Greenpeace shows no evidenceRichard Treadgold | March 31, 2012
The NZ Herald published this article recently by Carmen Gravatt, the campaigns director at Greenpeace New Zealand.
I’m not well informed on the energy scene, but I want to comment on her outrageously distorted presentation of climate change. I reserve the right to complain to the NZ Press Council about the Herald allowing her space to spread this manifest nonsense about global warming.
First she says:
… the world is about to lose the chance to stop the global average temperature from soaring – uncontrollably – beyond two degrees.
Nobody – count them: nobody – in the IPCC predicts that global temperatures will soar “uncontrollably” if they rise by 2°C. If Miss Gravatt is unaware of that fact, she is singularly unprepared for the demands of her position.
No climate scientist anywhere, to my knowledge, claims that uncontrolled warming could occur at all. It has never occurred before, in 4.5 billion years. This is outright alarmism. If the Herald is in doubt about these facts, let them ring one of the climate scientists at NIWA. Then explain to their readers why they didn’t make the call before this unscientific twaddle went to press.
This doesn’t touch on global warming, but Miss Gravatt blatantly mischaracterises the nature of our oil use when she says:
But the reserves in the likes of the Middle East will never be able to meet the enormous demand created by the profligate use of oil for transport and energy generation.
To describe our use of oil for transport and electricity generation, the two greatest boons of our age, as “profligate” makes me wonder how she sees in her house at night; how she gets to the office in the morning and how she travels to those overseas climate conferences. Does she consider all those activities, performed by any person, to be a profligate use of energy?
Then she says enigmatically:
given the increasing ravages of climate change
Carmen, would you mind mentioning some of these “ravages” you refer to? Because actually the only ravages the scientists talk about are in the future. They are, at the present, imaginary; one could say they are prospective; they are, of a certainty, far from real. Scientists concur that it is impossible to declare that any particular weather event was caused by global warming. So any ravage was not a globally warmed ravage.
The only predictions of ravages come from computer models. There is no other evidence for them. There are, in consequence, many of us who don’t believe they will occur. So when you refer to them, I am drawn to ask: what are you talking about?
Finally, she refers to:
the melting Arctic
Considering the floating sea ice has recovered in each succeeding year from the low of five years ago, it’s extremely mischievous to describe it still as “melting”. For it melts every year. It melts by about 60% to 70% in the summer, but recovers again in the following winter. Since 2007 it’s been growing back.
Miss Gravatt’s claim that drilling for oil “will only drive climate change further” has no basis in fact. For one thing, she surely does not mean to imply that the mere drilling for oil affects the climate.
But, for another, there is no evidence that burning the oil thus produced will measurably affect the climate by warming it, much less warm it dangerously.
Carmen, you’re required to produce evidence for alarming claims such as these. What is it?
The time limit for complaining to the Press Council is one calendar month. Two weeks left for an email. I’ll think about it. What do readers think?