Since I don’t live under a rock I have heard all about sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg’s epic voyage across the ocean to speak to the UN about the inaction on climate change. And, of course, the student (and others) ‘strike’ across the world.
In Australia, the news was full of the marches in the cities. The media ‘interviewed’ a five-year-old, who said he was marching to save the world, and two eleven-year-olds, who wanted to get rid of ScoMo and the Adani coal mine. Both convincing arguments. Just a minute while I unroll my eyes.
I wonder what all the tub-thumping is going to achieve. I suppose one outcome is that more people will give some thought to where the world is headed and what we can do about it, and that’s a good thing. I also admire this young girl who is trying to make a difference. She’s already getting lots of applause – and also a lot of opprobrium, and I hope those looking after this kid will help her through all of that.
She’s getting plenty of media attention from both sides of the argument. My Facebook feed is full of her photos. But here’s one reader’s comment from The Australian’s article headed Greta Thunberg berates world leaders at UN climate summit that struck a chord with me. “A privileged Swedish 16-year-old claiming that climate change has stolen her dreams. Really!! How about she, whilst on her study break, travels to the slums of India where her peers struggle to make do with 1 power point and no running water. Where they have only one dream, a chance of a fair go so that they could turn their circumstances around.”
In India, they ARE trying to make things better for their people. So are the Chinese. To do that they need industry and they need power and for reliable power supplies they need coal-fired power stations. India and China are building hundreds of new coal-fired power plants, even as they are harnessing as many renewable sources as they can.  If they don’t get good quality ‘clean’ coal from Australia, they’ll buy the dirty stuff from somebody else so the net effect on the world’s climate by not digging up our coal will be a negative value.
Not that it matters anyway. CO₂ doesn’t cause lobal warming. Whether you’re a ‘believer’ in man-made climate change or not, I urge you to give up the time to watch The Great Global Warming Swindle. It’s 75 minutes long but worth every second. Scientists, eminent in their fields, present hard scientific facts to explain what really causes climate change on planet Earth. And it isn’t the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I’d love for Greta Thunberg to watch it, too. It might set her mind at rest – or maybe divert her considerable energy to more worthwhile causes, like the state of our oceans.
Sure, the planet has problems but cutting CO₂ emissions isn’t going to help. In fact in some ways it makes things worse. In Australia older coal-fired power plants have been shut down in the name of climate change and the cost of power in those states has soared, harming business and also our most vulnerable people – those on fixed incomes. If, in one of the richest countries in the world, older Australians are dying of cold because they can’t afford to pay power bills, we have a problem.  And if it’s bad here, imagine how bad it is in undeveloped countries in Asia and Africa. It’s very difficult to raise the standard of living anywhere without reliable power.
If you’re still supporting the “CO₂ causing global warming” argument, Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN included a number of alarming predictions based on ‘scientific’ climate models. My understanding of the scientific method is that someone puts up a hypothesis which is tested by experiment. The hypothesis is used to predict results, which must be repeatable. Evolution is accepted as a theory, many times tested and proved. Einstein’s famous equation is also a theory, constantly tested and proved.
The same can’t be said for current climate models. Remember back in the 1970s we were on the way to a new ice age? Oops. Perhaps not. Then it became ‘global warming’ and now it’s the one in the middle – climate change. That’s at least safe. To test a climate hypothesis, scientists collect data from the past and see if the predicted outcomes fit what actually happened. The trouble is, accurate climate data doesn’t go back far enough to provide realistic results using the current models. We have seen climate model after climate model predicting terrible outcomes. Here’s a list. None of them actually happened.
And although I have no doubt many scientists are ethical that’s not always the case. Scientists can, and do, manipulate data to support a position. Look at Dr Michael Mann vs Dr Tim Ball. Mann produced the famous ‘hockey stick’ graph used by Al Gore in his ‘inconvenient truth’ campaign. Ball questioned the data. “In 2003 a Canadian study showed the “hockey stick” curve “is primarily an artefact of poor data handling, obsolete data and incorrect calculation of principal components.” Read the whole story here. Professor Ball is one of the scientists interviewed in The Great Global Warming Swindle. In this presentation Physicist Dr Willie Soon describes Dr Manning’s representation as ‘fraudulent’. He discusses this and several other ways in which data has been manipulated to serve a purpose. He has a few withering things to say about the climate models being used. Well worth your time.
Closer to home, respected marine scientist Professor Peter Ridd was sacked from James Cook University for questioning some of the research on the ‘demise’ of the Great Barrier Reef. His appeal against unlawful dismissal was upheld. More about that case here. And then there’s Dr Ian Plimer, a geologist who is a well-known climate sceptic, arguing that the climate has always changed. Read more about him here.
Greta Thunberg is not the first youngster to bring her concerns to the UN climate summit. In 2014 Kathy Jetnil-Kijner read her poem about rising sea levels and how they would swamp the Pacific islands. The trouble is, they’re not. Three studies have found most of the islands are, in fact, growing.  So much of what we’re being fed is alarmist, often with little regard for the facts. Yes, sea levels are rising but not by the metres alarmists claim. 
Here’s Andrew Bolt giving his position on Australia’s climate change guru and alarmist-in-chief, paelentologist Tim Flannery. Ignore Bolt’s hyperbole and listen to his FACTS. Bolt on Flannery
I would urge young Greta – and maybe everybody else – to listen to what Bjorn Lomborg has to say on the subject.
The climate will change without us, but there’s still plenty we CAN do. We contribute to the destruction of our world in lots of other ways –
- Over fishing,
- Species extinction, often because of loss of habitat, also because of stupidity such as trophy-hunting and absurd traditional medicines
- Plastic waste
- Over population (that’s the big one and short of war, famine, and/or pestilence, the only answer to it is education)
Perhaps everyone could focus their attention on some of those issues, where what we do will make a difference. I read today France has banned the use of single-use plastic cutlery, plates, and cups.  It’s a great start. As Mister Lomborg suggests, we should be looking for innovative alternatives. Instead of stopping all air travel (yeah, right) we should be investing in research to find better engines or using things like Skype for conferences instead of travelling. We should be using biodegradable materials to make throw-away cups, plates, and cutlery. We should be buying wooden toys instead of plastic junk… etc.
Here’s a thought. Why don’t we give up on globalism and go back to sourcing as much as possible of what we need locally? Think of the outcomes. Jobs, less introduced plant pests, no more sending fish caught by Western fishermen to China for processing, no more producing far, far more than we need to sell overseas.
At the end, though, the answers in our increasingly complex world won’t come from going back to the stone age. I’d vote for putting more money into innovation and research.
And please – watch The Great Global Warming Swindle.