More Climate Alarmism From NYT's Davenport: Without Restrictions, World Going From 'Unpleasant' to 'Uninhabitable'

December 1st, 2014 10:18 PM

New York Times environmental reporter Coral Davenport continues to push climate alarmism on the front page, this time with a lead story in Monday's edition, "Optimism Faces Grave Realities at Climate Talks – Envoys Gather in Lima – Deal On Greenhouse Gas Sought Amid More Warming Alarms." The U.N.-sponsored talks in Lima will try to produce an agreement in which every nation commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Davenport's environmental reporting specialty is singling out U.S. conservatives for putting the world at risk, and her latest emphasizes that if the meeting in Lima fails, the world may deteriorate from merely "unpleasant" to (her favorite word) "uninhabitable."

After more than two decades of trying but failing to forge a global pact to halt climate change, United Nations negotiators gathering in South America this week are expressing a new optimism that they may finally achieve the elusive deal.

Even with a deal to stop the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, scientists warn, the world will become increasingly unpleasant. Without a deal, they say, the world could eventually become uninhabitable for humans.

For the next two weeks, thousands of diplomats from around the globe will gather in Lima, Peru, for a United Nations summit meeting to draft an agreement intended to stop the global rise of planet-warming greenhouse gases.

The meeting comes just weeks after a landmark announcement by President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China committing the world’s two largest carbon polluters to cuts in their emissions. United Nations negotiators say they believe that advancement could end a longstanding impasse in the climate talks, spurring other countries to sign similar commitments.

Indeed, Davenport previously hailed that "landmark agreement" with China in a lead story, treating it as a killer issue for Democrats in a report that cynically pushed the issue's political prospects for the Democratic presidential candidate (Hillary?) in 2016.

On Monday Davenport saw a disaster movie in the making, even if Lima does succeed in radically reducing economic activity:

But while scientists and climate-policy experts welcome the new momentum ahead of the Lima talks, they warn that it now may be impossible to prevent the temperature of the planet’s atmosphere from rising by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a large body of scientific research, that is the tipping point at which the world will be locked into a near-term future of drought, food and water shortages, melting ice sheets, shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels and widespread flooding -- events that could harm the world’s population and economy.

Recent reports show that there may be no way to prevent the planet’s temperature from rising, given the current level of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere and the projected rate of emissions expected to continue before any new deal is carried out.

That fact is driving the urgency of the Lima talks, which are expected to produce a draft document, to be made final over the next year and signed by world leaders in Paris in December 2015.

While a breach of the 3.6 degree threshold appears inevitable, scientists say that United Nations negotiators should not give up on their efforts to cut emissions. At stake now, they say, is the difference between a newly unpleasant world and an uninhabitable one.

In Davenport's sealed universe, there has been no stubborn "global warming hiatus" over the last 15 years, with temperatures refusing to rise as climate models insisted they would. She hammered on the "uninhabitable" key again and again.

The objective now, negotiators say, is to stave off atmospheric temperature increases of 4 to 10 degrees by the end of the century; at that point, they say, the planet could become increasingly uninhabitable.

Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are already reporting that 2014 appears likely to be the warmest year on record.


This spring, a report by 13 federal agencies concluded that climate change would harm the American economy by increasing food prices, insurance rates and financial volatility. In China, the central government has sought to quell citizen protests related to coal pollution.

Davenport made no mention of the severe wrenching lifestyle changes that would be necessary to actually cut energy use by half, which is what Davenport's selected scientists say is required.

The alarmist drumbeat sounded on and on:

The problem is that climate experts say it almost certainly will not happen fast enough. A November report by the United Nations Environment Program concluded that in order to avoid the 3.6 degree increase, global emissions must peak within the next 10 years, going down to half of current levels by midcentury.

But the deal being drafted in Lima will not even be enacted until 2020. And the structure of the emerging deal -- allowing each country to commit to what it can realistically achieve, given each nation’s domestic politics -- means that the initial cuts by countries will not be as stringent as what scientists say is required.