"A group of prominent Australian scientists has warned climate sceptic MPs against wasting time and parliamentary resources on an inquiry into the evidence of human influence on climate change.
The letter was sent by Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg from the University of Queensland's Global Change Institute and co-signed by 12 others, including Professor Will Steffen from the Australian National University and Professor Lesley Hughes from Macquarie University.
Dr Jensen and Mr Back supported a motion at the federal Liberal council meeting last month, which called for a parliamentary inquiry to examine the evidence of climate change before the Government signs up to post 2020 emissions targets.
The motion was ultimately referred to the party's policy committee, dodging a potentially damaging public debate.
The Federal Government is expected to announce its emissions targets for beyond 2020 at some point before July 20.
Despite the motion being referred to a committee, the 13 scientists said they wished to provide a summary of the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to sceptical MPs to convince them of the urgent need for action.
"[The IPCC] are talking about the fact we will see very serious impacts if we go beyond 2 degrees Celsius in terms of average global temperature," Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said.
"We will see impacts on ecosystems, we'll see impacts on fisheries, we'll see impacts on agriculture and we'll see impacts on people and health and so on."
Dr Jensen, a physicist by training said he was doubtful of some of the IPCC's models and predictions — especially about global temperature.
"The models have actually proved quite lousy in terms of predicting global average temperature trends," he said.
"For instance in the last decade-and-a-half the global average temperature hasn't warmed anything like the majority of the models projected.
"Over 97 per cent of the models that feed into the IPCC technical reports have either overstated or significantly overstated the warming trend that was expected."
But Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said that was a short-term perspective.
"When you look at the literature, there's been no hiatus," he said.
"There's random variability around the upward signal of temperature.
"It's just like the stock market. If you look at that it's going up and down but it'll have a trend — that trend is what we're watching.
"[It's] not whether it's going up or down over a period of 10 years — it's a long-term signal."
Dr Jensen said he was not alone within the party, and that there were "at least" 10 MPs who shared his view that the Government should not sign up to emissions cuts without a parliamentary inquiry.
He and Mr Back said they would accept the briefing, but would not be lectured to.
"As a person with a scientific background, I am always interested in hearing the views of a range of people across the spectrum and to that extent I'm happy to meet with them — but I would be hopeful that they will understand your wish to consult widely," Mr Back said.
"I would expect them as scientists to realise that a person like myself will continue to take on a broad range of perspectives on any issue. It's central to science."
Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said it was important to "listen to the experts".
"Everyone's got an opinion, but it's not the science," he said." via Joanne Nova
Comment: UN IPCC itself says climate models overestimate warm temperatures: 2012 UN IPCC report, "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation," Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (582 pages)
p. 136, left column, last sentence: "However, the available detection and attribution studies for extreme maximum and minimum temperatures...suggest that the models overestimate changes in the maximum temperatures and underestimate changes in the minimum temperatures during the late 20th century." (Last sentence under subhead, "Causes of Observed Changes," beginning p. 135, Chap. 3)
2012 UN IPCC report also notes "large" uncertainties in predicting future climate:
Executive Summary, Chap. 3:
p. 113, "Uncertainty in projections of changes in large-scale patterns of natural climate variability remains large." parag. 3, first sentence
Joanne Nova article:
7/8/15, "Climate scientists: More scared of an inquiry into the science than they are of climate change," Joanne Nova, Australia
"What’s more terrifying to a climate scientist than “2 degrees” of warming? Answer: Half a degree of hard questions."....................
"Australian climate scientists don’t complain at all when the UN says it wants to redirect $89 Trillion in a quest to change the climate. But they are suddenly all concerned that the Australian Government might waste 0.0001% investigating the science. A disaster! Since when were climate scientists concerned about wasting public money? Since never.
A group of thirteen scientists, who’ve personally achieved little in the way of scientific advances, have written to Dennis Jensen and Chris Back offering to brief them on the “latest science”, afraid the skeptics might launch an inquiry into the science. The ABC calls them “prominent”: Climate change: Scientists warn sceptic MPs Dennis Jensen, Chris Back against inquiry into evidence of human influence.
Isn’t the scientific evidence the most important thing?Surveys show half of the Australian public are skeptical — unconvinced by their claims that coal will cause a climate crisis or that solar panels can stop the storms. Right now, if the climate is headed for a disaster, nothing is more important than convincing the public.
Instead, the climate scientists keep repeating that the debate is over, “trust us”, and “don’t ask questions”. But the debate never happened, the public don’t trust them, and we have many many questions — and they are not going away.
In a Reuters poll, 57% of people said they don’t think UN Climate Scientists can speak with authority on climate. Some scientists keep repeating that there is a consensus, but that spin isn’t working. More of the same isn’t going to change that. It’s time for a real debate.
If the evidence was overwhelming, 95% certain, the climate scientists would welcome the attention. But it’s a gambit they played ten years ago, and the game is over. Skeptics know the case for a crisis will fall over with the merest honest inspection. The unskeptical scientists know it too — that’s why they are so afraid the Coalition might really call their bluff and demand real answers.
The laws of physics are the same in every fieldIf there is a climate crisis, real scientists would have no trouble convincing other scientists from other fields, but that’s not what we are seeing. Increasingly scientists from other branches of science are protesting, and in their thousands. They are fed up at the way the scientific method is being abused and milked for press attention. There is no consensus amongst scientists – only among certified “climate” scientists, paid by government. Almost half of meteorologists are skeptics (crikey!), survey after survey shows that two-thirds of geoscientists and engineers are skeptics, and most readers of skeptical blogs (who chose to respond to surveys and list their qualifications in comments) have hard science degrees. Dan Kahan conducted a survey and found people who knew more about maths and science were more likely to be skeptical. In other words, skeptics were better informed about science. See the qualifications of 400 skeptics here.
How weak is their scientific position?Dennis Jensen pointed out 97% of models did not predict “the Pause”. So Professor Hoegh-Guldberg simply denied there is a pause. (Hello? What about those satellites? Ignoring most of the big climate temperature data sets?) Probably the only paper in Professor Hoegh-Guldberg’s arsenal is the recent Karl et al one, which ignored the best ocean gauges and used a wildly uncertain estimate to blend two bad data sets together. What’s the certainty?
The data was corrected with a figure where the error was 17 times larger than the correction: 0.12 ± 1.7°C. See, exotic adventures in global climate data to unfind “the Pause”. They must be kidding.
Hoegh-Guldberg says 18 years of a global temperature pause is “short term”:
But Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said that was a short-term perspective.
“When you look at the literature, there’s been no hiatus,” he said.
“There’s random variability around the upward signal of temperature.
“It’s just like the stock market. If you look at that it’s going up and down but it’ll have a trend — that trend is what we’re watching.
“[It's] not whether it’s going up or down over a period of 10 years — it’s a long-term signal.”
And oh, yes, please, Hoegh-Guldberg, let’s look at the long term. How many of the IPCC favourite climate models “predicted” the medieval warm period? How many can model the holocene optimum? None and zero. None of their models understand the climate.
M.P.s who understand science are harder to fool.Senator Chris Back is trained in veterinary science. Dennis Jensen has a PhD in physics.
Both are happy to listen to the “experts”, but neither will be convinced by weak claims of “consensus”.
Mr Jensen said he was willing to meet the scientists to hear their views.
“I’m open to being convinced but the data and the evidence that I’ve seen [on climate change] thus far certainly I don’t find compelling,” he said.
He claimed that pointing to a scientific consensus on climate science “indicates your argument is weak”.
“When is the last time you heard the consensus of the world scientists is that the earth is roughly spherical?” he said.
“You get the appeal to consensus when the data and the evidence is weak and it’s an appeal to authority rather than examining the data and the evidence.”
Senator Back said he was happy to meet the scientists.
As “a person with a scientific background”, Senator Back said he was concerned by claims that “the science is in and no-one should challenge it”. He is trained as a veterinarian and does not have expertise in climate science.
In response to their concerns, the best the experts can offer is “trust us”“Exhaustive” and “experts” are just words, not evidence:
Professor Peter Newman, a signatory to the letter and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said the panel’s research was an “exhaustive” process.
He said the political debate around climate change action was legitimate but ”frustrating”.
Professor Newman said MPs should “just deal with the politics, that’s their job”, adding “the scientists have done their job”.
Professor Hughes said MPs who cast doubt on the science of global warming were trying to delay political progress on the issue."
Added: 2012 UN IPCC report states US temperatures cooled between 1950 and 2011. See citations for "central North America" cooling on pages 121, 134, and 135.