Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Extremist Climate Change Rhetoric Heats Up as the Warming 'Consensus' Collapses

From John Fund, at National Review, "The Crumbling Climate-Change Consensus":
One reason the rhetoric has become so overheated is that the climate-change activists increasingly lack a scientific basis for their most exaggerated claims. As physicist Gordon Fulks of the Cascade Policy Institute puts it: “CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea-ice melt that is not occurring . . . and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.” He points out that there has been no net new global-warming increase since 1997 even though the human contribution to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 25 percent since then. This throws into doubt all the climate models that have been predicting massive climate dislocation.

Other scientists caution that climate models must be regarded with great care and skepticism. Steven Koonin, the undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Obama’s first term, wrote a pathbreaking piece in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal in which he concluded:
We often hear that there is a “scientific consensus” about climate change. But as far as the computer models go, there isn’t a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influence. . . . The models roughly describe the shrinking extent of Arctic sea ice observed over the past two decades, but they fail to describe the comparable growth of Antarctic sea ice, which is now at a record high. . . . Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties, but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future. Recognizing those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies. To do otherwise is a great disservice to climate science itself.
Even scientists who accept the conventional scientific treatment of the subject by the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change increasingly question just how much it would help to curb emissions or to radically redistribute wealth, as activists like Klein urge us to do. Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, told me that all of the carbon-reduction targets advocated by the U.N. or the European Union would result in imperceptible differences in temperature, at enormous cost. “We would be far better off and richer if we did simple things like painting roofs in hot climates white and investing in new technologies that could help us adapt to any change that is coming,” he says. Even the U.N.’s own climate panel admits that so far, climate change hasn’t included any increase in the frequency or intensity of so-called extreme weather.

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