12 years to go for planet Earth, one more baloney on global warming
prophecy, but it was her misfortune never to be believed on her predictions. And this included a prophecy about the siege and fall of Troy.
In contemporary times, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC) can surely claim the title of Cassandra of our day. No organization and nobody has made more dire predictions about the world and humanity than it has. No one has seen its forecasts fall flat more often than it has. And no one has been ready to predict more even after being dashed by reality.
Last Sunday, October 7, the IPCC was back to its old tricks. It issued the latest grimmest warning to humanity that it could put into words.
(Since I have written during the past three years on the climate change (global warming) debate, I believe I owe my readers a comment on the latest IPCC report to show that there is a sensible way to respond other than this apocalyptic report.)
The report is so grim and dire, it will force everyone — climate alarmists, climate deniers and climate skeptics — to wonder whether they will still be around when its Cassandra-like prediction comes due in 2030. Or whether they would care whether the prediction comes true or not.
In summary, according to the IPCC report, the world’s leading climate scientists warn that there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5° C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.
The authors of the landmark report say that urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and feasible although it lies at the most ambitious end of the Paris agreement pledge to keep temperatures between 1.5° C and 2° C.
The half- degree difference could also prevent corals from being completely eradicated and ease pressure on the Arctic, according to the 1.5° C study, which was launched after approval at a final plenary of all 195 countries in Incheon that saw delegates hugging one another, with some in tears.
“We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero or face more floods,” said the panel.
“It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now,” said Debra Roberts, a co- chair of the working group on impacts, the IPCC Working Group II. “This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilizes people and dents the mood of complacency.”
Policymakers commissioned the report at the Paris climate talks in 2016, but since then the gap between science and politics has widened. Donald Trump has promised to withdraw the US — the world’s biggest source of historical emissions — from the accord. The first round of Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday put Jair Bolsonaro into a strong position to carry out his threat to do the same and also open the Amazon rainforest to agribusiness.
The world is currently 1° C warmer than preindustrial levels. Following devastating hurricanes in the US, record droughts in Cape Town and forest fires in the Arctic, the IPCC makes clear that climate change is already happening, upgraded its risk warning from previous reports, and warned that every fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact.
Scientists who reviewed the 6,000 works referenced in the report, said the change caused by just half a degree came as a revelation.
Sea- level rise would affect 10 million more people by 2100 if the half- degree extra warming brought a forecast 10- centimeter additional pressure on coastlines. The number affected would increase substantially in the following centuries due to locked- in ice melt.
Oceans are already suffering from elevated acidity and lower levels of oxygen as a result of climate change. One model shows marine fisheries would lose 3 million tonnes at 2° C, twice the decline at 1.5° C.
Sea ice- free summers in the Arctic, which is warming two to three times faster than the world average, would come once every 100 years at 1.5° C, but every 10 years with half a degree more of global warming.
‘ Time is running out’
Climate alarmists and activists have been sent into paroxysms of delight by the new report. They feel newly weaponized for the climate debates to come.
Former US Vice President Al Gore Jr., the designated pope of global warming, warned that “time is running out” after the release of the UN special report underscored the 12- year deadline to head off climate calamity by radically transforming “all aspects of society.”
“The report will encourage the development of new technologies, which is important,” Mr. Gore said in a statement. “However, time is running out, so we must capitalize and build on the solutions available today.”
The IPCC called for achieving “net zero emissions” by 2050 in order to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5° C.
Such a goal that would require trillions of dollars to achieve ” rapid and far- reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities,” including using unproven technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the air.
“The next few years are probably the most important in our history,” said Roberts.
“Limiting warming to 1.5° C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III.
The report drew dire headlines such as CNN’s “12 years to stop climate catastrophe,” and The Washington Post’s “The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, UN scientists say.”
Another climate tipping point
If the activists have been roused by the report, the skeptics and deniers have also been galvanized into action.
Critics dismissed the 12- year deadline as another arbitrary “climate tipping point,” as Climate Depot’s Marc Morano put it. “That is not substantiated by science and reality.”
Former George Tech atmosphericsciences professor Judith A. Curry described the report’s conclusions as the “same old, same old,” based on questionable climate models and not “new science or better ways of assessing uncertainty.”
“Even with erroneous attribution of extreme weather/ climate events and projections using climate models that are running too hot and not fit for purpose of projecting 21st century climate change, the IPCC still has not made a strong case for this massive investment to prevent 1.5 C warming,” she said on her Climate Etc. blog.
RealClimateScience. com’s Tony Heller ticked off past failed predictions of globalwarming disaster, such as a 1989 IPCC warning that “entire nations could be wiped from the face of the earth” by rising seas unless global warming was reversed by 2000.
He posted a video Sunday on YouTube titled, “( Always) Ten Years Left to Save the Planet.”
“Every 10 years, climate scientists say we have 10 years left to save the planet,” Heller said. “Sometimes they want to save it from global warming, other times they say they want to save it from global cooling.”
NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt called the media hype of the report as “neither correct nor helpful.”
“Making better decisions on emissions is always going to be helpful — whether it’s now, in 5 years or in 20 years,” Schmidt tweeted.
I was pleased to find among the many items in my files a long essay by Charles Krauthammer on the subject of climate science. He blasted the predictions and claims of the IPCC as propaganda. But sadly he passed away earlier this year.
In February 2015, Krauthammer wrote an essay published by the Washington Post titled, “The myth of settled science.” It was a devastating takedown of the scientific pretensions of the IPCC scientists. They never came out to refute Krauthammer’s opinion which was swiftly joined by the views of many scientists who view climate science as a “pseudo science.”
Catastrophe in 2030?
The report’s release is expected to energize the annual UN Climate Change Conference, scheduled for December in Katowice, Poland, which marks the deadline for nations implementing the 2015 Paris agreement.
The 12- year timeline of the IPCC report will come around in year 2030. Will mother Earth disintegrate from all the heat and all the flooding. Will the Philippines be one of those island nations that will be sunk by the sea- level rise?
This is the hazard of dealing with the bogus science of the IPCC and the fear- mongering and imprecise literature of the IPCC; it forces us to talk in apocalyptic terms, the same way we talk of Armageddon.
My instinct is to dismiss outright the new IPC report. I believe the Philippines should not fund a delegation to the meeting in Poland in December. We should dissolve the Climate Change Commission and save money. And then if global catastrophe transpires, the commission will disappear anyway along with the entire country and all of us.
As for me, I hope I will be around to see events unfold in 2030. In the evening of my life, I hope to see a) IPCC finally deconstructed by the United Nations, and b) our Philippine island world resilient as ever to every natural disaster.