How to Solve The Dangerous Warming Threat
I am presenting a Commentary which has no attachments because their inclusion would make it difficult to circulate the Commentary with the attachments and because I can send an attachment to those who wish to see it. The whole Commentary with attachments will also be in my web site.
When controversial policy issues come under discussion in the public arena, there are often weird suggestions proposing government action. And the media publicises a supposed issue to give the impression that ““something needs to be done”. Take for example the idea that action to solve the dangerous warming threat might come if school children miss school one day and parade down the streets all over the country (and in other countries too) with placards instructing our elected politicians that urgent action is required. This is just what has happened. But has this publicity simply led to the school children going back to school and are people a bit tired of being told that much quoted models “prove” that climate change action is needed by government? Do such models actually so prove.
Climate expert and prominent journalist James Delingpole points out that climate scientist Bjorn Lomborg has a model which shows that even spending $1.5 trillion would reduce temperatures by only 0.04 of a degree by the end of the century (see Spending $1.5 trillion Estimated to Reduce Temps By only 0.048 Of a Degree by Century’s End). “Those kids are protesting on the basis of one massive lie”, Delingpole claims.
Of course, there are lots of other models, some taking a different view.
A model predicting future temperatures has been made by the Australian National University’s School of Art and Design with colleagues from the ANU Climate Change Institute. It purports to show that, unless emissions of greenhouse gases are much reduced, temperatures in 2050 will be so high that winters will cease to exist! (see No More Winters?). Even the Reserve Bank has jumped on the band wagon and published an article arguing that changes in climate may have adverse effects not simply at the time they occur but later too. According to this theory, “we need to think in terms of trend rather than cycles in the weather”. Yet no evidence is provided to justify this claim and there is no model. I have written to the bank asking that this analysis not be treated as official bank policy (see RBA Publishes Surprise Pre-election Analysis of CC). In a more comprehensive article in The Australian, Judith Sloan describes the analysis as “superficial and speculative” (see Sloan on RBA’s Surprise Pre-election Analysis of CC).
Then along comes another climate expert by the name of Brian Fisher who has just published a model showing the cost for Australia of achieving targeted emissions reductions by 2030 ranging from $70 billion for the Coalition to $1.2 trillion for Labor. He doesn’t predict what happens to temperatures but, although now retired, he previously advised both Labor and Coalition governments on climate policy. Yet a few days ago Labor rejected Fisher’s analysis this time. But as a poll just published in today’s Australian shows that support for Labor’s policy drops from 61 points to 9 in circumstances where implementing this policy would reduce projected 2030 wages by $9000 a year — or about $347 a fortnight – as Fisher’s analysis indicates. It seems possible that Labor (and the Coalition) could now decide to lower their emissions reductions targets so as to ensure that children keep their pocket money (see Modelled Economic Effects Show Costly for CC Policy).
Any such changes might also lead to more questioning of teachers by children about what the various model show about likely future temperatures. Assuming teachers are honest, they would have to admit that 102 of the (average of) temperature predictions by different experts (sic) show temperatures much higher than what happened with actual temperatures as used in IPCC reports (which uses temperature measurements that also overstate the actuals because of faulty measurements).
The difference between actual temperatures and those predicted from models is shown in a graph based on research by US climate scientists Roy Spencer and John Christy, both of whom have made presentations to US Congress committees. This graph is included in a short article headed “Climate Warming/Change Theory Reviewed”. It was written in Melbourne by The Climate Study Group (sponsored by Richard Morgan) and published in the Herald Sun (see Graph on CC).
The averages of world temperature (a mid-tropospheric measurement) of the 102 prediction models shown in the top line of the graph have risen from 0.0 degree in 1975 to about 0.8 degree in 2014 while actual temperatures ( as used by the IPCC) have only risen by about 0.2 degree over the same period. Thus the average predictors have temperatures rising about four times more than the actual temperatures. By contrast, if the actual temperatures continued to increase at about the same rate as they have been since 1975, by 2100 world temperatures would be only about 0.4 degree higher than now. In short, it is difficult to accept that such a small increase in likely future temperatures justifies government action to spend trillions of dollars on substituting costly sources of power for the usage of much cheaper coal.
It is relevant that, following President Trump’s appointment of physicist Dr Will Happer to head a Commission to review (in effect) the science of climate change, a very large number of climate experts has written expressing support for the project. In the second paragraph they say
“In our view, an independent review of these reports is long overdue. Serious problems and shortcomings have been raised repeatedly in the past by highly-qualified scientists only to be ignored or dismissed by the federal agencies in charge of producing the reports. Among major issues that have been raised and that we hope the commission will scrutinize: the models used have assumed climate sensitivities to CO2 concentrations significantly higher than recent research warrants; the models used have predicted much more warming than has actually occurred; predictions of the negative impacts of global warming have been made based on implausible high-end emissions scenarios; the positive impacts of warming have been ignored or minimized; and surface temperature data sets have been manipulated to show more rapid warming than has actually occurred. An underlying issue that we hope the commission will also address is the fact that so many of the scientific claims made in these reports and by many climate scientists are not falsifiable, that is, they cannot be tested by the scientific method.
It goes without saying that this is the kind of policy approach we need in Australia. It also shows that there are many climate experts and/or climate scientists who do not accept the dangerous warming thesis and the need for massive government spending on reducing the usage of coal. In previous Commentary I have argued that in Australia a much reduced target for emissions (and for renewable) would have virtually no effect on total world emissions which are increasing mainly because of the policies adopted by two of the biggest emitters and the announced intention to withdraw from Paris by the US. Our political leaders have missed the opportunity to (validly) save government spending and the welfare of our citizens.