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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Global warming hot air

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According to temperature data just released by Britain's Met Office, the world's climate cooled during 2011 and has continued the trend in 2012. This news has come just as the United Nations climate summit commenced in Doha, Qatar, with the goal of finding ways to cut global "greenhouse" gas emissions.

The latest data have cast doubt on climate scientists' predictions of runaway warming. The longer-term record shows global temperatures have gone sideways during the past 15 years. Professor Tim Flannery has stated that if humanity stopped using carbon dioxide tomorrow it would take up to 10,000 years for this to have an impact on the climate in any measurable way. Think about that -- 10,000 years. This is from a leading climate scientist.

Why the panic over reducing carbon emissions? It is hard to understand given that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere varies by 5 percent annually. The human contribution to the total amount of carbon dioxide is just 1.7 percent -- well within the natural variation. Therefore, it is not possible for carbon dioxide to be the major cause of climate change. This being so, one must ask, is it really necessary for urgent action to be taken on reducing our "greenhouse" gas emissions?

ALAN BARRON

Victoria, Australia

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