It needs catastrophe scenarios to sell their ideas
By Rupert Darwall (writing at NRO)
With the clock ticking toward December 2015 and the last chance to conclude a global treaty at the Paris climate conference, the job of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is to ratchet up the alarm. This it did in its report, released at the beginning of the week, on the impacts of climate change. It scored a bull’s-eye in the Financial Times: “Climate change harms food crops, says IPCC,” the headline ran. “Climate Signals, Growing Louder,” the New York Times opined, though the reality is that the volume is being turned up by the IPCC, not the climate itself. For the IPCC, this is mission accomplished — at considerable cost to the body’s residual credibility and integrity.
The IPCC’s Working Group II, tasked with assessing the risks and impacts of climate change, could have chosen to make amends for its previous effort in 2007, which was widely panned for bias and numerous errors. Such was the outcry over the 2007 report that the Dutch parliament ordered the country’s Environmental Assessment Agency to carry out an audit. It found that the working group was dismissive of the potential benefits of climate change, and it criticized the group’s process for being insufficiently transparent.
Its most eye-catching claim (in the new WGII report) is that negative impacts of climate change on crop yields are more common to date than positive impacts are. [Note: covered here at WUWT -Anthony]
This improbable claim finds only the weakest support in the main body of the report, with its qualification that climate change played a “minor role.” It is, the report states, “extremely difficult” to define a clear baseline from which to assess the impact of climate change, and many non-climate factors are often difficult to quantify.
More egregiously, the summary speaks of rapid price increases following climate extremes since the 2007 report. This negligence amounts to downright dishonesty, as the summary omits mention of one of the principal causes of the 2007–08 spike in food prices, which is highlighted in the main body of the report. It was not climate change that increased food costs, but climate policies in the form of increased use of food crops in biofuel production, exacerbated by higher oil prices and government embargoes on food exports.
In attempting to attribute changes in farm output to climate change, the IPCC makes heavy use of models linking climate to agriculture, most of which assume that farmers don’t change their behavior as the climate changes.
Read the whole thing here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/374742/why-ipcc-report-neglects-benefits-global-warming-rupert-darwall
Rupert Darwall is the author of The Age of Global Warming: A History.
Having read it, I highly recommend it. – Anthony