Earlier this year an expedition of climate scientists went to Antarctica to find evidence of global warming. Their boat was trapped in the ice.*
If you give it some thought, most of the climate predictions haven’t actually played out.
Not the details or minor aspects, but those at the very core. The icecaps are growing, weather is less extreme, polar bear populations are up and no coastal maps have been redrawn.
Are we just not going to talk about this?
Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth came out in 2006 and completely changed climate politics. It was an intensely political project.* He made the case for dramatic change and the redirection of trillions of dollars of investment.
I actually did do a science degree. In our second year we derived the classical heat capacity equations by applying statistical methods to a handful of threadbare assumptions about the quantum world.
The equations were developed hundreds of years ago by the first real scientists, using equipment invented by the misplaced energies of the alchemists before them. They are the undeniable, rock-solid scientific basis of climate science.
Climate politics has very little to do with this. The ever-reliable physical science behind planes and televisions cannot be compared with multi-decade weather forecasts and has even less to do with the effect of those weather forecasts.
At some point journalists and politicians have been allowed to associate the rigour of physical chemistry to the alchemy of long term prediction pseudoscience.
I could go into how experts in most fields are wrong when they make forecasts, but that would just be opinion. Plus it’s been said better before and frankly it would make me too angry. Instead I’m going to try something different.
An Inconvenient Truth came out about ten years ago. Al Gore beat this deserving woman and won a Nobel Peace prize, sparking a highly lucrative speaking career for him and his pals.
I thought now would be a good time to watch the film and compare the expert’s ten year predictions with what actually happened. I did this yesterday so you don’t have to. The first section is Al Gore being applauded in slow motion by enraptured audiences.**
Climate articles often start with ‘modelling predicts in X many years that Y horror will happen and doom us all’. Without wading into the swamp of poor logic and muddled thinking behind these models. But you don’t need a science degree to see whether predictions came true.
You are as qualified as the next punter to judge the following:
1. Al Gore : Polar bears are going to drown
In the film Mr Gore emotively narrates a cartoon of a polar bear sinking, and states polar bears have already started drowning. This is the latest data:
2. Al Gore: Weather will be more extreme
This really irked me because Mr Gore interspersed the destitution of Hurricane Katrina with political arguments that have nothing to do with it.
It’s possible to argue that statistically this data is compatible with a worsening.
But that is not what climate politicians have been saying. The clear forecast from Mr Gore was that we’re in for disastrous extreme weather in the near future and we need to incur dramatic costs to avoid it.
3. Al Gore: Icecaps are going to melt
This is my favourite because Mr Gore predicted on record on an almost annual that by 2015 the Arctic would be ice free in Summer. Not even close.
In the movie he showed New York, Bangladesh, Beijing and other population centres being swamped, implying catastrophic loss of life and property.
In 2009 he stated publicly that computer modelling predicted the Arctic would be ice free by 2014, and it was our last chance to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Umm.. the ice is still there.
The point is not that Al Gore is lying, but that that the models are very wrong. This has nothing to do with the science I spent years studying.***
In line with the Antarctic expedition mentioned previously, the a group of scientists on a 115 day expedition to the Arctic this year had to reroute their journey. Because the ice was too thick, according to the Canadian Coast Guard who actually live and work there.
Again even if record sea ice is not statistically significant, this is the exact opposite of what climate politicians predicted. The forecast was melting ice caps, unstable Antarctic ice shelfs and catastrophe. Al Gore went into much detail on this. Too often predictions of drought that end in flood are used as evidence of climate change or vice versa.
I could go on. He points to Mt Kilimanjaro and says it will be ice free in ten years. He points at the Himalayas and ten years ago implied the ice would shortly be gone.
Is anyone allowed to point out these very specific predictions have not played out? The global environmental movement was based on such predictions. Almost every Government just signed agreements on the basis of these forecasts!
How many years of data on how many different issues would it take to convince you that the consensus in climate politics is wrong?
To refocus back home, if you’re Australian you’ve probably heard the name Tim Flannery, though he’s not quite a celebrity. Until recently I had only thought positive things of the guy.
There’s something quasi-religious about the modern environmental movement. People who disagree are ‘heretics’. I had no idea it was this bad though. Tim is a climate science thought leader of Australia and was until recently paid $175,000 a year to advise the Government part time on climate science. He said the following:
‘For the first time, this global super-organism, this global intelligence will be able to send a signal, a strong and clear signal to the earth. And what that means in a sense is that we can, we will be a regulating intelligence for the planet, I’m sure, in the future … And lead to a stronger Gaia, if you will, a stronger earth system.This planet, this Gaia, will have acquired a brain and a nervous system. That will make it act as a living animal, as a living organism, at some sort of level.’
For those of my Facebook friends who have read this far you can now hate me more: I am stoked that Tony Abbott sacked this guy and feel like I owe him one.
Here are my ten year predictions that you can hold me to. In 2026 I wager that:
Finally, I have no doubt Al Gore will take all the credit despite getting everything wrong.