Manchester Tutorial Slams IPCC Carbon Funds Claims ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ – Watts With Them?

Essay by Eric Worrall

According to Kevin Anderson, a professor at the University of Manchester, “IPCC science enshrines colonial attitudes”.

The conservative nature of the IPCC obscures the true extent of the action needed to avert catastrophic climate change

Kevin Anderson
Professor of Energy and Climate Change, University of Manchester
Published: Mar 25, 2023 12:27 AM AEDT

Instilling a slight sense of urgency, the new report urges governments to mobilize funding to accelerate the uptake of green technologies. But its conclusions are a far cry from a direct interpretation of the IPCC’s own carbon footprints (the total amount of CO₂ that scientists estimate can be released into the atmosphere for a given temperature rise).

The report claims that to maintain a 50/50 probability of warming no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, CO₂ emissions need to be reduced to “net-zero” by “the early 2050s”. Updating the IPCC estimate of the 1.5°C carbon budget from 2020 to 2023 and then drawing a straight line from today’s total emissions to the point at which all carbon emissions must be phased out and without exceeding that budget a zero CO₂ date 2040.

As it will take several years to organize the necessary political structures and technical deployment, the date for eliminating all CO₂ emissions in order to comply with 1.5 degrees warming is drawing even closer, around the mid-2030s. This is a strikingly different level of urgency than that conjured up by the IPCC in the “early 2050s”. Similar nebulae and mirrors lie behind the “early 2070s” timeline that the IPCC invokes to limit global warming to 2°C.

IPCC science embeds colonial attitudes

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Reading Professor Anderson’s “explanation” for the graphic at the top of the page, published on his own website, yields this gem;

… The mainstream media are also partly to blame for false techno-optimism going unchallenged in politics. Journalists barely write a line when BP, Shell, Exxon, Equinor, Chevron, Total, Saudi Aramco, Suncor and PetroChina make big promises to be net zero (or near zero in the case of PetroChina) by 2050. The slightest investigation would reveal that claims for the greenwashing rhetorical nonsense that they are apply only to the operational emissions from fuel production and processing (known as Scope 1 and 2 emissions), with no accountability for the colossal amounts at Taking on carbon that is released from oil, gas or coal is actually transported and burned, which inevitably occurs with extracted fuels (Scope 3 emissions).

Once we figure out these “drug trafficking tricks,” it quickly becomes clear that governments and oil and gas majors are singing the same anthem. It is not immediately clear who the choirmaster is, the distinction being blurred by revolving doors between ministers and oil and gas executives. The “not in my tenure” net zero dates proposed by governments from the US to Saudi Arabia, the EU to Russia and China to Canada essentially mirror those of oil and gas companies. Wealthy nations with significant oil and gas production do not seek to phase out existing supplies in line with 1.5°C [see endnote 1]. Instead, they license new oil and gas developments, including in the Arctic. As the youngest minister overseeing the UK’s climate strategy blithely proclaimed, “We will extract every ounce of oil and gas from the North Sea”. Such developments, if continued, would lock in fossil fuel use and high emissions for decades to come. They would also effectively rule out any prospect of 1.5°C and 2°C Leave our children the chaos and suffering of one unstable climate Direction 3°C and above. …

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What can I say? These people train and influence young minds.


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