You’re not alone if you’ve ever looked at some of the global warming reports emanating from the United Nations and reflected that they seem somewhere between somewhat overly alarmist and totally loony.
Turns out, a U.N. climate scientist totally agrees.
University of Sussex professor Richard Tol has charged his fellow academics on the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with going apocalyptically overboard about global warming in a new report, reports the Daily Mail.
Tol, a crazy-haired, seriously bearded economist who specializes in the economics of climate change, has also demanded that his colleagues remove his name from the report.
The IPCC report – part two of a three-part saga of reports this year – focuses on the impact of climate change. Barring some change, it will be published next week.
This week, IPCC scientists flew all the way to Japan in large commercial airplanes for a meeting to discuss the final draft of the document.
Leaked versions of the report prophesy that human-caused global warming will harm the global economy in terrible ways by the end of the current century. There will be floods. There will be agricultural problems. Millions of people will suffer displacement.
Tol was in charge of coordinating the parts of the report on economics. Specifically, it was his job to summarize the report in a form to digestible to policymakers all over the world.
“The message in the first draft was that through adaptation and clever development, these were manageable risks, but it did require we get our act together,” he told the Mail.
“This has completely disappeared from the draft now, which is all about the impacts of climate change and the four horsemen of the apocalypse,” the professor added. “This is a missed opportunity.”
Tol is a believer in human-caused climate change. However, he also believes doomsayers have exaggerated its negative effects.
Naturally, Tol’s IPCC colleagues aren’t happy with his antics. Some question his motives.
“Prof. Tol’s contribution to the IPCC report has been under scrutiny because he inserted – at a very late stage, so avoiding the IPCC expert review process – a section which publicized his own work,” accused IPCC member Bob Ward of the London School of Economics.
The last big IPCC report on the impact of climate change came out in 2007. It was riddled with errors and its fantastic predictions appear highly unlikely to come true.
The most notorious forecast promised that glaciers in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035. The IPCC has since officially abandoned that prediction.