UN chief errs again on climate change

Commentary, Climate, Tom Harris

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made many climate bloopers in his time in office but his December 5th statements at the UN Climate Change Conference in Qatar certainly take the cake.

“The climate change phenomenon has been caused by the industrialization of the developed world. It’s only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility.”

“Climate change is happening much, much faster than one would understand,” he added. “The science has plainly made it clear: it is the human beings’ behavior which caused climate change, therefore the solution must come from us.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon presents at the climate talks in Qatar on 4 December. Photograph: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images.

Of course the Associated Press chimed in with support, adding:

“Ban’s comments echoed the concerns of China and other developing countries, which say rich nations have a historical responsibility for global warming because their factories released carbon emissions into the atmosphere long before the climate effects were known.”

But Mr. Ban and the press are wrong. Developed nations are not guilty of causing the climate change that developing nations claim they are suffering. Climate changes all the time—both warming and cooling—due to natural causes and there is nothing that we can do to stop it. However, to the degree possible, and considering our economic circumstances, developed nations still have a moral obligation to devote a proportion of their foreign aid to helping the world’s most vulnerable people adapt to natural climate events.

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) Chief Science Advisor, Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, and author of the best selling book, “Climate: the Counter Consensus” explains:

“Science has yet to provide unambiguous evidence that problematic, or even measurable, human-caused global warming is occurring. Consequently, any agreements—Durban, Cancun, Copenhagen or Kyoto—to reduce humanity’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are utterly futile. Governments need to recognize that the really dangerous climate hazards are natural events and change, and to prepare more fully to adapt to them when they occur.”

ICSC science advisor Professor Ole Humlum, of the Institute of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway adds:

“Today’s climate debate is essentially about the relative influence of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2) versus natural climate variations. In my mind, there is no doubt that the data available clearly show that the natural variations are the dominant of these two factors, including during the last few years. The net temperature effect of our CO2 emissions appears to be insignificant.”

No matter one’s political or philosophical persuasion, no one wants to pour money down the drain on a non-issue. Yet, that is what is happening as a result of the climate scare. Expensive and ineffective wind and solar power projects are receiving vast government financial support across the world in the belief that they will reduce the carbon dioxide emissions which are wrongly blamed as a cause of dangerous global warming. Meanwhile, conventional power sources that we need for our very survival are deliberately starved of support. This is very dangerous.

As is well demonstrated by the Nongovernmental International Climate Panel on Climate Change (www.nipccreport.org), warming alarmism is a not based on a correct interpretation of the science. The climate scare has largely been fueled by computer-generated misrepresentations that bear little relationship to modern climate or to its observed history.

As nearly all independent observers have now concluded, a new approach is needed to address climate change. The best (indeed, self-evident) no-regrets solution is that nations should prepare for and adapt to the onset of damaging climate-related events and change as and when they occur, however caused.

Instead, most of the negotiations now underway in Qatar are focused on vainly trying to stop what might happen decades in the future, instead of what is happening right now. This is both irrational and, for the many people who need help today, immoral.


Tom Harris is Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition – http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/ and an advisor to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.