An independent scientific advisory body on climate change has trashed extreme claims of global warming, adding to the growing suspicion that activists hijacked the climate change bandwagon by exaggerating the threats.
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change has published its latest assessment report in Chicago, just days ahead of the UN IPCC’s ‘official’ report is released which even climate scientists admit is now out of date.
A string of peer-reviewed studies in recent weeks have acknowledged there has not actually been any global warming since 1997, and that the specialised computer models used by the IPCC cannot explain it.
The following are recommendations made by the independent NIPCC in their latest report:
The Green Team–Red Team strategy outlined in the introduction presumes the existence of decision-makers in industry and government who make sensible policy decisions in light of the best-available research.
Therefore, while a useful way to discover and expose all sides of an argument, a two-team strategy is not usually enough on its own to resolve an issue.
To date, most government signatories to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change have deferred to the monopoly advice of the IPCC in setting their national climate change policies. More than 20 years down the track, it is now evident this approach has been mistaken. One result has been the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars implementing energy policies that now appear to have been unnecessary, or at least ill-timed and ineffective.
The scientific findings of the NIPCC team point toward several policy recommendations quite different from those that have come from the IPCC and its related agencies, bureaus, and commissions at the United Nations. We make the following recommendations:
• Climate-hazard response plans should take into account long-term trends, but the benefits should be suitably discounted and investments delayed until action is necessary and likely to be cost-effective. The risks created by longer-term climate change occur over periods of decades to hundreds or thousands of years. Urgent action to “stop global warming” is not needed, and in fact will almost certainly be wasteful or damaging to civil and economic liberties.
• Rather than rely exclusively on the IPCC for scientific advice, policymakers should seek out advice from independent, nongovernment organizations and scientists who are free of financial and political conflicts of interest. The Chinese Academy of Sciences took an important step in this direction by translating and publishing an abridged edition of the first two volumes in NIPCC’s Climate Change Reconsidered series.
• Climate change, whether man-made or not, is a global phenomenon with very different effects on different parts of the world. Individual nations should take charge of setting their own climate policies based upon the hazards that apply to their particular geography, geology, weather, and culture – as India has started to do by setting up an advisory Indian Network on Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment (INCCCA) (Nelson, 2010).
• Recognize the theoretical hazard of dangerous human-caused global warming is but one small part of a much wider climate hazard – the dangerous natural weather and climatic events that Nature intermittently presents us with, and always will (Carter, 2010). The 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster in the U.S., the 2007 floods in the United Kingdom, and the tragic bushfires in Australia in 2009 demonstrate the governments of even advanced, wealthy countries are often inadequately prepared for climate-related disasters of natural origin.
• Climate change as a natural hazard is as much a geological as it is a meteorological issue. Geological hazards are mostly dealt with by providing civil defense authorities and the public with accurate, evidence-based information regarding events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, storms, and floods (which represent climatic as well as weather events), and then planning to mitigate and adapt to the effects when such events occur.
The idea that there can be a one-size-fits-all global solution to address future climate change, such as recommended by the United Nations, fails to deal with real climate and climate-related hazards. It also turned climate change into a political issue long before the science was sufficiently advanced to inform policymakers. A better path forward was suggested by Ronald Brunner and Amanda Lynch:
“We need to use adaptive governance to produce response programs that cope with hazardous climate events as they happen, and that encourage diversity and innovation in the search for solutions. In such a fashion, the highly contentious “global warming” problem can be recast into an issue in which every culture and community around the world has an inherent interest.” (Brunner and Lynch, 2010).
Key Facts about Extreme Weather Events
• Air temperature variability decreases as mean air temperature rises, on all time scales.
• Therefore the claim that global warming will lead to more extremes of climate and weather, including of temperature itself, seems theoretically unsound; the claim is also unsupported by empirical evidence.
• Although specific regions have experienced significant changes in the intensity or number of extreme events over the twentieth century, for the globe as a whole no relationship exists between such events and global warming over the past 100 years.
• Observations from across the planet demonstrate that droughts have not become more extreme or erratic in response to global warming. In most cases, the worst droughts in recorded meteorological history were much milder than droughts that occurred periodically during much colder times.
• There is little to no evidence that precipitation will become more variable and intense in a warming world, indeed some observations show just the opposite.
• There has been no significant increase in either the frequency or intensity of stormy weather in the modern era.
• Despite the supposedly “unprecedented” warming of the twentieth century, there has been no increase in the intensity or frequency of tropical cyclones globally or in any of the specific ocean basins.
Source: “Chapter 7. Observations: Extreme Weather,” Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science (Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2013).Summary for Policymakers