Despite the more hysterical predictions we've heard of late, the evidence continues to mount that if the earth was warming, it stopped quite some time ago.
Of course, don't expect this fact to be widely reported, if it indeed even makes it into any U.S. newspapers or television broadcasts.
CATASTROPHIC predictions of global warming usually conjure with the notion of a tipping point, a point of no return.Al Gore? Any reaction? Hello? Anyone home?
Last Monday - on ABC Radio National, of all places - there was a tipping point of a different kind in the debate on climate change. It was a remarkable interview involving the co-host of Counterpoint, Michael Duffy and Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of Melbourne-based think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. Anyone in public life who takes a position on the greenhouse gas hypothesis will ignore it at their peril.
Duffy asked Marohasy: "Is the Earth still warming?"
She replied: "No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you'd expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years."
Duffy: "Is this a matter of any controversy?"
Marohasy: "Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has actually acknowledged it. He talks about the apparent plateau in temperatures so far this century. So he recognises that in this century, over the past eight years, temperatures have plateaued ... This is not what you'd expect, as I said, because if carbon dioxide is driving temperature then you'd expect that, given carbon dioxide levels have been continuing to increase, temperatures should be going up ... So (it's) very unexpected, not something that's being discussed. It should be being discussed, though, because it's very significant."
Duffy: "It's not only that it's not discussed. We never hear it, do we? Whenever there's any sort of weather event that can be linked into the global warming orthodoxy, it's put on the front page. But a fact like that, which is that global warming stopped a decade ago, is virtually never reported, which is extraordinary."
Duffy then turned to the question of how the proponents of the greenhouse gas hypothesis deal with data that doesn't support their case. "People like Kevin Rudd and Ross Garnaut are speaking as though the Earth is still warming at an alarming rate, but what is the argument from the other side? What would people associated with the IPCC say to explain the (temperature) dip?"
Marohasy: "Well, the head of the IPCC has suggested natural factors are compensating for the increasing carbon dioxide levels and I guess, to some extent, that's what sceptics have been saying for some time: that, yes, carbon dioxide will give you some warming but there are a whole lot of other factors that may compensate or that may augment the warming from elevated levels of carbon dioxide.
"There's been a lot of talk about the impact of the sun and that maybe we're going to go through or are entering a period of less intense solar activity and this could be contributing to the current cooling."
If Marohasy is anywhere near right about the impending collapse of the global warming paradigm, life will suddenly become a whole lot more interesting.Wishful thinking, perhaps. More like they'll just change the subject. One thing about proponents of the global warming scam is they'll never admit they were wrong. They'd never be able to regain any credibility, so don't wait around for them to admit they were incorrect.
A great many founts of authority, from the Royal Society to the UN, most heads of government along with countless captains of industry, learned professors, commentators and journalists will be profoundly embarrassed. Let us hope it is a prolonged and chastening experience.
With catastrophe off the agenda, for most people the fog of millennial gloom will lift, at least until attention turns to the prospect of the next ice age. Among the better educated, the sceptical cast of mind that is the basis of empiricism will once again be back in fashion. The delusion that by recycling and catching public transport we can help save the planet will quickly come to be seen for the childish nonsense it was all along.We should only be so fortunate.
The poorest Indians and Chinese will be left in peace to work their way towards prosperity, without being badgered about the size of their carbon footprint, a concept that for most of us will soon be one with Nineveh and Tyre, clean forgotten in six months.
The scores of town planners in Australia building empires out of regulating what can and can't be built on low-lying shorelines will have to come to terms with the fact inundation no longer impends and find something more plausible to do. The same is true of the bureaucrats planning to accommodate "climate refugees".I wonder what those who called the truth-tellers deniers will have to say?
Penny Wong's climate mega-portfolio will suddenly be as ephemeral as the ministries for the year 2000 that state governments used to entrust to junior ministers. Malcolm Turnbull will have to reinvent himself at vast speed as a climate change sceptic and the Prime Minister will have to kiss goodbye what he likes to call the great moral issue and policy challenge of our times.
It will all be vastly entertaining to watch.
How about those who characterized skeptics as being on par with Holocaust deniers?
What will they have to say?
Likely nothing. In fact, we'll still see apocalyptic stories of impending doom, with reports how global warming is hastening the arrival of spring, despite cool temperatures across much of the United States.
If a basic tenet of media responsibility is to report the facts as they are, we would see an even-handed debate citing global warming proponents and skeptics. Yet the overwhelming amount of reportage we see leans decidedly to the side of the proponents, while skeptics are dismissed.
The shame is the public is being misled and the media will lose more credibility if their doomsday scenarios don't pan out. In fact, I'd suggest the hysteria will be getting worse over time, what with one report even suggesting now that global warming may be responsible for earthquakes.
The cost to the public may be even greater as a result of legislation forcing overly ambitious controls over carbon dioxide emissions which in the end may do little or nothing.
Crossposted at NewsBusters.