Statement on Senator-elect Malcolm Roberts and Climate Science Statement

Aug 07, 2016 - 11:39am

Senator-elect Malcolm Roberts has made a number of statements regarding climate science and empirical evidence. There is abundant evidence that heat trapping greenhouse gases are in the atmosphere at record levels, this is causing the climate to change, and this is impacting on natural and human systems now.

Insiders host Barrie Cassidy referred to an email sent by TCI to Insiders ahead of the program. Here are some of the facts highlighted in that email:

1. On empirical evidence, 80 academies of science around the world have confirmed the mainstream science of climate change. The Australian Academy of Science published an extensive analysis – their chapter on human causes of climate change is here. It shows the evidential pathways for establishing the human contribution to climate change and that recent climate change can’t be understood without an impact from human activities. It dismisses suggestions that volcanic and solar impacts overwhelm human impacts in recent times.

2. More detail from the thousands of scientists involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process (yes, a collaborative effort – but one across multiple disciplines of science) is here. This has been reviewed and accepted by over 190 governments

3. No one denies CO2 can be helpful for plant growth and our planet would be an ice ball without it (and has been at low levels) but any drinker on a Friday night can tell you - you can have too much of a good thing. Empirical measurements show that CO2 in the atmosphere is 40% higher than before the industrial revolution (see p11 here).

4. Warming theories aside, empirical evidence is showing the ocean, which is absorbing large amounts of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is having a straight chemical effect with noticeable increase in acidification, explained well by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority here.

5. Science has established since 1859 the atmospheric heat trapping qualities of CO2 – John Tyndall – more of it will increase warming…

6. His closing line with Rafael Epstein ABC 774 (6/8/16) on UN “definitely” trying to establish global government through climate change is demonstrably false at the very least in the current Paris Framework. The Paris model is nationally driven where targets countries adopt are formally called “nationally determined commitments”. Countries determine what they want to commit to. Some are OK, most are inadequate like Australia’s, and some are downright shabby like Saudi Arabia – no global control there…

7. An important backgrounder on the Senator-elect from The Guardian’s Graham Readfearn is worth reading: here.

8. If it’s not a coordinated conspiracy, a term he appears to rail against, it is a remarkable effort from those banking families he fears – everyone, including the Pentagon, are apparently toeing the line

9. A nice simple 5 min Youtube video on this from the scientists at Skeptical Science including reference to empirical evidence here. John Cook provides more detail in this piece on The Conversation 5 August 2016.

10. It is worth asking the Senator-elect why he thinks 2015 was the warmest year on record, why 2014 was, and why this year is heading to break that record again. These facts, and more empirical evidence, were set out by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration three days ago, their State of the Climate Report here.  

The Climate Institute published a primer on Carbon in 2012 and can connect you with climate scientists should you require.

Media enquiries: Brinsley Marlay 0422 140 555

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