Climate change disclaimers
Posted August 11, 2010on:
A large number of gross errors found in the IPCC’s 2007 assessment report and the subsequent flurry of humiliating retractions have apparently changed the method of global warming alarmism to include the use of disclaimers as some kind of a defensive perimeter against criticism. The article on extreme weather (Extreme weather becoming more frequent, Bangkok Post, August 11, 2010) is an example. It contains the following disclaimers: It is impossible to lay the blame for weather events on human activity; You can’t draw the conclusion that this is caused by global warming; One cause of a shift in monsoon rains in Asia is the effect of La Nina; It is too early to point to a human fingerprint behind individual weather events; It is impossible to blame mankind for single severe weather events.
Each of these disclaimers is immediately followed by a “be that as it may” conclusion that is its exact opposite. For example, the statement that “it is too early to point to a human fingerprint” is followed by “recent weather extremes … (are) adding to evidence of a changing climate even as negotiations on a new global treaty for costly cuts in greenhouse gas emissions have stalled”.
These contradictory statements taken together appear to be saying that we must go ahead with costly cuts in greenhouse gas emissions although we have neither evidence nor science to determine whether the heat waves and floods are caused by emissions and whether reducing emissions will have any effect on weather.
The idea that carbon emissions cause extreme weather originated with a paper that found an increasing cost of weather disasters from 1970 to 2006. Using cost as a proxy for “intensity and frequency” the authors concluded that weather was becoming more extreme. No justification was provided for the further conclusion that the alleged increase in extreme weather was caused by carbon emissions.
It was later found that the apparent trend in the cost of extreme weather was an artifact of the 2005 hurricane season in the Caribbean. Without 2005 in the data, the trend disappeared. This flaw in the study caused the authors and the IPCC to withdraw their 2007 claim that global warming causes extreme weather (“UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters”, Sunday Times, January 24, 2010). The resurrection of this thesis without a scientific study as a basis is likely to further erode the credibility of the IPCC.