The Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says that the alarmist narrative on climate change has gone off the rails and criticised the news media for provoking unjustified anxiety.
Speaking to Finland’s financial newspaper Talouselämä (“The Journal”) on 6 September 2019, Petteri Taalas called for cooler heads to prevail, saying that he does not accept arguments that the end of the world is at hand:
It is not going to be the end of the world. The world is just becoming more challenging. In parts of the globe living conditions are becoming worse, but people have survived in harsh conditions.
He also says that the Finnish discourse on climate change has become overly doom-laden:
The atmosphere created by media has been provoking anxiety. The latest idea is that children are a negative thing. I am worried for young mothers, who are already under much pressure. This will only add to their burden.
Moreover, contrary to much of what is heard in the media, he thinks that the solution to climate change does not require people to live ascetic lives. “If you start to live like an orthodox monk”, he says, “the world is not going be saved”. He stresses that standards of living should not be lowered.
And he suggests that radical environmentalists are now a major problem:
While climate sceptisism has become less of an issue, now we are being challenged from the other side. Climate experts have been attacked by these people and they claim that we should be much more radical. They are doomsters and extremists; they make threats. Much more radical action is demanded by Extinction Rebellion movement. They demand zero emissions by 2025 and “honest” climate information from governments.
To Taalas, the deep greens have been abusing the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, cherrypicking parts that they think will support radical action.
The IPCC reports have been read in a similar way to the Bible: you try to find certain pieces or sections from which you try to justify your extreme views. This resembles religious extremism.
Although he is critical of right wing populists who do not accept any climate action, he warns of what might happen if fuel taxes are raised too far, noting the protests of the French gilets jaunes.
Taalas hopes that mainstream media will become more critical and hopes more for a more diverse presentation of views and argues that all sides should be interviewed.
We should consider critically, and with reservations, the thoughts of experts…”