Everybody with a
modicum of intelligence understands anthropogenic climate change is a fact and
it is extremely dangerous. We knew about this 30 years ago1, and the
prospect of it in the future is frightening. Currently, the world is on average
about 1 degree Celsius hotter than pre-industrial levels, and it is now extremely
unlikely that the temperature rise can be kept below 1.5 degrees C, and perhaps
even below 2.0 degrees C2. If that happens it may lead to feedback
cycles, which can exacerbate the problem, perhaps leading to runaway
temperature rise3. This is not simply opinion. Scientists don’t just
sit around drinking plonk, coming up with a cute theory to frighten the
punters. We tend to leave that sort of rubbish to politicians. Anthropogenic
global warming is based on the research of tens of thousands of scientists over
many decades, which has resulted in many thousands of peer reviewed research
papers. Much of this research has been combined into the several reports by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change1,2, which have all taken a
more conservative approach than some of the research would indicate.
Now, the recognised
genius of One Notion, Pauline Hanson, has again come out and said that ‘man-made
climate change is not happening’ and that the only thing that has been ‘man
made is the fear-mongering about climate change’. She also stated that volcanic
eruptions and oceans caused more carbon emissions than man-made pollution, and
that volcanic eruptions spew out more carbon [dioxide] than the oceans do4.
This is a lie. Volcanic eruptions spew out between 150 and 270 million tonnes of
carbon dioxide per annum, while those from burning fossil fuels, cement
production and land use changes pump out 130 time as much at 36,300 million
tonnes per annum5. In addition, about 26% of the carbon dioxide released
into the atmosphere is actually absorbed by the ocean6. The ocean
does exactly to opposite of what Hanson says. In reality, it is not surprising
that Hanson believes this drivel. She is the person who was told by someone
that the new pump-jet propulsion system being put in modern submarines only permitted
them to stay submerged for 20 minutes7. Of course, she believed it.
How anyone could vote for someone like Hanson who is so limited and so
gullible, is beyond me.
But wait, there’s
more! Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) senate candidate Gerard Rennick
has accused the Bureau of Meteorology of tampering with their temperature data
in order to “perpetuate global warming hysteria” and of “rewriting weather
records to fit in with the global warming agenda”8. It should go
without saying that these assertions are lies, but with the plethora of climate
change deniers among far-right political parties such as One Notion and the LNP,
it needs to be reiterated time and again. Of course, like Hanson, Rennick does
not have the slightest understanding of science, and vacuums up any drivel he
is told, if it fits in with his peculiar belief system. In this case, his
idiocy was sourced from The Spectator, a far-right anti-science magazine edited
by the curly-headed buffoon, Rowan Dean, who was the subject of a piece here some
months ago9. The fact that this halfwit Rennick could actually get a
spot on the LNP senate ticket does not augur well for the LNP, and if he is
elected, for the future of Australia, nor for its younger generation. But then
he did buy his way onto the ticket, by kicking the tin to the tune of $35,000
in the year leading up to the preselection10.
Normally when I am
confronted by a climate change denier, I ask them where they have published
their climate research. I often ask if it is in ‘Nature’ or ‘Science’. Almost
invariably, when confronted with such a question, they go away. The people who
don’t, are those who have no idea what I am talking about, which is scientific research.
That is a common problem among climate change deniers: complete ignorance of
science. This is also a problem not just for them but for the future of the
planet. As we get deeper and deeper into the 21st century, the major
problems we face will not be solved by people railing against reality, nor by people
unaware of their profound ignorance and gullibility, nor by those who only wave
their arms at their god and pray. These problems can only have a chance of being
solved by scientists and technologists; by people who actually study the
problems; and by people who actually understand them. We either have a STEM*
world or we will have no world.
*Science, Technology, Engineering
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