In a comment, DOTE reader Andy recently sent us a link to climate/energy scientist Kevin Anderson's latest Nature commentary. Andy noted that Anderson "is upping the rhetoric since you wrote the twilight zone series" on IPCC climate scenarios (here and here). I discussed Anderson's views in the second "twilight zone" essay.
Among those with an interest in climate policy, Kevin Anderson is perhaps the most realistic working scientist in the world today. Consequently, he is getting increasingly frustrated, as this Nature text demonstrates.
Geoengineering as systemic bias
In most Integrated Assessment Models, 2 °C carbon budgets are effectively increased through the adoption of negative-emissions technologies. These technologies are currently at little more than a conceptual stage of development, yet are ubiquitous within 2 °C scenarios. Nowhere is this more evident than in the IPCC's scenario database. Of the 400 scenarios which have a 50% or better chance of no more than 2 °C warming [with 3 removed] 344 assume the successful and large-scale uptake of negative-emissions technologies. Even more worryingly, in all 56 scenarios without negative emissions, global emissions peak around 2010, which is contrary to available emissions data.
In plain language, the complete set of 400 IPCC scenarios with a 50% or better chance of meeting the 2 °C target work on the basis of either 1) an ability to change the past; or 2) the successful and large-scale uptake of negative-emissions technologies. A significant proportion of the scenarios are dependent on both.
Anderson is very unhappy about these delusional scenarios, as well he should be. The link above contains an access code, so you will be able to read his Nature commentary. In the video below, Anderson details the motivated reasoning and bad news filtering underlying IPCC fantasies. Note how many times Anderson says things like "I'm not saying there's a conspiracy here, it's just that these modelers and scientists seem to be self-censoring" (that's not an actual quote).
As a climate scientist and insider, Anderson is privy to all sorts of Flatland details which are not available to me. My view is that those kinds of details must exist because, generally speaking, that's what close observation of the human condition reveals. So it is gratifying to hear Anderson give many specific examples supporting my own observations. You might also note the bitter undertone in most everything Anderson says.
I hope you'll find the time to watch this instructive and entertaining video (53:51).