It could be a disaster but it ain't necessarily one

I’m afraid so, we’ve yet another of these “scientific” reports insisting that we’re all going to end up boiling Flipper in the remains of the last ice floe. Entire, complete and gargling nonsense of course but they will keep repeating these claims.

Earth’s climate could warm by as much as 4 degrees Celsius before the end of the 21st century, far surpassing temperatures hoped to be avoided under the Paris Agreement, according to a new study.

No, it won’t. This is garbage. It’s garbage because:

While the Paris Agreement aims to prevent an increase of 2 degrees, a new analysis suggests temperatures could be double that within the next 50 to 80 years if we do not curb emissions.

We are curbing emissions therefore it’s not going to happen, is it? In more detail, the paper is here:

Using a set of numerical experiments from 39 CMIP5 climate models, we project the emergence time for 4◦C global warming with respect to pre-industrial levels and associated climate changes under the RCP8.5 greenhouse gas concentration scenario.

Nothing in that, taken individually, is incorrect. Taken as a whole it’s a lie. Hmm, OK, a statement deliberately designed to mislead then.

The point being that there’s absolutely no way at all that RCP 8.5 is going to happen. For if it were to happen then we’d need the following things to have happened.

We would need to reverse globalisation. Return to a much more regional and localised economy where technological dispersion slows markedly. We would also need to curb, substantially, economic growth. It would be necessary for the fall in fertility rates to go into reverse. Women would need to start having more children as the society around them becomes richer. Not something we’ve ever seen in any portion of human history ever.

We’d also need to be using more coal. Not just a larger economy using more coal, but humanity gouging more of it out as a portion of total energy supply. We would need to have solar energy as expensive as it was 40 years ago – no, really, that is so. We’d need to entirely ignore all that we’ve gone these recent decades in making renewables cheaper.

Basically, we’d need to entirely ignore all technological development since 1980 or so.

It’s simply not going to happen. The basic truth about climate change – within the boundaries of what is that accepted science on the subject – is that RCP 8.5 just isn’t gonna happen. We’re anywhere between RCP 2.6 and 6.0 depending upon how you want to forecast future technological adoption. But we know, absolutely, that we’ve already done enough to avoid 8.5.

Thus warnings based upon RCP 8.5 are misleading enough for us to call them lies, aren’t they?