The Collapsing Soufflé of Climate Change

The climate campaign is collapsing faster than one of my popover recipes made with old flour and not enough milk.  The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is set to release on Monday the report of Working Group II, on the projected impacts of climate change.  (See my Weekly Standard review of Working Group I’s report on the latest science of climate change released last September, “Pay No Attention to the Bad Data.”)

AP environmental stenographer Seth Borenstein tried to get out ahead of the report a few days ago with a piece trumpeting that the dangers from climate change are going to be severe, and that they’re here right now:

“The polar bear is us,” says Patricia Romero Lankao of the federally financed National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., referring to the first species to be listed as threatened by global warming due to melting sea ice. . .

The key message from leaked drafts and interviews with the authors and other scientists: The big risks and overall effects of global warming are far more immediate and local than scientists once thought. It’s not just about melting ice, threatened animals and plants. It’s about the human problems of hunger, disease, drought, flooding, refugees and war, becoming worse.

The “federally financed” NCAR?  That’s a curious turn of phrase.  But in any case, the polar bear reference is already growling back.  It appears increasingly likely that previous reports of dwindling numbers of polar bears are wrong.  Moreover, according to Der Spiegel this week, the next IPCC report is going to walk back some of its previous extinction predictions:

Humans have shrunk the habitats of many life forms, through unsustainable agriculture, fishing or hunting. And it is going to get even worse. Global warming is said to be threatening thousands of animal and plant species with extinction. That, at least, is what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been predicting for years.

But the UN climate body now says it is no longer so certain. The second part of the IPCC’s new assessment report is due to be presented next Monday in Yokohama, Japan. On the one hand, a classified draft of the report notes that a further “increased extinction risk for a substantial number of species during and beyond the 21st century” is to be expected. On the other hand, the IPCC admits that there is no evidence climate change has led to even a single species becoming extinct thus far. . .

The draft report includes a surprising admission by the IPCC — that it doubts its own computer simulations for species extinctions. “There is very little confidence that models currently predict extinction risk accurately,” the report notes. Very low extinction rates despite considerable climate variability during past hundreds of thousands of years have led to concern that “forecasts for very high extinction rates due entirely to climate change may be overestimated.”

You can expect the climatistas and most of their water carriers in the media to ignore these parts of the report, and change the subject to how climate skeptics are like Holocaust deniers.  Yes, I know, this is an old one . . . and yet The Guardian is recycling this outrageous calumny again just this week, and boy are they unhappy about things:

[T]he global warming deniers have won. And please, can I have no emails from bed-wetting kidults blubbing that you can’t call us “global warming deniers ” because “denier” makes us sound like “Holocaust deniers”, and that means you are comparing us to Nazis? The evidence for man-made global warming is as final as the evidence of Auschwitz. No other word will do.

Actually we should thank the author of this screed, Nick Cohen, for unwittingly revealing exactly what is wrong at the core of the climate campaign: they want to smash up democracy and market economies and substitute their authoritarian rule.  Seldom has this been admitted so candidly (though unwittingly) than this:

Climate change deniers are as committed. Their denial fits perfectly with their support for free market economics, opposition to state intervention and hatred of all those latte-slurping, quinoa-munching liberals, with their arrogant manners and dainty hybrid cars, who presume to tell honest men and women how to live. If they admitted they were wrong on climate change, they might have to admit that they were wrong on everything else and their whole political identity would unravel.

The inability of the climate campaign to ponder whether environmental problems can be solved with means that are compatible with individual liberty, democratic institutions, and market economics is the chief reason they are losing.  The real “denialists” in this story are the reactionaries like Cohen.  I do hope he keeps writing on the subject.  He’s even more helpful than Al Gore.

More to come as we see the IPCC WG II report on Monday.

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