The Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear that climate alarmism is now and has always been a matter of faith, and not science.
The just-released report includes remarkable revelations. Contrary to previous IPCC reports, this report shows that planet Earth’s mean temperature is not directly tied to the concentration of one relatively weak greenhouse gas — carbon dioxide — floating around in the atmosphere. It shows that other forces influence the planet’s climate, which for the most part are well beyond our control.
Volcanoes can pump particulate matter into the air, a phenomenon that lowers global temperatures by dissipating sunlight. The planet’s oceans — in particular, the massive Pacific — serve as enormous heat sinks, effectively modulating any natural temperature variations. And perhaps most importantly, the ultimate source of our day-to-day temperature fluctuations, the Sun itself, undergoes its own fluctuations that influence our lives far more than the burning of carbonaceous compounds in order to generate heat and power.
All of these facts, truths that “skeptics” such as the Heartland Institute (and yours truly) have been trumpeting for years, are acknowledged in the latest IPCC report.
However, that same report tells us to believe none of these other influences matters nearly as much as the small amount of carbon dioxide that mankind adds to the atmosphere. Doomsday is still on the way, according to the IPCC. Its arrival has merely been delayed a bit by an unexpectedly frivolous Mother Nature. We must not waver in our confidence that ruination is just around the corner.
We are supposed to forget how confident the prophets of doom were thirty years ago when they first began asserting that unless we kicked the fossil fuel habit, disaster was sure to arrive early in the 21st century. Well, here we are. The global climate is not markedly different from what it was when they started their predictions of doom. The “hockey stick graph” indicating a drastic temperature increase has given way to a broomstick, with temperatures lying flat for the past 15 years.
In just about any realm of human study, being this dramatically wrong would cause the authors of the errors to be dismissed as unreliable, and perhaps as quacks. But in the world of environmental fearmongering, a spectacularly false prediction is no obstacle. There is no “wrong” in climate activism, there is only the message, which must be pushed continuously without regard for contrary evidence or honest scientific skepticism. Unsettling facts must not get in the way of “settled science.”
If you disagree, you are labeled a flat-Earther. The IPCC says the science is settled, what more evidence does one need?
If you have the temerity to question prominent alarmist Michael Mann’s refusal to test his climate claims against real world measurements, you’ll be told that proofs are for mathematics, and that only a blockhead would not accept Mann’s word on the matter.
Climate science is both solid and liquid at the same time, although uniquely neither, a paradox reminiscent of the Trinity in Christian doctrine. And although I’m a fan of the Trinity, perhaps doctrines such as this should be reserved for religion. Though since environmental and climate activism has always been a matter of faith rather than science, perhaps such essentially religious formulations were inevitable.
The First Church of Climate Change needs a reformation. According to its leaders, we peasants are no more qualified to understand the subtle nuances of climate science than the serfs of medieval Europe were qualified to understand the mysterious motions of the heavens. And so we are told to put our faith in the modern-day version of the papal astronomer and to never, ever question the word of the educated elite. To do so would be heresy, a sin that has the most heinous of consequences.
Rich Trzupek (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a chemist and a policy advisor to the Chicago-based Heartland Institute on environmental issues. He has been an environmental consultant specializing in air quality issues for more than 30 years.[Article originally posted on pjmedia.com]