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The Carbon Debate Heats Up (Part One)

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In an earlier post on BNET I questioned whether, if we are going to have a carbon tax, this was the right time. I asked whether we should wait until the economy has seen off the remnants of the global financial crisis.

The ensuing comments and reader poll served to demonstrate how deeply divided Australians are on the issue of climate change. A while back I spoke to Ian Plimer, a professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide, who argues in his book “Heaven and Earth — Global Warming: the Missing Science” that carbon levels have been considerably higher than “the warmists” are predicting, with no impact on temperature levels.

Ian Dunlop sees things differently. Ian was a senior executive in the oil, gas and coal industry for many years and these days he is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, as well as chairman of Safe Climate Australia. He says the science is conclusive that warming exists, the only question is by how much temperatures will rise. Worst-case scenarios could see temperature increases of 4 degrees by 2050 in a world capable of supporting a population of just one billion.

He also says we are one of the last places in the world still debating whether climate change exists. I reckon, if you believe, like opposition leader Tony Abbott that it’s all “crap”, then you’d have to be more certain of that than anything else in your life. The repercussions if you are wrong, are huge, for your kids and your grandkids. Perhaps you should ask them what they think.

First published on CBS News

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