Posted 7 November 2014
Maurice Newman, chairman of the Australian Prime Minister's Business Advisory Committee, writing in The Australian, says:
"Climate scientists have been telling us for decades with '95 per cent certainty' that temperatures would move in lock step with CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. We have been force-fed on climate change being 'extremely likely' (is that a scientific term?) to be the product of human activity. Yet, with the highest human emissions of greenhouse gases in history, temnperatures have gone nowhere for 18 years. We were warned the heat was stored in the deep oceans and would return with a vengeance. Now, 3500 Argo buoys and NASA can't find it.'
IPCC CLIMATE CASE SMACKS OF ‘DESPERATION”
November 07, 2014 12:00AM
“LEAVE fossil fuels in the ground,” Greens leader Christine Milne says. “Renewable energy is the future.” “Coal is a stranded asset.” “It’s driving global warming.” “It’s a huge risk to the planet,” she adds, lest we miss the point.
Milne’s prescription for a vibrant Australian economy includes “keeping the renewable energy target at 41,000 gigawatt-hours”, “stopping new coalmines”, “no coal-seam gas’’ and “no new ports”. “Jobs will come from green energy,” Milne assures us.
She could have added, there are fairies at the bottom of her garden.
Clearly Milne is unaware of the cost to California, Europe and Britain of their ultra green embrace.
The Golden State’s energy prices are 40 per cent above the US national average, plunging its manufacturing and agricultural regions into depression, with one in five living in poverty.
Researchers at Spain’s King Juan Carlos University have found renewable energy programs destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green one created.
A study by Verso Economics commissioned by the Scottish government concluded that for every job in the wind industry, 3.7 jobs were lost elsewhere.
For the average person, this is what is so confusing about the climate change debate.
Conformists tell us one thing, but the reality is different. In 2009, when chief scientist Penny Sackett threatened we had only five years to avoid “disastrous global warming”, we were alarmed. Now we realise she was being emotional.
When climate commissioner Tim Flannery said that “even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems”, it was sobering, but soon we were donating to flood victims and suspected he’d dreamt it up to scare us.
Climate scientists have been telling us for decades with “95 per cent certainty” that temperatures would move in lock step with CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. We have been force-fed on climate change being “extremely likely” (is that a scientific term?) to be the product of human activity.
Yet, with the highest human emissions of greenhouse gases in history, temperatures have gone nowhere for 18 years.
We were warned the heat was stored in the deep oceans and would return with a vengeance. Now, 3500 Argo buoys and NASA can’t find it.
Repeatedly proved wrong, the voice of authority demands silence from rational doubters.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, singing from the green song sheet, wants governments to turn their backs on coal, the cheapest, most efficient energy source on the planet. We are warned of tipping points and catastrophe but offered no scientific proof, just speculation.
Governments are falling meekly into line, with the Europeans boasting they will embrace an RET of 40 per cent by 2030. Sitting at 17 per cent, the EU is unlikely to meet even its 20 per cent target by 2020, let alone 80 per cent to 95 per cent by 2050.
If talk could reduce emissions, plants would be gasping. But rhetoric is different from reality. Some of Europe’s dirtiest coal-fired power stations are receiving subsidies to extend their lifespan. Germany is building 10 coal-fired plants to generate cheaper power. Whatever the dreamers say, economics will drive this debate, not climate theory.
The recent IPCC Synthesis Report is primarily a political document designed to push governments into signing a tougher global emissions abatement agreement in Paris next year. In the bizarre world of climate change, the plan is to legally oblige countries to put forward their proposals and report on progress.
However, no penalty will be imposed if countries miss targets or renege on commitments. It’s appearances that count.
In painting the bleakest picture they can, IPCC authors have projected CO2 levels reaching 1000 parts per million in 2100, largely through coal combustion, despite BP in its Energy Outlook 2035 stating, “Coal is expected to be the slowest growing major fuel, with demand rising 1.1 per cent a year by 2035”, because production costs rise as extraction goes deeper.
The IPCC case smacks of desperation. With improved energy efficiency and the growing use of nuclear power, the scenario it paints is highly improbable. Typically, it ignores the growing gap between climate models and observations. It overlooks the slowing of sea-level rises or that sea temperatures are within natural variability. It fails to mention that the extent of Antarctic sea ice is the highest since records began.
Nowhere are we told of glacier studies that confirm the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods were as warm as today. The pause is discounted, with the IPCC relying on a longer-term upward trend.
Inconvenient truths are not permitted in this alarmist report. The endorsement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will make it harder for Australia to hold on to its comparative advantage of cheap coal, but our economic and business self-interest must come before international popularity, particularly given the case to do otherwise is so shaky.
While the debate over the RET and Direct Action shows all sides of politics remain hostage to the climate change cartel, an ABC radio poll asked: “Is the IPCC right that on current fossil use ‘projectories’, we are heading for a global warming of four or five degrees by century’s end?” The result? Of 3101 votes counted, 91 per cent voted no, only 9 per cent yes.
Maurice Newman chairs the Prime Minister’s
Business Advisory Committee. These views are his own.