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Royal Alexander: U.N. climate report makes clear the sky is not falling

by Minden Press-Herald

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued its latest report purporting to analyze the state of the climate and trying to model and project the climate future. Well, the apocalyptic climate change religionists won’t be pleased. 

In the simplest terms, the conclusions from this report are not nearly as dire as have been predicted by politicians or the national and international media who believe in a man-made doomsday climate future as an article of faith and that a new Inquisition is justified for non-believers. I will be curious to see the conclusions of independent climate scientists regarding the Report.

In the meantime, let’s review some of the more relevant issues and conclusions of the Report. The Report, entitled AR6, is nearly 4,000 pages long and authored by several hundred government appointed scientists who have researched and attempted to model the status of our climate, including analysis of past climate occurrences. 

As we know, in any type of numerical or statistical measurement the number or values “plugged in” the formula almost always determine the outcome. Polling in a political campaign is a good example.  The poll may be well-intentioned and conscientiously conducted but if the wrong samples of people, i.e. demographics, are used the outcome of the poll won’t be accurate.

Similarly, there has always been a real difficulty in accurately applying the sophisticated computer modeling used to measure climate scenarios. In fact, these varying climate models have been referred to as the “model muddle.”  In one example, models that are used to attempt to project rainfall and future temperatures remain ill-equipped to do that because some models focus specifically on greenhouse gases while others disagree on the baseline temperature of the earth’s surface. 

It’s also been discovered that this modeling cannot accurately account for the global climate in the past, without which present and future climate data cannot be measured. In other words, as an expert has pointed out “the models fail to explain why rapid global warming occurred from 1910-1940, when human influences on the climate were less significant.” (Steven E. Koonin, Under Secretary for Science at DOE in Obama Administration).

Other experts have noted that “the lack of detail in current modeling approaches makes them ‘not fit’ to describe regional climate.”  (Tim Palmer, Royal Society research professor in Climate Physics; and, Bjorn Stevens, Managing Director, Max Planck Institute of Meteorology). Koonin further notes that the Report, “choosing to focus on climate change in recent decades, obscures or fails to mention that while the global rise in sea level has been increasing over the past 50 years, it was increasing almost as rapidly 90 years ago before decreasing strongly for 40 years.” 

The Report, itself, expresses low confidence in most hurricane trends over the next 100 years and it remains unclear whether there is any trend beyond the natural variability in Atlantic hurricanes. “In other words, we have no scientific proof that humans have made hurricanes worse.”  (Koonin).

Further, a summary of a recent U.S. government climate report makes the point that heat waves across the United States have been more frequent since 1960 but are no more common today than they were in 1900.

The U.N. is necessarily an international organization (we can save for another day what real value it has) with a distinctly Leftist bent intent on leading 21st century crusades to punish and destroy free thinkers who reject its climate ideology. Yet, this Report has now determined that its doomsday CO2 emissions projections are “unlikely” for several reasons including the fact that estimations reflecting the average global temperature in 2100 are only about 2.5 degree Celsius warmer than in the late 1800s. 

For these reasons, Koonin concludes, “it is absurd to suggest that an additional degree of warming over the next century will be catastrophic” and, in fact, “… even 1.5 degrees of additional warming by 2100 will have minimal net economic impact.”

Additionally, the production of fossil fuels has been attacked relentlessly, worldwide, supposedly to combat the eons-old cyclical warming and cooling of our planet. However, according to Dr. Patrick Moore, a Greenpeace co-founder, “there is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years … no actual proof, as it is understood in science, actually exists.”

As former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated when President Trump wisely pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord “due to the crushing economic burden that would have been placed on the backs of American workers and our economy,” even as the U.S. “has reduced all types of emissions, even as we grow our economy and ensure our citizens’ access to affordable energy. Our results speak for themselves:  U.S. emissions of criteria air pollutants that impact human health and the environment declined by 74% between 1970 and 2018. U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005-2017, even as our economy grew over 19 percent.”

Additionally, as Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris explains, “while the climate is indeed changing and human activity is playing a role, the chances of looming climate catastrophe are simply unrealistic and not grounded in reality. To have any impact whatsoever on climate, the entire world would either have to quickly change the way it consumes energy or simply remain undeveloped. Both options are devoid of reality.” 

Loris further notes that under the Paris Climate Accords, “Americans would pay more for food, health care, education, clothes, and every other good and service that requires energy.”  This would also include:

An overall loss of nearly 400,000 jobs, half of which would be in manufacturing;

An average total income loss of more than $20,000 for a family of four;

And an aggregate GDP loss of over $2.5 trillion. (Loris).

As my former boss, the late U.S. Congressman and Public Service Commissioner, Clyde Holloway, would say, “Yes, we’ll protect the environment but the worst environment is to be cold and hungry and have no job.”

We should ignore the hysterics of politicians and the media elite and continue to follow hard science, while we scientifically monitor our environment and remain faithful stewards of it.  And, a free, strong and largely uninhibited American economy is still the best way to prepare for and address any environmental issues that may actually arise.

Royal Alexander is a Shreveport-based attorney.

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