A couple of weeks ago, I wrote suggesting that logic alone tells us there must be more than a few Coalition MPs who have not bought into the great global warming swindle, reasoning that some must have looked objectively at the evidence and formed their opinions on the basis of facts, not leftist ‘feel good’ rhetoric. I lamented that none of them has found the courage of their convictions to speak up – a phenomenon that I call ‘the silence of the lambs’.
Well, I stand corrected. Craig Kelly (above), federal member for Hughes in the South West of Sydney, is no lamb. He has been speaking out for some time, even to the extent of authoring an article in the eminent sceptical website, Wattsupwiththat. It is well worth reading.
Also noteworthy is his speech to Parliament in opposition to the pathetic party line that ‘direct action’ is a better alternative than a job destroying tax, which virtually concedes that global warming is real. He also took to the supposed ‘science’, pointing out the flaws and inconsistencies.
Also noteworthy is his speech to Parliament in opposition to the pathetic party line that ‘direct action’ is a better alternative than a job-destroying tax, which virtually concedes that global warming is real. He also took to the supposed ‘science’, pointing out the flaws and inconsistencies. So, good on him.
One of the aspects of this whole charade which has irritated me for some time is the glaring disconnect between the science and the rhetoric. We are told that the aim of the upcoming Paris extravaganza is to finalise a treaty that will limit CO2 emissions to a level that will constrain global warming to no more than 2C above the pre-industrial era. The more starry eyed activists also fondly imagine that these targets will be legally binding.
But here’s the rub: the IPCC believes that equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is somewhere in the range of 1.5C to 4.5C. ECS is the amount of warming attributable to a doubling of atmospheric CO2. It’s generally accepted that the pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 level was 280ppm. It’s now a tad over or under 400ppm, depending whose figures who opt to favour. Global temperature rise since pre-industrial times is claimed by the IPCC to be 0.8C. That is, a 40% increase in CO2 has yielded 0.8C of warming. And since ECS is a logarithmic function, one would expect the rate of warming to be highest at the beginning of the process.
The questions for which I have been unable to elicit answers from my local member (or from Environment Minister Greg Hunt) are:
- Does the Australian government subscribe to the stated aim for the Paris treaty of limiting warming to 2C?
- If so, what guidance are they using to determine what level of reduction will be necessary?
So I put the question to Craig Kelly. His response?
Let’s assume 2 degrees is a correct threshold – what level of CO2 concentrations keeps us at 2 degrees? What’s the critical path? What happens with we continue to have no further warming for another decade? What happens if the trend of warming shows we are unlikely to get to 2 degrees for centuries?
Apparently, if the government is committed to the aim of limiting global temperatures to an increase of no more than two degrees and is working with some guidance relevant to that aim, it’s not letting its foot soldiers know about it.
I also asked Kelly if the government really believes its emission reductions will have any effect on global temperatures. He treated that question with the contempt it deserves: “Don’t ask such a stupid question :)”
On the conjoined questions of there being scientific rigour behind Australia’s stated targets and, if not, are they ‘just what we can afford’ to do, Kelly replied:
It seems to be more what we can compare ourselves with others.
And on the question of all those shrinking violets, he had this to say:
I’d say, as MPs we have a duty to be sceptical. I don’t see how anyone with half a brain could look at theories, and “the evidence” and not be sceptical. Every MP that has had to work and produce goods or services in real-world competitive markets is genuinely skeptical.
Although many Coalition MPs have been reluctant to show courage in the past, as each month passes with the discrepancy between the models’ predictions and the real-world measurements, more and more Coalition members are finding the courage to speak up.
Let’s hope they speak up soon, preferably before Prime Minister Turnbull heads off to Paris with the taxpayers’ chequebook and that characteristic eagerness to bestow grandiose eloquence on the less gifted and easily impressed.
So, how big a discrepancy between models and observations do the Coalition’s silent sceptics need to see before they follow Kelly’s example and find the courage to articulate their grievances and misgivings?
It’s true that Craig has the advantage of a safe Liberal seat while many others, who may be sceptical, are in marginals. Indeed, his example no doubt bolsters the determination of the querelous to maintain a diplomatic silence. There are few sure things in this world, but the likelihood that Turnbull will leave Kelly to languish with his convictions on the backbench is most certainly one of them.
Hats off to Craig Kelly.