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Need for review of Garnaut policies
letter published in The Australian Financial Review, 25 March 2011

You report that, in an address to the National Press Club, Blue Scope Chairman Graham Kraehe accused Ross Garnaut of using “very selective, highly misleading” figures (“Bluescope fires salvo at Garnaut”, March 23).

Kraehe was, in fact, being generous to Garnaut’s latest “updates”, which are replete with incorrect or misleading data and analyses.

In his “key points” on the science of climate change, Garnaut claims that “the statistically significant warming trend has been confirmed by observations over recent years”. It is widely accepted that this is not the case and careful statistical analysis shows no significant change since 2001.

Garnaut also claims that “the rate of sea level rise has accelerated and is tracking above the range suggested by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]”. Again, this is not the case. Satellite measurements show the average sea level has risen at 2.2 mm a year since 2002, which if continued would produce a rise of only 22cms by 2100. This would be well within the range of 19-59cms projected by the IPCC and would result in minimal inundations.

Garnaut also grossly exaggerates the extent of scientific support for the dangerous warming thesis. For example, in a recent letter to the US Congress 74 scientists drew attention to 678 peer-reviewed scientific studies providing a point-by-point rebuttal of that thesis.

If it is to be responsible the government must carefully review the Garnaut expositions before starting additional emissions policies.

Des Moore
Director, Institute for Private Enterprise
South Yarra Vic

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