Humans causing climate change - fact or fiction?
Emissions trading schemes and carbon trading are putting a heavy burden on energy costs as governments try to force reductions in carbon emissions - but are they justified? There are doubters out there.
Posted: Monday , 30 Mar 2009
While it seems that the "politics" of climate change may be settled, there is still much scientific debate over whether climate change is in fact caused by human activities, with the weight of scientific evidence tending to "unfrock" the climate "alarmists".
Att a launch in Australia to promote two 'rational' [my quotes] climate change books on this controversial subject, Ron Manners, from the Mannkal Foundation, made a few introductory comments and referred to his attendance at the recent Heartland Institute's "International Conference on Climate Change". Some 700 "sceptics" assembled in New York City in March for this annual conference which was in its second year. "It was a stellar group, said Manners, with some truly interesting and important papers that further illuminated the theme that nature, not human activity, ruled the climate." For further information and proceedings of this conference see:
In launching the books, Dr Dennis Jensen, an Australian Federal Member of parliament, disputed the widely held perception that humans were causing climate change, saying the popularity of any theory did not give it credibility. "Science is not a vote," he said. "It is about data and evidence. Science does not give a damn about popular votes, and cannot repeal the laws of physics."
Dr Jensen, a long-time vocal opponent of the Australian Federal Government's proposed emissions trading scheme, also disputed data presented by proponents of the global warming theory, saying that their projections indicated continuous increases in temperature, while temperatures to date were falling this century. "They are too in love with computer models," he added. "Ultimately, this is a bet worth hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars. It is flawed science."
Ray Evans, author of Thank God for Carbon explained that in Europe, such a scheme, known as an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), has led to rapidly increasing energy costs and severe political tensions between EU nations and between governments and their peoples. An ETS is a euphemism for a carbon tax, but because in Australia it will be a tax imposed primarily on energy-intensive industries, it will have particularly adverse consequences for export industries and import-competing industries. Many rural and urban enterprises will collapse. Investment in energy-intensive industries will cease, and within a few years electricity blackouts will become commonplace. Britain is now facing this prospect in next year's northern winter.
David Archibald , author of Solar Cycle 24 , said that if it weren't for the global warming alarmists trying to foist their voodoo science on the rest of society, then climate science would not have attracted the attention of scientists from outside that field, and we would be sleepwalking into the rather disruptive cooling that is coming.
Whether the currently accepted science that 'global warming' exists seems to be being challenged by the two book authors, there do have to be doubts that measures being taken to reduce carbon emissions from human sources will have any effect at all in regulating climate change. Data is certainly confusing - melting icecaps in some areas seems to be being matched by thickening ones elsewhere and there are doubts as to whether recorded data in urban areas, which show rising temepratures, are relevant given local heat sources in built up areas, while some non-urban data suggests temperatures are not rising at all - or are even falling in places.
There is also no doubt that global temperatures have been higher in the past - one observer has even pointed out that these times seem to have seen global prosperity increases, rather than global disasters. Accepted climate change science thus seems that it could be misleading, but general unscientific observation suggests that changes are indeed occurring, but whether we can actually do anything about it by reducing carbon emissions remains an extremely controversial subject. At the moment the force is with those who say we can make a difference, but scientific research does seem to be confusing on the causes, yet alone any solutions.
Politicians, and the media, tend to hitch their wagons to populist theories and disbelievers are dismissed as cranks and otherwise sidelined. There should be more open debate on the subject as, as with some supposed solutions to the global economic crisis, we could just be pouring money into a bottomless pit with no effect whatsoever in attempting to achieve the unachievable.