Garth George: Ignore all that hot air about global warming

If you believe all the garbage you've been reading, seeing and hearing lately about global warming, then you probably still believe the Earth is flat.

And if you believe that the cause is human-produced CO2 emissions and that you personally are somehow responsible - your car is too big and your seaside bach is likely to be inundated any old day - then you probably still believe those ancient charts in which large areas are marked "Here be dragons."

This scaremongering, doom-saying global warming industry is shaping up to be the biggest rort of the decade and, if it goes on much longer, of the 21st century.

Because, as Richard S. Lindzen wrote lately in the Washington Post, the long-range predictions issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been made "using inherently untrustworthy climate models similar to those that cannot accurately forecast the weather a week from now".

"The current alarm," writes the professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Newsweek, "rests on the false assumption not only that we live in a perfect world temperaturewise, but also that our warming forecasts for the year 2040 are somehow more reliable than the weatherman's forecast for next week."

Top Kiwi earth scientist Bob Carter, writing in last weekend's London Sunday Telegraph, points out that a study of core samples taken from the seabed in the southwest Pacific reveals that over hundreds of thousands of years climate has changed ceaselessly in either direction - sometimes cooling sometimes warming - often for reasons not fully understood.

"Yet," writes the professor at Queensland's James Cook University, "we do not read about natural climate change in the everyday news.

"Instead, newspapers, radio and television stations bludgeon us with a merciless stream of human-caused global-warming alarmism, egged on by a self-interested gaggle of journalists, environmental lobbyists, scientific and business groups, church leaders and politicians, all of whom preach that we must 'stop climate change' by reducing human CO2 emissions."

Professor Carter, former chairman of the earth science panel of the Australian Research Council, says most of these groups get their information from the IPCC.

However, he writes, "many distinguished scientists refuse to participate in the IPCC process, and others have resigned from it, because in the end the advice that the panel provides to Governments is political and not scientific."

"Although at least $50 billion has been spent on climate research, the science arguments for a dangerous human influence on global warming have, if anything, become weaker since the establishment of the IPCC in 1988. Yet the rhetoric of IPCC alarm has been successively ramped up ... "

Professor Carter suggests that the "global warming" alleged by climate alarmists to have been caused by the accumulation of human-sourced CO2 in the atmosphere relies on surface thermometer records, whose accuracy he doubts.

Rather, he writes, the most accurate depiction of atmospheric temperature over the past 25 years has come from satellite measurements, and those indicate an absence of significant global warming since 1979 - the very period in which human carbon dioxide emissions have been increasing rapidly.

"The satellite data signal not only the absence of substantial human-induced warming, by recording similar temperatures in 1980 and 2006, but also provide an empirical test of the greenhouse hypothesis as understood by the public - a test that the hypothesis fails."

Having pointed out at some length that the IPCC boffins' scenarios rely heavily on thoroughly unscientific circumstantial "evidence", Professor Carter writes: "So the evidence for dangerous global warming forced by human carbon dioxide emissions is extremely weak."

"That the satellite temperature record shows no substantial warming since 1978 ... indicates that a key line of circumstantial evidence for human-caused change ... is now negated."

And: "The environmental catchphrase of the moment is 'sustainability'. It is therefore a good question to ask how much longer politicians, responding to pressure from the IPCC and other lobby groups [read Greens], can sustain the fiction that dangerous human-caused climate change is upon us."

As for me, I'll keep on driving my 4-litre Falcon, use as much water and electricity as I want, take as many airline flights as I please, and keep the woodburner well stoked throughout the winter.

And if there's a youngster out there who can be bothered, I'd be obliged if you would cut this column out and put it away somewhere to be brought out and reread in 2040.

I doubt very much that I'll still be here, so please say on my behalf: "I told you so."

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