President's Report 2008

Peter Walsh

In the late 18th Century a major change in human interpretation of the world around them commenced in several places, especially in Great Britain.

The onus of proof in interpretation of the world moved from conclusions based on myth and superstition towards conclusions based on evidence and logic.

The Scottish Enlightenment or the Age of Reason became permanent in the civilised world. Had that not happened human life would have continued to be "nasty, brutish and short".

In the 1970s tens and tens of thousands flocked to Adelaide beaches to avoid the catastrophes prophesised by a single charlatan. Such events, sporadic but not uncommon, had been known for hundreds of years. Their ability to attract a passionate and gullible mass audience was based on the theme that mortal sins had angered the Gods.

Modern catastrophists, ie authoritarian secular religionists, believe man must be punished for raping the earth to support the present quality of human life. Their secular Bible is the Kyoto hypothesis that Earth is getting hotter and hotter because we have harnessed fossil energy. Ross Garnaut believes it may be already too late to "save" the Barrier Reef.

Similarly they talk about a "tipping point" at which "greenhouse gases" will cause temperatures to rise exponentially and therefore beyond control. That stands truth on its head. Every incremental unit of CO2 has less effect than every preceding unit.

Until very recently 1998 was believed to be the hottest year on record, but a recent NASA check on the data showed the hottest year to be 1934. Some climatologists believe that (somewhat cyclical) solar activity is the chief controller of temperature on earth and that we are moving into a cooler period.

This evidence will also be ignored because Kyoto zealots have invested all their intellectual capital and professional reputations into dodgy IPCC models.

Under the banner of "consensus" the IPCC claims moral and intellectual infallibility. A good example of its pursuit of "consensus" concerns leading hurricane expert Dr Christopher Landsea of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. The IPCC organised a press conference on October 2004, at Harvard University, at which Kevin Trenberth, a leading IPCC scientist, was going to announce that increased anthropogenic CO2 emissions were responsible for increasing number and severity of hurricanes. Christopher Landsea had been a leading contributor to the IPCC' s work on hurricanes, and was well aware that there was no evidence at all to link anthropogenic CO2 emissions to hurricane frequency or severity.

He protested strongly to the IPCC over this fraudulent claim, a claim which generated substantial press coverage around the world, but his protests had no impact. Worse, the IPCC continued to list Dr Landsea as one of its key scientific advisers on this topic. Not until Landsea took legal action did the IPCC remove his name from their list of .scientific authorities.

The IPCC like most UN Agencies is self serving and intellectually corrupt.

All climate variations likely to cause human harm are attributed, by Kyoto Cultists, to "greenhouse gases". When the Cult was launched 20 years ago, one article of faith was that rising temperatures would generally increase rainfall. The current fashion or dogma is that it causes devastating drought. One Stephen Schneider, a veteran climatic catastrophist, once said that it was sometimes necessary to choose between saying what is effective or what is true.

Profligate, self indulgent wastage of energy a la Al Gore should be regarded as antisocial. But what coercive action, if any, should be taken against the use of fossil fuel, is premature and fraught with danger. Climate commissars---like Clive Hamilton who believes "denialists" should be put on trial---are dangerous.

The present Australian Government has decided we will have an emissions trading system operating in 2010. Almost certainly that is a recipe for defeat at the next election. More importantly the next Government would be burdened by a dysfunctional system which will benefit rent seeking spivs, and usher in ongoing political turmoil from vested interests about who should be hit by how much, and who will get exempted or concessions.

I will provide one example:

At the ABARE Outlook Conference earlier this year emissions trading, including carbon sinks, received much attention, including a proposal that perennial grasses should be planted around Meekatharra to fix, and continue accumulating, carbon in their roots. The grass growers would receive "market" price for the carbon. Who would audit that? An honest audit is simply not possible. But the rent seeking spivs will work out how to pinch the money.

The South West Karri forest and the Murray Darling Basin, all the Earth's adverse droughts, floods, hurricanes, cyclones, storms etc, are attributed to "greenhouse gases", CO2 especially, produced by burning fossil fuel. The answer to the "problem" is the Kyoto Protocol.

To my knowledge, no Kyoto true believer has ever acknowledged[1] let alone tried to explain why the Earth was much hotter when Romans were growing wine grapes in Northern England and Vikings for centuries grew cereal crops in Greenland. Nor have they acknowledged those facts. Whatever facts cannot be reconciled with the Kyoto hypothesis are ignored. Such people should not be taken seriously.

Ross Garnaut and the Rudd Government, desperately trying to rationalise their support for a carbon trading system, argue that it is Australia's moral duty to lead the way to a safer, cleaner world. When no other country follows that lead, we will wreck much of the Australian economy for a negligible decrease in "greenhouse gases". Is that madness or masochism? Or both? For certain, neither China nor India with annual emission increases vastly vastly exceeding Australia's total output, will take any notice. Nor should they.

Finally, the last thing an Australia already facing the threat of rising inflation needs is a carbon trading system which will push up even further the Consumer Price Index.

I wish to comment on our website, which has experienced a dramatic increase in hit rates and downloads over the last twelve months. So much so that we have had to pay increased charges for the download rate. We have agreed to spend approximately $3,000 on upgrading and re-badging the website. But there can be no doubt that our website has been a very useful weapon in the battle against superstition and fantasy.

Chris Ulyatt has provided us with a valuable service and I wish to acknowledge his contribution.


Web Statistics April 2007--June 2008

2007 Hits Pages
April 110 462 21 984
May 102 400 20 072
June 89 054 16 934
July 174 782 30 850
August 89 884 18 231
September 66 540 13 068
October 89 441 19 592
November 92 027 19 121
December 101 565 24 751
Jan 96 692 18 822
Feb 90 922 18 366
March 103 061 21 856
April 116 716 31 416
May 96 399 21 779
June 113 347 24 834

Peter Walsh

1. There have been a few puerile attempts to ignore the facts on the grounds that local ocean currents warmed a tiny area north west of Europe.

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