Climate Alarmists Flip-Flop Again

Among its top results today under the search term “climate change,” Google News is highlighting articles claiming new research shows global warming will cause stronger Indian and South Asian monsoons and rainfall, which will wreak climate havoc in future decades. Yet, just a few years ago climate alarmists and their media allies claimed global warming will cause weakening monsoons and weakening rainfall, which will wreak climate havoc. The alarmists’ embarrassing self-contradiction begs the question – precisely what among the contradictory alarmist climate narratives is the “settled science”?

On Monday, India Today published an article titled, “Climate change to worsen Indian monsoon, global warming sets stage for dangerous rains: Study.” The article claims, “The Indian monsoon is likely to get much more dangerous and wetter as global warming alters the system, new research says.”

Reporting on the same study, The Indian Express published an article today titled, “A million years of data confirms: Monsoons are likely to get worse.” The article claims, “Global warming is likely to make India’s monsoon season wetter and more dangerous, new research suggests.”

Both articles are prominently highlighted today by Google News.

Just last year, however, the Hindustan Times reported that a newly published peer-reviewed study showed that global warming will weaken monsoons and reduce monsoon rainfall.

Ominously, the Times asserted, “Monsoon rains is the main water source for agriculture in half of India with irrigation facilities being limited.”

“There is clear evidence that warming of sea surface temperatures have reduced intensity of monsoon rains in several places in India, especially the north-east, where the dip in average annual rainfall is 6-8% since 1980s,” the Times quoted K.J. Ramesh, a former director of the India Meteorological Department.

The Hindustan Times article is merely one of many articles and studies that have claimed global warming will weaken monsoons and regional rainfall. For example, in a 2015 article, the climate activist group India Climate Dialogue asserted researchers found in a peer-reviewed study that “the monsoon is weakening, at least since 1990, as researchers have now proved.”

According to India Climate Dialogue, the researchers found that there was a 10-20% decrease in the mean rainfall in the Indian subcontinent. The monsoon was decreasing over central South Asia – from south of Pakistan through India to Bangladesh.”

“The decline is crucial because in these regions agriculture is still largely rain-fed. The South Asian monsoon brings sustenance to around two billion people,” India Climate Dialogue warned.

So, which is it? Does global warming strengthen monsoons and cause more rainfall, which we are told is bad? Or does global warming weaken monsoons and cause less rainfall, which we are told is bad? Or, just maybe – and as concluded by scientists in a recent peer-reviewed study, modest warming has little impact on monsoons, though that would be quite inconvenient for climate alarmists.

Alarmists, get you propaganda – er, stories – straight and then get back to us with your “settled science.”

James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.


  1. I would always ask climate alarmists what the harms of warming are.

    They would quote the usual litany…sea level rise, droughts, increased flooding.

    I would ask how can something cause both droughts AND flooding? They would answer, well at different times and places of course.

    I answer, oh, yea, just like always, changing weather.

  2. “Alarmists, get you propaganda – er, stories”

    Monsoons are a big deal in India. A journalist there finds a scary, peer reviewed study about monsoons, and writes the story.

    The research is later found to be flawed, and you insult the journalist?

  3. If a journalist is going to make the effort to enlighten his readers with a story about a particular “scientific finding,” the journalist would certainly offer much more enlightenment if that particular finding were put in perspective with other “scientific findings” on the same subject. In this case, the journalist should note the flip flop in the so-called consensus science or that there really was no consensus. A consistent tendency to ignore the establishment of such context and perspective in favor of an agenda, has been a notable feature of much of the media coverage of issues relating to the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis. The scientific method requires that the predictions of a hypothesis, if contradicted by actual observations, must be rejected as wrong and that the hypothesis to even pertain to science must be able to make testable predictions. The catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis has not been required to meet this scientific method test by many “scientists” or by most of the media. It has greatly disappointed me that a great many individuals trained as scientists and who think they are scientists, have not believed themselves required to adhere to the scientific method in evaluating the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis.


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