Let’s perform a quick exercise. Consider the following quotes:
“dangerously close to spiraling out of control”
“the alarm bells are deafening”
“deadly heat waves”
“unleash disastrous weather”
“people could die just from going outside”
“the world is running out of time”
“Earth could broil”
Now answer the following multiple-choice question. The direct quotes above are from:
(a) The script for a heavily marketed disaster film/horror story
(b) The sermon for an end-of-times religious cult
(c) An article written by energy/environment journalists of a respected global news outlet
(d) All of the above
If you answered (d), there is good news and bad news.
The good news is you are correct. The quotes are from a “news” story issued by Reuters that was timed to amplify the AR6 2021 report from that bureaucratic nest known as the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The article replaces objective journalism with a blend of Hollywood script and modern-day Book of Revelations.
The bad news is that if you are applying to college or interviewing for a job, you are advised to shroud your intelligence and instead feign a veneer of politically correct groupthink. That’s because today when it comes to climate change, the objective mind is subjected to the pincer movement of amped up rhetoric from the church’s high priests and the persecution of the dissenting free thinker.
“Climate Science Integrity” Becomes an Oxymoron
Crucial to progress in science is the willingness of the scientific community to self-audit and to be clinically objective. Self-audit drives not only progress, but also informs of the ethical compass of the scientific community. In the arena of climate science, the religion has subsumed objectivity and the ethical compass is broken.
The integrity of the IPCC and its climate models are massively important to billions of human beings. The results of these dubious endeavors and highly questionable results are not being used for purely academic pursuits; they are being used to drive public policy decisions that impact countless lives. The logic is linear and chilling: flawed model inputs produce mutated predictions, mutated predictions advise wrong-headed policies, and wrong-headed policies erode the human condition.
Setting sound public policy requires the ability to predict outcomes with reasonable accuracy. When models are wired to manufacture desired outcomes or reflect subjective beliefs, a fundamental flaw is created. When the models used to forecast and their creators demonstrate either gross incompetence or an unethical bias, then their views of the future and resulting policy recommendations should be ignored.
Modeling Like its 1999 to Predict 2100 Weather
While the world’s best meteorologists armed with the most sophisticated technology can’t accurately pinpoint the location of a hurricane in a few days without applying a wide cone of uncertainty, the priests in the church of climate state with arrogant certainty how much warmer the planet will be decades in the future, to the tenth of a degree. Such obvious naiveite should be ridiculed by the scientific community, but it won’t be.
And it gets worse when you dig into the details inside these black box climate models.
For decades, the UN’s IPCC and the models it utilized assume for key scenarios that coal demand and consumption would grow drastically. In fact, for years the IPCC models assumed coal would become the top energy source for cars – surpassing oil and electric vehicles.
The infamous RCP8.5 scenario from earlier IPCC reports, which sets the stage for many of these IPCC scenarios and global warming predictions, assumes a 600% increase in global coal consumption per capita by 2100. Such an assumption is ridiculous, considering realities such as the natural gas shale revolution and energy efficiency innovations. Worse yet, the world has demonstrated the absurdity of a 600% increase in coal consumption, with coal demand peaking and, in developed nations like the US, declining precipitously over the past 15 years.
And IPCC’s recent AR6 report embraced a “shared socio-economic pathways” (that’s what technocrats now call scenarios) case that assumes even higher fossil fuel emissions than the prior RCP8.5 scenario. This laughable new scenario, labeled SSP5-8.5, has no basis in the reality of current energy markets and predicts future CO2 emissions from energy that blow past the prior IPCC scenario of RCP8.5, as well as projections from the IEA, BP, and Exxon.
The IPCC refuses to provide relative probabilities for each of its scenarios. But guess which case IPCC references the most when discussing climate change consequences? That’s right, the one that is the fiction bordering on the fantasy: SSP5-8.5.
Why would such an obvious flawed assumption on coal consumption be allowed to propagate through these IPCC scenarios year after year and report after report? Because without a massive increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration from burning more and more coal, the model won’t spit out a desired spike in future global temperatures. No boiling planet, no imminent Armageddon (Code Red!) and salvation via a call to action (Climate Action Now!). The religion is exposed, and the racket vanishes.
Unpacking the Climate Change Issue
Now, I’ve written extensively on the issue of climate change, taking the path of data-grounded, science-based reality (https://nickdeiuliis.com/news/a-rational-persons-guide-to-climate-change/). So, before you shout ‘denier’ and stone me with lumps of coal, consider I’ve gone on record acknowledging that climate change has been a reality for millions of years and that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased since the advent of the Industrial Revolution from human activity. Both are undeniable facts.
There are three other undeniable facts, however.
First, those rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are still trace amounts. All the CO2 emitted from industrial human activity over the past couple of hundred years took CO2 from just over 0.02% to roughly 0.04% of the atmosphere.
Using parts-per-million instead of percent and quoting a “doubling” of atmospheric CO2 (from 200 ppm to 400 ppm) may sound more ominous and impressive. But it is the same as 0.02% to 0.04%: still trace levels, and still inconsequential in the grand, complex scheme of global climate.
Second, the ability, accuracy, and precision of climate models and the so-called scientists who construct them have been horrendous.
Perhaps gross inaccuracy with predicting climate twenty years from now is not surprising, considering meteorologists can’t predict next week’s weather with certainty. At a minimum, these climate scientists (a term some may argue is self-contradicting) should be fired for incompetence and their models should be scrapped. The models, which are endlessly refined year after year, badly miss predictions and can’t even accurately predict prior temperatures when tested in a backward-looking fashion. That we continue to fund them with billions in taxpayer dollars and listen to them when developing public policy is societal self-inflicted ignorance.
Third, and most important, every activity and endeavor in society and the economy has a significant carbon footprint across its life cycle. That holds true for wind power, solar power, food consumption, public transportation, the hydrogen economy, and social media.
Which means CO2 levels will continue to rise no matter what we embrace: combustion engines or electric vehicles, solar or natural gas power, in person or remote work, manufacturing or the idea economy. The only way to attain a zero-carbon society is to shutter the economy and eradicate quality of life. There is no magic technology or whiz-bang invention that will change that fact. Any representation to the contrary is a fraud on science.
The Religion and the Racket
Bureaucrats in government (and global institutions like the UN), academics engaged in so-called climate research, and media prostituting for clicks and social media follows have spent years eroding the science and constructing in its place a belief-based religion. Pledge your allegiance to the church of climate or be cast out and ostracized by your colleagues, neighbors, friends, and family.
The religion is then used to initiate the racket: justifying and procuring endless funding and attention, where the high priests engage in a lucrative scheme that yields expanding funding, ballooning staffs, new research labs, a wider audience, and, most important of all, influence on public policy and personal decision making (aka power).
Unfortunately, while this elite climate syndicate enjoys the fruits of their racket measured in billions of dollars, it ends up being quite the non-virtuous circle for the rest of us who must pay the monetary bill and the societal price. We are being subjected to an endless loop of elitist digital media-preachers telling us what to do and where to send our money so that we may be saved (the spirit of Jim Bakker’s 700 Club rises again).
That’s how you end up with elite journalists, government officials, and academics from well-respected organizations spewing baseless hysteria like the trashy quotes above. The authors should be ashamed, for what they created is not objective and is not representative of ethical journalism. Instead, it is blatant marketing and advocacy for a complex issue they know little about. The organization they work for should reconsider its self-prescribed label of “news provider.”
The legitimate Code Red for humanity is that the very stakeholders society relies upon to protect it from harmful schemes—government, academia, and media—are the perpetrators of this scheme.