The Green Party of Canada welcomes the release of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), earlier today.
“It is astonishing that so much of the mainstream media has been running stories over the last few weeks – based on so-called ‘leaks’ of this report — that were nothing more than disinformation campaigns from the fossil fuel industry. If the cigarette companies continued to claim advanced leaks that smoking doesn’t cause cancer, would all the media parrot that propaganda as headlines?” asked Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
The latest IPCC report is, as a recent editorial in Scientific American pointed out, already out of date. The cut off date for the mammoth amount of information contained in the multi-year assessment and the cumbersome IPCC process guarantee that the IPCC reports are out of date at release. This has contributed to the fact that the IPCC reports under-estimate the problem. If anything, over time, their assessments are conservative. For example, the Scientific American points out that the most recent science about alarming rates of permafrost melt are not included in this Fifth Assessment.
“This report uses the term ‘virtually certain’, which is defined as 99-100% certainty, that human activity is causing global warming. The report confirms that the last three decades have been the warmest on record and that the warming continues through the first decade of the 2000s,” noted Elizabeth May.
From the Summary for policy makers:
“Each of the last three decades has been significantly warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. […] Warming in the climate system is unequivocal […] unprecedented on time scales of decades to millennia.”
“We are well past the time for procrastination and delay. We need to develop comprehensive, economically viable plans for the transition to a low carbon economy,” said Arctic Scientist and former president of the Green Party of Canada John Streicker.
“The IPCC is a large group of leading climate scientists who represent a wide diversity of views on just how serious climate change might be. But they are united in their virtual certainty that our actions are hurting ourselves now and will devastate our children in the future. They are telling us we need to act. If we misrepresent that strong and unequivocal message, we do it at our peril,” said Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, Climate Change Critic for the Green Party.