should that prove necessary.
- Three years ago, majority public opinion in western nations believed IPCC warnings that dangerous AGW was being caused by human carbon dioxide emissions. Accordingly, even right-wing governments whose leaders remained privately sceptical were forced to join in the public demonisation of carbon dioxide, and to prepare (unnecessary) policy measures against human-caused emissions (e.g., the Howard government).
- A gathering shift of public opinion, already underway during 2009, became focused into a large shift between November 2009 and March 2010, as the successive Climategate and various IPCCgate scandals broke.
- An IPA survey of Australian public opinion in April, 2010, found that 35% of respondents believed that “the world is warming and man’s emissions are to blame”, 28% believed “the variation in global temperature is just part of a natural cycle” and 39% were “unsure” or “don’t know”. That survey was repeated this month (February, 2011), and, surprisingly, detected no change whatever in opinion despite the occurrence over the last 6 months of several major natural climatic disasters in Australia. The fact remains, though, that this poll indicates that 67% of Australians do NOT believe that human activity is causing dangerous global warming.
Other recent online polls, however, suggest that an even larger majority of public opinion is now openly sceptical about dangerous AGW. For example, 89% of online respondents answered NO to the question “Would you support a climate tax”, as published in The Age on February 11th. Another poll, in the Herald-Sun, and with more than 30,000 respondents, received an 85% NO to the question “Do you support a price on carbon (sic)?”.
- With very few exceptions, the media (and especially ABC and SBS) have campaigned hand-in-glove with environmentalists to spread the message of AGW alarm since about 2001 (date of the IPCC’s 3AR).
Though at the start of 2010 even “wet, Green” newspapers such as the Guardian and London Times felt obliged to cover Climategate and ensuing scandals, as the months passed nearly all media sources have reverted to their baseline position of direct propagandizing on behalf of the IPCC and its supporters. In particular, the producers of TV current affairs, documentary and news programs exhibit a complete inability to separate politically motivated science spin from meaningful research results, and display also an utter naivete in their addictive dependence upon what they portray as definitive science authority (e.g. IPPC, national science academies).
Recent natural climate-related disasters, including bushfires and floods in 2010, and floods and cyclones so far this year, have surely demonstrated in spades the value of a society being prepared in advance for climatic disasters, and adapting to them as they develop.
Yet scarcely a single influential politician or media writer/presenter in Australia has supported, or even discussed, the needed, truly precautionary and cost-effective approach of preparation + adaptation with respect to climate change.
- Senior business figures have nearly all become resigned to what they see as the inevitability of a carbon dioxide tax/ETS – subservient to Green and political intimidation, they have (mostly) found creative ways in which to profit from the prospect of “carbon trading”. Indeed, some industry sectors, especially alternative energy providers and the financial community, have always been amongst the most vigorous lobbyists for a carbon dioxide taxation/ETS policy.
- Most federal National MPs/Senators and probably a majority of Liberal ones understand that Green-IPCC-inspired AGW hysteria is a contrived issue. But they remain terrified of the “poison pill” aspect of arguing against AGW alarmism. That the alarmist-inclined Greg Hunt is still Liberal spokesman on climate (and known to be backed by Malcolm Turnbull and others) is also a very big political problem for the Coalition.
The internal schism in the Coalition has, perhaps inevitably, resulted in an ineffectual and politically damaging “keep our heads below the parapet” approach, accompanied by the maintenance of a transparently irrational “half-pregnant” policy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions through means other than taxation or trading (though some of the mooted measures could be defended as “no regrets” ones independently of warming worries).
- Meanwhile, global temperatures have failed to increase; the Chicago Carbon Exchange has collapsed; devastating corruption and ineffectiveness has been demonstrated for the barely-functioning European carbon dioxide trading system; US politicians have dropped the idea of carbon dioxide cap-and-trade legislation; both India and the US Congress have announced that they will not use IPCC advice for future setting of their national climate policy; and NZ Deputy Prime Minister John Cullen has recently announced that "having lower carbon (sic) emissions" was a 2007 “fad”.
Yet IPCC advice remains the sole justification advanced by the Australian government for their present, equally fad-inspired policy.
- February 23rd saw the announcement by the government’s Multi-Party Climate Change Committee that a carbon dioxide tax will be legislated to commence on July 1, 2012. In any objective, let alone international, context, this continued planning for the introduction of an economically damaging and socially strongly regressive carbon dioxide tax in Australia is simply weird.
In response to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Tony Abbott has rightly called for a “People’s Revolt” against the ridiculous intention of compulsorily reducing the living standards of all Australians, with especial impact on poorer persons, in return for no identifiable environmental benefit.
- My own response to the renewed plans for carbon dioxide taxation are contained in an article published in Quadrant Online on Feb. 28th, see: http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/02/gillard-ignores-the-science
The Australian Climate Sceptics (Leon Ashby) - http://landshape.org/news/
The Carbon Sense Coalition (Viv Forbes) - http://carbon-sense.com/
JoNova (Joanne Nova) - http://joannenova.com.au/
Jennifer Marohasy (Jennifer Marohasy) -http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/
Lavoisier Group (Ray Evans) - http://www.lavoisier.com.au/index.php
IPA (Chris Berg) - http://climatechange.ipa.org.au/
AEF (Max Rheese) - http://aefweb.info/
Aus Climate Science Coalition (Max Rheese) - http://www.auscsc.org.au/
- There is nothing unusual about either the magnitude or rate of change of warming in the late 20th century and today.
SLIDE 1.1 – 6 My climate record of Pacific Ocean temperature
SLIDE 1.2 – Antarctic Ice core temperature record, last 400,000 years
SLIDE 1.3 – Greenland ice core temperature record, last 10,000 years
SLIDE 1.4 – Greenland ice core record, last 50 ky, rate of temperature change
- Current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are low by geological standards, increasing them does not produce dangerous warming; carbon dioxide is an environmental benefice.
SLIDE 2.1 – A carbon dioxide level of 380 ppm is low in comparison with geological history.
SLIDE 2.2 – The relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature is logarithmic
SLIDE 2.3 – Carbon dioxide, an aerial plant fertilizer, is an environmental benefice.
- There is nothing unusual about the global number or magnitude of tropical storms, nor about the amount of sea-ice at the north and south poles.
SLIDE 3.1 – Summary of (global) energy in tropical storms
SLIDE 3.2 – Summary of sea-ice cover in north and south polar regions.
- The recent weather/climate disasters have not been caused by human CO2 emissions.
SLIDE 4.1 – graph of Queensland large cyclones versus time
SLIDE 4.2 – graph of Brisbane River floods since the 19th century
- There is no evidence for an increased rate or magnitude of natural disasters, or their effect
SLIDE 5.1 – Steady decrease in deaths associated with natural disasters
SLIDE 5.2 – Normalised US hurricane damage, 1900-2000
SLIDE 5.3 – No increase in the damage caused by normalised Australian climatic disasters
- Long-term average global sea-level rise is ~1.7 mm/yr (17 cm/C), but currently decreasing.
SLIDE 6.1 – Long-term tide gauge records showing rise of ~1.5 mm/yr over the last 100 years
SLIDE 6.2 – Decreasing rate of sea-level rise recorded over the last 20 years from satellites.
- Coastal planning requires knowledge of variable LOCAL, not global, sea-level change.
SLIDE 7.1 – Variable local sea-level change around the Australian coast
SLIDE 7.2 – Inflated sea-level rise planning targets for Australia, based on the IPCC.
- The deterministic computer models of future temperature have no forecast skill.
SLIDE 8.1 – Lucia’s IPCC model projection versus measured reality
SLIDE 8.2 – Akasofu’s graph of recovery from LIA plus multidecadal cycles
- The dangerous AGW hypothesis can be tested in many ways, and fails; here’s two tests
SLIDE 9.1 – TEST 1 – Lucia’s recent summary slide of decreasingtemperature since 2001
SLIDE 9.2 – TEST 2 - the missing atmospheric hot spot
- The precautionary principle is not appropriate, indeed it’s counter-productive.
SLIDE 10.1 – recommendation of the UK Commons Committee of Science & Techology
SLIDE 10.2 – yet to come
- There is no “majority of climate scientists” who argue that dangerous AGW requires urgent mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions; rather, there is a small, activist IPCC cabal.
SLIDE 11.1 - summary of signed climate rationalist statements
SLIDE 11.2 – yet to come
- Stay on message, and repeat it endlessly; and
- Try to be FOR something, rather than endlessly negative (in our case, against AGW)
- No scientific analysis is available that demonstrates that warming is more likely than cooling over the next few decades, and no cost:benefit analyses exist that show that mitigation is more cost-effective than adaptation to either warming or cooling, whichever might occur next.
- Therefore, all climate hazard, both natural and possibly human-caused, should be dealt with by a national policy of preparation for, and adaptation, to dangerous climatic events as they develop.
- How many degrees of warming will be averted by a cut in Australian carbon dioxide emissions of, say, 20% by 2020?
- What extra costs, including all flow-through costs, will be imposed on an average family by the taxation strategy that is aimed at producing such a cut, at, say, $25/tonne of carbon dioxide emitted.
(ii) any special skills that you might be able to offer towards preparing materials or organising or attending meetings etc. in your area.
February 25, 2011
Author of Climate: the Counter Consensus