Climate change

I think this piece in Cut & Paste is worth quoting in full Long-time British chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, addressing the New Zealand Business Round Table
AS it is, the temperature projections (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) does come up with in its fourth and latest report range from a rise in the global average temperature by the year 2100 of 1.8C for its lowest emissions scenario to one of 4C for its highest emissions scenario, with a mean increase of slightly under 3C. The average annual temperature in Helsinki is less than 5C. That in Singapore is in excess of 27C, a difference of more than 22C. If man can cope with that, it is not immediately apparent why he should not be able to adapt to a change of 3C when he is given 100 years in which to do so. Let us look at the gloomiest of the IPCC's economic development scenarios, according to which living standards ... would rise, in the absence of global warming, by 1 per cent a year in the developed world and by 2.3 per cent a year in the developing world. It can readily be calculated - using, to repeat, a cost of global warming (based on the gloomiest IPCC warning) of 3 per cent of GDP in the developed world and as much as 10 per cent in the developing world - that the disaster facing the planet is that our great-grandchildren in the developed world would, in 100 years, be only 2.6 times as well off as we are today, instead of 2.7 times; and that their contemporaries in the developing world would be only 8.5 times as well off as people in the developing world are today, instead of 9.5 times as well off. And this, remember, is the IPCC's very worst case. The major cause of ill-health, and the deaths it brings, in the developing world is poverty. Faster economic growth means less poverty but - according to the man-made CO2 warming theory, incorporated in the IPCC's scenarios - a warmer world. Warmer but richer is in fact healthier than colder but poorer. The more one examines the current global warming orthodoxy, the more it resembles a Da Vinci code of environmentalism. It is a great story and a phenomenal bestseller. It contains a grain of truth and a mountain of nonsense. And that nonsense could be very damaging indeed. We appear to have entered a new age of unreason, which threatens to be as economically harmful as it is profoundly disquieting.
I don't think it's a new age of unreason; I think unreason has been forced upon society several times by a number of new "We'll all be doomed" religions over the last century; Climate Change is just the latest manifestation of certain zealots need to change us to their idea of a clever caring society I see no problems with society changing the way it treats the environment and there are lots of good reasons to pursue cleaner fuel but scaremongering and over reaction will not help at all.

13 comments

  • Well he certainly speaks common sense alright.

    It’ll be ignored of course.

    But if he said it would be much worse, we’d hear about it everywhere

  • I suspect I’m doing it against the wind……..

    But if Australians are responsible for no more than 1.4% of global emissions, then nothing we do now will make a significant difference.

    Why then, is there such a bloody panic for us to “do something”? My feeling is we should just shut up and wait. If there is a man made problem, only then should we do something ie, determine and adopt the emission reducing procedure(s) that have been shown to offer the best value for money.

  • HRT. Especially since Australia is essentially “carbon neutral” with all the trees we have left and the oceans that surround us. Why are we racing headlong into signing our lifestyle away? Idiot greenies.

  • Rudd’s alarmist election promise to lower Australia’s carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2050 and what ever pie-in-the-sky reduction milestones he comes up with for 2020, 2030 and 2040 is all part of the collective lunacy that is the Australian Labor Party, Greens and Democrats.

    Already, economists and other expert advisors are telling the British government that the EU’s relatively modest target of only eight percent by 2020 is completely unachievable.

    If Rudd is elected and foolishly goes through with his threat to Australia’s economy and does set a 60 percent target for 43 years from now – not far short of half a century – it will demonstrate he and the ALP have completely lost touch with reality.

    Not only will he making plans for a period of which he can have no knowledge of its climatic, social and political conditions or its scientific and technological progress, he will be making economy crippling commitments for future governments which he has no moral right to make.

    Putting it in historic perspective this is equivalent to Australia’s prime minister in 1907 – then Alfred Deakin (remember him?), making nation changing un-costed plans for 1950. By then, of course, we had had two world wars and the globe’s social, scientific and political map had changed beyond recognition.

    But such is the daydream world Rudd inhabits that this clearly seems to him to be entirely sensible. The pity of it is that, instead of looking at him in disbelief, and calling for the men in white coats, the so called journalists of today take him seriously.

  • Climate change is a complex issue, and your average punter, like myself, has a problem separating rhetoric from reality. When all else fails, I usually look at credibility. I listen to the scientists – not the pollies.

    In this case, we have Nigel Lawson expressing an opinion on a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Lawson is best known as a former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer. His commentary would more likely be political than scientific. Politicians have enormous problems with Climate Change because it defies the three or four year electoral cycle. It does involve consideration across generations and most contemporary pollies don’t know how to deal with this new reality. This kid of future planning is counter intuitive to many politicians who are bred to short term electoral cycles. This partly explains Howard’s late conversion.

    It’s a pity that we get so much via the media that is extreme – denial on one hand and hysteria on the other. What I do agree with Lawson about is that hysteria won’t help. However, the bottom line is that human behaviour is warming the earth, and there are a range of consequences, some of them predictable – some of them not. Surely setting targets is reasonable. To use a crude analogy, if I was driving to Cairns, I’d plan a destination and a time of arrival. With this in mind, I could be flexible with routes and stages depending on a range of factors, some of which I may not be aware of on departure. Planning for Climate Change is a bit like that – you adjust as you go.

    Our grandchildren won’t bless us if we sit on our collective backsides.

    BTW, in my book, the best thing Nigel ever did was to father Nigella.

  • “However, the bottom line is that human behaviour is warming the earth…”

    Drivel…

    The Earth’s climate has been changing since the atmosphere first coalesced around this ball of rock.

    There is no evidence to support the recent theory that 20th Century warming was outside the normal range experienced since the end of the Little Ice Age.

    Nor is there any evidence to support the shrill and alarmist theory that increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 is having any effect on the minuscule warming taking place.

    I live in Victoria; it was 9 degrees C this morning with an expected max of 15.

    I’m about to drive to the Pilbara and expect to experience temperatures in excess of 45 degrees when I arrive – I will not perish, I will acclimatise in a matter of a few days.

    I plan to take shorts…

    The more long lived will have 100 years to adapt to a change of perhaps 1 to 2 degrees – I’ll only have a few days to adapt to a temperature increase in the region of 25 degrees.

    It’s something millions of humans do every day.

    The Great Barrier Reef was ‘conceived’ during the last great ice age; since then temperatures have risen dramatically as have sea levels – it’s still there and thriving, just like the myriad other living things on this planet.

  • Listen 173, you had me but then you mentioned the bottom line. And that’s the problem – is the bottom line, humans are causing global warming, a fact or a theory?

    I’d like you to read this by Bob Carter

    July 10, 2007

    AL Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth was launched in May last year. Its message is that global warming is going to roon us all, and the polar bears, too. Initially, the film received eulogistic – and, one might say, generally scientifically ignorant – reviews in substantial newspapers and magazines globally.

    As it came to be watched by qualified persons, devastating critiques of the looseness of the film’s science began to appear on the internet. More than 20 basic errors, some of them schoolboy howlers, were identified.

    From his film, Gore seemed to have lived his life on an imaginary planet where natural change didn’t exist, and all change was anyway morally bad. Yet the official science community, represented for example by members of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, welcomed the film. The public continued to flock to its screening, and platoons of Julie Andrews clones in dirndl skirts danced and sang in the Alpine meadows.

    In March, British television’s Channel 4 screened another film about climate change that had a different message.

    Made by Martin Durkin, and called The Great Global Warming Swindle, this documentary explores the science of climate-change alarmism carefully and accurately. The message of Swindle, which is to be screened on the ABC this week, is that scientific knowledge does not identify carbon dioxide emissions as an environmental harm, nor does their accrual in the atmosphere cause dangerous warming.

    So how is the screening of Durkin’s thought-provoking film being received?

    Interestingly, in the case of the Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, which published a highly critical film review written by several high-ranking IPCC scientists. As well as six other critical reviews written in response to the British screening of Swindle, the BAMOS paper has been widely circulated in influential circles ahead of the Australian screening. For instance, through the deans of science at universities, through the influential lobby organisation the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, and through the Australian Marine Sciences Association, among others.

    Imagine a well-provendered and equipped military fortress in time of war, for that is what the alarmist, pro-IPCC, climate lobby group represents. Suddenly, loping across the landscape outside the fort, and carrying just a single-shot rifle, appears a lone member of the enemy army.

    Does the camp commander respond by sending out a platoon, including a psychologist with a megaphone to check what this naive infantryman is up to? Not on your nelly. Instead, the response is remarkable in its ferocity.

    Three panzer divisions come tearing out of the fort – manned, as it happens, by many distinguished scientists who have volunteered for their politically correct duty of suppressing alternative views – blazing away with all they’ve got. In a trice, the landscape is turned into a moonscape, pockmarked with craters and littered with debris.

    Why does this lone gunman represent such a threat to the warmaholic camp? Does it perhaps relate to the fact that on closer inspection several sections of the fortress wall are sagging, undermined by collapse from below and within? How could a lone gunman have effected that? Is it just possible that there are more powerful forces on earth than military and industrial might, or scientific authority? White ants, perhaps; or even scientific logic?

    In any event, our lone infantryman is now wandering around, dazed, dirty, half-blinded, and staggering on the rim of a crater; and not a dirndl skirt in sight.

    But he’s still standing. He miraculously still has four limbs, and what he is saying – that human carbon dioxide emissions are not an environmental hazard – still accords with all the facts and makes complete sense.

    For you see, science is not about the triumph of the weight of numbers, nor about consensus, nor about the will of the social majority. An idea such as the greenhouse hypothesis is validated not by shouting but by experimental and observational testing and logical analysis.

    And note especially that a hypothesis doesn’t care who believes in it, right up to and including environment ministers, heads of state and presidents of distinguished scientific academies. Rather, science requires that to be successful a hypothesis only needs to be clearly stated, understandable, have explanatory power and withstand testing.

    It takes one person, not an army, to accomplish that, and the names of those individuals pass down through history: Charles Darwin, Wilhelm Roentgen, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Robin Warren-Barry Marshall and their like, mavericks one and all. God bless them.

    Despite this reality, every day we find public figures on Australian TV and radio stations muttering about there being “a consensus” on dangerous, human-caused climate change, or that the science of global warming “is settled”. Such persons should be referred to the nearest psychologist, and gently dissuaded from inflicting their nonsense – for that is what it is – on the poor public.

    Science is never settled, and it is about hypothesis testing against known facts, not arm-waving about imaginary futures that have been created by PlayStation 4 computer buffs. Consensus nonsensus.

    Oh, and by the way, it turns out that our infantryman’s name wasn’t Einstein. It was Durkin. Martin Durkin, and what a service he hasrendered.

    Bob Carter is a geologist who researches ancient climate change. The Great Global Warming Swindle will air on ABC television on Thursday night.

  • This sort of response is as lame as all get out, but I can’t improve on it (being a dumb grunt also), but to Cav and his last post:

    *Bravo, applause*

    I am getting seriously tired of all these dickheads squealing about Global Warming/Climate Change while all the time they clutch their Government grants and funding ever closer to their hearts.

    No better than thieves and con men, in my book, and time will show them up as charlatans and liars with profit as their motive.

  • Simple fact, the sun releases the same energy as several million hydrogen bombs every second and its output varies slightly over time. when contrasted to that mans efforts are trivial.

    However, rather than get our panties in a knot and ruin our economy, all we need to do if it does get too warm (solar or man made) is to simulate a Krakatoa or two.

    Of course, then we get into the thorny question of ‘who sets the global thermostat for their own comfort, Oslo or Darwin’

  • Well put Cav and Bob Carter…

    Death to the warmanistas…

    Hold you fire until you see the green tinge of their ballot papers in their eyes – oh, and don’t forget to buy carbon offsets for each round sent down range.

  • Peter W

    Drivel?

    If so, there are a lot of eminent scientists who would argue with you –

    “The global average air temperature near the Earth’s surface rose 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the last 100 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes, “most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations via the greenhouse effect. Natural phenomena such as solar variation combined with volcanoes probably had a small warming effect from pre-industrial times to 1950 and a small cooling effect from 1950 onward.These basic conclusions have been endorsed by at least 30 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries. While individual scientists have voiced disagreement with some of the main conclusions of the IPCC, the overwhelming majority of scientists working on climate change are in agreement with them.”

    Cav,

    Ive seen that program, but it simply confuses the issue. The point about the scientific method is a good one, but how do you construct an experiment to prove the validity or otherwise of the theory that human intervention influences climate?

  • Those who cannot form a thought beyond “gee, an extra 3 degree’s will make winter much nicer” should try and stop themselves from commenting at all.

    The issue is not what the top temp will be tomorrow, its what an average across the globe rise in temperature will do to weather systems across said globe, and what that will in turn do to important things like food production and sea levels.

    How would you “cope” if your house was under 3 meters of water?

    I guess those commenters who are lucky enough to have plenty of money (to buy ever more expensive food) and live high enough to not worry about the sea level can afford to be ignorant of the facts.

    The rest of us care.

    And as for those who say Australia cannot contribute, the mere fact that we set out to do something will add to the pressure of other countries to follow suit.

  • Our market economy keeps pinching Africas best doctors. Maybe that contributes to their ill-health. Super-charged V8s won’t keep the poverty away, Kev. Now, which war are we to be involved in next if the libs ever get back in power? The Vietnam domino concept sucked (hooray to unobserved mine fields-some rich bloke made a few quid out of that!) and this Iraq thing is a crock of sh*t if ever I saw one. Go easy on the planet kev and it’ll go easy on you.