OPINION: Requiem for a Climate Dream – by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. (Wall Street Journal – December 3, 2019)

https://www.wsj.com/

If the world isn’t slashing CO2, blame overreaction to the Fukushima disaster.

Rigor could be restored to mainstream climate journalism with a single clause. That clause consists of the words “if climate models are accurate.” A United Nations study issued in advance of this week’s climate summit in Madrid would appear in a different light, though still worrisome, and still a challenge to policy makers, if it were reported as saying:

To avoid any chance of a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius, annual emissions cuts of 7.6% must begin next year if computerized climate simulations are correct.

Such simulations, we should admit, are science. Their findings represent a legitimate pursuit of knowledge. The common failing in the media involves leaving out the necessary caveats. Such carelessness has ultimately enabled a new kind of science denial on the left, where advocates like Greta Thunberg and the U.K. group Extinction Rebellion increasingly talk about climate change leading to a human demise that is nowhere supported in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or other scientific bodies.

In my view, Al Gore bears heavy responsibility here. Name any important policy commitment in history—whether Social Security or Medicare or even fighting World War II—that required that all debate be silenced and all skeptics vilified before it could proceed. The Gore formula is good for stoking tribalism.

It’s not good for making policy progress in a democracy. And so it has proved. Nobody remotely believes the supposedly necessary emissions cuts will take place. The only response left to the climate crowd is to ratchet up even more dire predictions.

For the rest of this column: https://www.wsj.com/articles/requiem-for-a-climate-dream-11575417278

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