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Barker uses wrong gauge
letter published in The Australian Financial Review, 12 October 2011

Geoffrey Barker makes the astonishing claim that climate change sceptics are anti-science and that, if their view was followed, that would be “an absurd and dangerous course”... “based on mythology before evidence” (“Survival rests with science”, Opinion, October 10).

Barker is evidently unaware that thousands of qualified scientists have rejected the thesis that dangerous warming will occur unless urgent action is taken to reduce emissions of CO2. Many peer-reviewed articles, based on scientific analysis and supporting evidence, back this position.

Even the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledges the uncertainties. The 987 pages of Working Group 1 of that report –the scientific bit - include the words “uncertain” or “uncertainty” more than 1,300 times and refer to no less than 54 “key uncertainties” that acknowledge limits to capacity to predict climate change.

Last September’s report by the Royal Society also acknowledged that “it is not possible to determine how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future”.

The surprise is that governments and intelligent non-scientists have taken the view that urgent action is necessary when it clearly is not. One wonders whether they realise that, if their perceived problem is to be solved, it will be necessary for developing countries to stop their emissions, which now constitute over 60 per cent of the world total and will soon account for 75 per cent.

Perhaps Barker has the answer to how this might be achieved?

Des Moore
Director Institute for Private Enterprise
South Yarra Vic

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