Whom or what to believe? After 50 years of failed predictions, people are reasoning that something other than science is behind this alarmism.
Last September the usual media suspects got wind of yet another Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. To those familiar, it was obvious from the “fire and brimstone” headlines. No matter how inconsequential, no heatwave, drought, hurricane or flood was missed. This is the customary softening-up period, intended to ensure that when a scary IPCC report lands, politicians will be pushed into taking even more drastic action on “climate change”.
And so it came to pass. Last month, the world’s “leading climate scientists” confirmed we had only 12 years left to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
Debra Roberts, a co-chairwoman of the working group on impacts, says: “It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now.” Even half a degree more would significantly worsen the risk of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. Crikey! It’s only three years since Paris, when we were assured 2C could save the planet. What’s next?
At least it’s 10 years longer than Prince Charles gave us. He warned in 2008 that “the world faces a series of natural disasters within 18 months, unless urgent action is taken to save the rainforests”. A decade later, in testimony before the US congress, Roger Pielke Jr, professor of environmental studies in the Centre for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado, contradicted Charles, saying it was “misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales”.
But then in 2011 the International Energy Agency, after “the most thorough analysis yet”, warned that five more years of conventional development would make it impossible to hold global warming to safe levels. The prospects of combating dangerous climate change would be “lost forever”. Well now, in the tradition of ever-receding horizons, the IPCC gives us another 12 years to act.
Catastrophic scenarios aren’t new. In the 1960s and 70s, man-made global cooling was the fashion. In 1971, Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich predicted: “By the year 2000, the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people.” Ehrlich is now a warmist.
Whom or what to believe? After 50 years of failed predictions, people are reasoning that something other than science is behind this alarmism. And that something is the UN. What else? Its global reach, back corridors and duplicity have allowed it to build an unchallenged, mutually reinforcing $1.5 trillion industry of captive politicians, scientists, journalists, crony capitalists and non-governmental organisation activists bent on globalism through anti-Western sentiment and wealth transfer.