Doomed Planet

The way ahead

Forward Towards a Proper Climate Policy

Norm Kalmanovitch is a geophysicist with over 35 years of experience, and recently retired from Penn West, a Canadian oil and natural gas energy trust based in Calgary, Alberta. Norm is a member of Friends of Science, a Canadian group that plays the important role of conveying to the public the facts (as opposed to the legends) of global warming and climate change.

Australians will appreciate the fact, too, that Norm is visiting us shortly to compete in the cycling in the Word Masters Games that we are hosting, for by his visit he will contribute to the pre-ETS robust health of our economy. Of course, if the Senate passes the carbon dioxide taxation bill on its second submission next month, then the next time that Norm visits Australia he is going to find a far less wealthy and happy country.

Writing in Benny Peiser’s CCNet newsletter last week, Norm raised the important issue of the complicit liaison that exists between the politicians and the media over the issue of global warming and carbon dioxide taxation, which involves a grim determination to continue to treat the public as mushrooms. Norm writes that:

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce …. [recently] hosted a presentation by Lord Christopher Monckton titled “Apocalypse Cancelled; The Overheated Hype behind Global Warming”. 

There were four members of the Alberta Provincial Legislature recognized by the host prior to the presentation. During his presentation, Monckton asked by a show of hands for those who did not support the concept of human caused global warming, and there was a unanimous response; when he asked for the supporters not a single hand went up. 

The Alberta Government is spending $2 billion in taxpayers’ money for CCS (carbon capture and sequestration). The rational given by the government for this ridiculous wastage is the IPCC, which they use as their sole basis for scientific support to the exclusion of all with contrary evidence. This means that members of the Alberta Legislature believe in human caused global warming, yet none of the four members in attendance raised their hands to show support for the government position. 

This presentation puts the Members of the Legislature in the awkward position of being exposed to the hard physical facts that contradict their own government position. The simple question is what will they do when they get back to the Legislature? The government is already so committed to this endeavour with projects that are already underway, that it is a physical impossibility for the government to stop the process through political means without losing power.  

Australian politicians are, of course, in exactly the same position, witness the current imbroglio in which the Liberals are embroiled over the forthcoming reconsideration of the carbon dioxide taxation bill in the Senate. As Norm Kalmanovitch continues: 

This is the dilemma facing all world governments, no informed leadership can be unaware of the fact that the Earth is cooling in spite of the continued increase in global carbon dioxide emissions, but all leaders are committed to doing something about “Climate Change” otherwise they will be put out of office.

This is a succinct statement of the position that even Andrew Bolt would be hard put to improve upon; it explains exactly why the Coalition is having such trouble getting their ducks into line on the issue. All Australian politicians have now for some years lived in terror of a global-warming-brainwashed electorate, and of the strong Green intimidation that continues to be exercised against all voters.  A way out of the policy dilemma is needed, and Norm proceeds to recommend one:

There is only one possible way out of this conundrum. The IPCC was formed under a “science mandate” and under this mandate science protocol demands that all postulations are backed up with physical facts. Since the physical facts clearly demonstrate that there is no possible connection between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, the IPCC must declare that it is not in the world’s interest to continue with Kyoto Initiatives to stop global warming, because global warming has already stopped. Since the IPCC is the sole reference for all governments on this issue, this retraction will allow governments to put an end to the wastage without losing power. 

Now there’s a consummation devoutly to be wished! The problem is that all indications are that hell will freeze over before the IPCC recants on its infatuation with unvalidated GCM computer models, and thereby relinquishes the powerful strangehold that it now holds over energy generation in western democracies. 

But is Norm Kalmanovich right when he asserts that IPCC recantation is the only way forward out of the current policy mess that confronts us, both in Australia and elsewhere? 

I do not believe so, because, like many others, in concentrating on the hysteria associated with hypothetical human-caused warming, Norm is overlooking the very real dangers that natural climate change poses all on its own. Though I agree that it is necessary, as Chris Monckton so memorably put it, “to have the courage to do nothing” about human-caused global warming, that DOES NOT MEAN that we need to do nothing about climate change – in the real, not perjorative, meaning of the term. 

Every day, we are confronted from around the world with examples of the dangers implicit in, and damage caused by, natural weather and climatic events. Taking as a case in point the Australian bushfires this February, or last week’s flooding tragedies in the Philippines, it is self-evident that even wealthy western societies do not have adequate risk management and adaptive response strategies in place to deal with natural weather and climatic events – citizens suffer, and die, as a result. 

The political solution to the current AGW fiasco is that governments be encouraged to chaussee sideways into designing genuine national climate policies to deal with the known risks of real (i.e. natural) climate events and change; this is a matter of hazard prediction (to the limited degree that that is possible), hazard management and adaptive response as a particular hazard becomes reality. Climate-related hazards that need management include storms, droughts, bushfires, multi-decadal-scale trends and cycles, floods, landslides and sea-level change. 

Climate hazard management policies need to be national and regional, not global, for climate risk inherently stems from local geography and the types of risk vary from place to place. Putting proper climate strategies in place entails preparing plans to manage the full range of natural climate change, which exceeds that of even the most doom-laden prognostications of hypothetical human-caused change. Therefore, at the same time hazard management plans are prepared to deal with natural climate change, they will also be suitable for use in response to human-caused change – should it ever eventuate at a measurable level. 

Many earlier commentators have commented similarly that “adaptation is the key to dealing with climate change”. Because I agree with Norm Kalmanovitch that politicians must be provided with a feasible exit strategy from AGW hysteria, I have personally been promulgating the “adaptive strategy” for the last couple of years, rather than tilting against the pathetically tottering windmills of alarmist IPCC climate science. 

A relevant video lecture is posted on the Heartland-2 climate change conference site, and a written account of that address was published in Quadrant in April.  

Of course, there is one grave defect with the adaptive solution that I support. Which is that it does not provide cause for discontinuing the world’s conventional, presently fossil-fuel based, industrial and transport processes. So be it. 

Adapted from material first published in Benny Peiser’s newsletters CCNet 155/2009 – 7 October 2009 and CNet 154/2009 – 4 October 2009.

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