Sunday 6 July 2008

Professor Little Chicken

Lance Royce is a climate change skeptic.

That's okay. He won't be around for the next Ice Age. Nor will I.

In his latest outburst on his new Blog, which I welcome to the stable of local debate, he attacks Professor Garnaut's report to the Government, and calls it The Sky is Falling Report.Royce sides with 'scientists' that think the whole climate debate is a have, and that the planet is actually cooling. It's not flat as well, is it Lance?

Royce, and his former Liberal mate Byrne, are both in denial about the impact of human activity on global warming and climate change.  The former, and the new Cairns Council, continues to approve buildings that are not designed for the tropics. Just last month every Councillor, bar Pyne and Cooper, voted for the 520 4 story-high GlenCorp units on one block of land at Woree. Is this "sustainably development" Val, that you so vigorously campaigned for just weeks ago?

These buildings depend on electricity for their ventilation rather than embrace the natural elements. I was a guest at a planing and infrastructure luncheon organised by Engineers Australia, back in the run up to the March local body election.

I recall Channel 7's Andrew Arthur spent the entire debate glued to his mobile, obliterating the speakers being heard by some, however he manged to put his report to air that evening. He noted that there was little difference between the mayoral candidate's views. If you followed the election as closely as I did, they were miles apart.  However, the voting in the new Council post the election, would ring true to Andrew's claim. Maybe he had a crystal ball?

The engineers and architects gathered for the Colonial Club debate, asked what Val and Kev's plans were to prepare for rising sea levels.Then Mayor Byrne (now Kev the Property Developer Extraordinaire) said that sea levels are actually falling.

"There is evidence to show that seas levels around Cairns is actually falling," he told the stunned audience.

Of course there's plenty of documented evidence that this is rubbish. What was odd about this proclamation, is that just days before in the Cairns Post, Byrne was saying he wanted help from the State and Federal governments to prepare for the opposite. It's hard to work out his inconsistent approach to strategic planning for environmental impact and how development can plan a role in mitigating effects of the climate. Never mind, he's manging flood-prove development land these days.

This is what concerns me about the Libs approach to the environment. Howard didn't think there was a problem. It's not as if other governments around the world have ignored this issue. It's high on the agenda of almost every country, bar India and China. That's of course where the problem lies.Along with the USA, they're the biggest polluters in the world, and with emerging industrial economies, it posses a real problem.

Whilst I welcome two sides to debate this mammoth issue, this type of head in the sand attitude leads people to believe that we ort (is that how you spell it?) to treat our environment with little respect.

I see people in my street use their garden hose with the thought that there's plenty there for everyone. They water down their driveways to make it look pretty. Then there's the dickheads that use those annoying noisy petrol-driven leaf blowers. What the heck is all that about? We used to use a broom or a rake. By the time he's got back out to his truck, the leafs are back where the were five minutes ago!

I've said this before, but over the last couple of years, ever since this whole climate debate has gained our attention, the amount of commercial supermarket packaging has increased substantially. It's even used in advertising as a reason to buy their product. Some milk companies have added a "freshness seal" under the lid. What? They don't get my custom.  All this additional packaging, which I've harped on about before, wastes resources unnecessarily.

Sure Lance, question the rhetoric, but we all live on the same planet and it's time we started to treat our resources with a bit more respect. We've designed our cities, lifestyles and work around a fuel-dependant society, and we're now realising that the price will hit two bucks a litre before much longer.

Lance Royce says he sees a 'bright fantastic, exciting and wonderful future' for the world. "The Loony Left sees a bleak dark apocalyptic future for mankind."

Just over the weekend, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released a substantial report into the link between drought and climate change, and will trigger a major review of drought policy. It warns that extreme conditions previously thought to occur once in every 20 to 25 years, may well be as frequent as every one or two years.

We'll see who's right in a 100 years I dare say. Maybe a lot less.


Anonymous said...

I would recommend people read an article about the 35 errors from Al Gores movie "an inconvenient truth"
Science and Public Policy

Anonymous said...

what if climate change (formerly known as global warming) is real, but not caused by human activity, but is actually caused by sunspot cycles? Don't you wonder sometimes why every Government response to this issue involves us giving more money to them, but never involves assisting in ways for us to help ourselves? That alone tells me volumes.

Anonymous said...

A pity that Lance's article is shallow, name-calling, conformist piffle.

The key point that "climate change skeptics" skirt around is that humanity is demonstrably and indubitably changing the composition of the atmosphere.

That was the new and dramatic information that became apparent during the 1980s, with regard to carbon-dioxide and other strong 'greenhouse gases'.

So, we KNOW human activity is changing the atmosphere, significantly and at an increasing rate.

We also know there has been a close relationship, in times long past, between carbon-dioxide level and global temperature. There is debate as to cause and effect... but the overall correlation is clear.

Unlike suburbs, cities or even continents, we only have one planet earth. Living anywhere else is no more than a theoretical possibility at this time.

Why on earth, therefore, would sentient beings deliberately and intentionally perturb the atmosphere of their only habitat to a significant extent? How could we be so foolhardy, given the obvious possibility that this MIGHT impact catastrophically on the climate?

We've wasted 25 years, in the main, having a sterile argument about whether climate change is 'real'. The argument is beside the point.

I hope and pray that the skeptics are right. I hope that humanity's collective impact on the planet's climate will turn out to be minor and easily manageable. But just as I know the direst predictions of climate crisis are speculative, I also know the optimism of 'skeptics' is based only on speculation.

It would be nice if the 'she'll be right' brigade could find another planet to conduct their bold atmospheric experiments, while the rest of us get busy minimizing our environmental impact to restore balance with natural planetary systems.

Skeptics like Lance remind me of drunks at parties. They may end up being proved right when they claim they can drive home safely, but would you accept their offer of a lift?

Claims there is censorship of "climate change skepticism" are also way off mark. This is often said, but where's the evidence?

In reality, we've been drenched in skepticism about climate change, much of it nothing more than sluggish, lazy thinking, for a quarter century.

A little more skepticism would be an excellent thing in the case of illegal preemptive wars, the antics of our misnamed 'intelligence agencies', curtailments of civil liberties and restrictions on free speech in subject areas where it truly is in jeopardy.

But on matters such as that, valiant ‘skeptics’, who courageously alert us to the possibility that our planetary ecological crisis might not be terminal after all, all too often seem incapable of any skeptical or independent thought whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Walker:

This GW sceptic has studied all the pros and cons of the global warming debate and I have been dazzled by temperature charts, co2 particles per million etc etc.
But the main reason I am a sceptic is because the true believers are.
The Greens,
The ABC,
The Age,
All left wing journos,
The Labour Party
Phillip Adams, David Marr etc etc

If there all GW true believers, it,s gotta be madness.

Anonymous said...

Lance. Once again you show a modest talent for name-calling. But you fail, once again, to answer my key question.

Is it smart to conduct an uncontrolled experiment with the global atmosphere, the consequences of which are unknown but may turn out to be catastrophic? Does it make any kind of sense to do that? Please explain, and try using a better argument than “he/she/it sucks”..

Incidentally, be careful what you claim. You wrote you have "studied all the pros and cons of the global warming debate".

Whatever exactly that claim means, it sounds very grand. The worldwide literature on climate change is vast and growing by the day. Are you sure you are across it all?

Exaggerated claims are best avoided, IMHO. They tend to expose the author as a liar or a fool, neither of which, I trust, apply in your case?

But in case you DO willingly choose to play the part of a redneck without redeeming features, I think you're behind the times. Your arguments are rather 1990s. The action has moved on.

To get a taste of what I mean, check out this week's Background Briefing on ABC Radio National: The Climate Engineers.

Real men - these days - admit climate change is probably happening - and want the military to spew a sulpherous haze into the atmosphere to ‘fix’ the problem.

It's called "taking control" (of the global environment).

Burn, pollute, profit.

Who needs blue skies?