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ALS & Senator Fielding Go to Delusionist Love-In

The Australian Libertarian Society (ALS) are sending members off to Washington to attend the Third International Conference on Climate Change organised by the Heartland Institute.   The ALS is ‘sponsoring’ this Conference – whatever that means.

The Heartland denialist/delusionists contend that:

“The real science and economics of climate change support the view that global warming is not a crisis and that immediate action to reduce emissions is not necessary. This is, in fact, the emerging consensus view of scientists outside the IPCC and most economists outside environmental advocacy groups”.

This is a falsehood. Independent of the issue of whether or not the AGW hypothesis is correct – this is something that some wish to continue to argue about – it is a fact that the overwhelming majority of scientists and governments around the world do endorse this hypothesis as sound science. 

The claim is also a strangely  political statement for a so-called science conference with a rather unscientific dismissal of all mainstream climate science.  One wonders whose money is driving the ALS ‘sponsorship’.

The ALS will be joined by well known family-first libertarian Senator Steve Fielding who, while he is in Washington, will miss the crucial Senate vote on the Government’s ETS scheme.  I guess the ALS and Senator Fielding will come back to Australia and tell us what the ‘real science’ is.

11 comments to ALS & Senator Fielding Go to Delusionist Love-In

  • John Mashey

    Sponsoring: what people *think* it means is somebody who will have their name on the list and try to recruit people to come. Exactly who pays for all this is still murky.

    Heartland says: “Co-sponsors do not pay any fee or donation to Heartland to be a co-sponsor.”

    See DeMSogBLog on co-sponsors and Sourcewatch on 2009 Conference, which lists the co-sponsors of the recent conference.

    OZ was well-represented via:

    Australia Libertarian Society, as you note
    Carbon Sense Coalition
    Institute of Public Affairs
    Mannkal Economic Foundation
    and maybe
    International Climate Science Coalition (CA/AU/NZ)

    I didn’t see Lavoisier on the list, oddly. Have they fallen on hard times?

    Oz speakers included Bob Carter, David Evans, Kesten Green, William Kininmonth.

  • MAGB

    There is plenty of good science to defend a position that says there may be a relationship between CO2 and temperature increase but “global warming is not a crisis and that immediate action to reduce emissions is not necessary”. It is all a matter of degree.

    For example Harper et al in Australian Meteorological Magazine 2008 concluded that “There is no prima facie evidence of a potential climate-change induced trend in tropical cyclone intensity in north western Australia over the past 30 years.”

    A recent paper in the Medical Journal of Australia on Dengue fever refuted everything Garnaut had to say on that topic, as has Paul Reiter on malaria and other infectious diseases.

    So there may be an issue, but the full implications are far from clear, and there is no doubt that Garnaut’s report is seriously flawed in some of its inputs.

  • Sinclair Davidson

    Irrespective of the truth of the AGW hypothesis the overwhelming majority of scientists and governments around the world endorse the AGW hypothesis.

    Does this sentence need to be rephrased?

  • hc

    OK I rephrased it. I think it was clear enough though awkward.

  • John Mashey

    HC: minor nit

    See how to learn…, especially section 1.2 on ideas, hypotheses, theories.

    I’d claim that AGW is *way* beyond hypothesis into strong theory.

  • Usul

    As CO2 emissions in the atmosphere grow the effect is to make the world’s oceans more acidic and affect the viability of the food chain. This is not a theory, it is a measurable and verifiable fact now. There is no discussion or politics needed. Science is science. There is not a form of science for one group or one country that differs from another group or country’s science – as much as politicians would like to pretend.

  • John Mashey

    As per the post I mentioned, I use the term theory as it is used in science, not in colloquial usage.

    In the former, a theory is something well-supported by evidence and with good explanatory qualities, whereas a hypothesis is something with some, perhaps still fighting with competing hypotheses. An idea is just that. Hence we have the theory of relativity, theory of quantum mechanics, theory of natural selection, theory of cigarette-cancer linkage, and theory of anthropogenic global warming.
    In colloquial terms saying something is “just a theory” is in science like saying it’s just an idea. There’s no end of confusion caused by the different onterpretations of the term “theory”.

    That’s one of the reasons why the IPCC has a carefully detailed set if terms regarding confidence levels.

  • HC — there is a difference between accepting AGW and thinking that it is a crisis. Depending on your definition of “crisis” there is little to support such a position. The IPCC suggests a possible increase in water levels by about a foot over 100 years. If that is considered a crisis, then I’m not sure what isn’t a crisis. I’m running out of milk at home… maybe that counts? 🙂

    Of course, the alarmists get so much air time that people sometimes mistake them for the mainstream scientists… but they are just as deluded as the deniers. I would suggest that the alarmist delusionists are more dangerous than the denialist delusionists, as they seem to have fooled more people and suffer from little media scrutiny. And their conclusions are more damaging.

    And while I don’t deny AGW, I think it is fair to keep an open mind about the relative influences of different forcings. It makes sense that our carbon emissions would be important, but nobody (serious) claims it is 100% responsible for our climate change and nobody (serious) says they know exactly the contribution of all the forcings. The work of Lindzen, Soon (Wille the scientist, not Jason the economist), Shaviv and others is still of interest.

    It is a shame that some climate change activists feel the need to so quickly resort to smear.

  • hc

    Nobody is denying the case for keeping an open mind on climate change. But Fielding came back from that Conference believing its views counterbalanced those of IPCC. That warming is due to solar activity/natural causes, that temperatures have not increased over the past decade etc etc etc.

    His claim is that we need a “debate”. Where has he been?

    How many times must these falsifications be refuted? The denialists know that these issues have been addressed a thousand times and yet continue to argue the points without reference to the extensive literature rejecting them.

  • Sinclair Davidson

    For as long as he is a Senator with balance of power it’s going to have to be refuted one more time. It’s not unreasonable what he is asking – ‘Why should I believe the IPCC over this graph?’

  • hc — I don’t think the skeptical position rests on the understanding of Fielding.

    And the pause in temperature increases over the last seven years is true, and worth noting. I think it is most likely explained by natural variation over a continuing soft upward trend… but that doesn’t mean we should pretend it doesn’t exist.

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