April 17th 2010

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Broad approach needed to boat-people saga

DEFENCE: Unmanned aircraft needed to patrol our seas

CANBERRA OBSERVED: What is Tony Abbott on about?

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE I: Rudd and Abbott schemes will punish stay-home mums

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE II: Maternity leave and the mother wars

COVER STORY / POPULATION: The philosophical roots of 'Demographic Winter'

BUSHFIRES: Victoria changes tack on fuel-reduction burns

CLIMATE CHANGE: Criticism of 'Climategate' inquiries accelerates

UNITED NATIONS: UN body seeks 'universal human right' to abortion

CHINA: Stern Hu convicted in kangaroo court

OPINION: All in the mind: Asian strategy and Australian big talk

TRADE UNIONISM: The most dangerous man in Detroit?

PORNOGRAPHY: Call for restrictions on 'soft porn' magazines

AS THE WORLD TURNS: India launches world's largest school voucher program; Child 'spies' to snoop on teachers; Mothers and fathers disappear from UK birth certificates; Will America break up?

CINEMA: Portrait of Nelson Mandela - Invictus (rated PG)

BOOK REVIEW : THE RETREAT: Hitler's First Defeat, by Michael Jones

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Criticism of 'Climategate' inquiries accelerates

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, April 17, 2010
The release of secret e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University last November, known as Climategate, confirmed suspicions that climate science has been manipulated to support extreme measures to cut the output of CO2 in developed economies.

Not long afterwards, the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen collapsed in disarray, when underlying disagreements between developed and developing countries led to the failure of the summit to agree to any program to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Subsequently, two of the strongest proponents of tough greenhouse laws, France and Germany, have announced that they will not be proceeding with carbon taxes on CO2 emissions.

In an effort to regain lost credibility, the University of East Anglia and the British Parliament undertook separate inquiries into the Climategate affair.

The first report by the science and technology committee of the British Parliament was tabled on March 31, 2010. It accepted the evidence of the head of CRU, Professor Phil Jones, that he had not engaged in scientific fraud, but found that the practices of the CRU contributed to the perception that it had manipulated the data.

The chairman of the inquiry, Phil Willis MP, said, "What this inquiry revealed was that climate scientists need to take steps to make available all the data that support their work and full methodological workings, including their computer codes. Had both been available, many of the problems at CRU could have been avoided."

Critics, however, are not convinced. Mr Willis himself has consistently supported greenhouse gas controls, including a motion in October 2009 to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 10 per cent by the end of 2010. The motion was defeated.

One member of the committee, Labour's Graham Stringer, voted not to accept the majority report.

American climate scientist, Professor Fred Singer, dismissed the Willis inquiry as a "whitewash", citing as evidence its reference to the leaked e-mails as "stolen" and the fact that it declined to take evidence from scientifically qualified sceptics, and yet it accepted the conclusions of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that human activity is causing climate change.

Separately, the University of East Anglia is conducting its own inquiry, headed by Lord Oxburgh.

But as Christopher Booker recently documented in the London Telegraph, Lord Oxburgh is not only linked to major wind-farm and renewable energy companies, but he advises Climate Change Capital, a merchant bank which manages funds worth $US1.5 billion, and hopes to cash in on the "opportunities created by the transition to a low-carbon economy", in a world market potentially worth $US45 trillion (The Telegraph, March 27, 2010).

Booker also revealed that Lord Oxburgh is a director and vice-chairman of a company called Globe International, a world-wide network to lobby governments to take more drastic action on climate change.

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