Climate specialists?

John Potter writes: Re. “Sydney Institute ‘has diverse views‘” (yesterday). Gerard Henderson makes the point that Clive Hamilton and Robert Manne have no qualifications in science or engineering. True, but neither do they have qualifications in woodworking, hairdressing or circus arts, which are as relevant to still-called global warming as engineering. Perhaps if Henderson found a hairdresser or bearded lady who shared his unscientific beliefs he might be cajoled into further relaxing his already malleable standards as to who may speak at his events.

As it is, Henderson is missing the point entirely by comparing Hamilton and Manne’s public profiles with that of (formerly Professor) Murry Salby. Hamilton and Manne make no claims in studying the science themselves and make it clear that they are merely promoting the consensus of every major scientific organisation on the planet — a consensus that has yet to be overturned by overenthusiastic doubters such Salby.

Colin Ross writes: Gerard Henderson just cannot help himself.  If he is as evenhanded as he thinks he is, why only include Clive Hamilton and Robert Manne for his snide remarks? What about sneering at a couple of unqualified climate sceptics for balance?

Incidentally, as a 1959 engineering graduate of UWA, I am not sure that my degree gives me any authoritative status on climate change.  In my day we studied physics and chemistry alongside specialists in those disciplines, and the only time we went near the zoology department was, traditionally, when that course covered human reproduction.

If the Sydney Institute is going to include engineers and zoologists et al in their list of approved speakers, then the bar has been set too low.

Rudd’s class warfare

Martin Gordon writes: Re. “Novel ALP vision has Kim Williams reaching for Lenin” (Friday). Margot Saville had a good pick-up on the Rudd speech and similarity to the Chris Bowen book quote. While Kevin Rudd has claimed not to believe in class war, at least one of his candidates (by my local ALP MP) put out material that is blatantly divisive, and very old class war.

Rudd seeks to liken himself as healer, which flies badly in the face of his policy failures (asylum seekers, some cack-handed stimulus items, and disregard of advice by Peter Garrett for one on the insulation batts), his poor reputation in Queensland Labor under Wayne Goss and his remarkable sacking (and colleagues’ subsequent fierce attacks). The claimed Hawke era consensus came to be derided as “CON-census” and as a marketing slogan. Is this more Rudd phony marketing and sloganeering?

Reviewing the numbers on China

Steve Davies writes: Re. “Is China in for a hard landing, or is this the new normal?” (yesterday). The Kouk says the maths is simple, but the numbers don’t add up, unless there is something more complicated going on, because 12% of $US 1 trillion is $120 billion; 7% of $US 8 trillion is $560 billion. Not $15 billion and $60 billion as reported.

The premise of the article remains, 7% growth in today’s China dwarfs 12% growth in the China of 20 years ago.

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