Damp prophet of doom August 27, 2011Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
Tags: climate change, global warming, tim flannery
Damp prophet of doom
Quadrant Online, August 24, 2011
“The only way in a democracy that a country can come to terms with these issues is to have a well-educated populace, otherwise you keep on making the wrong decisions” said Professor Tim Flannery last week. As Australia’s Climate Change Commissioner, it’s his job to educate vox populi about anthropogenic global warming.
He was chosen for this $3,000 a week job for his expertise, his communication skills, and his track record in the competitive business of sounding alarms about the dire consequences of our “carbon polluting” ways. His alarms, he claims, are based on an anthropogenic global warming theory that has been confirmed by an overwhelming consensus of scientists to be ninety per cent probable – the implication being that there is only one chance in ten of him being wrong.
But how can his teachings and preaching ever be tested? Most of his apocalyptic prophesies are projected far enough into the future for him to be well and truly beyond accountability when they are proved right or wrong.
When it came to Australia’s rainfall, however, Flannery threw caution to the wind and declared that the apocalypse is now.
In 2004 Flannery said:
I think there is a fair chance Perth will be the 21st century’s first ghost metropolis. It’s whole primary production is in dire straits and the eastern states are only 30 years behind.
He warned that Australia, being so dry, is especially fragile in the face of climate change. We are “one of the most physically vulnerable people on the Earth,” and “southern Australia is going to be impacted very severely and very detrimentally by global climate change.” We are going to experience “conditions not seen in 40 million years.”
In 2005 he wrote in The Weather Makers:
Australia’s east coast is no stranger to drought, but the dry spell that began in 1998 is different from anything that has gone before….The cause of the decline of rainfall on Australia’s east coast is thought to be a climate-change double whammy – the loss of winter rainfall and the prolongation of El Nino-like conditions.
The resulting water crisis here is potentially even more damaging than the one in the west … As of mid 2005 the situation remains critical… very little time to arrange alternative water sources such as large scale desalination plants.
Also in 2005, on ABC News Online, he predicted that the ongoing drought could leave Sydney’s dams dry in just two years.
In 2006 he said:
We’re already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers. That’s because the soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation.
In January 2007 Flannery wrote:
What this tells us is that Australia’s extraordinary drought is part of a global phenomenon: it simply cannot be part of some local natural cycle. The one-in-1000-years drought is, in fact, Australia’s manifestation of the global fingerprint of drought caused by climate change.
There are other indications that climate change rather than natural variability lies behind this dry. Common sense tells us that, in a warming world the winter rainfall will retract southwards, which is precisely what we have seen over the past 50 years. Common sense also tells us that warming will lead to greater evaporation and loss of soil moisture, which again is just what we see in nature.
Furthermore, the computer models predict that as the Pacific Ocean warms, rainfall across eastern Australia will reduce until a semi-permanent el-Nino-like state is induced.
Read the rest here