Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
A news clipping from 1995 – concerning an earlier IPCC report – was hilariously wrong.
The Deseret News is published in Salt Lake City, Utah. Back in December 1995, it ran a Reuters newswire story titled Climate experts meet to OK report on global warming.
At that time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was finalizing its second climate assessment (installment one of its fifth assessment has just been released).
So what did Reuters tell us in 1995? It said that “man is a key cause of global warming.” It quoted the head of a UN body, the World Meteorological Association, declaring that the IPCC report was
a warning to humanity that we have gone beyond the point where the sustainable use of the atmosphere as a highly mobile dump for man’s waste is possible without serious consequences.
It told us the World Wildlife Fund had arranged for school children to gather outside the IPCC meeting holding placards with pictures of polar bears. Eighteen long years ago.
Reuters also said this:
Based on the findings of three working groups, the IPCC says that the earth’s temperature could rise by between 33 and 38 F by the year 2010 – an average rate of warming probably higher than any in the past 10,000 years.
Those numbers don’t make much sense. It’s likely a decimal got lost and that 3.3 – 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit is what was intended. It’s also likely that the year 2010 was supposed to be 2100. But the important point is this: if we take the Reuter’s story at face value – as most newspaper readers would have – the IPCC was hilariously wrong.
Global warming theory posits that greenhouse gases emissions and temperature are closely linked. When one increases, says this theory, so will the other. But that isn’t how the real world has behaved.
According to the US Energy Administration, we haven’t reduced our C02 emisisons – quite the opposite. In the year 1995, humanity collectively generated 20,010 million metric tons of C02. By 2011, that had increased to 32,579 million metric tons.
But the global temperature hasn’t shot up. Instead, it has remained remarkably stable (see the graph here).
Moral of the story: with the help of the media, the IPCC has been telling us scary stories for a rather long time. But like the boy who cried wolf, it’s credibility has now worn thin.
hat tip to Steven Goddard at his RealScience blog for unearthing this news clipping
I’m talking a couple days off. See you again on Sunday.