The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body of the United Nations, is often projected as the world authority on climate change. This is far from the truth. The IPCC has always projected a very scary image of the world being plunged into disaster as a result of the actions of mankind.
The IPCC supports the theory that man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) is the cause of global warming. Despite significant evidence that any global warming observed is probably due to the incidence of cosmic rays from the stars, the IPCC refuses to be scientifically honest and to take this scientific evidence into account.
In one of its reports, the IPCC relied heavily on the now infamous Hockey Stick graph, which purported to show a great increase in temperature rise during the twentieth century. This graph has now been totally discredited, and the IPCC has withdrawn it.
In 2009, the Climategate affair was made public. In Climategate, a group of scientists led by Phil Jones, of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, in the UK, manipulated results to falsely show that the earth was warming more than was the truth. This affair gave rise to the phrase ‘Hide the decline’, when many emails were discovered that had been passed between this group of people in which they plotted their deception. They were writers of a chapter of the IPCC report known as AR4.
Last year, the IPCC was forced to apologise that it had grossly overstated the threat to the melting of the Himalayan glaciers. Well, the IPCC is in hot water again. It has just been revealed that an IPCC report released in May, stating that the whole world could be running on 77% renewable energy by 2050, was largely written by a prominent member of Greenpeace. The man who led the campaign to expose Climategate was Steve McIntyre, a Canadian engineer. McIntyre is playing a role in exposing the latest scandal.
On 17 June, Mark Lynas, a journalist, refer- ring to the Greenpeace person’s major role in the current IPCC report, wrote on his blog, http://www.marklynas.org/2011/06/questions-the-ipcc-must-now-urgently-answer/: “Here’s the scenario. An Exxon-Mobil employee – admittedly an energy specialist with an engineering background – serves as a lead author on an important IPCC report looking into the future of fossil fuels. The Exxon guy and his fellow lead authors assess a whole variety of literature, but select for special treatment four particular papers – one produced by Exxon-Mobil. This paper heralds great things for the future of fossil fuels, suggesting they can supply 80% of the world’s energy in 2050, and this headline is the first sentence of the ensuing IPCC press release, which is picked up and repeated uncritically by the world’s media.
“Pleased, the Exxon employee issues a self-congratulatory press release, boasting that his paper had been central to the IPCC effort and urging the world’s governments to get on with opening up new areas to oil drilling for the benefit of us all.
“Well, you can imagine the furore this would cause at Greenpeace. The IPCC would be discredited forever as an independent voice. There would be pious banner-drops by Greenpeace activists abseiling down Exxon HQ and harshly criticising the terrible stranglehold that fossil fuel interests had achieved over supposedly independent science. Campaigners everywhere would be up in arms. Greenpeace would feel doubly justified in taking direct action against new oil wells being opened up in the Arctic, and its activists could demonstrate new feats of gallantry and bravery as they took on the might of the world’s oil industry with some ropes and a rubber dinghy somewhere near Greenland.
“How is the Exxon scenario different from what has just happened with the IPCC’s renew- ables report? And why – when confronted with this egregious conflict of interest and abuse of scientific independence – has the response of the world’s green campaigners been to circle the wagons and cry foul against the whistle-blowers themselves? That this was spotted at all is a tribute to the eagle eyes of McIntyre. Yet I am told that he is a ‘denier’, that all his deeds are evil, and that I have been naively led astray by him. Well, if the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’. Indeed, McIntyre and I have formed an unlikely double act, posing a series of questions – together with the New York Times’ Andy Revkin – to the IPCC report’s lead author, Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, to which he has yet to respond.
“Here’s some classic closing of ranks by Stefan Singer, of the WWF, riding to the rescue of his embattled Green-peace colleagues in a comment on my original blog post: ‘Yes, I am biased as well, I am director for energy policy at the WWF – we scandalously dared to publish a global energy scenario a few months ago, showing how the world can go to even 95% renewables by 2050 and, even more shocking, we also showed in that scenario how global energy consumption can indeed be reduced globally with substantive energy conservation and efficiency policies without curtailing growth and economic activities. Moreover, if we want to combat climate change effectively (which, I rea- lise, not everyone supports on this exchange), what is wrong with showing that renewables can contribute 80% or even more to global energy supply? Mark Lynas, in case you take that serious (sic), you should thank Greenpeace and the NGOs to drive that debate.’”
What the IPCC always does, and did in this case, is that it issues a ‘summary’ of the report a month before the actual report is made public. So the press get the summary and report on it. It is then a whole month later when the actual substance of the report can be examined. The current report, in its depths, assumes that there will be huge world reduction in electricity consumption. They are talking of real consumption, not efficiency improvements, or reduction in growth rates. This effectively means that, in the whole of Africa, no substantive extra electricity can be used.
So South Africa’s plans to double electricity production would be a no-no, according to the WWF and Greenpeace.
In the meantime, another piece of news has just emerged. The current cooling trend of the earth, which gave rise to the two years of severe winters in Europe and the US, may continue. Journalist Lewis Page, of The Register, wrote on June 14: “What may be the science story of the century is breaking this evening, as heavyweight US solar physicists announce that the sun appears to be headed into a lengthy spell of low activity, which could mean that the earth – far from facing a global warming problem – is actually headed into a mini Ice Age.
“The announcement made on June 14 comes from scientists at the US National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the US Air Force Research Laboratory. Three different analyses of the sun’s recent behaviour all indicate that a period of unusually low solar activity may be about to begin.
The sun normally follows an 11-year cycle of activity. The current cycle, Cycle 24, is now supposed to be ramping up towards maximum strength. Increased numbers of sunspots and other indications ought to be happening, but . . . results so far are most disappointing. Scientists at the NSO now suspect, based on data showing decades-long trends leading to this point, that Cycle 25 may not happen at all.
“This could have major implications for the earth’s climate. A statement issued by the NSO, announcing the research, stated: ‘An immediate question is whether this slowdown presages a second Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period with virtually no sunspots [which occurred] during 1645–1715.’
“As Nasa notes: ‘Early records of sunspots indicate that the sun went through a period of inactivity in the late seventeenth century. Very few sunspots were seen on the sun from about 1645 to 1715. Although the observations were not as extensive as in later years, the sun was, in fact, well observed during this time and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the Little Ice Age, when rivers that are normally ice free froze and snow fields remained year round at lower altitudes. There is evidence that the sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past.’
“During the Maunder Minimum and for periods either side of it, many European rivers which are ice free today – including the Thames – routinely froze over, allowing ice skating and even for armies to march across them in some cases.
“‘This is highly unusual and unexpected,’ says Dr Frank Hill, of the NSO. ‘But the fact that three completely different views of the sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.’”
Lastly, I would like to refer to a letter written to Engineering News in May 2007. It was written in true extreme green fashion by Guy Midgely, of Cape Town. He attacked me and my views as expressed in my column. He said: “The column on global warming by Kelvin Kemm (Engineering News, April 13-19, 2007) is an alarming parody of the issue and an insult to your readers’ intelligence.” He galloped on: “The known uncertainties in no way justify the inaccurate statements Kemm advances in an appalling display of ignorance of the facts now available to us all. It would be regrettable if your readership, including leaders in industry and entrepreneurship, were duped by this twaddle.”
Midgely went on to praise the discredited IPCC: “In what ways are Kemm’s views so inac- curate? His column shows, firstly, an almost complete lack of knowledge about the IPCC, and its wild accusations against this body are laughable. The IPCC carries out cautious assessments of both the potential impacts of projected changes, and their uncertainties, in a balanced assessment of risk that guides (not prescribes) policy response.
This is the power of IPCC reports – its findings are among the most reviewed, discussed and intensively negotiated science-based conclusions on the planet today.
“The column’s muddled understanding and misrepresentation of the IPCC scientific conclusions is almost comical. Contrary to its misstatements, the IPCC has gradually increased confidence in its main conclusions dating from 1990, and has not revised any of its major cautionary messages.
Commentators like Kemm do us a major disservice by interpreting this careful IPCC approach as vacillation. Kemm also flogs a dead horse with several outdated arguments – a sure sign of a weakening hand.”
Midgely certainly has been proved wrong. So, perhaps, I was not so dumb at the time, after all. Certainly, the happenings of the past three years have shown my views and projections of the IPCC to have been correct.