Spirit of Christmas Present wrote:
Ozone hole, red list of endangered species, annual G8 climate conference, oil spills, destruction of tropical rain forrests, global climate change - the list goes on.
All of which are either hyperbole or unsupported slogans.
Let's start with the apocalypse de jour: climate change aka global warming:
Look up the 2013 IPCC report - which defines the scientific consensus on the subject. Here’s a link to the summary for policymakers:
The warming due to CO2 release is determined by the transient climate response, which, in the 2013 IPCC report, is likely
in the range of 1.0 C to 2.5 C (high confidence) and extremely unlikely greater than 3 C.*
Based on this TCR, 4 future warming scenarios were outlined, corresponding to different amounts of CO2 emitted (see pg. 25 of the linked report).
Of these, RCP 8.5 is all but excluded – a huge continuous increase in CO2 emissions for the entire century is required to even get close to it (don’t believe me? see the worldwide CO2 emissions and then calculate what future emissions would be required to reach RCP 8.5).
In other news, London is buried beneath a 2 miles deep layer of horse manure; such malthusian prophecies never came to pass.
The IPCC future warming scenarios each have temperature ranges associated with them (pg. 21 of the report). RCP8.5 is the only scenario that has an increase in temperature larger than 3.1 C.
What will be the consequences of an increase in temperature of 2.5-3 C?
As it turns out, there’s a peer reviewed paper that summarized all the papers on the subject – up to the date it was published, that is:
As per the paper, climate change is beneficial up to 2.2 C of warming from 2009 (when R. Tol wrote his paper). This means approximately 3˚C from pre-industrial levels, since about 0.8˚C of warming has happened in the last 150 years. The latest estimates of climate sensitivity suggest that such temperatures may not be reached till the end of the century — if at all. IPCC, whose reports define the consensis, is sticking to older TCR assumptions, however, which would mean net benefits till about 2080.
What about all the weather disasters caused by climate change? Entirely mythical — so far. The 2013 IPCC report is admirably frank about this, reporting ‘no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency offloads on a global scale … low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms’.
In fact, the death rate from droughts, floods and storms has dropped by 98 per cent since the 1920s, according to a careful study by the independent scholar Indur Goklany. Not because weather has become less dangerous but because people have gained better protection as they got richer. For another example, experts now agree that malaria will continue its rapid worldwide decline whatever the climate does.
Colour me unimpressed.
And yet, all this doesn’t stop the green movement from advocating measures which will impose extreme poverty upon millions and millions of human beings in order to further their agenda – apparently, the mitigation of this climate change consequences I described above is worth imposing so much misery on the world.
This mysoginistic attitude would be pathetic if it wasn’t so pernicious.
*In more recent peer reviewed papers, the TCR is even lower than that.