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February 24th 2009 print

Bob Carter

Science versus propaganda

Australia needs adaptive policies to deal with real climate change in place of the government's expensive, inefficient and ineffective plans to “prevent” an entirely hypothetical global warming. Why is it so difficult for our major political parties to discern this obvious truth?

The editorial in last weekend’s Australian, “Carbon trading is not the only answer” (21/22 February), addressed the controversial issue of the government’s planned emissions trading legislation, commenting that “We need to hear other ideas on greenhouse gas reduction”.

Talk about missing the point! For the pressing issue that we need to deal with is the hard reality of natural climate change, rather than wasting money on futile attempts to “stop” speculative human-caused warming.

If ever we needed a reminder regarding the power and danger of natural climatic events, then Mother Nature has just provided us with two. The northern half of Australia has been submerged under floods, and large areas of the southeastern corner of our continent have been ravaged by firestorms. These events resulted from unpredictable natural events such as our planet has ever been heir to.

Just as the “science” that is cited in favour of dangerous human warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions shows all the hallmarks of orchestrated propaganda, so too the real science shows beyond doubt that the wide array of extreme natural events – which include climatic warming trends, cooling trends, step-events, heat waves, droughts, cyclones, floods and snowstorms – poses great dangers for humanity.

“Greenhouse gas reduction”, by any means, is an irrelevancy, for it deals only with the speculative problem of as-yet-unmeasured human-caused global warming, and that at a time when the globe has been cooling for ten years.

In contrast, a national climate policy that better improves our ability to recognize and adapt to real (i.e., natural) climate change and events is an urgent necessity, and would cost but a fraction of the mooted carbon dioxide taxation scheme, a non-solution to a non-problem if ever there was one.

By their very nature, strategies that can cope with the dangers and vagaries of natural climate change will readily cope with human-caused change too, should it ever manifest itself.

Australia needs adaptive policies to deal with real climate change in place of the government’s expensive, inefficient and ineffective plans to “prevent” an entirely hypothetical global warming. Why is it so difficult for our major political parties to discern this obvious truth?

Bob Carter is an adjunct professor of geology at James Cook University. He will be presenting a paper at the International Conference on Climate Change to be held in New York, 8 – 10 March.