wing British newspaper, The Guardian.
The paper reported: “Greenhouse gas emissions grew nearly twice as fast over the past decade as in the previous 30 years, bringing the world closer to warming that will bring dramatic and dangerous changes to the climate, according to a leaked draft of a United Nations’ report.
“The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the growth rate in emissions over the decade from 2000-10 was higher than expected — even after taking into account the economic slowdown” (The Guardian, April 11, 2014).
The fact that temperatures have not risen as CO2 levels have continued to increase substantially, suggests that CO2 is not the principal driver of climate change, which is an ongoing process, the causes of which are both complex and poorly understood.
However, the IPCC cannot get off the bandwagon of its own making.
Both the UN and the IPCC, despite the failure of their predictions of global disaster, are continuing to demand even greater expenditure on “alternative energy” such as wind and solar, as well as higher taxes on energy production, particularly from coal and gas.
The evidence shows that hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted around the world on alternative energy over the past 20 years, imposing additional costs which fall most heavily on the poor.
Interestingly, James Lovelock, a widely-read environmentalist and futurist, has just published a book A Rough Ride to the Future, in which he abandons his former belief in global alarmism.
Lovelock now thinks he “tended to exaggerate the immediacy of global warming”, that “we may muddle through into a strange but still viable new world”, and that we can “keep our cool as the Earth gently warms, and even enjoy it when we can”.
He admits that “the global average temperature has not risen as expected”, having “hardly warmed at all since the millennium”, and that he was “led astray” by the ice cores that seemed to imply changes in carbon dioxide were the dominant cause of changes in temperature.
He also thinks it is a mistake to take the IPCC’s “projections almost as if written in stone”. Instead, we “need to stay sceptical about the projections of climate models”.
For those of us who have long believed that climate science had been invaded by politics, this is a breath of fresh air.
Peter Westmore is national president of the National Civic Council.