Features Australia

Climate crimes

The Pope, the Paris conference and anti-coal actvists appear happy to condemn the third world to energy poverty

14 November 2015

9:00 AM

14 November 2015

9:00 AM

Can someone please show me from basic science that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) drive global warming? This has never been done. Human emissions are only 3 per cent of the annual CO2 emissions. If it can be shown that the human CO2 emissions drive global warming, then it also needs to be shown that the 97 per cent of natural CO2 emissions do not.

The 23 million people in Australia generate 1.5 per cent of annual global human-induced CO2 emissions. Australia has 0.33 per cent of the global population, USA emits 14 times and China emits 26 times more CO2 than Australia. Our high standard of living, a landmass of 7,692,024 square kilometres with a sparse inland population, the transport of livestock, food and mined products long distances to cities and ports and the export of metals results in high CO2 emissions.

Australia exports a significant share of the global refined aluminium, zinc, lead and copper and hence takes a hit for countries that import and use these metals because smelting and refining here result in CO2 emissions. Neither smelting nor refining for other countries could take place without burning coal. Annual Australian per capita CO2 emissions are in the order of 20 tonnes per person.

There are 30 hectares of forest and 74 hectares of grassland for every Australian and each hectare annually sequesters about 1 tonne of CO2. On the continental Australian landmass, Australians are removing by natural sequestration more than three times the amount of CO2 they emit. Australia’s continental shelf is 2,500,000 square kilometres in area. CO2 dissolves in ocean water and the cooler the water, the more CO2 dissolves. Living organisms extract dissolved CO2 and calcium from seawater to build corals and shells. This natural marine sequestration locks away even more Australian emissions of CO2. Every time an atoll sinks or sea level rises, corals have a growth spurt and atolls get bigger. We have only known this since Lyell’s Principles of Geology (1830-1833) and Darwin’s Structure and distribution of coral reefs (1842) and their work has been validated from drilling atolls and satellite measurements; which show a greening of the planet over the last few decades, thanks to a slight increase in traces of plant food in the atmosphere.

Without CO2, there would be no plants and without plants, no animals. Geology shows that atmospheric CO2 has not driven global warming since planet Earth formed. The planet has not warmed for nearly 19 years, models predicted a steady temperature increase over this time and over 30 million weather balloons have not detected a modelled hot spot over the equator. All models have failed and are not in accord with measurements.


The 2015 Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’ was an attempt to influence the Paris COP21 meeting in December. The Pope’s promotion of renewable energy and denigration of coal shows he was poorly advised, listening only to a small group of green left eco-activists and atheists, some in a warm embrace with communism.

Wind, solar, wave and tidal forces do not have the energy density to keep modern society functioning. To try to make renewable energy more competitive, governments have increased the cost of cheap coal-fired electricity and subsidised wind and solar energy to the point where there is fuel poverty in some Western countries and employment-generating businesses are closing down or moving to countries with cheaper coal-fired electricity.

No third world country trying to escape poverty can afford renewable energy and Western countries create subsidised renewable energy because of wealth guilt. Wealthy countries didn’t become wealthy overnight and centuries of free trade, democracy, freedom, creativity, resource utilisation and property rights made wealth creation possible.

By denying poor countries access to fossil fuels, Pope Francis condemns them to permanent poverty with the associated disease, short life and unemployment. The Pope seems to have swallowed hook, line and sinker the new environmental religion that competes with Catholicism. His Encyclical is an anti-development, anti-market enthusiastic embrace of global green left environmental ideology and much of the Encyclical is a denunciation of free markets dressed up as religious instruction. Most Encyclicals are about hope whereas Laudato Si’ is a depressing doomsday view of the future without evidence, science, discussions about scientific uncertainty and recognition of the repeated failure of doomsday predictions.

Greenpeace have been thrown out of India for fraudulent behaviour. At the same time, environmental groups are happily using the Australian courts to try to stop the Indian company Adani from opening a coal mine in Queensland for the powering of electricity generation in India. Attempting to stop hundreds of millions of Indians receiving cheap coal-fired electricity is surely immoral and an abuse of the Australian legal system.

When third world children can do homework at night using cheap coal-fired electricity, then there is a chance of escaping from poverty. Abundant cheap electricity can pump separate potable and waste water systems and these systems have saved more lives on Earth than any other invention. Cheap coal-fired electricity powers civilisation, saves lives and creates jobs and wealth.

Australia does more than its fair share to reduce CO2 from the atmosphere, yet media networks happily broadcast that Australia is the ‘worst polluter’ in the world; but don’t mention that CO2 is not a pollutant, it is plant food. Australia removes far more CO2 than it produces and hence sequesters CO2 ‘pollution’ from other countries. Is there a medal that the UN can strike at the forthcoming COP21 meeting in Paris for each and every Australian? Can Australians claim a bundle of money from the UN because we are such fantastic global citizens?

For 30 years I have been waiting to be shown that human CO2 emissions drive global warming. This has not been done. We’ve been conned with a non-problem at huge expense to the taxpayer.

Prof. Ian Plimer’s latest book Heaven and Hell: The Pope condemns the poor to eternal poverty (Connor Court) is out now.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


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