EDITORIAL: by Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
"Climate change": high cost of a failed theory
, February 1, 2014
Perhaps predictably, media reports of the recent heat wave in south-eastern Australia blamed “global warming”, and both the Greens and the Climate Council blamed the hot weather in Sydney early in January, the Western Australian fires and the extreme temperatures in South Australia and Victoria, on “climate change”.
While Australia was experiencing this heat wave, the United States was enduring record low winter temperatures, and the UK widespread floods. Western Europe was freezing, and temperatures in central Asia were recorded as low as -35°C.
Paradoxically, the Australian heat wave came just after a team of Australian climate scientists, visiting Antarctica in mid-summer, were marooned in sea ice for a fortnight before even reaching the frozen continent, and had to be rescued.
Professor Chris Turney, a professor of climate science at the University of New South Wales, organised the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014, which was intended to follow in the footsteps of Sir Douglas Mawson’s famous 1911-14 expedition which set the base for later scientific studies.
It is interesting to compare the two expeditions, a century apart.
As a result of the appalling weather conditions, Mawson was trapped in Antarctica for over two years until he was finally able to return to Australia with an extraordinary record of scientific, meteorological and geological information.
By contrast, when Professor Turney’s party was trapped in sea ice for two weeks, they had to be rescued by a helicopter and two ice-breakers, before returning to Australia virtually empty-handed.
An examination of the expedition’s web site, www.SpiritOfMawson.com, makes clear that they were not going to Antarctica to gather data, but to study “climate change”, and particularly, anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.
In the end, the trip was a fiasco, and not just from the scientific point of view.
At least one of the icebreakers sent in to rescue Professor Turney’s party was interrupted delivering vital supplies to other scientists.
Hydrologist Joe McConnell told a journalist via e-mail: “The Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis was here at Casey [Station, Antarctica] in the process of unloading the coming year’s supplies for the station, as well as a number of researchers and their science gear for this summer’s activities, when the emergency response request was issued.
“The Australians shut down the unloading very quickly and left within a few hours after the request arrived but only about a third of the re-supply was completed and a lot of that science gear was still on board.…
“The short- and long-term impacts on the Australian science program are pronounced, as you can imagine, and I understand it is the same for both the Chinese and French programs since their icebreakers were diverted, too.
“I’ll be sitting down to New Year’s Eve dinner in a few minutes with a number of Australian researchers, including the director of the Australian Antarctic Division Tony Fleming. Many of these guys can’t complete the research they’ve been planning for years because some or all of their science gear still is on the Aurora.”
In many ways, the effect of Professor Turney’s failed Antarctic expedition is similar to the impact of climate change policies introduced through carbon taxes, emissions trading schemes, alternative energy subsidies, higher fuel prices and the whole range of programs which have been put in place across the world in a futile bid to stop “climate change”.
As British columnist Gerald Warner wrote recently in The Scotsman, “After a decade in which sane commentators have been angered and frustrated by the purblind adherence to the warmist superstition by followers of the Al Gore cult — prominent among them our own esteemed First Minister and President for Life Designate [David Cameron] — the whole climate change scam has finally degenerated into a joke, provoking widespread derision.”
He concluded, “What is totally unamusing, however, is the harm these fanatics and complicit politicians have done, raping the landscape with their hideous wind turbines and imposing crippling taxes.
“Fuel poverty is killing the elderly. Every winter more people die of hypothermia in Scotland than in Finland. Although the climate madness will have the most lethal consequences in the developing world, it also threatens to impoverish Europe. A government study has shown the lifetime cost of meeting ‘renewables’ targets across the EU will be £290 billion (AUD$534 billion), more than a quarter of which will be contributed by the UK.
“Denmark already has the dubious distinction of being the first country where green taxes account for more than 50 per cent of an electricity bill. It is not global warming that is killing us, but its deranged disciples.”
The Abbott government’s attempts to restore some sanity to Australia’s environmental policy in the face of continuing resistance from the “climate change” industry, the greens and their allies on the left, and sections of the media, deserve strong support.
Peter Westmore is national president of the National Civic Council.