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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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Politics has Doomed the Climate Change Debate

It’s about the time for the next UN expert climate report to be published, but the leaked excerpts are already causing the usual flurry of predictable, polarized political ranting that accompanies any scientific discussion of our climate.

Let’s look at the leaked excerpts from the 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) put together by the world’s top climate scientists—whose last climate report came out in 2007--and then we’ll get into the politics, which has hijacked this “debate”.

The overriding message of the report is the most politically polarizing: There is a 95% chance that humanity is the key cause of global warming. (Up from a 90% chance in the group’s 2007 report).

Related article: Why the CIA Is Worried About Geoengineering

Other key findings include:

•    Emissions at or above current rates would induce changes in all components in the climate system, some of which would very likely be unprecedented in hundreds of thousands of years.
•    Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of the fossil fuels that power the world are the main cause of global warming.
•    “Changes are projected to occur in all regions of the world, with a significant impact on sea levels, ice and snow and acidification. There is stronger evidence that the rate of sea level rise has increased during the past two centuries, and ice sheets and glaciers are losing mass, while sea ice cover in the Arctic is decreasing. Global sea level will rise during the 21st century, potentially by over three feet. It is very likely that the Arctic sea ice cover will continue to shrink and thin.
•    Many of these changes will persist for centuries.
•    Each of the past three decades has been warmer than ALL preceding decades since 1850.
•    It is extremely likely that human influence on climate was responsible for more than 50% of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951-2010.
•    On the plus side, if atmospheric CO2 levels double, we could see warming of 2.7 degrees, rather than the earlier predicted 3.6 degrees.

Related article: What to Expect in the Warsaw Climate Change Talks

What climate change naysayers will latch on to most religiously is the seemingly less than scientific statement of the 95% likelihood that we are responsible for global warming. But we haven’t seen the full report yet, which is due out in September, so it’s too early to latch on to one-off statements without seeing the entire explanation behind this.

What we can expect with this report is more of the same: a polarized political battle that will forever render what could and should be an important issue an irrelevant circus that has taken on religious proportions.

Politics has doomed the climate change debate—and both sides of the polar divide share equal responsibility for this.

For the wider pubic, the science is simply too scary. If it’s accurate, it threatens lifestyles we’ve grown much too accustomed to—not to mention corporate profits linked to these lifestyles--and makes our future a gloomy on of Hollywood disaster material.  The politics is much easier for people to consume and digest, much like religion.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Lynden on August 23 2013 said:
    "and both sides of the polar divide share equal responsibility for this."

    How can this be so. One set of people are following the science. The other set of people are denying what our scientists are telling us.

    "irrelevant circus that has taken on religious proportions"
    But we were promised no more (Biblical proportion) floods according to some federal lege's in this debate where both sides share equal blame for the circus atmosphere.
  • Drew on August 23 2013 said:
    "For the wider pubic, the science is simply too scary. If it’s accurate,"

    that is it, IF accurate, we just do not believe it is, and there is enough science that counters the models proposed and propagandized by those whom refuse the debate and insist on their view only. Many of of feel that like the coming ice age of the 70s, the fear of acid rain, the fear of air pollution suffocating us all in the 60-70s, the 5-10 degree predicted raise in temps by 2000, islands gone by 2000, the lack of record heat for 11 years, sun spots. oh and record sea ice in the Arctic for July.It is much to do about nothing. Everything is a crisis with the political class. The debate among the masses is over. And as soon as we can, we will cut off your damn funding for these stupid studies.
  • onlymho on August 24 2013 said:
    CFCs (ozone depletion cosmic radiation) have a higher correlation since 1970 to global temps than CO2 according to recent peer reviewed study - search redOrbit site for CFC to read entire article(s)
  • Bouletheou on August 24 2013 said:
    I am moderately supportive of the moves towards ourselves off fossil fuels,so long as it does not kill an already weakened economy. I am also open to the possibility of anthropogenic global warming.

    However, pro APGW forces have often conducted themselves somewhat like the Roman Catholic Church did during the days of the Inquisition, and the McCarthyites did in the 1950's. they will punish questioning or dissent because the issues involved are Too Important for you little people to be involved. Skepticism and questions must not be allowed beyond a certain point.

    In the meantime, fantastic amounts of money stand to be made and lots of political and social power stand to be gained if pro reform groups push through their agenda. Wisdom dictates that we ask "cui bono?" Who benefits?
  • Harmbug on August 25 2013 said:
    The science is far more complex than the current inbred crop of climatologists are willing to admit. Clear the board and start with a fresh group with a broader scientific outlook. And get rid of the failed mess of GIGO monstrosities while you're at it.

    The only reason the catastrophic monopolistic eco-fascists still have a soapbox is due to their political backers. Without the politics, what you think of as "the science" (in reality pseudo-science) would have been rejected long ago.

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