Sunday, 12 June 2011

Warming to the debate

The Australian Federal Government and their employed climate scientists are assuring us that the global warming debate is over and sceptics are no longer sceptics but deniers. In response to this I quote well known author Dean Koontz who wrote, “When a scientist tells you the science is settled in regard to any subject he’s ceased to be a scientist and he’s become an evangelist for one cult or another. The entire history of science is that nothing is ever settled. New discoveries are continuously made and they upend old certainties.”

On Dec. 13, 2007, 100 scientists jointly signed an open letter to Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, requesting they cease the man-made global warming hysteria and settle down to helping mankind better prepare for natural disasters. The final signature was from the President of the World Federation of Scientists. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the most authoritative assessment of global scientific opinion, now estimates (2011) that – if we do nothing and continue with business as usual – mean global temperatures will rise by 1.8°C by 2100 at the low end, and 4.0°C at the top end. Sea levels are estimated to rise a mean of 28 cm at the low end of estimates, and a mean of 43 cm at the top end.

These forecasts have a level of uncertainty, but are the best estimates from the best minds. And because the IPCC’s reports are produced by consensus, it is more likely that these estimates conservative rather than exaggerated. But even the worst-case scenarios are not going to “kill the planet”, as some of fringe environmental groups argue. They are not going endanger all life, nor are they going to see the end of humanity.

In addition to these international announcements there is evidence that there have been no global temperature increases in the past decade. In Australia there have been abnormally low temperatures in some regions at different times. In Central Victoria the average temperature in 1909 was 20.4ºC and in 2009 the average temperature was 20.4ºC, but in 2010 for the first time since records have been maintained there were over two hundred days where the temperature remained below 20ºC. In 2011 places such as Ballarat recorded their coldest May in forty years and in June Brisbane recorded their coldest day EVER.

The government has hijacked the debate and begun a campaign to convince everyone that the debate is over and the only thing left to discuss is the rate at which a carbon tax will be levied. The truth is obvious, this is an attempt to stifle further discussion and enable the minority government to raise more taxes to overcome their growing budget deficit, and it has become an economic necessity – NOT an environmental one.