Earlier today we posted a blog piece, “Cracks in the Empire’s Armor Appear,” by Dr. Roy W. Spencer, that commented humorously on how the media have responded to a new study by climate scientists who heretofore have reliably toed the alarmist line.
Observing that actual warming trends are far smaller than those projected by the computer climate models on which the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and various national agencies depend, the authors concluded that therefore there’s still time for the world to prevent “global temperature” (There’s really no such thing.) from rising more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. This photo captured Roy’s reaction perfectly:
“Had John Christy or I tried to publish such a paper, Storm Troopers led by Darth Trenberth would have been quickly dispatched to put down the rebellion,” Roy wrote.
He chalked the paper up to “a strategic trial balloon of sorts.” I think Roy’s right (as usual).
I read the paper as a heroic (may we say panicked? last-ditch?) effort to salvage an agenda. Socialist former U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretary-General Christiana Figueres revealed the agenda (though indeed others, less prominent, had spoken it before) when she so candidly said, in the lead-up to the Paris climate treaty negotiations,
This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.
With Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, the crack in the dike appeared. Without the U.S., the agreement will lack most of the bribe money to be redistributed from the West to the Rest, developing nations will peel off, one by one, and the whole agenda will collapse. So if the agenda is to be preserved, the world must think it’s still achievable.
But the growing divergence between model temperature projections and real-world temperature data was making more and more people think the agenda wasn’t needed. Since it was becoming increasingly implausible to argue that eventually the projections and observations would merge (we’d have to see really rapid warming over the rest of the century for that to happen!), the Empire resorts to a new tactic: slowing the pursuit of the agenda so people won’t feel so pinched.
The bad news for the Empire, though, is that if climate sensitivity really is much lower than what’s embedded in the models and driving their temperature projections (which are 2–3 times what’s observed), then the cooling to be achieved by any CO2 emission reductions (like those proposed in the Paris treaty) will also be one-third to one-half what the Empire claims. That makes the benefit/cost ratio even worse than it previously appeared. As Bjørn Lomborg pointed out, the cost would run around $1–$2 trillion per year from 2030–2100, i.e., $70–$140 trillion, for a projected temperature reduction of 0.3 degree Fahrenheit, i.e., $23.3 to $46.6 trillion per tenth of a degree.
If this new study is right, and projected temperature reductions are to be brought in line with observations instead of the models’ exaggerations, then the cost per tenth of a degree will double or triple.
Maybe then more people will figure out that the Paris agreement—or any other to reduce CO2 emissions and thus warming—is a bad deal.