Southerner taking Labour caucus to court

August 17, 2008

The Southland Times editorial commends Basil Walker  of Queenstown who has been granted a High Court hearing on September 22 against the entire Labour caucus.

 His beef with them is the apparent lack of scientific evidence supporting the Government’s move to enact the emissions trading scheme.

He sees the proposed legislation as ill-founded and is determined to prevent it being made law before the general election this year. The Government is trying to force expensive legislation on the country and someone has to stand up and say there is no evidence to support it, he says.

Much of his argument is based on the work of two men: former Thatcher adviser Lord Monkton and scientist David Evans.

Lord Monkton picks something like 35 significant holes in the global warming debate raised by Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth. Some of these have been supported by a High Court judge in the United Kingdom.

Dr Evans developed the carbon accounting model that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol.

“When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good,” he said in a paper this year. “The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it appeared we needed to act quickly?” Since then new evidence had seriously weakened the case and by 2007 it was “pretty conclusive” carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of recent global warming.

That led Dr Evans to change his opinion, adding that the lack of public debate about the causes of global warming meant people were not aware of some basic facts: wThe greenhouse signature — which would prove the greenhouse effect — was missing.

  • There was no evidence carbon emissions caused significant global warming.
  • Satellite data showed the warming trend ended in 2001 and the world was cooling.
  • Ice core data showed global temperatures rose around 800 years before the accompanying rise in atmospheric carbon.

This created a greater urgency than ever to get answers, he said.

That’s a compelling argument for Mr Walker. He doesn’t know the answers, he says, but neither has the Government supplied any solid evidence to prove the emissions scheme is needed.

Our Queenstown battler is going to struggle to reach his goal on this one, but at least he’s fighting. How many of us can honestly say that?

I don’t know whether or not the world is warming and whether or not people are causing it. But I am certain that Labour’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme will not help the environment and will do great harm to the economy.

The Hive  reckons that Labour has the numbers to pass the ETS and Keeping Stock  notes this shows labour hasn’t learned from the mistake of rushing through the Electoral Finance Act and wonders what deals have been done to get the legislation through so the legal action is timely.

Regardless of the merits of his case, if it delays the passing of the ETS until after the election when the whole matter can be given the proper consideration it needs, Mr Walker will have done us all a favour.

Good on ya mate 🙂


Climate change debate distorted by dogma

July 20, 2008

University of Otago geographer, Professor Geoffrey Kearsley, says that while human activity is changing the climate there is an increasing body of science that says the sun may have a greater role than previously thought.

It is now pretty much taken for granted that global warming is ongoing, that climate change is being driven by human activity and that it is critically important that extraordinary changes be made in fundamental aspects of our economy and way of life.

On the small scale, people plant trees, examine food miles, purchase carbon offsets and modify their travel behaviour.

Cities and even countries vie with one another to become carbon neutral; as a nation, we are contemplating emission controls, taxes and carbon-trading schemes that will have a profound effect on individual households and the national economy alike.

When linked with the other great crisis of our times – peak oil – it has become not only socially desirable to embrace all of this, but sustainability has achieved the status of a higher morality.

It has become politically unacceptable to doubt any of the current dogma.

So politics not science is driving the debate.

Not to subscribe wholeheartedly to the sustainability ethos is to be labelled not just a sceptic but a denier, with overtones of Holocaust denial and a wilful, unreasonable immorality.

It is said that we are now beyond the science and that the science of global warming has been finalised or determined and that all scientists agree.

Sceptics and deniers are simply cynical pawns in the pockets of the big oil companies.

And no one points out the vested interests in what has become the climate change industry.

This is unfortunate, to say the least.

Science is rarely determined or finalised; science evolves and the huge complexity of climate science will certainly continue to evolve in the light of new facts, new experiences and new understandings. Read the rest of this entry »


%d bloggers like this: