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NEWMAN: Confessions of a global-warmist wannabe
Mother Nature is not swayed by global warming politics
Question of the Day
I have really tried.
I believe in climate change and accept carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, but I just can't reconcile the observed record with claims of dangerous global warming from human carbon-dioxide emissions. So when the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says global warming will continue to increase unless countries shift quickly to clean energy and cut emissions, I'm unconvinced.
I admit it. I am not a climate scientist. I have followed this debate for more than two decades, though, having been seasoned by the global cooling hoax of the 1970s.
The climate narrative then, like the period since the IPCC was established in 1988, was dominated by politics, not science. Since its first report in 1990, the IPCC has used a compliant media and dodgy evidence to spread the doctrine that wicked western capitalists are causing irreparable harm to the climate.
Professor Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama at Huntsville has analyzed 33 years of temperature data and concluded that both surface and satellite observations produce linear temperature trends that are below 87 of the 90 models used in comparisons. These flawed models are the very bedrock upon which the IPCC's global warming case is built.
Mr. Spencer said recently, "In my opinion the day of reckoning has arrived. The modellers and the IPCC have willingly ignored the evidence of low climate sensitivity for many years . The discrepancy between models and observations is not a new thing just one that is becoming more glaring over time." Mr. Spencer is joined by famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology climatologist Richard Lindzen, who said, "I think that the latest [fifth] IPCC report has truly sunk to a level of hilarious incoherence. They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase."
This disconnect is now influencing the political climate. The language has changed from the specific "global warming" to the more general "climate change," to the astrological "extreme weather events" where "I told you so" can be almost universally applied. So the recent heat wave in Australia and the North American polar vortex are both examples of global warming.
The discrepancies are also making the politics harder. The Copenhagen Summit on climate change was almost five years ago, yet there is still no global legally binding agreement on emission reduction targets. Only talk.
Canada's environment minister, Leona Aglukkaq, last year discarded a proposal from her department to publicly state that the Harper government recognized scientific evidence that humans are "mostly responsible " for climate change.
Now in response to a growing political backlash to costly "green" schemes, The Telegraph of London reports, "The Commission which oversees the European single market is about to argue that the onshore wind and solar power industries are 'mature' and should be allowed to operate without subsidies." Faced with uncompetitive electricity prices and the fantasy of cheap reliable, renewable energy, Germany, the green exemplar, is building 10 coal-fired power stations with 15 more planned. Meanwhile in Britain, there are reports that hundreds of businesses are to be paid to shut down between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on winter weekdays to prevent blackouts due to clean energy inefficiency. Yet, the IPCC wants even more crippling burdens imposed on already stressed Western economies.
Finally, after years of shoddy science and sloppy journalism, the people are waking up. They realize that with few exceptions, the mainstream media has been captured by warmists. They no longer accept IPCC assessment reports as the climate gold standard. Having believed Chairman Rajendra Pachauri's claims that the IPCC relied solely on peer-reviewed literature, they learned in Donna Laframboise's book "The Delinquent Teenager," that of 18,000 references in the IPCC's fourth report, one third were not peer-reviewed. Moreover, many of the lead authors were inexperienced, or linked to advocate groups like the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace. Scandals were exposed in the science academies and the public was moved by Hal Lewis' reference to the "global warming scam" in his dramatic resignation from the American Physical Society.
It is not surprising that the IPCC has been captured by leftist ideology. After all, it is a political body. It is not a panel of scientists, but a panel of governments driven by the United Nations. It's sole purpose is to assess the risks of human-induced climate change. It it has spawned dependant industries. One is scientists determined to find an anthropogenic cause for global warming. Another is climate remediation. Naturally, there is an industry to redistribute taxes to sustain it all.
With hundreds of billions of dollars at stake globally, this cartel continues to deny contrary empirical evidence. Its very survival requires it to. The tide is turning and now Mother Nature has signaled her intention not to co-operate with the IPCC.
The politics will follow her.
Maurice Newman is former chairman of Deutsche Bank Australia and New Zealand, and is currently chairman of the Australian Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council.
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