U.N. Recycles Climate Report Just In Time For The Holidays

IPCC Gives Thanks for Climate Change, the Non-Story That Keeps on Giving, says NCPA Expert


DALLAS (November 16, 2007) - The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is meeting this week to negotiate another summary of its already released report on climate change.  The summary will not offer any new science or evidence of human-caused climate change, but will offer the body's politicians and activists a fresh chance to keep the issue in the news, according to H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

"When the U.N released its report earlier this year, their prediction for future warming was reduced and the impact was less severe and more distant than they had previously reported," said Burnett.  "Nothing has changed between now and then."

Burnett notes that the report estimated the Earth's surface temperature will probably rise between 3.24 and 7.24 F by the turn of the century, according to their "best estimate."  This is a reduction from the last report in 2001 which predicted an increase range of 2.52 to 10.4 F.  In addition, this year's report estimated sea levels will rise by as much as 17 inches, significantly lower than the possible 35 inches predicted in 2001.

In addition, while many have focused on the reports increased certainty that human activity is causing warming, Burnett notes that the U.N. cut in half the amount of warming scientists are attributing to human action.  Most importantly, even if the IPCC report is correct that humans are responsible for the current estimated warming, the report suggests that the Earth will continue to warm regardless of likely efforts to slow greenhouse gas emissions.

"Contrary to what some are saying, data from the U.N report released earlier this year does not show that we have reached a tipping point or that disaster is in the offing," said Burnett.  "There is nothing that is realistically expected to occur due to future warming that we have not already experienced and adapted to in the past and that should be our direction in the future."

Burnett also noted that there is no plan on the table that will prevent future warming.  Further, developing countries like China and India are steadfastly rejecting binding emission reductions in the pursuit of bringing their teaming masses out of poverty.  "Adaptation is truly our only option," he concluded.