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ICSC CHIEF SCIENCE ADVISOR PRESENTATION IN TORONTO, CANADA

University of Toronto Invited Speaker

Presentation Title: "Dealing with climate hazard - adaptation is surely the key"

Date/time: Monday, May 28th, 2012; 2:00 PM to ~ 3:00 PM

Admission charge: Free, although space is limited so please arrive early

Location: Room 2093, Earth Sciences Centre, Dept. of Geology, 22 Russell Street, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B3, Canada  (see map on the right)

Telephone: 416 978 3022

For information about this event, please contact:

Andrew D. Miall, B.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., FRSC
Professor of Geology
Gordon Stollery Chair in Basin Analysis and
Petroleum Geology
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B1, Canada
Phone: (416) 978-8841

Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Click on map to see large view of exact location of Prof. Carter's talk at
the University of Toronto. Click here for full university map.

About the presenter:

Paleoclimatologist Professor Robert M. (Bob) Carter, PhD, of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, Australia is the Chief Science Advisor of the International Climate Science Coalition. He is author of the new popular level book, Climate: the Counter Consensus.

Professor Carter specializes in paleontology, stratigraphy, and marine geology and is a former director of Australia's Secretariat for the Ocean Drilling Program and a Co-Chief Scientist for drilling leg 181. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Professor Carter is an adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide, South Australia and an Emeritus Fellow at the Institute for Public Affairs (Melbourne). He is one of the primary authors of the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change report which may be seen at www.nipccreport.com.

“Despite the failure of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming, there is a very real climate problem,” said Professor Bob Carter. “It is the risk associated with natural climate phenomena, including short term events such as floods and cyclones, intermediate events such as drought and longer term warming and cooling trends.”

About the presentation:

Climate change takes place over geological time scales of thousands through millions of years, yet unfortunately geological datasets do not provide direct measurements, least of all of global temperature. Instead, they comprise local or regional proxy records of climate change of varying quality. Nonetheless, numerous high quality palaeo-climate records, and especially those from ice cores and deep-sea mud cores, demonstrate that no unusual or untoward changes in temperature occurred in the 20th and early 21st century. Nor are carbon dioxide levels high compared with the geological past. Despite an estimated spend of more than $100 billion since 1990 looking for a human global temperature signal, assessed against geological reality no compelling empirical evidence yet exists for a measurable, let alone worrisome, human impact on global temperature.

Meanwhile, the difficulties encountered around the world in implementing carbon dioxide trading or taxation partly reflects that such mechanisms are expensive, socially disruptive and ineffectual – and that, even should warming soon resume, let alone if cooling occurs as some solar physicists now predict. Carbon dioxide reduction is therefore neither an adequate national climate policy nor necessarily even a desirable part of one. Climate change as a natural hazard is as much a geological as it is a meteorological issue. Thus it needs to be managed in the same way as other geohazards, i.e., by monitoring for the onset of dangerous events and by having a civil defense response plan to deal with events as and when they happen.

A key issue on which all scientists agree is that natural climate-related events and change are real, and exact very real human and environmental costs. These hazards include storms, floods, droughts, bushfires, and temperature steps and longer term cooling or warming trends. It is certain that these natural climate-related events and change will continue, and that from time to time human and environmental damage will be wrought. Extreme weather events (and their consequences) are natural disasters of similar character to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and in our present state of knowledge they can neither be predicted nor prevented once underway.

Policymakers in USA, Canada and Japan are already strongly questioning the illusory goal of "preventing global warming" by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. New Zealand intends to change its emissions trading scheme into a direct tax impost, and Australia is likely to repeal their carbon dioxide tax after an election in 2013.

The alternative view is emerging that climate hazard is best dealt with by preparing for, and adapting to, climate events and change as they happen. Such a policy is also precautionary against any possibly dangerous, human-caused climate trends, should they occur, and is distinctly different from the former emphasis by western parliaments on the mitigation of global warming by cutting carbon dioxide emissions.