Saying humans are “unequivocally” to blame for rising temperatures and related climate disruptions that could last for decades, if not centuries, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its latest report called for rapid reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions to limit the worst impacts.
The dire warning is contained in the IPCC’s sixth assessment report (AR6) released on August 9.
In its “Summary for Policy Makers,” the section most frequently cited by the media, the report says that unless immediate, rapid, and large-scale action is taken to limit fossil fuel use, the global average temperature is likely to rise 1.5 degrees C, over the next 20 years. This is in addition to an emissions-driven 1.1 degree C rise “unequivocally caused by human activities” since the pre-industrial era.
The report does not discuss the fact that the beginning of the industrial age coincided with the end of the Little Ice Age, which ran from roughly 1300 through 1850. The onset of warming marked the end of the Little Ice Age, which preceded the rise of manmade greenhouse gases. In its AR6 report the IPCC also failed to address what role the numerous natural factors are playing in the present cycle of climate change, even though such factors have driven climate change throughout the earth’s existence.
‘Code Red’ or Not?
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lost no time in putting the worst possible face on the report’s findings, saying it was “code red for humanity.”
“The alarm bells are deafening,” Guterres said in a statement. “This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.”
Rapidly abandoning fossil fuels would be dangerous, said physicist Steven E. Koonin, Ph.D., a professor at New York University, and former undersecretary for Science at the Department of Energy in the Obama administration, in an article in an article in the Wall Street Journal published after the AR6’s release.
“Knowledgeable independent scientists need to scrutinize the latest U.N. report because of the major societal and economic disruptions that would take place on the way to a ‘net zero’ world, including the elimination of fossil-fueled electricity, transportation and heat, as well as complete transformation of agricultural methods,” Koonin wrote.
The U.N. report’s is overly reliant on computer model projections, yet the models have serious weaknesses and flaws, said Koonin.
“We are repeatedly told ‘the models say,’ but the complicated computer models used to project future temperature, rainfall and so on remain deficient,” said Koonin. “The latest models also don’t reproduce the global climate of the past.
“The models fail to explain why rapid global warming occurred from 1910 to 1940, when human influences on the climate were less significant,” Koonin said.
‘No New Scientific Evidence’
The AR6 report’s alarmist tone and projections are unjustified based on existing real-world data concerning the effect of greenhouse gases on the environment, says James Taylor, president of The Heartland Institute, which publishes Environment & Climate News.
“The IPCC strikes an alarmist tone in its new report, in order to justify and perpetuate the bureaucracy’s continued existence, despite the fact that the report adds virtually no new scientific evidence to the global warming debate,” Taylor said. “The objective data still show that global temperatures are rising much more slowly than the IPCC previously predicted, and that most extreme weather events and climatological factors are either not being impacted by modest warming are becoming more benign.”
The AR6 report was not issued to further our scientific understanding of climate change but rather to generate public support for a socialist take-over of the economy, says Jay Lehr, Ph.D., a senior fellow with the International Climate Science Coalition.
“IPCC is ramping up its rhetoric and fear-mongering, but this merely highlights the lack of any new evidence to resuscitate the climate alarmism narrative,” Lehr said. “Mankind has little or no impact on the planet’s thermostat.
“What the IPCC and its supporters are really up to is the creation of a global energy rationing mechanism that will lord over a subservient population,” Lehr said.
Bonner R. Cohen, Ph.D., (email@example.com) is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and a senior policy analyst with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.