Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Australian scientists reject hot air

Global warming and the Kyoto Protocol were rubbished recently at an Australian scientific conference. As Tech Central Station reports :
For the first time in Australia, Australia's leading advocates of the Kyoto model were required to publicly defend the "official" UN science supporting Kyoto to their peers. They were not successful. Doubts about the UN science are increasing in Australia.


  1. The bubble is about to burst on Kyoto.
    The economic reality of its provisions will start to bite those countries foolish enought to have signed onto it, while the science behind it continues to look more shakey.

    Broken hockey stick anyone?

  2. Everybody agrees that Kyoto is not the solution, or even nearly enough to slow or halt climate change, even the protocol's staunches supporters. What that article does not point out is that the main reason that countries have backed away from Kyoto is that without the US on board - the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases - it is completely pointless. I would have no problem with the US and Australia not signing up to Kyoto if they were proposing something better, or equally effective, but they're not. All the US and Australian govts are saying is that Kyoto would force them to make cutbacks and implement legislation which would alienate their core voters and supporters (i.e big business) so they're not prepared to do it, because it would result in them getting voted out of power. In addition, they claim that the "jury is still out on climate change", when in actual fact the only reports which question the role of humans in climate changes are funded and run by the governments themselves or their lobby groups. Surprise surprise.


  3. Julian Pistorius13 Apr 2005, 07:41:00

    Hi berlinbear,

    I have spent a lot of time researching this. I can recommend "The Skeptical Environmentalist", by Bjorn Lomberg.

    The following two links are also interesting:
    Earth's Fidgeting Climate
    Global Warming: A Chilling Perspective

    Basically, if you think that just because a study is funded by the government or business, it is biased or just because a study is funded by an environmentalist group it is unbiased, then you are living in a dream world. Look at the quotes by leading environmentalists on that second page - unbiased indeed.

    But either way, claiming that there is concensus on global warming is wishful thinking.


  4. Hi Julian,

    Thanks for those links. I will make sure to read them. I could of course provide several links which say (presumably) pretty much the opposite, but it sounds like you've done the research and made up your mind. If you want them, just shout, and I'll post them here. Lomberg's book has been on my reading list for a while now but I haven't got that far down yet. you've just bumped it up the list though. Thanks.

    "Basically, if you think that just because a study is funded by the government or business, it is biased or just because a study is funded by an environmentalist group it is unbiased, then you are living in a dream world."
    OK, but I didn't say that, did I? I never even mentioned environmentalist groups or unbiased studies. What I *said* was that is not a surprise that government funded studies and studies conducted by lobby groups such as the representatives of the petro-chemicals industry find the results that their patrons want them to find. The scientists know which side their bread is buttered on.

    "But either way, claiming that there is concensus on global warming is wishful thinking."
    I didn't say that either, but I will now. There *is* a consensus on global warming. Consensus is "general agreement or accord", and there is general agreement among climatologists that global warming is a) occurring and b) in all probability being accelerated by human intervention. Sure, there are scientists who disagree, but the consensus has well and truly come down on the side of human causes.

    That said, acccurate science is not about consensus, it is about *facts* and being *right*. The "consensus" knew for hundreds of years that the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth until that crackpot Galileo proved them wrong. So, in any case, the consensus arguemnt gets us nowhere. Which is why I didn't advance it in the first place.

    I'll sill be sure to read your links though. The more information the better.

  5. BB - I'm a Kyoto sceptic for a number of reasons - a few I'd like to share with you?
    1) Calling the US the largest emitter of CO2 is true - but it's also true (and ignored in the treaty), that it's one of the largest sinks as well (due to large, and growing, forests). Why the emissions/head measure was settled on rather than the equally valid emissions/area one is simple - the latter method would have put the EU in the hot seat instead - and they have more votes!
    2) The models Kyoto was based on ignored water vapour - which has an order of magnitude greater influence on warming than CO2. Also, to this day, no model, given the initial conditions of 1900, has come remotely close to duplicating the climatic changes of the past century. Simply put, current modeling is crude and incapable of accurately predicting the behaviour of a nonlinear chaotic system far into the future.
    3) The Max Planck Institute late last year released the results of research into sunspot activity (a measure of solar output) over the past 11 thousand years. Check it out at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030221144.htm
    I'm inclined to think this likely explains a lot...
    4) Finally, even if Kyoto was implemented by all (currently, the developing world, including China and India are exempt), it'd only delay the rise in temperature by a few years - hardly worth the trillions it'll cost.
    Still, I'm open to arguement, it's just that I've seen so many doomsayer preditions come to nothing in the past that I'm not inclined to believe them now.


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