EU Parliament Member: IPCC’s ‘95%’ a wholly meaningless statement of confidence’

Godfrey Humber writes at

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the first part of its fifth assessment report (AR5) – the Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Much is being made by pundits, politicians and activists about the summary’s increased estimate of confidence in climate science. But the upgrading of confidence from ‘90%’ to ‘95%’ belies the SPM’s actual content.

‘Ninty-five per cent’ is a wholly meaningless statement of confidence. It is not an empirical measure of anything tangible. It’s not even a poll of the scientists. Such is its ambiguity, it could even be a statement that scientists are more sure of less warming. And its intended audience don’t seem to know what it means. Note that the statement of confidence relates only to the human contribution to warming since 1950, not to any of the consequences of that warming. But pundits and politicians have already tried to link the ‘95%’ to catastrophic consequences such as extreme weather. In fact the IPCC agree that there has been no observable increase in storm intensity, frequency or longevity, droughts or floods, in spite of global warming.

Politicians being simple folk, they do not seem to understand that there is a difference between global warming, climate change and their consequences. There is evidence of global warming. There is significantly less evidence of climate change. There is less than zero evidence of negative consequences of climate change: people are wealthier, healthier, and better protected from nature than at any point in human history — because of wealth, not the climate.

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2 thoughts on “EU Parliament Member: IPCC’s ‘95%’ a wholly meaningless statement of confidence’”

  1. It seems to be convincing the Luddites. But then, as they have very little between their ears, that wouldn’t be very hard to do.

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