Authors: EVANS, RAY
Source: Quadrant Magazine; 01/09/2008, Vol. 52 Issue 9, p5-12, 8p
Document Type: Article
Subject Terms: CARBON dioxide, POLLUTANTS, GLOBAL temperature changes, HOWARD, John, NUCLEAR industry
Geographic Terms: AUSTRALIA
The author discusses what he calls a demonisation of carbon by the media and the Australian government. He recalls the introduction of the carbon-dioxide-as-pollutant doctrine in the West, with the belief that as atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide increase, global temperatures will rise, resulting to a climatic catastrophe. He asserts that former Prime Minister John Howard used the claimed link between carbon dioxide emissions and climate control to promote the argument that Australia should have a nuclear power industry.
Accession Number: 34132735
As we now see in the Commonwealth government’s Green Paper, Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, and newspaper sub-headings (“Carbon’s a diabolical foe”—Australian Financial Review) carbon is now being demonised by the media and by ministers of the Crown.
How did we get to a situation where fantasy has triumphed over reality?
We can begin this episode in the battle over the demonisation of carbon with the testimony given by James Hansen, a scientist with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, to the US Senate Committee chaired by Al Gore (then Senator for Tennessee). The date was June 20, 1988, a date which had been predicted as likely to be hot and humid in Washington. Hansen told the Committee that he was “99 per cent sure ... the [human caused] greenhouse effect has been detected and it is changing our climate now.” He stated that his claim was based on computer models and temperature measurements. We now know that the night before the hearing, the air-conditioning had been turned off and the windows opened, so that the committee room was hot and very humid and the television cameras were able to focus on the weat dripping of the various participants.
Link to the article.