Faced with a “consensus” view which looks increasingly implausible, a fast-growing body of reputable scientists from many countries has been coming up with a ”counter-consensus”, which holds that their fellow scientists have been looking in wholly the wrong direction to explain what is happening to the world’s climate. The two factors which most plausibly explain what temperatures are actually doing are fluctuations in the radiation of the sun and the related shifting of ocean currents.
Two episodes highlight the establishment’s alarm at the growing influence of this ”counter consensus”. In March, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has a key role in President Obama’s plans to curb CO2 emissions, asked one of its senior policy analysts, Alan Carlin, to report on the science used to justify its policy. His 90-page paper recommended that the EPA carry out an independent review of the science, because the CO2 theory was looking indefensible, while the “counter consensus” view – solar radiation and ocean currents – seemed to fit the data much better. Provoking a considerable stir, Carlin’s report was stopped dead, on the grounds that it was too late to raise objections to what was now the EPA’s official policy.
Meanwhile a remarkable drama has been unfolding in Australia, where the new Labor government has belatedly joined the “consensus” bandwagon by introducing a bill for an emissions-curbing “cap and trade” scheme, which would devastate Australia’s economy, it being 80 per cent dependent on coal. The bill still has to pass the Senate, which is so precisely divided that the decisive vote next month may be cast by an independent Senator, Stephen Fielding. So crucial is his vote that the climate change minister, Penny Wong, agreed to see him with his four advisers, all leading Australian scientists.
Fielding put to the minister three questions. How, since temperatures have been dropping, can CO2 be blamed for them rising? What, if CO2 was the cause of recent warming, was the cause of temperatures rising higher in the past? Why, since the official computer models have been proved wrong, should we rely on them for future projections?
The written answers produced by the minister’s own scientific advisers proved so woolly and full of elementary errors that Fielding’s team have now published a 50-page, fully-referenced “Due Diligence” paper tearing them apart. In light of the inadequacy of the Government’s reply, the Senator has announced that he will be voting against the bill.
The wider significance of this episode is that it is the first time a Western government has allowed itself to be drawn into debating the science behind the global warming scare with expert scientists representing the “counter consensus” – and the “consensus” lost hands down.