We may be on the threshold of a tipping point in climate history. No, I’m not talking about a tipping point in the sense that the Earth will be covered with ice or become hellishly hot. I’m talking about a tipping point in our views of what controls the climate — whether it’s mainly humans or whether it’s mainly natural. It makes an enormous difference in climate policy: Do we try to mitigate, at huge cost, or do we merely adapt to natural changes — as our ancestors did for many millennia?
Such tipping points occur quite frequently in science. I have personally witnessed two paradigm shifts where world scientific opinion changed rapidly — almost overnight. One was in Cosmology, where the “Steady State” theory of the Universe was replaced by the “Big Bang.” This shift was confirmed by the discovery of the “microwave background radiation,” which has already garnered Nobel prizes, and will likely get more.
The other major shift occurred in Continental Drift. After being denounced by the Science Establishment, the hypothesis of Alfred Wegener, initially based on approximate relations between South America and Africa, was dramatically confirmed by the discovery of “sea-floor spreading.”
These shifts were possible because there were no commercial or financial interests — and they did not involve the public and politicians. But climate is a different animal: The financial stakes are huge — in the trillions of dollars, and affect energy policy, and indeed the economic wellbeing of every inhabitant of the developed and developing world. For example, the conversion into ethanol fuel of a substantial portion of the US corn crop raised the price of tortillas in Mexico and caused food riots.
NIPCC Conclusions in Brief
Backed by thousands of peer-reviewed studies, are in striking contrast to the IPCC’s alarmist predictions:
**Climate data tell us that the human impact on Earth’s climate is very small and that any warming due to GH gases will be so small as to be indiscernible from natural variability.
**The net impacts of modestly rising temperatures and higher carbon-dioxide levels on plants, animals, wildlife, and human welfare have been positive so far and are likely to continue to be positive.
**The costs of trying to mitigate climate change by reducing emissions vastly exceed the benefits. Annual cost per US household would run to some $3,900; would destroy millions of jobs.
**In light of the new science and economics of climate change, thousands of laws passed at the height of the global warming scare need to be re-evaluated, modified, or repealed.