Faulty Premises = Poor Public Policy on Climate
In a Climate of Conflict of Interest
Responding to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report SR15
Climate science is a complex blend of chaotic, dynamic systems. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary Report 15 (SR15) attempts to predict the implications of a 1.5°Celsius (C) rise in Global Surface Mean Temperatures (GSMT) over the temperature of the pre-industrial era. The focus of the report is on the influence of human industrial emissions of carbon dioxide as the assumed driver of climate change and recent warming. Despite the number of scientists involved, science can go astray for no other reason than a singular focus through ‘the same lens.’
Friends of Science Society is critical of the IPCC SR15 report, pointing out the following:
- We are in the Meghalayan, not the Anthropocene. The IPCC SR15 report claims to view climate change through “the lens of the Anthropocene.” This term is popularly used to describe a modern geological period wherein humans are assumed to have a larger impact on the world than nature. On July 13, 2018, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) issued a statement that the earth is now in the Meghalayan, a period that began 4,200 years ago. In response to questions as to why the term “Anthropocene” had not been included, at least for the past 50 years of presumed human influence, the IUGS responded that the term “Anthropocene” has not even been submitted for consideration and that the term has only sociological, not scientific relevance. The IPCC should not use this ‘lens.’
- All climate models (simulations) used by the IPCC run ‘too hot’ versus observations. The computer simulations project future warming (thus being the rationale for global warming climate policies) show significantly higher temperatures than what is being observed. Only the Russian climate model and satellite/weather balloon data closely match present temperatures in the lower troposphere. This suggests that most climate models ascribe too great an effect of warming (climate sensitivity) to carbon dioxide. This means the climate models should not be used to set public policy.
- No temperature can be accurately measured to a precision of less than ±0.1°C. global temperature data is a metric of averaged and adjusted data from many sources, suggesting that a 0.5°C difference in temperature is moot and an arbitrary figure. It does not reference an actual measurement of earth’s temperature; people are being misled.
- The IPCC claims, in its founding principles, to be policy neutral. However, the IPCC SR15 makes many recommendations regarding Carbon Dioxide Removal Systems (CDRS), most of which are untested and unvetted and proposed with no cost-benefit analysis. Such recommendations are contrary to the purpose of the IPCC and should be disregarded by policymakers. The IPCC should simply report on scientific findings.
- Rapid decarbonization is impossible and unrealistic as proposed by the IPCC. The world runs on more than 80% fossil fuels for energy; all other forms of power generation, including hydro, nuclear, wind and solar are completely reliant on fossil fuels for their creation. Millions of people would die if rapid decarbonization was implemented. There is no suitable, equitable alternative to fossil fuel energy for modern society. Any official, international body of scientists who are recommending a course of action leading to mass deaths should be disbanded.
- There is no clear evidence that the changes or warming since the mid-1800s are caused by human use of fossil fuels – though indeed there has been some warming and various perceptible changes in some natural features. Indeed, the range of climate change discussed falls well within natural variation since 1850. Likewise, global temperature records are incomplete, inconsistent, methods/placement of monitoring stations have changed, and temperatures are not monitored at equidistant places at the same time. The validity of the Global Average Surface Temperature is imprecise.
- The proposed remedies of wind and solar increase carbon dioxide and cause warming. Rather than reduce fossil fuel use or aid in carbon dioxide reduction, wind and solar in fact require vast quantities of fossil fuels for productions, installation, and natural gas back-up – resulting in an increase in carbon dioxide. Wind and solar are ineffective, expensive and cause power grids to destabilize, putting society at risk, harming industry, jobs, and consumers through heat-or-eat poverty. The devices are made of bonded materials and are largely unrecyclable. Wind and solar are contrary to sustainability and environmental goals.
- Extreme weather events are an integral part of climate. The IPCC’s AR5 report and their SREX special report on extreme weather both make it clear that human effects on climate are not deemed to increase extreme weather events; neither is an increase of carbon dioxide. The IPCC should clarify this with the media rather than allowing the press to engage in terrifying hyperbole.
- Extremely disproportionate cost-benefit ratio should dissuade policy makers and citizens from following IPCC SR15 recommendations on carbon pricing. The cost of emissions reduction in 2030 is about 95 times the benefit assuming the climate sensitivity to CO2 from the climate models. When using the Lewis and Curry 2015 climate sensitivity estimate determined from measurements, the cost of emissions reduction in 2030 is about 210 times the benefit, however this estimate doesn’t account for natural climate change. Using the best economic model that include benefits of warming and CO2 fertilization of crops, and accounting for the natural warming from 1850, each $880 spent on mitigating a tonne of CO2 would prevent a net benefit of $8, increasing the loss to $888 per tonne of CO2 mitigation. Indeed, Dr. Judith Curry notes that carbon reduction efforts to ‘stabilize climate’ may be futile in the face of natural climate change.
- The science is not settled. Anderegg et al (2010) revealed that 34% of IPCC contributing authors disagreed with the IPCC declaration on human influence on climate. Hundreds of other scientists have disputed IPCC findings on human-causation in peer-reviewed papers, books, blogs and videos. There is inadequate scientific review by the IPCC of the Nongovernmental International Panel Climate Change reports. There is limited review of natural forces of the sun and planetary dynamics, and natural internal variability like ocean currents, volcanic eruptions and tectonic activity and its correlation to earth’s magnetism (and thus solar influence). Reducing carbon dioxide from human industrial activity is a futile response to the continuous climate changes on earth; adaptation and investment in resilient infrastructure and response is a better use of public funds.
Science is a process of progressive knowledge and insights into how things work. What begins with well-intentioned agreement on aspects of scientific understanding, expands and changes over time with new insights.