August 30th 2008


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Articles from this issue:

CLIMATE CHANGE: It's official: the world is cooling, not warming

EDITORIAL: Olympic Games backfire on Beijing

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Tougher times ahead as commodity boom falters

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Should we rescue imprudent banks?

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: How Labor's Carpenter may cling to power

WATER: Radical plan to overcome water shortage

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Remembering Menzies' "forgotten people"

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Resurgent Russia's conflict with Georgia

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Recipe for social conflict / Putin's gamble / Once more unto the swill buckets, dear friends

SPECIAL FEATURE: B.A. Santamaria, strategist and prophet

MARRIAGE: On breaking the marriage covenant

HISTORY: Hitler proposed a "final solution" for Christianity

OBITUARY: Bob O'Connell (August 29, 1922 - July 30, 2008), a generous man of integrity

Economic production needed, not speculation (letter)

BOOKS: WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR GIRLS? Too much too soon: how our kids are overstimulated, oversold and oversexed

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CLIMATE CHANGE:
It's official: the world is cooling, not warming


by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, August 30, 2008
To cut CO2 emissions to combat a non-existent threat will end up hurting the world's poor, writes Peter Westmore.
Midsummer polar ice increase 2007-2008,
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

Recent scientific evidence shows that the world's climate is cooling, not warming, as a result of reduced radiation from the sun, the engine which drives the earth's climate.

The slight warming of the earth's atmosphere from about 1970 to 2000 came at a time of increased solar radiation and higher levels of sunspot activity.

As solar observatories have been collecting sunspot data for several centuries, a correlation has been observed between sunspot activity and the temperature of the earth's surface.

Solar activity very closely matches not only recent global temperature changes but also historical changes for the past 1100 years. For instance, the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715) was an extremely cold period in which there was very little sunspot activity.

Earlier, the Medieval Warm Period (950-1300) was a time when the Vikings colonised Greenland, now much of it covered in a thick ice-sheet.

The Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) recently said, "There are historic and important changes taking place on the sun's surface. This will have only one outcome - a new climate change is coming that will bring an extended period of deep cold to the planet."

Influence of the sun

In a recent paper for the Danish National Space Centre, physicists Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen wrote, "The sun... appears to be the main forcing agent in global climate change.... Even though atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to accumulate - it's up about 4 per cent since 1998 - the global mean temperature has remained flat. That raises some obvious questions about the theory that CO2 is the cause of climate change."

While sunspot activity between 1970 and 2000 was higher than in earlier decades of the 20th century, there are signs that it is now in decline.

Scientists have also found an inverse correlation between the length of solar cycles, which average about 11 years, and sunspot activity and solar radiation.

Solar cycles can last between about 7 years and 14 years. Short cycles are usually characterised by intense sunspot activity and higher solar radiation, while long cycles have far less sunspot activity.

Solar cycles also come in groups. A further correlation has been observed between the length of a solar cycle and the average temperature over the following solar cycle.

The current sunspot cycle, Cycle 23, is already longer than average, having commenced in May 1996. It also had considerably fewer sunspots than previous cycles.

Currently, there is little sunspot activity, and some observers consider the current solar cycle could continue for another year, a very long solar cycle.

Not surprisingly, average global surface temperatures remained approximately constant from 1999 to 2006, but have fallen significantly over the past 18 months.

Even land-based monitoring centres, such as the UK Met Office whose reports have been used extensively by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Stern Report, admit that this is so.

However, people such as Al Gore (the ex-politician turned climate-change campaigner), Ross Garnaut (the Federal Government's climate change adviser), Climate Minister Penny Wong and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd do not seem to have caught up with these developments.

They are still on the "global warming" bandwagon, insisting that the science is settled, and there is to be no more debate on the issue.

Unfortunately for them, 31,000 American scientists have signed an internet petition rejecting the Kyoto Protocol and the theory of human-induced global warming (www.petitionproject.org). The scientists, of whom over 9,000 have PhDs, state:

"We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

The signatories include over 2,600 who are physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists.

In light of the urgent need to improve the standard of living of the poor, through provision of inexpensive fuel and power to millions of low-income families throughout the world, the current emphasis on cutting CO2 production will have the effect of keeping many of the world's poor in continuing poverty.

Is this really the world we want to create?

- Peter Westmore




























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