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Sea level scares before Copenhagen
letter published in The Australian Financial Review, 19 November 2009

Sophie Morris reports that modelling in a study written by the Department of Climate change, with input from the CSIRO, Geosciences and academics, shows that 250,000 homes would be at “risk of inundation” from sea level rises by 2100 under “worst-case but plausible” predictions of a rise of 1.1 metres (“Climate report warns of coastal destruction”, November 14-15).

It is not explained why this scenario is much less alarmist than the one painted by Kevin Rudd (750,000 homes at risk from sea level rises) in his recent Lowy Institute speech. Was the Prime Minister wrong?

Nor is it explained why the predicted sea level rise is considerably more than the 18 to 59 centimetre worst-case scenario in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report or why it is inconsistent with the much smaller rate of increase between 1960 and 2003 and the actual fall in sea levels shown by satellite measurements in recent years. The reality is that the worst-case predictions need to be reduced, not increased.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this is just another scare being produced by the believers in the dangerous warming thesis before Copenhagen and the imminent debate on the ETS legislation. Now that it is widely accepted  that no substantive agreement will be reached at Copenhagen, Rudd’s claim that the passage of legislation is required falls to the ground.

Des Moore
Director, Institute for Private Enterprise, Vic     

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