Climate Change Sceptics

Welcome to A Brave New Climate

This is the blog of Professor Barry Brook, Director of the Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Adelaide. We are working to promote interdisciplinary research into climate change mitigation and adaption, but we’re also engaged in reaching out to our community to educate and raise awareness about these important issues.

To kick things off in this department, I invite you to learn about our upcoming free public seminar series:


a 6-part public lecture series hosted by the Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability (RIsCCS)

Scientists have developed a vast body of knowledge about global warming and climate change, yet a strong current of doubt persists in our communities regarding this critically important issue. In this series of free public seminars, RIsCCS Director Professor Barry Brook will provide the scientific answers to a host of commonly raised sceptical questions. Each seminar will include a presentation by an expert in the specific area being discussed, and there will be ample time for questions and audience participation.

Cost: FREE

Time and Place:
5.30 to 7PM, alternate Fridays during the second semester 2008 Lecture Theatre 102, Napier Building, University of Adelaide North Terrace Campus

Seminar dates and titles:

  • 8 August – “Is the earth really warming?”
  • 22 August – “Can we distinguish between natural and human-induced climate change?”
  • 5 September – “What future climate change scenarios are possible?”
  • 19 September – “Are the impacts of climate change being overstated?”
  • 10 October – “Will it cost the earth to avoid climate change?”
  • 24 October – “Greenhouse denial versus good science: The ‘pretend debate'”

For complete details or to register your interest in attending, please visit our website.

For the featured news story in the Adelaide Advertiser, see here.

Barry W. Brook

By Barry Brook

Barry Brook is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Chair of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania. He researches global change, ecology and energy.

15 replies on “Welcome to A Brave New Climate”

Welcome to the blogosphere!! – Love the name, like the new theme, well done!

One suggestion, Add a signature to each post (including the welcome one already posted) – Alayne or Barry, indicating who is the author of the post.

Corey and Barry have also set up ‘cross author’ arrangements under the USERS tab so they can post on each others blogs. Same rule would apply, put the name at the bottom of the post as text.

Fang – Mike Seyfang


What a great idea! Let’s now hope the climate change deniers are brave enough to put their “sceptical” views to a scientist and allow themselves to be correctly informed. Then they can go on to become advocates for immediate action on reducing warming! We can live in hope!!


Macro-sized problem this global warming.

Macro-scale engineering is our way out of the mess.

If we focus only on GHG’s, the trend in RF will mean that we are left with the choice between dry and even drier. Neither is appealing.

How about focussing on the other part of the formula, the amount of SWR that ends up as LWR and instead, reflect the SWR before it even has its effect. RF estimates of 1.6 W.m-2 [0.2 ~2.4] as per IPCC 4AR mean in effect 1% of insolation ends up as extra heat.

Compensating for this only means about 1% of earths’ surface or around 5 million km+2. Let’s do part of it in Australia’s desert and see if we can improve our own local weather {our direct benefit} and along the way help drop the global heat load. Wetter, cooler, greener and extra vegetation means CO2 sequestration. That way Australians benefit and so does the world.

Alternatively, we take the current single track path of combating GHG’s and we end up with no local benefit and probably no global difference as well – just like the brave fools that we were to buy this silly notion of “free trade”. The trade is free, but only for those nations that don’t get on board and the victims are those silly countries that put philanthropy above parochiality.


Good lecture tonight Barry. You didn’t leave the deniers much wiggle room and those in the audience (I bet there were some) weren’t brave
enough to ask any questions before I had to leave. The Andrew Bolt’s
of the world are very courageous when they have guarantee’d column inches
and can get away with short hand waving “arguments”. It’s just tragic how
much impact they have had in delaying real action.


Agreed Geoff. I think this underscores the reason why people need to be properly armed with the facts, and the need for them to get out there and spread the knowledge. So, when they hear these bog-standard ‘sceptical’ proclamations such as “Global warming stopped in 1998…”, be it at a neighbourhood party or over dinner with friends (or wherever) they will feel confidend to refute the recycled nonsense which now pervades so many arenas.

Mark, the audio podcast and a PDF version of the two PowerPoint presentations will be available early next week (Monday or Tuesday). When they are available I’ll post the full details here.


Well presented discussion, clarifying the basis for the contention of global warming. The deniers are victims of the old saying “There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics”. If you choose to pick any set of figures selectively, you can almost argue anything.

Apart from the instrument record there is one big record that nature has for us which should prove to any denier that they are wrong. Glaciers almost universally over the globe {with the possible exception of some in New Zealand} are in retreat. They are the result of hundreds of years of weather and surely any change in them should also confirm what our instruments are telling us – that there are changes and overall, they are unidirectional.

Well presented Barry.


Great lecture Barry – can’t wait for the next one! I’d like to know where the Bolt’s bloggers were though – if they were there then courage deserted them in the face of your scientific knowledge and presentation. I have posted your website/blog on Andre Bolt’s and invited them to listen to the podcast and ask their (mostly inane) questions. I’d like to hear the seminar again too – to crystalise the science before I go into battle with the sceptics in my community. Thanks again.


Congratulations on your new blog Professor Brook. I don’t know much about climate or energy so I probably won’t have a lot to say, but I look forward to discussion about our climate situation and ways we can transition to renewable energy as quickly as possible.

Good luck with it,


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