IPCC Report Contradicts Climate Change Alarmism
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg sees chance for more realistic climate debate and smarter approaches to tackle global warming
September 25 -- On Friday, September 27, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will present the summary of its latest assessment report. â€œThis is a chance to steer the climate conversation in a more realistic and constructive direction,â€ comments Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.
The reportâ€™s June draft shows similar temperature rises to earlier reports, at about 1.0-3.7Â°C (1.8 to 6.6Â°F) by the end of the century. For sea-level rise, the IPCC now includes modeling of glacier responses of 3-20 centimeters (1-8 inches), leading to a higher total estimate of 40-62 cm (1.5 feet to 2 feet) by centuryâ€™s end.
According to Dr. Lomborg, "this shows that the IPCCâ€™s predictions do not support alarmist predictions of global temperature rise that are often in the order of 5Â°C (9Â°F) and 1-2 meters (3-6 feet) of sea level rise -- not to mention Al Goreâ€™s 6 meters (20 feet)."
â€œThese sensible and moderate findings contradict the alarmist rhetoric,â€ Dr. Lomborg continues. â€œThe past 15-20 years of little or no temperature rise reinforce this moderate climate change message.â€
â€œSince 1980, the models have overestimated actual temperature rise by 71-159%. This does not mean there is no global warming. It just makes the alarmist scenarios ever more implausible,â€ Lomborg says.
â€œYes, the IPCC substantiates that global warming is a problem, but the report contains none of the mediaâ€™s typically apocalyptic scenarios, no alarmism, and no demands from natural scientists to cut emissions by X% or to hand out lavish subsidies on solar panels.â€
Dr. Lomborg concludes, â€œThe biggest chance for this new report is to change the climate conversation from being dominated by end-of-the-world thinking to focusing on global warming being a problem.â€
â€œWhile panic is a great way to raise awareness and to win votes, it is a terrible starting point for making smart policies. The European Union will pay $250 billion for its current climate policies each and every year until the end of the century. For almost $20 trillion, temperatures will be reduced by a negligible 0.05Â°C (0.1Â°F).â€
Instead of continuing their focus on carbon taxes and subsidies for renewables, Lomborg calls political decision-makers to pursue a new approach to tackle climate change: â€œWhat we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energyâ€™s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming,â€ he concludes.
Bjorn Lomborg (www.lomborg.com) is director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers.
Lomborgâ€™s article â€œGlobal Warming without Fearâ€ was published by newspapers in more than 20 countries this month: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/realism-in-the-latest-ipcc-climate-report-by-bj-rn-lomborg
In Washington Post, Lomborg argues not to blame climate change for extreme weather: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bjorn-lomborg-dont-blame-climate-change-for-extreme-weather/2013/09/13/4b770d48-117e-11e3-bdf6-e4fc677d94a1_story.html
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