Continuing on from yesterday’s post, I notice that there appears to be a difference between what scientists say about the impacts of climate change and what activists, bloggers and NGOs say.
Most of the cataclysmic Voice of Doom rants come from the self-proclaimed activists. As it’s eye-catching stuff to read about catastrophe, the media covers the activist proclamations eagerly, in the same way teenagers eat up horror movies.
Apart from scientists like Michael Mann and Michael Tobis, the scientific community is far more restrained. (Although once they’ve drunk the Kool-aide, those few scientists can be just as umm. unrestrained… as the activists. Tobis once wrote, “It is because the f***ing survival of the f***ing planet is at f***ing stake” in response to Steve Mosher trying to make peace with him. Michael Mann doesn’t swear as much but even so, “If we are going to avoid catastrophic, irreversible climate change impacts, we have to be ramping down our carbon emissions dramatically in the years ahead.”
More typically, scientists write in carefully couched language: “These impacts pose challenges to infrastructure, businesses, and communities, particularly in countries already struggling to meet the basic food, water, shelter, and security needs of their citizens.”
Now, this shouldn’t be very surprising. People become activists because they are very concerned about something. Otherwise, why be an activist?
And it’s been apparent for a long time. One of the first and biggest confabulations about climate change is that ‘97% of the scientists are convinced that climate change is real, that humans are the cause and that it poses a very real danger.’
Probably more than 97% of scientists are convinced that climate change is real (both in the broad sense and in the narrow instance of warming since 1945). And probably almost as many believe that humans have caused half or more of the warming since 1945–certainly Bart Verheggen’s survey found that 66% did.
But that last part–that it poses a very real danger–that comes straight from the activists, not science. Activists add that in on their own.
Prince Charles, who believes strongly in homeopathic medicine and has a butler give him his toothbrush pre-loaded with toothpaste every morning, believes that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is very real. He said, ““The best projections tell us that we have less than 100 months to alter our behaviour before we risk catastrophic climate change.” Not only do the best projections not say that, no projections at all say that.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is far more sanguine, writing about ’26 Key Risks’ that taken together do not spell catastrophe, but more an expensive pain in the butt for the developed world and a sad delay in development for poorer countries around the globe.
Look–I get that activists will say stupid things, and not just about climate change. They’re evidently predisposed by nature to worry excessively and perhaps that prevents them from taking a better perspective on things. For them, AGW perhaps really means ‘Anthropomorphic Global Warming’ (h/t to hunter for that one).
But the rest of us should be clear that catastrophe is not part of anthropogenic global warming. It is not predicted by science. It is invented by activists.
For me the real question is why do scientists let the activists get away with this? It doesn’t help science at all. It certainly doesn’t help guide policy. And when combined with the activists’ very real hatred for those opposing them, it contributes to the paralysis that they’re hoping to end in Paris next month.