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The drive to declare a “climate emergency” has swept much of the world. According to the Climate Emergency Declaration website:

“2,094 jurisdictions in 38 countries have declared a climate emergency. Populations covered by jurisdictions that have declared a climate emergency amount to over 1 billion citizens.”

But the “emergency” is nowhere to be found in the real world.

After all, the so-called “Global Average Temperature” has only risen about 1.2 degrees Celsius since 1880 despite a nearly 50% rise in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Yet, it was during this period when one would expect the most temperature increase due to CO2 rise. In reality, however, there has obviously been very little warming and what warming has occurred has been of significant benefit to humanity and the biosphere as we pulled out of the miserable Little Ice Age. Scientists such as Princeton University physics professor Dr. William Happer show that even a doubling of today’s CO2 levels in the atmosphere would cause very little temperature rise but would cause a huge benefit to increasing productivity of the biosphere, including a massive increase in crop yield. 

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration database of state-wide extreme weather records, arguably the best of its kind in the world, shows that extreme weather records were mostly set in the 1930s and practically nothing unusual is happening today. Similarly, sea-level rise and ocean pH levels are not a problem and polar bears are thriving

So, what is the basis for fear of a climate emergency? It originates merely in computerized model forecasts of hypothetical future climate states. Yet, over the past 30 years, and despite the expenditure of billions of dollars of government funding, with one exception, not a single climate model prediction of “Earth’s temperature” has been close to being correct. The exception was one Russian model which was fully “tuned” and accidentally matched observational data. 

Dr. Pat Michaels, one of the world’s most prominent climate modelers, recently wrote an extensive article about all this, titled THE UN’S STRANGE CLIMATE SCIENCE, which appeared in the European News Magazine Die WeltWoche. For those who lack the time to read Dr. Michaels’ piece, we have carefully extracted some of his most brilliant observations about models and the science which has been confused and distorted for decades.

Earthly weather, and its 30-year average, climate, is a result of our planet being a very special place: a rotating body with a remarkably varying surface, with a gaseous atmosphere that interacts with water and land, and the flow of planetary winds which include westerly jet streams and the tropical trade winds. It is constantly disturbed by changes in every direction. We call these disturbances “weather”, which results from the atmosphere’s futile attempt to reach temperature and pressure equilibrium in its complex surroundings.

Therein Michaels says, “lies the central climate issue of our time: we can (and continue) to alter the composition and radiational characteristics of our atmosphere, mainly by emissions of carbon dioxide and particulate matter.” But in the end, we can say definitely that human impact on weather and climate are insignificant in comparison with the forces of nature, even including our solar system.

While CO2 can warm the lower reaches of the atmosphere and cool the stratosphere above, forests do the opposite. The United Nations charges its politically-appointed scientists, rather than the actual physicists of climate, to determine humankind’s impact on climate.

Michaels tells us that not one model is funded by private industry, which creates a serious threat to objective science. In the U.S., for example, very powerful political figures (think Al Gore, for example) used their roles in Congress to sponsor and generate a large amount of funding necessary for each modeling group. And each modeling group, not surprisingly, concluded that more money was needed for them to research how to ward off a human-caused climate disaster.

The problem arises because of the way we fund modern science. Various issues like climate change, AIDS, and the Wuhan Coronavirus all compete for a finite amount of resources. Michael says:

“no one has ever successfully obtained considerable government funding (at least in the U.S.) by testifying that ‘no, my issue appears to have been overblown, we’d like some funding to check on that, but others are probably more deserving.’ And so it is necessary for scientists to portray their issues in the starkest of terms.” 

There is no doubt that this biases all government-funded forecasting towards promoting a dire future. Otherwise, the funding stops, and, as Michaels says “that’s the end of your Business Class travel.” He explains that “weather models” that keep us on our toes every day do not suffer such biases.

Weather Models and Climate Models 

The first comprehensive climate models were modified versions of then-nascent operational weather forecasting models. They were first developed in the 1970s by Dr. Syukuro Manabe at a federal laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey. His model was recognized as such a pioneering effort that he was awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize for physics for this work. 

With climate models, because the time horizon is so long compared to the situation with, let’s say, a weather event such as a hurricane, there’s no obvious “wrong” forecast. Similarly, there’s no professional onus extracted for a mistake because the verification of error is also far into the future. 

Collections of General Circulation Models (GCMs) of climate and Earth System Models attempt to reproduce all-important atmospheric processes in an interactive whole. Unfortunately, a large number of factors, including heat transfer into the oceans and the formation and effects of clouds, have to be guessed at with quantitative estimates of important processes whose true values remain unknown.

Unfortunately, the guessing strategy, more commonly called “tuning,” lacks all transparency. In our opinion, the sort of tuning we see in GCMs would be called cheating in most professions. But explaining the degree and mechanisms of climate model tuning would strengthen the arguments of those who question the validity of climate change projections. So, the world’s climate modeling community has agreed not to reveal this information precisely for that reason. Thankfully for us all, this is precisely what Michaels does do on a regular basis.

The inescapable conclusion is that climate alarmist modelers — almost all of whom figured heavily into the last two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Scientific Assessments, predetermine an “acceptable range” for model output. They then “parameterize” the models to generate that “acceptable range.” This means that it is the scaremongering scientists (i.e., the IPCC), not the science itself, or even the subjectively “tuned” model code, which determines the sensitivity of the manifold climate models to rising CO2. This is science changing into a subjective process subject to rogue actors in support of a desired policy objective.

The atmosphere is simply too complicated to model if the desire is to understand the four-dimensional evolution of climate at reasonable scales. Indeed, we do not even have a theory of climate and so lack meaningful equations to program into computer models. And it is not likely we will have such a theory any time soon. The University of Western Ontario applied mathematician, Dr. Chris Essex, also an expert in the mathematical models that underlie climate change concerns, explains, 

“Climate is one of the most challenging open problems in modern science. Some knowledgeable scientists believe that the climate problem can never be solved.”

There is no doubt that advances in weather forecasting models have resulted in a product whose utility has grown in both accuracy and the length of time in which a meaningful forecast can be extended. In producing increasingly accurate forecasts, operational meteorologists select what models are most reliable given current conditions or a specific forecast problem.

But scientists who work with the IPCC do not, in fact, cannot, do the same with climate models. So, the basis of the thousands of climate emergency declarations in jurisdictions across the world is a complete fraud. It’s about time Republicans in Congress and the leaders of our vitally important fossil fuel industries started saying exactly that. 

* Dr. Patrick J. Michaels was a research professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia for thirty years. He is a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and currently a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington and the CO2 Coalition in Arlington, Virginia, USA. He will be our guest on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY the weekend of May 7/8 at 11 am and 8 pm EDT on both days on America Out Loud Talk Radio.

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