Climate change not new so why all the questions?

The New Zealand-based Climate Science Coalition has called for the removal from office of Dr Jan Wright, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, following the publishing of a column by Dr Wright published in the Dominion Post on December 26.

The column is not available in full online – an excerpt is published below.

The Climate Science Coalition issued a statement in response to the column.

Excerpt from Dr Wright’s column:

“It was 1908 when Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius pointed out that burning fossil fuels would increase atmospheric CO2 and cause global warming.

“In the 1950s, Charles Keeling first identified globally rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Since then, evidence supporting anthropogenic climate change has become weighty indeed. So weighty that the vast majority of the scientific community agrees the climate is changing, that this poses serious risks, and that humans are increasingly altering the world’s climate.

“What do I mean by ”vast majority”?

“Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced its latest assessment of climate science.

“This report, based on only the peer-reviewed scientific literature of relevant disciplines, was written by 800 scientists and peer-reviewed by 2500 more. It is by far the largest, broadest, and most international scientific assessment – and consensus – in history.

“The IPCC’s findings have been endorsed by every leading scientific authority, including the American and European Geophysical Unions (the two main professional associations for Earth scientists), our own Royal Society, and other national science academies, for example those of Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, China, Brazil and India.

“Human-induced climate change is indisputably mainstream science. Sceptics are a microscopic minority. It is misguided to claim otherwise.

“As with every scientific theory, including, say, the laws of gravity, it is possible we’ve got it a bit wrong.

“But the staggering consensus on climate change among experts is our very best bet. While we might like to side with the underdog, do we really want to be making difficult decisions based on the opinions of so very few? I think not.

“Dr Jan Wright is Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.”