The race in the media continues: The UK Daily Mail (again), The Spectator, The UK Express. The headlines the IPCC must hate just keep coming, now in major newspapers and magazines. Finally, maybe, some of the media is starting to get it. At last also the IPCC is feeling the pressure to explain the halting of global warming and the poor performance of its climate models.
This is all well and good, but before we celebrate, ponder that if science journalists had been doing their job 10 years ago, the IPCC would have been put on the spot before before the wild evangelistic doom-fest of 2007 where national GDP points were roasted with every chapter. Billions could have been saved.
As I keep saying: The media is the problem. With good journalists, and real reporters, everything else gets better. Shine the light…
World’s top climate scientists told to ‘cover up’ the fact that the Earth’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years
But leaked documents seen by the Associated Press, yesterday revealed deep concerns among politicians about a lack of global warming over the past few years.
Germany called for the references to the slowdown in warming to be deleted, saying looking at a time span of just 10 or 15 years was ‘misleading’ and they should focus on decades or centuries.
Hungary worried the report would provide ammunition for deniers of man-made climate change.
Belgium objected to using 1998 as a starting year for statistics, as it was exceptionally warm and makes the graph look flat – and suggested using 1999 or 2000 instead to give a more upward-pointing curve.A German climate scientist – Stefan Rahmstorf, who reviewed the chapter on sea levels – yesterday admitted it was possible the report’s authors were feeling under pressure to address the slowdown in warming due to the ‘public debate’ around the issue.
Finally, the IPCC has toned down its climate change alarm. Can rational discussion now begin?
It is difficult to over-emphasise the significance of this report. The IPCC is not simply a research body making reports and declarations which are merely absorbed into political debate. Its word has been taken as gospel, and its research has been used to justify all manner of schemes to make carbon-based energy more expensive while subsidising renewable energy.
What is clear from the new IPCC report is that the science is not nearly advanced enough to make useful predictions on the future rise of global temperatures. Perhaps it never will be.
As Lord Lawson, former editor of this magazine, once pointed out, the time to be most fearful in politics is when a consensus emerges. It usually means that an argument is not properly probed, and desire to sign up to a fashionable cause supplants the proper rigour which policymaking requires. We certainly saw this with the Climate Change Act, which committed future governments unilaterally to slashing Britain’s carbon emissions to a fifth of what they had been in 1990. The bill was passed in an atmosphere in which sceptics were likened to flat-earthers, with no one stopping to ask what it would achieve for the environment, and at what cost to Britain. Those were the days when Gordon Brown solemnly declared he had 50 days to save the world before the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.
What climate change? Fewer people than EVER believe the world is really warming up
CLIMATE change scepticism is rapidly increasing in the UK with a FIFTH of people now unconvinced the world’s temperature is changing.
A report from the UK Energy Research Centre also shows the number of those who resolutely do not believe in climate change has more than quadrupled since 2005.
The Government funded report shows 19 per cent of people are climate change disbelievers – up from just four per cent in 2005 – while nine per cent did not know.
If science journalists had been doing their job in the eighties perhaps the IPCC might never even have been created. Science journalists need to cultivate an ethos of serving science and the public rather than serving scientists and their own desire for affirmation.