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The simple trick to solve the impasse in the climate debate — have one (Tell the Australian govt).

For the last twenty years, the IPCC and co. have spared no expense in inundating us with full gloss, swanky adverts and catchy bumper stickers. The Rudd government spent $13.9 million on one advertising campaign “Think Climate, Think Change”. Yet the number of skeptics is growing — fully 53% of Australians are skeptical. The debate is more polarised than ever, and the “deniers” are often blamed for slowing action. So resolving the impasse, the stalemate, ought be the highest priority for the planet, right? But more advertising won’t change the trend, the issue has been marketed to death. What hasn’t been tried is the old fashioned, hard but honest way to resolve an issue — real public debate.

Tony Abbott could be the most forward-thinking scientifically-advanced world leader. He could be the first to take the bull by the horns and really tackle the climate stalemate. He might break the impasse. For the planet’s sake, we can’t afford to wait. Right?

The Australian Federal Government is seeking public consultation 

What should the Greenhouse Gas Target be? The Federal Government is seeking your input for the UNFCCC meeting in Paris, COP 21 (see ABC news). The government also wants to know what other policies will assist the “Direct Action” approach. Submissions close Friday week. They will be published on the government website.

Let’s make it easy for the Coalition government to do the right thing by the environment and the economy, and follow the evidence. The scientific debate comes first. We need a free market in science before we get a free market in “carbon”. In order for the nation as a whole to achieve low-carbon targets, we must resolve the growing impasse.

For the sake of the environment, and the debate, we also need to replicate the BoM dataset.

The replication must be independent (not hand-picked, private forums by the BOM). Another whitewash will harden views rather than resolve them. Replication is a mere technical exercise, it works or it doesn’t; so why not get skeptics to do the replication? Then there will be no doubts about whether the independent auditors were really independent.

We also need better study of our historic records from the late 1800s. Stevenson screens were introduced across Australia during the twenty years before the BoM was formed. Why aren’t these records used in all the cities and sites that they can be? Surely we need to understand long term Australian climate variability to be able to predict and plan for the future.

Let’s move the debate forwards — hang out the dirty washing and let the sun shine in

Australia can lead the way. If the believers want to convince skeptics, the only way is to have the full public debate, and with a level field. Both teams need enough resources to make their case. Instead of silencing the doubters, a serious government provides enough funds and a platform for them to voice their questions and get real answers.

What are the BoM and climate scientists afraid of?

If the evidence is overwhelming and the research is world’s best practice, surely they will win, and this debate can be finally had and settled. Get the facts and opposing teams out, let the public watch, and may the best team win. There are no shortcuts. This public debate is not going to happen in one hour on Channel 2. It will take months of repeat rounds and be played out in many venues. As it should. The climate is too important for anything less, right? A change to government policy in education, health, defense, or interest rates gets that sort of treatment, so should the “future of the planet”. Before we spend another $2.5 billion on Direct Action, let’s spend $20 million getting the science right, understanding the uncertainties, replicating the key research, and bringing the public along. Australia will lead the way.

No one audits the IPCC, nor the BoM — yet billions depends on their reports

If the IPCC’s claims abut the climate are correct, money spent auditing would not be wasted — because it is necessary to bring the public on board. Compare this to the 2,000 public companies on the Australian Stock Exchange, many so tiny you’ve never heard of them. Twice a year every one of them pays to have their finances audited by an outside auditor, so that everyone can have confidence in what they say.

A trial without a defence is a sham.

Business without competition is a monopoly.

Science without debate is propaganda.

As long as our national climate records are managed, studied and checked and turned into press releases by the same team, the skeptical public is right to ask questions. When that team won’t answer those questions, and can’t explain why their mystery black box produces results that are different from satellites, historic records, and simple repeated statistical analysis, the skeptical public will only grow in size. Calling the skeptics names will only make the polarization worse.

Make your submission count. Read the guidelines.

1. We need real debate.

2. We need to replicate the BOM climate data.

3. We need a better understanding of our long term climate trends so we can predict and understand the impact of climate change on Australia.


h/t Eric Worrall

How to make a submission

The Australian Government values the views of the Australian community in setting Australia’s post-2020 emissions reduction target.

You are invited to submit your views on Australia’s post-2020 target, including:

  • What should Australia’s post-2020 target be and how should it be expressed? In responding to this question you could consider the base year (e.g. 1990/2000/2005), the end year (e.g. 2025/2030), the type of target and why the suggested target is preferred.
  • What would the impact of that target be on Australia? In responding to this question you could, for example, consider the impact on our economy, jobs, business and on the environment.
  • Which further policies complementary to the Australian Government’s direct action approach should be considered to achieve Australia’s post-2020 target and why?

Answering some or all of these questions will help the Government understand your views.

To assist you in formulating a submission, the Issues Paper outlines the context of the Government’s emissions reduction targets. You can also find a fact sheet on UNFCCC preparations for a new global climate agreement.

Lodging your submission

The Government will announce its post-2020 emissions reduction target mid-2015.

  1. Online – You can make your submission using the online portal. This is the preferred method. The form allows you to answer the questions listed above, as well as provide additional comments. You can also upload a document of supporting information.
  2. Post – You can post your submission to:UNFCCC Taskforce
    Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
    One National Circuit
    Barton ACT 2600When making a postal submission, you could consider the questions listed above. If you would like to receive email updates throughout the year, please indicate as such and provide your email address with your submission.Submissions open Saturday 28 March 2015 and close 3pm AEST  Friday 24 April 2015. All submissions will be made available on this website unless you request your submission is not made publically available.

Please note:

  • Only one document may be uploaded with online submissions.
  • Online submissions that do not meet accessibility requirements may be edited by the Department to meet these requirements.
  • For submissions made by individuals, all personal details other than your name and postcode will be removed from your submission before it is published on the Department’s website.
  • Copyright in submissions resides with the author(s), not with the Government.
  • Submissions will be placed on the PM&C website, unless they are clearly marked as in-confidence or breach the guidelines for publication.
  • Submissions will remain on our website as public documents indefinitely.
  • You may be contacted regarding your submission.

The Government will announce its post-2020 emissions reduction target mid-2015. If you would like to receive further information and updates throughout the year, please enter your contact details:

 Submissions close at 3pm AEST Friday 24 April 2015.

BACKGROUND INFO: My posts on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and on Australian Temperatures.

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