July 10, 2016
Public policy has a major impact on our lives; that goes without saying.
If the assumptions upon which policy is based are sound, there is a good chance that the resulting laws and regulations will have a positive influence on the country. But when the assumptions are driven by ideology instead of reason, the outcomes can be detrimental.
As a public watchdog, an independent press plays a vital role in providing accurate, fair, and balanced reporting of public policy debates.
When the matters are contentious, the Press Council states that,
However, in the controversial area of anthropogenic global warming, media reporting is not balanced.
As a result, pro-global warmers have gained traction with their apocalyptic claims. In the process they have secured lucrative funding for salaries and projects, as well as gaining major influence over policy makers and governments.
Nor are they willing to let anyone cast doubt on the authenticity of their claims - in fact, it has reached the point where many of those who disagree are too afraid to speak out publicly, as the risk to their careers and reputations from vindictive attack has become too great.
This week's NZCPR Guest Commentator Bryan Leyland, an energy analyst and consulting engineer, has submitted many articles to newspapers countering such claims, but says most are rejected:
Bryan explains that the evidence simply does not support such claims, and concludes,
Without challenge by the media, the merchants of a 'climate Armageddon' are being given free reign.
Dr James Renwick, formerly of NIWA and now Professor of Physical Geography at Victoria University in Wellington is a leading proponent of the dangers of man-made global warming and a regular media commentator.
Dr Renwick, who has served on the selection Board of the Marsden Fund, has, over time, received a total of $1.3 million in grants.
Through having been a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he also claims to be a contributor to the 2007 Nobel Prize that was awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC.
Over the last few months, Dr Renwick has proclaimed that the world could be heading for,
He has stated that large emissions of CO2 would lead to significant warming:
He also claims:
To add some balance to this debate, let's look at what the earth's historical record tells us.
In other words, the fact that high levels of carbon dioxide occur naturally and do not cause the planet to fry, totally negates the claims of the global warmers that mankind's CO2 emissions will cause catastrophic climate change.
In addition, Dr Renwick claims that the relationship between carbon dioxide and warming is linear,
...but this is not correct.
The relationship is logarithmic, which means that increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide will have a progressively smaller warming effect, not a larger one.
In their 2004 report, Why logarithmic, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Huang and Shahabadi also note that the,
The IPCC explains:
Essentially, this means that doubling or even tripling the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere would not appreciably change the warming effects of the CO2 levels we currently have, since the ability of CO2 to trap heat declines logarithmically, reaching a point of significantly reduced future effect.
This is the reason why carbon dioxide levels have been so much higher during past geological eras, without causing runaway greenhouse warming.
Since the logarithmic relationship between carbon dioxide and warming is such a fundamental point, it is indeed astonishing, that man-made global warming theories have not been unilaterally discredited on that basis alone.
What it means is that the claims that the planet will reach a tipping point, where temperatures will skyrocket because of increasing levels of carbon dioxide, are simply not credible and are revealed as ideological scaremongering.
It shows that it is politics that is driving this debate, not science.
In fact, last year Christiana Figueres, then head of the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted as much by saying that their goal was not to save the world from ecological collapse but to destroy capitalism:
To ensure their threats of climate collapse dominate the debate and that opponents are intimidated into silence, proponents of man-made global warming claim the science is settled and that there is a consensus amongst scientists that the earth is on the cusp of an ecological disaster - unless we follow their agenda.
But in stating that,
Back in 2009, over 100 brave scientists allowed their names to be published by the US-based Cato Institute in newspaper advertisements opposing President Obama's claims that combating climate change was urgent and that the science was beyond dispute.
The ad stated,
By 2010, the number of scientists prepared to be publicly named as opposing the sort of views held by Dr Renwick and others had grown to over 1,000.
Each appeared in a report to the US Senate:
The report included many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who had turned against the organization and its agenda.
It also noted that over 1,000 dissenting scientists, was more than twenty times the number of UN scientists (52) who had authored the media-hyped 2007 IPCC Summary for Policymakers.
In addition to those specific initiatives, a total of 31,487 American scientists, including 9,029 with PhDs, signed the petition run by the Global Warming Petition Project, to publicly demonstrate that the scientific community in the US rejected claims that the science around man-made global warming was either "settled", or that a "consensus" existed.
In spite of what Dr Renwick and others might wish for, the reality is that there is no consensus and the science is far from settled.
In light of this, it is indeed unfortunate that successive New Zealand governments have bought into global warming propaganda - with Labour introducing their bureaucratic Emissions Trading Scheme in 2008, and National not only expanding it, but also announcing in May's Budget that the subsidies will be removed over the next three years, forcing New Zealand families to pay more for power and the cost of goods in general.
Fortunately however, there are signs that the cozy international consensus could be crumbling.
The new British Prime Minister Theresa May is understood to be more skeptical about global warming than her predecessor. US Presidential candidate Donald Trump thinks the whole thing is a rort (a plan to take unfair advantage of a public service - source).
And with Britain departing the European Union, there are signs of squabbling amongst member nations over who will pick up the shortfall in climate compensation to developing countries.
Meanwhile, real scientists are worried that the sun's on-going lack of sunspots is a sign that global cooling is on the way.
In June US meteorologist Paul Dorian reported that the sun had gone completely blank for the second time that month. He feared the lack of sunspot activity could signal the arrival of a cold snap similar to the Maunder Minimum - otherwise known as the Little Ice Age - which started in 1645 and continued until 1715.
Right now the El Niño - a naturally occurring oceanic cycle that produces warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures - which has been keeping New Zealand's weather unseasonably warm, is now fading and it is expected to be replaced by a La Niña, which will produce colder-than-normal temperatures.
Since warmer seas emit more carbon dioxide, and colder seas absorb more, the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere may start to fall.
If the mini-ice age, that has been predicted by a number of scientists around the world resumes, political leaders may well rue the day when they allowed themselves to be persuaded by global socialists that implementing decarbonization policies was a good idea.
And the media might also wish they had lived up to their own code of ethics and allowed those like Bryan Leyland, who are brave enough to speak out, to state their case in order to protect the public from the impact of a perverse policy prescription that is doing far more harm around the world than good.