By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
In its usual over the top fantasy world special report by the committee chaired by Chris Fields, the IPCC projects dire consequences for agriculture and the environment. They claim the risks from extreme weather events, including heat waves and flooding are also high at 1C.
Now considering that Kentucky is 2.1C warmer than neighbor Illinois, that has to be the most ridiculous statement ever made by an agenda driven. How could they sleep at night knowing what they say is totally bogus. Oh I forgot the billions of dollars in grants at stake. Also no changes in droughts, floods, and declines in heat waves, tornadoes and hurricanes have occurred. But never mind the real world. We live in a virtual computer world.
This is the world their computer models, failing miserably project for a 3F increase.
The NIPCC report on environmental consequences shows the very opposite has occcurred with the gentle warming 1979 to 1998 and the stable temperatures (starting a precipitous decline) since. CO2 is a plant fertilizer. They pump it into greenhouses. The increase in CO2 with improved hybrid seeds has resulted in a 3 to 5 fold increase in yields for rice, corn, wheat and beans worldwide, allowing us to feed more people. Until the recent turn to colder, the growing areas have expanded not been displaced with more production from Canada and Russia.
Here is the NIPCC finding based on real world data and studies not tinker toy models. “Global-Warming / Climate Change POLICY, not the weather, is a threat to National Security in the UK and Europe; Miliband’s (a UK alarmist like Fields) claims are as deluded as the charge of the light brigade” - Piers Corbyn
Biological Impacts Summary
* Atmospheric carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a non-toxic, non-irritating, and natural component of the atmosphere. Long-term CO2 enrichment studies confirm the findings of
shorter-term experiments, demonstrating numerous growth-enhancing, water-conserving, and stress alleviating effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on plants growing in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
* The ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is causing a great greening of the Earth. All across the planet, the historical increase in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration has stimulated vegetative productivity. This observed stimulation, or greening of the Earth, has occurred in spite of many real and imagined assaults on Earth’s vegetation, including fires, disease, pest outbreaks, deforestation, and climatic change.
* There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Farmers and others who depend on rural livelihoods for income are benefitting from rising agricultural productivity throughout the world, including in parts of Asia and Africa where the need for increased food supplies is most critical. Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels play a key role in the realization of such benefits.
: Terrestrial ecosystems have thrived throughout the world as a result of warming temperatures and rising levels of atmospheric CO2. Empirical data pertaining to numerous animal species, including amphibians, birds, butterflies, other insects, reptiles, and mammals, indicate global warming and its myriad ecological effects tend to foster the expansion and proliferation of animal habitats, ranges, and populations, or otherwise have no observable impacts one way or the other. Multiple lines of evidence indicate animal species are adapting, and in some cases evolving, to cope with climate change of the modern era.
* Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels do not pose a significant threat to aquatic life. Many aquatic species have shown considerable tolerance to temperatures and CO2 values predicted for the next few centuries, and many have demonstrated a likelihood of positive responses in empirical studies. Any projected adverse impacts of rising temperatures or declining seawater and freshwater pH levels ("acidification") will be largely mitigated through phenotypic adaptation or evolution during the many decades to centuries it is expected to take for pH levels to fall.
* A modest warming of the planet will result in a net reduction of human mortality from temperature-related events. More lives are saved by global warming via the amelioration of cold-related deaths than those lost under excessive heat. Global warming will have a negligible influence on human morbidity and the spread of infectious diseases, a phenomenon observed in virtually all parts of the world.
Source: Idso, C.D., Idso, S.B., Carter, R.M., and Singer, S.F. (Eds.) 2014. Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts. Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute.
“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy.” Instead, climate change policy is about how “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.” UN IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer in November 2010
As an PhD engineer/scientist suggested:
Both the global economy and the global atmospheric systems are extremely large, complex, dynamic and chaotic. Both systems have many relationships that are well understood by economists and scientists, but both have far more relationships that are not understood or not even known at this time. But unlike science, the discipline of economics readily admits (and sees on a daily basis) that the global system is not understood and is not predictable.
Climate scientists may argue that the global atmosphere is far more complex than the global economy and should not be compared. But if that is the case then they should also admit that they also do not fully understand what is a far more complex system. Economics has been a discipline of study for centuries while atmospheric studies has really only been around for several decades. If the economy is less complex, yet economic analysts acknowledge they do not fully understand it, then climate scientists should acknowledge that they do not understand how the far more complex climate system works.
One way to help people understand the absurdity of the outsized impact “scientists” are putting on CO2 is to make the following analogy.
The argument made by the global warming alarmists is that the increasing levels of CO2 is having an enhanced warming impact on the atmosphere. The impact is such that the 0.04% of the atmosphere is driving substantial changes in the rest of the atmosphere. It is the proverbial tail wagging the dog.
Considering this in the context of the global economy, the country of Latvia represents about 0.04% of the global GDP. There is no economist on earth who would credibly claim that even outsized (non-natural) changes in the economy of Latvia would drive global GDP trends. Ever. Yet that is the same type of argument the climate scientists are making about CO2.
Given all the back and forth on this I thought this would be a good analogy to show the absurdity of the climate scientists alarmism. Global GDP = Global Atmosphere, Latvia = CO2!!
By Dr. Larry Bell, Newsmax
While the Obama administration and Senate Democrats feverishly stoke up hellfire and brimstone global warming alarm to promote a Climate Action Plan, leading voices in green choir robes have abandoned the climate crisis hymnal.
Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, quit the activist environmental organization in 1986 after it strayed away from objective science and took a sharp turn to the political left.
Testifying on Feb. 25 before the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, he took issue with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claim that “Since the mid-20th century it is ‘extremely likely’ that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming.”
Moore pointed out “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” arguing that “perhaps the simplest way to expose the fallacy of extreme certainty is to look at the historical record.”
He told the committee: “When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an ice age occurred 450 million years ago when carbon dioxide was 10 times higher than today.”
Moore also noted that “The increase in temperature between 1910 and 1940 was virtually identical to the increase between 1970 and 2000. Yet the IPCC does not attribute the increase from 1910–1942 human influence.” Why then, he asks, “does the IPCC believe that a virtually identical increase in temperature after 1950 is caused mainly by human influence, when it has no explanation for nearly identical increase from 1910 to 1940?”
Moore emphasized that there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. On the other hand, there is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.
Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, a prominent Socialist and a father of Germany’s environmental movement, has become another strong critic of the IPCC’s alarmist global warming doctrine. His lack of trust began while serving as an expert reviewer for an IPCC renewable energy report as the renewable energy division head of Germany’s second largest utility company.
Upon discovering and pointing out numerous factual inaccuracies to IPCC officials, they simply brushed them aside. Stunned by this, he began to wonder if IPCC reports on climate change were similarly sloppy. After digging into the IPCC’s climate report he was horrified to find similar incompetency and misrepresentations, including climate models that were fudged to produce exaggerated temperature increases.
Dr. Vahrenholt concluded: “The facts need to be discussed sensibly and scientifically, without first deciding on the results.” And although CO2 may have some warming influence, he believes that the sun plays a far greater role in the whole scheme of things.
James Lovelock, a highly respected scientist, predicted in 2006 that: “Before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Antarctic where climate remains tolerable.”
More recently, however, he admitted to MSNBC: “We don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books ...mine included...because it looked clear cut...but it hasn’t happened.”
The 92-year-old Lovelock went on to note, “The climate is doing its usual tricks...there’s nothing much happening yet even though we were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now.” He added, “Yet the temperature has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising...carbon dioxide has been rising, no question about that.”
Moore, Vahrenholt, and Lovelock are but three within an expanding multitude of scientists who are cooling on climate alarm.
When previously asked on Fox Business News who is responsible for promoting unwarranted fear and what their motives are, Moore said: “A powerful convergence of interests. Scientists seeking grant money, media seeking headlines, universities seeking huge grants from major institutions, foundations, environmental groups, politicians wanting to make it look like they are saving future generations. And all of these people have converged on this issue.”
Moore warns that, “The alarmism is driving us through scare tactics to adopt energy policies that are going to create a huge amount of energy poverty among the poor people. It’s not good for people and it’s not good for the environment. In a warmer world we can produce more food.”
Nobel Laureate physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever has referred to global warming ideology as a “pseudoscience” that begins with an emotionally-appealing hypothesis, and “then only looks for items which appear to support it,” while ignoring ample contrary evidence.
Tragically, that pseudoscience does greatest injustice to those who can least afford it.
Read Dr Bell’s recent climate stories here.
Robert S. Pindyck is a professor of economics and finance at MIT, with several decades’ experience publishing articles and books dealing with energy. Moreover, as he explains in this interview, Pindyck believes that man-made emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases will impose climate change damages on future generations, and is an advocate of a carbon tax agreement among the major world governments (though he is doubtful such a tax is politically feasible). With a pedigree like that, you might expect Pindyck to be very complimentary about the computer models that the Obama Administration and other policymakers are using to justify the economics of anti-carbon measures. But as it turns out, Pindyck has written a new, peer-reviewed paper(forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Literature) that is absolutely scathing in its critique of such models. In this post I’ll highlight some of his points.
Two Types of Computer Models
In the climate change policy debate, there are two types of computer models. One type refers to models of the Earth’s climate that are created as simplified simulations of the atmosphere, ocean, sun’s radiation, etc. that rely just on the natural sciences such as physics, chemistry, and biology. These are the computer models that people have in mind when they say things like, “Global temperatures have been basically flat for years, and yet the official models predicted more warming than has actually occurred.”
But there are another set of models-called Integrated Assessment Models or IAMs-that have been created byeconomists, not climate scientists. The IAMs rely on condensed versions of the full-blown climate models as part of their structure, but they also rely on (crude) simulations of the global economy to try and assess the interaction between the economic and climate systems. In addition to all of the uncertainty stemming just from the physical science itself - such as asking how much global temperatures will increase in the long run, in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations - the IAMs have another layer of guesswork. For example, they have to make projections of “business as usual” growth in carbon dioxide emissions, in order to understand the full economic impact of emitting one more ton of CO2 today. These computer simulations are then used to gauge the likely results of various types of government policies to restrict emissions, which will affect both the economy and the climate.
Current Crop of Computer Models “Close to Useless”
It is this second class of models, the economic/climate hybrids called Integrated Assessment Models, that Pindyck discusses. Pindyck’s paper is titled, “Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us?” Here is his shocking answer, contained in the abstract:
Very little. A plethora of integrated assessment models (IAMs) have been constructed and used to estimate the social cost of carbon (SCC) and evaluate alternative abatement policies. These models have crucial flaws that make them close to useless as tools for policy analysis: certain inputs (e.g. the discount rate) are arbitrary, but have huge effects on the SCC estimates the models produce; the models’ descriptions of the impact of climate change are completely ad hoc, with no theoretical or empirical foundation; and the models can tell us nothing about the most important driver of the SCC, the possibility of a catastrophic climate outcome. IAM-based analyses of climate policy create a perception of knowledge and precision, but that perception is illusory and misleading. [Bold added.]
For those unfamiliar with academic prose, such inflammatory language is almost unheard-of, particularly for a politically sensitive topic such as climate change economics. Pindyck is here reaching the exact same conclusion that I gave in my recent testimony before Senator Barbara Boxer and other members of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee: The computer models used by the Obama Administration’s Working Group to estimate the so-called “social cost of carbon” should not be the basis of federal policy.
After my prepared remarks during the hearing, Boxer and others dismissed my testimony as the product of willful ignorance of “the science,” yet I pointed out that it was she and her colleagues who were misinformed. The professional economists who specialize in climate change would know that every point of my testimony was accurate; indeed I was merely explaining to Senator Boxer et al. what the Obama’s Administration’s own Working Group was saying in their official report.
In his paper, Pindyck goes over a few crucial problems with the economic/climate computer models, the so-called Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs). One major point is the arbitrariness of the discount rate used to compare economic current costs of curbing emissions with the projected benefits (sometimes centuries in the future) of mitigating climate change. However, I have already covered that point extensively for IER’s readers, so in this post I’ll focus on another of Pindyck’s arguments, which is the arbitrariness of the “damage function” in these models
“Any Result One Desires”
In my testimony, I said the “economist can produce just about any estimate of the social cost of carbon desired.” Pindyck reaches the same conclusion in his paper when he writes:
And here we see a major problem with IAM-based climate policy analysis: The modeler has a great deal of freedom in choosing functional forms, parameter values, and other inputs, and diﬀerent choices can give wildly diﬀerent estimates of the SCC and the optimal amount of abatement. You might think that some input choices are more reasonable or defensible than others, but no, “reasonable” is very much in the eye of the modeler. Thus these models can be used to obtain almost any result one desires. [Pindyck p. 5, bold added.]
As Pindyck is here underscoring, our claim isn’t that the economists generating large values for the social cost of carbon are “lying.” The point is, these models are so open-ended - they’re trying to model the entire climate system and global economy through the year 2300, for crying out loud - that the analyst has to pick and choose what items to include, and which to omit. If the economist wants the computer to spit out a big scary number, that’s not hard to accomplish.
Robert Pindyck is exactly the sort of expert we are being told should have the floor in the climate change debate: He is not from industry, but instead is an academic at a prestigious post at MIT. He has been publishing on energy issues (including entire books) since the 1970s. And yet, in his recent paper assessing the computer models currently driving federal policy, he concludes: “I have argued that IAMs are of little or no value for evaluating alternative climate change policies and estimating the SCC. On the contrary, an IAM-based analysis suggests a level of knowledge and precision that is nonexistent.”
Now it’s true, Pindyck still thinks there is a strong case for federal intervention to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, and on that score he and I part ways. Yet when it comes to the Obama Administration’s official rationale for its anti-carbon policies, even Pindyck the MIT expert agrees with me: these computer models are close to useless. I wonder if Senator Boxer and others will have a change of heart, since they claim to follow the peer-reviewed literature?