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Climate Change Weekly #466: New IPCC Report Suggests the Organization May Be Obsolete



  • New IPCC Report Suggests the Organization May Be Obsolete
  • Podcast of the Week: Biden’s New Alaska Drilling Policy Is ‘Economic Self-Mutilation’
  • Bank of England Reduces Climate Focus
  • Study Questions CO2’s Atmospheric Longevity
  • Video of the Week: Implausible Climate Goals For a Non-Existent Emissions Crisis, Steve Milloy
  • BONUS Video of the Week: Myths of The Oil Industry, Linnea Lueken
  • Climate Comedy
  • Recommended Sites

Miss Anything at Heartland’s Climate Conference? No Problem.

New IPCC Report Suggests the Organization May Be Obsolete

IPCC António Guterres

Among the topics our Heartland Institute website Climate Realism has regularly addressed since it first came into existence a few years ago has been the publications produced by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We’ve evaluated the accuracy of its various reports, reported on the admitted weaknesses and flaws inherent in the climate models that inform the IPCC’s projections and policy recommendations, and recounted the regular misstatements the mainstream media and its chosen experts have made about what the IPCC reports say.

The IPCC recently released its final synthesis report in the Sixth Assessment Report series. The paper was focused on ginning up alarm and motivating policy, with no new science.

The mainstream media, with their marching orders in hand, regurgitated the reports’ topline talking points without any analysis or questions. Some of the headlines that led the news on March 20, the day the report was released, were, as we presented in a Climate Realism post, “World is on brink of catastrophic warming, U.N. climate change report says” (The Washington Post), “Now or never: One of the biggest climate reports ever shows time is running out” (NBC News), “Scientists deliver ‘final warning’ on climate crisis: act now or it’s too late” (The Guardian), and inarguably the worst of them: “New IPCC Report Shows the ‘Climate Time Bomb Is Ticking,’ Says UN Secretary General António Guterres” (Inside Climate News).

The main takeaway from the IPCC’s 85-page lament is that we are soon to surpass the dreaded 1.5℃ temperature rise which climate scolds claim will spell doom for the planet. At the 2015 Paris climate conference, 1.5℃ was pegged as the beginning of the end, with 2℃ being the point of no return.

Responding to the media hype surrounding the IPCC’s latest report, my Heartland Institute colleague Anthony Watts notes the IPCC and its boosters have made multiple climate doom predictions tied to lower temperature thresholds, all of which have been surpassed, with the repeatedly predicted doom never coming to pass. A reanalysis of Berkeley Earth global surface temperature data by Willis Eschenbach suggests that not only has the Earth passed the arbitrary 1.5°C threshold set by the IPCC, the planet has actually warmed by 4.0°C since 1750.

Whether the Earth has warmed 1.2, 1.5, or 4.0 degrees Celsius since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution matters less than the effect of the warming. Has it caused more deaths, worsening weather, and food insecurity, etc., as the IPCC’s new synthesis report claims (with high confidence)?

The answer to each of these questions is an emphatic NO!

Since 2016, Climate Realism has posted more than 270 articles refuting claims that various types of extreme weather have become more frequent or intense and showing that weather trends in general have not worsened during the period of modest warming.

In her response to the IPCC’s recent synthesis report, Robinson Center Research Fellow Linnea Lueken notes the report repeatedly makes testable claims that have been refuted by available data and are not even supported by the research cited in the IPCC’s AR6 Physical Science report, on which they are supposedly based.

The IPCC’s synthesis report so utterly botches the science and promotes unjustified alarm that University of Colorado, Boulder researcher Roger Pielke Jr., Ph.D., asks in a post, “Has the IPCC Outlived its Usefulness?”

“[T]he IPCC has strayed far from its role to assess the scientific literature in support of policy making,” writes Pielke. “It has increasingly taken on a stance of explicit political advocacy and as it does so it has ignored and even misrepresented relevant science. The IPCC needs a complete overhaul.”

Pielke cites specific failures in the IPCC Synthesis report:

[H]ere is the top-line conclusion of the past nine years of work under the umbrella of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

“Urgent climate action can secure a liveable future for all”

That’s it. Generic and empty political exhortation that is all-so-common in climate advocacy. No science at all.

What is a “liveable future” we might ask?

Who knows? It is not a scientific term, and it is not even defined by the IPCC. The phrase appears in the IPCC AR6 Working Group 2 report and can also be found in the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees Celsius. It comes from a part of the academic literature that emphasizes “climate-resilient development.”

The new report downplays research showing that extreme scenarios are increasingly implausible and once again centers research that emphasizes RCP8.5 and SSP5-8.5. …

Perhaps the most glaring omission by the report is on the science of “loss and damage” which is emphasized throughout the report. The Synthesis Report is not the only part of the IPCC that has ignored data and evidence on the economic and human cost of disasters, as I have frequently documented here.

The IPCC makes a big deal about “loss and damage” as a central reason why action is needed:

Economic impacts attributable to climate change are increasingly affecting peoples’ livelihoods and are causing economic and societal impacts across national boundaries.

What does the data on “loss and damage” say? …


Global disasters related to weather and climate have not increased. Their impacts on people affected, lives lost and damage as a proportion of GDP have all decreased (not shown here, but see this post for the data).

[T]he overall number of weather and climate disasters have decreased so far this century, economic losses [are] down as a proportion of economic activity and deaths and people affected by extremes are sharply down in recent decades.

Although you wouldn’t know it from reading the synthesis report, deaths attributable to extreme weather and nonoptimal temperatures have fallen even more dramatically than property damages and monetary losses.

I go farther than Pielke in my critique of the IPCC. It has not suddenly become obsolete; it is and has been misguided and dangerous since its inception. The idea that some governments can by fiat decide at a single point in time to create an organization that “speaks for the science” of any particular discipline is misguided, unscientific, and dangerous.

Had the Earth’s modest, entirely conceptual, and in a real sense made-up “average temperature” rise never become a point of obsession for the IPCC; had the minor trace gas, carbon dioxide, the naturally occurring gas that is critical to all life on Earth, never been labeled a pollutant by the IPCC; had fossil fuel use never become the central villain in the IPCC’s climate crisis fairy tale, the world would be much better off today.

There would not be millions of young people around the world suffering from psychological disorders in response to the regular drumbeat of alarming coverage that has led them to believe they have no future because the world is coming to an end due to the rapacious actions of their evil forebears. We would not have squandered billions, if not trillions, of dollars in a vain attempt to control the weather by restricting fossil fuels and replacing them with environmentally damaging “green” energy alternatives. These wasted resources could have been devoted instead to raising the world’s poorest people out of poverty, building better infrastructure, providing reliable energy, increasing food supplies, and preventing and treating diseases. Certainly this would have done far more good for the Earth’s poor than the handwringing, haranguing, and development impediments thrown up in the fight to save the world from climate change.

Had the IPCC never been brought into existence, people would have more choices in the marketplace and in their personal lives, and in fact millions if not billions of tons of carbon dioxide would not have been released into the atmosphere by attendees of more than 30 years of grandiose meetings of conference of the parties, where global elites, their sycophants, and boosters fly in on private jets, take limousines and armored SUVs to four-star hotels, and eat elaborate meals in climate-controlled comfort, all to accomplish nothing that has had any effect at all on CO2 emissions, concentrations, or global weather patterns.

What a waste of breath, time, and resources—except for those who have profited handsomely from it all. Climate change hysteria has fueled the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor in rich countries to the wealthy, corrupt, and powerful in rich and poor countries alike, in the history of mankind. The IPCC has nothing to recommend it, and in my opinion, it never has.

Sources: The Honest Broker; Climate Realism

Podcast of the Week

Heartland Institute President James Taylor was recently a guest on Tony Katz Today on WIBC radio in Indianapolis to talk about President Biden’s announcement this week about drilling in Alaska.

While the environmental left is angry at Biden for opening up any drilling in Alaska (the Willow Project), Taylor explains that the president actually closed off a lot more resources than he opened. “This is economic self-mutilation,” Taylor said. “The media is in the bag for the environmental crazies.”

“We have more oil than Saudi Arabia. We have more oil than Russia,” Taylor said, adding that the drive for “green energy” will make the United States and the world dependent on rare earth minerals largely controlled by China. Enjoy this conversation on “energy security,” as Katz puts it in his interview with Taylor.

Subscribe to the Environment & Climate News podcast on Apple Podcasts, iHeart, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And be sure to leave a positive review!

Get your Copy at Amazon TODAY!

Climate at a Glance for Teachers and Students Heartland Institute

Bank of England Reduces Climate Focus

Bank of England

In the wake of a global banking crisis driven in part by the supplanting of normal financial metrics of business success and viability by woke environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals and climate change goals, the Bank of England (BoE) is taking a step back. The bank is cutting its spending on climate research and will focus less on climate funding, concentrating instead on “core operations such as financial stability, markets and a digital currency.”

Multiple media outlets report BoE’s decision resulted from budget concerns raised by its directors, who told the bank to reconsider its priorities and “operate under tight budgetary constraint[s].”

Among the programs likely to be affected are BoE’s purchases of climate-friendly bonds, accounting for climate-related risks on its balance sheet, development of ESG disclosures for banks and insurance companies under its purview, and its review of potential climate risks and stress tests for the large corporations it regulates.

The BoE’s decision came shortly after it released a report on climate-related risks which basically concluded there was insufficient knowledge at this time to do a reliable climate risk assessment and more research was necessary to ascertain the soundness of investments in climate programs.

Sources: Net Zero Watch; Reuters; Green Central Banking

Study Questions CO2’s Atmospheric Longevity

Carbon Dioxide CO2

New research published in the journal Entropy suggests the residence time of any molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) entering the atmosphere is between five and 10 years, far shorter than the hundreds of years commonly asserted by those pushing the narrative that human CO2 emissions are causing catastrophic climate change.

Writing for a special issue of Entropy devoted to Thermodynamics Applied in Science of Climate Change, physicist Peter Stallinga of the faculty of Science and Technology at the University of the Algarve in Portugal examined some common assertions such as that CO2 emissions linger in the atmosphere for decades to hundreds of years and that the long residence time means CO2 has effects long after emission. Stallinga found neither claim was true.

Stallinga begins by pointing out that before global warming driven by carbon dioxide emissions became the boogeyman dictating the direction and limiting the scope of almost all climate research in the early 1990s, dozens of prominent journals between 1957 and 1992 published empirical studies indicating the atmospheric life of any molecule of carbon dioxide was between five and 10 years. After global warming became the disaster du jour, climate alarm boosters began asserting, as NASA put it, that carbon dioxide “hangs around, for a long time: between 300 to 1,000 years. Thus, as humans change the atmosphere by emitting carbon dioxide, those changes will endure on the timescale of many human lives.” Three hundred to 1,000 years—wow, that’s precision.

Through the application of mathematics and physics, Stallinga determined the adjustment time of the climate to additional units of carbon dioxide to gain equilibrium and then its residence time based on natural cycles and sinks which absorb, use, or transport carbon dioxide.

Using a model with the known physics and mathematics tied to various outputs and withdrawals of CO2 and the time scales over which they function, Stallinga disputes the idea that CO2 hangs around for long periods. This notion, Stallinga writes, is promoted by those he calls climate skeptics, meaning those who reject the accumulated research of dozens of empirical studies and instead accept climate models’ assumptions:

We, thus, refute the claim of the climate-skeptics-skeptics [6] that individual carbon dioxide molecules have a short life time of around 5 years in the atmosphere. However, when they leave the atmosphere, they are simply swapping places with carbon dioxide in the ocean. The final amount of extra CO2 that remains in the atmosphere stays there on a time scale of centuries.

Stallinga’s survey of the empirical literature and his calculations lead him to conclude the following:

The major findings of this analysis using a first-order-kinetics two-box model: (1) The adjustment time is never larger than the residence time and is less than 5 years. (2) The idea of the atmosphere being stable at 280 ppm in pre-industrial times is untenable. (3) Nearly 90% of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide has already been removed from the atmosphere.

If this paper is correct, it provides another layer of evidence supporting the idea that CO2 is neither the thermostat for the Earth’s temperature nor the control knob for climate change.

Source: Entropy; NASA

Heartland’s Must-read Climate Sites

climate realism website heartland institute

Implausible Climate Goals For a Non-Existent Emissions Crisis, Steve Milloy

Steve Milloy describes the implausibility of net zero goals, and posits his take on what is actually causing the climate to warm in the first place: El Ninos. Milloy provides a plethora of graphs to backup this position, and as well, lays out the consequences that a net zero future would entail.

To see all the presentations, visit the climate conference site.

Myths of The Oil Industry, Linnea Lueken

Linnea Lueken discusses the greatest myths of the oil industry. Are oil companies greedily hoarding land and drilling permits as the Biden administration has proposed? Are pipelines more dangerous than alternative methods in transferring oil and natural gases? Lueken explains why the answers to both of these questions is a resounding “No” and more.

To see all the presentations, visit the climate conference site.

Climate Comedy

via Comically Incorrect

Recommended Sites

Climate at a Glance Climate Realism
Heartland’s Climate Page Heartland’s Climate Conferences 
Environment & Climate News Watts Up With That
Liberty & Ecology Heartland’s Energy Conferences
Junk Science (Steve Milloy) Climate Depot (Marc Morano)
CFACT CO2 Coalition
Climate Change Dispatch Net Zero Watch (UK)
GlobalWarming.org (Cooler Heads) Climate Audit
Dr. Roy Spencer No Tricks Zone
Climate Etc. (Judith Curry) JoNova
Master Resource Cornwall Alliance (Cal Beisner)
International Climate Science Coalition Science and Environmental Policy Project 
Bishop Hill Gelbspan Files
1000Frolley (YouTube) Climate Policy at Heritage
Power for USA Global Warming at Cato
Science and Public Policy Institute Climate Change Reconsidered NIPCC)
Climate in Review (C. Jeffery Small) Real Science (Tony Heller)
WiseEnergy C3 Headlines
CO2 Science Cartoons by Josh
The Climate Bet Steve Milloy on Twitter
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is the director of The Heartland Institute's Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.


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