Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Well apparently the tide is turning , people are starting to get more sceptical as more absurd claims are made about the impending doom we face as the planet does or does not get a bit toasty.

So it is with great delight that we find that The Australian columnist Janet Albrechtsen sounds a sensible word of caution about the growing hysteria and stunts...

Supposed "facts" like this:

" Scientists scolded us with a report that a 750ml bottle of bubbly could produce 100 million bubbles, releasing five litres of carbon dioxide."

Errr yea - so what about beer? And anyway who cares.... its fluffy inconsequential stuff.

But its the stunts and the lies that Albrechtsen really takes issue with.

Just like the small island nation of Maldives where, last month, the president conducted a cabinet meeting underwater to remind the world that his country would be rendered uninhabitable by rising sea levels. Kitted out in full scuba-diving outfits, Mohamed Nasheed and his ministers sat at a table underwater off the coast of the capital of Male.

As planned, the president’s stunt made headlines across the globe. Send us money - and lots of it - is his message. The media love stunts. They are so easy to report.

Sadly, the media is not inquisitive enough to report those who question the circus acts of climate change. A week after the Maldives underwater show, Nils-Axel Morner - a leading world authority on sea levels - wrote an open letter to the president telling him that his stunt was “not founded in observational facts and true scientific judgments”.

Morner is a former professor who headed the department of paleogeophysics and geodynamics at Stockholm University and past president (1999-2003) of the International Union for Quaternary Research commission on sea level changes and coastal evolution. INQUA was founded in 1928 by scientists who aimed to improve the understanding of environmental change during the glacial ages through interdisciplinary research. In other words, the Swedish professor has gravitas when it comes to sea levels.

Alas his letter did not make headlines. That is a shame. Morner says there is “no rational basis” for the hysterical claims that the people of Maldives - or the rest of the world - are threatened by rising sea levels. And he sets out some facts.

Fact number 1: During the past 2000 years, sea levels have fluctuated with 5 peaks reaching 0.6m to 1.2m above present sea level. Fact number 2: From 1790 to 1970 sea levels were about 20cm higher than today. Fact number 3: In the 1970s, the sea level fell by about 20cm to its present level. Fact number 4: Sea levels have remained constant for the past 30 years “implying that there are no traces of any alarming ongoing sea level rise”. Fact number 5 (and I am paraphrasing here): The notion presented by the President of the Maldives that his country will be flooded is bunkum.

We prefer to call it bullshit... Even if it does warm up the globe a bit....

And for a fragile economy like ours we dont want to see the decision makers put the probable fiction of climate change ahead of the definite imperative to keep our economy safe..


Andrew D said...

They don't call her Planet Janet for nothing you know!

Your readers might like to consider the information about Nils-Axel Moerner here before coming to any conclusions about the reliability or otherwise of his claims.

Unfortunately we don't seem to understand likely sea level rises nearly well enough, which is why you see all sorts of numbers bandied around, from the insignficant to the catastrophic. (For a serious well informed discussion with references to the scientific literature look here for example.)

Andrew D said...

That line about bubbly though is the sort of thing that brings scientists into disrepute!

Drink your champagne in good conscience!

Anonymous said...

I'm a sceptic . . .

NIWA confirms what my body has been feeling while travelling around New Zealand this year, that, with the exception of August, every month to date in 2009 has been the coldest since World War II