The environmental movement is in a spot of bother – their campaign for various taxes/prices has more or less failed. The Australian carbon tax will be repealed. This has left them having to make excuses.
In recent years, climate denial has become the most effective pseudoscience in Australia.
To preserve the belief that humans have no influence on climate, you need to do more than manipulate data. There is an already well-established scientific consensus on the influence of human activity on climate change, and this need to be explicitly rejected to maintain climate denial. In addition, to reject climate science, you need to assert that major scientific institutions are inept and badly misinformed, including the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, NASA, the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, and a wealth of American and international scientific bodies.
To take that view is to completely misconstrue what is going on.
Environmentalists don’t just want everyone else to believe what they believe – the planet is warming due to human action – they want everyone else to share their preferences too. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that some individuals might reckon that yes the planet may well be warming up, but so what? Or the planet is warming up, but they’re not paying more tax. And so on.
Those graphs show the difference between repeated simulations of computer models and observed temperature trends.
The inconsistency between observed and simulated global warming is even more striking for temperature trends computed over the past fifteen years (1998–2012). For this period, the observed trend of 0.05 ± 0.08 °C per decade is more than four times smaller than the average simulated trend of 0.21 ± 0.03 °C per decade (Fig. 1b). It is worth noting that the observed trend over this period — not significantly different from zero — suggests a temporary ‘hiatus’ in global warming. The divergence between observed and CMIP5-simulated global warming begins in the early 1990s …
Now in an academic discipline this wouldn’t matter much – empirical observations often confound theoretical expectations and ideas are tweeked, refined, abandoned, etc. As the authors of the study conclude:
Ultimately the causes of this inconsistency will only be understood after careful comparison of simulated internal climate variability and climate model forcings with observations from the past two decades, and by waiting to see how global temperature responds over the coming decades.
As Sir Humphrey might have said: “Decades of fruitful work”.
In a policy setting this can be very problematic. Those people whose very livelihood depends on global warming being a issue of grave political and economic consequence don’t really understand what’s going on. Unsurprising then that the public seem to have lost interest.