An Answer that Cannot be Questioned?

By David Brennan

I attended the IPA’s book launch of Climate Change The Facts 2020 at Sunshine Beach last week.

Jennifer Marohasy, the editor, came up with the following quotation which was new to me:

Better a question that cannot be answered than an answer that cannot be questioned.

Attributed to Richard Feynman, American theoretical physicist (1918-88), but may not be an entirely original thought by him.

It does rather sum up the state of contemporary climate science, does it not?

If you would like to buy a copy of Climate Change The Facts 2020 go here:

David Brennan


Experienced land and fire managers from eight community groups across Australia have jointly written to the Prime Minister urging the restoration of healthy and safe rural landscapes. The grass-roots organisations represent more than 6,000 members and 14 regional councils. They have called for an end to the ongoing loss of human life and the socioeconomic and environmental destruction caused by extreme bushfires.

Former Chief of CSIRO Bushfire Research, Phil Cheney, says that a focus on emergency response at the expense of land management has created an unstoppable monster. Expenditure on fire fighting forces is ever-increasing whilst volunteers are being cynically used to deflect criticism away from failed government policies. Land management agencies no longer have primary responsibility for suppressing wildfires. Consequently they have little incentive for stewardship and fire mitigation. Cheney is a scientific advisor to Volunteer Fire Fighters Association.

Chairman of Western Australia’s Bushfire Front, Roger Underwood, points to the stark contrast in historical fire management policies and outcomes on either side of the continent. Seventy years of data from WA show a strong inverse relationship between the area maintained by mild burning and the area subsequently damaged by high intensity fires. This relationship is especially apparent in extreme fire seasons.

Underwood is widely experienced in sustainable land and fire management at all levels from lighting or fighting fires on the ground, to leading a State land management agency. He highlights the deep divide between those who actively care for the bush and who understand bushfire science and operations, compared to the Academics and Fire Chiefs who are misleading governments. The Royal Commission did not call upon Mr. Cheney, Mr. Underwood or similar elders to give evidence. Their consideration of previous bushfire inquiries went back only as far as the COAG whitewash in 2004.

The Royal Commission has accepted wrong advice from academics and modellers rather than information from experienced practitioners. Consequently its conclusions on Effectiveness of Fuel Management are substantially incorrect.

Our land was successfully managed for tens of thousands of years, through some extreme climate changes, by people with long experience, but only the most basic technology. It is shocking to see how this has been replaced by reliance on computer modelling and hugely expensive but futile paramilitary response capacity. The inevitable carnage will continue in the wake of this Royal Commission unless active landscape management based on pragmatic science is reinstated.


Phil Cheney 0420 896526 (ACT)
Roger Underwood 0429 339405 (WA)

Letter to the Australian Prime Minister: The Bushfires Royal Commission – providing no hope for the future

From the Howitt Society:

Dear Prime Minister,

The Bushfires Royal Commission – providing no hope for the future The Royal Commission’s interim observations and the draft propositions give cause for grave concerns.

Conditions leading to Black Summer were not unprecedented. Equally atrocious conditions have been recorded periodically since the Settlement Drought, starting in 1790, when thousands of flying foxes and lorikeets dropped dead at Parramatta during three days of extreme heat and searing winds. Aboriginal fires were constantly burning, but Europeans were able to contain any that reached their settlements, because fuels were light and discontinuous. Our first known megafire occurred about 1820 in the Strzeleckis, after local Aborigines were decimated by smallpox. When Aboriginal management was disrupted across Victoria, 5 million hectares exploded on Black Thursday 1851. By the start of the 20 th Century, before any manmade warming, megafires were delivering unprecedented quantities of charcoal in 70,000 years of sedimentary records.

Read the full letter: [PDF, 509KB]

Cold Kills, and Green Energy Does More Harm than Good

The Australian Journal of General Practice (AJGP) promotes climate alarm

By Dr D Weston Allen (MBBS, FRACGP, Grad Dip Phys Med)

The August edition of the AJGP published a dreadful article authored by members of the Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA), linking climate change to increased mortality from extreme weather events, bushfires, infectious diseases, water insecurity and reduced crop yields.1 The AJGP editor found the following letter “informative and interesting” but rejected it for publication.

The health impacts of climate change are mixed. Cold weather has more prolonged effects than heat2 and a much greater global mortality.3 Anthropogenic warming may be saving over a million lives annually.4 Cold-related deaths are projected to exceed heat-related deaths for some decades across most of the globe,5 even without adaptation and based on very improbable future emissions6 and climate models that run too hot.7

The latest scientific Assessment Report of the IPCC admits uncertainty regarding the climate sensitivity to CO2 and its impact on extreme weather events,8 whose global mortality has dramatically declined9 and normalised cost not increased.10

The diurnal temperature range (DTR) impacts health, increasing cardiac mortality by up to 3%,11 respiratory infections by 1-2%,12 childhood asthma by 6%13 and gastroenteritis by 3%14 per 1⁰C increase in DTR. By slowing the radiative cooling of Earth’s surface, greenhouse gases increase minimum temperatures more than maximums15 and thus reduce DTR and its adverse health impacts.16

Global crop yields keep reaching record levels,17 partly due to CO2 promoting growth18 and mitigating both heat-stress19 and drought.20 Protein content can be maintained by genotype selection21 and nitrogen fertilization.22 Global irrigation demand is expected to decline by about 17% by the 2080s due to the beneficial effects of CO2, shorter growing periods and regional precipitation increases,23 thus reducing the net global population at high risk of water stress.24

Energy policies impact human and planetary health.25 Promoting diesel to reduce CO2 emissions actually increased air pollution.26 Burning wood can be worse than burning coal.27 Intermittent renewables and the infrastructure required for baseload power are very resource intensive 28 and thus threaten biodiversity.29 Mining neodymium for wind turbine magnets produces radioactive waste.30 Nuclear power uses the least land/resources,31 has the lowest life-cycle emissions32 and fewest human deaths per unit of energy produced.33

Objectively evaluating all the evidence is essential. Whereas carbon dioxide is greening the planet and benefitting human health, climate action driven by ideology and vested interests may do far more harm than good.

1 Pendry CGA, Beaton L, Kneebone JA. General practice in the era of planetary health. AJGP 2020; 49 (8): 520-523

2 Braga ALF, Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. The effect of weather on respiratory and cardiovascular deaths in 12 U.S. cities. Environmental Health Perspectives 2002; 110: 859-863.

3 Gasparrini A, Guo Y, Hashizume M, et al. Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study. The Lancet. 2015: 386 (9991): 369-375. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62114-0.

4 Bosello F, Roson R, Tol RSJ. Economy-wide Estimates of the Implications of Climate Change: Human Health. Ecological Economics 2006; 58(3): 579-91.

5 Gasparrini A, Guo Y, Sera F, et al. Projections of temperature-related excess mortality under climate change scenarios. The Lancet Planetary Health. 2017: 1 (9): 360-367. DOI:

6 Hausfather Z, Peters GP. Emissions – the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading. Nature 2020; 577: 618-620 doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-00177-3

7 McKitrick R, Christie J. A test of the tropical 200- to 300-hPa warming rate in climate models. Earth and Space Science 2018; 5: 529-536

8 Bindoff NL, Stott PA, et al. Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker TF, Qin D et al. (eds.)] 2013: 871-924. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA

9 Goklany IM. Deaths and death rates due to extreme weather events: 1900-2008. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 2009; 14 (4): 102-109.

10 Pielke R. Economic ‘normalisation’ of disaster losses 1998-202: a literature review and assessment. Environmental Hazards 2020; DOI: 10.1080/17477891.2020.1800440

11 Cao J, Cheng Y, Zhao N, Song W, Jiang C, Chen R, Kan H. Diurnal temperature range is a risk factor for coronary heart disease death. Journal of Epidemiology 2009;19: 328-332.

12 Ge WZ, Xu F, Zhao ZH, Zhao JZ, Kan HD. Association between diurnal temperature range and respiratory tract infections. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences 2013; 26: 222-225.

13 Xu Z, Huang C, Su H, Turner LR, Qiao Z, Tong S. Diurnal temperature range and childhood asthma: a time-series study. Environmental Health 2013; 12:

14 Xu Z, Huang C, Turner LR, Su H, Qiao Z, Tong S. Is diurnal temperature range a risk factor for childhood diarrhea? PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64713. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064713.

15 Alexander LV, Zhang X, Peterson TC et al. Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 2006; 111 (D5): 109-141

16 Braganza K, Karoly DJ, Arblaster JM Diurnal temperature range as an index of global climate change during the twentieth century. Geophysical Research Letters 2004: 31 (13): 217-221

17 Abbott C. Record-high world grain production for second year in a row. Successful Farming 6/8/2020. [accessed 24/9/20]

18 Ainsworth EA, Long SP What have we learned from fifteen years of free-air CO2 enrichment FACE? A meta-analytic review of the responses of photosynthesis, canopy properties and plant production to rising CO2. New Phytologist 2005; 165:351-372.

19 Gutiérrez del Pozo D, Gutierrez E, Pérez P, et al. Acclimation to future atmospheric CO2 levels increases photochemical efficiency and mitigates photochemistry inhibition by warm temperatures in wheat under field conditions. Physiologia Plantarum 2009; 137 (1):86-100. DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2009.01256.x

20 Fleisher DH, Timlin DJ, Reddy VR. Elevated carbon dioxide and water stress effects on potato canopy gas exchange, water use and productivity. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 2008; 148:1109-1122.

21 De Costa J, Weerakoon WMW, Chinthaka KGR. et al. Genotypic variation in the response of rice (Oryza sativa) to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and its physiological basis. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 2007; 193:117-130. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-037X.2007.00255.x

22 Sultana H, Armstrong R, Suter H, et al. A short-term study of wheat grain protein response to post-anthesis foliar nitrogen application under elevated CO2 and supplementary irrigation. Journal of Cereal Science 2017; 75:135-137.

23 Konzmann M, Gerten D, Heinke J. Climate impacts on global irrigation requirements under 19 GCMs, simulated with a vegetation and hydrology model. Hydrological Sciences Journal 2013; 58 (1): 88-105.

24 Wiltshire A, et al. The importance of population, climate change and carbon dioxide plant physiological forcing in determining future global water stress. Global Environmental Change. 2013; 23 (5): 1083-1097.

25 ÓhAiseadha C, Quinn G, Connolly R, Connolly M, Soon W. Energy and Climate Policy-An Evaluation of Global Climate Change Expenditure 2011-2018. Energies 2020; (13) 4839.

26 Jenkins HW. Dieselgate is a political disaster. WSJ 2017; Feb. 14

27 Sterman JD, Siegel L, Rooney-Varga JN. Does replacing coal with wood lower CO2 emissions? Dynamic life cycle analysis of wood bioenergy. Environmental Research Letters 2018; 13 (1): 1-10

28 Dominish E, Florin N, Teske S. Responsible Minerals Sourcing for Renewable Energy. Report prepared for Earthworks by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. 2019

29 Sonter L, Dade MC, Watson EM and Valenta RK. Renewable energy production will exacerbate mining threats to biodiversity. Nature Communications 2020; 11:4174-80

30 Parry S. In China, the true cost of Britain’s clean, green wind power experiment: pollution on a disastrous scale. Mail Online 2011.

31 Cheng VKM and Hammond GP. Life-cycle energy densities and land-take requirements of various power generators: a UK perspective. Journal of the Energy Institute 2017; 90 (2): 201-213

32 Pehl M, Arvesen A, Humpenöder F. et al. Understanding future emissions from low-carbon power systems by integration of life-cycle assessment and integrated energy modelling. Nat Energy 2017; 2: 939-945

33 Conca J. How deadly is your kilowatt? We rank the killer energy sources. Forbes 2012

British Prime Minister Announces 200% Rise in Electricity Prices


London, 6 October: Ignoring clear evidence that the underlying economics of renewables are disastrous, the Prime Minister has today committed the UK to a further expansion of offshore wind power by 2030, with frightening implications for electricity prices, which would have to treble to pay the real costs.

This is not only economically foolish, but incoherent climate policy since today’s decision will ensure that other low emission goals, such as the electrification of vehicles and domestic heating, become unaffordable for most Britons. Continue reading “British Prime Minister Announces 200% Rise in Electricity Prices”

Watch an Aussie Politician Squirm as Malcolm Roberts demands Evidence Climate Change is a Problem

Eric Worrall / September 1, 2020

One Nation Senator Macolm Roberts

Guest essay on WUWT by Eric Worrall

One Nation federal senator Malcolm Roberts wants a simple answer from the Aussie CSIRO: what is the evidence that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are causing dangerous climate change?

So far, the answer appears to be CO2 is a problem, because other people think other people think CO2 is a problem.

Read More:

British Astrophysicists: “Mini Ice Age is Accelerating – New ‘Maunder Minimum’ Has Begun” + the Beaufort Gyre

“We are plunging now into a deep mini ice age,” says British astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, “and there is no way out”.

For the next 20 years it’s going to get colder and colder, on average, says Corbyn who holds a B.Sc. in Physics and an M.Sc. in Astrophysics. The jet stream will be wilder: there will be more wild temperature changes, more hail events, more earthquakes, more extreme volcano events, more snow in winters, lousy summers, late springs, short autumns, and more and more crop failures.

“The fact is the sun rules the sea temperature, and the sea temperature rules the climate,” explains Corbyn.

“What we have happening now is the start of the mini ice age … it began around 2013. It’s a slow start, and now the rate of moving into the mini ice age is accelerating.

“The best thing to do now is to tell your politicians to stop believing nonsense,” concludes Corbyn.

Continue to the original article: