03 Sept (ENERGY TRIBUNE) – Steel yourself. A work of epic and apocalyptic proportions is soon to dominate your evening viewing. Not Russell Crowe’s upcoming portrayal of Noah as (laughably) “the world’s first environmentalist”.
by Peter C. Glover
But an epic set to regale us with dark tales of coastal cities and islands submerging beneath the waves; of entire species, including mankind, coming under threat; of polar bears without ice floes to play on, whilst they too face extinction.
And it is all due to Mann-made – that’s Dr Michael Mann, by the way – global warming. Even though the globe has singularly failed to experience any warming for 16 years now; a singularly pivotal fact that the upcoming report is at a loss to explain.
So expect graphic images of belching smoke-stacks, even though carbon dioxide is a colourless, odourless trace gas; enormous chunks of ice falling into the sea (as they have always done in summer); and let’s not forget that hardy perennial: the floating polar bear (always a tear-jerker). Fortunately, it will be – almost exclusively – a work of imaginative fiction.
So buy your soda and popcorn, sit back and enjoy the fifth UNIPCC climate report show! Roll the tape…
Various draft ‘trailers’ of the latest UN IPCC report have leaked to the media. But the report won’t actually be published until after a final closed-door “negotiating session” in Stockholm in late September. That’s UNIPCC-speak for it is yet to be finally ‘sexed up’. Much as the language of the first report in 1996 notoriously was after most scientists had gone home.
First up is the central IPCC can say with “near certainty” they believe human activity to be the chief cause of recent global warming. That’s up five percent from the equal “near certainty” it believed was the case in 2007. On the extent of a global average temperature rise, however, the report actually retreats from its 2007 position. Instead of ruling out any rise of less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit as they did in 2007, the new report reduces the prospective new lower limit to a mere 2.7 degrees. So much for the prevailing “science consensus” between 1996 and 2007.
However, the report does stick with the view expressed in 2007, that a doubling of carbon dioxide levels could mean a scorching increase in temperature of up to 7 degrees. In doing so the report passes off the current decade and a half flat-lining of the global average temperature concluding it may be due to cooling in the Pacific Ocean. Such caveats are, yet again, the recurring feature of an IPCC report. Yet on these speculative ‘faith’ claims, the entire litany of global dire prognostications depends. This includes:
- The recent increase in CO2, methane et al. is “unprecedented in the last 22,000 years” – no explanation, however, of how in the Medieval Warming Period temperatures were even higher, or how CO2 levels have peaked beyond those of today in the nineteenth century.
- The Greenland ice sheet lost mass 6 times faster between 2002-2011 compared to 1992-2001 – fair enough, but how is it that the Arctic’s north-west passage has regularly opened up to shipping when today it is still iced up?
- The Antarctic ice sheet lost mass nearly five times faster between 2002-2011 compared to 1992-2001 – indeed in its Western ‘finger’ it did lose mass but all told the Antarctic ice mass – much larger than the much-talked about Arctic – has considerably thickened and grown in recent decades.
I could go on. But let me come to one final key claim: sea level rises. Ever since the last ice age, of course, sea levels have risen. It is a fact of nature. That’s not the issue. The issue is the entirely speculative one of: by how much? While the report implicitly disses Al Gore’s hysterical “20 feet rise”, it claims a ‘best-case scenario’ of a rise of 10 inches by the end of the century (not much more than the 8 inch rise in the 20th century) and a ‘worst-case scenario’ of 21 inches by 2100 that could still see thousands of coastal cities sunk beneath the waterline.
Unfortunately, just as the IPCC is batting around its considered language, the US National Science Foundation – no sceptic organisation – is about to publish a study showing that for an 18-month period beginning in 2010, the world’s oceans mysteriously dropped by about seven millimetres. According to the NSF, the fall was down to an array of climate factors but principally the Australian flooding of 2010 and 2011, courtesy of the La Nina effect, which shows “just how complicated our climate system is”. In layman’s terms: one country’s ‘excess of precipitation’ is an occasional climate ‘corrective’ preventing other countries from receiving a surfeit. More pertinently, the NSF effectively consider what they perceive partly as a ‘man-induced’ climate events in 2010-11 as a good thing, not least in ‘holding back the waters’.
Not exactly the message the IPCC is about to/wants to give the world, is it?
Equally, it will be interesting to see the prominence with which hurricane events are claimed, in the report, to be caused by human-induced carbon emissions given the dramatic drop in hurricane activity hitting the Americas. As one commentator wryly observed, while 26 hurricanes made landfall during Grover Cleveland’s administration (1893-97) a mere 3 have made landfall during Obama’s.
Intriguingly, the IPCC report openly admits that governments will not be able to translate its global ‘ballpark’ projections into local situations. And that leaves governments in a quandary. How on earth are they to act on the IPCC-claimed climate effects in terms of strategic and economically viable policies?
Meanwhile, a team of prominent German scientists has teamed up with Canada’s Friends of Science group of scientists to roundly condemn the IPCC reliance on computer models. The Friends maintain a “98 percent likelihood” that the warming effect of CO2 emissions has been overestimated. Notably they claim “modelled warming trend since 1979 … is four times greater than measurements” and fails to allow for “significant margins of error” in calculations. Friends of Science director, Ken Gregory, states: “Governments have wasted over $1.6 trillion of taxpayer money worldwide in a futile attempt to reduce carbon dioxide and ‘stop global warming’ thanks to these faulty predictions”. He adds “Global warming stopped all by itself, but now there is a multi-trillion dollar ‘low carbon’ global industry on life support needing to ‘scare up’ money.”
And what will the fifth UNIPCC report achieve? Well chiefly a new push with gullible politicians who will fall over themselves to pour yet more billions of taxpayer cash into a Black Hole of subsidy-reliant green energy industries and on decarbonisation projects aimed at preventing New York, Miami, London et al from becoming underwater attractions.
Personally, I have more faith in the durability of our coastal cities than the prophetic quicksand that underpins IPCC pseudo-science. But then I have invested in a pair of swimming trunks – based on the Precautionary Principle, naturally.