PositionLetter to the editor


My wife and I were very disappointed and also sad to read the article 'Climate change or climate catastrophe?' by Hugh Steadman (vol 42, no 4). It is a very one-sided article, containing many untruths and half-truths. To mention a few:

* Steadman wrote: 'carbon dioxide (the most plentiful of the greenhouse gases)'. This is not true. The most plentiful greenhouse gas is water vapour, accounting for 95 per cent of greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide belongs to trace gases in the atmosphere, which together consist of less than 1 per cent of atmospheric gases. Carbon dioxide makes up only 3.86 per cent of the trace gases, of which carbon dioxide emitted by humans makes up only 0.12 per cent (or only 0.0012 per cent of all atmospheric gases).

* It sounds, of course, very dramatic to write, as Steadman did, that 'mankind has pumped some 150 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere'. But that is only 0.0012 per cent of all atmospheric gases.

* Steadman writes 'that the current rapid acceleration of climate warming is man-made'. First of all, there is no convincing scientific evidence that carbon dioxide is causing, or will cause, dramatic global warming. The only evidence provided comes from unvalidated computer models. And it has been shown that all 102 climate models used by the IPCC strongly exaggerate warming, compared with realworld temperature data. Moreover, there has been no statistically significant warming for the last 20 years. The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition has offered $10,000 for anyone who can show, based on peer-reviewed scientific articles, and based on proper scientific fact-based data (not computer models), that carbon dioxide has a significant effect on global warming.

* Steadman writes 'methane, which is being released at an increasing rate'. He blames this supposed increase on intensive livestock farming and fracking. Not true. Methane in the atmosphere has been declining in recent years. Methane emissions from fracking have been non-existent or extremely low.

* Steadman writes 'The vast majority of scientists ... are agreed on cause and effect: that an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere results in an increase in planetary temperatures.' This is another often-repeated myth. One often hears that 97 per cent of scientists agree on this. This was based on fraudulent research and has been debunked often. Moreover, scientific truth is not determined by a show of hands. There are thousands of well-qualified scientists who do not accept that greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, are causing or will cause any warming to be concerned about. If C[O.sub.2] will have any effect, it has been calculated that a doubling of C[O.sub.2] (and we are still far off a doubling, if ever we will reach that) will result in a warming of at best 1[degrees]C.

There are many websites, blogs and printed books that debate and criticise the man-made global warming dogma. However, it is unfortunate that most mainstream media are what is called left-liberal, and refuse to give any attention to opinions by critics. They prefer to call them climate sceptics or, even worse, climate change deniers. Down under I know of only one newspaper, the Australian, that publishes critical climate articles. That newspaper is from the Rupert Murdoch stable. Newspapers from the Fairfax stable, such as the Press, Dominion-Post, New Zealand Herald, etc, all support the man-made global warming dogma.

In 1998 and repeated in 2007, the so-called Oregon Petition in the United States was launched. The petition text is as follows:

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...

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