- Numerous commentators, including me, have pointed out that the media, politicians, and UN spokespeople have wildly distorted the content of the latest climate Assessment Report by the UN IPCC. That's important. But the reports and the IPCC itself are also very bad.
A pro-human, scientific evaluation of CO2 emissions requires following 3 principles:
- Factor in the benefits that come with them.
- Factor in the climate mastery abilities that come with them.
- Factor in negative AND positive impacts
The IPCC violates all 3.
- IPCC bad method 1:
The IPCC almost entirely ignores the incredible benefits of the low-cost, reliable, global-scale energy that comes with the CO2. Looking only at the side-effects of something while ignoring its benefits is completely irrational, yet that's what the IPCC does.
- Low-cost, reliable, versatile, global-scale energy from fossil fuels has made humanity so productive that since 1980, the fraction of people living in extreme poverty—less than $2 a day—has gone from more than 4 in 10 to less than 1 in 10. Yet the IPCC totally ignores this.1
- The IPCC's denial of the benefits of fossil fuels is so massive that in its extensive 2018 report on the potential impacts of warming, it devoted a mere half-sentence to a vague, begrudging acknowledgment of the value of economic growth--then immediately undercut it.
- IPCC bad method 2:
The IPCC totally ignores the incredible climate mastery benefits of fossil fuels. Nowhere in the IPCC's multi-thousand-page reports do they mention the fact that climate-related disaster deaths have plummeted.2
- The IPCC totally ignores the fact that fossil fuels have actually made us far safer from climate by providing low-cost energy for the amazing machines that protect us against storms, protect us against extreme temperatures, and alleviate drought.
- The fact that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does not acknowledge the massive decrease in climate-related disaster deaths is as disreputable as a panel on polio that doesn't acknowledge the massive decrease in polio deaths. Clearly the IPCC is badly biased.
- Why does the IPCC deny the massive benefits of fossil fuels for human flourishing? Because the IPCC's primary moral goal is not advancing human flourishing but eliminating human impact. Observe its denigration of the "human influence" that has made the world far better.3
- IPCC bad method 3:
Instead of factoring in negative and positive impacts of CO2, the IPCC is almost exclusively focused on negatives--despite the huge positive impacts of CO2 fertilization as well as warming in a world where cold-related deaths far exceed heat-related deaths.4
- By ignoring the massive benefits, including climate mastery benefits of fossil fuels, and by almost exclusively focusing on negative side-effects, the IPCC reports totally deny the fact that fossil fuels are making the world better and better, including safer from climate.
- While the IPCC reports involve a lot of good science and a lot of good people, that science and those people are being misused to create a terribly wrong evaluation of fossil fuels, and to promote fossil fuel elimination policies that would shorten billions of lives.
- The root of the IPCC's distortion of fossil fuels is today's dominant, anti-human environmental philosophy/religion, which holds that human impact is intrinsically immoral. This religion includes the dogma that Earth is a delicate nurturer that human impact inevitably destroys.
- The IPCC is primarily a religious organization, driven by the goal of eliminating human impact on Earth in general and on climate in particular. But it is also a political organization, run by people who want the power that only a "scientifically" established crisis can bring.
- The head of the UN, Antonio Guterres, a long-time socialist leader, is a clear charlatan who has no concern for accuracy whatsoever (see the thread below) and yet is routinely quoted by the media as representing the world's best scientists. https://twitter.com/AlexEpstein/status/1424831152104239146
- The UN's domination by power-lusting politicians helps explain its horrific track record of catastrophizing the already-distorted UN IPCC reports through its notorious "Summaries for Policymakers" and then to make media statements that catastrophize the summaries.
- Here is an excellent summary by @ShellenbergerMD in Apocalypse Never, featuring leading climate economist @RichardTol, about how the IPCC's Summaries for Policymakers that the media rely on distort what is in the actual IPCC reports.5
- And here's one of an unlimited supply of examples of media distorting the already-distorted Summaries for Policymakers: Twitter claiming that the IPCC says temps will rise 1.5C in two decades, and (as of this writing) still not correcting the error. https://twitter.com/AlexEpstein/status/1424820299346808833
- Because the IPCC is a religious and political organization that is systematically driven to catastrophize fossil fuels' climate impacts and ignore fossil fuels' benefits, the IPCC's predictions and prescriptions should not be trusted.
- What is needed for rational, pro-human climate thinking is a pro-human environmental philosophy, which holds that human impact in service of human flourishing is good, and recognizes that the Earth is wild potential that requires massive impact to be truly livable for humans.
- We need a rational, pro-human climate body that considers the full context of fossil fuels' CO2 emissions, including
- Factoring in the benefits that come with them.
- Factoring in the climate mastery abilities that come with them.
- Factoring in negative AND positive impacts
- When you read any story about the UN IPCC, you can safely assume that there's a very biased report distorted by very biased bureaucrats distorted by a very biased media. All blinding us to the fact that fossil fuels make the world better and are needed by billions more people.
- Here's how the false, primitive religious assumption that human impact on nature is bad distorts most people's thinking, including most scientists' thinking, and certainly the IPCC's thinking, about fossil fuels and climate. https://twitter.com/AlexEpstein/status/1425159688006508546
World Bank Data - Poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 a day (2011 PPP) (% of population)↩
For every million people on earth, annual deaths from climate-related causes (extreme temperature, drought, flood, storms, wildfires) declined 98%--from an average of 247 per year during the 1920s to 2.5 in per year during the 2010s.
Data on disaster deaths come from EM-DAT, CRED / UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium – www.emdat.be (D. Guha-Sapir).
Population estimates for the 1920s from the Maddison Database 2010 from the Groningen Growth and Development Centre, Faculty of Economics and Business at University of Groningen. For years not shown population is assumed to have grown at a steady rate.
Population estimates for the 2010s come from World Bank Data.↩
IPCC Special Report 1.5°C, chapter 1↩
Michael Shellenberger - Apocalypse Never↩