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GLOBAL COOLING! August 22, 2014

Posted by wmmbb in Global Warming (climate change), Global Warming Politics.

Maurice Newman, former head of the Stock Exchange, former Chairman of the ABC, and now the Prime Minister’s principle Business Advisor, holds the intriguing view that the Earth’s climate is cooling. He is more contrarian than denier.  What is the basis of this world view? Does it matter?

How did the potentially calamitous state of the climate system leading towards cooling escape the notice of the climate scientists? As with global warming, it might be expected the evidence of a cooling trend would showing up everywhere in subtle and not so subtle effects. There should be scientific research suggesting that there are contrary indications to the  prevailing theory of system climate change. If this evidence was been found the expectation would be that it would be news and we would have heard about long before now. Otherwise, of course, there is a conspiracy.
Tristan Edis at Climate Speculator poses: “Is Maurice Newman a nutter or a genius?” He writes (15 August 2014):

Given Newman has described the widespread concern with human-induced climate change as a religious belief rather than based on sound science, this might come as a bit of a surprise.

However, Newman believes the risk is not climate change that leads to warming of the planet but rather abrupt cooling. According to Newman there is a scientific and media cover-up at work that is suppressing acknowledgement that work involving the world’s most powerful atomic particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, has validated the hypothesis that, “the sun alters the climate by influencing cosmic ray influx and cloud formation” which overwhelms any influence from greenhouse gases.

Newman suggests that the warm temperatures the Earth has been experiencing in the last few decades are due to unusually active solar activity and this is likely to come to abrupt end, plunging the planet into dangerous cooling. Newman notes:

If the world does indeed move into a cooling period, its citizens are ill-prepared. …It is interesting to contemplate how the West would handle the geopolitical and humanitarian challenges brought on by a colder climate’s shorter growing seasons and likely food shortages. Abundance is conducive to peace. However, a scenario where nations are desperately competing for available energy and food will bring unpredictable threats, far more testing than anything we have seen in recent history.

Newman suggests that it is critical the public accept the need to curtail government programs in areas such as social services and the environment because we need to funnel more money into the military to be ready for this increased probability of conflict.

Tristan Edis then goes on to suggest that Maurice Newman may well have gaps in “their knowledge and their understanding of atmospheric science”. Many – particularly the political opponents of the climate change denying Prime Minister – have piled in on Mr Newman for its contrarian position. There is a concern that because of his prominent position he could be influential. As well he, and the Prime Minister, have the privilege of access to the best informed people in the country.

There is something in that concern. In a democracy there is a sense we should expect, if not welcome contrary views, publicly stated. Admittedly, this was on the pages of The Australian, which I would never buy and do not have assess to. Yet there is a requirement of fairness and due diligence before imputing the integrity of science to seek out information that may question the contention.

One way to test the contention might be to look for evidence of the effect in the extra terrestrial atmospheres of the solar system:

Venus, and Mars, for similar reasons may not be good candidates:

Of Saturn’s moons, Titan may be too far away from the Sun, with far too much carbon dioxide:

Obviously if the suspect conspiracy can be found, we will have “to curtail government programs in areas such as social services and the environment because we need to funnel more money into the military to be ready for this increased probability of conflict.”

Conveniently, the corporatist-neoliberal ideology turns over the exact cards to match the rest of the agenda. Otherwise it may be necessary to consider why the polar ice is melting, the relationship of the atmospheric water vapour to the levels of carbon dioxide, and all of related evidence for anthropogenic global warming. Who knew the Earth’s atmosphere was peculiarly susceptible to cosmic radiation?


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