Regarding the report, "Australian Religious Leaders' letter on climate change" (World News, May AD2000), may I submit a few observations.
The theory of global warming has been presented to the public by means of highly selective, often doubtful evidence with direct debate rare. The very phrase "global warming" has apparently been replaced by "climate change", perhaps because current evidence is that the world has cooled slightly over the last decade.
On the other hand the phrase "climate change" seems meaningless in view of the continued reluctance of the climate to do anything but change.
The "greenhouse effect" actually blankets the earth against freezing to the point where all life would be extinguished, and the part played by carbon-dioxide is much debated on the internet, but seldom in the local press. About five percent of greenhouse gas is carbon-dioxide, about half of this being of natural origin. About 70 percent of the greenhouse effect is caused by water-vapour .
The proponents of man-made climate-change display a marked preference for emotionalism, with recently on TV a scientist, almost in tears, warning that the Great Barrier Reef would be irretrievably damaged within ten years if his advice was not followed. A matter of weeks later another scientist assured us that the Reef, far from being endangered, is actually in good health.
Those who remember Archimedes' Principle will know that the pictures of melting ice-bergs, presumably warning us of rising sea- levels, are misleading. In fact, if all the ice-bergs on earth melted the sea-level would not change. This can be tested by leaving out a jug of water and ice-blocks overnight.
Finally we have the incredible shrinking Lake Chad in Africa. Aerial photos have shown a dramatic shrinkage, but it is not revealed that later investigation attributes the shrinkage to the vastly increased number of people living off the lake; nor that this very shallow lake has been subject to successive shrinkage and expansion for centuries.