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The Forum > Article Comments > Climate change: Let's ponder what is heading our way > Comments

Climate change: Let's ponder what is heading our way : Comments

By Greg Bourne, published 17/2/2005

Greg Bourne argues that with or without Kyoto we must adapt to change and act to preserve what we have.

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Bourne's thesis rests on the notion that Global Warming is real and that humans are to blame.

That is simply not proven !

The correlation between carbon dioxide levels and temperature is very weak. There have been times when temperature increase preceded carbon dioxide increase, times when it was the other way around and many times (like now) where changes in one are not reflected in the other.

The notion of species moving and adapting is exactly what species have been doing since the first cells formed on earth. There is nothing new. Species become extinct, new species evolve, species change their location. It's just part of the constantly changing world and constantly changing climate.

Bourne's remarks are typical of the WWF of which he is Australian CEO. They do not seem to care what the evidence (i.e. data from weather observations) shows and don't care about the absence of scientific backing for their statements (by which I mean something other than assertions, assumptions and computer models. The WWF is on an eco-political mission in support of its quasi-religion that man is responsible for every dastardly deed on this planet.

The WWF consistently exhibits a very similar kind of bias to that it accuses many scientists of having. The only difference is that they accuse the scientists of being biased by the business philosphies of the organisations that fund them whereas the WWF bias is related to its own philosophies.

Reject this nonsense from WWF and look at the data for yourself !

Start by looking at Australian conditions at (sorry but I can't create the html link for you) and looking at how Australia's rainfall and temperature have changed over time, especially since carbon dioxide levels increased from about 1955.
Posted by Snowman, Thursday, 17 February 2005 12:12:38 PM
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I was interested in your comment:

"We must see a quantum leap in our nation’s efforts to deal with key threats such as declining water quality and wetland health, weeds and pest animals, states still allowing land-clearing, and climate change."

I am particularly interested to know of rivers/waterways where there is evidence indicating a situation of declining water quality.

Given all the effort that has gone into improving water quality from better sewerage treatment, drainage management, salt interception schemes, adoption of minimum tillage farming practices etcetera the situation should be improving?

Posted by Jennifer, Thursday, 17 February 2005 7:47:59 PM
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nice to see some positive comments rather than 'philosophy bashing' :)

I shudder to think of the condition of the Lakes (Lakes entrance) due to restricted flows of the Thomson and the Snowy also.

Land clearing per se may not be so bad, perhaps it can be linked some how with salt prevention etc..and be conditional on an equal level of environmental enhancement.... not an 'either' / 'or'.

I think most of the environmental/animal rights groups have been already politicized beyond redemption, and I was encouraged to hear this morning of a much louder and greener voice coming from conserative evangelicals in the USA such that green groups are seeking alliances with this very influential segment of the community.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Thursday, 17 February 2005 9:46:35 PM
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Bourne’s thesis is built on solid rock, using reasonable materials, to provide guidance in the face of unprecedented change. I say thanks.

Anthropocentric climate change, and its adverse impact upon our ecology and society, has been proven as far as anything can really be proved.

Political Opinion: The Liberal Senator from West Australia, Ian Campbell, who is also the Federal Environment Minister, thinks it has been proven. He said on January 4th this year, "I think we need to engage the climate sceptics, those people who are pulling the doona up over their heads, and get past the debate over whether or not climate change is real. There is a dominance of science which does say that the massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions has contributed to human-induced climate change."

Scientific Opinion: The world’s climatologists think it has been proven. What is the name of one Australian climatologist who disagrees? Can you support your opinion by citing a recent peer-reviewed article in a climatology journal?

There’s no point in me looking at raw data. I don’t have time beforehand to do a meteorology degree, majoring in climatology. Just as I don’t do my own exploratory surgery, I like seek the view of a professional; someone society recognizes as having taken the time to properly understand a complex and important topic.

I trust world scientific opinion, an informed opinion based on empirical evidence from thousands of scientists from hundreds of cultures and political persuasions, when they tell me climate change is real and dangerous.

I don’t always trust the Howard Government but even their acknowledgement must surely ring a few bells amongst the climate change deniers.

Greg Bourne, how do we ensure everyone on ‘our watch’ is paying attention?
Posted by martin callinan, Friday, 18 February 2005 8:34:53 AM
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Sorry but I think you are deluding yourself if you believe that anthropogenic global warming has been proven.

You may find certain rather inconsistent correlations but they are not proof of anything.

You may find peer-reviewed articles but speak to any serious scientist and they will question whether peer-review achieves anything more than a filtering of articles so that a magazine isn't seen to print total rubbish. Sure it would be highly desirable that the peer-reviewers actually checked every observations, conducted every experiment, checked every step of one's analysis and reviewed every statement but this simply doesn't happen.

Michael Mann's (in)famous "hockey stick" temperature graph was from an article that underwent peeer-review. Now, several years later, Mann is still refusing to completely reveal his data sources and his methodology. What chance did Mann's peer-reviewers have to properly check his work even back then?

The journal "Nature", in which his article appeared, is actually defending his actions of non-disclosure. (Sure Mann was forced to publish a correction to some of that paper but that correction was not subject to peer-review.)

McIntyre and McKitrick have recently published a peer-reviewed refutation of the "hockey stick" in Geophysical Research Letters.

(For more on this see

We now have one peer-reviewed paper which made a certain claim and one that refutes it. What does this tell you about the process itself?

Why have I concentrated on this "hockey stick" graph? It's the one used as the basis for the claim that temperatures have not been this warm for a thousand years and that human emissions are to blame.

If the hockey stick is wrong - and it certainly appears to be from Mc & Mc and 6 other articles - the major correction is that the temperature at various times in the last 1,000 years has been at least as warm as current temperatures.

This means that temperatures can rise to current levels quite naturally (ie. without emissions of carbon dioxide, without any pollutants) and that casts very significant doubt on the "consensus" of human involvement.

As to you not understanding the raw data I think you do yourself a disservice. You can examine temperature and rainfall patterns from the Bureau of Meteorology website (which incidentally is one of the best in the world for historical data). With a little effort you can find the carbon dioxide levels since 1958. It's not hard to find data from ice cores in Greenland and the Antarctic and plot temperature and carbon dioxide to see how inconsistent the correlation really is.

I'll even try to help you. Have a look at my website in a few days time and you will find links to a number of data sources. (I should have thought of this sooner!)

You really don't need a degree in climatology or meteorology to see the inconsistencies in scientists' claims. It just takes a little commonsense and the ability to consider whether the claims and conclusions are (a) consistent and (b) the only possible explanation for some event or observation.

To be honest, I only got interested last July and that was almost on the spur of the moment. I looked first at the ice core data because someone had told me that ice cores in Greenland were revealing historical temperatures at least as warm as today. It took less than a week before I found myself saying "You can't say that from this data!".

Since then I think my major findings are
- cloud has a huge influence on climate but is poorly modelled
- the influence of carbon dioxide is massively overstated
- the IPCC 2001 report admits that of about 13 anthropogenic factors scientists only have reasonable knowledge of about 4 (and they don't list possible natural factors and the level of knowledge)
- El Nino conditions have a major effect on temperatures and this effect can extend right around the world
- Jetstream winds can cause great heating and great cooling
- Oceans transfer a huge amount of heat from the tropics to the poles (and a probably the cause of recent polar warming where these currents meet the polar regions)
- temperature measurements are strongly influenced by the surrounding environment (which often changes)
- predictions based on mathematical models can be shown to be inaccurate (You can do this: Compare the CSIRO's predictions of temperature and rainfall from 1960 to 2004 with the Bureau of Met regional summaries of observations for the same time. Or if you want the easy way, take a look at my webpage that discusses this.)

It really is worth the effort to explore this subject. Cut through the crap of assertions, assumptions, misinterpretations of the so-called experts and see for yourself. In particular see how little knowledge scientists really have about many of the factors that might influence climate.

Posted by Snowman, Friday, 18 February 2005 10:01:46 AM
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In this and other forums you seem to be arguing that everything is just fine with the atmosphere, and nothing extra needs to be done.

However what are your thoughts regards acid rain, air pollution in and around cities, carbonic acid build up in the seas, depletion of ozone in the stratosphere etc
Posted by Timkins, Friday, 18 February 2005 10:24:56 AM
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