On Friday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivers its latest verdict on the state of man-made global warming. Though the details are a secret, one thing is clear: the version of events you will see and hear in much of the media, especially from partis pris organisations like the BBC, will be the opposite of what the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report actually says.
Already we have had a taste of the nonsense to come: a pre-announcement to the effect that “climate scientists” are now “95 per cent certain” that humans are to blame for climate change; an evidence-free declaration by the economist who wrote the discredited Stern Report that the computer models cited by the IPCC “substantially underestimate” the scale of the problem; a statement by the panel’s chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, that “the scientific evidence of… climate change has strengthened year after year”.
As an exercise in bravura spin, these claims are up there with Churchill’s attempts to reinvent the British Expeditionary Force’s humiliating retreat from Dunkirk as a victory. In truth, though, the new report offers scant consolation to those many alarmists whose careers depend on talking up the threat. It says not that they are winning the war to persuade the world of the case for catastrophic anthropogenic climate change – but that the battle is all but lost.
At the heart of the problem lie the computer models which, for 25 years, have formed the basis for the IPCC’s scaremongering: they predicted runaway global warming, when the real rise in temperatures has been much more modest. So modest, indeed, that it has fallen outside the lowest parameters of the IPCC’s prediction range. The computer models, in short, are bunk.
To a few distinguished scientists, this will hardly come as news. For years they have insisted that “sensitivity” – the degree to which the climate responds to increases in atmospheric CO₂ – is far lower than the computer models imagined. In the past, their voices have been suppressed by the bluster and skulduggery we saw exposed in the Climategate emails. From grant-hungry science institutions and environmentalist pressure groups to carbon traders, EU commissars, and big businesses with their snouts in the subsidies trough, many vested interests have much to lose should the global warming gravy train be derailed.