Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The immorality of Climate Do-Gooders

Read this article from The Canberra Times first and then I'll comment:
A group of CSIRO senior climate scientists has defied a gag order by the organisation to speak out on Australia's proposed greenhouse reduction targets.
The four high-profile scientists Michael Raupach, John Church, Pep Canadell and James Risbey have broken ranks with CSIRO to make personal submissions to a Senate inquiry into the Rudd Government's emissions trading scheme.

They claim tougher targets are needed to avoid Australia being "locked in" to dangerous climate change, and list 14 recent scientific findings that support their argument.

The rebel scientists cannot comment on their decision because they are public servants. But a CSIRO source said they could risk censure and possible career repercussions by taking such a public stand against the Government's controversial greenhouse reduction targets.

A CSIRO spokesman denied there was a gag on its scientists participating in the inquiry, and said the four were, "welcome to make comment as long as they are not representing CSIRO".

All four CSIRO scientists are world leaders in their various areas of climate research. Dr Raupach co-chairs the Global Carbon project, which oversees international research on the global carbon cycle. Dr Church chairs the scientific committee for the Geneva-based World Climate Research Program, Dr Canadell is executive director of the Global Carbon project and Dr Risbey has been involved in global climate research for more than 20 years.

A CSIRO source told The Canberra Times the group was determined to "present new scientific findings to the Senate inquiry that it believes are crucial to shaping Australia's future greenhouse policies".

The source said the scientists made their decision to go ahead with personal submissions after CSIRO management ruled out any participation in the inquiry by Australia's peak science body on the grounds that it would require comment on government policy.

A CSIRO spokesman said the inquiry's terms of reference, "went to the policy of the Government's carbon pollution reduction scheme, and in line with our public comment policy, we don't comment on government policy".

The scientists had been told to, "make it absolutely clear" they were not speaking on behalf of CSIRO. If asked to testify, they will be required to take formal leave and travel at their own expense.
I have no doubt that Raupach, Church, Canadell and Risbey firmly believe that anthropogenic CO2 emissions will lead to negative effects on the environment. If they didn't then they would hardly 'break ranks' with their employer, CSIRO, to make a submission to the Australian senate inquiry.

Their position is that Australia must ensure that it slashes its CO2 emissions else suffer the negative consequences.

They probably think that they have the moral high ground, being concerned with the environment and all.

The fact is that their position is deeply, deeply immoral.

Not that they would accept that reality.

Let's take the position for the moment that CO2 is the problem to the extent claimed by them and forget about climate models' inability to get within cooee of a correct forecast.

The unilateral imposition of an emission trading scheme in Australia will do untold harm to our economy. Only a complete economic illiterate would fail to appreciate that.

Those just leaving school, the low skilled, new migrants and those at the low end of the socio-economic scale will bear the burden of a unilateral emissions scheme.

Whatever action Australia takes will have NO impact on the environment here. It's up to China, India, Russia and Brazil - the so-called emerging economies - to agree to CO2 reduction programs. Australia is 1.4% of the world's CO2 output. China ADDS that amount every 4-6 months.

Please explain to me Messrs Raupach, Church, Canadell and Risbey how your plans will make one jot of difference?

Thus, they willfully promote the impoverishment of their fellow Australians and to no good end.

If that is not deeply immoral then the term has no meaning.

(Nothing Follows)

3 comments:

Purple said...

There have been various studies that show that far from "ruining the economy", a call for greener power and fuel will instead lead to so many new industries that, on the whole, the wealth of Australians will *increase*, and there will be more jobs created than lost. Also, these new systems will create a lot less pollution, which currently causes huge losses in illnesses and deaths.
As to Australia being unable to do anything because we're so much smaller than anyone else - that's like saying "well, the big guys all have slavery, so we should continue having slavery as well until they change what they're doing, as if we get rid of slavery first that will put us at a disadvantage and make very little difference to the amount of slavery in the world". It doesn't matter how small you are; if you can come out and show the world the way to go because you adopt a position of leadership, especially when you combine that with good technology & show people that going "green" rather than "black" will actually improve your economy & the life of your people, then there is a chance that the big guys will take notice of that and follow suit. In fact, because we're "small" in comparison, that means it's easier for us to make the change as we can be more "nimble".

Jack Lacton said...

Sorry, Purple, to pop your reality bubble but every serious study into so-called green jobs, green economy - call it what you will - shows a large loss of jobs. The Spanish experience with wind power is just one example in which the reality is that each green job created came at a cost of 2.5 other jobs.

As to showing leadership. Australia shows leadership to China in terms of freedom, opportunity and environmentalism other than emissions.

How's our leadership working out as far as those things go?

What helps an economy is the economic freedom of capitalism. It is the only thing that has led to a cleaner environment now than 30-40 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Sure purple. And we can create more jobs by banning telephones and paying people to carry messages around on foot. And banning excavators and paying men with picks and shovels. Hint: a vast drop in living-standards accompanies moving people from more to less capital-intensive economic activity.