Runaway warming impossible — Herald uninterested

A week ago I offered the NZ Herald this short rebuttal of some alarmist climate nonsense from Carmen Gravatt (well, it’s really from Greenpeace but Carmen didn’t check it). The Herald has neither published nor acknowledged receipt of this so now you can see it and wonder with me why they turn down even moderate sceptical material. It goes without saying that the new, radical Greenpeace will flog this dead horse for years to come, but there’s no excuse for professional journalists to persist in ignoring well-known facts. When this climate revel is finally ended the Herald’s editors will deeply regret having adopted blinkers.

Carmen Gravatt’s gravely misleading Herald article of 15 March We don’t need extreme oil gives a gross distortion of a stupendously simple truth.

She blames oil for global warming, claiming we’ll cause “global average temperature [to soar] – uncontrollably.” But runaway warming is impossible. No credible climate scientist is making that claim — and it’s never happened before. Oil can cause real pollution and injury to humans and wildlife, but the global warming threat is imaginary, for no dangerous climatic influence from our emissions has been detected.

Jo Nova said in a report three years ago (Massive climate funding exposed) that the US government had poured $30 billion into pure climate research over 20 years. Yet the simple truth is that still nobody can point to a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon dioxide has a significant effect on the global climate.

Miss Gravatt says:

Lucy Lawless and the other activists did not climb the ship’s drilling tower to try to halt all oil production [but] to stop the oil majors from setting up new frontiers in their search for oil … pushing the limits of technology, targeting the storm-lashed pristine waters of the Arctic, and the deep water off the south of the South Island, in their search for more of what has brought the world to the precarious position it is in today. The development of these new frontiers will rapidly consign the planet to a dreadfully uncertain future…

It is hard to understand this or identify the jeopardy she wants to avoid. Why don’t they want to halt all oil production – surely it all causes global warming? Why should Arctic oil “rapidly consign the planet to a dreadfully uncertain future” and not oil from elsewhere? The future is always uncertain, but dreadfully so? Greenpeace is offering disheartening, empty words.

In any case, their concerns are old hat. They were annulled with the publication on 28 March of the IPCC Special Report on Extremes (SREX), a momentous flip-flop in which the IPCC declares it no longer expects to see catastrophic global warming (it’s not even certain of a warming trend since 1950) or a dominant human influence on the climate for 20 or 30 years. The IPCC doesn’t close the door on the possibility of dangerous climate change, but it’s no longer a high probability. This is a monumental shift.

The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) for the SREX report was published four months ago and I reported it on the CCG blog.

Among the new IPCC findings: hurricane frequency will remain steady or decline; floods will not increase; large-scale climate patterns like monsoons could increase or decrease, as could heavy rainfall and droughts. The IPCC’s previous confidence in disaster has deserted it.

So the IPCC conclusions have changed radically but the climate, which always changes, hasn’t changed enough. The alarm is almost over. Time for Greenpeace to catch up.

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