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Senator Stephen Fielding Seeing Spots

  • Environment
  • Politics

Family First Senator Stephen Fielding has just returned from a study tour in America and is now undecided about the effect of carbon emissions on global warming.

While the solar flares debate, which Senator Fielding has recently cottoned on to, has been around for many years, no evidence exists to link them to the current warming, according to Graeme Pearman, former chief of atmospheric research at the CSIRO. Pearman goes one to say that solar flares are not likely to be a major factor for the next 90 years or so.

Senator Fielding states he's open-minded about the situation and will be asking Climate Change Minister Penny Wong to "explain why what they've put forward isn't credible". His main concern is, "what happens if what they're saying is true?".

This author's scientific accomplishments are somewhat restricted to computer science, but few will agree with the view that reducing carbon emissions will make matters worse.

The crux of the matter is alluded to by Phil Chapman, an Australian-born geophysicist and former NASA astronaut scientist, who warns against policies to reduce carbon emissions as "the climate has simply not been warming since 2002.". Chapman adds "until we do know [whether warming will continue] it is really foolish to start spending money."

Global Temperature Anomaly 1998-2007The fact is they're right! The temperature hasn't exceeded the 1998 high and we've experienced continuous cooling in the past 5 years, as evidenced in the following plot.

The 157-year view paints a rather different picture though.

The picture is very clear when you look at who Senator Fielding gets his information from. The Heartland Institute is an organisation that publishes articles explaining that air pollution levels far higher than any we experience in the United States are perfectly safe and proposing that cigarette taxes be reduced to zero, dismissing second-hand smoke as a non-issue.

The Heartland Institute's Wikipedia entry identifies them as a member organization of the Cooler Heads Coalition, "an informal and ad-hoc group focused on dispelling the myths of global warming.

Further, this non-profit organisation is funded by individuals and corporations, including at least US$190,000 from Philip Morris USA and US$676,500 from ExxonMobil, according to SourceWatch.

So here we have it, a Senator espousing the 'truths' of a debatably independent research organisation that is a member of an organisation that openly dismisses climate change issues and takes money from those organisations who seem to benefit greatly from their publications.

I'm sold!

Other sources: ABC News.


Its odd you quote Graham Pearman, as another former Chief Research Scientist in CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, Garth Paltridge, Is about to publish a book about The Climate Caper, in which he is in pretty much total agreement with Phil Chapman, {and Ian Plimer, and Stephen Fielding. Do you quote Pearman because he makes the most noise? I also take issue with you over the Heartland Institute. Look up Jo Nova's website for links, rather than using sourcewatch or wiki. Only 15% of Heartland's funding comes from the corporations , and 5% is from the entire energy sector. Most of the bigger corporations have figured out they can make money out of carbon trading. BP realised ages ago that they can make more money out of co2 trading than they can from selling oil .How much money do you think BP, for example, stands to make if the US Senate passes cap and trade ? And GE ? Even our own Westpac has stepped in where Lehman Bros and Exxon hoped to stand . I sure hope Penny Wong was freezing her derrier off in Canberra today!

Hi Ian, thanks for dropping by and promoting a climate change denier's book on my site. Oh, and I don't quote people just because they make noise, unless the noise in itself demands an entry of its own.

You reference Jo Nova, and I've had a look at and I'm no more inclined to trust links from a self professed skeptic than a hard core eco-warrior. I propose that SourceWatch and Wikipedia (I assume that's what you mean by wiki) are more likely to be unbiased and fair reports.

I never mentioned any percentage of funding that Heartland gets from corporations as this is a moot point. My point is I'm not likely to trust an organisation that writes articles on how second hand smoke is not bad for you when they receive at least $190,000 in funding from tobacco companies.

I fail to see your point on the carbon trading front, perhaps you can enlighten me. Are you implying that because an energy company has found a more profitable source of money, that the previous source of that money is no longer a valid discussion point? How much money do you think BP can make from carbon trading if they don't sell oil?

Finally, why on earth would you wish someone to freeze their derrière off? I'm assuming you're trying to be funny, but your attempt to get your message across has been thwarted by a childish comment.

Ian, I assume your silence means that I've stunned you with my awesome powers of persuasion and you've now changed your stance on the issue!

Or perhaps, like most of the other threads I've seen you participate in, you're a one-comment-wonder who is looking to spread his opinions but unable to defend his position and shies from healthy debate.

Yeah, I thought so.

Ben that last comment suggest you have a fat head and near nothing more to offer, get over yourself mate.

thedon: firstly, my apologies for the late approval of your comment, I must have missed the email notification of its submission 3 months ago.

Secondly, are you being serious? No really, I'm wondering. I have nothing more to offer? You make me laugh!

So let me recap and understand what on earth you're trying to get at.

I wrote a post, Ian comes back with a load of climate change denial comments, referring to biased resources and criticising my use of less questionable sources of information.

A brief background check on Ian reveals he frequently posts similar content on other sites - they all talk about climate change and he always makes a number of points that look like convincing arguments that climate change isn't a problem. Of those sites, all bar one have seen him comment once and never return.

I call Ian on this issue and ask him to to enlighten me on one issue but never hear from him. Two weeks later I call him on the single-post-wonder reputation he seems to be creating for himself.

So where in all this have I become the one with nothing more to offer? I would love nothing more than for Ian to come back and enter in to a discussion on this topic.

Honestly, when I first read your comment, I thought you were some spam bot, but you haven't included a URL or any links in the comment, so perhaps you really are serious. Or just confused. Or just out for a joy ride on the web. I'm not sure.

I don't expect a response from you, given the time its taken me to approve and reply to your comment.

By the way, if you do come back, or if any one else knows, what is a fat head? Perhaps your definition hasn't made it in to my vernacular or common usage yet; the only relevant definition I can find is for "fathead": a man who is a stupid incompetent fool.

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I don't send many updates. I don't like to spam. Let's face it - I've not posted many new articles for a while (although I do plan on changing that). If you subscribe to new articles, I'll send no more than two emails a week. As for workshop and conference information, that'll be as and when I have details. It's not likely to be more than an email a week.