In the local newspaper The Canberra Times (which is pretty good in its print edition but hopelessly inadequate in its online version) this letter appeared in the 30 September edition:

It’s interesting that the only part of the climate change policy not up for inspection is whether such nonsense exists (“Pleas for no more delay on carbon“, September 29, p1).

For 20 years, climate warmists have used their computer models to tell us that doom will strike if we do not do something. Perhaps the warmists could tell us which of their predictions over the past 20 years have been proven true. The one enjoy is that within 15 years the Pacific Island nations will disappear underwater. I was told that, based on a computer model, in 1992. Eighteen years later all the islands are still there, and I am still told that they will disappear in 15 years. Senator Bob Brown is becoming the emperor with no clothes, but that will not stop his party doing its best to destroy our economy to prove a point.

Brian Hatch, Red Hill

(For anyone from outside Australia, Senator Bob Brown is the parliamentary leader of the Australian Greens party.)

In response, I wrote this, which appeared in the 4 October edition:

Brian Hatch (Letters, September 30) unwittingly answers his own
question: the reason why climate deniers are ignored in serious
climate policy discussion is because they have abandoned any rational,
evidence-based perspective of the evidence. Brian mentions a single
unnamed projection from 1992 in vague terms and immediately leaps to
the desired conclusion: that the entire science of climate modelling
is suspect. In reality, climate models – computer programs that
simulate global climate – have proven extraordinarily successful.

Climate models have for some time now projected a long term warming
trend at a rate of roughly 0.2 degrees per decade; this has been
comprehensively confirmed in real world observations, with the trend
since the 1970s clocking in at around 0.18 degrees per decade.

Models predicted that warming would be greatest in the Arctic region,
would be larger over land areas than the sea surface, would be larger
at night than in the day, and that as the troposphere (the bottom
layer of the atmosphere) warmed, the stratosphere would cool. All of
these have been confirmed through painstaking and rigorous

And all the major climate models have been tested on the past: using
known physics and known variations such as volcanic eruptions and
changes in the sun’s output, not to mention increases in greenhouse
gases and other factors, models have been able to reproduce the
recorded changes in global climate over the last century with
remarkable accuracy.

The evidence for global warming is strongly based on direct
observations of the world, not simply on computer projections; but the
only chance we have of predicting future climate is with computer
models. It’s necessarily an inexact science, and is continually
developing, but it has so far proven highly effective at its task.

Overall a reasonable response, I think, though I regret the rather clumsy “evidence-based perspective of the evidence” … must pay more attention to proofreading these letters before sending them 🙂