Questions about Climate Change Science

In a recent poll it was found that over half of all Australians had no idea what carbon trading is. The poll discovered that 17 per cent of Australians said they had never heard of emissions trading schemes. And 93 per cent said they knew little or nothing about what economic changes would be needed to cut carbon pollution.

Interestingly, in spite of this ignorance, 72 per cent said they supported a carbon reduction scheme. Of course it is not just the layman that is confused. The scientific community is divided over a number of questions concerning climate change and global warming. How much warming, if any, is in fact taking place? More importantly, how much is due to human activity? And what solutions, if any, should be implemented, if there is in fact a problem? And what exactly will be the costs of those solutions?

Several recent articles explore some of these issues. One writer, James Kerian, asks whether some scientists today are guilty of “yellow science”. He is referring to what is known as yellow journalism, which ignores standard reporting procedures, runs with unverified sources, and goes in for sensationalism. Kerian says science is in danger of heading in this direction. He explains,

“Scientists, like journalists, are called upon to plumb the depths of the unknown and to fairly and objectively report their findings to their own professional community as well as the general public. Scientists, like the journalists of yesteryear, have specific methods for ensuring that the public trust placed in them is not abused. The most fundamental of these methods is the well-known, if not so creatively named, scientific method. The essence of the scientific method is the formulation of hypotheses (ideas) and the using of these hypotheses to make predictions that can be experimentally tested. In the words of Sir Thomas Eddington in ‘The Philosophy of Physical Science,’ ‘Every item of physical knowledge must therefore be an assertion of what has been or would be the result of carrying out a specified observational procedure’.”

He continues, “Nevertheless, over the past several decades an increasing number of scientists have shed the restraints imposed by the scientific method and begun to proclaim the truth of man-made global warming. This is a hypothesis that remains untested, makes no predictions that can be tested in the near future, and cannot offer a numerical explanation for the limited evidence to which it clings. No equations have been shown to explain the relationship between fossil-fuel emission and global temperature. The only predictions that have been made are apocalyptic, so the hypothesis has to be accepted before it can be tested.”

“The only evidence that can be said to support this so-called scientific consensus is the supposed correlation of historical global temperatures with historical carbon-dioxide content in the atmosphere. Even if we do not question the accuracy of our estimates of global temperatures into previous centuries, and even if we ignore the falling global temperatures over the past decade as fossil-fuel emissions have continued to increase, an honest scientist would still have to admit that the hypothesis of man-made global warming hardly rises to the level of ‘an assertion of what has been or would be the result of carrying out a specified observational procedure.’ Global warming may or may not be ‘the greatest scam in history,’ as it was recently called by John Coleman, a prominent meteorologist and the founder of the Weather Channel. Certainly, however, under the scientific method it does not rise to the level of an ‘item of physical knowledge’.”

If matters of science and technology are confusing to most people when discussing climate change, so too are matters of economics, and the financial consequences of following yellow science. Economist Henry Ergas asks some hard questions that need to be asked, questions of cost/benefit analysis.

The notion of an emissions reduction budget, he explains, is “the idea that there is a fixed quantum of emissions reduction we should achieve by a given date, with the result that if we reduce a bit less in one area, we will have to reduce by more elsewhere. Reducing Australia’s greenhouse emissions is not a goal in its own right; it is merely a way of trying to deal with the risks of potentially harmful climate change. How much we should devote to that goal depends on the costs and benefits involved. If the costs increase relative to the benefits, only the fanatic redoubles his efforts.”

He continues, “The fallacy involved is manifest in the debate about how trade exposed, emissions-intensive activities should be dealt with. It has become increasingly evident that if Australia, acting unilaterally, imposes a carbon tax on these activities, global emissions will not be reduced. Rather, they will simply shift to other countries, decreasing our welfare (as we have a comparative advantage in those activities) and welfare worldwide. As a result, without an international framework that would prevent emissions flight, putting a carbon tax on trade exposed, emissions-intensive activities serves no useful purpose.”

Fanatics, he says, will arbitrarily pick some target and work toward it, regardless of the costs. But a reasonable person will adjust “the target to reflect the greater cost of achieving it”. For example, “the economic cost of achieving any given emissions reduction target increases more than proportionately with the severity of the reduction being sought: doubling the target inflicts more than twice the cost. As a result, increasing the extent of the reduction sought from those activities that are least footloose makes the cost of any overall reduction all the greater. These added costs then are compounded by an increased distortion in resource allocation between the activities that are exempt and the now more heavily taxed ones that are not.”

He continues, “There is an additional, deeper reason the fanatic’s response is perverse. The problem of emissions flight merely highlights the absence of an effective and comprehensive regime for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In the absence of such a regime, abatement in Australia, no matter how great, will have no direct impact on the risk of harmful climate change. The only reason for undertaking that abatement is the possibility that it will assist such a regime to come into place. However, whether abatement in Australia would have a ‘demonstration effect’ internationally, and if so to what extent, is highly uncertain. Even if such an effect did exist, there is little reason to think the effect will be much greater if we pursue abatement at home with greater intensity.”

Ergas concludes, “The case for abatement beyond a very modest level, consistent with a low carbon tax, therefore seems economically untenable. Moreover, anything that makes the marginal costs of abating now higher, or the community’s willingness to bear those costs now lower, should induce us to reduce our overall abatement effort rather than sticking by some inherently arbitrary target. Consequently, a heavy burden of proof should be placed on those who advocate ambitious fixed targets to be pursued with the ferocity of latter-day Savonarolas. Reducing emissions is not an act in a morality play but a decision that has to be made by trading off benefits and sacrifices. Moreover, the community must be given a full opportunity to assess those benefits and sacrifices and decide whether they are worth bearing.”

Climate change is an important issue. But questions of science and economics need to be carefully considered before rushing headlong into radical and costly directions. The science of climate change needs to be carefully established, and then the costs and benefits of any proposed solutions need to be thoroughly examined.

online.wsj.com/article/SB121433436381900681.html
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23948532-7583,00.html

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40 Replies to “Questions about Climate Change Science”

  1. I’ve heard a few people “whinging” on radio today about the prospect of higher energy costs as the result of carbon trading, and saying that people needed to be compensated.

    Now THAT, it is safe to say, is something that really makes no sense at all to me. Here’s my oh-so-simple reasoning:

    1. if anthropogenic global warming is real (assume it is) then we need to reduce man-made CO2 emissions
    2. one way to reduce emissions is to reduce demand by forcing up prices for CO2-heavy products such as electricity, petrol, etc
    3. one way to force up prices is to tax those CO2-heavy products
    resulting in:
    4. reduced demand, because (in particular) lower income earners won’t be able to afford the higher prices and will therefore modify their behaviour and reduce consumption

    That much I understand. So why, then, should one compensate lower-income earners for the effects of carbon trading. This seems an obvious contradiction, as it directly undermines the whole premise of taxing carbon in the first place.

    Have I missed something obvious, or is this really just another example of muddy logic “out there” in the media?

    Stephen Frost, Melbourne

  2. Bill,

    The Garnaut Climate Change Review Draft Report was released today. It seems to offer exactly the kind of careful consideration of the science and economics that you are calling for.

    Juliana Simbroski, Darwin

  3. Looking at the long term temperature trends, there is absolutely nothing unusual in the temperature trends over the past 100 years. However, for some unknown reason, people have proposed a greenhouse gas hypotheses. They ignore the fact that previous warming cycles cannot be attributed to this possibility, yet believe that only man could cause this one. They ignore the fact that CO2 levels have increased over the past 11 years, yet the Earth has stubbornly refused to heat up. They now tell us that it would be heating if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s cooling. Give me a break.
    Ross James

  4. Bill, good comments from Henry Ergas.

    As I understand the present proposals for emissions trading, the Federal Government proposes to
    a) create a bureaucracy to issue carbon usage permits to businesses (no mention so far of households), directly imposing upper limits on such usage
    b) impose severe fines for businesses exceeding the limits so imposed
    c) permit trading amongst businesses in the carbon usage permits so that a business could buy extra permits from others which are below their limits, to offset their own excesses
    and
    d) make the fines sufficiently painful so as to encourage trading rather than payment of the fines.

    The Garnaut report just released purports to show that this will add enough to the “cost of carbon” to really bite – we as a community will then have financial incentives to reduce our carbon usage and hopefully to achieve the target of a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

    So far so… err well maybe not good.

    The impact on “Working Families” is meant to hurt (including an estimated increase of at least 10c per litre in petrol costs), but the government has also promised to compensate “Working Families” for the imposition.

    Net result:
    1. “Working Families” will no longer feel the pain, and will have no financial incentive to change their behaviour. One can predict that behavioural change will henceforth not occur.

    2. Huge costs of compliance to every Australian business, and huge cost within government to implement a bureaucracy to oversee the scheme.

    Overall assessment: a centralised government with a totalitarian philosophy will have imposed an extra tax burden upon the community, but benefits will be impossible to measure until all of its members will be dead and buried (hopefully ceasing to leave a carbon footprint on the planet).

    Evaluation: a recipe for disaster, particularly as it totally ignores God, and represents an arrogant assumption that humanity is SO importnat that what man does can kill the planet.

    John Angelico

  5. “The science of climate change needs to be carefully established, and then the costs and benefits of any proposed solutions need to be thoroughly examined.”

    Indeed it does, but I think that once the ‘science’ of climate change is examined it will be found that there is no need to find a solution because there isn’t a problem!

    Carbon dioxide should not be thought or spoken of as pollution. It is a natural and important part of our atmosphere. Commercial greenhouse operators know the benefit of increased CO2 and employ gas powered CO2 generators to artificially increase the CO2 available to their crops. All plants respond positively to an increased concentration of CO2 so it is reasonable to assume that were this to happen globally the result would be a net benefit to mankind and the environment. Far from trying to develop expensive ways to pump CO2 underground (sequestration) we should be releasing it into the atmosphere where it can do the most good.

    Ewan McDonald.

  6. Stephen and John above are right in thinking that ‘if it doesn’t hurt it won’t work’. The ironic thing is that whilst there is nothing to be feared from global-warming itself, what should be feared is the draconian and totalitarian government measures to combat the phantom ‘problem’. Of course Garnaut and others who support his ETS, claim it would be economically irresponsible not to take such drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gasses, but this is all predicated upon alarmist claims that the world is doomed if we don’t.

    Ewan McDonald.

  7. Czech President Vaclav Klaus: ‘Environmentalism As Bad As Communism’

    Conversely, the Czech President asked the congressmen not to yield to pressure from environmentalists and abandon the principles of free society: “the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is not communism or its various softer variants. Communism was replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism.”

    “This ideology,” Klaus said, “wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central, now global, planning of the whole world.”

    The Czech President is strongly opposed to environmentalism, which he calls a “religion based on political ambitions rather than science,” and accuses environmentalists of using “sophisticated methods of media manipulation” to spread “fear and panic”.

    Klaus also reminded environmentalists, in a text charged with economic jargon, that “policymakers should protect taxpayers’ money and avoid wasting it on doubtful projects,” and that each measure “must be based on a cost-benefit analysis.”

    No wonder that old fraud alGore, the Global Warm-mongering Prophet (or should that be Profit?), wimped out of debating Klaus.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  8. Hi Bill and fellow Blogers. Can anyone confirm that Philip Johnson said “Scientists can not understand ‘Scientific method’ because they are not philosophers”? And where he said this, if he did?
    Stan Fishley

  9. Thanks, Bill, but you’re far too mild in your criticism of this worldwide scam. I agree wholeheartedly with John Coleman of the Weather Channel: it is the greatest scam in history. It is perpetrated by the left, whose various organisations (Club of Rome, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth etc) concocted this scare campaign in the early 1990s in the wake of the collapse of Communism. Where was the Left to go with no Communist monolith by which to attack capitalism, engineer big government and global totalitarian rule? Answer: “climate change”.

    I have not been into conspiracy theories in the past, but as I have researched this one it is clear to me that this time the Left IS engaged in a massive scare campaign by which to achieve their goals as stated above. Remember “the ozone hole”? Y2K? or further back the “global energy crisis” of the 1970s, and the fear of “global cooling”. And the left-wing media beating up the scary scenarios? Remember the movies of the time with their apocalyptic scenarios of the whole planet frozen solid, and only the equatorial latitudes being at all habitable? How dumb so many were, yet e.g. after the Y2K fizzer very quickly it dropped off the radar screen completely!

    And now we have “global warming”! And promoted by apocalyptic scientists – and non-scientists such as Al Gore! When will the nonsense end?

    As to Al Gore’s movie, while it has influenced multitudes, it is nevertheless full of lies, such as:
    1. The scene which purports to show giant ice sheets breaking up because of global warming (so runs Gore’s added commentary) is in fact borrowed from the movie “The Day after Tomorrow” (admitted by the producers), which in turn was not filmed in the wild, on location in the Arctic, but was computer-generated from Styrofoam models in a studio!!!
    2. The famed “hockey-stick” curve is fudged: the well-known Mediaeval “warm period” from about 950 to 1300 is omitted, and so too is the “mini ice-age” of the early modern period (roughly 1500 to 1800) is likewise omitted. For example, the Vikings settled Greenland and grazed stock there for some 300 years until the ice-sheet expanded and the settlements abandoned. The remains of these settlements are still to be seen.
    3. The movie fails to mention that CO2 is NOT a major greenhouse gas, but is only a trace gas in the earth’s atmosphere (between 0.03% and 0.04%) and that water vapour is far more significant.
    4. The movie fails to mention that global warming has been verified for Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, and even Pluto through observations of both spacecraft and the Hubble telescope. This is powerful evidence that if global warming is real it is due to solar activity and not CO2.
    5. When Gore appeals to the planet Venus he reveals his ignorance: the Venerian atmosphere is composed mostly of CO2, plus liberal amounts of sulphuric acid, and whose surface pressure is enormous: 90 atmospheres! besides, it is 1/3 closer to the Sun than the Earth (67 million miles as opp to 93 million miles)
    And there’s more; much more! In all, there are something like 35 errors in the movie, nine of which were identified by a senior British judge last year, who instructed that the movie should not be shown to schoolchildren without mentioning these caveats.

    The Oregon Petition, which voices the concerns of qualified scientists (a large number of them in the climatology or related fields) and rejects the theory of man-made global warming. This petition now has in excess of 31,000 signatories! There are similar declarations from other centres expressing the same views from scientific communities. http://www.petitionproject.org

    What explains this flight from science and reason I’m not sure, but the flight is real enough. That it is not a debate about science at all is readily seen when a “denialist” like myself or my friends declares his hand to a “warm-mongerer” (as I call them): the response will be not a reasoned discussion and appeal to evidence, but a bellicose and virulent volley of abuse and inflammatory rhetoric. In other words, it is a religious agenda: there are believing “saints”, and unbelieving “sinners”. It is also a very political agenda.

    One other thing: when you hear the mantra, “The science is settled! There is consensus”, you are not hearing a scientific statement. As Einstein once remarked, “It only takes one person to be right” i.e. no mater what the so-called “scientific consensus” may be. The history of science is replete with examples showing the truth of this observation.

    Murray Adamthwaite

  10. The thing that really worries me about climate change and other current left-wing fad policies is the call to ‘bipartisanship’. This is apparently based on the premise that the concern is so great that all sides of politics must be engaged in a common solution to the problem. What this really means is that the logic behind the ideology is so flawed that they don’t want it openly debated and critiqued by the public. This is tantamount to a new wave of communism in the west. Regardless of the science for and against climate change, if you’re of the opinion that so-called climate change is questionable you’re labelled a ‘climate change sceptic’ and treated as a pariah. Likewise, if you dare to question any of the left’s other great social doctrines you’re a ‘homophobe’, ‘bigot’, ‘racist’ or any number of terrible things that prove how much Christians breed intolerance and hate!

    All I want is an open and honest debate about climate change, but I see it as the play-thing of the left to increase government control, restrict freedom and ensure we all think alike – a goal that would be far more obtainable if they cut government funding for faith-based schools, another one of their pet policies. But I digress.

    Keep questioning people. My mum always said if it’s not of God then it’s of Satan. In the case of the new religion of environmentalism and climate change, if it’s of Man is it of Satan?

    Ben Williams

  11. (Ge 8:22) While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

    John Nelson

  12. Andrew Bolt reports on some of the press stories generated by the Garnaut report and highlights this one from the SMH:

    AUSTRALIANS must pay more for petrol, food and energy or ultimately face a rising death toll….

    As Tim Blair comments over on his blog:

    Sounds like a protection racket.

    Ewan McDonald.

  13. Thank you Ewan, Jonathan Sarfati and Murray Adamthwaite I concur 100% with your assessment of this sham, hoax, con job and irrational belief system in the religion of climate change hysteria.
    My hunch is that it is being driven by enviro nazi people- hating social engineering socialist greenism relying on false corporate guilt because of our blessed heritage of Christian caring innovative capitalism which has made Australia a great nation. We are going to pay big time as our economy, indeed everything good will be sacrificed on the altar of global Gaia / Satan worship.
    There are parallels to the appeal to false ‘whitey’ guilt and doctored post modernist history to believe in the stolen generations scam, hoax, con job and irrational belief in unproved racism and hysteria.
    I would have to add the grand daddy of these scams, hoaxes, con jobs and irrational religious belief systems is the over arching axions of evolution.
    Jennifer Parfenovics

  14. I admit that I am not a scientist – although I did complete economics and law degrees many years ago. But, no doubt, like many, I have been reading a lot about climate change, mainly in the papers. It seems like the vast majority of scientists, perhaps as many as 95%, agree that climate change is a reality. But as for actual proof- like many things that is is difficult. . Bill M’s conclusions were more reasoned than most that the science should be examined, and costs and benefits calculated, before costly action is embarked upon.

    But with such a preponderance of scientific thinking saying that global warming is happening, and that the consequences of inaction will be severe for future generations, it is difficult to see why so many of your correspondents are so scathing of even examining the possibilities. They need to take a good, hard look at themselves. Their political philosophies are blinding them, rather than the other way around. Ewan is convinced there is no problem at all, and then goes on to ridiculously assert that we now have a totalitarian government and John doesn’t think that man’s actions can negatively affect this world. What planet is he living on?

    Murray at least has looked at some of the erroneous claims of Al Gore; but it would be instructive to ask Murray if the thinks there was a lot of truth in what was in “The Inconvenient Truth”.

    Two substantive matters mean that those who oppose moves to tackle climate change now have the burden of proof to prove otherwise. One is the huge support of scientists, and the other is the possible consequences of this warming. It is irresponsible of all, but particularly Christians who have a God-given mandate to look after the planet, to ignore the significant list of deleterious effects of global warming. Whilst there may be some pain for the current generation to bear, that will be nothing compared to the costs to be borne by future generations. What gives us the right to bury our heads in the sand, and to say, that until it is all proved to ME 100%, then we should do very little. It is also wrong to say that our actions will have no effect unless other countries do the same. The world is looking for leadership, and this is a most important issue for all the world.

    David Everard

  15. David Everard admits he is not a scientist. I don’t think any such caveat is necessary in this debate since he has that in common with about 95% of all the politicians, media commentators, and other self appointed experts who are banging on about climate-change. He also says that “perhaps as many as 95% [of scientists] agree that climate change is a reality”. This falsehood is to be expected if one’s only source of information on this subject comes from “mainly in the papers.” As Murray pointed out above, there are vast numbers of scientists who disagree with warming alarmism. Jonathan, our commentator above is one such example.

    David also misrepresents me claiming that I “ridiculously assert[ed] that we now have a totalitarian government”. What I actually said was that the government measures (or policies) to combat global-warming are totalitarian in nature, not the government itself – a big difference. If this is an example of his powers to process argument then it’s no wonder he has fallen foul of the climate-change propaganda.

    I don’t see why the burden of proof should be on climate-change skeptics? We are not the ones advocating draconian policies that will cripple our economy and potentially put us back into the dark-ages in economic terms. David says it is irresponsible particularly of Christians to ignore the potential deleterious effects of global-warming on future generations, but as I said this is all predicated on there being some truth to the alarmism. I say it is irresponsible particularly of Christians to ignore the deleterious effects of an ETS on this and future generations. We are talking about people being impoverished and put out of work. Christians should be concerned about the welfare of their fellows, not concerned about whether or not in 100 years time the average global temperature changes by one or two degrees.

    Ewan McDonald.

  16. Two substantive matters mean that those who oppose moves to tackle climate change now have the burden of proof to prove otherwise. One is the huge support of scientists,

    What support? There is certainly a lot of groupthink, but many of the groupthinkers arrived at their groupthink by counting heads, which themselves arrived at their view by counting heads.

    Real science doesn’t mean stifling debate, or even calling for criminal prosecution of those who dare to disbelieve the dogma (NASA Scientist: Put CEOs On Trial for Global-Warming Lies).

    and the other is the possible consequences of this warming.

    Yes, higher crop productivity, reduced deaths from cold (which even now way outnumber deaths from heat). The historically known Medieval Warm Period was prosperous, while the Little Ice Age was a period of famine and plague. Wealth is the best defence against possible adverse consequences, but the greenienazis would rather impoverish us. Remember, the Dutch have coped with rising sea levels for centuries, and the death toll from disasters is lower in wealthy countries with decent medical care, technology and infrastructure.

    It is irresponsible of all, but particularly Christians who have a God-given mandate to look after the planet, to ignore the significant list of deleterious effects of global warming.

    And as Lomborg points out, there are far better ways of spending billions of dollars:

    Lomborg’s basic argument — as laid out in his bestsellers, The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It! — is that the world isn’t in nearly as bad a mess as the eco-doomsayers claim it is. And before we do anything too drastic to try to make things better, we ought first to ascertain what its most pressing problems are, rather than throw good money after hopeless causes.

    Its conclusions are hardly likely to win Lomborg new fans in the eco movement, for global warming comes so far down the list of urgent priorities that it doesn’t make the top ten. Far better to spend our limited pool of development aid money, say the economists, on schemes like micronutrient supplements (vitamin A and zinc) for malnourished children. For an annual outlay of only $60 million this would result in yearly benefits (through improved health, fewer deaths, increased earnings) worth more than $1 billion.

    Also high on the list are unglamorous things like expanded immunisation coverage for children; deworming programmes in Third World schools; and community-based nutrition promotion. Number two on the recommended list is the — highly unlikely given resistance from the US and the EU — implementation of the Doha development agenda. Ending the trade tariffs, in other words, which are immeasurably to the developing world’s disadvantage.

    ‘It’s true that in the battle between exciting problems and boring problems we are defenders of the boring problems,’ agrees Lomborg, when I suggest that polar bears on melting ice caps tug the heartstrings far more effectively than flyblown African urchins. ‘Our uphill task is to try to show that problems involving the greatest pictures and the cutest animals are not necessarily the most pressing issues.’

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  17. In the early days of his campaigning, when he first transformed himself from left-leaning Greenpeace-supporting tree-hugger to environmental ‘skeptic’, Lomborg used to get a lot more stick than he does now. His unlikely ally, he says, has been the ongoing biofuels disaster, whereby a scheme introduced to help save the environment has helped bring about riots, rising food prices and the destruction of rainforest.

    Unlike proper climate change sceptics (who are the equivalent, George Monbiot has famously claimed, of Holocaust deniers), Lomborg says his views on global warming are broadly in sympathy with those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Where he thinks the green movement has got things badly wrong is in attempting to shut down any form of critical opposition.

    ‘You cannot have a conversation about the biggest policy argument of the day, and then say that one side isn’t allowed to debate,’ says Lomborg. He thinks the greens have also done their cause a great disservice by talking up the climate change threat. ‘You can overplay your cards and screech so loudly that you end up losing the argument.’

    The battle for common sense, though, is far from over. His worry is that the next Kyoto update — the Copenhagen summit in 2009 — will prove yet another wasted opportunity where politicians set themselves ever higher pie-in-the-sky targets on carbon emissions. ‘The danger is not that we’re not going to meet these targets, because I take that as granted — of course we’re not going to meet them, just as we didn’t after Kyoto in 1997. What’s far worse, is that yet again, it will stop us focusing on all the incredible things we actually could do with that money. So we end up wasting another ten or 20 years.’

    Jennifer Parfenovics

  18. The above 4 paragraphs are from Jonathan Sarfati’s reference to Lomborg too. Sorry I forgot to acknowlege all I can do is plead the excuse of innsomnia!
    May I reiterate man-made global warming is the 21st century enviro religion. It will be looked back upon as the total scam, hoax, con job and irrationality that it is.

    Climate changes that is what it is supposed to do. Look to God’s Word and His rainbow promise and the description of the seasons continuing after the Flood (in their fallen state). It always has and it always will and more dramatically since the end of the Global Flood and the tectonic restructuring of the earth into the seperate continents with global mountain building, volcanism and the laying down of vast sedimentaty layers of incredible depth and continental expanse.

    To see Pacific Islanders believe in the imminent global flooding with their islands completely disappearing with a global rise of 8 meters is simply preying on their naivety and trusting nature. My husband has been to Tuivalu and Kiribasvs and they are pertrified to say the least. There are always changes to ocean shore lines and natural sinking of coral atolles but not drastically life threatening as the Al Goreans would have everyone believe.

    Jennifer Parfenovics

  19. Thanks Juliana and David. Yes it may be that there are more climate change skeptics here than true believers, but it is possible there are good reasons for this. The 500-page Garnaut Report is surprisingly thin on detail, and he admits that the economic consequences of his proposals will not even be ready until August.

    As Murray mentioned, there are 31,000 plus scientists who question the common wisdom, and that number continues to mount. And Australian scientists continue to question what Garnaut is advocating. For example, climatologist Stewart Franks has said it is ridiculous to guess what rainfall levels will be like in 2030 or 2040, given that natural variability plays such a large role.

    And of course the amount of greenhouse gas emissions Australia is responsible is almost negligible, compared to the rest of the world. Thus taking unilateral action will do little or nothing to impact the climate, but it will do a lot of damage to our economy.

    And it is not just Liberals saying these things. Plenty of Labor folk are worried about where Rudd and Garnaut want to go. NSW Treasurer Michael Costa, for example, is already complaining about ‘chicken little’ warnings, like the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef if we do not latch on to an ETS almost immediately.

    Again, many huge questions about both the science and the economics of this issue remain, and rushing headlong into a course of action without doing our proper homework is a recipe for disaster. By all means let the debate continue, but we must ignore the gloom and doom scenarios and the panic merchants.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  20. I’m convinced that most who believe in ‘global warming’ actually do so because they, having removed the true God from their lives, need to replace Him with something else – and the environment strikes at the heart of their lives in so many ways and the subtler influences of the media weave their way so powerfully (and insidiously) into their hearts that they have no defence against this message that keeps on being repeated as if it were true. Everyone has a god of some kind, but there is only one true God. The fear of ostracization and being the odd one out, combine that with the lack of clear thinking, and people just accept it as true and mindlessly follow the militants in their disparagement of any dissent. I don’t think most people really know much about it, they just believe it because they’ve heard it so often now. It’s the politically motivated fanatics whose message needs to be discredited.

    To David Everard: I would find it easier to accept global warming if so-called ‘consensus’ was reliable, but it is not. It’s more about what is consistently reported in the mainstream media. Consider the issue of abortion. There are intelligent people who will straight-faced say that the unborn are not ‘persons’ so they do not deserve to live, even though the science is about as well-defined as can be imagined that they are human from conception and therefore the ‘persons’ definition is wordplay for the sake of selfishness of sex without consequences. Yet barely a squeak about this holocaust in the media. Hundreds are killed every day in Australia alone. So the mainstream media cannot be relied upon, even for the biggest issues. But in the case of the environment, we have significant variables and even some evidence that indicates that human activity plays little part. But even if it does, perhaps Chris Uhlmann (ironically from the ABC) summed it up best “When the weather department can tell me what the weather’s going to be like next Friday with any certainty and treasury can get within a million dollars of what the surplus is going to be next year, I’ll believe an economic model that marries those two things and casts them out over a hundred years. . .” Yet the media effectively screams about this issue. ‘Manmade global warming’ is an assumed position even with just casual references to it. I sometimes think that most people (even Christians) miss that the most profound and influential messages of communication are the unspoken assumptions or philosophies that underpin what we read, see and hear.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/uhlmann_lets_rip_on_warming_crazies/
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/09/do0907.xml

    It’s kind of ironic that I’ve ended up being a ‘manmade global warming agnostic’ (that’s too long I’ve decided – would ‘MAGWA’ be appropriate?) because my scientist father actually worked years ago for the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research in Aspendale, Melbourne and I grew up dropping into his work late in the afternoon after school probably hundreds of times. Stuff about weather and climate was part of growing up for me. Dad was possibly the only person in the suburb to install a large water tank in the 1980’s (much to mum’s chagrin.) Also funny is the story that Dr Graeme Pearman ran over and wrecked my bike in his car one day outside one of the buildings. (For those who don’t know who he is, Pearman is former CSIRO Climate Director and has been at the forefront of “likely planetary warming” research in Australia for decades.) So much for who wins the battle of pollutant cars and environmentally friendly bikes!

    …ok, I admit it, I was about 10 years old and stupidly left my bike where I shouldn’t have and he did graciously organize and pay to get it fixed immediately. And it came back better than it was originally. And it was about 30 years ago. Oh, but how I cried when I saw that twisted metal! The pain and anguish! (as you can see, it still affects me now… sniff…) Maybe this is the real reason for my ‘agnosticism’! 😉

    Magwas unite!

    (I can see from re-reading this that it’s time for me to get back to work…)

    Mark Rabich

  21. Most of the apocalyptic scenarios of global climate change are predicated upon a false understanding of the history of the earth. Evolutionists have the mistaken belief that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and that it has therefore taken vast ages for the planet to have arrived at the present state of climate equilibrium. The corollary of this belief is another belief that human action in mining and burning fossil fuels will upset this fragile long established balance and lead to potential climate catastrophe.

    However, the biblical history of the planet is much different and therefore leads to different conclusions about these things. Unlike the philosophical naturalists, a biblical creationist would reasonably assume that God created a robust life-sustaining climate with built-in self regulating mechanisms, and that there is good reason to believe that the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere was much higher in the relatively recent past. According to biblical history, the fossils from which fossil fuels are derived were formed only about 4300 years ago during the Flood when vast volumes of biomatter were buried. Consequently, the volume of carbon freely circulating within the biosphere was greatly reduced which would lead to the assumption that since that time the atmosphere has contained a lower proportion of CO2 than existed in the originally created pre-Flood atmosphere.

    This last assumption fits with real observational science which has determined that human and animal life can tolerate without any deleterious effects much higher concentrations of CO2, and that plant life responds positively to increased CO2. So it would appear that life was designed for an atmosphere containing higher concentrations of CO2.

    Real observational science also demonstrates that CO2 has a minimal contribution towards the greenhouse effect due to its very small proportion in the atmosphere and the fact that the relationship between CO2 concentration and any greenhouse effect is not linear but logarithmic. In other words, the increasing greenhouse effect of increasing CO2 diminishes as the CO2 concentration increases. The only way computer climate models can conclude a run-away global warming effect from increasing CO2 is by exaggerating the positive feedback (or forcing) factors and by discounting the negative feedback factors. Such an assumption is counter-intuitive from a biblical perspective which believes climate processes to be designed rather than randomly derived. So if we discount the alarmist assumption that more CO2 equals more warming, then burning fossil fuels should be a win-win.

    Ewan McDonald.

  22. Of course, Australia’s impoverishment, a sacrifice demanded by the Green gods, won’t make a blind bit of difference. Australia’s contribution of plant food (CO2) is neglible fraction of the world’s. China and India have no intention of foregoing economic growth, and any cutbacks from Australia will be eclipsed by the increases from thes two. See Garnaut’s pipe dream: India says no proof and no cuts by Andrew Bolt.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  23. Hi Bill,

    Interesting thoughts. Human induced global warming may or may not be true but I have always thought there are many more reasons for us to change to sustainable energy sources. For one, hydrocarbons will at some point in time run out or not be viable. I often think of the generations ahead and what they will think of us. We have an opportunity and the energy to do something yet we are too busy/lazy/greedy to look forward. We have a responsibility to future generations to leave our societies and environment in as good as shape as possible. Having said that I do not believe that some sought of carbon trading scheme will get us there. Governments seem to put a lot of faith in “market forces” when it comes to innovation. Innovation through desperation can work at times but often leads to hardship for many. For years Governments have lacked real leaders. We need people with vision and the ability to plan. For years all we have had is managers. For example, would the snowy hydro scheme ever have been built if left to “market forces”? I think not. We should not be complacent nor should we be in some form of panic. Countries like China and India also need to realize that raising the living standard of 2+ billion people to that comparable to the west using a hydrocarbon based economy is for the most part impossible for any length of time.

    If Governments were really serious about reducing CO2 output from power station then reducing the amount of electricity available to every house would turn off a few power station over night. In Japan for example every house gets 20->30 amps (cannot remember) @ 110 volts regardless of the size of the house. This means you cannot run your AC, Plasma Screen TV, tumble dryer and have every light in the house on at the same time. It will trip the circuit breaker. We need something like this here. My house is wired for 3 phase power. Why??? I can pull enough energy from the grid to run my whole street. The thing is reducing the amount of electricity available to all homes treats every one as equal and will make us think twice about what things we need to run in our homes and at what times. If you want more power, put some solar panels on your roof.

    Ben Green

  24. Rationing electricity? Sounds like socialism. Let’s hope things don’t get to this stage, but with governments wanting to regulate the carbon trading market then it could well become a reality.

    Future generations will likely look back at ours and think what a bunch of idiots we were worrying about climate change.

    Ewan McDonald.

  25. Hi Ewan,

    They do it now. I think it is set to 100 amps or so. Thing is most houses would never even come close to this value in terms of constant usage. Lowering this value would make people think twice about what should be on or off and at what times. I am not a GW advocate. I just think being smarter and more efficient is a good thing.

    Future generations may also look back at ours and think how wasteful and short sighted we were also.

    Ben Green

  26. Ben, may I encourage you to watch the video link I have provided. Please take up this challenge. You will need to set aside 30 minutes of your time and it may prove to be the best spent half hour. May God bless you.
    Jennifer Parfenovics

  27. Ben, I don’t think you can really say “they do it now” in terms of rationing electricity. What you are talking about would just be the industry standard supply type for a domestic supply and not designed with any limit in mind. If you want people to think about how they can save power then just make them pay for it. The ETS is supposed to artificially increase the cost of carbon based energy so as to encourage comsumers to use less or choose an alternative. Problem is that at present the only real alternative to coal generated electricity is nuclear and the green zealots in government have ruled that out.

    Ewan McDonald.

  28. This is a money grab from the top class designed to collapse or decimate the middle class and broaden the bottom class welcome to fuedalism uncoated slavery and bold dictatorship.

    Australia with over 5% of the worlds earth
    and using just 2.5% of the worlds carbon
    is owed either a 2.5% credit or

    Is entitled to double emmissions and still be carbon neutral

    One biased report from an unelected self declared carbon rattler and nobody gets the same platform to debunk his view.

    Mike Maxwell

  29. Hi Jennifer,

    Yes I have seen that program when it was released last year?? It is interesting but there are some problems with it. Have a look at

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/swindled/

    As I said before I am not a GW advocate. There really is not enough data in to conclude what is going on and all the hysteria being drummed up by Green groups and the like is not helping the understanding.

    Hi Ewan,

    Using a financial tool to restrict the use of something always effects the community disproportionately. I only make the suggestion of reducing the amount of energy delivered to each house because it effects every person the same. Is this a form of socialism?? I do not think so. Of course, some form of allowance would have to be made based on family size but you get my meaning. The good thing about reducing availability is that it will have an immediate effect. I lived in Japan for over a year and it really did not bother me. I have also lived in South Korea and they do the same thing. It does not decrease your standard of living. If you have another idea I would be happy to read it. Do you think we should do nothing?

    I agree with you though that taking nuclear off the discussion table is just stupid.

    Ben Green

  30. Ben, rationing anything rather than allowing market forces to operate is what socialism is about. Unless there is a genuine shortage because of war or natural disaster or something, but that is certainly not the case with electricity in Australia today.

    My idea is essentially the same as Bill’s conclusion above:

    The science of climate change needs to be carefully established, and then the costs and benefits of any proposed solutions need to be thoroughly examined.

    As I said in my first comment above, I don’t think there is a problem with CO2. Concerning the cost and availability of energy, I think the market should be allowed to find more sources of energy. This has happened in the past and will continue to happen into the future providing of course that governments don’t get in the way as they are with nuclear.

    Ewan McDonald.

  31. Mike above raises a good point that has been almost forgotten in this hyperventilating ‘debate’. That is, because of Australia’s vast land mass and our relatively small population, we are a nett consumer of greenhouse gases. It’s only when AGW preachers like Garnaut and Rudd talk about anthropogenic greenhouse gases on a per-head of population basis that we look bad, and even then they fudge the figures.

    Ewan McDonald.

  32. Bill,

    Climate change is forever perennial it seems but don’t let Mr Gore and his fellow cultists know that.

    Whilst working away the other day I listened with one ear to a documentary running on the TV. It concerned the Moche Indian Empire in Peru and its eventual collapse about 750AD. Apparently one of the contributing factors that led to the eventual collapse was climate change. Studies of ice cores drilled from glaciers in the Andes reveal climatic events between 536 to 594 AD, possibly a super El Niño, that resulted in 30 years of intense rain and flooding followed by 30 years of drought, part of the aftermath of the climate changes of 535–536.

    It was an agrarian based civilization so any major adverse climate change would have brought devasting effects. But then again they didn’t have Kyoto did they? If only they had switched from wood fires to solar/wind power and reduced their emissions! Sigh!

    John McMahon, Kolonga, Qld

  33. It seems that the Australian media is one of the world’s most successful in terms of brainwashing its public about global-warming. Either that or Australians are more gullible if this report is accurate.

    Ewan McDonald.

  34. Someone’s stolen our carbon credits. We have 5% of the worlds land and use 2.5% of the worlds carbon emmissions. 5-2.5 = +2.5% credits. Give me my credits or give me a chainsaw.

    And we have a low population we kept our trees for later. One acre of pine forest stores 1 ton of carbon per annum. We have 100 acres per man woman and child of which 1.5% is urbanised. The arable land farming with a plough is just 7% and the balance 91.5% is forest, shrubland and native grassland and mangroves.

    I’ve got ten trees on my suburban block and when I look west at the great dividing range in my view to the horizonI estimate iI see 1 million trees. This great dividing range is thick with trees – try walking through it. It must be 100 km wide in parts and must go over 3000 km long from Queensland and through NSW to the bottom of Victoria.

    Forget the imaginary man made global warming conspiracy theory… this is all about a huge annual TAX on everyones energy labour food travel transport our life requires the use of energy, why carbon tax the champions of tree conversation australia the cleanest greenest place in the world. give me my credits NOW or give me a chainsaw.

    Mike Maxwell

  35. Frankly I think the Rudd Gov have a Political agenda that has nothing to do with reality.
    Any person who has read even the slightest bit about the “earth record” knows that climate change has been ongoing on this planet since day one. A 1500 year cycle that has the earth heating and cooling. People forget (but shouldn’t since cold is much, much harder on us as a species than heat) that there was in the past a glacier in the Flinders ranges.
    What I want to know is when it becomes necessary for the Pollys and AGW zealots to change tack ie its now cooling not heating and that as experiments and the “earth record” have again shown Co2 is pretty well irrelevant to what’s happening are you going to refund the charges you are making on us ordinary people for ‘reducing’ Co2 via carbon credits (what a ridiculous scheme pushed only by those Countries with an excess of Carbon Credit that they can sell or those with a economic death wish) or will they slink away and ‘spin’ it as someone else’s fault and they are all innocent.
    But keep the money.
    I have no choice but to pay this indirect taxation but do so under protest. And I will want my money back!!
    What a shame Australia has only Politicians and no Statesmen. (A polly will put his/her own interest and that of his/her Party before that of his /her Country whereas a Statesman will always put the interests of his/her Country first.)
    The Libs own experts lectured to the Party some time back I’m told that human caused Global Warming was all nonsense. Pity they don’t have the strength of Character to come out and say so.
    For me the money should go first and as a priority in discovering the drivers for climate . If we can’t accurately foretell weather in 2 weeks how can anyone forecast climate in 10 years, it just defies reason. Then and only then will it be possible for sensible and meaningful plans to live with, not prevent (what arrogance that word suggests), inevitable climate variation be made.
    Denis James

  36. The NASA satellite data and the UK Hadley Centre data shows that the temperatures have “plateaued” and if anything are coming DOWN… Do you want it to go up to keep the WARMING dream alive.. so you cant see it or register it going down COOLING? If you look at the last two years of data from both the UK Met Bureau and NASA’s satellite data, temperatures if anything are coming down. This is NOT what the IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) models predicted. The world has NOT warmed for 10 years. (read it again) The world has NOT warmed for 10 years.

    Fact is carbon taxes TAXES not climates will cripple economies and LESS food will be available to MORE people. In fact, the last couple of years it has cooled. Regardless doing everything proposed may delay the theoritical event by 2 years but it will not STOP the theoretical event EVEN “IF” THE THEORY WERE CORRECT. If we stop or restrict growing food or sell less food for more (carbon tax) people die. CARBON TAX RESULT: DEATH TO THE POOR AND MORE POOR THAN EVER BEFORE.

    Mike Maxwell

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