Aussie senator challenges CO2 theory in an article in The Australian, 8th June 2009. Senator Steven Fielding recently attended (at his own expense) a conference conducted by the Heartlands Institute where he saw for the first time evidence that recent changes in climate were not caused by carbon dioxide emissions, but by natural phenomena, in particular variation in solar activity. He wrote: “As an engineer, I have been trained to listen to both sides of the debate in order to make an informed decision about any issue. Any scientist worth their salt will tell you that in order to form a conclusive view about any topic you need to properly explore all available possibilities.” He says that he had accepted the idea of man-made global warming without question, but “At the conference I attended on Tuesday hosted by the Heartland Institute, I heard views that challenged the Rudd government's set of ‘facts’. Views that could not be dismissed as mere conspiracy theories, but that were derived using proper scientific analysis. The idea that climate change is a result of the variation in solar activity and not related to the increase of CO2 into the atmosphere is not something I can remember ever being discussed in the media. The question of whether global warming is a new phenomenon or something that is just part of the naturally occurring 1500-year climate cycle was never raised in any of the discussions I have had with the Rudd government.”

Fielding then notes that a recent Parliamentary library report completely ignored any evidence against man-made global warming and asks: “Why are these opposing arguments treated with such disdain and, in fact, largely ignored?” He then states: “I raise these questions not because I am wholly convinced of the merits of these arguments. Rather, because I believe that only by having a healthy debate on the issues and not shirking from these confronting facts can we expect to arrive at the proper conclusion, whatever that may be. I have been criticised by some for raising these questions. However, I firmly believe that a fear of doing something unpopular should never get in the way of the responsibility to do what is right.”

Editorial Comment: For those not familiar with Australian politics Senator Fielding is a member of a small conservative political party named “Family First”. The “Rudd government” refers to Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister, who wants to introduce a carbon emissions trading scheme, but because his political party does not have a majority in the Senate, Rudd needs Senator Fielding’s support for it to be voted into law. So far, neither politicians nor scientists seem to be taking Fielding’s questions seriously, which brings us to the important principles raised by Fielding, even for those not involved in Australian politics: ignoring or pouring scorn on an opposing opinion is not the way to find the truth, and sometimes it is necessary to take an unpopular stand to maintain the truth. (Ref. politics, weather, philosophy)

Evidence News 24 June 2009