Malcolm Colless, writing in The Australian declares that human-caused global warming is a beat-up, just like human-caused ozone depletion. I swear I’m not making this up. Look:
Remember, it was not so long ago that we were confronted with the unnerving prospect of being fried like eggs on a hotplate as a result of a widening hole in the ozone layer of the atmosphere.
The hole is apparently still there, although it has stopped expanding and has, in fact, started shrinking. Coincidentally, it is now playing second fiddle to global warming in the climate change debate.
Apparently Colless is unaware of something called the Montreal Protocol which phased out the production of ozone depleting substances. The Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2006 published by NOAA, NASA, UNEP, WMO and the EC concluded:
The Montreal Protocol is working: There is clear evidence of a decrease in the atmospheric burden of ozone depleting substances and some early signs of stratospheric ozone recovery.
You’d have to be a journalist working for The Australian to bring up a case where a international treaty is successfully solving an environmental problem and try to use it as an argument for inaction.
Colless then criticizes the government for relying on peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Addressing parliament last week on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Greg Combet, assisting Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, made it quite clear that the government would have no truck with this. “For practical purposes we can be sure that human activities are responsible for global warming,” he said.
“Publication in newspapers and blogs is no substitute for the careful processes of scientific rigour,” Combet added dismissively. But the reality is that these and other public forums are carrying much of the informed debate about this issue, which will have a profound economic impact on the lives of Australians in metropolitan and regional areas of this country.
Combet makes the extraordinary statement that the government will give no credibility to any challenge to its policy on global warming unless it is done through major peer-reviewed scientific journals. This would, of course, remove differing scientific opinion from the public arena.
So Colless thinks that the evidence for these differing scientific opinions is so weak that it can’t survive peer review? Or what? Can anyone figure out what he is trying to say? Why is Colless employed as a journalist?