Another Global Warming Consequence Exaggerated

Well this is unfortunate timing. Just as it is being reported that the Cancun climate talks are in danger of collapse, a report is published that debunks one more of the extreme global warming consequences claims.

Alarming predictions that global warming could cause sea levels to rise 6ft in the next century are wrong, it has emerged.

The forecast made by the influential 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which would have seen cities around the world submerged by water, now looks ‘unlikely’.

A Met Office study also rules out the shutdown of the Atlantic Ocean’s conveyor belt, which would trigger Arctic winters in Britain like those seen in the film The Day After Tomorrow.It’s not all good news though. The publish report does offer up some dire predictions of its own.

It says there is new evidence that the Arctic will become largely free of ice during most summers earlier in the century than the IPCC warned, and that the Greenland ice sheet is more likely to melt in centuries to come than previously thought.

It also warns that the release of methane from warming wetlands will be greater than thought in 2007 – leading to more global warming in the coming decades.Here’s the problem though. There’s just too much variability in the predictions that come from climate models. As fast as last year’s disaster scenario is found to be invalid, a new scenario takes its place. There is undoubtedly some truth buried in all these reports but it is almost impossible to divine it amongst the cloud of data from poorly tuned models (or outright fabrications).

The standard response to that argument I hear is “Well something bad is happening. We have to act and we have to act now!” The problem I have with that is that those calling for such actions have lost their credibility. They clearly have an alternate agenda and are happy to use global warming or any other convenient catalyst as a means for driving that agenda. I refuse to support that approach even if, in some cases, I support parts of that agenda.

I’m an outdoor kind of guy. I live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. I spend many of my weekends hiking with my dog in open spaces and national forests. I don’t want to see the sky clouded with pollution, the water poisoned with chemical runoff, or the animals driven to extinction from deforestation. But to me those goals are noble enough to have my support. I don’t need exaggerated or bogus claims of global warming used to give governments powers they don’t need to help reach those goals.

Ironically, this approach is very similar to the oft maligned “weapons of mass destruction” approach. There were many reasons that removing Hussein from power in Iraq was good choice. But many of these reasons were subtle or complex and it is hard to rally the populous without something clear-cut and obvious. So a focus on these missing WMDs was made, to somewhat disastrous results.

This is hardly different than the approach being taken by global warming extremists. There are a lot of subtle and complex reasons having a healthy ecosystem is beneficial to society. But again, it’s hard to motivate people to support something with subtle arguments. So the blunt “we are all going to die from global warming, and soon” hammer is brought forth, whether rigorously supported by scientific study or not. And as a scientist, I refuse to go along with the deception.

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