April 13th 2013

  Buy Issue 2897

Articles from this issue:

ENVIRONMENT: Media silence over northern hemisphere's deep freeze

CANBERRA OBSERVED: New guard Labor's two colossal mistakes

EDITORIAL: 'Same-sex marriage' push in the US, France and UK

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: What kind of religion is free in the public square?

FAMILY: The not-to-be-missed World Congress of Families, Sydney

FAMILY AND TAX: Restore the family wage by simplifying the tax system

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: The legacy of Labor's leadership fiasco

EUROPEAN UNION: Depositors will bail out failed banks: eurozone chief

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Gathering storm clouds in the East China Sea

HUMAN RIGHTS: Senate urges government action on China organ-harvesting

LIFE ISSUES: AMA Tasmania resists Labor/Greens euthanasia push

LIFE ISSUES: The world's greatest killing machine

EDUCATION: Canberra betrays non-government distance education

SCHOOLING: Western values sacrificed to political correctness

CULTURE: Lessons for Australia in Taiwan's movie revival


CINEMA: Questioning the amorous gaze

BOOK REVIEW Debunking popular misconceptions

BOOK REVIEW From the wartime archives

Books promotion page

ENVIRONMENT: Media silence over northern hemisphere's deep freeze

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, April 13, 2013

As freezing weather grips northern Europe and much of North America, global warming alarmists are continuing to peddle their discredited agenda.

A satellite photo showing

Great Britain covered in snow.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has announced that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is not doing enough planning to cope with the problem of climate change.

ASPI’s special report issue 49, Heavy Weather: Climate and the Australian Defence Force (released on March 25), declares that climate change has not been considered by the Defence Department in its national and regional strategic scoping, despite the potential regional instability caused by rising sea levels, migration pressures, and the spread of infectious diseases.

ASPI deputy director, Dr Anthony Bergin, describes climate change as a “threat multiplier”.

The report, which he co-wrote with Anthony Press and Eliza Garnsey, claims that the Asia-Pacific region is the most disaster-prone part of the world — a questionable claim — with many of those disasters likely to be aggravated by climate change.

It says climate change has the potential to generate and exacerbate destabilising conditions that could reshape the regional security environment. Disease transmission, population displacement and subsequent resource wars could lead to the further weakening of fragile states and place greater demand on the ADF’s involvement in regional stabilisation missions.

The report’s authors call for a permanent climate-change adviser to be appointed in the Defence Department.

Separately, the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), a group of Australian and New Zealand businesses, has issued a report which claims that the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, allegedly resulting from global warming, are likely to threaten some of Australia’s key industries.

The report is based on research by Dr Michael Smith of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University.

The problem with these reports is that they assume what is yet to be proved.

After Australia’s recent experience of a hot dry summer in parts of the continent and floods in Queensland, the federal government’s Climate Commission has released a report, The Angry Summer, written by Professor Will Steffen, blaming these events on global warming.

However, the freezing weather which has caused massive disruption in northern Europe and North America has excited no similar concern.

Britain has just experienced the coldest March for 50 years, with snow storms blocking major roads, closing airports and disrupting transport across the country.

The same picture emerges across the English Channel. In Germany, Berlin’s online daily Tagesspiegel recently headlined: “Berlin freezes in 100-year winter”. It predicted “lots of snow and bitter cold until the end of March — Berlin hasn’t seen this in more than 100 years”.

It quoted Friedemann Schenk of the Meteorological Institute for the Freien Universität, who said, “There has never been anything like this in Berlin in the last third of March since snow measurements began in 1895.”

The German Weather Service (DWD) warned that “the record-breaking wintry weather will continue until Easter”.

The freeze has extended from Russia down to the Balkans, and across northern Europe into England.

Meanwhile, figures released by the UK Met Office show the mean temperature for the 2012/13 winter finishing at 3.31°C, which is significantly below the long term 1981-2010 average of 3.83°C.

In the United States late in March, the Midwest states have been blanketed in snow, prompting the Reuters news agency to say, “There was little sign of spring across a large swath of the US Midwest... as a powerful storm dumped heavy snow across a widespread area and threatened to bring more.”

On a lighter note, a prosecutor in Butler County, Ohio, is attempting to sue the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, on a charge of misrepresenting early spring.

Back in February, Phil did not see his shadow, which was supposed to mean just six more weeks of winter.

The prosecutor, Mike Gmoser, said Phil “doesn’t seem to know his backside from a hole in the ground” and he wanted to hold the groundhog personally responsible for his false predictions.

“It’s definitely not spring,” he said. “It’s a snowstorm. And when I came to work in the wind and the cold, I said to myself something is wrong with Phil. You know Punxsutawney has some answers that he needs to give, and I think I’m just going to have to indict him.”

The fact is that with the normal wide variations in the weather, neither snow storms in Europe and the US nor hot dry weather in Australia, nor floods, can be linked to global warming, still less to the use of fossil fuels.

The best sources of information about global temperatures now come from satellite data collected by NASA and analysed at the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH), then posted online by US meteorologist, Dr Roy Spencer.

His data show that average global temperatures for the latest month for which data is available, February 2013, was 0.18°C above the 30-year average, while average seawater temperatures were just below those for the reference years 2003-2006, chosen because those years were relatively free of El Niño and La Niña activity.

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