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My Perspective

Are the seas rising? My perspective on ‘climate change’ #6

By | ABC, Climate Change, Environment, History, Media, My Perspective, Politics, Religion, Research | 87 Comments

Of all the consequences that a warmer planet might bring, the one that gets the largest media shock/horror buzz is the prospect of rising sea-levels, as (some) ‘scientists’  predict that bigger seas will flood coastal communities, submerge coral islands and drown countries like Bangladesh. Greenland will melt, Antarctica will melt, glaciers will retreat even further. We are doomed, unless … It’s just too good a story to spoil with inconvenient data. In fact, as I said eight years ago, there’s just no evidence of anything like this happening. Not one of the fifty million climate refugees predicted for 2010 by the UN…

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Are human beings causing the warming? My perspective on ‘climate change’ #5

By | Climate Change, History, My Perspective, Politics, Religion, Research | 110 Comments

We have come far enough along this road for a short recapitulation of the story so far. I came into reading, thinking and writing about AGW, or ‘climate change’, some ten years ago, and was doubtful from the beginning: too much speculation on too little real data. The AGW scare started about 1988, and quickly built up momentum, in part because temperatures were rising in apparent lockstep with carbon dioxide accumulations. Before long there was an IPCC, a precautionary principle, and lengthy assessment reports on what carbon dioxide was doing to our climate. For a while politicians and electorates were…

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#4 Is the planet warming?

By | ABC, Climate Change, Environment, History, Media, My Perspective, Politics, Religion, Research | 103 Comments

The apparently simple question like the one in the title of this essay is in fact almost impossible to answer unless it is specified further. Even then, it has been argued that that it implies a quantity — average global temperature — that is both mathematically and thermodynamically impossible to calculate. Interested readers should go to the link to explore further, but a short-cut is that it is as sensible as referring to the ‘average exchange rate’ of all currencies in the world today, or the average of all the telephone numbers in the telephone directory. Perhaps a prior question is:…

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My perspective on ‘climate change’ and global warming. 3. The core argument behind the AGW scare

By | Climate Change, Environment, History, Language, Media, My Perspective, Politics, Religion, Research | 15 Comments

In this third essay I want to illuminate the several strands of the core argument behind the notion that global warming is dangerous for humanity, as well as threatening for other residents in the eco-system of the planet. In my first venture into the debate (A Cool Look…) I summarised the 2008 AGW proposition like this: Human activity in burning coal and oil, and clearing forests has, over the past century, put an enormous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere where it has combined with water vapour and other gases like methane to increase global temperatures in an unprecedented way. The evidence…

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My perspective on ‘climate change’ and global warming. 2. A chronology of the scare

By | Climate Change, Education, Environment, History, Media, My Perspective, Politics, Religion, Research, Society | 41 Comments

In this second essay about my perspective on global warming I step back to provide a chronology. An interest in weather and its variability is part of our culture, and may even be embedded in the human psyche. It continues to be important to know when it rained last year, when floods come, how long droughts last, and so on. Human societies are vulnerable to changes in the weather, and even more to changes in climate (meaning, the average of weather over thirty years — the current conventional definition). Rome got its bread from the wheat grown on the North African shores on…

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My perspective on ‘climate change’ and global warming. 1: History

By | Climate Change, My Perspective | 40 Comments

About ten years ago I began to read widely in the area of ‘the environment’ for a book I was then writing about Australia’s next fifty years. It soon became clear to me that I would have to deal with the apparent threat of global warming, which was much in the news from Greens and the Left generally. The more I read the more unhappy I felt. While global warming was not a field in which I had any competence, years of reading scientific papers and assessing scientists’ requests for money for research had given me some capacity to interrogate argument and…

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