NOT enough evidence exists to link carbon emissions with global warming, Professor Bob Carter said last night at a Rockhampton meeting.
Professor Carter, Science Adviser to the Australian Climate Science Coalition (ACSC) and a marine geologist from James Cook University, claims there is no convincing empirical evidence to support the claim that human action is greatly impacting on climate change.
He said this issue was the most important “of our time” and one that people should have a balanced view towards.
Managing climate change was a hot topic in Rockhampton yesterday.
Professor Carter's appearance at the Rockhampton Leagues Club coincided with the visit of Australian Coal Association executive director Ralph Hillman who presented his organisation's “Let's Cut Emissions Not Jobs” campaign to Rockhampton Regional Council in the afternoon.
The association has stepped up it major advertising campaign against the Federal Government's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
Speaking shortly after arriving in Rockhampton, Professor Carter said there was an urgent need for a national climate policy that improved the ability to recognise, manage and adapt to natural climate change and events.
“It really is a no-brainer as it would cost a fraction of the mooted emissions trading legislation and contingent damage to the economy, energy systems, the standard of living and the world food supply would be avoided,” Professor Carter said.
“By their very nature, strategies that can cope with the dangers of natural climate change including bushfires and flooding will readily cope with human-caused change too, should that ever manifest itself and be backed by conclusive evidence.”
He said the Government's scheme would have little more than a notional impact.
The Australian Coal Association's advertising campaign warns of possible mine closures and job losses if the proposed scheme goes ahead in its present form.
“We decided to advertise after the ACA conducted extensive public research in regional Australia to gauge the level of community understanding and knowledge about the Federal Government's new carbon tax regime,” Mr Hillman said.
“This research revealed that coal mining communities have not been properly warned of the damaging consequences of the Federal Government's scheme in its current form.”
The Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change, Greg Combet, said it was misleading to say mines would close.
Mr Combet said the coal industry was the nation's biggest export industry, a major employer and a key driver of economic growth for many regions, including Rockhampton.
“The Rudd Government also recognises the importance of addressing climate change,” Mr Combet said.
“The Government has carefully designed the CPRS to deliver on its targets while balancing the impact on industries and households. We are confident that we have got the balance right.”
He said Australian Treasury had undertaken a comprehensive economic modelling exercise that showed the coal industry would continue to grow under the CPRS.
Mr Combet said the Government had recognised, however, there were some challenges facing the coal industry in the period ahead which they were addressing.
What do you think? Are carbon emissions and climate change linked? Have your say below.