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Alarmism / Skepticism

Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Sep 1, 2020 at 3:00 AM
Climate Change

A recent study raised issues regarding climate alarmism and climate skepticism and disinformation. The following statement from the study is the subject of this commentary.

"... the amount of literature examining climate change alarmism is negligible compared to that examining climate change skepticism ..." Suggesting it is significantly less prevalent.

Climate alarmism is the primary product of government funded climate change research. Therefore, climate alarmism is far more prevalent than climate skepticism. However, because it is reported as the results of government funded research in the US and globally, it is not typically reported or perceived as being alarmism.

Any research project which evaluates potential future climate scenarios based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP 8.5) is alarmist, as RCP 8.5 is built on totally unrealistic atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Its use results in projections of extreme temperature increases, increased and worsened droughts and flooding, increased extreme tropical cyclones, increased frequency and intensity of tornadoes, dramatically rising sea levels, island and coastal submersion, species extinction, massive refugee movements and increased mortality.

Research funding agencies and the researchers they fund do not view their efforts as alarmism, but merely as advancing the science. They certainly do not discuss their results as alarmist, though they are intended to alarm the public and stimulate climate action. However, the research funding agencies and the researchers they fund do classify any research which does not agree with their work and anyone who questions their work as skeptical or denialist.

The agencies which prepare the National Climate Assessment do not view presenting  graphs with truncated timeframes as alarmist, though the reason for the truncation is to begin the graph at the point in the historical record which emphasizes or maximizes the apparent change in the reported phenomenon, which is then attributed to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Several examples of this truncation are explained by Tony Heller here. The agencies which prepare the National Climate Assessment were quick to label Heller’s analysis as skepticism. Clearly, in this case, Heller’s skepticism is amply justified.

The scientists who review climate research for inclusion in the IPCC Assessment Reports do not consider their actions in excluding skeptical research from the reports as alarmist, though their intent is to exclude research which suggests less reason for climate alarm. The narrative regarding the need for alarm regarding climate has been established and will be defended from new research results which do not support the narrative.

The scientists who “adjust” global near-surface temperature records to make it appear that the globe is warming more rapidly than it is do not consider their “adjustments” alarmist. They are just protecting the established narrative.

The politicians who warn of impending doom and the need for precipitous action to avoid it apparently do not view their activities as alarmism either, though they are quick to attack those skeptical scientists who accuse them of alarmism.

The suggestion that climate alarmism is less prevalent than climate skepticism appears to ignore the long list of alarmist predictions which have failed to occur, as listed here. The Arctic is not yet ice-free. Snow has not disappeared from the face of the earth. Tropical cyclones have not become more frequent of more destructive. The Pacific islands have not been submerged nor have coastal cities. California and Texas are not in perpetual drought. Massive climate-driven migration has not occurred.

Interestingly, climate alarmists appear not to be particularly alarmed by the rapid increase in coal use in China, India and throughout the Pacific Rim, though skeptics frequently bring it to their attention.