July 7th 2007

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Who remembers the victims of communism?

HUMAN RIGHTS: Canberra's silence about Chinese organ-harvesting

EDITORIAL: Trade talks: Australia still 'flogging a dead horse'

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Howard's action on Aborigines long overdue

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Saving Howard's bacon / What Arabs and Jews need most / Tony Blair's legacy

SPECIAL FEATURE: Keeping Australia a great nation

RELIGION: Call to reform and modernise Islam

CHINA: Will capitalism prop up or undermine communism?

INTERNET: Risks in personal Web pages

MEDICAL: Homosexual activists attack medical profession

CLIMATE CHANGE: Scientists now warn of global cooling

Why housing is too dear(letter)

Value of the 'food-bowl' rail route (letter)

Dams needed, not desalination plants (letter)

Kevin Rudd's insult to stay-at-home wives (letter)

CINEMA: The gentle art of making enemies - As It Is in Heaven

BOOKS: LEFT TO TELL: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, by Immaculée Ilibagiza

Books promotion page

Scientists now warn of global cooling

by R. Timothy Patterson

News Weekly, July 7, 2007
The fact that science is many years away from properly understanding global climate doesn't seem to bother our political leaders at all, writes Canada's Professor R. Timothy Patterson.

Politicians and environmentalists these days convey the impression that climate-change research is an exceptionally dull field with little left to discover. We are assured by everyone from David Suzuki to Al Gore … that "the science is settled".

The fact that science is many years away from properly understanding global climate doesn't seem to bother our leaders at all.

Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth. The only constant about climate is change; it changes continually and, at times, quite rapidly. Many times in the past, temperatures were far higher than today, and occasionally, temperatures were colder. As recently as 6,000 years ago, it was about 3C warmer than now. Ten thousand years ago, while the world was coming out of the thousand-year-long "Younger Dryas" cold episode, temperatures rose as much as 6C in a decade - 100 times faster than the past century's 0.6C warming that has so upset environmentalists. …

In some fields the science is indeed "settled." For example, plate tectonics, once highly controversial, is now so well-established that we rarely see papers on the subject at all. But the science of global climate change is still in its infancy, with many thousands of papers published every year.

In a 2003 poll conducted by German environmental researchers Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch, two-thirds of more than 530 climate scientists from 27 countries surveyed did not believe that "the current state of scientific knowledge is developed well enough to allow for a reasonable assessment of the effects of greenhouse gases". …

Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada.…

Meantime, we need to continue research into this, the most complex field of science ever tackled, and immediately halt wasted expenditures on the King Canute-like task of "stopping climate change."

- extract from an article by R. Timothy Patterson, professor and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Carleton University, in National Post (Toronto, Canada), June 20, 2007.

See: www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/comment/story.html?id=597d0677-2a05-47b4-b34f-b84068db11f4

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