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Significant Errors in IPCC Reports
(Letter, Business Age, 29 July 2008)
[Bracketted omitted by Op-Ed]

Malcolm Maiden argues that, despite some uncertainty about the recent direction of temperatures over the post-1980 period, the precautionary principle still justifies an emission reduction program and participatory involvement of business (Business Day, 19/7).

But even leaving aside that the post-1980 is a very short period on which to project possible future temperature changes, this overlooks the many highly qualified individuals or groups who strongly reject IPCC theories and point to important errors in IPCC reports. They can justifiably challenge claims IPPC science is right because it is supported by 2,500 scientists.

That number is not only much less than the dissenters but it refers only to scientists who either submitted papers or whose papers were referenced by the IPCC, some of whom have subsequently disassociated themselves from IPCC conclusions. In reality, IPCC reports have been compiled by a very small group of government-appointed scientists, with only 51 contributing to the IPCC’s 2007 Summary for Policy Makers.

Once account is taken of this situation, there can be no justification for major precautionary actions because such extensive dissent leaves enormous uncertainty about the costs and benefits of such action. Indeed, advocates of major government action destroy their own case. [For example, Professor Garnaut’s draft report not only estimates that without such action GDP in 2100 would be only 4.8% lower, but also estimates that GDP would then be seven times what it is today. Nobody could seriously believe that the much richer people living in 2100 would be unable to cope with such a miniscule small loss of income or unable to take action to cope with the higher temperatures if they did occur.]

Des Moore Director, Institute for Private Enterprise, South Yarra Vic

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