This is part of Raphael’s famous fresco (wall painting) titled the School of Athens in the Vatican. I had the privilege of studying it during WWII when we had plenty of time to spare. The theme of the fresco is Philosophy and this part of the fresco shows Euclid teaching mathematics to a group of enthusiastic pupils. He has a pair of dividers symbolising measurement and is pointing to a visual image on a slate. His studies have enabled us to measure distances from a point on earth to a point on the moon with a high degree of accuracy. But we still cannot predict future rainfall and river flow other than in probabilistic terms.
This is the difference between accurate mathematical descriptions and broad probabilistic methods that we have so much difficulty in mastering.
It is a huge relief. It took a year to compile the handbook after which I had to wait another two years while the WRC who had financed the handbook refused to talk to me. The reason was that I dared to criticise the climate change issue. The WRC even refused to invite me to their 40th anniversary function.
Nearly twenty years ago when we were working in the pitiful conditions in Alexandra township two mothers came up to me. All that they said was ‘Help us please’. Nobody else was prepared to come to their assistance. With this firmly fixed in my mind, the WRC’s attitude made me even more determined to get the handbook published. I tried two ‘official’ avenues without success. They were sympathetic but my request was like asking them to put their heads into a hornet’s nest. When it became clear that no official avenues were brave enough I would have to search for an alternative route. My young family came to my help.
The socio-economic situation in South Africa and many other countries continues to deteriorate. In South Africa it is estimated that about 39% of the population live below the breadline. About 25% of the work force are unemployed. This is unsustainable.
To counter this situation the authorities have just announced an extensive and expensive infrastructure development programme, including the provision of affordable water and electricity. However, the implementation will require increases in the employment of competent and experienced professional staff. This in turn requires urgent, experience based high level training courses for practitioners, certainly not short presentations based on academic studies.
This has been my objective during my long professional career. Imagine my indignation when our water division announced a presentation on ‘climate change and water’ by a person who has close to zero practical knowledge and experience in the field of water resource development and management.
Notwithstanding the fact that South Africa hosted COP17 two months ago, compulsory carbon dioxide emissions control measures do not feature in South Africa's budget announced last week. This is a huge relief for those of us who maintain that these measures and the global climate models on which they are based have no substance in science.
There is however another increasingly serious issue. As our available water resources approach depletion, environmental concerns have become an important obstacle. These obstacles can only be overcome by multi-disciplinary/multi-institutional approaches. Simple examples are given in the attached memo.
Just to remind you, this is the relevant University of Pretoria website for my handbook and technical report.
Whatever the reason, the consequences are that the image of the once esteemed Royal Society has suffered a severe blow. I wonder if the society ever considered the consequences that their own unfounded recommendations would have on the less affluent nations of the world, particularly those in Africa.
I strongly recommend that you read the report within the context of the attached Memo 04/12.
I apologise for burdening you with more material on the unverified hypothesis issue. However, as we all know climate change is now coming to a head nationally as well as internationally.
What is very important is that until now climate change scientists have successfully avoided facing an independent panel of experts. They have gone further by vilifying those who disagree with them. I have personal experience of these tactics.
What is happening here in South Africa, is that the professionals who will be expected to implement or adapt to the postulated consequences of climate change, have started to question both the theory and its postulated consequences.
This is what I have been doing ever since 1993. My efforts are now bearing fruit but there are still a few hurdles ahead.
Top South African biosystems professor today adds his dissenting voice to growing number of international experts demanding an end to the religion of man-made global warming.
Alexander publishes (February 3, 2012) an in-depth analysis exposing UN climate science as "an empty shell" endorsed by certain national governments bent on raising unnecessary and swinging climate taxes.
Alexander is Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa and renowned internationally for his environmental science. Alexander joins the growing ranks of highly credentialed scientists whose incisive research and publications have been frustrated by obstructionist alarmist and bureaucratic forces - a veritable wall of self-serving censorship from mainstream science journals loyal to the 'cause' of ramping up public alarm on this hot issue. Only through the grassroots medium of the world wide web have such principled scientists been able to get the truth out.
"At last the climate change bubble is about to burst," says the South African whose new publications summarize the facts that, "there is no evidence to support the claims that climate change will increase floods and droughts."
The above is a video from the Internet forwarded by a Namibian colleague. You may consider a more appropriate title in the light of recent events.
I have attached below my memo with the above title for your interest.
I have also attached a notice of a four day course by the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Pretoria from 31 January to 3 February titled Flood hydrology and climate change impacts.
As soon as the word ‘adaptation’ appears in relation to climate change you are entering civil engineering territory. I was one of thirty international experts invited to Japan in connection with the establishment of a research institute. During the discussions I asked the meeting what their views were on climate change.
Their immediate reply was that it was no more than an unverified hypothesis.
This is part of Raphael’s famous fresco (wall painting) titled the School of Athens in the Vatican. I had the privilege of studying it during WWII when we had plenty of time to spare. The theme of the fresco is Philosophy and this part of the fresco shows Euclid teaching mathematics to a group of enthusiastic pupils. He has a pair of dividers symbolising measurement and is pointing to a visual image on a slate.
His studies have enabled us to measure distances from a point on earth to a point on the moon with a high degree of accuracy. But we still cannot predict future rainfall and river flow other than in probabilistic terms. This is the difference between accurate mathematical descriptions and broad probabilistic methods that we have so much difficulty in mastering.
We all have our ups and downs in life. Last week I wondered if there was any point in continuing the battle. The two opposing positions were irreconcilable. This is illustrated in the above two photographs that were pages apart in the newspapers. They need no interpretation.
During the past week the organisers of COP17 stepped up their publicity campaign with their ‘The end is nigh’ warning if we do not take immediate measures to control all those undesirable emissions into the atmosphere. The nations of the world will be encouraged to follow our example.
But there were problems. News item headlines were popping up all over the place warning of the consequences if South Africa embarked on this path. Increases in the costs of production, joblessness, and poverty were on top of the lists. The disintegration of the world's economies was another.
Click source to download PDF file and read FULL report from Will Alexander
Do not let the title of the attached memo (see PDF below) put you off if you propose attending COP17. Rather the opposite. Just relax and enjoy the well organised discussions, exhibits and functions.
Our airports are as good as the best in your home countries. Durban is our major holiday destination. Its hospitality is of world class. The hotels are spread along the seafront. The conference facilities are excellent. There will be tight security during the proceedings.
If this is the first time that you have travelled abroad here are some suggestions. The most important rule is that you must not let your valuables, particularly your cameras, laptops and cell phones (mobiles) out of your sight while travelling or in the hotels. If your hotel room does not have a safe, then hand in your valuables at the front desk when you are not using them. These are standard procedures when visiting all countries.