Analysis: Crying wolf as climate change takes a ‘hiatus’

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A three-sentence online comment from Lance Wiggs on my column last week demonstrates the shocking deflation of the boosters for global warming:

“No sense discussing the facts* with deniers. Sadly, next generations will have to clean up this mess. If there is time.” [Lance Wiggs expands on his comment in his guest opinion piece here - Editor.]

The resignation is palpable.

First, if there’s no point, why comment?  The flag is waved but barely.

Second, the obligatory abuse. I am a denier. Mr Wiggs attempts to discredit me by association with holocaust deniers.

Third, facts. Global warming alarmism is based not on facts but the output of computer models. The conceit of these models was that earth’s climate could be modelled a hundred years hence with CO2 the critical driver.

I was always sceptical of the models because their alarming results are programmed through questionable assumptions. But since the first models we now have 25 years of facts in the temperature record. The facts show the models were dramatically wrong.

But don’t take my word for it. The IPCC reports have proved deeply flawed but are waved about as the technical bible for the alarmists. Here’s what the latest report known as AR5 (2014) says: “… the rate of warming over the  past  15  years  (1998–2012;  0.05  [–0.05  to  0.15]  °C  per  decade).”

A rate of warming somewhere between -0.05 and 0.15 degrees C per decade is no statistical warming at all. It could be getting cooler.

It’s true that the fact is buried in a layer of obfuscation and excuse-making but there has been no warming since 1998. The facts reported in the IPCC’s report contradict the models the IPCC relies upon.

But the IPCC – true to its mandate – sticks with models, not facts.

For the IPCC the lack of earth warming is what has become known as the “pause” or in the language of the IPCC the “hiatus.” The earth is just having a break from behaving as the models predict. It will soon be back on track.

“The hiatus is attributable, in roughly equal measure, to a decline in the rate of increase in effective radiative forcing (ERF) and a cooling contribution from internal variability (expert judgment, medium confidence).”

We don’t know why the earth isn’t behaving but here’s our best guess.

The conceit is breathtaking. The earth is just having a “hiatus” from the model!

So Mr Wiggs is correct. “No sense discussing facts with deniers.” The salient facts work against us. Better to stick with the models and the scary scenarios.

Fourth, future generations. Mr Wiggs provides, of course, that second-sentence obligatory guilt trip. “Sadly, next generations will have to clean up this mess.” What mess?  There’s not even a “mess” forecast in the models.  The model results have to be extrapolated into a mess.

And the facts suggest no mess. All we are achieving with global warming policy is making future generations poorer. Imagine if we had the climate models at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. “Leave the coal in the ground!”  Consider how poor we now would be.

We would not have wanted our forebears to have impoverished us. Why do that to our descendants?

Fifth, no time!  It may already be too late. Even if we do everything ever proposed, we may already have doomed ourselves. Mr Wiggs’ third sentence: “if there’s time.”  

We must hurry. No time to think. No time to debate. No time to weigh costs and benefits. We must make ourselves poor. For the future. Quickly. The models say we must.

It’s little wonder people have lost interest in the endless cry of wolf. It’s understandable that the boosters are deflated.

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