Is it just me? Or have others noticed it, too? The number of articles written about climate change and published in the trade magazines and professional journals follow a common language and structure. Almost invariably, the articles will begin along the following lines: “The risks of climate change are becoming increasingly well-known.” Then, there will usually be reference to some global body, such as the UN, the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and of-course the IPCC. This part of the article could say: “[insert name of global body] believes that the world’s climate is at a tipping point and any further delays in action risk catastrophic damage to the planet.” Then, there is reference made to global commitment to action, taken from the most recent gabfest: “Fortunately, real agreement and commitment to action to halt the extent of global warming and transition away from a carbon-based economy is emerging. Leaders at the [name of summit] signed on to a new set of carbon-reduction targets by 20[xx].”
At this point, the writers generally display some frustration with the lack of action to date. They say words to this effect: “Barriers to progress and a lack of action so far have been frustrating and so binding agreements to force change are to be welcomed.”
Throw in a few meaningless topics on what is increasingly happening: “investors are increasingly waking up to the fact that climate change offers new investment opportunities in green ventures”; “insurers are increasingly waking up to the risks climate change poses to their portfolios”; “people are increasingly demanding green alternatives” and so on. As Margaret Thatcher might have said: name them.
These articles have been around for a long time. It is at least 10 years since I became aware of the above format in writing. Not much has actually changed in the format, the common language, the focus on the future with no acknowledgement that alarmist warnings have been made for years yet the actual climate has not behaved in the way the alarmists predicted.
Not much has actually changed in the climate either. The lack of global warming over the last 16 years was at first strenuously denied, but in more recent years reluctantly accepted. But the argument was amended. It became the warming has been continuing unabated, it is just that the heat is hiding somewhere, most likely in the oceans. The search for the hiding heat goes on.
The predictive models have proven to be wrong. We need better models.
I have no concerns about investors believing that there are great rewards to be made by investing in green bonds. They can do what they like with their own money. Nor do I have any concern about people continually writing articles in the format described above, although, it does get a touch boring after a while. However, if the believers (yes, it is a religion) can generate political power sufficient to force taxpayers to subsidize green schemes, that worries me enormously.