23 August, 2016

Global Warming and Energy

Last Monday fortnight Gail and I were in the audience for  QandA at the ABC's Ultimo studios. The panel included U.K. scientist Brian Cox, Federal Minister for Science Greg Hunt, and newly elected One Nation-Senator Malcolm Roberts. Cox is a former rock band player and could fairly be described as a "showy" celebrity scientist. Roberts sees Global Warming/Climate Change as a fraudulent fad unsupported by empirical facts and with no clear "cause and effect" supporting case. I am inclined to agree with him.

Cox came prepared with a graph which purported to show ever increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (no argument there) with a strong correlation to increasing warming. At one stage he threw this graph and other documents across the table at Roberts, who in spite of pressure including ridicule, bravely 'stuck to his guns'.

I am delighted to discover a thorough analysis of Cox's graph which shows it to be an outdated widely discredited document-see here.

I submitted a question"Does the Panel believe that Australia is right in pursuing a high cost energy policy?" 
Not surprisingly it was not chosen for submission.

Last night we attended a presentation at the Sydney Institute by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. He was his usual professional self and he made good consistent points on the Coalition's "jobs and growth" theme. Afterwards I raised with him the apparent contradiction between 'jobs and growth' and high energy costs, the direct consequence of pursuing the Government's Renewable Energy Target, putting Australia's businesses at a competitive disadvantage. His only response was "that is our policy". I suggested to him that as Finance Minister he should be very concerned with having a high energy cost policy with very dubious environmental benefits.

I was surprised that the matter was not otherwise raised, as I believe that with ever increasing mechanisation, energy costs will become an even bigger competitive element than labour costs. The US is demonstrating this already.
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