The December 2015 Paris Climate Conference initiated by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) will be attended by leaders of most of the nations of the world. It is being widely touted by scientists, environmental groups as well as progressive global media as our last hope for saving the world from irreversible global warming and the cataclysmic damage caused by the greenhouse effect of carbon and methane pollution of the atmosphere. To achieve this goal at Paris the IPCC has set the target of keeping global warming below 2°Celsius (about 3.7 degrees F.)
The irreversible global warming threat that the Paris Climate Conference is ultimately trying to prevent is scary. Irreversible global warming (aka runaway climate change or runaway global warming) is hypothesized to follow a tipping point within the climate system after accumulated climate changes initiate a reinforcing positive feedback loop.
This process is thought to cause the climate to rapidly change until the climate reaches a new stable condition.Some astronomers use the expression runaway greenhouse effect to describe the situation where the climate deviates so irreversibly, catastrophically and permanently from the original state that it mimics what happened on Venus when it caused that planet to lose all of its atmosphere. (Please look up the terms climate tipping point, greenhouse effect and positive feedback loop if you're unfamiliar with them to better understand the rest of this document.)
At the Paris Conference the leaders of the world will bring their voluntary pledges for how much they're going to reduce carbon and methane pollution to reduce global warming. Believing that these national carbon and methane reduction pledges will produce all of the time-critical actions necessary to ensure that global warming does not become irreversible may be as delusional as believing that the emperor’s invisible new clothes were real in The Emperor’s New Clothes fable.
Why the Paris Climate Conference is doomed to fail
Here are five fatal flaws and powerful reasons why the Paris Climate Conference will fail:
Fatal flaw 1 - In their climate reports and predictions for politicians and policymakers, the IPCC has a history of significantly underestimating how bad global warming is or could become.
Fatal flaw 2 - The IPCC has a history of failing to include essential high-impact climate prediction scenarios necessary for politicians and policymakers to properly understand ALL of the worst or unrecoverable impacts of global warming.
Fatal flaw 3 - The national carbon and methane reduction levels now being pledged for the Paris Conference are not only insufficient to counterbalance the IPCC's underestimation problem, but also when you factor in high-impact climate tipping points prediction scenarios, they are far below what is needed to save us in time from irreversible global warming.
Fatal flaw 4 - Even if the current Paris Climate Conference nations agreed to legally binding national carbon and methane reduction pledges that were based on accurate and not underestimated IPCC climate facts, and they included corrections for high-impact climate tipping points prediction scenarios within their pledges, and that resulted in nations setting their pledges at reduction levels that were the levels needed to keep us from going into irreversible global warming, these pledges would still be all but toothless public relations displays because there is no independent mechanism for verification or enforcement of these pledges!
Fatal flaw 5 - The $28 trillion-per-year fossil fuel-related industries and some fossil fuel economy-driven nations will be out in full force to nullify, reduce and/or render impotent any efforts that would destroy their fossil fuel-dependent economic viability or national security.
Like the small child in The Emperor’s New Clothes fable who pointed out that the emperor was naked—to the emperor’s dutiful subjects who were going along with the emperor’s “invisible clothes” delusion—it is now necessary to more fully expose five fatal flaws dooming the Paris Climate Conference to failure.
It is unfortunate that it may be painful to the many conference attendees and individuals in the global warming education movement, but it is essential that all delusions surrounding the Paris Climate Conference’s effectiveness or success be deconstructed as soon as possible. Only through an honest deconstruction of such delusions will there be any chance of achieving an effective reduction of escalating global warming before it becomes irreversible.
Only after we are no longer blinded by false hopes or delusions can we then begin the process of creating global warming solutions that will in fact reverse the decades of the IPCC’s inadequate progress in global warming education and reduction.
Fatal Flaw 1
In their climate reports and predictions for politicians and policymakers, the IPCC has a history of significantly underestimating how bad global warming is or could become.
Before explaining the IPCC’s climate data underestimation problem, it is first necessary to understand how the IPCC creates its climate prediction reports for the politicians and policymakers of the world. What surprises many individuals is that the IPCC itself does not do original climate science research.
Working as unpaid volunteers, thousands of scientists from around the globe sift through the most current scientific literature on global warming and the climate. After completing this review, these unpaid scientists identify trends and write a draft report and submit it to the IPCC.
Next, typically taking five to seven years to complete, the IPCC reviews the submitted climate research from these scientists. Then, in a slow and bureaucratic process, the IPCC creates comprehensive reports and assessments, including global warming prediction scenarios. Then in the near to last step, other scientists once again take the assembled draft and review and thoroughly revise it as needed.
Finally, a summary for national politicians and policymakers is written. This then condenses the science even further. This new and final summary report is then subjected to a line-by-line revision by the national representatives from more than 100 world governments — ALL of whom must approve the final summary document before it is presented to the public.
Now that you understand the process for how IPCC creates its reports, the following will not seem so surprising…
A growing number of studies (referenced at the end of this document) claim that across two decades and thousands of pages of climate reports, the IPCC has consistently understated the rate and intensity of global warming as well as the danger that it represents.
Since the IPCC 2007 assessment, these studies have shown that the speed and ferocity at which the climate is destabilizing are at the extreme edge of, or outpacing, IPCC projections on many fronts, including temperature rise, carbon emissions, sea level rise, continental ice-sheet melt, Arctic sea ice decline, ocean acidification and thawing tundra.
An example of IPCC underestimation found in the IPCC’s last 2007 report is that it concluded the Arctic would not lose its summer ice before 2070 at the earliest. But the ice pack has shrunk far faster than any scenario IPCC scientists felt politicians and policymakers should consider.
Just a few years after that IPCC 2007 report a new study referenced at the end of this document, based on the current escalating global warming trends is now predicting that by 2016-2020 the Northwest Passage will be completely ice-free during the summers. This means that in 2007 the IPCC was 50-54 years off on a key climate prediction over a prediction period of just 63 years!
Another glaring example of this dangerous IPCC underestimation problem surfaced a few months ago from James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who originally warned the world about global warming nearly 30 years ago. Hansen's new study says sea levels could rise by as much as 10 feet by 2050. The IPCC has repeatedly and consistently predicted that sea levels could rise about 3 feet by 2100. The IPCC’s global warming predictions are believed to underestimate the global warming timetables and their consequences by anywhere from 25 to 50%. (For more info on underestimation see end of document.)
What the IPCC’s global warming underestimation problem means to you, your business or your nation’s future
Underestimation by the IPCC is particularly worrisome, first because the organization is treated as the recognized authority on global warming and is charged with advising national politicians and policymakers on the most relevant and accurate climate science so they can make laws and policies to keep us all safe.
Next, the IPCC’s overly conservative reading and underestimation problems with the climate science means that national governments, businesses and the public will all be blindsided by the rapid onset of the higher flooding, extreme storms, drought, and other climate impacts associated with global warming beyond what they are currently being prepared for. Worse yet, a society blind to the full range of potential climate outcomes, particularly the most disruptive, can remain unconscious of or apathetic to the situation, causing them to push the hard but necessary climate carbon and methane reduction decisions farther and farther off into the future. Probably the greatest loss caused by IPCC’s underestimation problem is that it quells, if not removes, the appropriate sense of urgency essential to motivating the world to deal with global warming’s escalating present and future threat.
What if the level of droughts, storms, flooding, wildfires, heat waves, ocean acidification, melting tundra, loss of animal biodiversity, spread of disease, desertification, diminished food and water supplies, air pollution, carbon and methane pollution-caused respiratory suffering and death, destruction of ecosystems, escalating economic costs, conflicts and wars and human migration that were predicted by the IPCC’s climate data to start arriving in 2060-2080 started arriving at an increasing scale, severity and frequency beginning in 2020-2040?
One of the biggest reasons for the IPCC’s underestimation problem
Because the IPCC's final summary report is subjected to a line-by-line revision by representatives from more than 100 world governments, all of whom must approve the final summary document before it is presented to the public, and because those 100 countries also fund the UN to greater or lesser degrees of influence, it is only reasonable to consider that inherent national conflicts of interest also act to water down, delay or stop those sections of each climate report that directly and significantly impact the overall military security, economics or well-being of the sign-off nation.
For example, countries like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Russia, the United States, China, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iran have huge portions of their annual gross domestic product (GDP) dependent upon producing and/or exporting fossil fuels. If there were a sudden and significant mandated reduction in availability or use of global fossil fuel (oil, coal, etc.), some of the countries, particularly the ones with large national debts or without large financial reserves like Russia, Venezuela, the United States, Iraq and Iran, could plunge into rapid economic decline and in some cases possibly even social and political unrest.
Because of this significant underestimation problem with the IPCC’s climate data upon which the Paris master target was set, the Paris Conference will fail.
Fatal Flaw 2
The IPCC has a history of failing to include essential high-impact climate prediction scenarios necessary for politicians and policymakers to properly understand ALL of the worst or unrecoverable impacts of global warming.
There is principle in logic that: if all or a significant part of the foundational premise upon which you build a theory or solution is insufficient or false, the consequent theory or solution created will also be insufficient or false either in total or to a significant degree. Keep this principle of logic in mind as you continue reading.
There is a gargantuan flaw in the premise upon which the IPCC built its climate risk analysis and prediction scenarios for average global temperature increases and climate consequences. To many this second fatal flaw is the one that could quickly lead us to a real doomsday scenario.
To provide evidence for what essential high-impact climate data is missing from the IPCC’s global warming risk analysis process and consequence prediction scenarios, it is first necessary to review the four current global warming prediction scenarios provided in 2014 by the IPCC to the world’s politicians and policymakers. Those four global warming prediction scenarios are:
Scenario One: Global warming is, at the most optimistic of projections, only a 2-degree Celsius increase by 2100 (about 3.7+ degrees Fahrenheit). (This prediction is based on the assumption that we have no climate system surprises such as going over any significant climate tipping points.)
Scenario Two: Global warming is, at a more likely projection, a 3-degree Celsius increase by 2100 (5-6+ degrees Fahrenheit). (This prediction is also based on the assumption that we have no significant climate system surprises such as going over any significant climate tipping points.)
Scenario Three: Global warming is, at the less optimistic of IPCC projections, only a 4-degree Celsius increase by 2100 (7-8+ degrees Fahrenheit). (This prediction is less optimistic, but it is also still based on the assumption that we do not have significant climate system surprises such as going over any significant climate tipping points.)
Scenario Four: Global warming is, at the least optimistic of IPCC projections, a 6 or more degree Celsius increase by 2100 (8-12+ degrees Fahrenheit). (This prediction is the least optimistic, but it too is also based on the assumption that we do not have significant climate system surprises such as going over any significant climate tipping points.)
From each of the four IPCC prediction scenarios above, it becomes obvious what is missing and what has been unwisely discounted in the IPCC’s risk analysis and prediction scenarios. The IPCC’s global warming prediction scenarios are always prediction scenarios where the climate will never go over any significant climate tipping points in any of its major or minor systems or subsystems.
In effect, what the IPCC has done is to remove or ignore high-impact, often unrecoverable climate tipping point variables that should have been included in a proper risk spectrum analysis. Without critical high-impact consequence prediction scenarios considered in the master risk analysis, it means that the IPCC has not met the minimum essential data inclusion thresholds necessary to create a valid climate risk analysis and to properly inform our politicians and policymakers.
Why the IPCC’s climate tipping point omission is critical to the future of every individual, business and nation on earth
To answer the above question it is necessary to understand what the key climate tipping points are and how tipping points function. The key climate tipping points are:
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