Sunday, August 2, 2009

Answering 3 simple questions

by Willie Soon and David R. Legates

Why is it so difficult to get straightforward answers to three simple questions about climate change?
Senator Steve Fielding, an engineer who understands the distinction between facts and fanciful computer models, recently posed three questions regarding climate change to Minister Penny Wong.

The Minister, through her Department of Climate Change, provided answers to those questions based largely on advice from Professor Penny Sackett (Chief Scientist of Australia) and Professor Will Steffen (ANU Climate Research Centre). The “answers” often evaded the issues raised by Senator Fielding, and mostly discussed peripheral, if related, issues.

The answers also shifted the usual goalposts, arguing, for example, that global average atmospheric temperature was not a desirable measure of global warming – despite its consistent use by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for more than 15 years. Rather, the Department now wants to use ocean heat content as their prime measure.

A measured scientific audit of the Minister’s replies to the three climate questions was provided later by Senator Fielding’s four independent scientific advisers.
Meanwhile, The Australian published an independent attempt to answer Senator Fielding’s questions by Professor Neville Nicholls. Professor Nicholls’ answers are as misleading as the Department of Climate Change’s were beside the point.


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