IPCC AR6 SYN goes woo?

stop The just released IPCC AR6 synthesis report seems a bit woo to me; the woke folk have got carried away. I don't think that's a good idea6.

I was going to whinge about António Guterres saying dumb IPCC-related things but I discover that he is indeed just a pol so I think I'll have to learn to ignore him2.

Science of Doom has been looking at the AR6 WG1 report and isn't quite happy3; but I want to look at the synthesis report. And life being short, I'll only read the so-called Summary for Policymakers. Some of it is perfectly unexceptionable4: for example, Human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming, with global surface temperature reaching 1.1°C above 1850–1900 in 2011–2020. But then it veers off into "unequal historical and ongoing contributions". This is undoubtedly true, but being the bleedin' fuckin' obvious, doesn't belong here. Later on, we are astonished to discover that poor people emit less CO2 than rich people5.

We also have "Vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to current climate change are disproportionately affected" which is true, but dull. Being poor makes you vulnerable; part of being rich is not being vulnerable; this is what being rich is all about. It would be nice to see the report endorsing the obvious solution: people become richer. But that piece of the bleedin' obvious is beyond them7.

Not something I'm going to rant about, but something I'm dubious about: Climate change has caused substantial damages, and increasingly irreversible losses, in terrestrial, freshwater, cryospheric, and coastal and open ocean ecosystems. My suspicion is that far far more ecosystem damage is at present done by overfishing, deforestation, farming and the like than is done by GW.

I read that "Increasing weather and climate extreme events have exposed millions of people to acute food insecurity and reduced water security". How many is millions? Let us imagine, seven millions: had they meant tens of millions, they would have said so. So that's 0.1% of the world population: a pretty good result, I think you'll agree. 99.9% have not been exposed climatically to food insecurity. Of course there is no space to say that crap government has exposed rather more to insecurity and worse.

Anyway, meh, it confirms my impression that WG1 is the best part of the IPCC. If you'd like to read someone being nice about Syn instead, big G retwat ZH pointing to CarbonBrief.

We also have "From a physical science perspective, limiting human-caused global warming to a specific level requires...". I think I've said before that I don't like the "a specific level"; I realise that the report is constrained by their policy, but I'd prefer to have them admit that as an explicit constraint: we would have discussed other stuff, but they won't let us. But I'm not surprised they don't get to say that.



* The 1619 Project on Hulu Vindicates Capitalism

Carbon budgets and carbon taxes

* Conservatives Win All the Time: Understanding one of the founding myths of the New Right

* "Climate change is a bit like a policy inkblot on which people map their hopes and values associated with their vision for what a better world would look like... it should not be a surprise that scientific information cannot lead to political consensus" - RP Jr.

* Book Review: Anaximander By Carlo Rovelli; CIP.

Yellen: Sanctions Kill Iranians and Don't Work So Let's Impose More

* But Judith Curry goes too far, IMO.

Prosecuting Donald Trump over Stormy Daniels looks like a mistake. Ref: Orange Man Bad. The problem is that if the crime is trying to overthrow an election, then prosecuting him for mislabelling expenses is wrong. The Rule of Law and the Proliferation of Laws by Pierre Lemieux sounds like it is arguing the reverse, but probably isn't: Trump is certainly wrong to feel some wealth-and-importance-given right not to be arrested,; PL counters with "The danger for the rule of law comes from the proliferation of legal obligations and bans" which is about right: the problem is that Joe Public would get a fine for what Trump is accused of, as many have pointed out; the contorted elevation to a felony is perhaps legally possible but doesn't look like equal justice. Why do Democrats keep helping Trump? continues the Economist, including the regrettable-because-plausible they do want to help him, cos they think he is the most beatable.

* The IPCC Report on the Impacts of Climate Change is Depressing: But not for the reasons you might think; Richard Betts isn't interested in responding... no I'm wrong; he's just a bit slow; see here.

* From the same author: Human Deaths from Hot and Cold Temperatures and Implications for Climate Change.


1. Image in honour of Tom's fine comment.

2. Increasingly I write my posts in arrears, instead of with the white heat of anger burning inside me, which makes this easier. Or you may prefer RP Jr's take.

3. You might prefer RP Jr's take. Although notice that he says "WG1 on extremes was particularly good". More from him: Misinformation in the IPCC.

4. Well, nearly. What are we to make of "unequivocally"? It would be natural to expect this to be part of the "IPCC calibrated language" but it isn't; so it would be better to simply omit the word and say "caused", without qualification. To be fair, WG1 does the same.

5. I scorn, but it is possible to imagine, just as today rich people are on the whole thinner than poor people, a day in which the rich thanks to their rooftop solar and electric cars, emit less than the poor. But we're not there yet.

6. See-also Political endorsement by Nature and trust in scientific expertise during COVID-19.

7. Instead, we discover that maladaption can be cured by long-term planning, which seems unlikely.


Tom said...

I was thinking of reactivating one of my blogs--either The Lukewarmer's Way or 3000 Quads. I looked around the climate metaverse, from government publications like the SMP you're writing about here to the small remaining coterie of climate blogs to the daily news pile of climate stories. And I realized that nothing has changed since I abandoned blogging in 2015. Really.

Tom said...

I had fun blogging about the Green New Deal. But people quit talking about it as soon as Biden got elected. It literally disappeared.

I don't know how you keep doing it, WMC. But please keep doing it.

William M. Connolley said...

How kind. I'll keep going a while yet.