Global Warming Plateau Turns 18

COMMENTARY Environment

Global Warming Plateau Turns 18

Oct 9th, 2014 2 min read
Katie Tubb

Policy Analyst

Katie Tubb is a policy analyst for energy and environmental issues in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies.

A whole generation of people have been born, learned how to walk, ride bikes, drive cars, graduated from high school, celebrated 18 birthdays, and are now considered legal adults while the data show there has been no global warming over their lifetimes. The problem is the U.S. government and others are still basing major policy decisions from faulty climate models that failed to predict the temperature plateau.

According to the director of the University of Alabama’s Earth System Science Center, John Christy, October marks the 18th anniversary of the pause in global warming. Christy adds:

You’re going back to a fundamental question of science that when you understand a system, you are able to predict its behavior. The fact that no one predicted what’s happened in the past 18 years indicates we have a long way to go to understand the climate system.

Climate models used by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others predicted accelerated rates of global warming. But the conditions scientists have actually observed don’t match up with those predictions. Even as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions around the world have increased, average global temperatures have plateaued. In other words, these models are having serious implementation problems where the rubber is trying to hit the road.

These problems haven’t stopped politicians around the world from putting in place costly energy plans to cap, trade, tax, offset, and curb carbon dioxide emissions in an effort to stave off the catastrophic warming models have predicted. According to one count, Germany’s energy policy (Energiewende) to increase renewables, wean off of nuclear power, and cut CO2 emissions by 2022 has added more than $134 billion to power bills for Germans so far. England has embarked on a spending spree to subsidize renewable energy resources and EU climate policy that has cost tens of billions of pounds. In America, the Obama Administration has worked around Congress and implemented a multifaceted climate action plan that will impose a massive energy tax on Americans. What these cuts to CO2 emissions accomplish in the way of global temperatures is unclear at best. Some have suggested such governments have staked so much on these policies that they are “too big to fail.”

Environmental extremists and too many politicians would have people believe that we must approve of such climate policies if we truly want to take care of our environment and protect our grandchildren. But if the models underpinning them aren’t able to accurately tell us what has already happened, why are we relying on them to tell us what will happen far into the future?

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal