Today I made a presentation on global warming to a lunch at the Australian Institute for International Affairs, Victorian Branch. A small audience attended and, although the presentation was quite widely advertised, believers in the dangerous warming thesis did not appear and nor did any media. However I think it is accurate to say that those who did attend were appreciative particularly of the facts which I presented both orally and graphically. The idea that temperatures may increase “naturally” seemed to catch on.
Past similar presentations have also experienced the problem of finding a believer in the dangerous warming thesis who will debate the issue or at least some aspect of it. One of the reasons for this reluctance is that, unlike in the US, there are in Australia few politicians and no political parties with even a questioning view. Rather the opposite.
Similarly, while the media here has improved, none will say outright that the dangerous warming thesis is wrong and most will publish only a one-sided picture.
Still, I think the sceptical view is now acknowledged as “legitimate” whereas it wasn’t ten years ago. This arises mainly because of the failure of temperatures to increase since 1997.
The hope must be that when Obama retires he will be succeeded by a President who at least recognises the possibility that the dangerous warming thesis may not be correct. The role played by the US President in the international debate is important and influences many.
The full text of my presentation is available here together with a supplement by Dr Tom Quirk on the pledges made at last December’s meeting in Paris. Dr Quirk also provided me with considerable assistance in preparing the main text and graphs. A summary of my presentation is set out below.
I welcome comments and queries and I am available to make a similar presentation elsewhere. Several of the audience asked where else I would be making a presentation and, with the election approaching, it is nothing if not topical.
Summary of Presentation to AIIA Vic on Global Warming, 14 April 2016
1. Governments & their agencies still support dangerous warming thesis but sceptical scientists and others are increasingly recognized. No scientific consensus exists.
2. There is long history of “scientific” predictions of doom/gloom which did not eventuate. Think of scare from “Limits on the Supply of Resources”.
3. The dangerous warming thesis is based on the fact that some greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel usage stay in the atmosphere. They are then “heated up” and add interminably to temperatures. But evaporation absorbing some of the heat is not adequately taken into account.
4. Pledges at Paris (COP 21) last December would result in a 23% increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 2100. China is a major contributor. Pledges are voluntary and actual emissions are not checked by UN. No account is taken of emissions from forest and peat fires, which is equal to about 50% of fossil fuel emissions.
5. Deficiencies in the analysis include the failure to explain why temperatures did not increase during two lengthy periods when fossil fuel emissions did so. The main period when both increased together is from 1977 to 1997 but that was mainly due to natural causes (the Pacific Decadal Oscillation involved the warming of water on N American western coast).
6. New research adds to existing evidence that temperature increases in the last 100 years or so have been considerably overstated because of failures to properly measure temperatures. Actual temperature increases have been less than those published.
7. New research also suggests that the fraction of fossil fuels emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere is less than previously thought.
8. There is no substantive evidence of threats from rising sea levels or melting of sea ice in the Arctic or Antarctic. Arctic ice is already in the sea and Antarctic is increasing.
9. The Great Barrier Reef has existed for ten thousand years and would have experienced higher temperatures than exist today.
10. There is no evidence of any significant change in average rainfall or that droughts and other severe weather events are likely to occur more frequently.
11. Analysts such as Ridley point out that the increase in carbon dioxide over the last century has been beneficial in allowing and encouraging additional growth of vegetation.
12. Comparisons of trends in actual temperatures and those predicted by “scientific” models show models are flawed and predictions are wide of actual.
13. Any green house effect on temperatures to 2100 is likely to be much less than the IPCC (and other warmist believers) predict.
14. The best policy is for governments, businesses and individuals to reduce enormously wasteful expenditure on alternative energy sources, adapt to changes in climate as they occur, and welcome the additions to CO2.
Des Moore, assisted by Tom Quirk. Institute for Private Enterprise, April 2016