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Thursday, 29 October 2009
Page: 11515


Dr JENSEN (12:50 PM) —The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 [No. 2] has problems on so many levels that I hardly know where to begin. The chain that has led to this would be viewed as implausible in a work of fiction: how a theory of humans causing climate change could end up in a push for significant worldwide economic sacrifices at the altar of the god of climate change. The church that has been set up is the IPCC, with a clear statement of religious belief that humans are causing global warming in their very mission statement.


Mr Hartsuyker —Kev wants to be the Pope.


Dr JENSEN —We are now on track to introduce significant damage to our economy based on a complete turnaround in the onus of proof. The situation is that we are now looking at imposing a significant impost on the Australian people, based on an unproven proposition, and stating that the only way in which that cost will not be imposed is to prove that human beings are not responsible for climate change, as opposed to a proposition that people should not be slugged with costs without proof. Let us have a look at some of the financial aspects and imperatives associated with this extreme tax system that is being tagged with the Orwellian label of ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme’.

We hear arguments from the alarmist side that big oil is paying enormous amounts on climate change denial science, and that is why you have sceptics with anthropogenic global warming. Nothing could be further from the truth. And there is a huge industry built around the belief in anthropogenic climate change. Big oil has averaged paying $2 million per annum for research on this issue over the last 20 years. Meanwhile, the US government alone has averaged $3 billion to $4 billion per annum over the last 20 years and in total has spent $79 billion, with $7 billion spent this year. Yes, there is a huge imbalance favouring the sceptics. Do you think that is a lot? According to the World Bank, the banks traded $120 billion in carbon dioxide last year alone. This is subprime carbon, and a lot of money is to be made by the same people who brought you the global financial crisis.

For the government there is the significant issue of pecuniary interest. There is a significant amount of money that the government will receive—in Australia’s case $50 billion has been identified. The government clearly sees a combination of royalties from north-west gas fields and carbon taxes as being the solution to the massive debt it has saddled the nation with. In the US, Obama expects $645 billion over 10 years. That is a huge amount of money. Additionally, a huge industry has built up inside the Beltway in Washington DC. There are 2,300 climate lobbyists in Washington DC, or more than four lobbyists per congressman or woman.

So there are very definite financial reasons that this government is pushing for it. The unfortunate reality is that it will cost Australian families thousands of dollars per year to achieve absolutely nothing, even if you believe in the consensus position. I have frequently asked how much the CPRS will reduce global temperatures. As yet, funnily enough, no-one can tell me. This is a lot of money being paid for nothing.

Let us have a look at the science of some of this. Before we do, I want to clarify some issues about peer review. Peer review does not mean that the science and the results are correct; it merely means that the method used was scientifically sustainable. Journals will not publish all papers accepted by peer review. Indeed, there is editorial pressure, as the goal is to sell journals. Additionally, there is a predisposition in science that the review process for an accepted paradigm is less rigorous than when a paper goes against the prevailing wisdom. I will give you two fairly recent examples.

The first is the cold fusion issue of the late 1980s. Fleischmann and Pons, two physical chemists, published a paper which stated that they had discovered cold fusion. There was a flurry of activity in the journals, with papers repeating the results. The problem was that there was no neutron flux, as would be expected with fusion, but this was not picked up by the reviewers.

The second is the Paul Chu and yttrium-barium-calcium-copper oxide, or so-called 123 superconductors. The discovery of this was a huge jump in superconducting critical temperature. Chu was aware of the nature of the breakthrough and was concerned that one of the reviewers of his paper might try to pre-empt him, slow down his own review process and get a paper published himself, so Chu substituted ytterbium for yttrium, which resulted in a material that was not a superconductor. Despite this, the paper passed review. Chu substituted the correct element just prior to publication.

We are told that the globe is burning—to quote the member from Midnight Oil. We are told that sea levels are rising dangerously. We are told that ocean temperatures are warming dangerously. We are told that we are in danger of inundation due to melting icecaps. We are told that the only way to explain the observed climate is with anthropogenic factors included. The globe may have been burning in a metaphoric sense in 1998, but that is certainly not the case now. Using all four data repositories used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, it is clear that temperature trends are negative for this century. They are going down. This is certainly not what the IPCC models projected. They projected increasing temperatures for this century, even for the case where carbon dioxide is held constant at year 2000 levels. These inaccurate model projections use the same models that are used to explain the temperature rise between 1975 and 1998 and state that it has been due to anthropogenic causes.

Let us make sure we are on the same page. The models have been unable to predict, even to explain, the temperature reduction of this century, but these selfsame models, demonstrated to be inaccurate in terms of their robustness in prediction, are used to state that the science is settled—that human beings are unequivocally to blame for the 23-year warming trend in the late 20th century. I note that the IPCC is now covering its bases by saying that it expects reductions in temperature for the next 10 to 20 years. Guess what? The heating will then come on even stronger than before. This is not science but religious belief.

The alarmist scientists are also remarkably shy about sharing their data. The head of the Hadley Climatic Research Unit, Phil Jones, said in a request for data from Steve McIntyre: ‘We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should we make the data available to you when your aim is to find something wrong with it?’ This is staggering. The whole point of science is to attempt to find something wrong with it. It is called falsification. It has now been found that the Hadley Climatic Research Unit has lost a lot of raw data following the request, but we are supposed to trust that the adjusted data is correct. I guess the next time the tax office asks for receipts I should just say: ‘I don’t have the original receipts. Just trust that my statements on earnings and outgoings are correct.’

There has also been the hockey stick controversy. On a hockey stick graph, global temperatures were supposedly remarkably stable until industrialised society hit the scene. This not only was used extensively in the IPCC’s third assessment report but had been through peer reviewed literature, so theoretically it had been through peer review twice. However, with the IPCC, the reality was that Michael Mann reviewed his own work, so he was hardly an unbiased observer. It was found that bad statistical methods had been used and that in most cases using this technique with random data would result in a hockey stick shaped graph as well. It has taken years for McIntyre to get the original raw data, and it is now apparent that this was worse than bad science; it was fraudulent science. It turns out that Michael Mann had cherry-picked the data. This is someone who is still a lead author with the IPCC. So, contrary to popular propaganda, the globe is not burning and indeed has not been heating this century.

‘Ah,’ the alarmists now say, and: ‘It is really the oceans that hold the key. The oceans are the things that give the state of the planet in heat terms.’ The problem is that the oceans have not been warming since at least 2003, according to Argo buoy data. In case there is any doubt here, there is more data available from between 2003 and now as a result of Argo buoys than there is for all the rest of recorded history of ocean temperatures put together. What does the data show? According to the Argo steering team, there has been no change in temperature over that time. Lyman and Willis et al—no climate change sceptics, it must be added—found a decreasing trend, albeit that statistically speaking it could be stated that there was no trend. Certainly they found no increasing trend. Loehle, in Energy and Environment, another peer review journal, found a decreasing trend since 2003. So there has been atmospheric cooling this century and at best there has been no warming of the ocean since the Argo buoys entered business.

We have heard of the fears of inundation due to rapidly accelerating sea level rise. Professor Will Steffen, Minister Penny Wong’s personal guru on climate change, in a briefing to some parliamentarians suggested that the work of Domingues and Church et al in Nature last year should be used for sea level rise. Problematically, the analysis ends just where the sea level rise stops—that is, in 2005. There have been accelerations and there has been a lack of rise in the sea level over a long period of time, but there has been an underlying upward trend since the end of the last ice age. In effect, what has been observed is a recovery from the Younger Dryas ice age.

What about melting polar icecaps? In a global sense, the area of sea ice today is pretty much the same as it was in 1980. We have all heard about the melting Arctic ice, and it is true that the area of sea ice in the Arctic has decreased somewhat in the last 30 years—although there has been some recovery in the last couple of years. However, how many of you are aware that the Antarctic is cooling and that the area of sea ice in the Antarctic has been increasing for those 30 years? As a little clincher, the theory as accepted by the IPCC is that there should be a hot spot in the upper troposphere, about 10 kilometres up in the tropics. This is a fingerprint for well-mixed greenhouse gases causing warming. To date, despite a lot of looking, no such a hot spot has been found.

So, all in all, there has been a failure of the premise that human beings are heating the planet. We are basing everything on a 20-year period of warming in the late 20th century. The models—the entire ensemble of models used by the IPCC—comprehensively did not predict the cooling that has been observed this century. We see no heating of the oceans since 2003. We see no sea level rise since 2005. We see a relatively stable global sea ice area. Yet we are supposed to bet significant damage to the economy on this failure of predictive capacity of the models. What a joke. Precautionary principle? How about we apply a precautionary principle based on there having to be a clear threat before we spend money on this? How about science comes up with modelling that actually predicts various aspects of global climate, rather than simply saying that models that are able to hindcast previous climates have been validated? There is all of this, yet we know from evidence taken from the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology that we do not even know what causes El Nino events, which are one of the major drivers of global climate.

We are supposed to trust forecasts of global temperature going—get this—1,000 years into the future, from the IPCC Fourth assessment report. This is not science; this is guys and girls having too much fun playing computer games. We are supposed to bet our economy on science that at present is unable to make long-range predictions; we are supposed to believe that they can confidently predict global temperature 1,000 years hence. We are supposed to trust economists like Stern and Garnaut with economic projections 100 years into the future, yet in both cases they were unable to predict the GFC a mere couple of years prior to the event. Here we are talking prophets of the grand religion, not serious science and economics. In order to get a good handle on these issues, I believe that we need to hold a parliamentary inquiry into the science of climate change, where those on both sides of the argument have to give evidence under oath. What is the bet the Rudd government lacks the intestinal fortitude to accept the challenge?

Another reason for my concern is that embarking on setting a price on carbon dioxide is effectively putting a tax on everything and will give the control freaks a level of control over all human enterprise within a nation not seen in democratic history. Indeed, we have observed antidemocratic comments from many so-called environmentalists, calling for the overthrow of democracy and/or capitalism to save the planet. I stated this in an opening address to the Australian Environment Foundation over a week ago, and it turns out that I understated the danger.

Have a look at the draft Copenhagen convention. It looks to, according to section 36 on page 18, the setting up of a government and transferring wealth from First World to Third World countries, and, according to clause 33, page 39:

By 2020 the scale of financial flows to support adaptation in developing countries must be [at least USD 67 billion] [in the range of USD 70-140 billion] per year.

The third point is the issue of this new government being able to enforce these provisions, including:

… the transfer of technical and financial resources from developed countries to developing countries.

There is also an attack on market based economics. Page 18, section 36 of the document reads:

It should include a financial mechanism and a facilitative mechanism drawn up to facilitate the design, adoption and carrying out of public policies, as the prevailing instrument—

and take note of this—

to which the market rules and related dynamics should be subordinate, in order to assure the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention.

So we should subordinate our national sovereignty and our entire system of free enterprise so that Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party can go cap in hand—as opposed to cap and trade—to sell out the birthright of every Australian! Throughout our history people have gone to war and died for our sovereignty and way of life. The Rudd government simply wants to hand it over. This is absolutely scandalous and I for one will not be a party to it. Kevin Rudd may want to strut the world stage, but he is so enamoured with the idea that he is willing to burn our economy and sacrifice our sovereignty and free enterprise way of life. I find that reprehensible, but I guess that has always been a Labor dream.

On the science, in my view the IPCC needs to be dissolved. If it is felt that it is necessary to have a global organisation examining climate change, the mission statement needs to change so that human caused climate change is not a given. Climate change needs to be studied without preconceived outcomes relating to human causes. The peer review process needs to be genuine, rather than having comparatively few authors able to simply ignore reviewers’ advice or comments. In that regard, the IPCC has no genuine peer review process, not until such time as a reviewer’s comments cannot simply be ignored, given the predisposition of some authors. That process leads to the institutionalised groupthink that is endemic in the IPCC.

Finally, the process needs to be driven genuinely by scientists in multiple disciplines with differing viewpoints, and the bureaucrats need to stay out of the system in its entirety. The fact that the summary for policymakers of the last assessment report came out months prior to the scientific document and the scientific document had to be scrutinised for potential inconsistencies against the summary for policymakers—meaning that the scientific document would be modified to accord with a bureaucrat’s summary for policymakers—should be anathema to any scientist. Also of concern is the view that everyone, including scientists, should be singing from the same hymn book. The fact is that the scientist who is not sceptical—in other words, who is a true believer—is the scientist of concern. I seek leave to table some documents.

Leave granted.