Posts Tagged ‘AR6’

IPCC Assessment Report 6: The spin begins

August 9, 2021

So Assessment Report 6 (AR6) has been published. It represents the scientific consensus that should form the basis for the Glasgow meeting of the COP in November.

But an even shorter summary was published by Gavin Schmidt, a Brit who heads NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and who was recently appointed a presidential advisor on Climate Change.

  • It’s real,
  • It’s us,
  • Experts agree,
  • It’s bad,
  • But there is still time to do something about it.
  • Our climate future is, ultimately, up to us to decide

AR6 is a triumph. It is the culmination of a massive scientific effort that has produced a deluge of irrefutable evidence that has extinguished the acrid fires set by Climate Change deniers.

But these ex-deniers have not gone away. They have conveniently forgotten that all their years of confuscation have been shown to be not genuine scepticism, but malicious nonsense and simply wrong.

And now they are now trying to stop action on climate change by any other means. These include:

  • Ad hominem attacks on the people involved in Climate Research and Climate Activism.
  • Arguments that acting against climate change would cost too much and be unfair on the poorest in society.
  • Or that it is not the UK’s problem – but a problem for the USA or China, or India.
  • Suggesting spurious technical alternatives – such as ‘hydrogen boilers’.

I urge you to beware of people adopting these arguments because delay in acting increases the costs of action and the final extent of the damage caused.

Conveniently, today’s Daily Mail coverage of AR6 shows these failed denialists in action

The Daily Mail covers the IPCC report with 3 pieces which exemplify their agenda to stymie meaningful action.

Daily Mail#1

The first piece is straight news of AR6 with comments. It’s alarming reading because what is happening is alarming!

But at the end there is a Daily Mail political context piece which is designed to make it seem like a strong response may be – unfortunately – unaffordable because of compassion for the poorest in society.

Click for a larger version

Daily Mail#2

The second piece is a series of frankly bizarre ad hominem attacks by Dominic Lawson. The key points are that:

  • Chris Packham is a hypocrite.
  • The BBC is “a pulpit for eco-fanatics and their doomsday climate cult“.
  • Alok Sharma (President of the COP26) is a hypocrite for travelling to countries for face-to-face negotiations.
  • There then follows a deranged fantasy in which he attacks church leaders and Greta Thunberg for trying to stop global climate change.
  • He then brings in the ‘It’s China not us’ argument for good measure.

In short he suggests these people are all nutty doom-mongers who should not to be trusted.

In contrast, his exemplar of a responsible citizen is Ian Botham, photographed while hunting, shotgun in hand.

Nowhere does he acknowledge the reality of the science in the AR6 and nowhere does he propose any alternative course of action. In this he seems to be morally retarded – acknowledging no responsibility for the emissions this country has made – massive on a historical per capita basis – which are warming the planet for the very poorest and most desperate people.

Daily Mail#3

The third piece reports on infighting within the Conservative Party. The piece first outlines the party’s glorious achievements and grand commitments, but then highlights the views of Tory rebels and adds irrelevant confuscation around the use of hydrogen for heating.

  • “Kent MP Craig Mackinlay has launched a group to to push back at plans to outlaw sales of new petrol and diesel cars and replace gas boilers within the next 20 years: ‘We don’t want to be on the wrong side of the electorate, that just will not wear this.'”
  • “Senior Tories fear the crisis could prove politically ruinous in so-called Red Wall seats
  • “According to the Sunday Telegraph, [there are] fears that working class families will bear the heaviest share of the burden. Last month experts advising the Government on infrastructure warned Britain’s families face paying hundreds of pounds more a year on food, flying and shipping costs to help industries remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
  • “If hydrogen is part of a zero-carbon future….

This kind of discussion frames the problem which faces us in solely political terms – with no acknowledgement of the need for action. It brings up appalling ideas like hydrogen boilers in order to distract people from the undeniable need for action.


AR6 is a great achievement – a stepping stone on a path to a possible sustainable future.

But as I mentioned just last week in discussing COP in the context of the collapse of Arctic Sea Ice, the previous five assessment reports and the previous 25 COPs have not been followed by any noticeable decline in carbon dioxide emissions. In fact the rate at which carbon dioxide is being emitted has increased decade on decade.

Click for  larger version. The graph shows the Mauna Loa record of atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1959 in black. The dotted lines are extrapolations of the trend from each decade, the 1960s, 1970s etc. Also shown are the dates of COP meetings – the Conference of Parties to the UN framework convention on climate change and the dates of the scientific assessment reports AR1to AR6.

We have reason for hope – but despair is still an understandable option.

%d bloggers like this: