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Prologue to Copenhagen October 5, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Chris de Freitas

By Chris de Freitas
NZCPR, October 3, 2009

The Kyoto Protocol, an icon of the global environmental movement, is soon to be replaced by a more radical international accord to curb greenhouse gas emissions. What it will involve depends on the outcome of negotiations this December in Copenhagen. In preparation, the Government has committed New Zealand to cut up to a third of current emissions by 2020. The emissions trading scheme is a first step, but this alone cannot guarantee such a massive reduction. Sweeping legislation restricting the use of oil, coal and natural gas will be required, along with far-reaching reforms in pastoral farming to cut methane release. The economic and social implications for New Zealand are immense.

Labour and the Greens have accused the Government of not going far enough and, predictably, the debate has become focussed on the size of the emissions target rather than justification for it. Given the enormity of the social and economic disruption associated with emissions reductions, we need to be convinced that the benefits are worth the enormous costs.

The US federal government has spent 80 billion US dollars on climate research on the assumption that human caused rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a problem. Despite this, no one has yet found even a shred of objective scientific evidence that humans are causing damaging global climate change.

The so called evidence emanates from a vociferous group in the scientific community who, for a variety of reasons, are set on promoting predetermined conclusions not supported by empirical data or real-world observations. The science they rely on is all about the number of scientists who agree with them and claims of consensus to suppress quality control in climate research. “Taking a vote is a risky way to discover scientific truth”, warned climatologist Reid Bryson.

The planet has warmed and cooled several times over the past 150 years, all within the range of natural climate variability. There are no published scientific papers that show irrefutable proof that any of this is human-caused. Proof is not to be mistaken for the output of hypothetical climate models, none of which has been shown to reliably predict climate. Proof is not merely evidence of warming coupled with the default conclusion “it must human-caused” when we don’t how else to explain it. This is nothing more than admission of ignorance. Even the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges changes we have seen may be natural. The following statement appears in a major IPCC report “Climate Change 2001”.

“The fact that the global mean temperature has increased since the late 19th century and that other trends have been observed does not necessarily mean that an anthropogenic effect on the climate has been identified. Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so the observed change may be natural.”

The notion of an unchanging climate has been used to deceive us. It is a conveniently forgotten fact that most of the industrialised world went into hysterics during the forty years of global cooling beginning in the late 1930s. It has been replaced by global warming hysteria over a temperature rise over 100 years of less than one degree, a trend that started before modern industrialisation caused atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to rise.

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