Will Steffen writes in The Australian today, claiming that the paper’s own articles last week somehow back up the Commission’s own alarmism about hot days in New South Wales:
The Australian apparently asserts that the commission did not look at enough weather stations to provide an accurate overview of changes in hot weather in the Sydney region. It published five graphs of changes in hot weather, the original two from the commission’s report plus graphs for Sydney Airport, Bankstown Airport and Prospect Reservoir. However, these other graphs confirm precisely what the commission has shown – that the number of hot days in western Sydney has risen during the past four decades and has risen at rate greater than that for the eastern suburbs.
In fact, the commission erred on the careful, conservative side by not including the station at Prospect Reservoir, which showed a much more pronounced trend than either Parramatta or Bankstown Airport. In fact the trend is an increase of about 200 per cent in hot days since 1965.
Note how Steffen shifts the goal posts back to 1965, despite the fact that the graphs published by the Australian and the associated article (see here) only relate to the last 20 years. Eyeballing the data for the last 20 years shows a small increase, if you’re being generous, but Steffen cannot say how much can be attributed to increased urbanisation rather than “global warming”, saying it’s “probably” due to a combination of both. What combination, exactly? Er…
The Australian said in its editorial: “We accept that the majority of scientific opinion says human-induced carbon emissions are contributing to a warming climate.” That is correct.
It could have added that human-induced emissions are the main contribution to observed warming in the past half-century. Then it would have been spot-on.
So there is much agreement between The Australian and the Climate Commission on the science of climate change. It is time to stop the phony [sic], divisive, manufactured “debate” on climate science, and move on to solutions to the climate change challenge. (source – paywalled)
Steffen has no idea whether human emissions are the “main contribution” to recent warming because no-one does. It’s all based on incomplete climate models.
And the debate is far from phoney, despite the usual attempts by the consensus side to shut it down. If human effects are small or even of a similar order compared to natural variation, then every dollar we spend trying to mitigate climate change is a dollar thrown away. In other words, until we know climate sensitivity precisely, all of this is based on the precautionary principle, except the costs far outweigh the benefits.
And as for “solutions to the climate change challenge”, I would be grateful if he would kindly explain what the government proposed solution of a carbon tax will actually do for the climate, when China and India’s increasing emissions will swamp anything Australia can achieve unilaterally. Actually, don’t bother. We know the answer: NOTHING.
In any case, why should we trust the Climate Commission at all? There’s no dissenting view present, no alternative opinion to consider, nothing to challenge the accepted consensus, no case for the defence. It’s just a bunch of like minded climate activists pushing AGW propaganda to prop up the government’s climate policies.