Matter of Public Importance Speech – Climate Change
Senator DAY: From 1940 to 1976 the world’s climate cooled. Numerous books were written at that time, including Lowell Ponte’s 1975 book warning:
“… Global Cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for 100,000 years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance: the survival of ourselves, our children and our species.”
Sound familiar? We now have exactly the same statements being made about global warming instead of global cooling. There has not been any global warming in 18 years, even though CO2 levels have risen. There was needless alarm about 36 years of cooling when CO2 levels were rising in the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s; there was needless alarm over the last 18 years as CO2 kept rising; and there is needless alarm today.
There is no evidence that CO2 has influenced the climate in the past or that it could do so in the future. Not only that; the additional CO2 that has been emitted has actually been beneficial, with increased vegetation and crop yields—food production—around the world. The world is a bit greener and a bit healthier thanks to CO2. Ninety-seven per cent of CO2 is emitted naturally. Only three per cent is man made, so it is ridiculous to suggest that it is the three per cent that is causing global warming, not the other 97 per cent. As for calling CO2 pollution, that is the most ludicrous, unscientific statement one could possibly make. Over the last 18 years there have also been fewer extreme weather events like cyclones, not more. Not only that; a slightly warmer climate would be beneficial. More people die from cold than die from warmth.
This is the most baffling and perplexing subject I have ever come across in my life, and I am at a loss to explain what motivates 40,000 people to gather in Paris—and, before that, in Copenhagen, Kyoto, Durban, Rio et cetera—when there is such a lack of evidence to support the theory that carbon dioxide causes global warming. The best thing that Australia can do at the Paris climate conference is to be a voice for truth, reason and scientific inquiry, not irrational climate alarmism.