SMH: A cold, hard look at a hot topic

As one of our correspondants has pointed out, there was a conference on global warming attended by skeptics in Canberra, recently:

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Although heavily outnumbered, global-warming sceptics believe the stakes are so high they must step up their fight, as Michael Duffy reports.

Members of a species widely believed extinct – scientists sceptical of human-produced global warming – met at a conference in Canberra on Monday.

One of them, Professor Bob Carter, an environmental scientist at James Cook University in north Queensland, puts their view plainly: "Attempting to stop climate change is an expensive act of utter futility." According to Carter, more than $50 billion has been spent on climate research since 1990, yet there is still no unambiguous evidence of human-caused global warming.

The conference organiser was Monash University’s APEC Study Centre, concerned about the economic consequences for Australia of responses, such as the Kyoto Protocol, to global warming.

According to the centre’s chairman, Alan Oxley, a former diplomat and managing director of the consultancy ITS Global, "People who go into the technical aspects of global warming find out there are many large questions in the science that are just disregarded. It’s surprising how many government officials haven’t bothered about this. It seems to me quite important to have some airing of these questions."

Ross McKitrick attended the conference as well.

Now read on at this link


  1. David H
    Posted Apr 11, 2005 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    Good piece John. I’m sure I’m not the only one who asks ordinary folk who believe in AGW how much CO2 they think is in the atmosphere but the answers still amuse me. However, I expect public advocates of the Kyoto protocol to have at least some grasp of their subject. I have mentioned before that our Noble Lords are enquiring into “aspects of the economics of climate change” and you can read the draft transcripts of the evidence on line. (please note the caveat that these are uncorrected).

    For instance see: Q367 Page 4

    Adair Turner of Merrill Lynch (and once Director General of the Confederation of British Industry) told their Lordships: “We know that that CO2 plays a fundamental role in the climate. Basically, if there was not CO2, we would be as cold as Mars or somewhere like that, and we would not have human life”

    Or look at what Sir john Houghton said in describing the 20th century on page 7 of:

    “Then, if you get to the middle of the century, you find the temperature rise stops somewhat…”

    It would appear to be politically incorrect to say that temperatures ever fell in the 20th century!

    Or look at what Dr Pachauri said when asked how much of 20th century warming took place in each half of the century, on p6 of his evidence at:

    “The bulk of it took place in the second half of the century.”

    Is the word “bulk” another word, like “likely”, that has some special meaning in climate science?

  2. John A.
    Posted Apr 11, 2005 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    I’m always impressed by the weasel words and propaganda spin of certain climate scientists.


    If these things are so certain and so well grounded, why must these people abuse the language with meaningless rhetoric?

    Further, Dr Pachauri was simply saying something untrue – the bulk of the warming of the 20th Century happened before 1940 (before most of the rise in carbon dioxide occurred). Why did the warming prior to 1940 happen Dr Pachauri? “Natural reasons” Why is the warming between 1979 and 2001 special in any way? “Erm…we have these models…”

  3. Michael Ballantine
    Posted Apr 18, 2005 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

    John, I’m not sure which thread is best for this reference but this seems like a reasonable spot to bring it up. It may even deserver it’s own thread. It is an autopsy of a speach given by Sir Robert May on man made global warming. The disection of the speach is on par with Steve’s disection of Mann’s hockey stick but a lot more understandable by the average person.

  4. John A.
    Posted Apr 18, 2005 at 12:12 PM | Permalink


    I think that John Brignell’s analysis is great, although the testiness of his analysis is not to everyone’s taste (and probably too much ad hominem for the tastes of this weblog). I disagree with John Brignell about smoking and tobacco related illnesses for example, but I cannot deny that he opened my eyes to the abuse of measurement and statistical significance that occurs daily in our newspapers. His book on epidemiology, while flawed (especially that it desperately needs editing by a competent editor as he does repeat himself more than a few times) is certainly a fascinating read.

    I have offered to set him up a weblog (and a proper forum), but whether he is interested I have yet to discern.

  5. Michael Ballantine
    Posted Apr 20, 2005 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    And just to keep things interesting, the Hollywood celebrities are getting into the act. Read all about it at
    “Salma Hayek is tired of the U.S. government turning a cold shoulder to climate change. That’s why the Oscar nominated actress will join Los Angeles artist John Quigley and 1,000 residents of Iqaluit this Friday on the Arctic ice, to make art – and a statement – all at once….”

  6. Posted Jul 20, 2006 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    good site!

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