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Jul 5, 2008

“Garnaut Report - Three Key Questions were Ignored.

By Viv Forbes, BScApp, FAusIMM, FSIA
The Carbon Sense Coalition

Will Australia and New Zealand be left hanging like dead dingoes on a barbed wire fence?

An Australian Group of Global Warming Skeptics today claimed that the Garnaut Report had totally ignored the three key questions in the debate.

The chairman of The Carbon Sense Coalition, Mr. Viv Forbes, said that the major question is a scientific one: “Have man’s emissions of CO2 caused unusual global warming or done harm to the world environment?” An increasing number of scientists all over the world are very clear on this and their answer is a resounding “NO”.

(For starters see the Oregon Petition: And the Manhattan Declaration.

It is irresponsible for the government to get this far without having an independent enquiry on the science, a fundamental first step in a rational due diligence of this massive economic intervention.

(See: Call for an Australian New Zealand Royal Commission:

“The second question not considered by the Garnaut Report is “What are the full costs and benefits likely to accrue to Australians if we embark on this course?” This major question is avoided by explanations of “no data” or “the modeling is not completed”.

“Already we are seeing the costs associated with misguided policies designed to reduce Global Warming: a world shortage of food cause by diversion of land from food production to ethanol; power shortages and blackouts as power station construction is deferred; soaring prices for gas as people are coerced to convert from one carbon fuel to another; shortages of refined diesel and petrol as refinery construction is delayed; and instability and losses in financial markets concerned about the future cost of travel, transport, energy and food.”

“But nowhere have we seen estimates of the total cost of all the taxes, disruptions, shortages, cost increases and unnecessary investments associated with all the emission permits, ration coupons, energy mandates, trading schemes, quotas, bureaucracy and approvals.”

“The third key question not considered by Professor Garnaut, is “Is it politically likely that rest of the world will adopt these draconian mitigation policies, or will Australia and New Zealand be left hanging like dead dingoes on a barbed wire fence?”

PR 80704 Garnaut Report.doc Page 2

“No democracy will accept the costs and disruptions envisaged to achieve the fairyland goals for cuts in carbon emissions. Therefore this whole mitigation scheme must fail and will eventually be abandoned, but only after causing huge costs.”

“The rejection of green taxes in recent UK by-elections, the defeat of the Emissions Trading proposals by the US Senate, the revolt about electricity prices among German politicians, the worldwide food riots and the truckie blockades all over Europe should surely warn our worldly-wise PM that this decision is just too hard, even for him.”

“Even if we faced more global warming, which is the better way to go – prepare to adapt, or try to change the world and its climate? Is adaptation or mitigation the sensible policy?”

“The climate is always changing and will continue to do so no matter what Professor Garnaut and Minister Wong say or do about it. Our ancestors have survived massive climate change - floods of Biblical dimensions, storms more violent than Katrina, volcanism to dwarf Krakatau, Saharan droughts, seas that evaporated and then flooded back and flourishing greenhouse forests followed by glacial ages of ice.”

“Many species and individuals died in the periodic ages of chaos but our ancestors adapted and survived. They went on to thrive in the occasional warm, moist, calm periods like today. (Incidentally, polar bears also managed to adapt and survive periods warmer and colder than today.) The best we can do today is to make sure we have the financial and industrial resources to cope with whatever the climate has in store for us.”

“And if Mother Nature has another Little Ice Age in store, that will cause more damage than any one of the 23 different computer generated global warming predictions from the Misfortune Tellers at the IPCC.”


  1. "If the data does not support your preconceived outcome of the experiment, manipulate the data" ..

    Even if studies are done, how do we know they are honest? I don't trust the Al Gores , et. al. of the world.

    "Nine out of ten doctors prefer Camels" -- Camel cig ad from the 50s

  2. You write: “But nowhere have we seen estimates of the total cost of all the taxes, disruptions, shortages, cost increases and unnecessary investments associated with all the emission permits, ration coupons, energy mandates, trading schemes, quotas, bureaucracy and approvals.”

    There is an excellent article in today's NYT book review section on a book filled with economic analyses. The author concludes that the ultimate cost of "deprivation" type "solutions" is far worse than doing nothing and continuing with business as usual.

    Incidentally, describes one of the most elegant solutions I’ve ever seen to the global warming problem: “carbon eating trees.” This solution does not require impoverishing developing countries such as China now in order to achieve future benefits. And it accomplishes additional benefits in addition to the primary goal of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    An aside: if you don’t have the time or interest to read the article or the rest of this comment, at least consider the following excerpt from the article:

    Whether someone is serious about tackling the global-warming
    problem can be readily gauged by listening to what he or she says
    about the carbon price. Suppose you hear a public figure who
    speaks eloquently of the perils of global warming and proposes
    that the nation should move urgently to slow climate change.
    Suppose that person proposes regulating the fuel efficiency of
    cars, or requiring high-efficiency lightbulbs, or subsidizing
    ethanol, or providing research support for solar power--but
    nowhere does the proposal raise the price of carbon. You should
    conclude that the proposal is not really serious and does not
    recognize the central economic message about how to slow climate
    change. To a first approximation, raising the price of carbon is
    a necessary and sufficient step for tackling global warming. The
    rest is at best rhetoric and may actually be harmful in inducing
    economic inefficiencies.

    Back to the idea of carbon eating trees … based on measurements made by Charles David Keeling’s instruments (see article for background info) on can calculate that every carbon atom in the world ends up as part of a plant within about 12 years. In the normal course of events, a plant will lock up carbon within its structure while it is alive and release the carbon back into the atmosphere when it dies and decays (in the case of deciduous trees and shrubs, carbon is released when the plants shed their leaves for the dormant season, and locked up again when the plants resume active growth). If there were large areas of earth growing plants that keep the carbon locked up rather than releasing it back to the atmosphere, the atmospheric carbon level could be quickly reduced (by quickly, I mean that the increase could be halted within a few years and the level could be reduced down to 1950 levels within 50 years).

    This is a Permaculture kind of solution that accomplishes several goals at once. You not only accomplish the primary goal of reducing atmospheric carbon; you also preserve habitats for wildlife and very likely make the trees useful for human purposes (as the article mentions -- chemicals, liquid fuels, etc.).

    Hell, why stop at carbon eating trees? How about genetically engineered carbon eating annuals and soil organisms (I believe you'd have to take the system as a whole, rather than focusing on just the plants) that, instead of releasing their carbon to the atmosphere as they decay, lock it up into some useful form such as humus? I don't think that's entirely far-fetched. I've observed in the garden that if you provide a cover of mulch to a garden bed, the organisms in the soil such as worms leave clumps of decaying vegetable matter encased within a layer of mucus type stuff. This is what causes mulched soil to become light and friable, rather than forming heavy clods. When you leave the soil bare, you don't see much humus.

  3. I would be prepared to take the science more seriously if the politics was taken out of the 'debate'. People like Gore have a 'vested interest' in GW alarmism.

    At this time I do not consider that it is improbable that the increase in CO2 is not a result of cyclical temperature change.

    Barb; Thank you for the effort you have gone to with your comment, I did in fact find the review you referred to and read it and passed it on to the author, Viv Forbes as well as some others who I felt would be interested.

    I am thinking of a post on that subject.