The media has been reporting that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is about to release a new report on global warning that will ratchet up the pressure on the whole global warming debate. I have to admit that the more I read, the more confused I become when it comes to global warming.
Well, actually the correct term is now “climate change.” It was changed when the data showed there had been no warming in the past 15 years. Oops.
What is obvious is that the issue has very little to do with the science. The shift to the phrase “climate change” was a game changer, in that whatever weather event occurs can be attributed to climate change. Which when you think about it, is right.
Skeptics of climate change don’t question whether climate change is occurring; it always has. They question man and society’s role in that climate change.
The data are clear the climate has been changing for thousands of years and will continue to change. The tough thing about the data is that history indicates there are cyclical changes coupled with dramatic changes. Scientists have yet to develop climate models that can explain the changes, let alone predict the timing or scale of them. In fact, recent models have been almost universally discredited.
Even the impact of CO2 isn’t understood. The historical data would say that temperature changes have preceded changes in CO2 rather than the inverse. But skeptics are making a big mistake if they rely on the lack of warming that’s occurred in recent times. The earth has been warming since the little ice age, and is expected to continue to rise for at least a couple more centuries, so there will be warming.
The other thing we can be certain of is that CO2 levels will also rise. Today, 97% of CO² levels are from natural sources, and even then CO2 is a minuscule part in that it only represents about 400 parts per million.
But it’s all irrelevant because climate change has moved beyond global politics. Even the billions of dollars being raised and spent on its behalf are minor. It’s a global movement that’s absorbed a myriad of ideologies – everything from science vs. religion, to anti-capitalism.
This new UN report is expected to state that the risk and certainty of the cause has increased. As Forbes reports, “When the UN Environment Programme’s spokesman, Tim Higham, was asked by New Scientist about the scientific background for this change, his answer was honest: ‘There was no new science, but the scientists wanted to present a clear and strong message to policymakers.’”
So critics are wrong if they believe highly touted predictions that prove inaccurate will undermine support for their opposition. In its 2007 report, the IPCC said the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. It was discovered that there was no science behind this claim, but there will be other claims that will prove to be incorrect as well. The IPCC has already been shown to be far more of a political organization than a scientific one, but that won’t change the media coverage that their latest or subsequent reports will generate.
Anyone who bases their response to climate change on science or weather occurrences is missing the point. Climate change isn’t about climate change; it’s about how we distribute the world’s wealth. One needs to go further than the rising sea level statements. The models are all predicting it, but the data since 1950 shows no evidence of it; perhaps the oceans haven’t seen the models.
If you publicly doubt the impact of manmade CO2 on global warming, you will be labeled as anti-science, uneducated, greedy or uncaring. While the science may be inconclusive, the moral high ground has already been won. Climate change has morphed into a moral imperative, and it’s now no different than fighting racism or some other injustice.
The only thing way to deal with climate change is to appeal to the same moral high ground. Science is used for added credibility, but it’s not the basis of the argument.
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