There’s an interesting blog based in Belgium called Trust, yet verify. If you’re not familiar with it, do take a look, there are plenty of good posts there. The blogger, Michel, describes in a series of posts starting here how he started out as a devout believer in what we were being told about the climate crisis, then started to look into it in more detail, asked questions, was not satisfied by the answers and the tone in which they were delivered, and gradually became more sceptical – a very familiar story.
Tol is one of the most highly cited researchers in the field and an IPCC author, writing for WG2 about economic impacts.
The world is in uproar about the climate, but you claim that climate change is not a problem?
Tol: “There is no reason to believe that climate change is so terrible at the moment. Unless you raise funds for Greenpeace or are a politician who presents themself as the savior of mankind: then you gain by exaggerating things. The reality is that the climate hardly affects our wellbeing and our prosperity. There are happy and rich people living in boiling hot Singapore, but also in freezing cold Canada. There are unhappy and poor people in boiling hot Kenya but also stone cold Mongolia. Climate change is not the main environmental problem. Dirty air causes currently roughly four million deaths each year.”
Are you concerned that the future of your children is at risk due to climate change?
Tol: “Not for a moment. It disturbs me hearing people like Al Gore say that he is worried about the future of his grandchildren. Complete madness. The best estimate is that sea level will rise half a meter this century. That is from the ground to our knees. The Netherlands has the money and the knowledge to do something about it. It is the poorest who are affected by climate change. It is the grandchildren of the people in a country like Bangladesh who are at risk from rising sea levels. But why are we suddenly concerned about the grandchildren of people that we care little about? Poverty is a bigger problem than climate change. Do you help the poor by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or by fighting poverty? An important question for which no one has a clear answer yet.”
There is also a …
UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol Rips IPCC at Congressional Hearing: ‘The IPCC leadership has in the past been very adept at putting troublesome authors in positions where they cannot harm the cause. That practice must end’
2318 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 | May 29, 2014 11:00am
Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process
I have been involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 1994, serving in various roles in all three working groups, most recently as a Convening Lead Author in the economics chapter of Working Group II.
Academics who research climate change out of curiosity but find less than alarming things are ignored, unless they rise to prominence in which case they are harassed and smeared. The hounding of Lennart Bengtsson is a recent example. Bengtsson is a gentle 79 year old. He has won many awards in a long and distinguished career in meteorology and climatology. He recently joined the advisory board of an educational charity and felt forced to resign two weeks later. As an advisor, he was never responsible for anything this charity did, let alone for the things it had done before he joined. For this, the was insulted by his peers. A Texas A&M professor even suggested he is senile.4
Strangely, the climate “community” did not speak out when one of its own was elected for the Green Party; nor does it protest against close ties between IPCC authors and the
Environmental Defence Fund, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace or the World Wide Fund for Nature. Other eminent meteorologists have been treated like Bengtsson was – Curry, Lindzen, Pielke Sr. Pielke Jr has been mistreated too, merely for sticking to the academic literature, as reflected by the IPCC, that there is no statistical evidence that the impact of natural disaster has increased because of climate change. I have had my share of abuse too. Staff of the London School of Economics and the Guardian now routinely tell lies about me and my work.
Governments nominate academics to the IPCC – but we should be clear that it is often the environment agencies that do the nominating. Different countries have different arrangements, but it is rare that a government agency with a purely scientific agenda takes the lead on IPCC matters. As a result, certain researchers are promoted at the expense of more qualified colleagues. Other competent people are excluded because their views do not match …
UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol admits no global warming for 17 years – Rips bias in IPCC – UN’s ‘inbuilt alarmism made me step down’ – ‘By the time the report was finished, however, it hadn’t warmed for 17 years’
All three show things are seriously amiss – although not necessarily with the climate itself. The final installment, to be published in September will further underline the need to reform the IPCC.
The IPCC has three working groups, each producing its own report. Working Group I, focusing on climate change itself, released its findings last September. Compared to the previous report, of 2007, it quietly revised downwards its estimate of eventual global warming.
The first rule of climate policy should be: do no harm to economic growth. But the IPCC was asked to focus on the risks of climate change alone, and those who volunteered to be its authors eagerly obliged.
The IPCC became less pessimistic about climate change, although its press release would not tell you so.
The report also illustrates just how outmoded the IPCC has become since it was founded in 1988. Its reports are written over a period of three years, and finished months before publication.
When preparations started on AR5, the world hadn’t warmed for 13 years. That is a bit odd, if you believe the models, but not odd enough to merit a lot of attention.
By the time the report was finished, however, it hadn’t warmed for 17 years. That is decidedly odd, but hard to accommodate in a near-final draft that has been through three rounds of review.
After the report was finalized, but before it was published, a number of papers appeared with hypotheses about the pause in warming. AR5 was out of date before it was released.
The IPCC model – every six years a big splash of climate analysis – is broken.
Working Group 2, published in March, and focusing on the impacts of climate change, had a different problem. It lies at the heart of the previous IPCC controversy. The scientific literature now acknowledges that many of the more worrying impacts of climate change are in fact symptoms of social mismanagement and underdevelopment.
The first rule of climate policy should be: do no harm to economic growth. But the IPCC was asked to focus on the risks of climate change alone, and those who volunteered to be its authors eagerly obliged. There is even a groundbreaking section on emerging risks.
The first paper on an issue is always dramatic. That is the only way to get something onto the scientific agenda. Follow-up papers then pooh-pooh the initial drama. …