As a contributor to the IPCC’s 2007 report, I share the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. Yet I and many of my peers in the British House of Lords – through our hereditary element the most independent-minded of lawmakers – profoundly disagree on fundamental scientific grounds with both the IPCC and my co-laureate’s alarmist movie An Inconvenient Truth, which won this year’s Oscar for Best Sci-Fi Comedy Horror.
Two detailed investigations by Committees of the House confirm that the IPCC has deliberately, persistently and prodigiously exaggerated not only the effect of greenhouse gases on temperature but also the environmental consequences of warmer weather.
My contribution to the 2007 report illustrates the scientific problem. The report’s first table of figures – inserted by the IPCC’s bureaucrats after the scientists had finalized the draft, and without their consent – listed four contributions to sea-level rise. The bureaucrats had multiplied the effect of melting ice from the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets by 10.
The result of this dishonest political tampering with the science was that the sum of the four items in the offending table was more than twice the IPCC’s published total. Until I wrote to point out the error, no one had noticed. The IPCC, on receiving my letter, quietly corrected, moved and relabeled the erroneous table, posting the new version on the internet and earning me my Nobel prize.
The shore-dwellers of Bali need not fear for their homes. The IPCC now says the combined contribution of the two great ice-sheets to sea-level rise will be less than seven centimeters after 100 years, not seven meters imminently, and that the Greenland ice sheet (which thickened by 50 cm between 1995 and 2005) might only melt after several millennia, probably by natural causes, just as it last did 850,000 years ago. Gore, mendaciously assisted by the IPCC bureaucracy, had exaggerated a hundredfold.
Recently a High Court judge in the UK listed nine of the 35 major scientific errors in Gore’s movie, saying they must be corrected before innocent schoolchildren can be exposed to the movie. Gore’s exaggeration of sea-level rise was one.
Others being peddled at the Bali conference are that man-made “global warming” threatens polar bears and coral reefs, caused Hurricane Katrina, shrank Lake Chad, expanded the actually-shrinking Sahara, etc.
At the very heart of the IPCC’s calculations lurks an error more serious than any of these. The IPCC says: “The CO2 radiative forcing increased by 20 percent during the last 10 years (1995-2005).” Radiative forcing quantifies increases in radiant energy in the atmosphere, and hence in temperature. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 in 1995 was 360 parts per million. In 2005 it was just 5percent higher, at 378 ppm. But each additional molecule of CO2 in the air causes a smaller radiant-energy increase than its predecessor. So the true increase in radiative forcing was 1 percent, not 20 percent. The IPCC has exaggerated the CO2 effect 20-fold.
Why so large and crucial an exaggeration? Answer: the IPCC has repealed the fundamental physicalthe Stefan-Boltzmann equation – that converts radiant energy to temperature. Without this equation, no meaningful calculation of the effect of radiance on temperature can be done. Yet the 1,600 pages of the IPCC’s 2007 report do not mention it once.
The IPCC knows of the equation, of course. But it is inconvenient. It imposes a strict (and very low) limit on how much greenhouse gases can increase temperature. At the Earth’s surface, you can add as much greenhouse gas as you like (the “surface forcing”), and the temperature will scarcely respond.
That is why all of the IPCC’s computer models predict that 10km above Bali, in the tropical upper troposphere, temperature should be rising two or three times as fast as it does at the surface. Without that tropical upper-troposphere “hot-spot”, the Stefan-Boltzmann law ensures that surface temperature cannot change much.
For half a century we have been measuring the temperature in the upper atmosphere – and it has been changing no faster than at the surface. The IPCC knows this, too. So it merely declares that its computer predictions are right and the real-world measurements are wrong. Next time you hear some scientifically-illiterate bureaucrat say, “The science is settled”, remember this vital failure of real-world observations to confirm the IPCC’s computer predictions. The IPCC’s entire case is built on a guess that the absent hot-spot might exist.
Even if the Gore/IPCC exaggerations were true, which they are not, the economic cost of trying to mitigate climate change by trying to cut our emissions through carbon trading and other costly market interferences would far outweigh any possible climatic benefit.
The international community has galloped lemming-like over the cliff twice before. Twenty years ago the UN decided not to regard AIDS as a fatal infection. Carriers of the disease were not identified and isolated. Result: 25 million deaths in poor countries.
Thirty-five years ago the world decided to ban DDT, the only effective agent against malaria. Result: 40 million deaths in poor countries. The World Health Organization lifted the DDT ban on Sept. 15 last year. It now recommends the use of DDT to control malaria. Dr. Arata Kochi of the WHO said that politics could no longer be allowed to stand in the way of the science and the data. Amen to that.
If we take the heroically stupid decisions now on the table at Bali, it will once again be the world’s poorest people who will die unheeded in their tens of millions, this time for lack of the heat and light and power and medical attention which we in the West have long been fortunate enough to take for granted.
If we deny them the fossil-fuelled growth we have enjoyed, they will remain poor and, paradoxically, their populations will continue to increase, making the world’s carbon footprint very much larger in the long run.
As they die, and as global temperature continues to fail to rise in accordance with the IPCC’s laughably-exaggerated predictions, the self-congratulatory rhetoric that is the hallmark of the now-useless, costly, corrupt UN will again be near-unanimously parroted by lazy, unthinking politicians and journalists who ought to have done their duty by the poor but are now – for the third time in three decades – failing to speak up for those who are about to die.
My fellow-participants, there is no climate crisis. The correct policy response to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing. Take courage! Do nothing, and save the world’s poor from yet another careless, UN-driven slaughter.
The writer is an international business consultant specializing in the investigation of scientific frauds. He is a former adviser to UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher and is presenter of the 90-minute climate movie Apocalypse? NO! He can be reached at [email protected].