The Warmist scare -- the officially-backed theory that the earth's temperature was spiraling upward and would soon fry the planet -- is receding, if leaks from the forthcoming (September 27) "fifth assessment report" of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) are accurate. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Matt Ridley explains that the computer modelers are retreating from some of the doom-mongering they have been responsible for:
There have already been leaks from this 31-page document, which summarizes 1,914 pages of scientific discussion, but thanks to a senior climate scientist, I have had a glimpse of the key prediction at the heart of the document. The big news is that, for the first time since these reports started coming out in 1990, the new one dials back the alarm. It states that the temperature rise we can expect as a result of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide is lower than the IPPC thought in 2007.
Admittedly, the change is small, and because of changing definitions, it is not easy to compare the two reports, but retreat it is. It is significant because it points to the very real possibility that, over the next several generations, the overall effect of climate change will be positive for humankind and the planet. (emphasis added)
The evidence is forcing the computer modelers to realize that the "sensitivity" to CO2 levels has been overestimated. So, even if CO2 does raise temperatures, the rise is likely to be less than the warmists hyped it to be. And that could lead to beneficial warming:
Warming of up to 1.2 degrees Celsius over the next 70 years (0.8 degrees have already occurred), most of which is predicted to happen in cold areas in winter and at night, would extend the range of farming further north, improve crop yields, slightly increase rainfall (especially in arid areas), enhance forest growth and cut winter deaths (which far exceed summer deaths in most places). Increased carbon dioxide levels also have caused and will continue to cause an increase in the growth rates of crops and the greening of the Earth-because plants grow faster and need less water when carbon dioxide concentrations are higher. (emphasis added)
Ridley notes that this retreat from doomsaying doesn't even incorporate the latest data, which raise even more questions:
Yet these latest IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity may still be too high. They don't adequately reflect the latest rash of published papers estimating "equilibrium climate sensitivity" and "transient climate response" on the basis of observations, most of which are pointing to an even milder warming.
The costs of hysterical warmism have been huge. Ask the people in developing countries where the price of corn and other grains has soared because Americans are being forced to buy ethanol-based fuels at the gasoline pump. People in Haiti and Africa are not getting enough to eat because grain prices have soared. The slow economic growth of our economy is aggravated by regulations that CO2 -- essential to life - as a pollutant.
Warmism is the biggest scientific scam in history. Even at the summit of warmism, the IPCC, the handwriting is on the wall. We have experienced peak Warmism, and now we can start junking the costly policies that were based on half-baked computer models.