Front Organisations

Australian Environment Foundation(AEF)

At their own site: "[AEF] is of the firm view that there is no evidence to support a significant link between CO2 emissions and GW."

AEF was established by the Institute of Public Affairs, "a conservative right wing think-tank". Spokesperson Kersten Gentle, is Vic Manager for Timber Communities Australia. Their aim is to '"secure long term access to natural resources to generate employment and a future for regional communities'
Director Leon Ashby was Convenor of Landholders for the Environment and is a dairy farmer in SA. He has stated that the grazing of cattle in national parks is a viable option for bushfire prevention.
Another Director, Tom Bostock, is a climate change sceptic.

 US Tea Party origins traced to tobacco firms and oil billionaires

Consumers and Taxpayers Association

CATA is running a campaign "Stop Carbon Lies".  Here are some they could stop quite easily by removing them from their website:

1. "we are now in a period of cooling since 1998"

Umm.. no.  First, it's hardly a 'period of cooling', which would suggest some sort of steady trend.  In practice, 1998 was an unusually hot year, being a strong El Nino.  If you leave that year out the "cooling" disappears.  And the claim is out of date anyway; the linear fit from 1998 to 2010 is upwards.

2. "
Nature produces 97% of all CO2 emissions and humans produces 3%. "

Now, you can argue that's not a lie, but it is certainly disingenuous, as it is completely irrelevant.  That 97% is just the fast carbon cycle, whereby carbon constantly moves between atmosphere, oceans, and organisms.
  No-one is saying that's a problem.  The 3% is what humans are adding to the total in that cycle, and once there it takes tens of thousands of years to get reabsorbed into geological formations.  The more appropriate statistic is that before the industrial revolution the CO2 in the air was 280 ppm and now it's 390 ppm, a 38% increase (despite nearly half of industrial CO2 emissions having been absorbed by the oceans).

The root problem here is that they have put up the strawman "Humans are mainly to blame for CO2 emissions", when no-one is claiming any such thing.  The claim is that humans are mainly responsible for increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and thereby, for the rise in temperatures from 1900 to now.

3. "Tim Flannery stated "Even if all the world today stopped emitting CO2, it would take probably 1000 yrs to maybe affect global temperature if any.""

A significant misquote.  He said it would take hundreds
of years, perhaps a thousand, for temperaturesto start to go down.  Ceasing emissions would affect temperature (i.e., compared to what it would have been otherwise) in a matter of years.

3. "Australia produces only 2% of that 3%"

As pointed out above, it's the 3% that's the problem, so Australia is making 2% of the problem, which is significantly more than its percentage of world population.  That's why the world thinks we should feel guilty.

4. "
A carbon tax will do essentially nothing at all to overall CO2 emissions"

OK, that's not a lie, it's a prediction.  Predictions by definition are not lies, even if they turn out to be wrong.  The lie here is claiming that the converse prediction, "A carbon tax in Australia will change the CO2 emissions", is a lie.

5. "NSW Treasury have reported that electricity alone will go up by $300 per household almost double the amount forecast"

The $300 figure appears to be taken from the NSW Liberals' website, which also quotes "up to 20%".  NSW Treasury's report says 15%:
http://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/20466/Evaluatiion_of_Impacts_of_Comm_Carbon_price_Package_Aug11.pdf
The Treasury report does not mention a dollar figure.  Their 15% compares with 10% from Federal Treasury, so it's 1.5 times, not double.

 

Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) and Lord Monckton

Lord Monckton is a former journalist and policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher.  Though sometimes referred to as a scientist, he has no scientific credentials nor peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals.  He is a major international campaigner and figurehead for the denialists, and the policy advisor for the SPPI.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Monckton,_3rd_Viscount_Monckton_of_Brenchley

July 2011: House of Lords issues "cease and desist" to Monckton

Some responses to Monckton's arguments below.  For a more thorough analysis please see John Abraham's deconstruction of Monckton.

 

 

Nature is one of many "scientific" journals that have openly declared an editorial prejudice in favor of a frankly alarmist viewpoint on the climate.

Somehow I don't see Nature doing anything of the sort.  There's no specific reference so it's hard to check, but it's most likely a distortion.  Nature's editorial policy is available here.


Lorenz (1963), in the landmark paper that founded chaos theory, said that because the climate is a mathematically-chaotic object (a point which the UN's climate panel admits), accurate long-term prediction of the future evolution of the climate is not possible "by any method".

No, Lorenz's work related to weather prediction, not climate prediction.  Climate is the overall frequency of different types of weather over decades or longer.  If you run a computer simulation for the weather over the next so many months over and over again with just slightly different starting points each time, you will get significantly different results in different runs.  That's weather.  But the totality of those results describes the climate, and another batch of runs will give much the same picture.


the tropical upper-troposphere "hot-spot" - has never been observed

While more data would be useful, it has now been shown that existing data do not contradict the models.


this single failure of the models reliably to predict an essential feature of the climate removes any notion of "dangerous" climate change.

Even before the apparent conflict was resolved, it only made the notion a little less certain.  It was still a risk that needed addressing.

 

For most of the past 10,000 years, global temperature has been at least 2 C° and sometimes 3 C° greater than the present

This is an outright lie.  We have no direct measurements older than a century or so, but tree rings and ice cores provide the best guide.  These show that during part of the last 10K years (the "climatic optimum") temperatures averaged marginally above the 20th century average.  But the temperature in the 21st century has been persistently above even that.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

 

Paltridge et al. (2009) have established ... the upper troposphere ... is drier than the models had predicted. ... the UN's climate panel assumes that positive temperature feedbacks will more than triple the initial warming caused by atmospheric CO2 enrichment.

Although this was contradicted by other evidence, it may well be true.  Unfortunately, this may only be a temporary reprieve.  Until the cause is understood we would be foolish to rely on it.

 

the UN's value for the Planck [feedback] parameter ... is higher than any value in the mainstream literature

This may be a bit confusing.  The Planck feedback parameter is a negative quantity, so he means that at -3.2Wm-2K-1, against a range of -3.3 to -7, it's lower in magnitude, i.e. more feedback.  This does seem to be an interesting issue.  More research is needed.  

CO2 concentration is rising not exponentially, as the UN predicts, but in a straight line, and at a rate about half of that which the UN predicts

It is not a straight line, but accelerating; and the IPCC did not predict it would rise exponentially.


Landscape Guardians and the Waubra Foundation

The Waubra Foundation is an anti-windfarm lobby group backed by the Landscape Guardians.  It exploits the nocebo effect, leading people to expect to suffer health effects from living near wind turbines - so they do.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/environment/the-ugly-landscape-of-the-guardians/