We’ve heard so many declarations that our “last chance” to avoid global warming has arrived that we’ve lost count of the number of times the world has ended. But the sirens continue to wail, the latest from a United Nations grandee who says humanity has to act “now or never” to avoid overheating its host planet. Pardon us while we yawn.
According to Jim Skea, a European academic who co-chairs the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III, “it’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming” to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Keeping Earth’s temperatures in check “will be impossible,” he said, “without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors.”
Skea’s comment arrived wrapped up in Working Group III’s just-released report on global warming mitigation, part of the IPCC’s sixth climate assessment. The media, which loves to breathlessly report the demise of the world caused by human carbon dioxide emissions, says the 1.5-degree limit “is recognized as a crucial global target because beyond this level, so-called tipping points become more likely. These are thresholds at which small changes can lead to dramatic shifts in Earth’s entire life support system.”
OK, then. But let’s back up a moment. Or maybe 13 years. That’s when Prince Charles said, with a deep, trust-me earnestness, that our world had only “100 months to act” before we had done so much damage that the effects of global warming would become irreversible.
Then last year, about 150 months after his previous doomsday prediction, the prince said that the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow was “quite literally … the last chance saloon” to stop the scourge of warming.
Yes, one man is a university researcher, the other an effete figurehead. But they have a common thread. They’re both wrong. And are unlikely to be right in their lifetimes.
Of course their false alarms are not exceptional. More than a half-century of global warming warnings have come and gone with the sky exactly where it was on the first Earth Day in 1970. The fact that it hasn’t fallen has left the end-of-the-world cult with no choice but to continue to recalibrate its projections.
And that’s exactly what it will do, because the global warming scare isn’t about the environment, or saving man from himself. It’s about what has been accurately labeled as a “transformative” agenda to change governance in the West toward more authoritarian systems and to squeeze the life out of capitalism.
The truth about global warming, man-made climate change, or whatever it is to be called by the smart people these days, is that while man’s CO2 emissions likely have some effect on the climate – it is, after all, a greenhouse gas, though weak and only a minute part of the atmosphere, a little more than 400 parts per million – its impact is not enough to be a threat of much if any consequence.
Yet the media and Western politics are filled with forecasts of impending disaster. Much of the fearmongering rises from the summary statements for policymakers and the press that are “based” on the IPCC’s full reports. These summaries, written by U.N. or U.S. government agency staff, are “often erroneous or misleading,” says Steven Hayward, Claremont Institute senior fellow as well as a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California Berkeley.
And “like the children’s game of telephone,” they “get mangled further by journalists and politicians,” he says. “It ought to be a scandal.”
Some scientists have even resigned from their positions with IPCC in protest because they didn’t want to be associated with the day-of-judgment-by-fire summaries that don’t accurately reflect their work in the comprehensive documents.
Meanwhile, the public is relentlessly bombarded with tales of destruction that never materialize. We’d say the alarmists should be humbled by their failures, but they’ve shown they have zero sense of shame.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board