Reaction came thick and fast Friday to the United Nations’ latest report on climate change that claimed it is 95 percent certain that global warming is manmade.
Even that figure was slammed as meaningless. “Ninety-five percent doesn’t mean anything,” David Kreutzer, the Heritage Foundation‘s Research Fellow in Energy, Economics, and Climate Change told Newsmax. “It’s not a scientific term.
House Energy Committee member Michael Burgess said he viewed the report “very skeptically.” In an interview with Newsmax TV, the Texan said, “The current data from the very recent past does not support the previous prefaced proposition that it was getting worse and worse from 2009 onward.”
The report, released by the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change, claimed it is “extremely likely” that humans are responsible for at least “half of the observed increase in global average surface temperatures since the 1950s.” It put the likelihood at 95 percent.
A similar report in 2007 said global warming was “very likely” manmade, putting the likelihood at 90 percent. The 2001 report just called such a theory “likely” at 66 percent.
It was these figures that concerned Kreutzer. “What’s interesting is how much people make out of a quasi-scientific study,” he told Newsmax.
“The critical thing is where we are headed,” he continued. “It’s not likely we will have catastrophes. We don’t see it accelerating. There’s a straw man and they are saying if you believe humans are contributing to global warming you must believe in a catastrophe.”
Furthermore, said Kreutzer, “If we had a cap on carbon or a carbon tax and took it to all the developed countries, it would have negligible impact on world temperatures. And you won’t get the developing countries to sign on to continued poverty. They need a huge increase in energy to have an improved standard of living.”
Thomas Stocker, co-chair of the UN Working Group, claimed, “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Qin Dahe, the other co-chair, added, “Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and oceans have warmed, the amount of new snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.”
But a separate assessment of thousands of scientific papers by the Nongovernment International Panel on Climate Change, a group of independent scientists and scholars from 15 countries, reached different conclusions.
The NIPCC’s report, Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science, published and released by the Heartland Institute earlier this month, found the human effect is likely to be small relative to natural causes.
“NIPCC’s conclusion, drawn from its extensive review of the scientific evidence, is that the greenhouse gas-induced global climate signal is so small as to be embedded within the background variability of the natural climate system and is not dangerous,” said the report.
Following the release of the UN’s findings, Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, said, “We urge the public to compare and contrast these two reports on what is probably the most important public policy issue of our age. The NIPCC report was produced by a team of independent scientists with no agenda other than to find the truth.”
He continued, “The IPCC study, in contrast, is produced by a government agency, part of the United Nations. That agency’s mission is to find a human impact on climate. Over the history of the IPCC, each report has expressed a higher level of alarmism and a higher level of confidence in its certainty that man-made global warming will be harmful.”
“The authors of the NIPCC study do not believe man-made global warming is a crisis or that scientists know enough about how the climate works to make policy-relevant recommendations to the world’s government leaders.” added Bast.
The UN report also failed to explain why temperatures have stayed basically steady since 1998, the Global Policy Foundation said.
“Due to natural variability, trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends,” it read.
“Unless global temperature will begin to rise again in the next few years, the IPCC is very likely going to suffer an existential blow to its credibility,” said Benny Peiser, director of the foundation.
“In the face of such facts,” said the NIPCC’s reports, referring to the pause in global warming. “The most prudent climate policy is to prepare for and adapt to natural climate events and the threats they pose.”
“Adaptive planning for future hazardous climate events and change should be tailored to provide reasonable responses to their known rates, magnitudes and risks,” it added.
“Policymakers should resist pressure from lobby groups to silence those who question the authority of the IPCC as the sole gatekeeper and voice speaking in behalf of ‘climate science.'”
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By Lisa Barron