Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, January 28, 2007

New Report Warns: 10 Years To Stop Global Warming

Warmies are going to go into hyper-media mode next week when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues its latest report that pronounces that if we don't get our CO2 act together in ten years, that's it. Game over.

Dead rainforests. Dead great barrier reef. Insanely hot southern Europe. Vast tracts of land slipping under the ocean. Lions and tigers and bears.

The newest, nastiest Warmie theory goes like this: The black magic concentration for the atmosphere is 550 ppm, about double normal levels, and their models show that the globe will not be able to deal with volumes that high because the systems that currently neutralize CO2 would reverse themselves at those levels and make things worse, not better.

IPCC has been fretting about this for long enough that Al Gore included it in Incontinent Truth., when digging into the film, wrote this:
Gore is especially angry that Lord Monckton suggests that the Earth might not be that sensitive to the presence of greenhouse gases. Gore asserts that climate sensitivity, which represents how much temperature increase — all other things being equal — we can expect from a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, is in the order of 3 degrees C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits that there is a wide amount of uncertainty in their models as to how much temperature change we can expect from a doubling of CO2 — from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C. Yet when Robert Douglass and Robert Knox of the University of Rochester examined the real world effects of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, they found a climate sensitivity of only 0.6 degrees C — well below the 3 degrees Gore claims “the real world evidence” shows.
When the report comes out, the media will cover it intensely since it's so yummily sensational. Then, over the few next weeks or months, scientists will pore over the data and begin to find flaws, false assumptions, over-estimations and erroneous constructs in the model. We will read very little of those criticisms.

If the science is flawed, they won't report it much. Also left largely unreported will be what it really means to radically cut CO2 emissions in a hurry.

Even though CO2 isn't expected to reach 550 ppm until 2040 or 2050 -- a projection you can believe if you choose to, but like many Warmie projections, it assumes there will be no technological breakthroughs or changes in human behavior over those years, and that the model was correctly constructed and run -- the Warmies are calling for major reductions in CO2 in just 10 years.

They think a tipping point will occur if we don't turn things around in a decade. Serious reductions in CO2 won't come from technology or human behavior in that short a time; the only thing that can accomplish that is shutting down industry and parking all the cars.

Since no one's stepping up to tell China and India to get their air quality act together, since Europe's not meeting its Kyoto targets and the U.S.'s most aggressive proposed goals -- proposed, not passed -- won't get us there.

Warmies know this. They've seen the skepticism and intransigence that has greeted their previous excited predictions, so why even bother to call for the collapse of the world economy if that's not going to happen in time satisfy their model?

Perhaps they believe if the just shout louder like so many Whos, we'll finally hear. In that regard, Warmies share a belief system -- but not tactics (yet) -- with Islamists. Islamists tell us, "Convert or die." Warmies tell us "Cut the carbon or die." And like Islamists, Warmies have no patience for those with other viewpoints.

Nor do Warmie sympathizers in the media. The Times of London, normally a straightforward enough publication, did even bother to seek out an alternative view in its report.

Their defensiveness makes you wonder: Is the Warmie movement as much about economic change as it is about climate change?

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