Stating the obvious 30 years too late

Very few Murdoch ‘journalists’ are real journalists; many are just Liberal Party fundament osculators. One of the few who is a real journalist is Malcolm Farr, but he has not done himself any favours this week in publishing an article in which he stated that “the public debate on the existence of climate change is over and we are owed an apology”1. To be blunt, this is equine ordure. The debate was over long ago. It is just that the halfwit deniers in parliament2 and in the Murdoch media, either think they are superior climate scientists to all the climate scientists employed in this nation or that all those climate scientists are involved in a massive conspiracy. Given the lack of intelligence of many parliamentarians3,4,5, the former assertion is clearly beyond the realms of possibility. And, as a scientist myself, I know that only small conspiracies are possible in science, and to believe large ones are possible simply demonstrates people’s ignorance of science and how it works.

The ‘debate’ about climate change to which Farr refers, was over almost thirty years ago when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its first report in 1990. Anybody who thinks these were radical reports is deluding themselves. Scientific consensus documents such as these are by their very nature conservative and cautious. In that first report, the IPCC predicted that global mean surface air temperature would rise by about 0.3 degrees C per decade and that it will likely see a global increase of 1.0 degrees C by 20256. We passed that mark in 20187. They predicted that high northern latitudes will warm more than the global mean in Winter6. That has also come to pass8. They predicted a 20 cm global mean sea level rise by 20306. Since 1990, global mean sea level has risen about 9 cm and the pace of change is increasing9.

While Malcolm Farr states that ‘we are owed an apology’, this is grossly understating the case. These climate change deniers need to be held to account more severely than simply forcing them give a grudging apology. Solely from stupidity or in the interests of keeping their donations from fossil fuel corporations and denialist organisations, including those from overseas, they have denied reality. They have denied the fact of climate change and in so doing, they have delayed action to mitigate it, such that we are very unlikely to keep the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees, and are at risk of having runaway temperature increases of much more. At best they have put off action such that the current younger generation and those to come will be lumbered with an extraordinary cost to mitigate the most dangerous effects. At worst they have given those young people a planet, parts of which may be uninhabitable, and in which millions may die. That is a crime against humanity that would make the depredations of any murderous dictator pale by comparison, and they should pay dearly for it.




  • The IPCC reports are not scientific. They consist of little more than circumstantial evidence and computer modeling dressed up to represent a disaster in the making. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are rising. The temperature is rising. The two must be related. Yes, CO2 is a powerful greenhouse gas. So powerful in fact that it is almost saturated at 0.02% in the atmosphere. The IPCC reports and other climate change scientists have failed to show the most fundamental aspect of “How does increased atmospheric CO2 warm the planet? The simple answer is “With great difficulty”. If you visit you will see that a 0.01% increase in atmospheric CO2 would not be able to raise the average global temperature by even 0.1˚C.

    If you think increased atmospheric CO2 is raising Earth’s average temperature, the first thing you should do is show the physics of how that can happen. It does not appear to be mentioned in any of the above references. Without a physical principle, it isn’t going to happen. If the author believes that increased CO2 levels are raising global temperature she/he should give the physics of how it occurs. Without that, everything is circumstantial evidence. As for being held accountable, how many assets is the author particularly and are climate change disaster predictors prepared to sign away when the promised disasters don’t occur by 2030?

    • admin says:

      No, you have that wrong. You clearly do not understand science. It is always a good idea to learn about something before you try to refute it. Climate change deniers are simply liars. This is how they lie:
      The funny thing is that deniers either believe that they are much better climate scientists than real climate scientists, or that all the real climate scientists are involved in a conspiracy. As I am sure you can imagine, I know both are equally ridiculous. The former is simply ludicrous and reminds me of a mock plot idea for a movie: “97% of the world’s scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.” Being a research scientists myself, I know that because science is such a cutthroat business, anything but a small conspiracy is impossible. I have seen a couple of conspiracies uncovered in my field of expertise and both were the result of one man falsifying results. And you know who they were uncovered by? By scientists involved in the same field of research. Denialism of climate change is a crime against humanity, and if there is any justice, deniers will face it.

      • Mark Dougall says:

        Sigh!! What a struggle this is when people use their biological (brain) and technological (internet) tools so poorly. The consensus is now 99%. .Scientific confirmation for what anybody with their eyes open, their ears working properly and a little bit of intelligence, has been able to deduce for themselves for some time now. Not sure what planet Vivian lives on but it sure ain’t our poor old Earth.

        • admin says:

          The major problem is that an enormous number of people have absolutely no idea how science works. I have bumped into many people who think it is simply a matter of opinion. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have been a research scientist my entire adult life and it is simply my way of doing things. That is probably why I structure my essays as I do. The profound ignorance of many deniers stuns me.

  • Mark Dougall says:

    I agree. What annoys me, in fact very seriously angers me, is not that people are ignorant but that they are willfully ignorant about this and other environmental issues. Most people know little, or nothing, about how their bodies work, or how an aeroplane flies, or why the moon orbits the earth, or how computers work. They do, generally, show enough sense to accept the current scientific consensus about these matters particularly when it is so obviously supported by what we experience in our daily lives. Yes there are nutters who do not believe in vaccination, or who think going to Lourdes can cure arthritis and cancer, or think that the earth is flat, but they are very, very much in the minority.

    There are numerous factors at play in the denier psyche. There is the fear that if the problem is as great as scientists say it is then necessary action will affect those things that they regard as important. Their cars, their travel, their profits, their jobs, their general profligacy, their religion are all at threat, they perceive, from the actions that the “warmists” are saying need to be taken. So the best response is to say that there is no need for any action because it is not real. A lot like smokers who kept arguing that there was no evidence that tobacco was causing cancer simply because they did not want to stop smoking.

    In some cases they argue that the warming will even help the planet. An even more poisonous position, once again at odds with everything we can see and are experiencing, and that the scientists are telling us. This again, is similar, to the type of tripe the tobacco industry used to trot out when we first started to learn about the damage that was being done to people’s health from their products. It helps reduce stress. It helps in social situations. It helps with breathing problems.

    Then there are simply those who are, for want of a better term, simply smart arses. Not too bright people who think they are really, really clever. You know the type. They can diagnose you better than any doctor, they know how cars work better than any mechanic, they know how computers work better than any IT specialists, they know it all, and, invariably, they are wrong. And what’s more they are painfully irritatingly in your face wrong.

    The group, though, that I almost despise the most is that very large group, who accept and know what is happening but do absolutely nothing to address the matter. They still vote for the wrong political parties, they still travel overseas several times a year, they still use excessive energy, they do nothing any differently. Because it’s not their problem. It’s not their fault. Like hell it’s not. It is all our fault.

    The thing that does link all of these people is not that they are unintelligent (although obviously many are) or that they are stupid but think they are clever (which applies to many of them) but that they simply cannot accept change. The tragedy is that change is coming, one way or another, and it will either be very horrible or we manage it.

    • admin says:

      I feel unalloyed rage at climate change deniers of all stripes. However, I think you are missing a group, and that is the people who know it is happening, and how dangerous it is, but deny it because it makes them money. These include those in fossil fuel companies who buy politicians and the politicians who have been bought.

      • Mark Dougall says:

        Once again you are spot on although I never forget the manipulators. They use the rest, including the apathetic. As you have stated a number of times their behaviour is criminal. Criminality of the most venal and repulsive kind.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.