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Greenhouse sceptics « Previous | |Next »
November 28, 2004

Environment2.jpg This is a good article on the Greenhouse sceptics by Melissa Fyfe in The Age. Our climate has changed. What has caused it?

The sceptic's position, as outlined by William Kininmonth, former head of the National Climate Centre, part of the Bureau of Meteorology, in his book Climate Change: A Natural Hazard, is that global warming is a natural process.

The implication is that a drier, hotter world represented in Jason South's photograph is not caused by humans burning fossil fuels.

Their politics is pretty clear and upfront. It is about the continuation of cheap energy for the energy intensive industry, and that industry avoiding any payment for the costs of the environmental consequences (increased carbon dioxide emissions) of using cheap energy produced by coal-fired power stations.

The Lavoisier Group says that the context of them asking their questions about science of climate change undertaken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is:


"...one of concern for the future of Australia as a free prosperous and independent nation; a nation whose economy has developed over the last fifty years on the basis of cheap energy and an abundance of mineral and agricultural resources. More recently Australia's manufacturing industries have increasingly become globally competitive, but more often than not, that competitiveness has been based on the abundance of cheap energy which we have taken for granted. Our economy is now at risk from the imposition of a carbon tax (a tax on burning fossil fuels) which will turn our cheap energy into expensive energy, with serious consequences for every Australian."


These free marketeers have no concern for, and are in fact opposed to, shifting the policy compass to a sustainable economy.

They assume that business and economic economic progress is a snug fit. It is a category mistake to ask businesses to achieve broader social goals. Doing so risks undermining the very competitive free market economic system in which business activity leads to opportunity and prosperity.

From what I can gather Kininmonth's book is directed at the IPCC's Third Assessment Report.

It is one thing to raising justifiable concerns about the limitations of current global climate models and their ability to indicate future regional patterns of climate change. It is another thing to say that the limitations of the models imply that the observed global warming over the past century is entirely natural in origin. That is a big claim.

Bridging the justifiable concern about the global climate models and the claim that global warming is entirely natural is the politics. That bridge is signified by the use of 'nonsense', 'bizarre', 'beggaring belief' or 'alarmist' to describe those who say that the observed global warming of the last hundred years has natural and human causes. When you hear those words it is reasonable to think in terms of science aligned with the fossil fuel lobby.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:49 AM | | Comments (0)
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