As COP27’s death agonies stretched out, the Norwegian minister of Climate and the Environment apparently decided he might as well be hanged for a sheep and ranted that the difference between 1.5 and 2°C of warming from the depths of the Little Ice Age is that “Entire countries that are present here will simply disappear from the surface of the planet. Most of all the ice on the world will melt. Cities we love and live in will be gone.” Oh really? We don’t even believe a computer model said that would happen, let alone that a sane person would believe it if one did. And yet such is the quality of rhetoric, and journalism, as the New York Times enthusiastically seconded these ravings.
In a piece in which the Times semi-repeated its absurd incapacity to recognize that fractions come in different sizes, claiming “Every fraction of a degree of additional warming could mean tens of millions more people worldwide exposed to life-threatening heat waves, water shortages and coastal flooding, scientists have found”, it also praised this political pseudo-science:
“‘One point five is not just a number that somebody invented,’ Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s minister of climate and environment told the conference on Friday. He spoke about ‘the paramount difference, the dramatic difference between warming that ends at 1.5 and 2 degrees.’”
As we noted above, he and they blithered on about vanishing countries, ice and cities. “It’s such a drama in front of us that we simply have to make sure that we stick to what we were told to do in Glasgow.”
And iffn they did? The computer models say it will make essentially no difference in 2100. So if he’s right that 1.5° is sort of bad and 2° is utter disaster, then meeting Glasgow’s edicts means entire countries will vanish, seas will rise 70 metres (230 feet) and, on the last remaining piece of dry land, the very tip of Mount Ararat, COP105 will blather on including politicians blurting out fantasies that, surely, no aide actually prompted them to say.
By the way we wrote the headline about Eide not being a climate scientist before checking because it’s how predictions should work including in science. And sure enough, he’s a politician with a degree in politics, specifically a “cand.polit. degree” from the University of Oslo.