Carbon Sense Coalition

Carbon Sense Coalition

 Background

The Carbon Sense Coalition describes itself as “a voluntary group of people concerned about the extent to which carbon is wrongly vilified in Western societies, particularly in government, the media, and in business circles.”

Their aim is to “restore balance and reason to the carbon debate, and to explain and defend the key role of carbon in production of most of our energy for heat, light, and transportation, and all of our food.” [1]

According to chairman Viv Forbes, “The impetus for the formation of the group was, firstly the proposal that carbon dioxide be labeled as a pollutant in the Federal National Pollutant Inventory, and secondly a set of wholly destructive policy proposals from the Queensland government in their document Climate Smart 2050 – Queensland climate change strategy 2007 – a low carbon future.” [2]

Stance on Climate Change

“Earth’s climate is changing and always has been changing – it is the norm, not the exception. This is well documented in historical records and is obvious even by casual observation. Current conditions are warm and benign but not unusual or extreme. It is tragic that people with no apparent knowledge of earth’s climate history are filling our children with fear and our adults with guilt for a perfectly natural phenomenon.” [3]

 Funding

[Pending further investigation.]

Key People

Advisory Committee

  • Viv Forbes — Chairman
  • Keith Barker — Mining Engineer, CEO Northern Energy Corporation.
  • John Carter — Cattleman, Chairman Australian Beef Association.
  • Ken Day — President Director, Terrindo, Sand Mining Contractor.
  • Rod Dawnie — Geoscientist.
  • Peter Ellis
  • James Hawes
  • Ron Kitching — Drilling and Conveying Consultant.
  • Bob Long — Web Master.
  • Stuart McArthur — Grazing and Land Management Consultant.
  • Graeme Haycroft
  • Peter Hawes
  • Chris Heusch
  • Gerry Jackson
  • Peter Jamieson — Metallurgist, Engineer.
  • Gary Jones
  • Vaughan Jones — Sheep farmer, animal nutritionist, pasture adviser.
  • Greg Kater — Geologist, Sheep and Cattle Grazer.
  • Erich Kern
  • Jocelyn Maxwell
  • Muriel Newman — Director, The New Zealand Centre for Political Research.
  • Ken Perry
  • Ron Manners — Executive Director, Mannkal Foundation.
  • Benjamin Marks
  • John McRobert
  • John McSweeney — Metallurgist.
  • Malcolm Roberts — Management Consultant, Catalyst for Corporate Performance Pty Ltd.
  • James Sokoll — Systems Engineer, Mt Walker Qld Australia.
  • Walter Starck — Marine Ecologist.
  • Heather Wehl — Dairy farmer.

Source: [4]

Regional Correspondents & Supporters

  • Rod Burston — Engineer, spokesman for the NSW Fishing Clubs Association.
  • John Carter — Mechanical engineer.
  • Geoff Cooney — Retired farmer.
  • Neil Coulter — Chemical & Metallurgical Engineer.
  • Don Daisley — Industrial Engineer.
  • Fred Drake
  • Ray Duncan
  • Ray Evans — President, H R Nicholls Society, and Secretary of the Lavoisier Group.
  • Keith Mercer — Engineer.
  • Herbert Nehrlich
  • Vince Pendal — Non-Executive Chairman, McGarry Associates.
  • Stephen Peterson
  • Michael Pinnock — Ex CEO, Queensland Resources Council.
  • Pam Pownall
  • Ken Ring — Private Weather Forecaster.
  • Franklin Sanders
  • Ken Shock — Physicist and Investor.
  • Dick Tanner
  • John Weil — Geologist, long time mining industry metals explorer and
  •  consultant.

Source: [4]

 Actions

May 21 - 23, 2012

The Carbon Sense Coalition is an official Co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

June, 2011

The Carbon Sense Coalition was a supporter of climate skeptic Christopher Monckton's Australian tour.

“We urge people to attend the Monckton functions because the opposition will try to frighten us away with smears and personal attacks on him and his associates. His cause is our cause,” Forbes said. [5]

March, 2009

The Carbon Sense Coalition was a sponsor of the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change.

DeSmogBlog investigated other sponsors of the 2009 conference, and found that sponsor organizations had received over $47 million from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from the Scaife Family of foundations.

October 9, 2008

On behalf of the coalition, Forbes authored an open letter (PDF) criticizing carbon trading on behalf of the Carbon Sense Coalition. The letter, addressed to the Premier and Members, describes carbon dioxide as “harmless … plant [food].”

Forbes also suggests that carbon trading would increase the price of petrol, grain, beef and other farm products, and that carbon trading would result in something “worse than the sub-prime crisis.” It is interesting to note that the Carbon Sense Coalition's Advisory (PDF) Committee is filled with individuals representing the beef and mining industries. [4]

The letter concludes that “There is no consensus on the science of global warming, and no evidence beyond computer models that carbon dioxide is causing or will cause dangerous climate changes. Climate is always changing, and there is no evidence that man has or can affect world climate trends. Therefore there is no basis to embark on a massive dislocation of Queensland’s backbone industries. There are zero proven benefits.” [6]

February 11, 2008

Viv Forbes, on behalf of the Carbon Sense Coalition, sent a submission (PDF) to the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change criticizing its proposal for a national greenhouse and energy reporting (NGER) system.

The NGER act would provide a national framework in Australia to report the greenhouse gas emissions by major corporations.

Forbes suggests that the NGER system (if implemented) should “minimize the data demanded, the people who must report and the matters reported on.” His suggestions include to: [7]

  • “Delete all requirements to report all energy produced, transported and consumed…”
  • “Delete all reporting on guesses of carbon gases produced by the disposal, decay, composting or burning of organic waste, agricultural products, dead pasture, scrub re-growth, waste water, animal manure, human sewerage, land fill etc…  
  • “Delete all references to 'Indirect Emissions'…”

The submissions's conclusion is that there should be an “Independent Enquiry” into climate change science before any de-carbonisation proposals are applied in Australia.

Forbes's reasoning is that the climate is “unusually benign,” that carbon dioxide has “encouraged plant growth, causing a large increase in food production on earth since the 1850’s ('the green revolution').” He also believes that “a period of global cooling is likely.”

Although he mentions “scientists who study the sun,” he does not cite any scientific studies in his report.

June, 2007

Submitted a document (PDF) countering Queensland's “Climate Smart 2050” energy policy. The Carbon Sense Coalition document was titled “Look before you Leap,” and concludes that “the draft policy proposal 'Climate Smart, 2050' should be withdrawn and replaced with a policy that reflects good science…” and that the coalition “would be happy to participate in helping to draw up such a policy.”

Samples of the coalition's “key responses” include that  “Earth's climate is changing and always has been changing,” that carbon dioxide “(even at significantly higher concentrations) is totally beneficial to plants, wildlife and humans,” and that there is “no evidence that [carbon dioxide] is the key driver, or even a significant driver of temperature.” [3]

Related Organizations

 Resources

  1. About,” The Carbon Sense Coalition. Accessed January, 2012.

  2. Climate Smart?” Media Statement, July 1, 2007. Republished by the Carbon Sense Coalition.

  3. “'Look before you Leap,' A Submission to 'Climate Smart 2050'
    (a proposed energy policy for Queensland) from The Carbon Sense Coalition” (PDF), June 2007.

  4. “Introducing The Carbon Sense Coalition” (PDF) The Carbon Sense Coalition. Accessed January, 2012.

  5. Viv Forbes. “Australian Tour by Christopher Monckton,” Canada Free Press, June 27, 2011.

  6. Viv Forbes. “An Open Letter to Premier Anna Bligh and All Elected Members in Queensland” (PDF), Carbon Sense Coalition, October 9, 2008.

  7. “'Keep it Simple, Stupid': A Submission from The Carbon Sense Coalition to the Commonwealth  Department of Climate Change (DOCC) on its proposal for a National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System” (PDF), February 11, 2008. Retrieved from Climatechange.gov.au.

  8. Carbon Sense Coalition,” SourceWatch profile.

  9. Noel Sheppard. “Carbon Sense Coalition: 'Earth Hour' Should be Renamed 'Dark Hour',” NewsBusters, March 29, 2008.