Science and Anti-Science: the Net Zero debate

By G M Derrick

The Net Zero steamrollers are now flattening all in their path, driven by global business and financial interests, the Business Council of Australia, a future king of England and compliant media groups that include the unlikely bedfellows of the ABC and now News Corp. None of these would have the foggiest idea of any actual science. They parrot slogans that start with false claims of a globe on fire, and end with an equally false claim of a globe under water, spreading fear and exaggeration through an unknowing populace. But knowledge of actual science?? None really.

These groups barely understand the difference between the element Carbon, a basic building block of mankind and plantkind, and the compound carbon dioxide, a harmless gas that greens our planet and keeps agriculture viable. They know nothing about Sunspot frequency curves, and that we have been through low-frequency Cycle 24 and are entering Cycle 25, resembling conditions of the Little Ice Age and earlier cool periods; they have never heard of Radiative Absorption curves for Earth’s atmosphere, where water vapour dominates above CO2 in making our planet liveable; and they have never heard of our everyday cooling clouds, and the associated Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) which influence our planetary temperatures but whose complexity defies modelling, explaining why the IPCC climate models are simply not fit for purpose, except for spreading fright and alarm onto a gullible public.

The Net Zero propagandists are quick to point to a social cost of carbon, which some alarmist literature claims is about $50 per tonne of CO2 emitted [1]. What they fail to mention are the social benefits of the same carbon or CO2. A nation’s wealth and GDP are directly proportional to energy used, which is the great economic engine of the planet, lifting us from the short and brutal lives of our ancestors and insulating us from the vagaries of weather. Increasing world population will always need more energy. Calculations [2] show that for each additional tonne of CO 2 produced from that energy use, we get $4,380 in additional goods and services in growing food, making steel, building houses and cars, catching fish and supplying hundreds of other applications that we take for granted in a modern world.

So, for a harmless gas, we have a social cost of CO2 at about $50/t of CO2 emitted, versus a social benefit of about $4,500/t of CO 2 emitted. Do the maths!!

As a nation we must be careful what we wish for in our misguided rush to embrace the false dawn and sloganeering of these Net Zero know-nothings.

[1] Environmental Defence Fund:
[2] Eschenbach, W., 2018

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