The catchy title is:
“What happens if Earth gets 2°C warmer?
And why are we trying to avoid it?”
The chilling answer, given in the very first words of the video:
“If the world gets warmer by two degrees Celsius, we’re screwed.”
Alarmist hype doesn’t get any better than this.
What is going on here is what I call 1.5 degrees of climate madness and describe here. It is all about the so-called UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which the US is wisely bailing out of. The false assumption is that humans are causing dangerous global warming, so all the countries in the world are supposed to try to stop it.
This raises the policy question — “What is our target??” For decades the answer has been 2 degrees Celsius, but not from now, rather from mythical pre-industrial times. The alarmists claim that there has already been one degree of human caused warming so that just leaves one degree left in the target.
But when the Paris Agreement was struck a bunch of the developing countries inserted the secondary tighter target of 1.5 degrees. That is the target is now the fuzzy 2 degrees for sure but as close to 1.5 degrees as possible, or something like that. UN treaties are notoriously vague, so different parties can confidently make conflicting claims about what they say.
Given the one degree of supposed warming already in place, this tighter target is really just one-half a degree of future warming. That is so tight that many of the hot climate models say it is impossible, but politics does not care about possibility.
Central to the Paris Agreement is the idea that the developed countries are going to pay the developing countries whatever it takes to meet the target. The tighter the target the more it will cost, so the more money the developing countries expect to get.
This is why the Popular Science video begins by telling us that at 2 degrees we are screwed. Not screwed by the Paris agreement (which is true), but screwed by global warming (which is not true). This “news” video is actually a big pitch for the 1.5 degree target.
The article itself is nothing but the usual compendium of computer model scare stories. Hurricane Harvey even gets honorable mention. They do make some mistakes, like saying the world will get drier, when it is actually projected to get wetter. But given that there are supposed to be more droughts in this mythical wetter word, this is an easy mistake to make. Some of the stuff is pretty incoherent, but so is climate change alarmism.
Toward the end however, they seem to lose track of their message. They start talking about the feasibility of meeting the 2 degree target and urging us to do that. But they started off telling us that at 2 degrees we are screwed.
That is the problem with pushing two different targets. If one is better than the other has to be worse. If 1.5 degrees is good then 2 degrees can’t be so good, but we should shoot for at least it, anyway. Anybody capable of critical thinking should read this article and react skeptically. But then this article is clearly written for alarmists, by alarmists.
If you wonder what this article has to do with science, the answer is nothing. That is not what Popular Science publishes. Popular Pseudoscience would be a better name.
About the Author: David Wojick, Ph.D.