Climate change: a cooling consensus
GLOBAL warming has slowed. The rate of warming of over the past 15 years has been lower than that of the preceding 20 years. There is no serious doubt that our planet continues to heat, but it has heated less than most climate scientists had predicted. Nate Cohn of the New Republic reports: « Since 1998, the warmest year of the twentieth century, temperatures have not kept up with computer models that seemed to project steady warming; they’re perilously close to falling beneath even the lowest projections ».
But there’s no way around the fact that this reprieve for the planet is bad news for proponents of policies, such as carbon taxes and emissions treaties, meant to slow warming by moderating the release of greenhouse gases. The reality is that the already meagre prospects of these policies, in America at least, will be devastated if temperatures do fall outside the lower bound of the projections that environmentalists have used to create a panicked sense of emergency. Whether or not dramatic climate-policy interventions remain advisable, they will become harder, if not impossible, to sell to the public, which will feel, not unreasonably, that the scientific and media establishment has cried wolf.
The Economist a été l’une des publications qui ont le plus défendu l’hypothèse réchauffiste. Aujourd’hui, le célèbre magazine commence à prendre ses distances… Qui dans les médias québécois fera preuve de la même lucidité ?
Rappelons qu’il y a quelques années, les réchauffistes prédisaient une accélération du phénomène et quiconque osait les contredire se faisait invariablement répondre: the debate is over, the science is settled.