November 21st 2015

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Gender variety has no basis in science

CANBERRA OBSERVED PM's political capital may be tax-reform casualty

EDITORIAL IPCC and the media: Last Tango in Paris

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Poland's election sends shock waves through EU

THE ELECTRONICS REVOLUTION Create infrastructure to bridge coming robo gap

LIFE ISSUES Keeping a straight face with Andrew Denton on euthanasia

LIFE ISSUES With Nitschke out of death industry, Exit must go next

EUROPEAN AFFAIRS Euro banks were lending like there's no tomorrow

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Polls show conservative resurgence at grassroots

RELIGION IN RUSSIA State control, Slavophiles prepare way for apostasy

CULTURE Mankind needs to work; and mankind needs work

PUBLIC POLICY Drug substitutes used as treatment are lethal

CINEMA The man who stands back up: Bridge of Spies

BOOK REVIEW We're getting better all the time


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IPCC and the media: Last Tango in Paris

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, November 21, 2015

As the world’s media, environmentalists and politicians prepare to converge on Paris for the forthcoming meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), every discredited trick in the arsenal of the climate alarmists is being deployed to scare politicians into implementing the IPCC’s extreme agenda to combat climate change.

Over recent weeks, a succession of scientific papers, academic announce­ments and political statements have been made to create the appearance – but not the reality – that the earth is in danger of going up in fossil fuel-induced smoke and carbon dioxide.

Politicians – including our own Bill Shorten – have joined the campaign, warning of the dire threat posed by global warming. Mr Shorten, along with Labor’s deputy leader, Tanya Plibersek, paid a visit to the tiny Pacific nation of Kiribati, to drum up support for the campaign.

Apart from joining what looked like a rain dance with island maidens – a gesture not taken up by his host, the President of Kiribati – Mr Shorten declared: “For Kiribati, climate change is not an economic debate, or an environmental one, it goes far beyond that.

“It is a clear and present danger to your homes and communities, to your many islands and atolls less than two metres above sea level.”

Real dangers

The fact is that the Pacific island states are far more at risk from the ever-present danger of cyclones than from climate change. Further, the coral atolls that make up these islands are in fact the tops of extinct volcanoes that are subject to earth movements and tsunamis, as well as droughts and floods, which can happen at any time. These dangers are well known, and countries like Australia have contributed to emergency plans to deal with them.

In any case, research shows that global average sea levels have been rising at a rate of about two millimetres a year. To put this in perspective, daily average tidal variations have an amplitude of about one metre, 500 times the measured rise in average sea levels each year.

An interesting piece of research, barely reported, is that measurements of the size of Pacific atolls show that they are actually growing in size, despite the slight rise in average sea levels, due to deposition of sand through natural processes.

The research paper published in Geology, journal of the American Geological Society, in April, contradicts the claims that Pacific islands are disappearing due to climate change. (Geology, April 27, 2015)

The title of the paper is “Coral islands defy sea-level rise over the past century: Records from a central Pacific atoll”, and it was based on meticulous observation of Funafuti Atoll, near Kiribati, over more than 100 years.

It says: “Funafuti Atoll, in the tropical Pacific Ocean, has experienced some of the highest rates of sea-level rise (~5.1 ± 0.7 mm/yr), totalling ~0.30 ± 0.04 metres over the past 60 years. We analysed six time slices of shoreline position over the past 118 years at 29 islands of Funafuti Atoll to determine their physical response to recent sea-level rise.

“Despite the magnitude of this rise, no islands have been lost, the majority have enlarged, and there has been a 7.3 per cent increase in net island area over the past century (AD 1897–2013). There is no evidence of heightened erosion over the past half-century as sea-level rise accelerated.

“Reef islands in Funafuti continually adjust their size, shape, and position in response to variations in boundary conditions, including storms and sediment supply, as well as sea level. Results suggest a more optimistic prognosis for the habitability of atoll nations and demonstrate the importance of resolving recent rates and styles of island change to inform adaptation strategies.”

Despite this, recent alarmist claims have been made that capital cities around the world, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane in Australia, are at risk of disappearing beneath the rising waves.

A favourite IPCC claim is sea levels are rising because the Antarctic ice cap is melting. In fact, a recent study reported in the Journal of Glaciology (October 29, 2015) shows that the Antarctic ice cap today is increasing in size by around 80 Gigatonnes a year, the opposite of what the IPCC claims.

Jay Zwally of NASA is lead author of the study titled, “Mass gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet exceed losses”, which is available online.

A long-term project of the University of Illinois’ Department of Atmospheric Sciences is to map sea-ice extent in both the northern and southern hemispheres. These have been plotted daily for the past 36 years, and, taken together, show no clear trend.

None of this will stop the IPCC, backed by Obama and the European Union, from pushing for mandatory cuts to CO2 emissions and the use of fossil fuels, and huge subsidies for “alternative energy” sources, particularly solar and wind power.

Let’s hope that common sense and genuine science prevail over a scare campaign based on lies and the selective use of statistics and computer models.

Peter Westmore is national president of the National Civic Council.

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