2020 is when opposing views on climate change are welcome? (update) Posted by: McQ
on Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Seems a little late given the speed of the "do something now" crowd's attempts to spend us into the poorhouse, doesn't it (see update)?
THE 2020 Summit is supposedly designed to allow consideration of views not previously examined by government policymakers. With climate change on the agenda, this should provide an opportunity to question the alleged scientific consensus claiming that increased emissions of greenhouse gases emanating from increased human activity have caused global warming.
The touting of the science consensus claim underpins the advocacy of large reductions in CO2 emissions to prevent temperatures increasing more than a further 2C and the assertion of many adverse consequences if that happened.
However, since the last report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, many qualified scientists have begun to question its basic science, and even those accepting the science differ widely on emission reduction policies.
While the Stern review advocates early and strong action, well-regarded environmental economist William Nordhaus argues for only modest emission reductions initially, followed by sharper reductions later.
And Australia's Productivity Commission notes that uncertainty continues to pervade the science, geopolitics and economics, describing the Stern review as much an exercise in advocacy as an economic analysis of climate change.
Yet without holding any public inquiry into the science, the federal Government aims for a 60 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050, starting with an emission trading scheme in 2010 that implies some reduction target then, regardless of other countries' policies.
Interesting isn't it that it won't be until 2020 when there's a plan to listen to the other side of the issue? That's science? And Australia's Productivity Commission has it dead solid right about what this is all about. It's an economy buster being hustled forward without examining all the science. As the Australian notes, not a single public inquiry into the science to this point. Is that how policy should be made?
And don't confuse yourself. There's no plan that I know of to hold any public examination of the evidence here either before some wildly costly government program is passed into law.
Account needs to be taken of the many expert analyses post-IPCC, including 400 who signed the minority US Senate report disputing the IPCC view. Also pertinent is the recent report by the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change concluding that natural causes are likely to be the dominant cause of global warming, signed by 23 experts, including two highly qualified Australian scientists.
But account isn't being taken of those post-IPCC analyses from leading scientists. They're being studiously ignored, aren't they?
And what could a more public examination of the phenomenon of "global warming" yield? As Des Moore, the author of the article says:
Even a cursory consideration suggests it is timely to re-examine the situation at the summit, particularly:
* Global warming has occurred in past periods when human activity involving industrial type CO2 emissions did not occur and temperature levels were almost certainly higher. Experts, including scientists, have a history of unrealised doom and gloom predictions.
* Since the last IPCC report, new authoritative research shows about half the temperature increase since 1980 reflects normal heating effects from urban areas. Also, the absence of any increase since 2001, and the fall of 0.6C between January 2007 and January 2008, raises further doubts about the claimed correlation between increases in temperatures and CO2 emissions.
* Indeed, scientific analysis acknowledged in successive IPCC reports shows that incremental warming effects from increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere diminish progressively with concentration. So, why did the IPCC fail also to acknowledge that this analysis suggests even a doubling of CO2 concentrations in the 21st century would increase temperatures during the rest of the century by only 0.3C?
* Scientific analysis of IPCC modelling used to project temperature increases is seriously deficient in taking proper account of the strong increase in surface evaporation occurring when surface temperatures rise. That surface evaporation includes an offsetting process that acts to limit such temperature rises. Why did the IPCC fail to recognise that larger CO2 concentrations will result in much smaller surface temperature rises than the models produce?
* If there are substantive qualifications to IPCC views, the need for governments to intervene to limit CO2 emissions is much diminished or disappears. Humans readily adapt themselves to different climates (as they do now) and for the present it would be best to rely on adaptation.
* Any adoption of an emissions reduction policy by Australia should be in the context of an effective, comprehensive global agreement. The summit should call for a detailed public inquiry on both the science and economics of global warming, such inquiry to include experts not directly involved in the IPCC reports.
So which is more important - validating the science before we act to ruin our own economic well-being, or simply throwing science over the side and 'do something now!' as the cultists demand?
UPDATE: OK, Keith has pointed out that I really blew this one by misunderstanding that "2020" isn't really a date (I'm not sure what it is) but the name of a conference beginning on April 19th this year. So disregard all the bloviating about waiting until 2020 to hear the dissenting opinions. The central point remains - "validating the science before we act to ruin our own economic well-being, or simply throwing science over the side and 'do something now!' as the cultists demand?" In fact, it happening within days makes it even more interesting - let's see how it proceeds.
Just add a provision that anyone who had bad results during the 2020 review will be banned from future government funding, required to return previous funding, tar & feather and run out of town on a rail.
And here’s another little something for the Erb-meister...
When Global Warmingest-in-Chief Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, the media’s prideful gushing was so obvious it was almost sick-making.
Now, six months later, a fellow Nobel Peace Prize recipient is part of a group asking the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "admit that there is no observational evidence in measured data going back 22,000 years or even millions of years that CO2 levels (whether from man or nature) have driven or are driving world temperatures."