Look out, New Zealand! You are soon to be hit by hordes of Australians fleeing climate-change traumas! Says who? Says climate-and-health scientist Associate Professor Simon Hales, of the University of Otago, speaking under the auspices of the Australian Academy of Science and, indirectly, the Royal Society (UK). His venue was an Academy High Flyers Think Tank in Brisbane last month.
In an Academy video of conference highlights, he says (at 2.48)
“In NZ we are very worried about a potential influx of Australians, you know, escaping heat waves and lack of water and infectious diseases…”
I emailed NZ Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse and the NZ High Commissioner in Canberra, Chris Seed, with these urgent queries:
- How concerned is the NZ government about a major influx of Australian immigrants seeking to escape adverse climate change impacts in Australia?
- Are you aware of any influx to NZ already of Australians seeking to escape climate change impacts?
- What contingency plans has your government, if any, to deal with such an influx in future?
They failed to respond, although the minister let me know that my email was important and would be read and considered carefully. I now discover that, according to the New Zealand Royal Society, Dr Hales is a Nobel winner. This, says the Society, is because he (and other New Zealand scientists) worked for the IPCC, which won half a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. As the Society puts it,
“Only three New Zealanders have won Nobel Prizes for science before, Alan MacDiarmid, Maurice Wilkins, and Ernest Rutherford. Our IPCC members are our first winners of the prize for peace. We can be proud that our researchers are doing work that is not just at a world-class standard, but is vital to the security of humanity.”
Good for the Society, New Zealand, Dr Hales et al! Except the Society is 100% wrong: Hales and his colleagues have no claim to a Nobel whatsoever, even the “Peace” version, of which Yasser Arafat and Barack Obama were at least genuine recipients. The IPCC explicitly bans its workers from claiming Nobel status. I’m not blaming Hales for the Society’s encomium, by the way.
Getting back to the Think Tank, the Academy hit fresh depths for climate alarmism. Its previous low was taking $55,600 from Prime Minister Rudd’s Department of Climate Change in 2010 to subsidise its “independent” booklet reviewing climate science, which has since gone out to 200,000 primary and secondary students.
The Brisbane Think Tank was entitled “Climate change challenges to health: risks and opportunities”. I did learn something from it. Dr Margaret Loughnan, a Monash health geographer, described (at 1.50) what’s actually going on now in indoctrination of our primary school students:
“I have quite a few friends who are primary teachers and they are ringing me up and saying, ‘What is this about climate change? We have to teach climate change. We don’t know how to teach climate change. We have no text at all to teach Grade 3, so how do we teach?’
“From what I gather those poor teachers are blundering around in the dark and trying to get things off the internet to teach our children. It’s something that needs a little bit more attention.”
The Academy’s acknowledged purpose was to place activism ahead of science:
“The Australian Academy of Science has gathered 60 researchers in order to raise concerns about climate change as it relates to public health. The main purpose of the newly formed think-tank is to influence government response, but also public awareness about what increases in temperature and changes in weather patterns can mean for personal wellbeing.” (author’s emphasis).
Not one of the 60 Think Tank participants seems to have queried the gathering’s premises, includingthe demonstrably false (or misleading) statement, “General global warming has been observed over the past several decades.”
The Think Tankers were sure that climate change in the next decades will put the lives and wellbeing of “billions of people” at risk. This claim was based on apocalyptic forecasts in a musty 2009 Lancet article co-authored by one of the Think Tank chairpersons, Sharon Friel.
Local (presumed) effects were spelt out by the Think Tank, including “destabilizing, unregulated population movements in Asia and the Pacific”. Cross-border ripple effects would require regional solutions and jeopardise “stability of nation states” with “large-scale displacement of people in Asia.” But don’t panic! “State collapse and de-stabilising internal conflicts are a more likely outcome than interstate war.”
This all reminds me of the UN Environmental Program forecast in 2005 of 50 million climate-change refugees by 2010. When not a single one had materialized by 2010, UNEP furtively changed its target date to 2020.
Global warming in the past 100 years amounts to a mere 0.8 degC. It’s hard to see how this rise has hurt anyone’s health – Melbourne’s fickle temperatures often swing 10 degrees in a day, and sometimes in less than an hour As for future health effects, the IPCC report confessed that 111 of its 114 climate models are running too hot (IPCC AR5, Chapter 9, Box 9.2). Extrapolating these flawed model forecasts to future health impacts is a stretch.
The Academy managed not only to echo the IPCC’s melting-Himalayan-glacier howler of the 2007 Report, but added a howler of its own:
In South Asia the two main water sources for hundreds of millions, the Brahmaputra and Indus rivers, derive one-third of their flow from the annual thaw of the Tibetan glacier, which is losing mass as warming proceeds.
“The Tibetan glacier”? Sorry, Academy, but at last count there were 46,000 Tibetan glaciers.
As another indication of how far the Think Tank veered from reality, here’s one of its “Questions to get you thinking”:
“Should climate change be dealt with by a single government department? Or would it be better for all government departments to assess the impact of climate change on their respective portfolios and, if so, how?”
Sorry, Academy! The new sheriff in your town has abolished your Climate Change Department.
The Think Tank was inspired by bits at the back of the 5th IPCC report wildly speculating on what “climate change” might do to Australia 20 years to 80 years from now. In fact, the IPCC models have been forecasting more than double the actual rate of Australian warming for the past quarter century. The actual Australian warming is running at a rate of a mere 1.1 degrees per century.
The top Think Tankers have enjoyed academic publishing careers premised on the veracity of these IPCC modeling forecasts, which they then apply to forecasts involving some specialty of their own. A bit of confirmation bias about global warming is to be expected, given these people’s jobs and grants are on the line.
Buzzwords such as “solastalgia” were thrown around. That one was coined by an eco-catastrophist Glenn Albrecht at Murdoch University, to cover the melancholia and desolation he felt when looking at Upper Hunter power stations. Try doing without a reliable baseload power, Glenn.
Any storm, drought or flood was grist to the Think Tank’s climate-change mill. Apparently these events never happened before the IPCC era. To rattle off just a few alleged climate-change disasters claimed by the Think Tank: the Queensland floods, cyclones Yasi and Haiyan, the 2001-08 drought and Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, Hurricane Katrina, the European heatwaves of 2003…
And there was this as well:
“Approximately 600 000 deaths occurred worldwide as a result of weather-related natural disasters in the 1990s.”
In fact, the IPCC itself notes that climate change may even reduce extreme weather events. It also says any slight effects of C02 emissions on extreme events in the next 20-30 years will be swamped by natural variability:
- “Projected changes in climate extremes under different emissions scenarios generally do not strongly diverge in the coming two to three decades, but these signals are relatively small compared to natural climate variability over this time frame. Even the sign of projected changes in some climate extremes over this time frame is uncertain”
The eminence grise behind the Brisbane exercise was ANU Emeritus Professor Tony McMichael, “one of the world leading experts on health and climate change” and “the father of climate change and health research”. When fellow gurus, like Dr David Karoly, attribute 140,000 deaths a year to climate change, they are basing it on a chapter by McMichael in 2000 in a World Health Organisation compendium. In it, McMichael cheerfully conceded his key climate figures were “at this stage, predominantly a model-based exercise … rather than direct experience” (p1561). He also conceded that “little emphasis has been given to the validation of models relating climate change to health.” (p1549).
Elsewhere, McMichael has given his credence to laughable predictions of 10-12deg global warming from human-caused CO2. But how seriously has he researched this stuff? He wrote a month ago:
“Surely the dreadful heat we have suffered from in recent heatwaves, and the awful bushfires that have terrified rural communities in the past couple of years are telling us that something is going very wrong.”
Scientist friends say it’s probably because we’re making the world hotter by adding ‘greenhouse gases’ into the air. So we are seriously harming the world around us and yet we understand how! (My emphasis).
He bangs on:
“It’s hard to imagine that people are doing so much damage to the natural world. It’s sad when a society like ours can’t see further than its bank balance and stumbles blindly into a future when children won’t be able to enjoy the flowing rivers, mountain snow, coloured birds and bush animals. Don’t we have any responsibility for other creatures, forests and rivers? I’m rather ashamed of our behaviour.”
Remember, this is not a weepy teenager writing, but a world-leading climate/health guru recently running an Academy think-tank for high flyers.
One of the session rapporteurs was Monash’s Dr Ailie Gallant, of “I’m a climate f—g scientist” fame.
Here’s her own inner-scientist talking:
“I feel nervous. I get worried and anxious, but also a little curious. The curiosity is a strange, paradoxical feeling that I sometimes feel guilty about. After all, this is the future of the people I love.
“I get angry at the invalid opinions that are all-pervasive in this age of indiscriminant (sic) information, where evidence seems to play second fiddle to whomever can shout the loudest. I often feel like shouting…But would that really help? I feel like they don’t listen anyway. After all, we’ve been shouting for years.
“I will keep doing my work. I will keep shouting in my own little way. I will be optimistic that we will do something about this, collectively. I live in hope that the climate changes on the graphs that I stare into every day wont be as bad as my data tells me…”
What! Hasn’t she seen the RSS satellite graph showing no warming for 17 years and 10 months?
The Think Tank will report its findings to the Academy late this year and (participants hope) will reverse the nation’s growing suspicion that climate scientists are, as a whole, deranged. I have written their report for them, below, to save them trouble.
- Heat and extreme events will increase, and cause worse bushfires and make people sicker in mind and body.
- Disease-causing bugs will spread faster
- Fresh water will get scarce and cut food output
- Regions will become less liveable, with the poor and disadvantaged suffering most
- Climate refugees will surge from place to place (including from Australia to NZ), while communities and states increase conflict levels, although NZ may not actually declare war on Australia. All this conflict will make people physically and mentally unwell.
- That’ll do, because we all deserve a good lie-down and a Bex.
Tony Thomas blogs at tthomas061.wordpress.com