The UN can’t prove we cause global warming

It’s beyond dispute

They have no evidence.

The Internet is now loud with doubt about man-made global warming. You can find articles all over the place sceptical of the idea, where once there was widespread accord on the UN climate narrative that accuses humanity of dangerous interference with the climate.

Thirty years since the first Assessment Report, science has certainly advanced. As it should, we’ve spent plenty on it: the 2015 Paris Agreement alone, according to Bjorn Lomborg, will increase global spending on climate change to one or two trillion US dollars a year by 2030.

We’ve learned more about the climate system and human emissions. For all their lack of skill, the inscrutable climate models have greatly improved. They have been adjusted downwards after every Assessment Report to avoid persistently high temperatures, but over 97% of them (111 of 114 models) still run too hot.

Mind you, the climate’s complexity would challenge a chess champion. As Dr Judith Curry explains:

There are literally thousands of different choices made in the construction of a climate model (e.g., resolution, complexity of the submodels, parameterizations). Each different set of choices produces a different model having different sensitivities. Further, different modeling groups have different focal interests, e.g., long paleoclimate simulations, details of ocean circulations, nuances of the interactions between aerosol particles and clouds, the carbon cycle. These different interests focus their limited computational resources on a particular aspect of simulating the climate system, at the expense of others.

Then she says, “no single model is the best at everything,” which seems at once enormously generous to the modellers and the century’s most sublime understatement.

It’s impossible to predict the climate

Worldwide, there are about 30 modelling teams and the fact that the AR5 studied over 50 climate models testifies that none are a completely accurate representation of Earth’s climate. If any were dependable, just one would be enough. We should remember that the IPCC told us years ago it is impossible to replicate the climate. They said it clearly in their third Assessment Report (TAR, p. 78) in 2001:

The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future exact climate states is not possible.

But they’re terribly persistent and keep trying, thinking that with more effort, predictions from an average of more than 100 model runs will become somehow more and more accurate. So a greater number of incorrect predictions will approach the truth? No, I don’t think so, either. Quite obviously they think we didn’t notice they said it’s impossible …

They’ve never managed to replicate the past. The main difficulty with that is predicting the ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation), because we don’t know what causes it.

The UN socialist agenda …

Scientific errors continue, with the use of improper sources such as magazine and activist articles, serious procedural breaches by the IPCC, and the regular omission of significant contrary papers. Their reports, meant to be even-handed, contain deeply distorted descriptions of the climate system that emphasise mankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases. Far from being eliminated, flaws have proliferated over 30 years.

Scientists around the world write papers showing that climate is determined by much more than the radiative properties of a few trace gases. The IPCC don’t respond.

I had to ask them

Regular readers have followed my letter-writing campaign in recent years, asking for proof of a human cause of dangerous global warming. I had approached individual scientists, leading scientific organisations and institutes and had never been given proof. Without exception I was told to “read the IPCC reports”, “ask the IPCC” and, often hostile, “you know what the evidence is, you just don’t believe it.”

But whenever I challenged them, “ok, what’s the evidence?” they went silent. I had to know whether the IPCC actually had evidence. I had often been referred to “the Assessment Reports” consisting of 1000 pages or more, so I wasn’t letting the IPCC off the hook—I was asking for page numbers. On 13 January, 2019, I wrote to the Secretariat in Geneva ( saying:

The Climate Conversation Group have searched assiduously but without success for a scientific answer to the question: “what is the evidence that human activity dangerously raises the global mean surface temperature?”

We have made enquiries of the Royal Society of New Zealand, NZ government ministers, various institutions around the world and numerous scientists everywhere. All of their answers in some way, at some point, state a firm belief in the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but none describe that evidence.

Since nobody can know the reasoning and conclusions of the IPCC as well as the IPCC itself, we would very much like to know where we can view the evidence and would be most grateful to hear from you as soon as possible a brief description of the evidence and the name and page number of the report in which it is described.

Two days later I received this reply from Dr Mxolisi Shongwe:

Thank you very much for your email and your interest in the work of the IPCC.

I recommend that you take a look at pages 13 – 14 of this report [AR5 pdf], which present the relevant headline statements. If you are interested in the detailed science, you may take a look at Chapter 8 [pdf] of Working Group I Fifth Assessment Report.

Best wishes,

Mxolisi Shongwe
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Secretariat

World Meteorological Organization
7 bis, Avenue de la Paix
P.O. Box 2300
1211 Geneva 2
Tel: +41 22 730 8438
Cel: +41 767 528 003
Fax: +41 22 730 8025

Notice that his phrase “you may take a look” is somewhat odd, he doesn’t refer to evidence, he doesn’t address my question and he doesn’t provide a page number. In my next reply I tried to insist:

Dear Dr Shongwe,

Thank you for your prompt reply, but you misunderstand our query. We asked for evidence of a dangerous human influence on the global mean surface temperature.

You suggest we take a look at more than 80 pages of your reports but you don’t tell us what to look for—so how will we know when we’ve found it? As we said, everyone else cites your reports, but it’s a wild goose chase. We have read them, and the references you’ve just given us. There is no evidence there.

We must ask the question once again because only you, that is to say, only the IPCC, can help us. Nobody knows climate change better than you, because you wrote the reports, you know the evidence for a human influence, so describe it and tell us where we’ll find it.

There is nobody else we can ask, for who but the IPCC can we believe? If you cannot describe the evidence, then there is no evidence.

Climate change is the greatest challenge of the age—is it ridiculous to want to know what proves it? Is it ridiculous to expect the IPCC itself to describe the evidence?

Dr Shongwe, please help us. Describe the evidence and where we can find it, or be so kind as to refer our inquiry to a knowledgeable scientist.

Thanking you again in advance,

With unclouded optimism and my warmest regards,

I thought proudly that asking for a referral to “a knowledgeable scientist” was a good idea until I read his reply four days later:

Dear Mr Treadgold,

Thank you for your email.

In my previous email I wrote “I recommend that you take a look at pages 13 – 14 of this report”. These are only 2 pages which discuss changes in atmospheric radiative forcing which has resulted in additional warming. I then wrote “If you are interested in the detailed science, you may take a look at Chapter 8 of Working Group I Fifth Assessment Report”.

You may contact the IPCC Focal Point for your country who is familiar with the work of the IPCC and knows scientists who have contributed to IPCC assessments.

Best wishes,

Mxolisi Shongwe

Requesting a “knowledgeable” contact without specifying the area of knowledge now seemed a mistake. The local contact may or may not be a scientist and may or may not have the elusive evidence. I had already stated that an IPCC connection was important to us and why, so there was nothing to lose.

Dear Dr Shongwe,

Your continuing pursuit of our quest for evidence affirms the respect you hold for the IPCC’s global ‘constituents’, thank you. I note you reiterate comments from your previous mail that I have distributed to our group, to which I replied:

We have read them, and the references you’ve just given us. There is no evidence there.

You neglect to say why the IPCC contends that human activity dangerously warms the climate, which overlooks my request. You say

You may contact the IPCC Focal Point for your country who is familiar with the work of the IPCC and knows scientists who have contributed to IPCC assessments.

Thank you, but that is difficult to understand. The Secretariat is intimately involved with the work of the IPCC and the scientists who contribute to IPCC assessments — closer than anyone in the world. So what could Dan Zwartz, of the Ministry for the Environment here in New Zealand, say that you, at the heart of the IPCC, could not? If you cannot describe the evidence it surely does not exist.

Nobody we asked for evidence told us what it is, but promptly referred us, with utter confidence, to the IPCC reports—from the Minister for the Environment, who was speaking for the Prime Minister, to the Royal Society of New Zealand, the Royal Society of London and various prominent climate scientists around the world—when it comes to providing proof of dangerous anthropogenic global warming, you are the last resort of every single one of these prestigious figures and institutions.

If you are unaware of evidence, I would ask you please to make internal inquiries and locate some, else, after three requests, it is beginning to look like too much to ask. Let me know.

Thanking you in advance,

With undiminished optimism and still my warmest regards,

There was no further correspondence from Dr Shongwe.

I was astonished that he was trying to fob me off to someone else, just as those outside the IPCC had done. It’s pretty clear that, while allegations of man-made warming are endlessly repeated, and they’re centred squarely on the United Nations, nobody has evidence of it.


Lack of evidence

Here are ten recent CCG posts discussing the lack of evidence of a dangerous human interference in the climate system. Access these and more at any time by clicking “What is the evidence” in the Tag Cloud on the right-hand panel.

Bonus links to Royal Society query

I asked the Royal Society, London, for evidence of man-made warming in 2018. They provided none at all.


8 Thoughts on “The UN can’t prove we cause global warming

  1. Barry Brill on June 30, 2020 at 5:25 pm said:

    All the CMIP5 models rely upon two key inputs to determine whether the future (usually around 2100) global average surface temperature anomaly (GASTA) will be benign (about 1°C warming) or “dangerous” (3°C ).

    The major input is the level of climate sensitivity – how much would GASTA increase if the CO2e was doubled? AR5 says the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) probably falls between 1.5° and 4.5°C but it cannot say which end of this all-important spectrum is “most likely”. The data says the low end while most models say the high end.

    Without being able to put a value on ECS, the IPCC will NEVER be able to produce evidence that the radiative forcing caused by human activities can cause dangerous global warming.

  2. Richard Treadgold on June 30, 2020 at 6:10 pm said:

    Yes, it’s an astonishing position for them, when they persistently accuse humanity of causing the warming! The lack of evidence doesn’t slow them down, does it? Makes me furious. They will also never produce evidence if they never actually try to produce evidence. I think that makes sense in the light of this post.

  3. Simon on July 1, 2020 at 9:36 am said:

    Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity is at least 1.5°C (97.5% confidence).
    Warming of 1.5°C has been shown to have severe documented risks
    Therefore, we should do something about it.

  4. Richard Treadgold on July 1, 2020 at 4:28 pm said:

    Simon, that’s 30 pages. Take pity, give us the page number at least.

  5. Simon on July 1, 2020 at 9:10 pm said:

    Your failure to find evidence is primarily due to your unwillingness to read.

  6. Richard Treadgold on July 1, 2020 at 10:12 pm said:

    Every time I ask what is the evidence you have no answer. The strange thing is that you don’t even notice that the IPCC have no answer. There’s none in Chapter 8. Doesn’t that worry you?

  7. Richard Treadgold on July 2, 2020 at 10:55 am said:

    I think I’ll continue to approve some of Simon’s comments, since he consistently makes such a delightful fool of himself by never presenting evidence he claims I already have, nor of the climate sins he complains about. A blinkered mule enjoys a wider perception of the world than he.

  8. Rick on July 3, 2020 at 11:26 pm said:

    Simon claims:

    “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity is at least 1.5°C (97.5% confidence).”

    My, my. Such high confidence in the estimated minimum magnitude of an abstract theoretical construct which has no observable presence in the real world and which therefore cannot be measured. How, then, can Simon’s assertion of ECS ≥ 1.5°C possibly have been verified empirically to give him such a high level of certainty that it is correct? It can’t have been verified! It’s not humanly possible!

    Therefore, Simon’s claim is false and his 97.5% confidence is untrue – just an empty pretence of scientific knowledge masking the reality of his deep scientific ignorance and uncertainty underneath.

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