Challenge? What Challenge?
31st May-1st June 2008
Square brackets deleted by Editorial
Mike Steketee ("Green road all but ignored amid petrol fuss") notes that, while Kevin Rudd describes climate change as "the great economic, environmental and moral challenge of our time", he still has to demonstrate the political backbone to tackle it. But the more important question is whether[, having made such statements,] Rudd would have the ticker to accept it may not be such a challenge.
Since the last report by the International Panel on Climate Change an increasing number of reports by groups or individuals with scientific qualifications provide irrefutable evidence that contradict the IPCC, whose chair is not a scientist. The IPCC has claimed that 2,500 scientists have contributed to its report but over 30,000 scientists in the US have recently signed a petition denying that increased human activity is the principal cause of higher temperatures. Numerous Australian scientists agree.
Further, two articles published this month in pro-global warming science journals predict up to a decade of cooling. As there has been no increase in the average global temperature since 1998, that would imply no increase for about 20 years. [This follows other research suggesting that the IPCC's use of published surface temperatures fails to recognise that urban heating and other non-fossil fuel influences have significantly over-stated the increase since 1980].
There is now a strong case for postponing decisions on policies to reduce CO2 emissions until a proper check has been made on the IPCC science. As Fuel Watch demonstrates, it is wise to expose differences in expert opinions to public debate before implementing policies which, in the case of CO2 emission reductions, would have major implications for our living standards.