Global cooling?

Amongst all the predictions of global warming, here is a scientist (Professor Don J. Easterbrook) “putting his reputation on the line” on a prediction that:

“temperatures will cool between 2065 and 2100 and that global temperatures at the end of the century will be less than 1 degree cooler than now. This is in contrast to other theories saying that temperatures will warm by as much as 10 degrees by 2100.”

Professor Easterbrook is a geologist, and seems to base this prediction on current and historical trends. I have no idea whether he is correct or not, he could be completely wrong. The article shows a number of other people who also believe the earth has stopped warming.

I post this not to say global warming is wrong, I make no assumptions about that, but to point out that there is disagreement and a need for a Royal Commission of Enquiry into Global Warming, to base our policy on science and economics rather than popular theory.

Hat tip: No Minister

13 Responses to “Global cooling?”

  1. sarocloud Says:


    You might want to have a look at this morning’s G&M and the last section’s social commentary where an interesting piece about the good impact on global warming that making roofs light reflecting rather than light absorbing all over the world. I don’t know if this fellow got his math right or even if the physics upon which his thesis holds water. Friend of mine who is a nuclear physicist retired is one of the global warming skeptics and I plan to send him the article. If you don’t get the G&M let me know I will send it to you as well.

    Saro Cloud (a.k.a. Pierre Vachon)

  2. Mr Dennis Says:

    No, I don’t get the G&M, what is that publication?

  3. Ken Says:

    What possible use could a Royal Commission have in evaluating scientific questions around climate cahge? Political and ecopnomic respons within NZ, perhaps. But such bodies don’t evaluate science.

    That evaluation has been done for us by the IPCC. Scientifically there is a consensus. Not unanimity – I’ve seen estimates that about 70% of climate scientists accept the consensus, 15% think it underestimates human contributions and 15% think it overestimates.

    The IPCC consensus was based on analysis of published peer reviewed findings on the issue. The debate amongst scientists on the contribution of humans to climate change is the legitimate scientific debate. The debate carried out by a very small group of climate change deniers is basically political and ideological – not scientific.

    You politicians can have your debate about economic and legal response to the problems. But don pretend that your debate is about science.

  4. Mr Dennis Says:

    There are many people who have serious concerns about the IPCC process, and believe that if the process is flawed the conclusions may be too. The Commission can assess these objections and work out whether there is any substance to them, and therefore whether we can rely on the IPCC reports or not. It does not need to duplicate or upstage the IPCC reports, which are very detailed and have had a lot of work put into them.

    If it determines the IPCC reports can be relied upon, then it can come up with recommendations on an appropriate response for NZ to take.

    “But don[sic] pretend that your debate is about science”
    The entire thing needs to be about science. Global warming is a scientific issue, and needs a scientific response. The problem with the ETS is that it will not help the environment (scientifically, even according to Greenpeace) while costing a lot to do nothing (economically). Science is the central issue in this whole debate.

  5. Ken Says:

    Do you“believe that if the process is flawed”?. If so – in what way?

    Don’t forget there are those with economic and ideological reasons to cast doubts on the scientific findings – however valid they are. They will do their best to discredit the science.

    So – let’s establish that “the process is flawed” before setting up a committee of politicians to pass judgment on scientific process.

  6. Mr Dennis Says:

    I don’t know if the process is flawed, one point of the Commission is to establish this. But I do know that some people who have been in the IPCC process have serious concerns, e.g:

    I have no idea if these criticisms are valid, but they are very serious and need looking into, which is why we are proposing this as the first job (not the only job) for the Commission. By asking me to “establish that the process is flawed before setting up a committee” you are asking me to prejudge the conclusion of the committee before even establishing it.

    Don’t forget there are also “those with economic and ideological reasons to cast” greater certainty “on the scientific findings – however valid they are. They will do their best to” promote “the science.”
    Bias goes in both directions. No-one is completely unbiased. But that is no reason to ignore what they say, whichever side of the debate they come from.

  7. Mr Dennis Says:

    By the way Ken, a Royal Commission is not “a committee of politicians” but a separate authority comprised of experts, with no connection to parliament after it has been established.

  8. Ken Says:

    Of course, the NZ Royal Society is also the prime organisation “comprised of experts” – scientific experts. Perhaps yopu should listen to what they say rather than a politically motivated group like the NZSCS who are well known to misrepresent the science.

    Why not get into bed with the real science rather than those who wish to undermine it?

  9. Mr Dennis Says:

    I haven’t “got in bed” with anyone (except my wife!). We are the only party promising to have this issue considered scientifically rather than jumping on either the “Global warming is the biggest disaster facing mankind – panic, panic” perspective that Labour, Green, National etc have done, or the “Global warming is a load of rubbish” perspective that Act seems to be moving to. We are the only party standing neutral in the middle and promising to have the issue considered independently by experts, rather than politicians just picking a line and running with it.

    I have read what the Royal Society of NZ says. But even the RSNZ itself was not unanimous on this issue – in fact Dr Vincent Gray resigned from the society over their press release in support of global warming. If there is debate even within the RSNZ we shouldn’t be pretending there is a consensus.

  10. Ken Says:

    It is in the nature of evaluation and consensus that there will be dissenters – like Vincent Gray. I repeat from my earlier comment:
    “Scientifically there is a consensus. Not unanimity – I’ve seen estimates that about 70% of climate scientists accept the consensus, 15% think it underestimates human contributions and 15% think it overestimates.”

    Consensus from any Royal Commission would be similar. (But it might give some room for ideological and commercially motivated people to go with the minority view again).

    Governments should logically go with the best assessment they can get. Currently this is from the IPCC – not Gray (or any other motivated minority).

    Want do you want next – royal commissions to have a “second” look at Newton’s laws of motion or evolutionary science just because you can find isolated dissenters!!

    Leave that to the scientists.

  11. Mr Dennis Says:

    Ken, I think we fundamentally disagree and are never going to get anywhere in this discussion! But I must point out that looking at whether global warming is correct or not is only the first job of the Commission, and the shortest one. Assuming you are correct, they will very quickly conclude we can rely on the IPCC reports.

    They will then look into what our appropriate response to global warming should be. This probably won’t be the current ETS, as this is ridiculously expensive considering it won’t reduce emissions at all (even according to Greenpeace). Designing an appropriate response, be it mitigation, adaptation, or a combination of the two, will be the major task of the Commission. And I am sure you will agree that this is a task for scientists, not politicians, which is why putting it to a Royal Commission is a far better method than the current political bickering about the issue.

  12. Ken Says:

    Seems to me that you basic declared objection is to the current ETS (plenty of room for varied opinions there). That doesn’t concern me.

    You don’t do anything to substantiate your criticism of the science – except to refer to a very biased and distorted report in the body of your post. A report claiming that the IPCC has not considered non-human affects like “volcanoes and .. solar activity.” That is just wrong and should have warned you that the report was unreliable. How could you think that a responsible body like the IPCC ignore that science? And why be so irresponsible as to quote it?

    In fact the whole nature of the Newsmax site should have warned you that it was unreliable. It is these sorts of sites which use lies and distortions to spread doubt about the science of climate change and the IPCC assessment.

    I can only draw the conclusion that you and your party are willing participants in spreading such distortions.

  13. Mr Dennis Says:

    “You don’t do anything to substantiate your criticism of the science”

    For the last time Ken, I am not criticising the science! I am recognising that others are criticising the science, and I have no idea whether their opinion is correct or not. I would prefer to put this decision to the experts rather than deciding myself that some well-qualified people were completely wrong, based on my own beliefs and prejudices, when I have no expertise in climate science.

    “Seems to me that you basic declared objection is to the current ETS (plenty of room for varied opinions there). That doesn’t concern me.”

    I am glad to hear that. Much as you disagree with the first job of our Commission, would I be correct in stating that you would probably still be happier with our environment policy than that of Labour, National, Green, United Future, Maori, Progressive or NZ First, all of which do support an ETS in principle despite it being an ineffective way to achieve emissions reductions?

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