Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The price of dissent on global warming

David Bellamy November 25, 2008
Article from: The Australian

WHEN I first stuck my head above the parapet to say I didn't believe what we were being told about global warming, I had no idea what the consequences would be. I am a scientist and I have to follow the directions of science, but when I see that the truth is being covered up I have to voice my opinions.

According to official data, in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased. Why, then, do we not hear about that? The sad fact is that since I said I didn't believe human beings caused global warming, I've not been allowed to make a television program.

My absence has been noticed, because wherever I go I meet people who say: "I grew up with you on the television, where are you now?"

It was in 1996 that I criticised wind farms while appearing on children's program Blue Peter, and I also had an article published in which I described global warming as poppycock. The truth is, I didn't think wind farms were an effective means of alternative energy, so I said so. Back then, at the BBC you had to toe the line, and I wasn't doing that.

At that point, I was still making loads of TV programs and I was enjoying it greatly. Then I suddenly found I was sending in ideas for TV shows and they weren't getting taken up. I've asked around about why I've been ignored, but I found that people didn't get back to me. At the beginning of this year there was a BBC show with four experts saying: "This is going to be the end of all the ice in the Arctic," and hypothesising that it was going to be the hottest summer ever. Was it hell! It was very cold and very wet and now we've seen evidence that the glaciers in Alaska have started growing rapidly, and they have not grown for a long time.

I've seen evidence, which I believe, that says there has not been a rise in global temperature since 1998, despite the increase in carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere. This makes me think the global warmers are telling lies: CO2 is not the driver. The idiot fringe has accused me of being like a Holocaust denier, which is ludicrous. Climate change is all about cycles. It's a natural thing and has always happened. When the Romans lived in Britain they were growing very good red grapes and making wine on the borders of Scotland. It was evidently a lot warmer.

If you were sitting next to me 10,000 years ago, we'd be under ice. So thank God for global warming for ending that ice age; we wouldn't be here otherwise.

People such as former American vice-president Al Gore say that millions of us will die because of global warming, which I think is a pretty stupid thing to say if you've got no proof. And my opinion is that there is absolutely no proof that CO2 has anything to do with any impending catastrophe. The science has, quite simply, gone awry.

In fact, it's not even science any more; it's anti-science.

There's no proof, it's just projections, and if you look at the models people such as Gore use, you can see they cherry-pick the ones that support their beliefs. To date, the way the so-called Greens and the BBC, the Royal Society and even political parties have handled this smacks of McCarthyism at its worst.

Global warming is part of a natural cycle and there's nothing we can actually do to stop these cycles. The world is now facing spending a vast amount of money in tax to try to solve a problem that doesn't actually exist.

And how were we convinced that this problem exists, even though all the evidence from measurements goes against the fact? God knows. Yes, the lakes in Africa are drying up. But that's not global warming. They're drying up for the very simple reason that most of them have dams around them.

So the water once used by local people is now used in the production of cut flowers and vegetables for the supermarkets of Europe. One of Gore's biggest clangers was saying that the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan was drying up because of global warming.

Well, everyone knows, because it was all over the news 20 years ago, that the Russians were growing cotton there at the time and that for every tonne of cotton you produce you use a vast amount of water. The thing that annoys me most is that there are genuine environmental problems that desperately require attention. I'm still an environmentalist, I'm still a Green and I'm still campaigning to stop the destruction of the biodiversity of the world. But money will be wasted on trying to solve this global warming "problem" that I would much rather was used for looking after the people of the world. Being ignored by the likes of the BBC does not really bother me, not when there are bigger problems at stake.

I might not be on TV any more but I still go around the world campaigning about these important issues. For example, we must stop the destruction of tropical rainforests, something I've been saying for 35 years.

Mother nature will balance things out, but not if we interfere by destroying rainforests and overfishing the seas. That is where the real environmental catastrophe could occur.

David Bellamy is a botanist, author of 35 books, and has presented 400 television programs.

23 Comment(s)

paul of bris 4:28pm today
pity the article doesnt menting the petition of 400 scientists that deny GLOBAL WARMING......or that GW is the catylist for a $45 trillion dollar per year carbon credit tax scheme.....but that would give him more CREDIBILITY, wouldnt it....?!!!! .

Rathtyen of Sydney 4:10pm today
David Bellamy hits the nail on the head. Acting to reduce CO2 to "prevent" global warming is not a free option which does good even if CO2 is not actually a problem. The simple fact is too many of the "conservation" steps being undertaken to reduce CO2 are in fact damaging the environment. In short we need to grow more food using less land, and provide reliable energy to more parts of the world. Global population growth is huge and is occurring mainly in the third world. Inefficient farming practices and using wood for fuel is having a devastating effect on the environment. I%u2019m not aware of a single species becoming extinct or at risk due to global warming (polar bears are doing just fine), but many, many species are at risk from deforestation in particular. Wind farms need large areas of cleared land, while ethanol use encourages land clearing for crops for fuel. They encourage land clearing, which is the biggest single environmental problem in the world today. CO2 mitigation also encourages bad forest practices when (re)planting trees: planting trees can be an environmental disaster if they are the wrong kind. In Australia, carbon offsets can be gained by planting forests, and these are usually pine forests. Most native trees in Australia are eucalypts, and the native ecology isn%u2019t destructive to pines. As well pines %u201Cpoison%u201D the ground with sulphur so most native plants won%u2019t grow near them. The pines forests therefore grow really well, but they are devoid of native life. In the rest of the world, the increasing trend is the plant eucalypts. They may be vulnerable in Australia, but elsewhere they are pretty much invulnerable. Eucalypts are very toxic, and nothing outside of Australia has evolved to eat them. The massive eucalyptus plantations in Brazil are supposed to counter CO2 increases, and maybe they do. But they also displace native forest, and the Brazilian forests are some of the most ecologically important in the world. The eucalypt forests aren%u2019t helping the environment - they are green deserts in which no native animals can live. Lets go for more productive genetically modified crops grown using (albeit energy intensive) hydroponics in enclosed multi-rise farm structures using abundant coal for power. This reduces land use, saves water, and gives higher and more guaranteed crops yields. The money saved and productivity gained from abandoning CO2 reduction could be used for pollution reduction from coal (not CO2, which is actually highly beneficial, but other emissions) and properly targeted environmental programs, and in particular native forest recovery. It%u2019s a harder slog to be effective, buts it better than the current feel-good but otherwise useless CO2 reduction efforts we are seeing now.

Pallywood of Sydney 4:06pm today
Hear Hear!! I wonder how long before the voice of reason will become the prevalent one.

JOHN of ADELAIDE 3:53pm today
at last someone with common sense not dribble


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