Earlier this week, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, issued a dire warning, arguing that unless world leaders take sweeping action to drastically reduce carbon emissions, our planet could be irreparably changed within a dozen years.
The IPCC report says the planet is on pace to warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. That figure chronicles warming of the Earth since the pre-industrial era. The solution, according to the IPCC, is for the world to spend $2.5 trillion in capturing and reducing carbon emissions and eliminating them worldwide by 2050.
Dr. Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville and says the new report is basically alarmism wrapped in bad science.
“There’s just so many things that are wrong with this report,” said Spencer. “It’s basically fear-mongering.”
“The less people listen to the IPCC, it seems like the louder they have to scream, because this report is even more alarmist than previous reports,” added Spencer. “The science doesn’t support the idea that we are even going to warm by that much, let alone that we could prevent that warming from occuring.”
Spencer believes the planet is getting warmer and that human activity contributes to it, but he says the IPCC greatly exaggerates how much warmer the Earth is getting, arbitrarily declares critical benchmarks like a 1.5 degree increase to be hugely significant, and, most significantly, assumes that any warming is due entirely to human activity.
He estimates that the warming is about half of what the IPCC says it is and that even if the planet were 1.5 or two degrees warmer than a century ago, we should not have much problem adapting. Spencer says higher carbon dioxide levels have brought about good things like a greening of the Earth, and that so far he doesn’t see any downsides.
The IPCC counters by saying natural disasters like flooding, hurricanes, droughts, and forest fires, are all getting worse because of the warming. Spencer says the facts don’t back that up at all.
“I hate to say it, but I think they are just making things up. Just because something bad happened, like wildfires in Northern California, that doesn’t prove anything. Globally, wildfires are down substantially. Wildfires in the western U.S. are down substantially,” said Spencer, noting that there’s no discernible change in hurricane activity either.
But Spencer is most concerned by the impact of the “solution” pushed by the IPCC and others to prevent the warming from going 1.5 degrees Celsius to two degrees.
“The cost of preventing half a degree C of warming…would require such a huge cutback in fossil fuel use that it would greatly exacerbate poverty around the world. Already, tens of thousands of people are dying from energy poverty during the winter and that’s going to get massively worse.
“What the IPCC wants to do and what the United Nations wants to do is tax carbon-based fuels – coal, natural gas, petroleum – at such a large extent that we will only have access to very expensive fuel sources, wind and solar, which are still quite a bit more expensive than carbon based fuels.
“Every single thing humans do requires energy. It’s going to make all of humanity poorer and poverty kills,” said Spencer.
Listen to the full podcast to hear more of Dr. Spencer’s scientific rebuttal to the IPCC, his contention that what the UN wants to do is not even possible and how he responds to those who say the human impact in climate change is settled science.