New Rebuttal Report – Misguided Math: Misinterpreted Science

Cover page for Friends of Science report titled "Misguided Math: Misinterpreted Science"

(Calgary) Misguided Math: Misinterpreted Science” is a new report by Friends of Science Society rebutting the Sept. 24, 2019, public statement by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) entitled “Time to Act: Facing the Risks of a Changing Climate“. The institute portrays actuaries as “…risk management experts who use data modelling and statistical methods to measure and manage the financial impacts of uncertain events and scenarios”. However, their climate change statement is studded with assumptions that rely on mathematical climate models that are known to forecast temperature increases in the atmosphere at three to six times the observed rates.

Actuaries have a special responsibility in society, according to their professional code of conduct: “It is the professional responsibility of the member not to be associated with anything which the member knows or should know is false or misleading” and that actuaries shall hold “the duty of the profession to the public above the needs of the profession and its members“.

The CIA statement claims that global warming is linked to human industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and proposes more data collection, more data collection on extreme weather events, and corporate carbon footprint reporting as a means of reaching Paris Targets.

Misguided Math: Misinterpreted Science” demonstrates that Paris greenhouse gas reduction targets are arbitrary and fraught with conflicts of interest. The report also shows that even if all signatory countries met the non-legally binding Paris targets, it would not make any difference to global warming.  In addition, an attempt by Canada meet the Paris targets would result in economic catastrophe.

In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that despite a significant rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, there had been no statistically significant warming for some 15 years, since before the Kyoto Accord was ratified. The lack of warming over more than 15 years was not predicted by any climate model.

Dr. Judith Curry testified to the US Senate on January 16, 2014, that “carbon dioxide is not the control knob that can fine tune climate“.  Since that time, dozens of peer-reviewed papers show that carbon dioxide (CO2) has a nominal effect on warming; hundreds of research papers indicate that human impacts on climate are small. [1] [2]

The CIA statement “Time to Act…” conflates short-term, unique extreme weather events and related financial losses with climate change and warming. The IPCC’s Special Report on Extreme Weather specifically states there is little evidence that human effects on climate or greenhouse gas increases have any impact on extreme weather. [3] Extreme weather events are integral to climate.

Furthermore, Roger Pielke, Jr., author of “The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change” has extensively assessed the impacts of disasters and climate change and has “found convincing evidence that climate change was not leading to higher rates of weather-related damages worldwide, once you correct for increasing population and wealth“. [4]

Misguided Math: Misinterpreted Science” details the inaccuracies of climate models, upon which public policy is based, and discusses flagrant conflicts of interest within the climate science and related investment communities.

Misguided Math: Misinterpreted Science” suggests carbon dioxide from human industrial emissions is not significantly driving climate change, so the three measures advocated by the CIA are unnecessary, null and void.  There should be no risk of stranded fossil fuel assets, no need to collect data on extreme weather events, and no necessity for corporations to account for climate related factors in investment decisions and corporate risk planning.

Friends of Science Society says the greatest risk to the Canadian economy is making climate policy decisions based on misguided math and misinterpreted science by people who are not aware of the complexities of climate science nor the vast uncertainties and failings of climate models.