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Climate change dissenter makes a valid contribution: NFF

21 April 2009

TODAY the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) welcomed Prof Ian Plimer’s contribution to the climate change discussion and debate, claiming to debunk many of the theories and dire predictions of some within the scientific fraternity.

In his new book, Heaven and Earth: Climate change – the real science, Prof Plimer, from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide, notes that climatic change is ‘the norm’, sea levels rise and fall all the time, and that climate cycles are driven by massive forces completely unrelated to carbon emissions. He says:

“Climate changes in the past have been far greater and far more rapid than anything measured in the present. Not one previous climate change has ever been driven by carbon dioxide. To talk of carbon pollution shows an appalling ignorance of basic school science. Carbon dioxide is plant food, without it humans could not exist.”

NFF President David Crombie added: “We’ve heard ad nauseam from those scientists convinced that climate change will ruin us all and, seemingly, hell-bent on making grim doomsday predictions. But we’ve heard precious little from those experts for whom the jury is still out, or, in the case of Professor Plimer, say their research shows extreme climate change predictions are over-stated.

“Now, before I’m carted to a stake for public torching, I’m not saying Professor Plimer is right, nor that his colleagues with differing views are wrong. Just that it’s about time we had a balanced, informed discussion and debate... free from vilification of those who dare to question conventional wisdom.

“We know that not all scientists agree on climate change or the cause and effect theories that underpin it. In his book, Prof Plimer claims that every scientific argument ever used to show that humans change climate is wrong and cites over 2,300 scientific references in support of his claims.

“It’s food for thought. That’s why Prof Plimer will be a key speaker at our upcoming National Congress in Brisbane this June – so Australian farmers, agribusiness leaders, government officials and other delegates can make up their own minds.

“You would be hard pressed to find any organisation that has been more proactive on the need to mitigate the potential risks of climate change than the NFF. We’ve been on the front foot in doing so for all my three years as President.

“But, as Prof Plimer says: “If Government decisions, taxation and emissions trading are to be based on science that is demonstrably wrong, then primary industry in Australia will be destroyed”, then we must consider all possibilities, alternate information and counter-views so we can make informed decisions and choices.

“As farmers, we have no way of knowing who is right, wrong or kind-of-in-the-ballpark on the scientific research and the judgements therein, but no-one was ever hurt by being exposed to all the facts on any given topic. Rigour underpins getting the science right... Prof Plimer is part of the mix.”

More information the NFF’s 2009 National Congress, including all speakers and topics, is available from the National Congress website.

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Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan on (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250.

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