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How many things can Lord Deben get wrong?

Posted By Joanne Nova On October 6, 2015 @ 8:45 pm In Global Warming,Media-matters,Politics | Comments Disabled

ABC Drum, Jo Nova, PhotoI did a spot on the ABC Drum today. Very odd to do it from a studio where I could not see any of the panel at all, and didn’t know the etiquette of how these things work. (I know a lot more now). But I’m glad to have a chance to speak, even if it was short.

So just in case there is anyone out there thinking that Lord Deben had some good points, here’ s what I was thinking as he spoke without pausing to breathe, and here’s my reply (it would have been nice to say it on air):

Firstly, all of this presupposes that there is a reason to reduce CO2. Thousands of scientists and millions of measurements suggest not.

That aside, saying Australia is “not a special case” is to deny geography and demographics.

The UK might have the fastest growth rate in the EU but Australia’s population growth rate is two-to-three times faster than the UK.  Do those people count? Not in climate change maths. Australia’s population has grown by 38% since 1990. It’s massive and it matters.

Adding more wind power won’t help solve the problem that on our Eastern National Grid, about once every ten days or so the wind towers contribute nothing. More towers on the same grid only makes for more wild swings: 3,000 MW one day, nothing the next. We have to have the coal or gas back up, and wind can’t replace it.

Nor can Lord Deben add a mountain range and large rivers to an ancient flat land that doesn’t have them. Other nations doing “renewables” like Norway and China can do hydro power. Without adding another Great Dividing Range, we can’t.  And politically, thanks to the Greens and Labor Party, we won’t consider nuclear, which is how France meets its renewable targets.

As for China, its efforts are just token. They are producing massive emissions, adding new coal stations, planning even more, and it isn’t just because they are making the “world’s products” that they produce large emissions. It turns out they are also hopelessly inefficient. For every kilo of product made, they produce four times as much CO2 as factories in the EU would produce. So shipping our jobs and our factories to China would be making the problem worse, (if there was a problem). And they may well promise big cuts in future, but how much of that is due to them inflating their emissions right now? How easy would it be for them to artificially pump up the numbers now, and can anyone trust any of the figures coming out of China? (I have two posts coming up on exactly these points).

Deben said he likes Australia but spends most of his time unfairly putting the nation down trying to give us the guilts in the hope of getting us to cough up more money to support the Green industry. He claimed that Australia wasn’t pulling its weight at Kyoto, but he ignores the fact that we actually met our targets and most of the countries that promised to do more than us, didn’t. Per capita we cut our carbon emissions by 28% from 1990 to 2014 – and that includes us gaining 38% more people. That’s really spectacular (not that I think it was useful, worthwhile, or “an achievement” in any sense).

As for us being more “vulnerable” to climate change — they say that to everyone. All nations are more vulnerable than every other nation, it just depends on which nation the UN is trying to scare some money from this particular minute, doesn’t it? (See this map of countries most at risk? Australia isn’t one of them).

Deben pulled the “science is settled” excuse, which is always what someone says when they really don’t want a debate about the science. Climate science is immature, and thousands of scientists are protesting around the world: go online and find them. Thirty thousand scientists have put their names to a petition protesting at this exaggerated scare, that includes 9,000 PhD’s, astrophysicists, nuclear chemists, atmospheric scientists, meteorologists, and thousands of geologists and engineers. It also includes two guys who won Nobels in Physics, and three men who walked on the moon. Those guys have reputations that matter. They certainly know a lot more about climate science than Lord Deben.

If Lord Deben was really concerned about the environment, he would want the best science and open public debate.

You can watch it (though the Deben arguments are the same-old-same-old tedium) Deben runs from 2:00 – 8:40. I speak from 8:50 – 10:30, he replies from then to 13:00. Yes, typical mainstream media “time-share”. There are a few more bits after that like from 17:25.

If the ABC Drum got some real interchange, with to and fro, and live debate going, its ratings would probably double. A TV in the studio with the show on (muted) would be a helpful thing.



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