Things are not going well for the purveyors of doom and gloom, otherwise known as Cataclysmic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).
Their climate models continue to show increasing temperature, but reality continues to disagree, as global temperatures remain stubbornly flat, or even to fall slightly depending upon how you look at the numbers (see graph on left), while the evil CO2 concentration continues to rise. According to the models, more CO2 means higher temperatures, but its not happening. What to do?
Well, initially refusal to acknowledge reality seemed to work, but only for so long. As the gap between the virtual reality of the models and actual reality continued to grow, cracks began to appear in the CAGW wall of “settled science” and “consensus” .
The first indication was a leak of the next report from the IPCC. This appears to be a deliberate leak, to test the reaction to them beginning to back off from their predictions of the imminent fiery demise of the world if humanity doesn’t go back to living in caves and eating grass while paying huge taxes to finance a world-wide carbon market.
The leaked IPCC report suggests that previous predictions may have been overly pessimistic, and that the next 30 years or so may actually see flat temperatures, if not declining temperatures. Apparently, the natural climate variations that CO2 was supposed to be completely overriding is, in fact, the dominant determinant of climate temperature, masking any CO2 effect. But don’t worry! eventually (when the current generation of “climate scientists” are retired or dead and buried) CO2 will prevail!
However, another study, which was even reported by the BBC (who typically publish nothing which contradicts the CAGW orthodoxy), claims that the CO2 sensitivity, that is, the temperature rise for a doubling in CO2 concentration, is much lower than that being used in climate models. It did so by taking the models themselves, and the CO2 concentrations from ice cores covering time back to the last ice age, and determined that with the sensitivity set to the values currently being used, the ice sheets would have extended way past the 40 degree lattitude that it actually reached, right down to zero degrees (the equator) and that recovery would have been impossible, the world would still be one big ball of ice. Since that didn’t happen, the models are obviously wrong. They could be adjusted to reflect reality by reducing the CO2 sensitivity drastically, to something in the range of 1.7 to 2.0 degrees, which actually agrees with what many of the more skeptical climate scientists have been saying all along, rather than the previous claims of up to 11 degrees C.
The graph to the left shows the temperature record for central England, which is the longest continuous temperature record in the word, plotted with the CO2 concentration. The CO2 effect is rather difficult to pick out from the gradual temperature rise which os recovery from the cold “little ice age” temperatures. Actual temperature readings are not showing anything like the CO2 sensitivity used in the climate models.
To add to the discomfort of the CAGW merchants, both the public, and governments, who were stampeded into action my stories of doom, and the idea of being able to levy a tax on the air we breath were starting to get a little twitchy. The IPCC, once seen as a rock solid institution of scientific research has shown itself to be anything but, using scare stories from non-scientific sources and heavily filtering the actual science it does use, selecting only that science which backs its cause. For a really good explanation of how badly the IPCC is broken, see the book by Donna LaFramboise – “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert“.
With a meeting coming up in Durban to discuss what to do when the Kyoto protocol expires, this could not have come at a worse time. Combined with economic problems and the dismal failure of those carbon markets which have been established, various countries have made it clear that they will not be signing up for more of the same, let alone a stronger version. The real kicker was Japan, who hosted the original Kyoto discussions, announcing that it will not be signing up to a renewal.
Then bad news from the USA, which now refuses to back the UNFCCC, the parent organization of the IPCC, disagreeing with its funding and structure.
The only light in the CAGW universe seems to be the suicidal decision of the Australian government, alone amongst all countries in the world, to introduce a carbon tax. They rammed this through in time for a G20 meeting. At that meeting, they fully expected their lead to trigger many other countries to pledge to follow. Instead, they received pats on the back, and comments about how brave they were. The Australian labour party committed political suicide for “the cause”, and “the cause” reciprocated by doing … nothing.
The bottom also appears to be falling out of the renewable energy pipe-dream. Prince Philip going so far as to call the UK’s windmills “absolutely useless“. The Solyndra affair continues to fester in the US, and there are hints from China that they may be closing some of the solar pannel factories which are uneconomic to continue to run.
To top things off in the run-up to Durban, the same person (or persons) that released the original “Climategate” emails, released another batch of 5,000, now referred to a Climategate 2.0. These not only reinforce the case for the unacceptably bad and unscientific behavior of the IPCC scientists, but also adds some more light into the relationships with and behavior of various other institutions. This includes the BBC, who are seen to be anything but impartial in their reporting, pre-existing relationships with the “independent” investigators of the original climategate emails, and somewhat surprisingly, evidence that Professor Phil Jones, far from being a simple bumbling, absent minded professor, is, in fact a rather unpleasant and scheming character. Michael Mann just looks even worse (if that’s possible). If there is any justice in the world, this batch of email will result in a few lost jobs, and possibly a few prison sentences. Traction in the MSM is,as to be expected, somewhat limited, but it is there, and they are obviously finding it much harder to ignore these emails than they did the first batch.
As an added bonus, along with the 5,000 emails, is another zip file, which is heavily encrypted, but contains an additional 220,000 emails. Presumably, at some point in the future, the password to unlock there may/will be released. The most current theory is that the first batch of emails centered on the IPCC and its behavior. The second set has centered on relations with, and behavior of certain institutions, and that the final batch may well expand the net to include political figures. If that is the case, they are potentially dynamite. A ticking time-bomb under highly placed politicians and civil servants.
What we are seeing, is quite probably the beginning of the end of the CAGW scam. Rats are deserting the sinking ship, but still trying to do so without endangering their huge cashflow (government grants).