The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released a report that doesn't find much evidence of "climate change" or "global warming" based on human activity, but nevertheless rushes to assure readers that the problem is still serious. Not so fast, says the Heartland Institute and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change it supports:
"Whereas the reports of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warn of a dangerous human effect on climate, NIPCC concludes the human effect is likely to be small relative to natural variability, and whatever small warming is likely to occur will produce benefits as well as costs," the non-governmental panel announced, rolling out a hefty report with a succinct "summary for policymakers" to back up their claim.
In essence, the NIPCC is calling shenanigans on the United Nations panel, accusing them of "departing from proper scientific methodology."
Global climate models produce meaningful results only if we assume we already know perfectly how the global climate works, and most climate scientists say we do not (Bray and von Storch, 2010). Moreover, it is widely recognized that climate models are not designed to produce predictions of future climate but rather what-if projections of many alternative possible futures (Trenberth, 2009). Postulates, commonly defined as "something suggested or assumed as true as the basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief," can stimulate relevant observations or experiments but more often are merely assertions that are difficult or impossible to test (Kahneman, 2011). Observations in science are useful primarily to falsify hypotheses and cannot prove one is correct (Popper, 1965, p. vii).
The defense against this criticism amounts to a despairing cry that we can't afford to follow the scientific method when it comes to climate change, because the problem is so potentially severe that we don't have time to find out if it's real. That's a "sociological precept, rather than a scientific one," as the NIPCC points out. I would add that it's also a very useful vehicle for grabbing political power and money. Also, it's pretty rich to hear the people who constantly claim they've got science on their side frankly admit that they do not, but it doesn't matter, because if you just bend and twist the data enough, you can pretend the "crisis" they've been warning about still exists, and we must spare no expense to avoid it.
Looking at the very same data the United Nations used, the NIPCC finds that none of the "climate change" models or predictions have panned out, the minimal temperature fluctuations observed throughout the industrial era are consistent with natural climate variations, and the global climate hasn't warmed significantly during the last 16 years, even though plenty of Demon Carbon has been created by human activity.
Like a growing number of serious climate scientists, the NIPCC sees a higher possibility of global cooling over the coming decades, which may or may not be a good thing, but clearly has nothing to do with the Church of Global Warming's dogma about air-conditioner emissions turning the Earth into a huge TastyBake oven. Furthermore, if natural global cooling is a bad thing, there might not be much the human race can do about it... outside of doing everything the Church of Global Warming has inflicted billions of dollars in economic damage trying to halt, that is. Perhaps Miami will name its first outdoor ice-skating rink after Al Gore.
The report is unsparing in its critique of global-warming activists:
The hypothesis of human-caused global warming comes up short not merely of "full scientific certainty" but of reasonable certainty or even plausibility. The weight of evidence now leans heavily against the theory. Invoking the precautionary principle does not lower the required threshold for evidence to be regarded as valid nor does it answer the most important questions about the causes and consequences of climate change. Scientific principles acknowledge the supremacy of experiment and observation and do not bow to instinctive feelings of alarm nor claims of a supposed scientific "consensus" (Legates et al., 2013).
Doubtless the response to this report will involve a great deal of caterwauling about the Heartland Institute, the agenda of the NIPCC, evil special interests, and so forth, none of which addresses the content of the report. Besides, it's absolutely comical to pretend the climate-change fanatics aren't motivated by special interests, greed, and political agendas. The amount of money they stand to lose from the collapse of their man-made global warming con job is astronomical. Gigantic fortunes and political careers are at stake.
There's a lot more evidence to question the integrity of the global-warming crowd than their critics. As luck would have it, the Associated Press broke some news today about pressure on the U.N. researchers from various governments to hide embarrassing data pertaining to that mysterious 16-year-and-counting "pause" in global warming. Politicians are not eager to lose an irrefutable demand for power and control - do what we say or you want the Earth to die, you're no better than a Holocaust denier. By all means, let's have a nice little chat about which side of this debate has greater incentives to distort and misinterpret the data.
Another bit of low comedy at the expense of the global-warming faithful comes from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was asked if those super-expensive job-crushing global warming regulations were affecting any of the 26 indicators the agency laid out to measure our planetary climate crisis. She bubbled out a lot of bureaucratic nonsense about the importance of global leadership... but no, she couldn't say that any of these regulations has actually done a blessed thing to combat global warming.
Reams of taxpayer dollars, spent to no measurable effect other than making politicians and bureaucrats feel good about themselves. Lovely.
We really should have brought the global warming fraudsters up on criminal charges a long time ago. They've gotten away with the crime of the century. But if we're not going to put them behind bars, or at least make them repay the money they appropriated, we can at least swat them off the world stage with a rolled-up temperature chart.