IPCC Chap.1: Verse 1: Commentary
This was going to be a comment on Jaime’s excellent article
but it got out of hand.
Here are some quotes from the Executive Summary of Chapter 1 of the report, with comments:
Depending on the temperature dataset considered, 20-40% of the global human population live in regions that, by the decade 2006-2015, had already experienced warming of more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial in at least one season (medium confidence)
So 20-40% of the global human population have already experienced warming of the kind which it is imperative to prevent spreading to the other 60-80%. What do they think about it? Has anyone asked them? That’s one and a half to three billion people. Would they like more expensive windmills and less cheap coal-fired power stations? Or would they prefer scarce resources to be spent on something else, like health or education? Who knows?
Ethical considerations, and the principle of equity in particular, are central to this report, recognising that many of the impacts of warming up to and beyond 1.5°C, and some potential impacts of mitigation actions required to limit warming to 1.5°C, fall disproportionately on the poor and vulnerable (high confidence). Equity has procedural and distributive dimensions and requires fairness in burden sharing, between generations, and between and within nations.
“..recognising that many of the impacts of warming up to and beyond 1.5°C … fall disproportionately on the poor and vulnerable..” presumably includes recognising that the impacts include positive ones, such as better crop yields, which presumably also “fall disproportionately”on those who till the earth, who tend also to be “the poor and vulnerable.”
This report focuses on ‘climate-resilient development pathways’ , which aim to meet the goals of sustainable development, including climate adaptation and mitigation, poverty eradication and reducing inequalities. But any feasible pathway that remains within 1.5°C involves synergies and trade-offs (high confidence). Significant uncertainty remains as to which pathways are more consistent with the principle of equity.
The “goals of sustainable development” are stated to include “climate adaptation and mitigation, poverty eradication and reducing inequalities.”
According to Wikipaedia:
Sustainable development is the organizing principle for meeting human development goals while at the same time sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend. The desired result is a state of society where living conditions and resource use continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural system. Sustainable development can be classified as development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations… the modern concept of sustainable development is derived mostly from the 1987 Brundtland Report..
Though climate resilience (or mitigation) may reasonably be considered as coming within the Wiki definition of “sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend,” there is nothing there about climate adaptation, poverty eradication and reducing inequalities. If existing inequalities were found to further the goal of sustainable development, e.g. by allowing billionaires like George Soros and Bill Gates to spend huge sums on it, then it follows from the Wiki definition that reducing inequalities would not be a goal of sustainable development. The IPCC is free to state its findings on the science, but not to define the meaning of goals to attain sustainable development.
Similarly, there is nothing in the IPCCs mandate that states that they must obey some undefined “principle of equity.” If Richard Branson wants to make millions trading carbon credits and rebranding himself as a friend of the Bolivian peasant, that’s his business. If he makes millions doing so and the Bolivian peasant gets shafted, that’s no business of the IPCC.
There is no single answer to the question of whether it is feasible to limit warming to 1.5°C and adapt to the consequences. Feasibility is considered in this report as the capacity of a system as a whole to achieve a specific outcome. The global transformation that would be needed to limit warming to 1.5°C requires enabling conditions that reflect the links, synergies and trade-offs between mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development. These enabling conditions have many systemic dimensions—geophysical, environmental-ecological, technological, economic, socio-cultural and institutional—that may be considered through the unifying lens of the Anthropocene, acknowledging profound, differential but increasingly geologically significant human influences on the Earth system as a whole. This framing also emphasises the global interconnectivity of past, present and future human–environment relations, highlighing [sic] the need and opportunities for integrated responses to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Read the above, ye mighty and despair. Have ye waded through such a cesspit of gobshite since the last IPCC report? Temperatures have been rising by between 0.1°C and 0.2°C per decade since records began, give or take a few hundredths of a degree. And when records began carbon emissions were a thousandth or a hundredth or a somethingth of what they are now.
Take the sentence:
“The global transformation that would be needed to limit warming to 1.5°C requires enabling conditions that reflect the links, synergies and trade-offs between mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development.”
shite nonsense that any editor of any serious newspaper would return to his environmental correspondent with a note scrawled over it: “This is shite nonsense.”
Mitigation and adaptation are not policies aimed at the same “global transformation” with “links, synergies and trade-offs.” Mitigation is spending trillions on windmills and suntraps in the vain hope of keeping civilisation going with electricity when the sun shines and the wind blows where you are. Adaptation is saying “Bollocks to mitigation. We want air conditioning here when it’s very hot. And if it doesn’t work, because the electricity supply isn’t working where it’s needed, like in Baghdad or Damascus or Tripoli, we want to know why.”
And lo and behold, the same countries that are likely to suffer the most from failure to adapt are those whose capacity for adaptation has been bombed to hell by the very same countries which are demanding that they switch to mitigation, by ceasing to export the fossil fuels which are their principle source of income.
These enabling conditions have many systemic dimensions—geophysical, environmental-ecological, technological, economic, socio-cultural and institutional—that may be considered through the unifying lens of the Anthropocene, acknowledging profound, differential but increasingly geologically significant human influences on the Earth system as a whole.
“..many systemic dimensions—geophysical, environmental-ecological, technological, economic, socio-cultural and institutional..” But also ecolo-sociological, psycho-environmental, techno-pataphysical, and arso-metaversical. Because through the unifying lens of the Anthropocene anything is possible. Because the Anthropocene has no scientific existence, any more than the Cliscepocene. And through the unifying lens of the Cliscepocene, the authors, of this report, or at least of the executive summary of the first chapter of this report, are revealed to be nematodes with a total number of neurons in the low hundreds.
Here endeth the lesson on the executive summary of the first chapter of IPCC/SR15. There are four further chapters, plus a glossary and “Changes to the Underlying Scientific-Technical Assessment to ensure consistency with the approved Summary for Policymakers.“
Gaia help us all.
20-40%, impacted by the clinate apocalypse.
So let’s see how the apocalypse is unfolding:
Life expectancy up.
Infant mortality down.
Crop yields up.
Deaths from weather disasters down.
Prosperity up worldwide.
Women’s rights increasing.
Child labor decreasing.
Sounds like the climate apocalypse is pretty cool.
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And of course there is the implicit anti-nuclear undertone in the report, by not even mentioning it.
Geoff, thank you.
You have very succinctly explained my gut-feeling about all of this. In a nutshell, you explain why it’s possible to be on the left of politics and oppose all this nonsense. More than that, you succinctly explain why those of us on the left SHOULD oppose this nonsense, which damages much that lefties should be concerned about.
See also the excellent piece on here the other day about Ken Livingstone.
“Read the above, ye mighty and despair.”
Well, I make no claims to being mighty, but I do despair. Large parts of the world have gone mad.
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Through the unifying lens of a common sense of proportionality, clear-headedness and rationality, I estimate that >90% of Clisceppian authors and readers perceive 60-80% of SR15 Chapter 1 to be unintelligible, meaningless corporate speak, rendered even less intelligible by the liberal augmentation of eco-psycho-social-techno babble.
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There is no single answer to the question of whether it is feasible to limit warming to 1.5°C
How about: tripe? We never had or will have a human-controlled climate.
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I calculate the return flights of all participants to S.Korea produced about 10,000 tonnes of CO2. The report itself though has generated potentially far more dangerous quantities of hot air.
That chapter 1 really is weird. This is supposed to be a serious scientific report, but its first chapter is full of sociology-speak and virtue-signalling waffle.
Starting with the title, which uses the sociology word “Framing”.
It drifts off into issues like “sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty” even in its first sentence. Then we have
“Equity has procedural and distributive dimensions…”
“Scenarios and pathways are used to explore conditions enabling goal-oriented futures while
recognizing the significance of ethical considerations, the principle of equity, and the societal
“This framing also emphasises the global interconnectivity of past, present and future human–environment relations,…”
As you say, most of this vacuous verbiage is not in the remit of the IPCC.
And all this stuff and what you’ve quoted is just from the “Executive Summary”.
I searched through the rest of it and discovered that the word “sustainable” occurs 106 times. Can that be sustainable?
Some light is shed on what is going on here by this article at WUWT, which looks a little closer into the authors, misleadingly described by the BBC as the world’s top scientists.
It turns out that two of the three lead authors of this chapter are editors of the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.
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Talking of anti-nuclear undertones, I’m surprised to find that every chapter in the report cites Benjamin Sovacool. About 20 cites in all, eight different studies. I thought climate scientists had written him off years ago as an incompetent and/or mendacious crank.
“Depending on the temperature dataset considered, 20-40% of the global human population live in regions that, by the decade 2006-2015, had already experienced warming of more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial in at least one season (medium confidence)”
I may be missing something vital here, but how can one only have ‘medium confidence’ regarding something that is already a matter of record, and yet have ‘high confidence’ when predicting the behaviour of a chaotic, open, driven system decades into the future. I didn’t think this is how confidence was supposed to work.
As for the excess of “unintelligible, meaningless corporate speak” and , “sociology-speak and virtue-signalling waffle”, what can you expect when the argument has already been won? Once you know that you are no longer required to engage in a cogent argument, you will try it on with any old crap.
IPCC conferences are definitely not ‘sustainable’. So people who attend them and wag the finger about sustainability must be classed as grade 1 hypocrites.
Paul Matthews: mebbe not the language that would be used if an asteroid was going to hit Earth in 2050. I would expect a rather more dry approach in that scenario.
@paul – never fear the BBC reality-check site
will report on this soon & explain why they are the world’s top scientists