Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks and Bill Kininmonth identify 10 errors in Climate Change Greg Combet’s big speech last week on his carbon dioxide tax.
These are the 10 falsehoods Combet uttered with Carter, Evans, Franks, Kininmonth rebuttals in red:
1. The evidence of atmospheric warming is very strong, and the potential for dangerous climate impacts is high. The scientific advice is that carbon pollution is the cause. There is no evidence that the Carbon molecule exists.2. Globally, 2010 was the warmest year on record, with 2001 to 2010 the warmest decade. 2010 is the 34th consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th-century average. Last winter in Minneapolis, Minnesota the lowest temperature was -83. In Australia, each decade since the 1940s has been warmer than the preceding decade. With rising temperatures we can expect to see more extreme weather events, including more frequent and intense droughts, floods and bushfires. While there have been lots of floods and droughts and bushfires, none of these have been in Tasmania, for example.4. The environmental consequences translate readily into economic costs - as well as potential negative impacts on water security, coastal development, infrastructure, agriculture, and health. Human beings can adapt to conditions that human beings are unable to live in.5. Professor Will Steffen, a leading expert in the climate science, has advised the Multi-Party Committee on Climate Change that there is 100% certainty that the earth is warming, and that there is a very high level of certainty it will continue to warm unless efforts are made to reduce the levels of carbon pollution being sent into the atmosphere. Apart from a cooling stratosphere, shrinking thermosphere, less heat escaping to space, rising air temperature near surface, rising humidity, rising temperatures over the oceans, rising sea levels, rising ocean heat content, falling sea ice, falling snow cover, shrinking glaciers, apart from these factors, there is no evidence that the Earth is warming.6. It is in our national interest to take action on climate change. The national interest case is clear. If we assume we are all Electricity Generating Companies then, ipso facto, this is clearly a lie.7. Climate change is an environmental problem with an economic solution. The science is not settled that climate change is an environmental problem. It may be an English Literature topic.8. Just as the 1980s reforms laid down the bedrock of our current prosperity, pricing carbon will ensure that the Australian economy of the 21st century remains globally competitive. If this were true, why didn't we need a carbon tax in the 16th Century? How were we competitive back then?9. Intergenerational equity is a key determinant of long-term economic policy making. Our obligation is to leave the world a better place, not to pass on the problems we found too difficult to deal with to our grandchildren and to their grandchildren. There is no peer reviewed paper that says we have an obligation to leave the world in a better place10. Australia is one of the world’s top 20 polluters and we release more pollution per person than any other country in the developed world – more than the US. Not only is it in our national interest to act, we have a responsibility to do so. Wrong again. On nearly all measures we are top 5.