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Climate scientist Michael Mann has given up trying to justify climate alarmism by pointing to scientific evidence, stating at a meeting of the Democratic platform-drafting committee, data and models “increasingly are unnecessary” because the impact is obvious. The Washington Times quotes Mann saying, “Fundamentally, I’m a climate scientist and have spent much of my career with my head buried in climate-model output and observational climate data trying to tease out the signal of human-caused climate change … [but] these tools … increasingly are unnecessary because we can see climate change, the impacts of climate change, now, playing out in real time, on our television screens, in the 24-hour news cycle.”
What Mann counts as an obvious or visible sign of human-caused climate change is puzzling to me. Scientific evidence is mounting daily showing the climate is less sensitive to carbon dioxide and that natural factors are playing a greater role in climate change than alarmists like Mann have claimed. In addition, the weather events (the evidence of our senses) cited by Mann as showing “the signal of climate change is no longer subtle, it is obvious” – hurricanes, flooding in Texas and South Carolina, the California drought, and heat waves in Arizona – are either not historically unusual or actually contradict climate disaster predictions.
Neither droughts nor extreme rainfall events are outside historic norms, polar bear populations are stable or growing as is ice extent in Antarctica, and the United States is experiencing a nine-year “hurricane drought” of Category 3 storms starting in 2006, beating the previous mark of eight years from 1861–1868, the longest such streak since such recording began in 1851.
This leaves me asking: Dr. Mann, where is this evidence of human-caused climate change of which you speak?
While Mann, consigns climate science to the dust bin, many are wondering if the United Kingdom will do the same to the Paris Climate agreement.
The United Kingdom’s (UK) vote to leave the European Union (EU) is throwing climate commitments into doubt. Many in the Brexit camp were climate skeptics. Europe’s green leaders and outgoing United Nations climate head Christiana Figueres had warned against Brexit, calling on voters to oppose separation. Figueres noted Britain’s climate-action pledge was included in the EU’s pledge, thus, “From the point of view of the Paris agreement, the U.K. is part of the EU and has put in its effort as part of the EU, so anything that would change that would require then a recalibration.”
The EU intended to deliver to Brussels later this month its climate action plans detailing how the 28 member states would meet the goals set in 2015’s Paris climate agreement to cut emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2040. With the UK’s pending withdrawal from the EU, such plans will likely be put on hold. The climate website Climate Home tweeted, “A UK exit from the European Union is likely to be bitter and protracted, soaking up the political will of a region that has long led on tackling climate change … http://sumo.ly/kEKD via @ClimateHome.”
“The reality is the EU will be utterly inward looking and navel gazing – it will be very hard to deal with any other serious issues [during the Brexit negotiations],” said Chris Huhne, the UK’s energy and climate chief between 2010 and 2012.
Climate alarmists fear a new post-Brexit, post-David Cameron government in Britain could be less committed to climate action. Cameron, who resigned as prime minister after campaigning hard to keep Britain in the EU, was replaced by Theresa May, another member of the Conservative Party, who The Independent pronounced is not “green.” In a speech she gave on July 11, 2016, the day she was announced as the new prime minister, May said, “I want to see an energy policy that emphasizes the reliability of supply and lower costs for users.”
Only if the UK ends its support for renewable energy can it meet that goal. Since many of the conservatives who campaigned for Brexit are climate skeptics, they will likely have more power in a new government. A poll of 1,168 people by ComRes taken before the Brexit vote found Brexit supporters were twice as likely to believe climate science is a hoax as those polled who supported staying in the EU. A group of approximately 100 Conservative MPs, including energy minister Andrea Leadsom, calling themselves “Fresh Start,” released an energy policy paper in May 2016 calling for ending the UK’s renewable energy targets for 2020 and investing in shale gas development and new nuclear energy.
Will this be a case of “As goes the UK both on EU membership and Climate, so goes many other EU members?” Only time will tell.