Forget about global warming. What we should all be worried about is global cooling.
So where did that ‘genius’ idea originate? Would you believe from a senior economic advisor to the Australian Government.
Yes I am being serious. Maurice Newman is the Government’s chief economic advisor. In fact he chair’s the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.
Newman says there is “ evidence that the world is set for a period of cooling, rather than warming, leading to significant geopolitical problems because of a lack of preparedness.
He also warned “ Australia is ill prepared for global cooling owing to widespread “warming propaganda.”
In an opinion piece for a major national daily newspaper, Mr Newman wrote: “What if the warmth the world has enjoyed for the past 50 years is the result of solar activity, not man-made CO2?
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its acolytes pay scant attention to any science, however strong the empirical evidence, that may relegate human causes to a lesser status.”
Newman says money spent on studying climate change has been “to largely preordain scientific conclusions”. He says this has caused “serious damage on economies and diminished the west’s standing and effectiveness in world affairs”.
Newman claims scientists discovered a rapid drop in solar activity, with a “global warming pause” occurring in the past 18 years.
“But the political establishment is deaf to this,” he says. “Having put all our eggs in one basket and having made science a religion, it bravely persists with its global warming narrative, ignoring at its peril and ours, the clear warnings being given by mother-nature.
“If the world does indeed move into a cooling period, its citizens are ill-prepared.”
Newman, who has no scientific background, has repeatedly attacked mainstream climate science over the past year, claiming that Australia has become “hostage to climate change madness” and dismissing the overwhelming evidence of warming caused by carbon emissions. He is also strongly critical of investment in renewable energy.
Needless to say there are a lot of people including a significant number of climate scientists itching to take on Maurice Newman. They are accusing him of being misguided and “arrogant” for dismissing well-established evidence of warming in favour of a theory of global cooling
“There’s nothing credible to what he says”, according to Professor Mathew England from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. “I can’t believe this stuff about cosmic rays is being raised again after it has been discredited
Professor England’s work has demonstrated how strong Pacific winds are pushing surface heat underwater, contributing to the slowdown, or “pause”, in the rise of global temperatures.
“The amount of greenhouses gases we are pumping into the atmosphere means that the solar minimum is just a blip in the next few decades,” he says. “The idea that solar cycles can override climate change driven by greenhouse gases is fanciful.
“Saying we aren’t prepared for global cooling is like saying we aren’t prepared for an alien invasion. There is no credible scientist saying this is on the horizon.
“I think he’s arrogant to think he knows the answer to climate physics when he hasn’t studied it.”
Another climate specialist Professor Steve Sherwood says he isn’t sure how to respond to Newman, given the number of errors in his article.
“The sun doesn’t have as much influence on the climate as we previously thought, the latest estimates are that it explains only 5% of the warming over the last 150 years,” he said.
“We have been in a solar minimum and no one really knows what the sun will do next. I don’t think anyone is saying that the sun will compete with greenhouses gases when it comes to warming the planet.
“What he says may be entertaining but it’s also scary because it’s so out there. It’s so prominent that it’s concerning.”
Despite the warming “pause” that Newman repeatedly refers to, 13 of the 14 warmest years occurred in the 21st century.
2001 to 2010 was the warmest decade on record, while each of the past three decades were warmer than the previous one.
According to the experts, the world has warmed by about 1C over the past century and will get even warmer – by between 0.3C and 4.8C – by 2100, based largely on the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
In fact climate scientists in Australia are clinging to the vain hope that they might be able to meet with Maurice Newman to explain the facts.
The head of Australia’s Climate Council sees the Newman remarks as deeply disturbing.
“ Maurice Newman is a business adviser to the prime minister; you’d expect him to be representing the interests of the business community.
“But what he’s saying fundamentally misrepresents the interests of business, which faces a huge risk, along with the rest of us, from climate change. He’s using his position for a personal crusade in what, I think, is a serious dereliction of duty.”
The former head of BP Australasia, granted a company not noted for its commitment to the environment, had this to say about the Newman opinions:
“Newman holds views that are out of step with those held by serious energy businesses globally and mainstream business in general.
“His views are scientifically wrong and completely ignore the economic and business risks that climate change presents. It is worrying that he is providing this sort of ill-informed advice on energy policy and climate risk to the highest levels of government.”
The next thing the Australian Government will be saying is that the world is really flat. But I don’t want to say it too loudly. It might give them ideas.