Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Fielding calls for focus on climate science -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

PETER CAVE: Family First Senator Steve Fielding met climate change campaigner Al Gore briefly this

As Fielding begins his own campaign against the Government's emission trading scheme.

Senator Fielding hopes to sit down with the former US vice president to discuss climate change in
the next day or two.

In the meantime, Steve Fielding is today writing to the nation's 75 other senators, asking them to
look at the science closely before casting their vote in August.

Included in his letter is a chart which he says shows that while greenhouse emissions have gone up
over the past 15 years, global temperatures have remained steady.

Steve Fielding spoke to Alexandra Kirk in Canberra.

STEVE FIELDING: Look, this is the first time I've written to all senators and because it is a very
big issue. It's the number one issue as far as our economy and the environment. One that we're
going to face for the next 10 to 20 years.

And so we've got to get the decision right and the question that I'm going to be putting forward to
each of the senators is - can they also explain why global air temperatures haven't been going up
over the last 15 years, while carbon dioxide concentrations have been.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: In other words you're asking them to vote against the Government's emissions
trading scheme?

STEVE FIELDING: Look, underlying it is, is that I have trouble voting for a Carbon Pollution
Reduction Scheme where there is a basic question about the science that needs to be answered.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But shouldn't you be looking at longer than the last 15 years?

STEVE FIELDING: It hasn't been going up. Now 15 years is a very long time.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But what about 50 years, for example?

STEVE FIELDING: But the issue at hand has been is that we've all been led to believe as carbon
dioxide concentration continues to go up, global temperatures would rapidly rise. Now what we've
found over the last 15 years, and this is based on the measurements that the IPCC have used for
many, many years.

Now the evidence and the facts that I'm putting forward, even though it could be an inconvenient
fact, global air temperatures haven't been going up over the last 15 years while carbon dioxide
concentrations have been going up over that same period.

Now that contradicts what the Rudd Government has been put forward and the Rudd Government needs to
explain it and I think each senator before they vote on this, they've got to be able to look at
their constituents, look at the Australian public in the eye and say that I can explain why global
air temperatures haven't been going up over the last 15 years, but carbon dioxides have.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: When you had your discussions with the Government, one of the issues that came up
was that sea temperatures are increasing, which you then asked the Government to explain. Professor
Stephan, who is the scientist who was at the meeting says that sea temperatures have risen by 0.1
of a degree centigrade, over 40 years, between 1961 and 2003.

He says that is quite impressive, given that oceans cover such a large percentage of the Earth's
surface and water has a very high heat capacity. So it takes a lot of heat to increase, say, the
sea, by that amount and human activity is the only explanation for that. You can't accept that?

STEVE FIELDING: Look, both the scientists on both sides of the debate have said for many years that
ocean temperatures have not been reliable or a good, and haven't been used.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: And you're worried that a number of Coalition senators might vote for the scheme
and therefore it might pass the Parliament come August-September?

STEVE FIELDING: Look, there certainly is concern but I would appeal to senators in both the major
parties to actually look at the fact. I'm appealing to senators to actually look at the facts and
it could be an inconvenient fact, but at the same token you need to actually take that on board and
consider whether you can explain it themselves.

And if you can't, then you shouldn't be voting on something you don't understand.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: You sued the words "inconvenient fact", which is a reference to Al Gore's book and
film, "An Inconvenient Truth". Al Gore has been in Australia and has supported the idea of
Australia having an emissions trading scheme, voted for, before the UN Climate Conference in
Copenhagen. Is you fear that Australia will have an emissions trading scheme before Copenhagen?

STEVE FIELDING: Look, it would be really odd for Australia to go it alone and risk jobs in our
economy at this stage. And especially given that the question that I've put forward hasn't been
explained by the Rudd Government.

I'm hoping to be able to meet Al Gore in the next couple of days. I met him this morning very
briefly, and I'm hoping to have a longer chat, one-on-one over the next couple of days; because
again, it's a question that I want to put forward to him to see what his response is to it.

PETER CAVE: Family First Senator Steve Fielding, speaking to Alexandra Kirk