While global temperatures continue inexorably upwards, there are still a few pockets of climate change denialism keeping faith with the idea that it isn’t really happening, and everything will be fine if we just abandon renewable energy and indulge in Polar oil exploration, along with lots of fracking somewhere up north away from where all the obscenely overpaid hacks and pundits happen to live.
"Gay marriage" ... "Global warming" ... "Bird-slicing, bat-chomping eco crucifixes" ... "Red meat Conservatism" ... "Dishonest selective quotation" ... "Easily provable dishonesty" ... "Credibility oblivion"
And the Murdoch Sun is still willing to indulge these dinosaurs, notably James “Saviour of Western Civilisation” Delingpole, who has been given a platform today to tell readers “How scientists got their global warming sums wrong - and created a £1TRILLION-a-year green industry that bullied experts who dared to question the figures”.
Poor Del Boy has been bullied? He claims so: “whenever we spoke out, the response was the same - we were bullied, vilified, derided and dismissed as scientifically illiterate loons by a powerful climate alarmist establishment which brooked no dissent”. Two things here. One, as Paul Nurse demonstrated, Delingpole IS a “scientifically illiterate loon”. And two, if he’s been “derided and dismissed”, what’s he doing in today’s Sun?
Anyhow - what’s the story? Well, as is usual, Del Boy takes a while to get to the point, but by the ninth paragraph of his rant he deigns to tell us: “In a new paper in the prestigious journal Nature Geoscience, the scientists who produce those doomsday reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have finally come clean”.
And how do they “come clean”? “The computer models they’ve been using to predict runaway global warming are wrong … The report’s authors say it is now much more likely that the world will meet its CO2 reduction targets agreed at the UN’s Paris summit in 2015 … it is now clear the impact of CO2 has been overstated”. Has it now?
There is only one problem with Del Boy’s screed - we can check the paper he quotes. And its conclusions are by no means as cut and dried as suggested. “it could be easier than previously thought to limit global warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels”, we are told - note “could” - before the warning “But even if the team is right - and some researchers are already questioning the conclusions - heroic efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions will still be necessary to limit warming”. So Del Boy is over-inflating his soufflé here.
And he isn’t telling his readers about this observation: “Humanity is poised to blow through the IPCC’s carbon budget for a 1.5 °C rise within a few years, leading many scientists to declare the goal impossible. But the new analysis suggests that it could be met with a modest strengthening of the current Paris pledges up to 2030, followed by sharp cuts in carbon emissions thereafter”. Strengthening of pledges. Sharp emissions cuts.
Also, note that “The work is receiving mixed reviews. Some argue that the analysis is fundamentally flawed, because it centres on a period of slower warming that began around the turn of the millennium. This period, often referred to as the climate hiatus, continued until 2014. Scientists think that natural variability in the climate system temporarily suppressed temperatures during this period”. Del Boy didn’t mention that, either.
So Delingpole trousered another fat paycheque - for at best being creative, and at worst peddling another pack of lies. So no change there, then.