Global science or global panic? September 8, 2009Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
Tags: climate change, global warming
Global science or global panic?
by Des Moore
Quadrant Online, September 7, 2009
Global Warming – The Case for an Independent Inquiry
In June Climate Change Minister Penny Wong effectively acknowledged the existence of a scientific view rejecting the thesis that a dangerous increase in temperatures will occur unless government action is taken to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2. This is the first time a government minister with environmental responsibilities has done so formally (as distinct from dismissing such views out of hand). Minister Wong did this by agreeing to respond to three questions posed by Senator Fielding on the interpretations of temperature movements since 1998 and of temperature levels in the past, and on the reliability of models used to project temperature levels.
Following a discussion with the Senator (who was advised by four scientists with considerable relevant expertise in climatology) at which a background paper by two of her scientific advisers was circulated, Wong sent Fielding a written reply to those questions. The four scientists advising Senator Fielding subsequently (on 11 August) published a “Due Diligence” critique of both the background paper and Wong’s written reply. This critique raises serious questions about the credibility of the analysis and provides justification for the Government to establish a public inquiry (it is remarkable that there has been none) into whether there is a sound scientific basis for introducing an emissions reduction policy. Recognising that there has been a polarising of views in the scientific community, Fielding’s four advisers argued that:
proper due diligence … can only be achieved where competent scientific witnesses are cross-examined under oath and under strict rules of evidence.
I have been arguing for about two years for some kind of independent inquiry into the scientific basis of IPCC reports and, notwithstanding arguments by IPCC believers that their case has been strengthening over time, it now seems difficult to deny that various recent developments have weakened their case very significantly. My assessment is not based primarily on scientific analysis but on many years in Treasury and outside of analysing proposals for government intervention to solve perceived “crises”. Much analysis of the present proposal requires little more than common sense. Listed below are substantive questions, in staccato form, to which satisfactory answers justifying intervention to reduce emissions of CO2 have not been provided.
Relevant is that claims of the existence of a scientific consensus as reflected in IPCC reports fail to recognise that the IPCC itself undertakes no scientific research. Its key public document (“Summary for Policy Makers”) has been drafted by government appointed officials often drawn from environmental departments or agencies. While these officials draw on submissions by scientists, they are able to select analyses with which they are sympathetic. There is thus a sense in which the claimed consensus simply reflects the views of those sympathetic to the belief in dangerous threats of rising temperatures.
Moreover, consensus claims are much more difficult to sustain than they were a couple of years ago as more and more qualified scientists publicly reject or question the thesis in IPCC reports. The latest of many such groups comprises the more than 60 German scientists, including some who had made submissions to the IPCC, who on 26 July sent a letter to Chancellor Merkel asking for the convening of an impartial panel to review the latest climate science developments, stating that “humans have had no measurable role on global warming through CO2 emissions in temperature”, and accusing the IPCC of completely ignoring facts of which it had to have been aware. Well over 30,000 scientists from a range of countries have made similar public statements.
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