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It is little short of amazing to see so many media and business commentators failing to understand the implications of the collapse in the carbon price in the so-called “trading system” in Europe (it is in fact not a trading system as normally understood but an arrangement by which financial markets can trade tonnes of fossil fuels derived from regulations prescribed by the relevant governments - and subject to change by them - restricting their countries’ emissions).

As I have tried to explain in my letter below, unless the European Union is prepared to financially support the price (which no longer appears the case), such a “system” cannot survive as a meaningful controller of world emissions unless all major emitters are under an international regulatory system that works. My earlier experience in Treasury brought home to me the long history of failures of attempts to “fix” prices of commodities by governments of countries which may have been large producers but which were not able to control a monopoly position. The lessons of Australia’s failure to control wool prices, and of its international support for price and quantity controls on some other commodities, have not been learned. Yet our present government (and Treasury today) have failed dismally to understand that lesson and have stupidly linked our pricing (and regulation) of emissions to the European system (sic).     

Of course, for a variety of reasons the would-be regulators have kept going in the hope that an international agreement can be reached. But with the widening realisation amongst scientists and others of the flaws in the so-called science consensus of dangerous global warming, developed by environmentalists and other regulators, the likelihood of any such agreement has diminished significantly. There are numerous problems in the consensus approach and I have mentioned only one, albeit an important one, in my letter - that is, the failure, except for one brief period, to explain why there is no coincidence between increases in emissions and temperatures.

A paper recently published by Cliff Ollier summarises the temperature/emissions situation very well, viz

“Warming has ceased! In a press release of April 2, 2012, it was announced that:

New UK Met Office global temperature data show that there has been no global warming in the past 15 years – a timescale that challenges current models of global warming. The graph shows the global annual average temperature since 1997. No statistically significant trend can be discerned from the data. The only statistically acceptable conclusion to be drawn from the data is that between 1997 and 2011 temperature has remained constant, with a global temperature of 14.44 +/- 0.16 deg C (2 standard deviations).

On Christmas Eve, 2012, the UK Met Office said global temperatures were likely to be lower than it previously forecast because of natural variability of the climate system(Ingham 2013).

Land based data are somewhat unreliable, but the hottest recent year was 1998. The warmest years of the twentieth century were in the 1930s. In fact the temperature varies regularly. The Earths warming from 1915 to 1940 was just about as strong as the scary 1975 to 1998 warming in both scope and durationand occurred too early to be blamed on human-emitted CO2. The cooling from 1940 to 1975 defied the Greenhouse Theory, occurring during the first big surge of man-made greenhouse emissions.

Satellite data show global temperature is essentially unchanged in 30 years. Sea ice shows no change in 30 years, though every annual retreat is heralded by alarmists as proof of AGW.

Ocean temperatures are more important than land temperatures because the ocean holds much more heat than the atmosphere. Since 2004 the Argo observation system of 3000 buoys has been measuring the sea temperature. The machines go down as far as two kilometres and surface every ten days to send out their data, which shows a cooling trend. Because we have data to great depths we know there is nowhere for the heat to be hiding. The greenhouse warming hypothesis requires a rise in temperature. The observed cooling trend shows  it is not happening, so the hypothesis should be rejected.”

Ollier is one of the increasing number of sceptical scientists. What’s more he is a Professor at the University of Western Australia – and a Professor of the School of Earth and Environmental Studies. The complete paper, which was published in Quaestiones Geographicae 32(1)*2013 and has been circulated by Ray Evans, is only six pages and is very readable even for non-scientists.  I have a copy and can send to anyone interested.

Des Moore

Price Collapse should see end of carbon tax
(Letter published in The Australian, 19 April 2013. Square bracketed sections deleted by Ed)

The collapse in the carbon price in Europe reflects a failure of policy, not simply technical faults in the trading system (“EU carbon crash to dig $10bn budget hole”, 18 April). Attempts to control an international “commodity” [(tonnes of fossil fuel emissions)] are bound to fail unless a binding international agreement is reached involving all major emitters. Stupidly, the European Union attempted to lead the way without waiting for such an agreement and Australia followed [meekly] behind.

Attempts to reach an international agreement have failed as analyses have revealed  [(except for one brief period)] there is no coincidence between increases in emissions and temperatures. This made senseless the adoption of a policy requiring slower economic growth, particularly in poorer developing countries which are now responsible for well over half of emissions.

Little wonder there is a push to end the Australian carbon tax.

Des Moore, South Yarra VIC

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