The recent leak of a United Nations report on climate change once again has the internet abuzz with climate change controversy. Every few years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases a report with a detailed assessment of the current state of the climate. The fifth assessment report (AR5), which wasn’t scheduled to be released until later this year, offered a peek behind the curtain of the climate change “consensus.”
What has caused the controversy is not the leak itself, but what is contained in the report—admissions that throw uncertainty on what we have been told is the unassailable consensus on the future of the climate. Among the highlights is the current temperature plateau—for the past 15 years, there has been no warming (or cooling) trend—the global average surface temperature has remained relatively flat despite climate change computer models which predicted rising temperatures.
Some fumbling about by climate scientists is expected. The atmosphere, weather patterns and solar interaction is a complicated system and one that has yet to be accurately modeled by computers. Arctic ice cores have only recently been analyzed and scientists are still attempting to put the last 150 years of weather station data into context with this ice core data, which show ice ages and warming periods over the last 150,000 years. Despite the tenuous evidence, environmentalists encourage us to curb our CO2 emissions “just in case,” telling us that we are “better safe than sorry.”
Mostly we are led to believe that it won’t be that big of a deal to change the way the world uses energy—we can all make a difference, we’re told, by buying a more efficient car, changing what we eat or even simply switching to different light bulbs. But every once in a while, someone comes along to remind us that such minor adjustments are not at all what policy makers have in mind when it comes to climate change.
First there was Al Gore who said: “It’s important to change the light bulbs, but it’s much more important to change the laws.” More recently, Christiana Figueres, the woman in charge of United Nations talks aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions at the last Climate Change Conference in Doha, explains the “huge gap” that exists between what “science is demanding” and the political policy so far enacted to curb CO2 emissions.
What we are doing here is we are inspiring government, private sector, and civil society to [make] the biggest transformation that they have ever undertaken. The Industrial Revolution was also a transformation, but it wasn’t a guided transformation from a centralized policy perspective. This is a centralized transformation that is taking place because governments have decided that they need to listen to science. So it’s a very, very different transformation and one that is going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different.
Here, once again, the true agenda is revealed. Curbing CO2 emissions to the degree climate policy advocates want is not a matter of minor adjustments. Reducing CO2 emissions by the 80 – 90% that environmentalists are demanding is not even a matter of moderate adjustments. It would mean a drastic setback in quality of life across the globe.
And we’re not going to be asked, we’re going to be told.
It’s not about voluntarily changing a light bulb, or leaving people free to innovate new energy technologies, it’s about being dictated your new lifestyle, one that no longer contains the fruits of the industrial revolution. Central planners seek to change the lives of everyone on the planet by making the energy that powers our lives expensive, scarce and unreliable.
The shaky climate models contained in the leaked IPCC report will form the foundation of these transformative policies and laws. In that light, “better safe than sorry” takes on its true meaning: these “just in case” regulations are aimed to transform everyone on the planet into a sorry state indeed.