June 16, 2009

"We'll be right back to you"

As pointed out in the comment section of this post, it seems almost unbelievable that government experts would not have answers readily available to these questions. Considering that the meeting was set up in advance and the basic question was already known, why would the government scientist not at least have something prepared going into the meeting, let alone a direct answer shortly after.

I wish this entire episode of Steve Fielding's quest for proof was known to a larger audience. The absolute simplicity of his request and the inability of the Australian and in fact the US Government to satisfy that request is an easily understood and common sense story that even the most uniformed could understand and would question why is this so difficult?

What Steve asked Penny

Here is the list of questions Family First Senator Steve Fielding asked Climate Change Minister Penny Wong on Monday - questions to which he has yet to get an answer:

This briefing paper outlines questions put forward by Senator Steve Fielding to the Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, the Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett and Professor Will Steffen.

While the questions below are those which the Senator would like answered, the supporting material has been supplied from some leading scientists from Australia and overseas.

These are questions Senator Fielding would like answered so he can make an informed decision on whether or not an emissions trading scheme is the best course of action for Australia to take to deal with climate change and global warming.

The Senator remains open minded and has requested that the government address these questions, the answers to which are fundamental to shaping any climate change legislation.


Is it the case that CO2 increased by 5% since 1998 whilst global temperature cooled over the same period (see Fig. 1)?

If so, why did the temperature not increase; and how can human emissions be to blame for dangerous levels of warming?


Is it the case that the rate and magnitude of warming between 1979 and 1998 (the late 20th century phase of global warming) was not unusual in either rate or magnitude as compared with warmings that have occurred earlier in the Earth’s history (Fig. 2a, 2b)?

If the warming was not unusual, why is it perceived to have been caused by human CO2 emissions; and, in any event, why is warming a problem if the Earth has experienced similar warmings in the past?


Is it the case that all GCM computer models projected a steady increase in temperature for the period 1990-2008, whereas in fact there were only 8 years of warming were followed by 10 years of stasis and cooling. (Fig. 3)?

If so, why is it assumed that long-term climate projections by the same models are suitable as a basis for public policy making?

(No link to the briefing paper and its graphs.)

I’m disappointed, but not surprised, unfortunately, that the media has shown so little interest in what questions were actually asked, and why Wong so struggled to answer. We are interested in the science, aren’t we?


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