FROM the geniuses who gave us vanishing Himalayan glaciers and similar jeux d’esprit comes another million-word exercise in Nostradamus-style science to be hung on a very robust nail in the smallest room in the house.
The dystopian predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are now awaited by the saner elements of the population with the same keen anticipation as the special edition of a favourite television comedy show on Christmas Day.
So far, we have the Summary for Policymakers, the travesty document in which the claims of the scientists are massaged by politicians to meet their fiscal requirements; dossiers do not come any dodgier than this. We are constantly assured the IPCC is an impartial scientific body. Yet its findings are redrafted at meetings with “political delegates” which run far into the night, as political hoods bully its authors, by means of sleep deprivation, into altering the text to suit the agendas of 195 cash-strapped governments. Hapless IPCC officials then emerge, panda-eyed, to announce they are a trillion times more certain than before that temperatures are going to soar far higher than previously imagined.
The problem this year is that the public has become aware there has been no global warming, outside computer models, for the past 15 years. The German government demanded that the passage conceding this reality be deleted from the report; the scientists, however, mindful of the repercussions of Climategate, thought this an imposition too far and elected to describe the demonstrable non-existence of global warming as a “pause” – in the way, presumably, that the Ice Age was a pause.
The political editing process altered the statement “Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10-15 years” to “The long-term climate model simulations show a trend in global-mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2012 that agrees with the observed trend (very high confidence).”
By ignoring the disconcerting absence of global warming since 1998 and extending the timescale back into a period of modest warming, the inconvenient truth can be diluted. When it comes to the embarrassing topic of Antarctic ice cover, the report parodies itself: “Most models simulate a small downward trend in Antarctic sea ice extent, albeit with large inter-model spread, in contrast to the small upward trend in observations…” In other words, we don’t give a proverbial about what is happening in the vicinity of the South Pole – in our computers the ice is shrinking. That “small upward trend” is an observed increase in Antarctic ice cover to a record high this year.
Yet the report betrays growing nervousness among many IPCC scientists. Despite the macho language of the political gloss, enabling the BBC to trumpet increased “95 per cent certainty” that humanity is responsible for global warming (which is not actually happening), the report is riddled with “likely”, “extremely likely” and similar bets-hedging terminology. The mood, formerly prescriptive, is now subjunctive. Some scientists are worried about being caught on the “wrong side of history”, as a prominent warmist might say, when the 21st-century equivalent of Piltdown Man finally becomes unsustainable.
But soft! Is this not the end of September 2013, the month when the Arctic was destined to become “ice-free”, according to the 2007 forecast? Never mind, the North Pole is probably now sprouting a palm tree in the IPCC computers. Modestly, the report does not attempt to explain how lower carbon emissions caused so much warming up until 1998, but higher emissions have done no damage since. Perhaps it is something to do with the taboo fact that water vapour accounts for 95 per cent of the so-called greenhouse effect, that CO2 is responsible for only 3.6 per cent, that just 0.28 per cent of the greenhouse effect is man-made and, within that, man-made CO2 accounts for 0.117 per cent of the greenhouse effect.
The jig is up for global warming alarmists. Anticipating that prospect, the European Union has a Plan B. More telling than the IPCC havering in Stockholm last week was the pre-emptive statement by Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner: “Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘We were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of the things you have to do in order to combat climate change?” You mean things like causing famine in Africa, using carbon trading to keep undeveloped countries in the Stone Age, or, more locally, driving a million Scots into fuel poverty and ravaging the landscape with useless turbines? This is the closest the Brussels kleptocracy has come to admitting indifference to climate change and a cynical agenda to take our money, regardless of scientific evidence. But we already knew that. «