By David Wojick
November 21, 2021 - The radical alarmists proposed a fistful of bad stuff during COP 26. A lot was in the surprise COP President’s proposed decision document on the last Wednesday, with just three days to go. See my https://www.cfact.org/2021/11/12/cop-26-with-bidens-help-the-cop-goes-wild/. Other ridiculous stuff was proposed by various country groups.
None of it make it whole into the final decision. Most just disappeared and what was left was rendered harmless.
Among the crazy proposals that happily went missing in action:
1. Halving emissions by 2030. Developing countries rightly called this carbon colonialism.
2. Developed countries paying reparations for developing countries’ bad weather losses and damages.
3. Aid payments to developing countries of $1.3 trillion a year beginning in 2025. This is up from the already promised $100 billion a year beginning 2020, which gas yet to appear.
4. Net zero emissions by mid century.
5. A tax on the sale of emission indulgences, the proceeds to go to (no surprise) developing countries.
Most of the issues are about transferring much more money from developed to developing countries. Some say this is the UN’s main mission.
Among the stupid stuff rendered harmless:
A. Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees as the sole Paris Accord target. This was weakened to keeping it as the low end of the aspiration range, where it has always been.
B. Phasing out coal use by a date certain. This nonsense was changed to phasing it down at some undefined point, with support for the adversely affected coal industry.
What did survive was that National Plans will be updated again next year instead of waiting until 2025. All this really does is get already made promises into the official record, so who cares? All the stupid stuff will probably get proposed again, but it will be much easier to shoot down a second time.
They also managed to get the rules passed to set up the global market in emission indulgences. This was supposed to be the primary point of COP 26, before it went crazy.
Of course the alarmists decried every wacky proposal that went away or was gutted. So did the liberal mainstream (as it is wrongly called) press, but now they seem to be defending the result as real progress. It does not do to admit failure, which this debacle surely was for alarmism.
One particular about face is pretty funny. I earlier reported on the new International Energy Agency study that said if all the present promises were keep it would limit warming to just 1.8 degrees, which meets the Paris target. See my https://www.cfact.org/2021/11/11/cop-26-planet-saved-now-what/.
During the COP this IEA result was ignored in favor of studies that failed to include these promises, so as to get a forecast well over the Paris top target of 2 degrees, typically 2.4 degrees. This was to keep the pressure on. Now I am suddenly seeing the 1.8 degrees figure quoted, as part of the claim that COP 26 was really okay.
Mind you these forecasts are all nonsense, especially given the wide range of estimates of temperature sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 levels. Even the IPCC posits a three degree range of uncertainty, while the scientific literature shows a range over four degrees. Either way it is clearly impossible to specify the future temperature to a tenth of a degree, by the alarmists’ own account. Yet there it is.
I note with amusement that the alarmists are now officially alarmed, so I got that right. The decision document says that COP “Expresses alarm and utmost concern that human activities have caused around 1.1 °C of warming to date, that impacts are already being felt in every region, and that carbon budgets consistent with achieving the Paris Agreement temperature goal are now small and being rapidly depleted”.
None of these alarming claims is known to be true. They are just the IPCC’s biased interpretation of the science, plus a budget that is unknowable according to the IPCC itself. The supposed budget, if it even exists, would depend on the theoretical carbon sensitivity and the degree to which that sensitivity gets expressed in reality.
That anything much happens next year at COP 27, in Egypt, remains to be seen. At least it won’t be as cold as Glasgow has been for COP 26.
It is hard to sell the “last, best chance to save the world” two years in a row. Then too we are about to see a winter with terrible energy prices. If the a Republicans win a house or two in Congress just before COP 27, which seems likely, Biden will be powerless.
Unfortunately, climate alarmism seems to be inexhaustible, so get ready for another year of silly hype. It will just show how much of a failure COP 26 really was.
A delightful failure to be sure. Let’s do it again!
David Wojick is a former consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science.