Climate change “hysteria” ?

Interesting to read the latest anti climate change op-ed piece by Professor Bob Carter in the Courier Mail the other day.

Instead of contesting the tone of his argument, I will stick to what Professor Carter describes as the ‘salient facts’ with which he uses to show that climate change is nothing but “hysteria”:

The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this eight-year-long temperature stasis has occurred despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million (or 4 percent) in atmospheric CO2.

Whilst this finding of the IPCC is an interesting point (see Graph a below), this fact alone does not disprove climate change: what is more misleading is what Professor Carter isn’t telling you.

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Political agenda and scientific neutrality

An article published in the New Scientist entitled “Climate change sceptics criticise polar bear science” (link) is an interesting read regarding scientific neutrality. A little background: In December 2006, the United States Department of Interior proposed that the polar bear be listed as a threatened species under the US Endangered Species Act – the first time such a proposal has been attributed to global warming (link). Although local numbers of polar bears have declined in recent years, the overall population has increased from ~5000 to 25000 in the past three decades – something that the climate change skeptics have jumped upon. One of these authors is Jennifer Marohasy, a freelance journalist and a senior fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs. On the topic of polar bear populations, Marohasy stated earlier this year:

The reasoning from the most shrill of the self-proclaimed experts has been that because there is a likelihood the situation might deteriorate into the future, we can’t acknowledge the good news now.

I completely reject the notion that any scientist, researcher, campaigner, or self-proclaimed expert has a right to withhold good news on an environmental issue of intense public interest because of what may or may not happen in the future.

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Freedom, not climate, is at risk

A recent Op-Ed piece in the Financial Times by the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus caught my eye recently:

“As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism”

The article goes on to say:

“The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment”

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A Reef in Time

“A Reef in Time: the Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End” Upcoming book release from J.E.N. Veron, expert coral taxonomist (over 35 years of experience) and the principal author of over 20 books and monographs on corals including the award winning “Corals of the World” and “Corals in space and time“. “Drawing on a … Continue reading A Reef in Time