IPA has just published Climate Change: the Facts 2014, which I edited and wrote a chapter, Costing climate change, one of 22. The following is my introduction:
Prompted by successive reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the issue of human induced climate change has become a dominant theme of world politics. This is especially so in Australia where it was famously called the greatest moral challenge of our time by Kevin Rudd. The issue was pivotal to Mr Rudd’s replacement in 2010 as prime minister by Julia Gillard, his subsequent restoration to that position and his loss to Tony Abbott in the election of 2013.
The book is divided into three parts. Part one examines the science of climate change.
Ian Plimer examines the politics behind the pseudo-science. He notes that many Western governments have a politically popular ideology involving human emission increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) bringing warming, possible catastrophic ‘tipping points’ and a need to phase out fossil fuels as the only means of stopping this. He dismisses the possibility of the catastrophic consequences, drawing from geological history and points to the adverse economic outcomes of attempts to drastically reduce fossil fuel based energy usage.
Patrick Michaels examines the contrast between the predictions of the IPCC and outcomes. And he details and demolishes the manifold excuses for this put forward by Obama adviser, formerly a Club of Rome alarmist, John Holdren, and other IPCC faithful.
Richard Lindzen demonstrates that the climate is relatively insensitive to increases in greenhouse gases, and that in any event a warmer world would have a similar variability in weather to that we have always seen.
Part two develops these themes and the chapters explore the politics and economics of climate change.
Nigel Lawson notes that UK Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey and Prince Charles were among those who vilify their opponents with the ‘denier’ label (and recently the UK prime minister sacked climate change sceptic Owen Paterson as secretary for the environment). Lawson explores the dire economic implications of trying to cease the use of fossil fuels. He also demonstrates the trivial effects of the warming that is predicted and discounts their claimed negative effects, noting that scientific developments mean we are far less hostage to climate shifts than in previous eras.
My own chapter (Alan Moran) sets the context of the debate by examining the costs of taking action (which are considerable and massively understated by the IPCC) and any benefits of doing so (which are slender and overstated by the IPCC). And the chapter notes that any gains rely on the unlikely event of a comprehensive international agreement.
James Delingpole notes how the climate believers so often accuse sceptics of lack of credentials. He delves into the qualifications of the major promoters of the climate scare in the UK and Australia and finds wall-to-wall English Literature graduates. When confronted by genuine scientists who dissent from their own view, they invariably suggest the dissenting opinions are dictated by bribes from Big Oil. And yet it is so often vested interests, like Munich Re, that promote the notion of dangerous climate change. The BBC’s denial of platforms to sceptical scientists and the hounding of the eminent Professor Bengtsson from Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Foundation illustrate the lengths the establishment will go to close down debate.
Garth Paltridge recaps the issues confronting meteorologists in 1970 when they first contemplated climate forecasting: clouds, solar balance, oceanic behaviour. He notes we have hardly advanced but that the IPCC tables inaccurate reports which receive little questioning from scientists even though scepticism is supposedly central to science raising any objections. And, as Climategate showed, some scientists have crossed the boundary into ‘post modern science’. He sees considerable backlash on the credibility of all scientists should global warming fail to eventuate.
Jo Nova points out that, globally, renewables investment reached $359 billion annually while the EU says it will allocate twenty per cent of its budget to climate related spending. All this is based on a naive modelling of the atmosphere that employs amplifications of water vapour’s influence by enhanced levels of carbon dioxide. She estimates money dedicated to promoting the global warming scare is maybe one hundred fold the funding to sceptics. She shows how the purveyors of human-induced global warming use their funding to denigrate opponents and to hide contrary evidence.
Kesten Green and Scott Armstrong test the predictive validity of the global warming hypothesis and find it wanting. They point out that many other alarms have been raised over the past 200 years, none of which have proved to have substance. Most of the alarms that led governments into taking actions actually created harm and none provided benefits.
Part three explores the climate change movement, and the development of the international institutional framework and the growing disconnect from science and scientific observation that characterises the public debate.
Rupert Darwall reviews the farce of the 2009 Copenhagen conference and the subsequent mini-conferences. He notes the veto imposed on costly actions by the increasingly important third world nations, contrasting this with the revolutionary outcome that the IPCC operatives are planning to emerge from Paris in 2015.
Ross McKitrick addresses the trials he and Steve McIntyre went through in puncturing the newly coined late twentieth century myth that temperatures are now higher than at any time in the past millennium. Having been pilloried for bucking the establishment and undermining the IPCC poster-child ‘hockey stick’ graph, the accuracy of their analysis has finally prevailed.
Donna Laframboise notes the scandalous attribution of Nobel Prize status to all involved in the IPCC. She traces qualifications of senior and lead authors and finds them often to be activists with no significant credentials.
Mark Steyn’s essay ‘Ship of Fools’ demonstrates how environmental activist, Professor Chris Turney inadvertently parodied Douglas Mawson’s Antarctic expedition. Turney had expected to see a path to the Pole cleared for his ship by global warming. After all, Al Gore had predicted an ice free Arctic by now. Instead, Turney’s Guardian backed expedition had to be rescued from expanding ice. A genuine scientist, as Turney claims to be, should have realised that Antarctic ice is expanding not increasing.
Christopher Essex points to the complexity of the scientific analysis of the climate, which has led to exaggerated claims by pseudo-experts. He suggests a need to whittle down the numbers and listen only to those with demonstrable qualifications but does not underestimate the difficulties of determining who these are.
Bernie Lewin traces the antecedentaries of the current IPCC and how scientists, many of them genuinely seeking to uncover man’s impact on climate, were hijacked by developing country interests and activists into becoming frontmen for a politicised UN agency.
Drawing heavily upon Karl Popper’s theories that scientific material should be subject to constant examination and should be falsifiable, Stewart Franks points to the many phenomena of climate change that the increase in greenhouse gases both failed to predict and fail to explain.
Anthony Watts illustrates the trivial level of temperature rise that has occurred over the past century (with no increase in the past eighteen years). He notes the change in language by alarmists from ‘warming’ to ‘climate change’ in an attempt to substitute extreme climate events for the now non-existent warming trend. His examination of these extreme events— snow, storms, rainfall—shows an absence of evidence to indicate marked change over recent decades.
Andrew Bolt disinters the graveyards of failed forecasts by climate doomers. These include the spectacular forecasts by Tim Flannery that Australian cities would run out of fresh water, by Professor Hough- Guldberg that the Barrier Reef would die, by Professor Karoly that the Murray Darling would see increasing drought, by the UK Met Office that warming would resume, and by Ross Garnaut and Al Gore that hurricanes would increase. He considers the warmistas’ monumental failures are finally denting the faith in them by the commentariat and politicians.
The Chapters all make great reading.
The book can be obtained from here