In comments to my post on a review of Guy Pearse’s High and Dry, JC pointed to a dispute between Andrew Norton and Pearse on whether the CIS had promoted denial and delay on greenhouse gasses. Pearse makes his case here (scroll to 25 July 2007), while Norton responds here. Now I think it is a bit much for Pearse to tag the CIS with Jennifer Marohasy’s opinions on global warming when all they did was publish her article on another topic. But it is also a bit much for Norton to argue that the opinions of Roger Bate have nothing to do with the CIS when the CIS list him as one of their Research Staff with expertise in climate change.
But given the CIS cannot control any of these people, how can it be responsible for what they say?
The CIS can certainly control what appears in its publications and on its website, so I searched their site for published articles that took a position on the science or the policy related to global warming. The articles I found appeared in CIS publications Executive Highlights, Policy Magazine or Economic Freedom Watch. Without exception, the position was either denial (“its not happening!”) or delay (“we shouldn’t do anything!”), just as Pearse said. Here’s the list, along with quotes from each piece so you can get the flavour:
Bjorn Lomberg 2006:
The really inconvenient truth is that combating climate change through the Kyoto Protocol has a social value of less than a dollar for each dollar spent.
Nicholas Kerr 2004:
That it has not signed up to such agreements as the Kyoto Protocol is less a sign of US selfishness and more one of a lack of evidence surrounding the science and economics on which protocol is founded.
Helen Hughes 2003:
The highly tendentious nature of measuring ‘warming’ and its tenuous relation to current, or even medium-term development is ignored.
Wolfgang Kasper 2003:
Green lobbies and litigation lawyers announced in October that they
would sue environmental regulators and carbon energy producers for
weather damages — because the links between Greenhouse emissions,
global warming and weather damage is increasingly proven. Given the
recent flare-ups in sunspot activity and given the well-known
correlation between solar activity and variations in global
temperatures (Graph 4), EFW suggests that the litigators make the Sun
Graph 4 is similar to the one that had to be corrected here
Wolfgang Kasper 2002:
A more serious case of foreign governments trying to limit the
economic freedom of Australians is the agitation to induce the
Commonwealth government to sign the Kyoto Protocol. This course of
action is promoted by European Union governments, the UN and
Green-collectivist interest groups. Yet, the evidence that man-made
climate change will be catastrophic is based on a poor understanding
of science and has been contradicted by many leading private climate
experts. The latest findings by the UN-convened Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are controversial.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its recent and supposedly conclusive report, was far from unanimous; sceptical minority views could not be fully aired in what became an increasingly political rather than a scientific debate. Leading members of the IPCC denounced the biased and undemocratic manipulation of the deliberations about the latest report. Respected, independent experts are also casting doubts on the IPCC findings. …
One must therefore conclude that Kyoto activism is in reality not about saving the world. It is about exploiting Green sympathies and justified environmental concerns to convince the world that it should accept a new form of European protectionism.
Sarah Tyrell 2002:
The attempted control of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions via such initiatives as the Kyoto Protocol has great potential to aggravate hunger, reduce public health services, increase mortality and retard economic growth. Forcing the pace of GHG reductions will not guarantee net benefits to public health, or the environment, nor will it have a positive effect on reducing climate change.
Wolfgang Kasper 2002:
Promise not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which amounts to a protection
policy for EU metal industries, undermines Australian energy-cost advantages
and discriminates against minerals processing in favour of third-world
countries that are given freedom to emit unconstrained amounts of CO2.
Steven Kates 2001:
If global warming is actually happening and whether it is a product of human activity, remains, so far, outside of any demonstrable calculation and proof. No-one can say with any certainty that it is not happening, but neither can they say with any greater certainty that it is.
Richard Stone 2001:
there is little scientific consensus regarding the nature, extent or seriousness of man-made global warming.
Sarah Tyrrell 2001:
the climate models used by most national entities and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are shown to have vastly overestimated predictions of temperature increases, sea level rises and the frequency of storms, flooding and drought due to climate change.
Barry Maley 2000:
The best data and eminent scientific opinion find no real evidence of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. With so much of economic and social importance at stake, it would be the height of scientific, economic and political irrationality for Australia to ratify the Kyoto treaty or to take any steps to reduce emissions. …
The upshot is that the climatic model predictions which formed the basis of the Kyoto recommendations have been invalidated. This is the conclusion reached in January this year by an expert panel of scientific specialists in temperature measurements commissioned by the United States Academy of Sciences. The best data and eminent scientific opinion find no real evidence of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
That is, by the way, as thoroughgoing a misrepresentation of the panel’s conclusions as you ever likely to see. Their actual conclusion:
In the opinion of the panel, the warming trend in global-mean surface temperature observations during the past 20 years is undoubtedly real and is substantially greater than the average rate of warming during the twentieth century. The disparity between surface and upper air trends in no way invalidates the conclusion that surface temperature has been rising.
Geoff Hogbin 1998:
the science of global warming is fraught with uncertainty and it is therefore not clear how serious the problem of anthropogenic climate change is likely to be. The claims of the IPCC notwithstanding, there simply is no consensus amongst scientists that global warming will occur.