Worry about the intellectual climate, not climate change

My latest in the Washington Examiner. Please support JunkScience.com!

Please support JunkScience.com!

As a work of science, the new “Code Red” climate report from the United Nations is a complete and utter fraud.

The report’s alarmist message is that we are running out of time to control emissions and if we don’t get serious about cutting emissions, we will exceed the Paris Climate Accord’s goal of keeping the increase in average global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5C) and then 2C ten years earlier than previously predicted.

So let’s start there.

Neither temperature goal is based on any sort of scientific analysis. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe the 2009 Climategate emails in which University of East Anglia climate scientists Phil Jones admits the targets were “plucked out of thin air.”

The inspiration for the 2C target seems to stretch back to a 1975 paper by prominent Yale economist William Nordhaus, who not only is not any sort of scientist but whose economics are also suspect. As late as 1989, two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, Nordhaus’ university economics textbook maintained that, “The Soviet economy is proof that, contrary to what many skeptics had earlier believed, a socialist command economy can function and even thrive.”

So much for any intersection between the UN temperature targets and science.

The Washington Post editorialized in a screed entitled, “Climate doubters lose one of their last remaining arguments,” that the UN report has now ruled out the possibility of benign warming. The Post decided this was so because the UN report narrowed the range of potential warming caused by a doubling (from pre-industrial levels) in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from the previous range of 1.5C to 4.5C to a range of 2.5C to 4C.

But as with the aforementioned temperature targets, the change was entirely arbitrary.

The climate models on which these temperature predictions rely are not any sort of “settled science”, and are well known to run way hot and to way overestimate increases in average global temperature (another invented metric which occurs nowhere on Earth).

In fact, shortly before the UN report was released, the climate alarmist Science magazine ran an article acknowledging, “Many of the world’s leading models are now projecting warming rates that most scientists, including the modelmakers themselves, believe are implausibly fast.”

NASA satellite data report that the Earth has steadily warmed at a rate of 0.14C per decade since 1979. If that trend continues, the average global temperature won’t hit the arbitrary 1.5C until about the year 2050 or the 2C target until about 2090 or so. The UN report supposedly moves these targets up by ten years.

But recall these temperature targets are arbitrary in the first place. So what if we hit 1.5C in 2040, 2050 or whenever? Would either be catastrophic? Your guess is as good as Al Gore’s because there are no facts or science showing that warming is necessarily bad much less necessarily catastrophic.

Warming and CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution have helped added almost 7 billion people to the planet, all of whom are fed by record agricultural production. Whose crystal ball says that will not continue?

In addition to the non-scientific assumption of planetary disaster caused by warming, it’s also an assumption that most of the warming is driven by atmospheric CO2. Of course, CO2 is a greenhouse gas and all things being equal will have some warming effect. But no one knows how much in the actual climate.

Virtually disregarded by the UN report is, for example, something called the urban heat island effect. This is warming that occurs in urban areas due to all the asphalt, concrete and human activity. Climate scientist Roy Spencer has analyzed the urban heat island effect and says that almost all of observed warming might be explained by the urban heat island effect.

What about all the extreme weather this summer? The UN report admits that extreme weather observed today is not unprecedented in human history going back hundreds and thousands of years. All this summer’s weather has an explanation — i.e., it’s weather.

There is a lot more to say about all this but suffice it to say for now that the new UN report is little more than assumption piled upon assumption about targets ‘plucked out of thin air.’

Yeah, I’m worried about the climate – the intellectual climate, that is.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA.”

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August 25, 2021 at 02:38AM

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