December 19, 2012

Beginning of the end for green alarmism?

The most important thing you'll read today is nothing to do with the obnoxious Andrew Mitchell or even the illusory rise of UKIP. It's to do with global warming.

In a WSJ article Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change which Bishop Hill considers of "incalculable importance", Matt Ridley reports that scientific observations are pointing to a further rise of just 1°C by 2100. This is observed evidence, not computer models. "The net effect on the planet may actually be beneficial."

Ridley says we we can now estimate - based on observations - how sensitive the temperature is to carbon dioxide. We do not need to rely heavily on unproven models. The conclusion is that
A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C.
This is much lower than the IPCC's current best estimate of 3°C. Given what we know now, there is almost no way that the feared large temperature rise is going to happen.
A cumulative change of less than 2°C by the end of this century will do no net harm. It will actually do net good—that much the IPCC scientists have already agreed upon in the last IPCC report. Rainfall will increase slightly, growing seasons will lengthen, Greenland's ice cap will melt only very slowly, and so on.
So that's it then. We don't need to be pauperised to pay for renewables, we don't need carbon taxes, using gas is fine, goodbye most of Tim Yeo's directorships, carbon dioxide is after all plant food and essential to life.

We just need to hammer it into officials' and politicians' skulls. Cue lots of fingers in ears. So there will be a job to be done, to tell them we are not fooled.

This should mark the end for green alarmism. At least it may be the beginning of the end.

1 comment:

A K Haart said...

I think Matt Ridley is wrong. We don't know enough about CO2 sensitivity to give it a value other than the word "low".

It may even be zero or it may vary and may not be a fixed parameter at all.