The recently-published IPCC synthesis report is a useful summary of the last five years of supra-national climate activism and hysteria undertaken under the control of the United Nations. The big takeaway from the 36-page summary for policymakers of the sixth assessment reports is that a large group of activists and state-funded scientists have signed up to the improbable notion that the climate should be stable, and any variation can somehow be controlled by humans. To support this suggestion, almost all the evidence provided is opinion, somehow given credence by being produced by computer models. Actual scientific facts are very thin on the ground.
In addition, a stonking level of economic naïvety is on display. At one point, the environmental footprint of battery production and “growing concerns” about critical minerals is noted, but with what is described as medium confidence, “this can be addressed by material and supply diversification strategies and material efficiency improvements, and circular material flows”.
It might be observed that this type of meaningless waffle is often produced by people who have never run a wealth-generating activity. Something will turn up, seems to be the hope, as collectivists promote their command-and-control Net Zero agenda. Meanwhile, the ‘unit’ cost of renewable energy is said to have fallen in recent years, but no account is taken of the enormous costs involved in countering the unreliable and intermittent nature of wind and solar power.
In the U.K. at least, the report, with its usual climate Armageddon warnings, was downplayed in a surprising number of media and relegated to short items on inside newspaper pages. The Daily Mail had a brief editorial headed ‘Climate hysteria‘ in which it wrote: “The prophecies of catastrophe by UN climate scientists yesterday were distinctly familiar… Yet we’ve heard such hair-raising predictions many times over the years and they often fall short of reality.” Matthew Lynn in the Daily Telegraph called the ‘scientific’ report, “nothing more than confected hysteria”. The science journalist Matt Ridley noted on Talk TV that the IPCC reports were mostly the work of activists these days, and any temperature rises were at the bottom of climate model forecasts. Overall, he noted, a recent period of warming had been beneficial.
IPCC reports are funded by national governments and every line is signed off by the funding parties. At times, the obvious compromises made to satisfy all the parties are almost comical. For instance, climate change is said to have reduced food security. But it is noted that “although overall agricultural productivity has increased, climate change has slowed this growth over the past 50 years”. The problem here, of course, is that useful scare stories about diminishing food supplies are easily debunked by graphs showing often near vertical production rises in many grains, fruits and vegetables over the last 70 years. The IPCC gets around this by accepting an obvious scientific fact, but opines without evidence that climate change has slowed the increase.
In all regions, increases in extreme heat events “have resulted in human mortality and morbidity”, it is observed. Of course a few people are taken away in a heat wave, but it is an established scientific fact that many more people die of the cold than the heat. Humans are sub-tropical creatures, so it is hardly surprising that cold is estimated to kill nine times more people than heat, something that is seemingly ignored by the IPCC. In some regions “mental health challenges” are associated with increasing temperatures. Others might note that mental health challenges – from women foregoing childbirth to children crying themselves to sleep – owe a great deal to 50 years of relentless green forecasts of ecological disasters that never seem to happen.
Looking, in particular, at you, IPCC, writing opinionated guff like this: “The likelihood and impacts and/or irreversible changes in the climate system, including changes triggered when tipping points are reached, increase with global warming.” None of this is based on scientific fact, or even relevant observations from the past. The IPCC continues that with warming levels increasing, there is “high confidence” of coral reef extinction, an opinion that flies in the face of tropical coral’s known ability to thrive within a near 10°C temperature range.
All of this scare-mongering is based on a small 200-year rise in global temperature of about 1°C. It is a scientific fact that such a rise has been seen many times in the past, possibly over much shorter time periods. The often-quoted 1.5°C warming ceiling has no grounding in science, and is a political invention. IPCC estimates of over 4°C warming by the end of the century are just the product of computer models.
The eminent Australian geology professor Dr. Ian Plimer has little time for opinionated activists. After all, geologists spend their life surrounded by the evidence thrown up by more than 600 million years of life on a habitable planet. In his view, the number of geologists who believe humans are responsible for most climate change can be counted on the fingers of a sawmill worker’s hand. In a recent article for Quadrant, he wrote:
During human times on Earth, the atmospheric temperature has varied by over 10°C, with increased disease and mortality during cold times. Humans thrived in far warmer times which saw longevity, populations, empires and wealth increase. There has been no recent increase in droughts, hurricanes, bushfires, temperature extremes, rainfall, flooding or death by climate disasters. A 30-second smart phone search shows this.
There has never been a public debate over climate change, he continued, yet we are told the science is settled.
Bearers of validated facts are denigrated, cancelled and deemed controversial by those who have no counter-argument, no ability to critically analyse, and who rely on self-interest and feelings. … We are reaping the rewards of 50 years of dumbing down education, politicised poor science, a green public service, tampering with the primary temperature data record, and the dismissal of common sense as extreme Right-wing politics.
But the United Nations knows best. In fact it “owns” climate science, at least according to its Under-Secretary for Global Communications, Melissa Fleming. We think the world should know it, she told delegates at a recent World Economic Forum disinformation seminar, so we partnered with Google to ensure only UN results appear at the top.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.