During 2006, the doomsters were predicting that 2007 would be the hottest year on record, so why have we seen no reports about this?
The answer is simple – 2007 turned out to be the coolest year for 30 years. It is also the case that there has been no global warming since 1998. In fact, since 1998, there has been steady cooling.
Even more dramatic is the fact that the most recent computer model predictions indicate that there will be no more global warming for the next ten years. But the doomsters say that, after this ten-year period, global warming will come back with a vengeance. Why?
Certainly, mankind's production of carbon dioxide (CO2) has continued to increase since 1998 and will continue to increase, particularly since countries such as China and India say that their economic growth comes first, so they do not intend worrying too much about CO2 production.
I have repeatedly pointed out that there is little or no link between CO2 production by mankind and a rise in global temperature. In fact, indications are that it is the opposite – an increased temperature causes more CO2 to be ejected into the atmosphere.
In the time of the Viking settlements on Greenland, about 1 000 years ago, there was a period of warming. That is why the Viking settlements flourished and they could grow grapes and maize, which puzzled the archaeologists.
Then it cooled, and the last Viking supply ship arrived at the settlements in 1410, after which it all froze up.
The world then experienced the Little Ice Age, during the time of Shakespeare and Jan van Riebeeck. The Thames froze over, and there was a period of economic decline, in comparison to the economic boom during the Medieval period of global warming.
There was also an earlier warming period, known as the Roman Warming, during the period of Roman economic prosperity.
All of this warming and cooling happened without any contribution from any man-made CO2. Indications in our modern times are that the warming observed up to the end of 2006 has been due to a natural cycle in the intensity of the sun.
This was, by all indications, the same source of warming of the Medieval and Roman Warming periods. But now South Africa wants to impose a carbon tax aimed at cutting South Africa's emission of greenhouse gases. I think this is wrong. The proposal is for a 2c/kWh tax to be imposed from September.
This is expected to generate R4-billion a year for the National Treasury. But the economics folks point out that this 2c tax translates into a 10% increase in the electricity cost.
One of the reasons why South Africa uses a large amount of electricity is that we have major exports whose production is energy intensive, such as gold, steel and aluminium. We do not export watches like the Swiss, or computer software like the Irish, so to quote our per capita production of CO2 is stupid.
The tax, I am told, is to incentivise the use of renewable sources of power, such as wind, solar and hydro. This is crazy too. I am all in favour of wind and solar, but only if such sources can stand on their own two feet in economic competition to our coal-fired power. To fake the economics is to do damage to our exports, and to the lifestyle of every citizen.
There is little or no indication that man-made CO2 is causing any climate change. There has been no global warming since 1998. The warming that did happen during the twentieth century happened mainly between 1920 and 1940. The year 2007 was the coolest year for 30 years.
For us to go with the flow, or dive into a panic mode, is crazy. Let us look after the health and welfare of our people first. This does not mean being irresponsible about any sources of pollution from industrial operations or any other activities. It means using genuine science, and not the scare tactics of world political manipulators, to come to really sensible conclusions.