Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Three facts about climate change

By Michael Kile - posted Friday, 20 November 2015

With all the headline-grabbing alarmism, how can one form a view on the myriad alleged threats posed by climate change? By taking a moment to reflect on just three facts.

Fact one:The climate – average weather over a 30-year period – has been in a state of change ever since the planet acquired an atmosphere. Change is what the climate does.

As Victor Frankenstein said while climbing the Montanvert glacier in 1818: "We are but clouds that veil the midnight moon, nought may endure but Mutability".


Frankie got it in one. But a deep anthropocentric yearning for climate 'stability' still persists today, a reluctance to acknowledge its changing and unpredictable character.

Yet we no longer live in the Garden of Eden. We live on a dynamic planet. Terra firma is actually a wobbling and spinning sphere with a liquid outer core moving through space at a combined speed of 113, 277 kilometres an hour (for a person sitting in a chair on the equator); and travelling 940 million kilometres in its annual orbit of the Sun.

Changes in the Earth's orbit contributed to the accumulation of two-plus kilometres of ice over much of North America and Siberia 12,000 years ago, mammoths in Mexico and so on.

Today's biggest problems, however, are not with the laws of astrophysics, but with the lawlessness of climate theory - and our political class.

It is too keen onthe Goldilocks principle - one of the great cons of pseudo-science - the notion that a climate future just right for everyone everywhere is somehow achievable, if only we could control the planet's thermostat.

Climatologists like her too. They have, according to blogger Max Anacker,


adopted the Goldilocks "just right" principle for our climate, with the premise that it was "just right" before we started to interfere with it. It is already no longer "just right" and getting less so following an accelerated trend, due to human greenhouse gas emissions. Some suggest that the Goldilocks "just right" level of atmospheric CO2 was between 280 and 300 ppmv (19th century level) with anything over 450 ppmv (0.045% of the earth's atmosphere, currently 0.04%) - or even 350 ppmv - no longer "just right" – but downright "dangerous".Fairy tales are nice, aren't they?'

Wondering about all the smiles on the road to Paris Climat 2015, unlike the gloomy mood at Copenhagen 2009? It is not just because facts no longer matter. That girl is strutting her stuff again, this time on another catwalk.

Activists and media gurus have twigged that dire news on climate change apparently provokes 'dissonance-driven' resistance, aka scepticism. (Mr Alvin Stone, media and communications manager at UNSW's ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, previously media communicator with WWF- Australia, is not one of them – as we shall see.)

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

126 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Michael Kile is author of No Room at Nature's Mighty Feast: Reflections on the Growth of Humankind. He has an MSc degree from Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London and a Diploma from the College. He also has a BSc (Hons) degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Tasmania and a BA from the University of Western Australia. He is co-author of a recent paper on ancient Mesoamerica, Re-interpreting Codex Cihuacoatl: New Evidence for Climate Change Mitigation by Human Sacrifice, and author of The Aztec solution to climate change.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Michael Kile

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 126 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy