Failed Prognostications of Climate Alarm
It has been 30 years since the alarm bell was sounded for manmade global warming caused by modern industrial society. And predictions made on that day—and ever since—continue to be falsified in the real world.
The predictions made by climate scientist James Hansen and Michael Oppenheimer back in 1988—and reported as model projected by journalist Philip Shabecoff—constitute yet another exaggerated Malthusian scare, joining those of the population bomb (Paul Ehrlich), resource exhaustion (Club of Rome), Peak Oil (M. King Hubbert), and global cooling (John Holdren).
Erroneous Predictive Scares
Consider the opening global warming salvo (quoted above). Dire predictions of global warming and sea-level rise are well on their way to being falsified—and by a lot, not a little. Meanwhile, a CO2-led global greening has occurred, and climate-related deaths have plummeted as industrialization and prosperity have overcome statism in many areas of the world.
Take the mid-point of the above’s predicted warming, six degrees. At the thirty-year mark, how is it looking? The increase is about one degree—and largely holding (the much-discussed “pause” or “warming hiatus”). And remember, the world has naturally warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age to the present, a good thing if climate economists are to be believed.
Turning to sea-level rise, the exaggeration appears greater. Both before and after the 1980s, decadal sea-level rise has been a few inches. And it has not been appreciably accelerating. “The rate of sea level rise during the period ~1925–1960 is as large as the rate of sea level rise the past few decades, noted climate scientist Judith Curry. “Human emissions of CO2 mostly grew after 1950; so, humans don’t seem to be to blame for the early 20th century sea level rise, nor for the sea level rise in the 19th and late 18th centuries.”
The sky-is-falling pitch went from bad to worse when scientist James Hansen was joined by politician Al Gore. Sea levels could rise twenty feet, claimed Gore in his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, a prediction that has brought rebuke even from those sympathetic to the climate cause.
In the same book/movie, Al Gore prophesied that unless the world dramatically reduced greenhouse gasses, we would hit a “point of no return.” In his book review of Gore’s effort, James Hansen unequivocally stated: “We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”
Time is up on Gore’s “point of no return” and Hansen’s “critical tipping point.” But neither has owned up to their exaggeration or made new predictions—as if they will suddenly be proven right.
Another scare-and-hide prediction came from Rajendra Pachauri. While head of a United Nations climate panel, he pleaded that without drastic action before 2012, it would be too late to save the planet. In the same year, Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, predicted “global disaster” from the demise of Arctic sea ice in four years. He too, has gone quiet.
Nothing new, back in the late 1980s, the UN claimed that if global warming were not checked by 2000, rising sea levels would wash entire countries away.
There is some levity in the charade. In 2009, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown predicted that the world had only 50 days to save the planet from global warming. But fifty days, six months, and eight years later, the earth seems fine.
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