Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, February 1st, 2015 - 138 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, Politics, science - Tags: AGW, climate change, politics, propaganda, science
Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, reported the following exchanges he’d been party to, at a presentation he made back in 2012. (transcript and accompanying powerpoint presentation available from the link provided)
Too much is invested in 2°C for us to say its not possible – it would undermine all that’s been achieved It’ll give a sense of hopelessness – we may as well just give in
K.A. – Are you suggesting we have to lie about our research findings?
Well, perhaps just not be so honest – more dishonest …”
(exchange between unnamed Senior UK Political Scientist and Kevin Anderson 2010)
“We can’t tell them (ministers & politicians) it’s impossible We can say it’s a stretch and ambitious – but that, with political will, 2°C is still a feasible target”
(unnamed Senior Advisor to UK government – 2010)
“Our position is challenging enough, I can’t go (to Copenhagen) with the message that 2°C is impossible – it’s what we’ve all worked towards”
(UK Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (2009)
“well, I think we’re on for 4 to 6 degrees C but we just can’t be open about it.”
(Unnamed senior UK Government Scientist and Shell Oil big wig at Chatham House – The Royal Institute of International Affairs)
Let’s not put too fine a point on things here folk – we’re being lied to with regards 2 degrees C warming. The answer to the question ‘Why?’ would seem to come down to the fact that the levels and speed of reductions in CO2 called for by science are incompatible with any on-going economic growth. So, there is political interference being run on what are meant to be scientific reports.
Interference comes in the form of using old and favourable CO2 emission rate increases in reports. Those rates can be way below current emission rate increases. (eg Stern in his lauded 2006 report factored in emission growth of 0.95% when the known and available rate was 2.4%) In 2009 – 2010, the growth in emission rates was 5.9% before falling to 3.2% in 2010 – 2011)
Or we can mess with CO2 budgets. The IPCC was given a figure of 1400 billion tons of carbon that could be dumped into the atmosphere over the course of this century (by the Hadley Centre) in order to hold temperatures to around 2 degrees C. The IPCC then goes ahead, doubles that base line, and bases it’s analysis for 2 degrees C on 2 900 billion tons of atmospheric carbon over the course of the century.
And then there is the belief, factored into so-called scientific reports that technology will allow us to suck CO2 out of the air and shove it into the ground. Short version. The technology does not exist at present and may never exist.
There are other ways figures and parameters in reports are routinely massaged. The point is, it seems everything’s game when the main aim is to spin a story about a two degrees future rather than write up reports based on scientific evidence and data.
Strip out the faith in technologies not yet developed and that may never be developed; use available, up to date, data; stick to parameters that give high degrees of certainty, and what the science tells us, pretty fucking bluntly, is that we’re heading for 4 degrees or 6 degrees and that a 2 degrees future is virtually impossible now.
So, where are the scientists willing to speak up and speak out?
I guess the answer lies in the examples made of those from any prominent walk of life who have had the temerity to be critical. They get pilloried in public but in addition, my guess is that all scientists live with an implicit threat regarding ongoing or future employment and/or funding.
So where does all of this leave us? Anyone?