Saturday, February 27, 2010

An IPCC prediction gone awry

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the very name does not make me feel warm and fuzzy all over. Any belief I may have once nurtured that the United Nations is the solution to the ills of the world has long gone, along with the belief that the government is my friend and is there to protect my rights. So you can imagine my bias towards the IPCC. Their publications and predictions form the foundation of Climate Change activism around the world. The pearls of wisdom shed by the IPCC are examined like chicken entrails by a voodoo medicine man to discern what calamities may befall us if we don’t defer to their predictive powers. So when a prediction of the IPCC doesn’t jive with reality it should give us all reason to be skeptical.
Certainly climate change has been occurring, those of us in Southern Ontario are acutely aware that this entire region was covered by kilometre thick ice sheets several times throughout history, the last time was roughly 13 000 years ago. I live within short driving distance of the moraine ridges and drumlins left by the glacial retreat. The Great Lakes themselves are stark reminders as glacial puddles left by the continent sized glacier. The glaciers have retreated to the far north where they still exist in alpine regions but now vast areas of Tundra are all that remain in Canada.

This is true in Europe and Asia as well and this fact has meant great changes for the indigenous peoples of the north. In Canada the Inuit have experienced such rapid change that community elders still talk of the good old days. The indigenous peoples of Northern Europe will tell similar stories.

In the IPCC predictions of human catastrophe the greatest impact it says will be climate migration due to coastal flooding as sea-levels rise around the world. They predict that upwards of 200 million people will move as a result, overwhelming cities and creating massive upheavals to those countries involved.

Wait a minute, maybe not, maybe some of these impoverished indigenous peoples will adapt (humans are crazy like that) as they did to the ice ages millennia ago. Remarkable is it not, how a species (Homo sapiens), whose origins were in the savannah of central Africa can adapt to living in the High Arctic? Anyway, I digress, a recent study of the Sami the Inuit analogues of Finland shows that maybe the IPCC predictions are a bit overblown.

6 comments:

  1. People need to be able to have access to fresh water and it is this that will drive how we'll react to climate change.

    The IPCC report does have some flaws but they are, so far, minor. Your dismissal of the report is akin to throwing out a dictionary because there are a couple typos.

    Hear it straight from the horse's mouth: Micheal Mann (audio podcast lower on the page) http://www.pointofinquiry.org/michael_mann_unprecedented_attacks_on_climate_research/

    The effects of CO2, from a real scientist: http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

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  2. Well no actually, I dismiss the IPCC (and the UN) and their claim on how I (and all Canadians or anyone for that matter) must live. I dismiss their injunctions on how much carbon I am "allowed" to burn, how I should use my property (wealth) to save the planet. I dismiss their claim that Canada must sign a deal that will commit this and future generations to obligations we cannot understand or predict.
    I dismiss them just as I dismiss religious injunctions (and texts like the bible) that insist I must behave the way *they* want me to behave.
    My objections have nothing to do with "typos" or evidence or the impending doom if I fail to buy required carbon credits. If climate change is a problem we will adapt to it just as the Sami have adapted in their community.

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  3. "If climate change is a problem..."

    Why not take steps to avoid the problem? Would you rather treat cancer, or prevent it?

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  4. That is an "apples and oranges" comparison. I could retort and stay on the cancer theme, we know that smoking tobacco causes cancer right? Why not ban smoking worldwide? Good luck.
    This is where libertarian philosophy is most coherent and comprehensive.
    If individuals have rights, if individuals OWN their lives, then let individuals act or not. Climate change has local effects and global effects sure, but its only the local affects that are felt by individuals and its only these affects that they can mitigate. Yes individuals may form groups, but groups don't have rights but they may be assigned limited powers for the protection of individuals rights. No group should have powers that remove individual rights.
    The UN and IPCC are groups given extraordinary powers to pressure nations to act globally.
    In Canada, the Harper Conservatives have the support of almost 22% of the total electorate. 78% of us didn't vote or voted for someone else. For me they have no authority to act on our behalf on an obligation that commits this and future generations to anything, let alone fixing climate change. The climate change fanatics have no concept of rights, freedoms, limited powers etc. To me they are the bullies in the playground wrapped in a mantle of green.

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  5. Well, fine. I claim I am harmed by your refusal to act. Now lets go to court and see who survives.

    Is this a superior way of acting?

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  6. Well that's a typical American retort.
    First sue your gov't!

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