|Petition requesting that
Australia immediately withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement
|NB: Closing date for signatures is Wednesday, 19 July 2017|
|Some concerns you might have|
How do I sign? Just click on the link above and it will take you to a web page on an Australian government web site that you can also find through www.aph.gov.au, then enter your name, email address and confirm that you are not a robot. An email will be sent to the address you give and you have 8 hours to click the link in the email to confirm that you are signing. That's all there is to it.
Is it safe? From a web page perspective, as safe as www.aph.gov.au is. The list of signers and their email addresses is not made public to anyone apart from the federal minister or member of the House of Representatives who presents the petition to parliament.
What's with "aoopca" ? The web page for signing can also be accessed through http://tinyurl.com/aoopca. TinyURL is just a web service service that automatically and invisibly redirects you to another web page, usually one with a much longer URL. It's used for convenience because no-one likes typing a long URL or clicking through lots of web pages to get to the one they want. The "aoopca" was chosen because it's short for 'Australia out of Paris Climate Agreement'.
Australia to follow the lead of the USA and immediately withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement
(a) The damage and impairment to the Australian economy and the financial pain inflicted on our citizens and residents caused by inflated energy costs will be very significant and are very likely to be increased in future.
(b) Australian greenhouse gas emissions are insignificant and have no measurable influence on global average temperature, meaning that Australia's involvement is merely a political gesture.
(c) The ratification of the Agreement was made without due regard to the IPCC's Fifth Climate Assessment Report (5AR) of 2013, which says that
(i) atmospheric carbon dioxide increased over the 15 years prior to the report,
(ii) there was no statistical certainty that average global temperature increased over that time, and
(iii) 111 of 114 climate model runs predicted greater warming over that period than the temperature observations indicate.
These statements undermine the notion of significant manmade warming and undermine the credibility of claims based on the output of climate models.
(d) The ratification was made without due attention to the Agreement's detail, specifically "Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels". The Agreement gives no indication of when "pre-industrial" refers to, no indication of how global average temperatures at that time were determined or of how the current average global temperature will be calculated for the purposes of the Agreement.
Point (a) argues against Australian suffering rises in energy cost as a consequence of the Agreement and the likely increased suffering as the terms of the Paris Agreement are increased in future. (Even the UNFCCC admits that Paris was only a start.)
Point (b) argues that Australia's contribution to total greenhouse gases is negligible and we'd be making a lot of effort (and paying a lot) but achieving virtually nothing.
Points in (c) are based on extracts from the 2013 IPCC Climate Assessment Report (5AR). The data on CO2 levels is from figure 2.1 (chapter 2, pg 167) and the other two points are from:
1. "... the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05 [–0.05 to 0.15] °C per decade) ..." [WG I SPM, page 5, section B.1, bullet point 3, and in full Synthesis Report on page SYR-6]
2. "... an analysis of the full suite of CMIP5 historical simulations (...) reveals that 111 out of 114 realisations show a GMST trend over 1998–2012 that is higher than the entire HadCRUT4 trend ensemble ...." [WGI contribution, chapter 9, text box 9.2, page 769, and in full Synthesis Report on page SYR-8]
IN SIMPLER WORDS ...
1 – According to statistical practices the trend in temperature from 1998 to 2012 (the 15 years prior to the report being drafted) falls somewhere between slight warming (0.15C/decade) and slight cooling (0.05C/decade). In other words there is no certainty that despite CO2 increasing over those 15 years there was any warming at all.
2 – Despite claims of the accuracy of climate models most of the model runs (97%) predicted more warming from 1998 to 2012 than the temperature observations show. We simply can't trust models to accurately predict future temperatures.
Point (d) is from Article 2 point 1(a) of the Agreement, which was can be found in English here. The specific issues raised are:
- "Pre-industrial" is undefined. Google the term and you'll find that some people say just before 1750 because it was prior to the major industrial period that started in that year, but others say 1850-1900 and a relatively recent scientific paper suggests that 1720-1800 should be used. It all too vague.
- How do we know what the global average temperature was back then (so that we will know when we've reached 1.5C or 2.0C)? As far as I can see we don't know. Only 37 temperature observation stations operated in 1800 with 34 of them in Europe, which at the time was in the grip of the Little Ice Age. Even around 1870 more global temperature data came from Europe than would be fair for its size. Climate models won't reliably predict the temperatures back in time and proxies, like trying to match tree-ring growth to temperature, aren't accurate because changes in the proxies might be due to other causes.
- How is the global temperature going to be determined now and in future? We don't have thermometers everywhere. Maybe an average temperature anomaly (i.e. difference above the long-term average) could be calculated but these aren't very accurate over all of the Earth's surface.
Point (d) is basically saying that the UNFCCC could claim tomorrow that the 1.5C point, or even the 2.0C point, had been reached and that it wanted greater reductions in emissions and more money. Without the details about temperature we'd have no way to verify or challenge those demands and we'd be pressured into giving in to them. (The whole problem is that most of the countries who vote at the UNFCCC take advantage of the UN's 'one country - one vote' system to vote for whatever might get money out of the more developed countries, but that's another story.)