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Climate Change Submission

By Keith Antonysen  

Below is my submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry of Zali Steggall’s Climate Bill.

The science of climate change has a long history with it beginning in the 1820s through Joseph Fourier. In 1856 Eunice Foote began experimenting with carbon dioxide and water vapour, three years before John Tyndall. By the 1970s the science of climate change was quite well developed, it has become far more sophisticated since through the development of major technologies such as satellites; and the ability to understand ice cores, pollen, tree rings, coral, soil, rocks and more exhibiting huge age ranges.

Physics and Chemistry have enabled scientists to understand what had occurred in past epochs, knowledge created through paleoclimatology has developed to very impressive levels over the last few years. In other words, the steady increase in understanding of climate means that lay person sceptics have nothing to offer in relation to the science. Sceptical opinion by lay people is worthless in relation to Physics, Chemistry and other supporting science disciplines.

Fifty years ago, when I was twenty-one years old scientists spoke about what we could expect, we are now seeing those predictions happening.

Yale Connections has provided the costs of major extreme events in September and October of 2020. Extreme events are amplified by climate change, for example, a months’ worth or even several months’ worth of rainfall can occur within a few hours causing extreme flooding. There are many examples continually occurring. Appropriately qualified fire fighters around Earth agree that fire seasons are becoming longer, and wildfires are becoming much fiercer. Droughts are also creating huge costs, even in the Amazon Basin.

While there are huge financial costs, at times causing multiple billions of dollars of damage per event; these costs do not take into account the health and psychological damage done to communities and individuals.

One of many references in relation to the speed of climate change stated by climate scientist Scott Denning where he states … “At the end of the last Ice Age, 18,000 years ago, the world warmed about 5 degrees Celsius (10 F) over 10,000 years. That’s a rate of 0.1 degree per century.” Other epochs display similar worrying far slower changes in temperature increase compared to current times.

Since the Industrial Revolution global temperature has increased by 1 degree Celsius, in some regions the temperature has exceeded the 1 degree Celsius range.

While COVID-19 has caused huge costs in a short period, climate change promises higher costs over a long term; with time the risk factors increase. The hope is the Committee will endorse Zali Steggall’s Climate Bill, the evidence is in that climate change is happening at an increasing rate; and we owe it to our children and young people generally to take action.

Bibliography

Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago, Scientific American, October 26, 2015.

How Antarctic ice can help us travel back in time, Science Focus, January 15, 2021.

Amazon Fires Cause Brazil’s CO2 Emissions to Jump Amid Pandemic, Bloomberg Green, November 07, 2020.

Getting to the Heart of the (Particulate) Matter: NASA’s MAIA to Study How Particulate Matter Air Pollution Affects Our Health, NASA, October 21, 2020.

Report shows climate change imperils the U.S. financial system, PHYS ORG, October 30, 2020.

Clouds of Concern Linger as Wildfires Drag into Flu Season and Covid-19 Numbers Swell, Inside Climate News, October 24, 2020.

State of the climate: 2020 on course to be warmest year on record, CarbonBrief, October 23, 2020.

Driver of the largest mass extinction in the history of the Earth identified, PHYS ORG, October 19, 2020.

‘Apocalyptic’ fires are ravaging the world’s largest tropical wetland, nature, September 25, 2020.

Demand for cooling is blind spot for climate and sustainable development, CarbonBrief, October 19, 2020.

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12 comments

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  1. guest

    Keith Antoysen,

    a brief and concise summary, condensing so much.

    But when you mention costs, some scribes want to write only about economics, which is rather limiting.

    The Climate Targets Panel tells us (theguardian.com, 28/1/2021) that: “A 2030 target between 50% and 74% is needed to limit global heating to 2C and 1.5C respectively.”

    That has put the cat among the pigeons!

  2. Yes Minister

    The basic problem with climate change is that recognition / acknowledgement of it threatens the profitability of fossil fuel industries.

    Needless to say, the goon squad of the Donald, Boris and SCUMMO have always pandered to denialism and hence the dinosaur companies which considerable ‘inducements’ to the organized crime gang trading as ‘government’

    Hopefully the demise of the Donald and the rise of Biden will usher in a more enlightened era.

  3. wam

    The basic problem of climate is it is measured by an average of weather over a generation. Therefore climate is always changing and always has changed since long before man was around. QED climate change is natural and not man made..
    Greenhouse gases create a greenhouse effect.
    Man produces greenhouse gases QED man is responsible for reducing them?
    Simple, the need to cut gases is REAL?

  4. Keith

    wam

    Consider Scot Denning’s comment “At the end of the last Ice Age, 18,000 years ago, the world warmed about 5 degrees Celsius (10 F) over 10,000 years. That’s a rate of 0.1 degree per century.” Parts of Earth are more than 1C warmer now, after a 150 years.
    Climate scientists through paleo- climate science are working with data taking into account data more than one generation old. Weather patterns 30 years ago were not doing damage to Earth as they are now … the last figures I have seen are in the $ billions in weather damage for 2020. What is not taken into account is the amount of human suffering created by such damage through lives lost, severe injuries, homes lost, infrastructure damaged, businesses lost and unemployment created.

    From Yale Climate Connections: “The combined economic losses (insured and uninsured) from all 416 weather and earthquake disasters cataloged by Aon in 2020 was $268 billion (2020 USD). Most of the 2020 total, by far, came from weather-related disasters ($258 billion), 29% above the 2001-2020 inflation-adjusted average. Those numbers make 2020 the fifth costliest year on record for weather-related disasters.”

    https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2021/01/world-hammered-by-record-50-billion-dollar-weather-disasters-in-2020/

    NOAA has provided an analysis also of the cost of weather patterns and how the number of severe events are escalating.

    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/

  5. wam

    Keith, I totally agree with you, The majority of deniers are not denying climate is changing but they believe the climate changes naturally which is a FACT.
    Therefore they are denying that MAN is responsible for global warming.
    If you consider those deniers and lnp voters who reside in the left half of the bell curve, surely your weather approach is preferable over the confusing ‘climate change’ where explanations like this are beyond such a denier: It is of course true that, in a complex system like climate, it is virtually impossible to prove a negative; i.e., that natural processes are not causing the current warming. What we can do is eliminate every possible natural explanation that can be posited. Thermodynamics tells us that the warming of the Earth’s lower atmosphere must arise from one or more processes that supply excess heat to the lower atmosphere. Besides the greenhouse effect, the viable processes are (1) increased output from the sun; (2) increased absorption of heat from the sun due to a change in the Earth’s planetary reflectivity or “albedo”; and (3) an internal variation in the climate system that transfers heat from one part of the Earth to the atmosphere. Direct observations confirm that none of these explains the observed warming over the latter half of the 20th century. For example there has been no appreciable change in solar output over the past two decades (see Figure 1). So, Keith if we talk global warming through weather and melting ice we can show man is influencing the greenhouse effect. If we add that why venus is the hottest planet, we may get through to george and craig. oops sorry to descend to flying pork level.

  6. Al

    Positive action there Keith. I too made a sub, focusing on global technology developments that can help reduce emissions. My sub was online for a while but the ref link now goes nowhere. I cited ExxonMobil and an associated report on Geo-Engineering, Carbon Dioxide Removal and Solar Radiation Management (SRM).

    One suggestion I floated was that any future studies of CC should investigate the role of SRM. I probably shouldn’t have recommended the 2011 doco ‘What on Earth are they spraying?’

    I sent a copy of my sub to the Greens. Are they playing dumb on SAI & chemtrails? That is one question I have.

  7. guest

    AI, what you are writing about is old thinking – most of it just from well-meaning people, Nobel awarded people such as Paul Crutzen et al., which might have some temporary positive effect – accompanied by other negative effects. (see Tony Eggleton,”A Short Introduction to Climate Change”, pp 207-209 on Geo-Engineering, Cambridge University Press, 2013)

    Eggleton writes p 209: “Katherine Rick of Carnegie Mellon University in the Unite States and her colleagues have modelled the impact on temperature and global rainfall that would be caused by a sulfate sunshield, tactfully called ‘solar-radiation management’ [SRM]. They agree that the use of this technology would reduce the extremes of temperature and rainfall, but that both cannot be stabilised together while atmospheric CO2 increases. Furthermore, achieving stability of climate worldwide would not be possible, so one region might benefit at the expense of another. This is not a good scenario for political quiet.”

    Here might be reasons why your submission was not successful. But at least you are searching for answers, as other people are.

    Other suggestions have been made, such as a huge reflective sunshield, but there are consequences which rule them out.

  8. guest

    Morrison has just announced his amazing flip on climate policy which is much praised for its pragmatism and calm slow moving, measured implementation, arriving at zero emissions by 2050, or there-abouts. With no real explanation of how – except for the unexplained use of “technology” and not much mention of the role of coal and gas.

    This, says Morrison, has killed the “debate” about climate change.

    Well, no it has not. Rather, we are going to see a thorough interrogation of this “policy” and we can expect some huff and bluster in reply, perhaps some tears.

  9. Al

    Hi guest, thanks for the reply. I didn’t make it clear that when I cited ExxonMobil and the SRM solution in my sub, I did that so I could go on to trash the SRM ‘thought experiment’ as mounted by those who are now simultaneously denying, yet are actively involved in, Stratospheric Aerosol Injection work. Adding a link to the ‘What on Earth are They Spraying’ doco was probably a bridge too far.
    I don’t know if any organization today will ever test the aluminium, barium, strontium, etc nano-particulate residues in vegetation or waterways. I heard that a number of years ago our govt did such tests but for some reason they stopped. It seems pollution belongs in the too-hard-to-explain basket, better to imitate an ostrich.
    These days I see man-made cirrus clouds about 5-6 days per week. 30 years ago cirrus clouds would only appear after a HIGH moved across the continent, once every couple of weeks or so. There is so much fine metallic powder in the air today the sun tends to get chunky jagged edges at times. Watch movies pre-1990 and you will see bluer skies and a circular sun much more defined and contrasted in its presence.
    As far as Morrison adopting changes to CC policy, tell him it will increase house prices. Watch him act pronto.

  10. guest

    Stranger and stranger, AI.

    Thank you for your reply about RSM and the spraying of substances into the air,which sound lacking in consideration of consequences. I thought all that had been rejected.

    How do you pick an artificial cirrus cloud from a natural cirrus cloud?

  11. Al

    guest, if you can find a library of aerial photos pre-dating 1990 that will give you an idea of what natural cirrus clouds looked like. Most cirrus clouds today have a spindly spider web appearance.
    They can be laid by piloted or autonomous aircraft and the original linear shape of the trail over the course of time will adopt a shape according to wind patterns.
    I read that a given aerosol cloud can stay aloft between 2 days – 12 months or more, dependent on particulate sizing, chemical(s) used and weather during that time. Sometimes I see contrails but they dissipate within 10 minutes. I have only seen jets laying chemtrails in Aus skies 3 times in the last 18 months. The altitude they typically operate at is way above that used by passenger jets. Plus ‘sorties’ can be flown night, over oceans or deserts then who would know?
    The whole idea does sound “lacking in consideration of consequences” until you understand the likely outcomes those dropping the chemicals want to achieve. In their paranoid and sick minds it makes perfect sense.

  12. guest

    Sorry, AI, I do not follow such conspiracy stories written by artificial intelligence.

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