JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Scientists call for Royal Commission* into climate change science

Released today. Four independent scientists respond in detail to the evidence that government scientists claim shows that carbon dioxide causes significant global warming. The real debate continues. After the return fire from the skeptical experts, there was not a single point left standing.




Carter, Evans,
Kininmonth, Franks

“Our conclusions are:

  1. that whilst recent increases in greenhouse gases play a minor radiative role in global climate, no strong evidence exists that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing, or are likely to cause, dangerous global warming;
  2. that it is unwise for government environmental policy to be set based upon monopoly advice, and especially so when what monopoly is represented by an international political (not scientific) agency; and
  3. that the results of implementing emissions trading legislation will be so costly, troublingly regressive, socially divisive and environmentally ineffective that Parliament should defer consideration of the CPRS bill and institute a fully independent Royal Commission of enquiry into the evidence for and against a dangerous human influence on climate.
  4. We add, with respect to point 3 that the scientific community is now so polarized on the controversial issue of dangerous global warming that proper due diligence on the matter can only be achieved where competent scientific witnesses are cross-examined under oath and under strict rules of evidence.”

This is the question of the day: who audits the IPCC?

Can we rely on the peer review process by anonymous unpaid ‘peers’, who are often colleagues on Team-AGW, and who share the same financial incentives as the authors to find that carbon dioxide is the culprit? Can we expect a system that heavily funds scientists to ‘find a link’ between two factors to quickly and efficiently come to a counter conclusion if there is only an insignificant link?

Fossil fuels give human civilization around 85% of all our energy. We have depended on carbon based fuels almost exclusively since someone rubbed two sticks together, even before Homo Sapien became ‘sapien’. If fossil fuel emissions causes major environmental problems, yes, of course, we must act, with major force and substantial effort. But to undertake such a massive shift at such major cost based only on the opinion of an unaccountable, unaudited international committee would be negligent.

The Rudd Government must find a way to assess the science. Is a Royal Commission the answer? Is there a better way to independently cross check the analysis, and get a second opinion? What steps can we take to ensure that we actively foster competition between scientific theories?

A patient would ‘get a second opinion’, the Australian Reserve Bank would do it’s own economic analysis before it recommended a major change, so why would our government adopt UN-IPCC dictates without question?

The Rudd government likes to paint itself as a world leader—but on climate change the only ‘leading’ they threaten to do is to be the first in the queue of lap-dogs rushing to adopt the wish list of an unelected and unaudited committee.


The four scientists:

Professor Robert (Bob) M. Carter – Geologist/Environmental Scientist Bob Carter, Hon. FRSNZ, is an Adjunct Research Fellow at James Cook University (Queensland). He is an expert on Cenozoic marine sediments and sea-level changes in the last 65 million years.

Dr David Evans – Carbon Modeller David Evans worked for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Dept. of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, building FullCAM. Evans is a mathematician and engineer, with six university degrees including a PhD from Stanford University in Electrical Engineering.

Associate Professor Stewart Franks – Hydro-climatologist University of Newcastle. Expert in reducing uncertainties in modelling land surface – atmosphere interactions for atmospheric/climate models.

William Kininmonth – Meteorologist/Climatologist with 45 years professional experience with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and 12 years until 1998 as head of its National Climate Centre. Author of the book, Climate Change: A Natural Hazard (2004, Multi-Science Publishing Co, UK).

The full response is here: 50 pages and 50 scientific references.

All the questions, press releases, responses, reports and so on are here: Wong Fielding Meeting Documents.

*For those without a Monarchy, a Royal Commission is one of the most major kind of government public inquiries possible. It has considerable powers, usually even greater than those available to judges. Once a commission has started even the government cannot stop it. So governments are very careful about framing them…

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
Scientists call for Royal Commission* into climate change science, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/26rsrlg

34 comments to Scientists call for Royal Commission* into climate change science

  • #
  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    JoNova: “so why would our government adopt UN-IPCC dictates without question?”

    I can’t speak for yours but I can for mine. Its because by so doing gives a facade of reason to further abandon the principles of individual liberty and aggrandize governmental power and control. It hides the real truth from others but most importantly from themselves.

    Third rate second handed wannabe dictators are attracted to government because they don’t have to produce. They have the gun of government to take what ever they need or want. They use the moral pathology of altruism to seduce the people to going along with their atrocities. This is further aided and abetted by total control over the educational system and the capturing of the press to do their bidding.

    At root, the wannabe dictators know they are not worthy of existence because they have abandoned the only thing that makes it possible for humans to exist: reason. As such, they both fear and hate existence. They want to negate reality. They think by becoming masters of those who do not fear reality they are protected from reality. The truth is that they want to destroy all even at the cost of their own existence.

    Such is the nature of governments and it has been this way since the first tribal chieftain and clan witch doctor joined forces to oppress the tribal members to steal wealth they could not and would not produce. There is a proper function for government but, like a loaded gun, its a dangerous thing when improperly used.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    DeanTurner

    A Royal Commission would blow the lid off the AGW theory bandwagon. The Rudd Government will do anything it can to avoid any scrutiny on their beloved CPRS. They see the new tax scheme as a get out of jail free card. A way to pay off the $300+ billion of debt they have plunged us into, without realising the true ramifications.

    As with the pro AGW scientists, this all boils down to money. Keep the money flowing.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    I wish them luck in getting the royal commission, but I’ll believe it when I see it. After all, who needs a commission when you’ve got IPCC peer reviewed facts — and the science is in — and consensus says, etc., etc., etc.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Who audits the IPCC?

    Well I have had a go on my website.
    I haven’t kept it very up to date but that’s more due to lack of time than lack of material.


    Report this

    00

  • #
  • #
    co2isnotevil

    If the standard of reasonable doubt is applied to the culpability of anthropogenic CO2 relative to warming, it would be exonerated with prejudice, so long as the jury is comprised of objective scientists. Unfortunately, politicians, who are mostly lawyers, are in this loop. The problem with allowing lawyers to make scientific judgments is that objective analysis is not part of the law curriculum. After all, how many objective lawyers could defend a guilty client. Law is all about using subjective arguments to influence others which is a far cry from using objective analysis to establish truth.

    George


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] far behind – NZ Herald News Scientists call for Royal Commission* into Climate Change Science: This is the question of the day: who audits the IPCC? | JoNova Let’s not forget the nutjobs "saving the planet": BBC NEWS |they did not believe they [...]


    Report this

    00

  • #
    allen mcmahon

    Sorry we cannot have a royal Commission we blew the budget on AGW. Perhaps it would be easier to remind the MPs particularly those in marginal seats about the EU election results in the UK. The United Kingdom Independence Party out polled New Labor coming in second behind the conservatives with 23%of the vote. Not a bad result for a party with a non AGW (deniers,deniers why wont they go away!) environmental policy and (I shall whisper here)and energy policy based on nuclear power. It seems that a lot of silly people in the UK are peeved that they paid for an ETS system that upped C02 emissions and they are prepared to destroy the planet in revenge. They should log on to Real Climate where they could learn how much fun there is to be had living in a cave garbed in designer cow skins(good way to get rid of those pesky methane emmiters. Uhmm Uhmm leather chaps must leave now before I get too excited.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Matt Buckels

    ” so costly, troublingly regressive, socially divisive” they are obviously not economists


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Steve Meikle

    This is so like the religious behaviour of factions back in late Roman times (ie post Constantine, died AD 337) : An Arian bishop – after one Arius a preacher, not any Aryan racial stuff – offended the local clergy so they ran to the Emperor to get him exiled. And so he was. Yet if the Emperor died and his sucessor was an Arian supporters said bishop would run squealing to the new Emperor to have their friend and mentor returned from exile and those who agitated for the exile of this first to themselves be exiled.

    And you would have me believe that scientists are the dispassionate seekers after truth of the fictional and unattainable ideal?

    When scientists squabble like schoolboys who in turn squabble like politicians (witness the brawl in the 1820′s when politicians literally fought like schoolboys with fists over a pudding at a banquet) I am to trust their ideals and integrity?

    It does not matter who is right, it is just a childish quarrel with both sides wanting to run to the Emperor (or the modern equivalentm a Royal Commission).

    Pathetic


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Steve,

    If one is a true scientist, one CANNOT be dispassionate about the truth any more than one can be dispassionate about being alive. Knowing the difference between truth and falsity is a matter of thriving or impoverishment, success or failure, growth or decay, life or death. What that truth is pales to insignificance compared to the simple knowing of it.

    To be objective does not mean to be dispassionate and without emotion. It means connecting ones thoughts and understanding to what actually is without regard to anything but what actually is. I suggest the people who deny truth, evade the possibility of objectivity, and hold that knowledge is not possible are the ones who are truly dispassionate about everything – including their own lives.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Matt Buckels

    But Lionell – science truth will not be found by a royal commission.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Steve Meikle

    Come now Mr Griffith, do you not know the meaning of the word dispassionate. It does not mean without passion it means without prejudice. Just as disinterested mean not uninterested but un prejudiced

    But even so I hold that the sciences are corrupted as all the works of men are corrupted.

    Men can go only so far but in their arrogance think they can solve the human condition and know all truth.

    Yet see in the pursuit of this ideal how they become squealing schoolboys running off to the Emperor, just like the religious fanatics of anopther age that they despise and claim to differ from.

    Did you focus on one word, my use of dispassionate, because you could not respond to my comment on their childishness in running to political power


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    I stand by my use of the word. Your usage as “without prejudice” is a gross distortion.

    From: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dispassionate

    dispassionate: not influenced by strong feeling ; especially : not affected by personal or emotional involvement

    A seeker after truth will be driven by his passion for truth and life (there is a cause and effect connection). Because he cares so much, he will be ruthless about his identifications of what is and what isn’t. This is anything but “not influenced” or “not affected”.

    As for your “But even so I hold that the sciences are corrupted as all the works of men are corrupted.” I would say speak for yourself and your science. Because some men and their works are corrupted does not mean all are. Such an attitude leads to a “why bother trying” and “everybody does it that way so its OK if I do the same.”

    My quarrel with your position about science and scientists is that you smear all scientists with the behavior of the so called scientists who seek unearned wealth and favor from political power. A truly passionate seeker of truth (aka. scientist) will not seek the unearned because it would be the seeking of a lie. The seeking of first lie is the beginning of a war with reality. That is a war that cannot be won. You cannot long seek the truth part time.

    Remember the saying: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.”? Sir Walter Scott (1774-1832)

    The meaning of this is that the first lie begets a second to support it. The second a third and more. Unless stopped with the truth, the tangle of lies build and entangle your entire existence. It will grow until you cannot distinguish what is from what is not. Not only do you injure others with the attempt to deceive, you destroy your ability to think, know, and act. Ultimately, you destroy your own life.

    I don’t have to solve “the human condition” whatever you mean by that. I simply have to be the best human I can be within my capabilities and resources. I don’t have to know all truth. I simply have to know what I know, know what I don’t know, and have knowledge sufficient to sustain my life in my context.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Matt Buckels:
    July 5th, 2009 at 8:42 am

    But Lionell – science truth will not be found by a royal commission.

    I think you can count on that being the case. Truth IS. Truth does not submit to royal dictate. Oh, they will decide what they want the truth to be but their decisions will be irrelevant. Truth is not a result of decision. Its a result of discovery. If the discovery is adequate, then decisions are not not necessary. The “right thing to do” will be painfully evident.

    But…but…but we MUST do something! Oftentimes doing nothing is the best possible thing to do. However, you cannot know that if all you do is decide to do something.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    CyberForester

    I think the proviso of “strict rules of evidence” would ensure a more robust debate than slanging matches being conducted on website forums. Likewise being a Royal Commission would make the process more open to scrutiny than the devious back room machinations of the IPCC.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Ted O'Brien

    A proper Royal Commission yes. But Royal commissions in recent times have shown themselves as corruptible as any other government institution.

    Who appoints the commissioner? How is he/she chosen? Who sets the terms of reference?

    From time to time Royal Commissions do unearth information that governments did not intend to see published. However modern governments have consistently gone to great lengths to ensure that this cannot happen.

    We should all be grateful to Senator Fielding for forcing the Rudd government to confront the reality that some sceptics are real, intelligent and knowledgeable people, who don’t have a private axe to grind, and that they do have a story to tell.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    This might sound a bit radical, but what about a class action against proponents of this madness. The chance it may hit them in the hip pocket might change their views somewhat.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Oh, and well done Carter, Evans, Kininmonth and Franks


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Tel

    The meaning of this is that the first lie begets a second to support it. The second a third and more. Unless stopped with the truth, the tangle of lies build and entangle your entire existence. It will grow until you cannot distinguish what is from what is not. Not only do you injure others with the attempt to deceive, you destroy your ability to think, know, and act. Ultimately, you destroy your own life.

    I think this happens to a lot of political leaders. The trick is to encourage them to elaborate on their stories and ask them for more and more detail. Works even better if you can get them to explain other related events to build a bigger picture of BS. There’s a sort of calculation capacity limit in the human brain where it is too expensive to maintain multiple detailed descriptions of the world so something has to get thrown away. Once they throw away the truth, it never comes back, there is no door leading to the real world anymore.

    The best description I have heard of this situation is, “He started drinking his own bathwater.”


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Girma

    It is irrational to say CO2 is a pollutant, as it is plant food. It is irrational to say CO2 is the knob of global temperature, as the true knobs are solar radiation, ocean circulation, air circulation, orbit and tilt of the earth, cloud cover, the greenhouse effect of water vapor etc. It is irrational to say the global temperature increase by 0.8 deg C in a century is dangerous, as if we compare the temperatures of 1878 to last year’s, the increase in the temperature is only 0.33 deg C. That is, the mean global temperature increased by 0.33 deg C in 130 years!

    To base a policy on falsehood is all pain for no gain.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Adrian

    Hi Jo, We know that the anthropomorphic climate change has a huge political dimension.
    What do your readers think about skeptic advocates augmenting their case by saying that the world’s real problem is not CO2, it is over population and over consumption?
    If skeptics make this political choice, they would:
    1) Sit in the centre of the political spectrum; a more natural position for seekers of the truth.
    2) Neutralise the impression that they are a lobby group for the conservative right wing and big business.
    3) Have greater appeal to anthropogenic global warming believers and fence sitters who are seduced by authority, computer models, consensus, prejudice and ad hominem attacks.
    4) Have a stronger claim to speak in the best interests of the world.
    The political stance only need be a brief post script to presentations but it would disarm opposition.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Adrian @ 23,

    What makes you think your plan will work? I find it no more persuasive than the arguments from either the left or right. If you seduce someone to support your position by projecting a falsehood, how can that support be helpful?

    However, it gets worse. The right and the left are two sides of the same coin. There is no place for a center. Both the left and right argue for sacrifice. They argue over who is to be sacrificed, to whom, for what reason, to what extent, and how fast. The critical thing is that both sides agree that the individual is to be sacrificed and must be forced to do so. One who stands in the middle agrees with both sides and also argues for the sacrifice of all to all. He just doesn’t want to be thought of going to extremes doing it.

    The concept of individual rights has been lost. Liberty is only a word given lip service in The Pledge of Allegiance. Individualism is almost a crime. Diversity is the golden goal only if everyone thinks and says the same things. The Constitution has been set aside as irrelevant. The entire focus of government has been perverted to a condition worse that that of the government of King George when The Declaration of Independence was written. There is no center on which to stand.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Tel

    What do your readers think about skeptic advocates augmenting their case by saying that the world’s real problem is not CO2, it is over population and over consumption?

    This particular skeptic would ask you to define what it means for the world to have a problem. I’ve met people with problems, but as I understand it, the world spins in space, oblivious and uncaring.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Charles

    This so called ‘skepticism’ is the real damaging feature in the whole global warming politicisation.

    Setting aside the ‘skeptics’ argumentation just for a second: what if AGW is occurring? I hear no precautionary principles, no desire for conservatism, no realisation of the potential devastation wrought by AGW.

    The ‘skeptics’ have one dimension only it seems and that is to create a sense of doubt about AGW, much like 911 conspiracy theorists do so in their efforts to augment the social dislocation of many naive people on the sidelines of society.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Charles

    Peter McKenna said “The chance it may hit them in the hip pocket might change their views somewhat.”
    You’re projecting there Peter, ‘skeptics’ own the argument about loss of money/jobs/economy/plasma screens in their efforts so sow fear and postpone the adoption of the precautionary principle.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Charles, there is no scientific principle called The Precautionary Principle. It’s so meaningless -it works in reverse too. We could say we should use the Precautionary Principle to protect the masses from unnecessary damage to economies – especially third world ones where any extra cost in energy will slow or stop them getting access to cheap food and clean water.

    Paying more for energy is what this is all about. It will hurt us rich countries a bit, but it will hurt the poor the most. For those on the poverty line, extra energy costs will ensure that some people will die because we divert money from other uses like sanitation/food/medicine to more expensive technologies.

    The more useful principle is a cost-benefit analysis. How much will it cost and what benefit will we get? Every billion dollars spent rewarding renewable energy companies, carbon traders, banks, and bureaucrats is a billion dollars not spent curing blindness, protein deficiency or dysentry in children.

    How many people are you willing to kill just in case?

    Don’t assume that sceptics are any less concerned than you are about forests, fish and the starving poor. We think a different approach will help them more than harnessing thousands of our best and brightest to fight a foe that doesn’t pose a problem.


    Report this

    10

  • #
    Anne-Kit Littler

    Adrian, #23: “What do your readers think about skeptic advocates augmenting their case by saying that the world’s real problem is not CO2, it is over population and over consumption?”

    Well, this reader and skeptic would think that such advocates would be doing nothing more than promoting another lie, namely that overpopulation is a problem. Au contraire, in the not too distant future DECLINING and AGEING populations will be the major crisis facing humanity. I didn’t pick this out of a hat, it comes straight from the statistics of the hallowed United Nations.

    Check it out, I haven’t got time to google it right now.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    I do agreee on the point Mr. Tel has mentioned. It is not only green house gas. It is the over population and over consumption which generates Green house gases.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    wilbert robichaud

    Alfred… Wow! 3 Myths in one sentence.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Mattb

    Adrian #23 I think you will find concerns of over population are harboured by those on the left and right. I think it is simply NIMBYism… wanting others to not live so that they can maintain their precious living standards.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] Previous calls for Royal Commission here [...]


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Don Gaddes

    The credibility of the Bureau of Meteorology and their now fifty year advocacy of an unexplained,(non-existent?) ‘El Nino’,as ‘reason for everything’ is well debunked in the publication ‘Tomorrow’s Weather’ Alex S. Gaddes,1990. This book has now been updated and republished, and is available as a free pdf from dongaddes93@gmail.com It explains the real causes of climate/weather changes on Earth as being of Solar/Astronomical/Rotational/ Gravitational in nature and provides an extremely accurate predictive ‘tool’, especially for ‘Dry Cycles’. The conclusion reached is that of a colder, drier planet for the future.


    Report this

    00