A daily blog on the thrills, spills, and frequent absurdities of the world's one and only 'non-imperial empire' - as Barroso himself called it - the European Union.

Anything to say? Contact me at europeandisunion@yahoo.co.uk

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Latest IPCC Report is A Lot of Hot Air

US researchers. Basingstoke. 1953.

I don't usually come out in support for one side or the other for the climate change debate. Both warmists and deniers have been caught out fiddling their statistics on numerous occasions. Both of them receive billions of pounds of funding from governments, green energy firms, and big oil, respectively. There is little sense in calling for a colossal reduction in economic output on the off-chance that it might make a dent in CO2 levels in a relatively small part of the world, but nor is there any in doing nothing at all, either, given that we know - whether through man-made reasons or natural cycles - that the earth will warm up or cool down at some point.

All either camp has achieved with all the public funds and petrodollars poured into their campaigns in the last thirty years is finding ingenious yet wholly impractical ways to piss into the wind. It would be far better to take all the money that both camps fritter away each day on pointless research and PR, and invest it in technologies that genuinely help us cope with the climatic changes that we know for a fact have occured at various points throughout the earth's history.

That said, sometimes one side or the other does produce some outrageous research that really deserves to be put to rest, before it gains any traction in legislatures around the world. The IPCC - that assembly of UN scientists set up to study and warn governments of the effects of global warming, and now warns them of climate change instead - has reiterated its claim that the Himalayan glaciers are melting, two years after it was forced into an embarassing climb-down when a similar claim - that they would all melt by 2035 - was exposed as false. It measured ten glaciers in the Himalayas between 2002 and 2005, and found that they were all shrinking.

It's impossible to call the study's findings 'wrong' until you've undertaken a similar study yourself - something unfortunately beyond the capabilities of this blog. But their methodology certainly leaves something to be desired. Their sample size, for instance: ten, out of fifty-four thousand. That's 0.018518518518518517%, a ridiculously small percentage on which to base a conclusion. Also, the World Meteoroligical Foundation defines climate as the trends in weather over a period of thirty years, not three.

The climate is changing. It always has been, always will be. Whether or not humans are causing it, and whether or not we should turn the clock back half a century in an attempt at mitigating a small part of the damage, is besides the point. But hot air like the Himalayan report isn't helping anyone: it's only prolonging the tribalist divisions and the resulting inertia.

No comments:

Post a Comment