Never mind war in the Ukraine, or oil and commodity prices exploding around the world. The IPCC and its media cheerleaders want you to know that your biggest problem is the climate emergency. You may have missed that they just released Volume II of their 6th Assessment Report called “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” since, Climate Home News complained huffily, “Russian war overshadows IPCC report” whereas “In a sane world, publication of an ‘atlas of human suffering’ would top the international news agenda all week.” Well sure, since a military clash between nuclear-armed nations could only kill us in reality whereas climate can do it rhetorically. The Associated Press, newly funded by climate alarmists, coincidentally declares that the report says we are all on fire or something, with the usual stock images of wrecked houses, blazing trees and other apocalypses under the headline “UN climate report: ‘Atlas of human suffering’ worse, bigger”. We agree. The reports keep getting bigger, and their scientific quality keeps getting worse, as does their connection to reality.
The problem is not merely bad reporting. The IPCC bears much of the blame for its own misrepresentations. Its Summary for Policymakers includes such gems as “Human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people, beyond natural climate variability” which as we’ve repeatedly noted is not a claim sustained by past scientific publications of, what’s that thing called, the IPCC. And Roger Pielke Jr. has drilled into specifics on some of the new report’s outright falsehoods (see here and here) as has Bjorn Lomborg and as others will in due course. But the bad reporting takes a misleading report and amplifies the alarmism even further.
The text of the AP story raves “Deadly with extreme weather now, climate change is about to get so much worse. It is likely going to make the world sicker, hungrier, poorer, gloomier and way more dangerous in the next 18 years with an “unavoidable” increase in risks, a new United Nations science report says.”
That bad? No, of course not. Worse, including the phrase “And after that watch out” followed by (watch out indeed) “The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report said Monday if human-caused global warming isn’t limited to just another couple tenths of a degree, an Earth now struck regularly by deadly heat, fires, floods and drought in future decades will degrade in 127 ways with some being ‘potentially irreversible.’” A hundred and twenty-seven. That’s scientific precision for you. Not 128. Not 126. Heck no. 127 on the schnoz. We should be glad it’s not 127.4. And we can’t help noting that “potentially irreversible” means “also potentially reversible” so it’s just ominous vagueness.
Of course the semi-official line on the IPCC is that, as always, the new report confirms the settled science that it’s worse than scientists thought as it always is. An Australian reader sends us this fundraiser from “Together We Can” (not available on their website) that “As deadly floods continue impacting communities in Queensland and New South Wales, last night the world’s leading climate scientists published a sobering new report. It reveals the impacts of climate damage on people and nature across the world is more severe and widespread than was predicted only a few years ago. But the scientists say we can adapt to current climate damage and prevent the worst climate impacts if we act now to slash pollution this decade.” Oh, that’s original.
Meanwhile Climate Home News is mainlining: “Since the last such report in 2014, many threats have moved from the “projected” column to the “unavoidable” – the consequence of continued failure to rein in global emissions. That’s the indictment.” So too late then, might as well party. Or fight Putin. Or something else frivolous. Right? Wroooong!!! We must act now to prevent the unpreventable.