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Chief Scientist urges corporate chiefs to show leadership on climate change

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, has called on company chief executives to speak out in the public debate about climate…

Chief Scientist Ian Chubb believes views shouldn’t be suppressed, but should be given the weight they deserve. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, has called on company chief executives to speak out in the public debate about climate change.

Chubb said corporate managers and investors knew that climate change was happening and was - or would - affect their business.

“The question is, can this corporate responsibility be used with science to challenge civic indifference or the nay-sayers? We need more CEOs to show leadership and not just act on climate change inside the company, but to take on the debate outside,” he told the Australian Emissions Reduction Summit this week. Those attending came from business, government, technology and finance.

Chubb also addressed comments by Attorney-General George Brandis who recently said that the approach of “true believers” who wanted to exclude climate-change deniers from the debate was “medieval”.

Brandis, in an interview with the online magazine Spiked, said he was not a denier but described the climate-change debate as one of the “great catalysing moments” in his views about the importance of free speech.

Chubb said he agreed that views should not be suppressed. “But views should be given the weight they warrant – and that weight should be based at least in part on the knowledge and expertise of the individual offering the view.

“I particularly agree that genuine scientific evidence should be aired and be subject to the scrutiny of peers, wherever it may lead. And if the evidence is shown to be soundly based, it will add to our knowledge and understanding and be used to adjust our conclusions. If it is not, it has no place in the argument.

“On the other hand, there are those who only offer opinion, but they often do so with a level of certainty that disguises that it is more likely ‘a leap of faith. An intuitive step outside the limitations of science-based argument’ – as I saw it described elegantly in a spoof corporate video I saw recently. Belief trumping evidence, you might say,” Chubb said.

The next step was to cherry pick and sow the seeds of doubt.

“As a consequence, climate science experts have been labelled and disparaged. They have been represented as part of one giant conspiracy for ideological (ie destruction of the free enterprise system) or (personal) financial reasons.

“There are accusations of fraud, that climate change is a ‘delusion’ or that the science is a ‘religion’. There are calls for some scientists to be jailed; accusations of venality – where scientists say and do whatever it takes to get another research grant or another airfare to a conference where the group thinkers huddle, or that they are Nazis,” he said.

“In other words, regardless of what their observations show, it is suggested that the scientists will spin them or manipulate them so that they can rise as one and declare that human activity is one of the reasons why the planet is warming. Really?”

Chubb said Brandis might have been right in labelling suppression of alternative views as medieval. “But if the passage of time is supposed to lead to enlightenment, let me just say that the notion of ‘shooting the messenger’ goes back further than medieval times, all the way back to ancient Greece in fact.

“I know that by the very nature of science not every single detail is ever totally settled or completely certain. Nor has every pertinent question yet been answered. But the evidence is mounting, it has been scrutinised as never before – and it leads inexorably towards a level of probability that the prudent would heed.”

The demand for “proof” showed little understanding of how science worked.

“For a start, what would be the controlled experiment? It would need our world plus a parallel planet the same as ours with all the variables except human beings.

“Instead of waiting for the unachievable, scientists look for evidence from multiple sources, then check it, test it, debate it, replicate it and draw conclusions from it. And as the evidence accumulates, they may even notice some convergence – an anthropogenic influence on planetary warming, for example. And we could and should use all the information we accumulate to project ahead.

“Instead of constructive discussions about how to get ever more evidence, or ever better models, we have the discussions about whether CO2 is a pollutant; or whether it is a poison; or accusations of group-think. And we are pressed to put the idiosyncratic alongside the expert, individual opinions against the weight of evidence and then to present them as equals, and to give them equal airtime or column inches.”

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102 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

    1. Dave Bradley

      logged in via email @yahoo.com.au

      In reply to john davies

      Will the LNP bring out their reliable Climate experts such as Lord Moncton and Nigel Lawson or is it enough to appoint the likes of Dick Warburton and Maurice Newman etc to policy management positions. Tony Abbott has said he is a Climate Skeptic and it's actually possible we may be able to believe him for once . Joe has Hockey been less honest about his views on climate change but, with a new found love of the environment, and wanting to prevent it being visually destroyed, he said he does so hate wind turbines, they are so ugly, and he will get rid of them for us, and help us with our electricity bills by letting real power stations compete on a level playing field. Their hypocrisy and lies of the LNP should disqualify them from the debate but still we let them rant their nonsense and lies on at us.

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    1. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to John Nicol

      John,

      Please read Michael Rowan's comment below and explain to us all how what you are doing here is anything but a precise enactment of the "contempt of science" he describes.

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    2. In reply to John Nicol

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. In reply to John Nicol

      Comment removed by moderator.

    4. In reply to John Nicol

      Comment removed by moderator.

    1. Mark Matthews

      General Manager

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      It's not the ignorance so much. It's the fact that despite the ignorance they are in positions that would require expertise in this area. The very fact that they are there just shows how much more ignorance there is at the top.

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    2. Peter Campbell

      Scientist (researcherid B-7232-2008)

      In reply to Mark Matthews

      'Willful ignorance' is the phrase needed here.
      Or to spell it out fully use all the adjectives above and more:
      'Willful, arrogant, negligent, culpable ignorance'

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    3. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      "neither is David Murray"

      Great former Commonwealth Bank chief but obviously this doesn't mean anything when it comes to science.

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    1. Trevor S

      Jack of all Trades

      In reply to Garry Baker

      "Chief Scientist Ian Chubb's words won't be heeded in Australia"

      The previous Chief Scientist under the Gillard Government resigned allegedly for similar reasons you mentioned, not being listened to on ACC.

      "AUSTRALIA'S chief scientist, Penny Sackett has resigned half way ... has been critical of the government's lack of action on climate change"

      http://www.smh.com.au/national/tensions-blamed-as-science-chief-quits-20110218-1azm2.html

      Government (and personal) inaction on ACC is ubiquitous, I blame the voters. 80% of voters want no effective action (based on last Septs polling) and we're getting that in spades :)

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    2. Jay Wulf

      Digerati at nomeonastiq.com

      In reply to Garry Baker

      "The Roast" a late night satire show on ABC (no doubt targetted for a cut) had a great sketch on yesterday.
      It transpires that for some reason our neighbours do not like us very much. They talk about 'Culture of detention'. Australians have this idea that our neighbours think of us as happy go lucky shrimp throwing barbie beer drinkers. "The Roast" was saying that the phrase 'Its so Australian' is going to have a different meaning now.

      Turning back the boats of refugees - "Thats so Australian"
      Spying on your friends - "Thats so Australian"
      People smuggling refugees to Indonesia (what are the 3 'extras' on a boat but not people smuggling?) - "Thats so Australian"
      Denying climate change - "Thats so Australian"

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    3. In reply to Jay Wulf

      Comment removed by moderator.

    4. Ross Barrell

      Aikido Student

      In reply to Trevor S

      Hi Trevor

      "Chief Scientist Ian Chubb's words won't be heeded in Australia"

      Looks to me like Professor Chubb has decided to stop talking to politicians who won't listen and go public instead. He may get more traction this way and give people a better idea of how their government is thinking about scientific matters.

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  1. John Newton

    Author Journalist

    Bravo! Let this ring out across the rooftops. Sincere, clear and truthful.

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  2. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. In reply to John Nicol

      Comment removed by moderator.

    2. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Michael Rowan

      Yes exactly Michael, I was just about to say how John continually exemplifies the "contempt of science" you described above with his "attack on science from outside: ... proposing alternative theories of warming with no plausible causal explanation; selectively quoting from leading scientists to make it appear they doubt the strength of the evidence for global warming; and claiming that the whole scientific effort is an hoax and a conspiracy."

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    3. In reply to John Nicol

      Comment removed by moderator.

  3. Geoff Henley

    Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

    Ian Chubb states:

    “But views should be given the weight they warrant – and that weight should be based at least in part on the knowledge and expertise of the individual offering the view." But then contradicts himself by stating that company chief executives, most of whom have no expertise at all this area, should speak out in the public debate about climate change.

    “Chubb said corporate managers and investors knew that climate change was happening and was - or would - affect their business…

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    1. In reply to Mike Hansen

      Comment removed by moderator.

    2. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Geoff,

      Michael Rowan

      Like I said, I find it quite disturbing that you describe yourself as a researcher/scientist yet rather than engage in the scientific process you instead undermine science by cherry picking and throwing rocks from the outside.I suggest that you read what Michael Rowan says [in his comment] above about how this is a "contempt of science".

      https://theconversation.com/chief-scientist-urges-corporate-chiefs-to-show-leadership-on-climate-change-26404#comment_372020

      Are you now accepting that the overwhelming majority of the research that is properly peer reviewed by the relevant scientists supports the position of the IPCC and every major scientific organisation in the world?

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    3. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      "....Sounds like you have been reading too many papers by Lewandowsky which is a pretty depressing thought....."

      I think I saw your name in their somewhere Geoff.

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    4. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      "Peer review is not infallible."

      Spare us the strawman please. No-one says peer review is sufficient, just necessary. Fake sceptics don't realize the latter.

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    5. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      "yet rather than engage in the scientific process you instead undermine science by cherry picking and throwing rocks "

      I'd say there is a lot of CAGW lobbyists "undermining science by cherry picking and throwing rocks ".

      Michael Rowan has no qualifications in climate science. I don't find his arguments particularly compelling.

      "Are you now accepting that the overwhelming majority of the research that is properly peer reviewed by the relevant scientists supports the position of the IPCC and every major scientific organisation in the world?"

      I'd dare say that the vast majority of peer-reviewed research actually doesn't provide actual explicit evidence of the anthropogenic vs natural fingerprint on global changes in climate. A lot of it comes down to interpretation of data. The IPCC is an organisation heavily influenced by political and ideologically-driven bodies, and as such it results should be treated with a great deal of caution.

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    6. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      To the moderators - this post contravenes this sites community standards.

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    7. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      You really do have some massive blinkers on don't you Geoff. Do you seriously think that you are better qualified to assess the available evidence than the overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists?

      Are you seriously suggesting that the overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists are being biased in their interpretation of all the available evidence? Do you seriously think that they are all part of a giant conspiracy?

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    8. Michael Rowan

      Emeritus Professor at University of South Australia

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      If you don't find my arguments compelling please tell us where they are faulty. I do not claim to be a climate scientist. My expertise is in philosophy of science and reasoning in natural language. They seem to me to be the relevant disciplines in this case.

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    9. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Totally False Mr Henley - showing no understanding of science.

      There are only two things that can warm the planet - more heat coming in or less escaping. Full Stop.

      The evidence is clear there is actually less heat coming in (the sun) - therefore - if we see signs of increased heat retention - disappearing ice mass, expanding sea levels and decade on decade atmospheric temperature increase - which unequivocally we do - then something must be causing increased heat retention

      There is no…

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  4. Jay Wulf

    Digerati at nomeonastiq.com

    I love Ian Chubb. Hearing the man talk gives me hope for the future of humanity. The man embodies the best that our species has to offer. And I do not mean in the make believe, Order of Australia way with scones and tea and a brass band. This is the man that had you given him the cash, he would build us a rocket to the moon or cured AIDS.

    I just wish more so called 'leaders' listen to him and his kind. We would be so much better of as people, than listening to the 'free market' sociopaths.

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    1. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Jay Wulf

      Yeah, so wonderfully patient and moderate in his words, yet he closes as tightly as a steel trap on bullshit.

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  5. Brad Farrant

    logged in via email @hotmail.com

    Great Article! Thanks Michelle and Ian.

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  6. Grant Mason

    Business Owner

    This is interesting.

    There is a problem of credibility with proaction, in my opinion, leading Ian Chubb out to try and enlist business leaders about climate action. The 97% of scientists appears not to be enough! A key to the credibility problem is that those on the proaction side have done nothing to debunk lies, deceit, and alarmism expressed in the name of science and truth. They just let it ride, indicating that perhaps proaction is more on about a religion which tend to be exclusive of…

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    1. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Grant Mason

      A gish gallop of claims, basically a recitation of talking points from any of the numerous climate crank blogs.

      No links to any scientific publications.

      And from a "Business Owner"

      Pretty much Ian Chubb's point I would have thought

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    2. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Grant Mason

      Grant,

      Please read Michael Rowan's comment above and explain to us all how what you are doing here is anything but a precise enactment of the "contempt of science" he describes.

      Your first argument about bush fires totally contradicts itself.

      Your second point totally ignores the fact that Australia's per capita emissions are still massive compared to China's and our responsibilities given our huge historical emissions.

      Your third point is just rubbish. The planet continues to warm (in…

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    3. Grant Mason

      Business Owner

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      @Brad Farrant,

      You have not disputed that there has been numerous false statements in the name of truth or science in regards to global warming. You have not disputed the need for those on the proaction side to correct those on their side in regards to truth and science to maintain credibility of the movement.

      I have outlined a way for me to be more comfortable with the whole proaction movement to show me that is more on about truth and science rather than religion. I know there is lots of truth and science out there about global warming, yet then why, in my view does proaction not correct those such as Greg Combet when he hints that Australia is trashing the global environment more than China.

      I acknowledge you attack. You have not convinced me or made me more comfortable with proaction. You have made me less comfortable with proaction.

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    4. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Grant Mason

      Grant,

      You appear to have deceived yourself that you have presented any "false statements in the name of truth or science in regards to global warming". My previous post showed why each of your examples is false.

      Per capita, Australians are "trashing the global environment more than China". That is a fact.

      I can't help it if you refuse to accept and act in accordance with the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists. That is something you yourself will have to be responsible for explaining to the kids of today and tomorrow. Indeed you go further than that by trying to undermine the case for action by making false claims in public.

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    5. Grant Mason

      Business Owner

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      I acknowledge your statistic and fact about Australian CO2 per capita being greater than in China. A balance of statistics must be looked at including this statistic. If you only use this one statistic then it would say that it is Australia trashing the world environment more than China. This is completely ridiculous as China with 1.3 billion people is hurting the world much more than Australia in terms of total CO2, in terms of land pollution, water pollution, and traditional air pollution…

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    6. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Grant Mason

      Why did you start talking about going back 100 years? That is a total smokescreen.

      You really don't understand the implications of unabated climate change over the next century and beyond do you Grant?

      You really don't understand the concept of being responsible for your own actions and leading by example do you Grant?

      We are a wealthy country with massive per capita emissions and a responsibility to lead the way to do our fair share to protect the kids of today and tomorrow from dangerous climate change and to encourage the other nations of the world to do the same. Failing to do this transfers the costs of our behaviour onto the kids of today and tomorrow and this is completely unacceptable and irresponsible in my book.

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    7. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Grant Mason

      Grant, you forgot to mention the caves, where the Muslim lesbian atheists will punish you forever.

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    8. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Grant Mason

      "over the past 16 years the temperature of the earth has not significantly risen"

      and the rate of warming has not significantly slowed down either.

      The only thing you've proven is that 16 years of data does not provide enough certainty either way. Take off your ideological blinkers and look at more than just 16 years of data.

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    9. Grant Mason

      Business Owner

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      You have failed to convince me.

      84 % of people in the last federal election voted for parties that wanted to axe the carbon tax. That is what should be done, and go slow a bit, and that does not mean not doing anything.

      You could attack, attack, attack all you want, the approach has not seemed to work as evidenced by the 84% who voted for parties who wanted to axe the tax. Perhaps you need to be more respectful of those who have a few questions about it all.

      Perhaps you are of the extremist Greens for whom no amount of CO2 reduction would be satisfactory. The Greens trashed the economy of Tasmania chasing away investment and jobs, leaving the economy with an unemployment rate several points above the mainland, an economy dependent on government jobs, and handouts from the mainland states. The Greens got turfed out of Tasmania.

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    10. Grant Mason

      Business Owner

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      It shows a bit of failure on the part of climate warming models - and perhaps shows "the science" is not as settled as some may say.

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    11. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Grant Mason

      Grant,

      I am under no illusion that ideologically driven climate science deniers will ever accept the science or support the actions that are necessary to prevent dangerous climate change. Fortunately these people are a very small section of the community, but unfortunately they have been given a very big soap box by large sections of the mainstream media and their vested interests supporters.

      The 84% figure that you provide is another of your smokescreens. The Labor party proposed to transition…

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    12. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Grant Mason

      "It shows a bit of failure on the part of climate warming models"

      It shows nothing of the sort.

      Climate models do not predict statistically insignificant variations in trend. They DO NOT predict noise, amazingly enough.

      I'm astounded that someone with such poor knowledge can be so sure of himself.

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    13. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Grant Mason

      Actually Grant Mason's comment shows an astounding ignorance about the issue and the science.

      A "Warming" Climate - in this context - refers to increased heat retention by the planet due to increased greenhouse gas levels. The mechanisms of which are well established.

      Heat is not temperature as any good physicist knows.

      The signs we would expect to see if such increased heat retention were real are

      1) Decreasing Ice Mass
      2) Rising sea levels due to thermal expansion and water run off…

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  7. Ross Barrell

    Aikido Student

    Great article. It is about time that someone with the weight of the chief scientist said these things in a public space. Gives me some hope.

    "Chubb said he agreed that views should not be suppressed. “But views should be given the weight they warrant – and that weight should be based at least in part on the knowledge and expertise of the individual offering the view."

    Of course. That means when someone like Alan Jones or Andrew Bolt mutters something about 'this climate change rubbish.' that we allow them their air space and give these view the weight they deserve - according to zero knowledge and zero expertise and hence zero weight.

    I'm hoping the minister for the environment is paying attention here.

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    1. In reply to Gary Luke

      Comment removed by moderator.

    2. In reply to Mike Hansen

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. In reply to Gary Luke

      Comment removed by moderator.

    4. Ross Barrell

      Aikido Student

      In reply to Gary Luke

      Hi Gary

      No. I don't do "multivariate data analysis" but I can read plain English and there are authoritative sources of scientific information that I respect and trust - like just about every national academy of sciences around the globe, the CSIRO, the BOM and so on. Likewise there are sources of nonsense and disinformation, like yourself that I don't respect or trust.

      Sigh.

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  8. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Anna Ross

      Simple Anna, we all do our fair share of the emission reductions that are required to prevent dangerous climate change as described by the climate scientists (not the political left as you offer as a smokescreen). We all divest from the problem (fossil fuels) and invest instead in the solutions including renewable energy. A great number of analyses have shown how all this is possible given the political will. Are you prepared to join us in calling for actions required to solve the problem?

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    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Anna Ross

      "current climate theories promulgated by the political left "? So science is not your thing Anna, or are all scientists left-wing?
      http://www.climatechange2013.org/report/full-report/

      Any ideas? Here is one from the AEMO, the people who are currently responsible for the electricity supply.
      https://theconversation.com/federal-government-commissions-scenarios-for-100-renewables-9908

      It is certainly true that replacing carbon based energy sources is going to be difficult. But are you suggesting that there cannot be a problem because the solution is not easy? That would be a back to front way of assessing the problem.

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    3. Anna Ross

      Healthcare professional

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      "We all divest from the problem (fossil fuels)"...You have not addressed population growth THAT is the problem. The left dismisses any discussion about over-population as racist and tries to shut it down. No other country was stupid enough to shoot its own economy in the foot as we were. Yes let's all hold hands and float through the ceiling as we embrace this brave new imaginary world where we slay this mythical dragon.

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    4. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Anna Ross

      Anna,

      Yes population growth makes the problem worse but it is completely false of you to say that it "is the problem".

      Even if population growth stopped immediately we would still be on a trajectory towards dangerous climate change. Furthermore we can walk (reduce emissions) and chew gum (address population growth) at the same time.

      Just because you may choose to bury your head in the sand and ignore what the over-whelming majority of climate scientists are telling us doesn't make the problem go away.

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    5. Michael Rowan

      Emeritus Professor at University of South Australia

      In reply to Anna Ross

      Global warming was predicted by Svante Arrhenuius, the Nobel prize winning Swedish physical chemist, in 1896. Was he a left winger? Silly question. He based his science on preceding physics - which, pending the discovery of some balancing cooling mechanism, will need to be seriously modified if increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere does not cause global warming. James Hansen argues that we need to deploy nuclear power as fast as possible as the only viable alternative to coal. Is he a left winger? Perhaps it might surprise you, but for many people and most scientists politics is not the basis of their views of how the world is or what should be done about it.

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    6. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Anna Ross

      There are any number of excellent sources of information which have not been written by politicians or commentators. Frankly I have no time for reading anything but the science. You, John Nicol, Geoff Henley, and Grant Mason ... you're all wrong and share a common trait. You can't come up with a credible alternate body of evidence, and play silly weasel word games. Despite the wealth of unanimous evidence to the contrary you will never read or try to comprehend what is happening, but you will try to slow any action which would mitigate some of the worse results of burning fossil fuels into the later part of the 21st century.
      You should all be ashamed.
      http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators#seaLevel
      https://royalsociety.org/~/media/Royal_Society_Content/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/climate-change-evidence-causes.pdf
      http://whatweknow.aaas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/AAAS-What-We-Know.pdf

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    7. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Anna Ross

      ".... This energy demand will not be filled with windmills etc so beloved of our lunatic Greens..."

      Why not? I guess you prefer coalmines and coal-fired power stations, so beloved by our lunatic coalition.

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    8. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Anna Ross

      Anna, you wonder why people treat you with contempt when you consider it reasonable to resort to abuse like 'lunatic Greens'?

      Why should anyone waste time answering crude, evidence-free abuse like this?

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    9. Anna Ross

      Healthcare professional

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Apart from you who is treating me with contempt?
      I am not wondering.
      The Greens represent the euro socialist broken model and it will be judged by history as lunatic.
      Government by Santa Clause has never worked anywhere.
      We will need conventional energy to feed and clothe the world, sorry but windmills won't do it. The demand for energy is going up not down.

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    10. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Anna Ross

      "The left dismisses any discussion about over-population as racist and tries to shut it down."

      I don't think this sort of behavior is confined to "the left".

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    11. Brad Farrant

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Anna Ross

      Anna,

      Please read Jonathan Sobels comment below and think about how the ideology that you are clinging to is dangerous and well past its use by date. We are coming up against physical limits and the rational thing to do is to change our behaviour so as to respect these physical limits rather than suicidally continue with business as usual as you advocate.

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    12. Grant Mason

      Business Owner

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      I should be ashamed! Your attacking mode has not worked and has aliented others where you should be trying to "bring them on board." In the last election 84% of people voted for a party that wanted to axe the carbon tax. This is a democracy. You will now have another few years to work your arguments up again.

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    13. Michael Rowan

      Emeritus Professor at University of South Australia

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Perhaps he is - and if so, should we be surprised? The left/right thing about global warming is a recent phenomenon and confined just to the US, Canada and Australia as a dominant structuring of the discussion. Even in the US the Republican Party's platform for the 2008 Presidential election took the issue seriously, calling for "technology-driven, market-based solutions that will decrease emissions, reduce excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, increase energy efficiency, mitigate the impact of climate change where it occurs, and maximize any ancillary benefits climate change might offer for the economy, as I showed here http://persuademe.com.au/will-prime-minister-abbott-be-guided-by-galileo-or-the-pope/

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  9. Jonathan Sobels

    Adjunct, Senior Research Fellow (Human Geography) at University of South Australia

    Dear Readers, For evidence of changing atmospheric temperatures due to human activities, see article at:

    www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1305332110

    Human and natural influences on the changing thermal structure of the atmosphere Benjamin D. Santera,1, Jeffrey F. Paintera, C line Bonfilsa, Carl A. Mearsb, Susan Solomonc, Tom M. L. Wigleyd,e, Peter J. Glecklera, Gavin A. Schmidtf, Charles Doutriauxa, Nathan P. Gillettg, Karl E. Taylora, Peter W. Thorneh, and Frank J. Wentzb

    It very…

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  10. Doug Hutcheson

    Poet

    "views should be given the weight they warrant" - golly, that would be a refreshing change. I applaud the actions of TC moderators in attempting to excise the absolute twaddle sometimes peddled here by some who oppose the conclusions science is leading us to. That is not being 'medieval' , it is giving those views the weight they warrant.

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  11. Tom Swann

    Master of Climate Change Program at Australian National University

    Corporate chiefs - and university Vice Chancellors? Chubb implemented a range of climate action measures at ANU when he was VC. Would he now support divesting from fossil fuels?

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  12. Susan Nolan

    retired

    At least this gathering of corporate CEOs provided an opportunity for the Chief Scientist to put his views into the public domain.

    I don't know whether the corporate CEOs the Chief Scientist was addressing will take up his challenge for them to speak out. Even if only a few of them do, it would be good.

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  13. Comment removed by moderator.

  14. Gavin Pereira

    Yale School of Public Health, NHMRC Sidney Sax Fellow

    A well-written article by Michelle Grattan on well-pitched opinion by Ian Chubb. Let's hope we can move from debate (and name calling) to action.

    The climate is changing as it always has, but there is also an anthropogenic component to this change. The effects extend beyond warming to influence our broader environment, economy, health and wellbeing. These effects will vary temporally and geographically.

    Action is everyone's responsibility. Still, some of us are more influential than others, but without us they won't act.

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