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Archive for May, 2010

Man-induced climate change revisited

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

In previous posts I drew attention to the fact that media reports claiming falsification by researchers of data showing man-induced global warming, coincided with the Copenhagen conference on climate change. No falsification had been shown, but the aim was achieved: a general cooling towards the idea that steps to counter warming were essential.

Now, 255 members of the US National Academy of Science including 11 Nobel Prize laureates issued a very strong statement (according to the Sydney Morning Herald 7.5.10) “defending the rigour and objectivity of climate science. They called for an end to “McCarthy-like threats” of criminal persecution of researchers.”

We all know what the reactions in Australia were. Tony Abbott, the leader of the Opposition (a former environment minister) called man induced climate change “crap” and went as low as announcing to primary school students not to worry, the world was warmer at the time of Jesus of Nazareth. Kevin Rudd, the prime minister, “postponed” legislation to introduce an ETS scheme, after it had been blocked in the Senate by the Opposition and Greens (by the latter for being too weak). Are there any other countries were discussion has descended to such a low level? After all, we are dealing with a problem that may have very serious consequences for future generations. We cannot afford to wait until we are 100% sure about the evidence, science does not work that way.

Perhaps it was too optimistic to expect that the electorate would see through the stupidities, but is it not extraordinary that Tony Abbott and his party were awarded with a high jump in popularity in the latest opinion polls? Senator Fielding of the Family First party, who waved around a poster showing the supposed temperature decline in the last decade (a poster which he had picked up at some meeting in the US) and Abbott were apparently duped by the press reports about falsification of climate data. After all, according to some press reports, the (in)famous climate change denier Lord Monckton (who is not a climate scientist but a business consultant etc.) appeared in the media 455 times during his recent visit to Australia, the scientist and head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct professor of Earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University, appeared just 61 times. Four out of five books denying climate change, according to a press report, were linked to conservative think tanks and there were few PhD’s among the authors.