Batten down the hatches—yet another environmental propaganda tsunami is about to hit! This time the wave originates with the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “Synthesis Report” which is due to be published shortly.
The UN tells us that the purpose of the report is to “synthesize and integrate materials contained within the [2001 and 2002] assessment reports and special reports” and that it will be “written in a non-technical style for policy makers.” That will leave mainstream media free to exaggerate the report’s conclusions, connecting every extreme weather event of the past year with human-induced climate change.
To inoculate ourselves against the sensationalism the legacy press will soon heap upon us, let’s review what they told us in 2022 about the supposed climate connection with some of the most important extreme weather events of the year.
Between June and October, 1,700 deaths were caused by heavy flooding during the monsoon season in Pakistan. The Washington Post asserted “that scientists say [the flood] was supercharged by climate change.” The BBC reported that “global warming is likely to have played a role in the devastating floods that hit Pakistan, say scientists.”
While the season was the wettest since 1961, conditions were within the expected range of natural variability. Regardless, average peak monsoonal rainfall has declined since the 1950s. In 2015 climate scientists claimed that “our analysis found that the summer monsoon rainfall is decreasing over central South Asia – from south of Pakistan through central India to Bangladesh.”
One of the real causes of the flooding in Pakistan is rapid deforestation since the 1990s, leaving only about five percent of the country now covered by forests. This is important since trees absorb rainfall through their roots and then release it from their leaves into the atmosphere via transpiration. Shrinking forest cover lessens the landscape’s capacity to intercept water and transpire it back into the air, increasing the amount of water that goes to run off, potentially causing floods. Making matters worse, deforestation reduces soil cohesion so that erosion and landslides may follow. Rather than blame climate change for their flooding woes, they should plant more trees.
The Post also struck out on Hurricane Ian, reporting, “Ian was the latest storm to undergo ‘rapid intensification,’ which scientists say is occurring more often because of human-caused climate change.”
But then why is it that this season had less storm activity than predicted? Even the U.S. government’s National Atmosphere and Ocean Administration (NOAA) admitted that hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin is within natural variability. They explained, “there is not strong evidence for an increase since the late 1800s in hurricanes, major hurricanes, or the proportion of hurricanes that reach major hurricane intensity.”
Next, the BBC, headlined their August 23rd story “Europe’s drought the worst in 500 years – report,” the implication being that droughts are worsening on the continent due to climate change. But the IPCC disagree. In their latest assessment reports, they write:
“in areas of Western and Central Europe and Northern Europe, there is no evidence of changes in the severity of hydrological droughts [prolonged periods of below normal precipitation] since 1950.”
Various scientific papers find the same. In “Long-term variability and trends in meteorological droughts in Western Europe (1851–2018),” Vincente-Serrano [Spanish National Research Council] and his co-authors concluded in 2020, “Our study stresses that from the long-term (1851–2018) perspective there are no generally consistent trends in droughts across Western Europe.”
And “Drought Characteristics Assessment in Europe over the Past 50 Years,” the 2020 paper by Panagiotis D. Oikonomou (University of Vermont), and co-authors, found, “no particular tendencies for more or less frequent droughts in the two major geographical domains of Europe are present.”
So, yes, the 2022 drought in Europe was bad but there is no worsening trend and even the IPCC suggests that it may be many decades before we are able to we know their causes. Regardless, what caused the megadrought of 1540, long before modern industry began?
The drumbeat of climate propaganda continued throughout 2022:
- The New York Times called China’s drought the most extreme since records began in 1865, conveniently ignoring the late Ming Dynasty Megadrought (1637–1643) that was their severest drought in the last millennium.
- Concerning the famine in Somalia, The Conversation reported, “Climate change underpins this continued lack of rainfall,” neglecting to mention that Ethiopia and Kenya were also affected by drought but were able to increase crop production because, unlike Somalia, they had political stability.
- Concerning 2022’s Yellowstone River Flooding, the New York Times reported, “… scientists are raising the alarm that in the coming years destruction related to climate change will reach nearly all 423 national parks.” Might an above-average snowpack that thawed just as major rains arrived have more bearing on the flood?
- Scientists blamed historically low water levels in Lake Mead (NV) on climate change, the Wall Street Journal reported. But climatologist Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, explained that the natural flows of the Colorado River into the lake show no long-term trend since 1930. Since about 2000 use of Lake Mead water has exceeded river inflow. So, of course, the level has dropped.
Gallup reported in October that:
“28% of U.S. adults say they do not have very much confidence and 38% have none at all in newspapers, TV and radio. Notably, this is the first time that the percentage of Americans with no trust at all in the media is higher than the percentage with a great deal or a fair amount combined.”
Let’s hope this means that the public will simply ignore the coming climate change media blitz.
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