The Editor
Coober Pedy Regional Times

Dear Editor
It is very worrying that Senator Steve Fielding has returned from his fact-finding mission to the USA with his confidence in the opinions of the Heartland Institute about climate change.

It is understandable that such a busy person as Senator Fielding might not have the time to check on the background of this organisation.

The Heartland Institute is funded by fossil fuel and tobacco industries. It has become quite famous for its continuing campaign to show that smoking is not a health hazard. Its other current campaign is to prevent any regulatory limits on the profitability of the fossil fuel industries.

Unfortunately, Senator Fielding hasn’t yet had time to pursue his fact-finding with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with scientific institutes in USA and other countries, or even with Australia’s CSIRO or with the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW.

A thorough explanation of climate change would show that the current warming of the atmosphere, in tandem with increasing C02, is happening over a 100 year period – very brief conmpared to the 1000 year warmings of past ages.

The effects of El Nino’s over the past decade also have to be considered.  The theories that cosmic rays and solar flares have caused the gradual warming – these theories have been discredited by reputable scientists.

I am sure that Senator Fielding will continue his fact-finding about global warming. It is just too serious a problem to be brushed aside, and have no action taken to address it.
Christina Macpherson
Vic 3070

7 replies »

  1. Well done Christina,

    … for filling us in on something which seems now so obvious, but back then appeared to be some public benefit motivated scheme…and then you read the news reports and they dont exactly go outside of the mean, in terms of depth that is and editorial honesty and clarity, I guess its called the media game…he who controls the media controls the game and he that owns it cash’s the advertising cheques and their business partner the governments take their share as royalties and taxes…not a bad business…only problem is, what about our share and what about future generations that have just as big a stake as commercial investors, even though they cant buy space in the papers…

    As they say…”better to plant a tree in a forest than to waste energy writing a letter to Peter Garrett”

    Steve Fielding may have slipped up in this case but full cheers to him for battling bottle recycling refunds and hopefully he has got the message on these cheap stunts to hire PR companies to invent policies while in reality they are doing nothing.

  2. Christina has overlooked four points.
    The Hearland institute funds the meetings but the scientists speaking are independant researchers many working for governments and part of the IPCC 2500 scientists. Thats right many are partial nobel award winners and do not accept CO2 causes climate change. during the past 1,000 years the 1200 – 1400 was when the vikings colonised greenland and the worlds temp was 2 degrees warmer than today. By the 1700s they had left and the little ice age was in full swing – 2 degrres colder than today & the Thames would freeze each year.

  3. The final point is that the sun spot cycle has a correlation with global temperatures. When the cycle is 13 years the wolds temp decreases. When it is 9 years it gets warmer. The average is 11years. the latest sun spot cycle is over 13 years and has not finished yet. In Time it will be obvious CO2 is not the cause of global warming – we are going to wreck our economy for no reason if we get an ETS.

  4. Yes yes yes, the eternal battle of the scientists, but what about the common man?

    The person who realises that burning coal is a bit ancient, but because powerful lobbies protect their lodes, that’s what we do. We burn and waste fossil fuels because that’s where the money is, but it’s also creating wastes.

    Without attending a UN Conference on Climate Change you can smell a city and drive through the boundary of the stench. That’s the unsung reality of Climate Change that the publicity is so expensive there is little left for the funding of actual change and it would take more policy shifts to make it so.

    The solar arguments have merit in any discussion of earth’s climate but the issues go well beyond the weather. In small towns and communities and over crowded cities, the effects of bad energy planning are well known. When policy plants a tree or helps a little person that we know, then we are on track, but when parliament and the newspapers descend into kindergarten chaos, we know we will have a certain mess to clean up.

    Lets rise above the rhetoric and look at the local effect.

  5. I’m not an expert on climate change but can’t help noticing the clash of the Titan’s occurring over the correct analysis of what is happening in the world. I fancy climate change is a natural occurrence of evolution, which appears to be being accelerated by massive pollution at many levels.

    It would appear that methods are being implemented, which take advantage of this ongoing rhetorical speak-fest making it difficult for the voting public to assess who has the most acurate information, with all angles appearing to have compelling arguments. More like a competition with no prize at the end.

    None of this is solving the problem of why our rivers are drying up and why the powers that be across the globe are sacrificing lives in dangerous mining industries which create contamination, ongoing waste disposal problems, dislocating people and communities, using water we clearly don’t have and massive land theft with contempt for indigenous people. It all equates to GREED AND POWER. Over what? Other peaceful humans? AND THEN WHAT??

    In Australia, toxic industries at the coal face are being painted as clean, however water contamination which appears a by product of industry is ignored. Perhaps is not ignored. Maybe it is the new genocide in clearing out communities.

    First the aborigines were cleared from their lands to make way for white people. Now whites are also in the way, so this is no longer a racial issue apart from the obvious land ownership problem, blatantly being exploited before our astonished eyes. Pressing on with this land grab like robots on a mission.

    Looking at the localised effect as in the comment above, is something that is constantly overlooked by many scientists.

    Jobs to die for! Workers involved in the coal industry and nearby communties, historically have high sickness and death rates directly related to that industry. Despite some may ‘appear’ outwardly cleaner these days, the coal industry is still yet another emitter of the deadly radon gas which is launched into the atmosphere and left to travel for 3.8 days to any location the wind chooses.

    Of course Radon lasts for many years in water as we are hearing has happened in the South Australian area where more industry will compound this existing problem.

    And what of those workers who are upheaving soils which have been acknowledged as contaminated with plutionium and other deadly chemicals for the next 250,000 years? Possibly these young workers were not born and many have forgotten what lies beneath and above the suface of this land. It still exists. It appears that human life is the least considered consquence here.

    Of course health related statistics can be googled on any mineral industry to find their track record which is quite grim in most cases. So why should some humans be lured into this situation to give ease and comfort to others? Is the KISS method (Keep it simple, stupid) just too hard for short term opportunists in the political arena of the day?

    Many notable scientists live in a world of competitive academia, books and statistics. Little thought is given to the process. Even if acurate information is acknowleged, it is pushed aside for profits by those who have the final say. This is usually someone with no knowlege of their own, but the power to choose on our behalf after promising better things during their election campaign. But afterwards finding the real powers that control them are the banks and industries.

    So did Mr. Family First speak to Heartland Institute or did he actually meet with a panel of their select scientists?

  6. If Senator Fielding and America’s Heartland Institute are wrong, and the world’s eminent scientific bodies, (and the governments of the USA, the European Union and Australia) are correct, then Australians, and the world, are in for a gloomy future, if no action is taken to address climate change, the cost to the economy will be great.

    But even in the short term, delay in action is already damaging Australia’s economy.

    Senator Fielding proposed that the Government’s renewable energy target legislation should not be voted on now, but postponed until August 12, for a Senate committee investigation.

    As a result, the sales of many solar energy companies will be “on hold’ – with the loss of hundreds of jobs, and the risk of many solar firms closing, while uncertainty drags on..

    This is a worrying development for the Australian economy. A new study by the WWF has revealed that more than 3.4 million European jobs are directly related to renewable energy, sustainable transport and energy efficiency related goods and services – far more than the 2.8 million jobs in polluting industries.

    Delay in dealing with global warming is already hurting our economy.

  7. The thoroughness of research on the Heartland Institute in the previous post and what props it up, is commendable.

    It does appear that many political parties are continually humiliated by their own research teams or lack of.

    Given the background profile of Family First it would seem a gross oversight to seek an unbiased opinion from the Heartland Institute who promote and receive funding from industries in direct conflict with Steve Fielding’s own aggressively clean family policies. Tobacco being as addictive as both gambling and alcopops for starters.

    Forming associations and accepting advice from those with less ethical alliances is a very risky compromise to the image of Family First, who are slipping into the general political trend of wasting taxpayers time and money!

    Stevie seems to have stepped out of his league in attempting to do a crash course in climate change in order to negotiate this subject on our behalf. For this politician to admit he has no knowlege on the most concerning subject in the world today leaves Australia exposing a large political problem.

    Politicians are still buying time until they find out who to believe on climate change. Can they be trusted by us to implement stategies and eliminate the depleting practice of lining the pockets of those ever appearing corporate partners?

    In their find the truth will it mean we can dispense with some very expensive bureaucrats currently consuming our economic resources? Or maybe the political dilemna of the realities of climate change will never legitimately resolve in the so called “corridors of power”.

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