Politics

10-years-to-save-the-climate is based on flawed forecasting and distracts from real solutions


Is Climate Catastrophe Really 10 Years Away?


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VANCOUVER—The increasingly accepted idea that the world has 10-years to avoid catastrophic climate change is overstated because it’s largely based on unreliable models, finds a new essay released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Despite global greenhouse gas emissions increasing, we’re still the same 10 or so years away from climate catastrophe that we were some twenty years ago when these forecasts first started appearing,” said Kenneth P. Green, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and author of Is Climate Catastrophe Really 10 Years Away?

Over-reaction to and over-reliance on these flawed models results in policy recommendations and decisions

The study explains there is considerable, actual real-world data for the last twenty years that allows for comparisons between what was expected (i.e. forecasted) versus what actually happened. In case after case, the main models being used to forecast the future climate have proven inaccurate and unreliable. The study recognizes that climate models have improved but are still inaccurate, which raises serious concerns about their use.

“Often times people, particularly advocates and the media treat these forward estimates (i.e. forecasts) as if they’re absolutely certain to occur,” explained Green.

The study goes on to explain that the over-reaction to and over-reliance on these flawed models results in policy recommendations and decisions that miss more effective solutions, particularly those related to adaptation to a changing climate. For instance, assessing present day harms from climate change would lead to more spending on protecting coastal infrastructure in areas where sea levels are rising.

“Rather than obsess over dubious 10-year forecasts, incremental, adaptive measures are an alternative option that policy makers should consider in the face of repeated ‘10-year’ windows and failed greenhouse gas emission reduction policies.”

Media Contact:
Kenneth P. Green, Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:
Drue MacPherson, Fraser Institute
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Fraser Institute — Bio and Archives

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit fraserinstitute.org.

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