A Climate of Moral Vanity

Published December 9, 2015

Christmas shopping along the Champs Elysees is proceeding in an untroubled boulevard fashion.

True, the entrances to many larger businesses are manned by security personnel, some wielding electronic scanners, but shoppers nonetheless appear relaxed. A subliminal wariness about renewed terrorist attacks is manifest only by anxious glances toward the occasional armed police patrols that discretely mingle with the shoppers.

This current reality in central Paris contrasts markedly with the parallel universe that is represented by the United Nations COP-21 climate talks at the nearby conference enclave at La Bourget.

There, some 40,000 delegates and associated staff are ensconced in talks in highly secured premises. Premiers and prime ministers have now departed, and the grim grind of climate policy negotiation is underway.

As the media report, COP-21 delegates believe that today’s temperatures and atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels are unusually high, and that because of this, more or more intense storms, droughts and floods are occurring and more polar bears and penguins are dying.

They also assert the science is settled, that the time for action to stop global warming is nigh, and that by limiting carbon-dioxide emissions they can restrict to an arbitrary 2 degrees Celsius a mythical warming that is no longer occurring.

All of these assumptions are untrue. Some are ludicrous. But in their sum, they encapsulate the alternative world of climate activist fantasy that is represented by COP-21.

That the statements are untrue is mostly agreed by the two major audits of published scientific literature that have been undertaken by the U.N.’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and by the independent Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, in their respective reports that summarize several thousand scientific research papers.

In the real world outside the La Bourget circus tent, modern temperatures are warm but not unusually so; carbon-dioxide levels are low in comparison with the geological past; no increase in temperature has occurred in the last 18 years despite an increase of 10 percent in carbon dioxide, and no untoward changes have occurred in the frequency of extreme weather events or in ecological distributions.

In short, all these phenomena fall within what one would expect due to normal natural variation.

Back in central Paris, two meetings of independent scientists presented genuine discussion of the strength of the evidence for the U.N. panel’s alarmist view of global warming.

The first, the Paris Climate Challenge from Dec. 1 to 3, was convened by British author Philip Foster and provided in-depth discussion of the global warming issue as presented by leading independent scientists.

The second occurred on, Dec. 7, and was sponsored by three American organizations, the Heartland Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Public briefings were delivered by expert senior scientists and policy experts, combined with the launch of a new book, “Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming.”

Later Monday evening, CFACT premiered their blockbuster new film, “Climate Hustle,” which Fox News host Sean Hannity said, “takes aim at many of the global warming alarmists and debunks much of their so-called science.” The documentary, to be released in theaters in early 2016, is an exceptional blend of solid science, investigation journalism and humor that will thoroughly irritate those who still cling to the U.N. climate narrative.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media coverage of COP-21 shows that reporters at large have settled on two main aims.

The first is to prevent any trace of genuine scientific discussion or doubt about the so-called climate “emergency” from reaching public ears and eyes through either the printed press or electronic airwaves.

The second is to act as an echo chamber for the delusional misstatements made daily about climate-related issues by COP-21 delegates and their environmental activist companions.

The alternative reality represented at the Le Bourget conference center resembles an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole terrain in which Red Queen delegates believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast each day.

The U.N.’s inability to correct themselves as new research findings become available is ensured by their insulation from the real world of science and rational discussion based upon it. In its place have been substituted false declamation, evangelistic fervor, mantra mumbling and moral vanity.

It is not only security that is tight at La Bourget, but even more so the intellectual ring-fencing of delegates that is being provided by the media in order to maintain the alarmist climate message.

As a consequence, the only approach that makes sense — adapting to dangerous climate events and change if and when they happen — is largely pushed aside as COP-21 delegates focus mostly on the naive, impossible goal of “stopping climate change.”

• Bob Carter, chief science adviser of the International Climate Science Coalition, is co-author of “Taxing Air” (Kelpie Press, 2013). Tom Harris is the coalition’s executive director.

[Originally published at The Washington Times]