June 28th 2003

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Counting Stalin's victims 50 years on

EDITORIAL: Australia's population challenge

PACIFIC: Solomon Islands: nightmare in paradise

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Why the Crean-Beazley issue is unresolved

ENVIRONMENT: Climate scientists reject Kyoto Protocol

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Labor mates / Night to remember / Heart of darkness / Intervention

EUTHANASIA: Stopping Australia's Doctor Death

Sugar price decline (letter)

Free trade deal and local shareholders (letter)

TIMOR L'ESTE: Looming food shortage in East Timor

AGRICULTURE: National water trading plan questioned

FAMILY LAW: Canadian court changes definition of marriage

EDUCATION: The problem with boys ...

South African economic miracle?

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Climate scientists reject Kyoto Protocol

by News Weekly

News Weekly, June 28, 2003
Upset with the scientific rationale behind the Kyoto Accord to limit production of so-called "greenhouse gases" in the developed world, a group of 46 international climatologists sent an open appeal for a return to scientific rigour to Paul Martin, the Canadian politician who is expected to succeed Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, next year.

No reports of this have appeared in the Australian media.

The scientists included Dr. Richard S. Lindzen of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Tim Ball, Professor of Climatology, University of Winnipeg, and William Kininmonth, Managing Director, Australasian Climate Research.

Earlier letter

Interestingly, David Anderson, the Environment Minister and chief force behind Kyoto in Canada, just had a letter to the editor in the Ottawa paper claiming the science supported mandatory greenhouse gas controls.

However, as Dr Fred Singer, an atmospheric scientist who worked at the University of Virginia, pointed out, "Nothing could be further from the truth."

The open letter from the 46 scientists was published in Toronto's Financial Post on June 4, 2003

They wrote, "We understand from media reports that you believe that more consultation with the provinces should have taken place before moving forward with ratification of the Kyoto Accord.

"We would like to alert you to the fact that the current government neglected to conduct comprehensive science consultations as well.

"The statements by current Minister of the Environment David Anderson that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's decision to ratify the Kyoto accord was based merely on a 'gut feeling', not an understanding of the issue, clearly illustrates that a more thorough examination of the science should have taken place before a ratification decision was made.

"If you are to lead the next government, we believe that a high priority should be placed on correcting this situation and conducting wide ranging consultations with non-governmental climate scientists as soon as possible in order to properly consider the range of informed opinion pertaining to the science of Kyoto.

"Many of us made the same suggestion to the Prime Minister in an open letter on November 25, 2002, in which we alerted Mr. Chrétien to the fact that Kyoto was not justified from a scientific perspective.

"That letter called on the government of Canada 'to delay a decision on the ratification of the Kyoto Accord until after a thorough and comprehensive consultation is conducted with non-governmental climate specialists.' It was explained to the Prime Minister that, 'Many climate science experts from Canada and around the world, while still strongly supporting environmental protection, equally strongly disagree with the scientific rationale for the Kyoto Accord'."

They added, "Unfortunately, the Prime Minister took no action on the issue and proceeded to ratify the accord without the government and the public having had the benefit of hearing a proper science debate on an issue that is sure to affect Canadians for generations to come."


"We strongly believe that important environmental policy should be based on a strong foundation of environmental science. Censoring credible science out of the debate because it does not conform to a pre-determined political agenda is clearly not a responsible course of action for any government.

"Your openness to re-examining the recent approach to the Kyoto file encourages us to believe that you may also be open to reconsidering the way in which the scientific debate was suppressed as well.

"We certainly hope so. Although ratification has already taken place, we believe that the government of Canada needs a far more comprehensive understanding of what climate science really says if environmental policy is to be developed that will truly benefit the environment while maintaining the economic prosperity so essential to social progress.

"In the meantime, we would be happy to provide you with more information on this important topic and, for those of us who are able, we would like to offer to meet with you personally to discuss the issue further in the near future."

Interestingly, recent satellite data has contradicted the computer models which predict global warming.

This was the point of recent testimony before the US Congress by Professor John Christy, an atmospheric scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.


Professor Christy reported that in a recent paper published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, he had shown that satellite observations had confirmed balloon data showing only a very slight warming of the lower atmosphere over recent decades, which is consistent with normal climatic variations.

He said, "Satellite data and the balloon data corroborated each other with remarkable consistency, showing only a slow warming of the bulk of the atmosphere.

"This evidence indicates that the projected warming of the climate models had little consistency with the real world. This is important because the quantity examined here, lower tropospheric temperature, is not a minor aspect of the climate system.

"This represents most of the bulk mass of the atmosphere, and hence the climate system.

"The inability of climate models to achieve consistency on this scale is a serious shortcoming and suggests projections from such models be viewed with great scepticism."

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