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Climate change questions and answers

Anyone who has read Andrew Bolt, The Australian, or listened to any shock jocks such as Alan Jones recently would have been overwhelmed with the number of rabid claims that climate change is a hoax, a left-wing conspiracy theory, or that any change stopped over a decade ago. Sadly, this is the view held by our mainstream media and even more sadly, our new government. Neither seem interested in the facts.

Just over a week ago the the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) published Questions and Answers: climate change where they addressed some of the common questions raised about the changing climate and the science involved in studying it.

The media ignored it. The government ignored it. And as a result, you probably don’t know about it. After all, it was nothing more than a collection of facts: facts that contradicted what the media and government would want us to believe.

Below, I have reproduced a condensed version of the CSIRO’s discussion:

What is climate change? (natural & human-induced)

Human-induced climate change, represents a raft of new challenges for this generation and those to come, through increases in extreme weather events and other changes, such as sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

Climate change will be superimposed on natural climate variability, leading to a change in the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme events.

Climate risk profiles will be altered and adaptation will be necessary to manage these new risks. Adaptation includes new management practices, engineering solutions, improved technologies and behavioural change.

How has climate changed in the past?

In Australia, surface temperatures on the land have been recorded at many sites since the mid to late 19th century.

By 1910, Australia had a reliable network of thermometers and the data they produced have been extensively analysed by the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists at CSIRO, Australian universities and international research institutions.

This reveals that since 1910, Australia’s annual-average daily maximum temperatures have increased by 0.75°C and the overnight minima by more than 1.1°C.

Since the 1950s, each decade has been warmer than the one before. We’ve also experienced an increase in record hot days and a decrease in record cold days across the country.

Why do sea levels change?

Average global sea levels have been rising consistently since 1880 (the earliest available robust estimates) largely in response to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the consequent changes in the global climate.

There are two main processes behind long-term sea-level rises, which are a direct result of a warming climate.

Firstly, as the ocean has warmed the total volume of the ocean has increased through thermal expansion of water.

Secondly, water has been added to the oceans as a result of melting glaciers and ice sheets.

Sea levels began to rise in the 19th century and the rate of sea-level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the average rate during the previous two millennia.

Global-average sea levels are currently (between 1993 and 2010) rising at around 3.2mm per year, faster than during the 20th century as a whole.

How else are the oceans changing?

The heat content of the world’s oceans has increased during recent decades and accounts for more than 90 per cent of the total heat accumulated by the land, air and ocean since the 1970s.

This warming increases the volume of ocean waters and is a major contribution to sea-level rise. Ocean warming is continuing, especially in the top several hundred metres of the ocean.

Sea surface temperatures in the Australian region were very warm during 2010 and 2011, with temperatures in 2010 being the warmest on record. Sea surface temperatures averaged over the decades since 1900 have increased for every decade.

How is the composition of the atmosphere changing?

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere in 2011 was 391 parts per million (ppm) – much higher than the natural range of 170 to 300 ppm during the past 800 000 years.

Global CO2 emissions are mostly from fossil fuels (more than 85 per cent), land use change, mainly associated with tropical deforestation (less than 10 per cent), and cement production and other industrial processes (about 4 per cent).

Energy generation continues to climb and is dominated by fossil fuels – suggesting emissions will grow for some time yet.

How is climate likely to change in the future?

With greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase, we expect the warming trend of the past century to accelerate throughout this century. We also expect changes to rainfall patterns and to the frequency of extreme weather events like cyclones and droughts.

Average temperatures across Australia are projected to rise by 0.4 to 1.8°C by 2030, compared with the climate of 1990. By 2070, warming is projected to be 1.0 to 2.5°C for a low emissions scenario, and 2.2 to 5.0°C for a high emissions scenario.

Australians will experience this warming through an increase in the number of hot days and warm nights and a decrease in cool days and cold nights.

Climate models show that there may be less rainfall in southern areas of Australia during winter and in southern and eastern areas during spring. Wet years are likely to become less frequent and dry years and droughts more frequent.

Climate models suggest that rainfall near the equator will increase globally, but it’s not clear how rainfall may change in northern Australia.

Australia will also experience climate-related changes to extreme weather events. In most areas of the country, intense rainfall events will become more extreme.

Fire-weather risk is also likely to increase and fire seasons will be longer. And although it is likely that there will be fewer tropical cyclones in the Australian region, the proportion of intense cyclones may increase.

What is extreme weather and how is it changing?

The natural climate variability that underlies all extreme weather events is now influenced and altered by the effect of human-induced warming of the climate system.

Future climate change impacts will be experienced mostly through extreme events rather than gradual changes in mean temperature or rainfall.

Heatwaves, floods, fires and southern Australian droughts are expected to become more intense and more frequent. Frosts, snow and cyclones are expected to occur less often.

Extreme events and natural disasters place a huge burden on individuals, communities, industry and the government and have an enormous impact on Australia’s economy, social fabric and environment.

What are the impacts of climate change?

Australia is expected to experience an increase in extremely high temperatures, extreme fire weather, extreme rainfall events, tropical cyclone intensity, extreme sea levels, and droughts in southern areas.

A decrease in the frequency of extremely cold temperatures is expected, along with fewer tropical cyclones.

These changes will pose significant challenges for disaster risk management, water and food security, ecosystems, forestry, buildings, transport, energy, health and tourism.

For example, many animal and plant species may decline or become extinct, water resources are expected to decline in southern Australia, agricultural zones are likely to shift, coastal erosion and inundation is expected to occur more often, energy demand is likely to increase, snow cover will decline and heat-related deaths may rise.

Is the science settled?

In climate change science, robust findings include:

  • clear evidence for global warming and sea level rise over the past century
  • changes observed in many physical and biological systems are consistent with warming
  • due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 since 1750, ocean acidity has increased
  • most of the global average warming over the past 50 years is very likely due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas increases
  • global greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow over the next few decades, leading to further climate change
  • due to the time scales associated with climate processes and feedbacks, anthropogenic warming and sea level rise would continue for centuries even if greenhouse gas emissions were to be reduced sufficiently for atmospheric concentrations to stabilise
  • increased frequencies and intensities of some extreme weather events are very likely
  • systems and sectors at greatest risk are ecosystems, low-lying coasts, water resources in some regions, tropical agriculture, and health in areas with low adaptive capacity
  • the regions at greatest risk are the Arctic, Africa, small islands and Asian and African mega-deltas. Within other regions (even regions with high incomes) some people, areas and activities can be particularly at risk
  • unmitigated climate change would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt
  • many impacts can be reduced, delayed or avoided by mitigation (net emission reductions). Mitigation efforts and investments over the next two to three decades will have a large impact on opportunities to achieve lower greenhouse gas stabilisation levels.

It is incredible that this information has been unreported and I would assume, largely ignored. Instead, we will continue to be inundated with claims that rabid claims that “climate change is a hoax, a left-wing conspiracy theory, or that any change stopped over a decade ago”.

It is an act of gross negligence that our media fails to accurately report the reality of climate change. It is also an act of gross negligence that our new government fails to embrace the challenges.

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81 comments

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  1. whatismore

    Great summary. Scientists warn that we should respond to the advent of climate change as if preparing for war and yet we have a government and msm who are willing to take us to the tipping point. If that’s what is needed for class action against a complicit media then it will be too late.

  2. Peter Connolly

    If only the so called shock jocks and the government would read this and believe it. Unfortunately they are morons and refuse to believe anything that is against their own beliefs. All these respected scientist can’t all be wrong. When it comes down to it, who is more truthful thousands of trusted scientist , or a couple of shock jocks , and a government that is so used to saying no to everything so much so that it seems like it is still in opposition.

  3. mikisdad

    The reaction of government, media and others is not, I think, one of disbelief but rather a symptom of social conditioned selfishness and individualism. Our culture is now one in which “self” and “materialism” are the main drivers.

    The result of that conditioning is that many in our society have a myopic view. They consider only the immediate and what is local to them. They fail to take account of the wider implications of their actions or the long term effects those implications will have. So selfish have many become that they apparently no longer even care about the world they will leave for their grandchildren, let alone generations beyond. I think that this must be the first time in human history that such has been the case.

    Global warming is denied in many ways and yet the scientific evidence, as commentators here realise, shows clearly now that it is not only a fact but is *almost certainly* a result of human activity.

    An overwhelming number of people don’t care. They can’t see – things are o.k. right now – it won’t affect me – it’s not really true – only the nutters believe that – Alan Jones says it’s scientific clap-trap – Tony Abbott and the LNP aren’t bothered so it can’t be serious – etc. etc.

    This is the same syndrome as is exemplified by the fuss made in media over Jill Meagher’s murder – wholesale outrage – frontpage coverage – strangers bringing flowers – strangers visibly distraught, even in tears – and yet, *every day* 24000 children die of malnutrition (starvation) and every week 7000 women die in childbirth because of inadequate medicines or care – and where do we hear about it? Who knows about it? Who cares about it?

    Even subtle factors work against recognition of the crisis – “Climate Change” is how it’s reported when reported at all – “Climate change”. To me that sounds like one of the reasons people go on holiday or what they worry about if they’re about to have an open air event, i.e. it is trivialised in people’s minds. We are not talking about climate change, we are talking about GLOBAL WARMING – massive and permanent rise in temperature, increasing sea levels, islands and even whole countries under water, failure of crops, etc. etc.

    But the old sixties adage, “I’m alright, Jack” is how most of the population react. Inwardly focused, myopic, not skeptical but in denial or completely unable to see. And those that purport to be leaders, ignore their duty because they, too, care only for themselves; have intellects that are too poor to comprehend the issue; or are just too appallingly stupid to see.

    How do we change that? I don’t have an answer but I do know that we need to find ways to reach those who currently don’t read blogs such as this for here we are largely speaking to the converted.

    And I mean no disrespect to you Michael – rather, I thank you for raising the issue – but what to do about it? I must admit to feeling fairly despondent about our chances and I shudder to think of the world that my grand-children will inherit if our “leaders” continue to keep their heads in the sand.

  4. mikestasse

    “The media ignored it. The government ignored it. And as a result, you probably don’t know about it.”

    Dead right…… as someone who follows AGW issues with a passion, I cannot believe this one went under the radar…! Thanks for the heads up Michael.

    For anyone interested in AGW matters, I have a proper Climate Scientist and darn good writer who posts fairly regularly on my blog….. for a teaser, I suggest next time someone tel;ls you its hasn’t warmed for the last 16 years to start here… http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/global-warming-where-is-the-heat/

  5. mikisdad

    Agree entirely, Kaye – well said. I wonder what the JH spin will be – if we get anything at all?

  6. Tassietiger1

    Mikisdad nails the problem with our greedy society and the new government’s raison d’etre is selfishness and greed so don’t look forward to any political lead in the change to recognition of global warming.

    How can our thinking educated members of our society influence the unthinking members of our society.?

    I don’t think it is possible but horrific heat waves, horrific bushfires and many deaths as a result of severe weather events in Australia just may help alter the thinking of the selfish members of society!!!

    I don’t look forward to these occurrences but I as the nonbelievers are influenced by such sensationalism this may be the only way

  7. Veloaficionado

    I think that there is something missing here. The mass of evidence, the repeated nature of the warnings from the most qualified people on the subject, the actual evidence we are seeing (black Saturday, Hurricane Katrina), should, to even an average intelligence, start to make a case.

    However, our local pissant denialists, in imitation of the sort of ridiculous international frauds on the subject (the most ridiculous being “Lord” Christopher Monckton) keep on shrieking that its all a lefty plot, designed to impose world government and take away our right to drive 4WDs.

    The weak, cobbled-together exceptionalist, grasping-at-straws, straw man “arguments” they are forced to use must sound ridiculous even to them by now, but in reality, it’s all they’ve got. They HAVE to say something, make some ridiculous and spurious apology for buccaneer capitalism’s rapacious nature. It’s a bad attempt to paper over a gaping hole in Western thought: we’ve assumed that we have dominion over nature, and acted as if, when in fact, we’re mould in a Petrie dish, and we’ve fouled it to the point where only our technical intelligence is capable of stopping mass die-offs of our, and many other species’ populations.

    However, like most bad argument and concealed self interest, it is in the washout merely the shrieking of wilfully ignorant, and spitefully self-willed children, tending, uncorrected, into delinquency and downright evil in the adolescence of this thought form. Wisdom is over the horizon for these people, and unfortunately, when wisdom is shown, as in the IPPC report, the CSIRO fact sheet, the Club of Rome’s “Limits to Growth”, E.F. Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful”, the PermaCulture movement, and many other examples, it is shouted down by self-interested, deeply fearful, conflicted right-wing bullies.

    Do you keep on stating the truth, clearly and rationally, over and over, to attempt to wash away their bullshit with facts? You can waste a lot of energy doing that, but it is necessary to do so.. Or you can argue with them, exposing thier evasions, half-truths and lies. Eventually, enough cracks will cause their poisonous little clubhouse to collapse.

    The question is, at the moment, whether they’ll take us with them in their toxic, vengeful murder-suicide pact?

    Tough love for global warming deniers. Lock them in a room until they’ve spat all their venom out, and only then bring them out to show them the waste and devastation that their childish behaviours have wrought. The monsters they fear are actually in their own heads, and not in the world, or other people.

  8. Kaye Lee

    This government and the media have dismissed the scientific evidence as unproven and open to debate. They have ignored the findings of the IPCC, the CSIRO, NASA, every bureau of meteorology and every scientific climate change body instead concentrating on people from the Heartland Institute and those funded by the fossil fuel industry. This stance suits them because profit is their overriding raison d’etre.

    But I wonder how Joe Hockey is feeling over in Washington as the economic bodies come on board arguing forcefully for a price on carbon and a move to renewable energy. How does he explain being the only country to remove carbon pricing? How does he explain getting rid of the CEFC which was helping to fund R&D of renewable energy and sustainable practice? How does he explain disbanding the Climate Change Commission?

    The IMF, the World Bank, and the OECD have all said the economic and social cost of not acting will far outweigh any cost we may incur now. Joe could be a lonely man over there. No wonder we haven’t heard any press releases from him.

  9. Kaye Lee

    “Don’t assume that tackling climate costs will make all your costs go up and that there are no good options,” Kim said at a panel discussion that marked the opening of the World Bank Group’s week of Annual Meetings in Washington. “The innovations that are happening in other parts of the world are not always apparent to ministers of finance. We would be very happy to play the role of bringing those options to the table and letting them see that they can create a better world for their grandchildren, but that it makes economic sense as well.”

    Lagarde pointed to a just-released study by the IMF showing that national subsidies for gasoline and other fossil fuel subsidies now top $485 billion annually. By removing such subsidies, financially pressed countries would generate a significant new revenue stream needed for services such as health and education, while at the same time addressing climate change, the report found.

    “Adaptation is simply not going to be enough,” she said. “If 40 percent of the maize crop in Sub-Saharan Africa will disappear that’s not our grandchildren’s problem, it’s our problem. So we have to be working, at the IMF and the Bank, to bring a global message to global leaders about the responsibility of mitigation.”

    Returning to the pricing question that ran through the lively discussion, Kyte said “Without getting the prices right, everything we do is a work around. A price on carbon would send a signal of where long-term investments should be taken.”

    http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/10/08/world-bank-imf-leaders-make-economic-case-for-climate-action

  10. Kaye Lee

    Governments forced to rescue the world’s banking system are being warned there will be no bailout if there is a crisis in the Earth’s climate system.

    That is the view of the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

    Angel Gurria is expected to rebuke nations failing to curb CO2 emissions in a speech on Wednesday.

    In his speech, Mr Gurria will ask if leaders overseeing the financial system that led to the “train wreck” of the banking crisis would have been happy to take the risks if they had known the consequences.

    “Unlike the financial crisis, we do not have a ‘climate bailout option’ up our sleeves,” he will say.

    “And despite all the attention given to climate change deniers, our understanding of the scale of the risk is much better developed than our understanding of the financial risks, pre-crisis.”

    An OECD source said the secretary-general’s remarks were directed both at countries which had dragged their feet on reducing emissions and those which had taken a leadership position but were now starting to wobble.

    Mr Gurria will also warn that renewable technologies will be harmed by stop-start policies. Renewables firms in the UK have benefited from a stable policy framework in the medium term, but are uncertain about long-term investments as right-wing Conservatives attempt to abandon CO2 targets for 2030, arguing that they damage competitiveness.

    He also takes a swipe at fossil fuel subsidies, currently estimated at over $500bn a year globally. These typically provide cheap motoring for the rich, he says, and fail to help the poor.

    The world, he says, needs to become zero-carbon in the second half of the century, and needs to start on that pathway immediately if climate change is to be stabilised.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24450438

  11. rossleighbrisbane

    Extreme weather events are ignored as evidence of change, using the following formula:

    1.For the first “it’s a one off!” .
    2. For the second, “Two doesn’t represent a pattern.”
    3. For the third and subsequent ones. “We often have weather like this – it’s nothing to with climate change.”

  12. Bob Evans

    I remember Abbott recently saying he abolished the climate commission and doesnt have a science minister because we can get our science from places like the CSIRO. Then they set about ignoring them and will undoubtedly under-fund them, or direct what they say.

    Our culture is now one in which “self” and “materialism” are the main drivers.

    I agree. It seems to be one of the methods of emotional appeal that gains so much traction with the public. “Ive got it so tough right now and i need that Jet Ski, I don’t need additional expenses like a carbon tax making it tougher than it already is”.

    Short term selfish materialism trumps the long term problem which is a creeper and threatens to add much more cost to their future lives than the tiny outlay they are being asked to contribute now.

    Tony Abbott and the LNP aren’t bothered so it can’t be serious – etc. etc.

    I have seen that argument used quite commonly by deniers and people who may or may not be fence sitters. I was only reading it on another forum a participate in a couple of days ago.

    World leaders don’t care. Why should we?

    I’m not sure if that was a deliberate comment, encouraging and fostering denialism for others.. Or a comment out of pure ignorance, a I have heard people who have no knowledge of the science at all utter this line, family members. It’s symptomatic of the wider problem at hand and why votes trump science. Deniers and the fossil fuel industry know that they don’t have to counter the science. They don’t have to produce or conduct any research themselves. They only need to spread doubt and get votes. Doubt prevents action and votes ensure that doubt is the prevailing narrative.

    If no one of importance is talking about it. Like the government, then surely it cant be a problem. They have our interests at heart right?

  13. Bob Evans

    @ Kaylee

    We should be removing fossil fuel subsidies.

    I wish there was an easy answer for that. Both the renewables sector and the nuclear sector are asking for this and a more level playing ground, as well as folks asking for action on AGW. But we all know the predictable reaction. People will be all for it while you tell them that the fossil fuel industries profits are being subsidized by the tax payer. But, watch how quickly that anger dissipates when fuel prices go up and businesses start with the “your anti business, how do I run my company now? I’m going to have to lay off staff!” . The anger at the fossil fuel companies will imeddiately switch to anger at people wanting mitigation and “attacking our way of life”.

    It’s a catch 22.

  14. Kaye Lee

    The thing that just flabbergasts me is that the direction we are taking flies in the face of all advice from all creditable bodies.

    We should be removing fossil fuel subsidies.

    G20 governments of the world first commited to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in September 2009, recognising that “fossil fuel subsidies encourage wasteful consumption, distrort markets, impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to deal with climate change”.

    But since Australia made that commitment, it has continued to deny that we, as a nation, subsidise fossil fuels.

    ACF has been monitoring what first began as it’s ‘dirty dozen’ fossil fuel subsidies for years, highlighting a long list of over $7 billion in fossil fuel subsidies.

    The biggest of these are the diesel fuel handouts to the miners – called the fuel tax credits scheme. This is a tax payer handout to big miners worth $2 billion per year.

    This equates to $182 per taxpayer every year, and worth a staggering $9.4 billion over the next four years to some of the most profitable companies operating in this country. This is a much greater cost than the carbon price will have on households.

    These wasteful, inefficient handouts will continue to promote fossil fuel use at a staggering rate of $4,480 of taxpayer dollars per minute, day in, day out.

  15. Bob Evans

    Here is a summary of global warming and climate change myths

    They have an iphone an android app too, for when you are out and about and are hit with climate denial BS. 🙂

  16. Terry2

    This morning ( Monday 14 October) I heard Greg Hunt say that:

    1. Within ten years brown coal power station emissions of CO2 will be halved under coalition policies; that was it, no costings, no details of how it would be achieved (e.g. would they convert to another type of coal or to Gas ?)

    2. During the first week of parliament sitting, he would introduce legislation to repeal the Clean Energy Act (i.e. carbon pricing and movement to an ETS): no mention of any alternative legislation being introduced at the same time (i.e. Direct Action). How can the parliament, and in particular the Senate, evaluate the efficacy of the alternative policies when only one ( the repeal of existing legislation) is up for consideration ?

    have I missed something here, does any body have any additional information on this as the MSM seem to be ignoring the whole debate ?

  17. dwejevans

    b-b-b-b-but phony rabbit said that the climate science is crap didn’t he? er, um, let me be very clear, er, um the science is crap!……….Really, I don’t know who to believe, phony rabbit or 99.9% of the worlds’ scientists. Oh dear, What a dilemma!………. The worry of course is the damage the deniers are doing, I dare say that 15000 ‘volunteers’ planting trees will help, but dismissing everbody who doesn’t share your view and believe that the science is not crap is just power politics at its’ worst, or the axing of a Government Department assisting in developing business’ alternative energy systems is ridiculous. Bring on a Double Dissolution!

  18. Kaye Lee

    Tony wants to be remembered for building more roads. What vision and foresight he shows. Methinks he might be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

  19. Michael Taylor

    Mikisdad, the best I can do is publish the facts and hope that people read them.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Here is a summary of global warming and climate change myths, sorted by recent popularity vs what science says. A very handy guide when arguing with deniers as it gives answers (one line or more detailed) for all the commonly spouted crap.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

  21. Kaye Lee

    Bob I refer you to arguments 37, 96 and 160 in the previous link.

  22. Kaye Lee

    160. Renewable Energy Creates More Jobs than Fossil Fuels.

    “Renewable energy investment and development tends to create more jobs than fossil fuel energy because a larger share of renewable energy expenditures go to manufacturing equipment, installation, and maintenance, all of which are typically more labor-intensive than extracting and transporting fossil fuels.

    Indeed a 2004 UC Berkeley study concluded:

    “Across a broad range of scenarios, the renewable energy sector generates more jobs than the fossil fuel-based energy sector per unit of energy delivered (i.e., per average megawatt).”

    The study found that implementing a Renewable Portfolio Standard and investing in various types of renewable energy would create approximately twice as many jobs in the USA by 2020 as investing in coal and natural gas. Similarly, a 2001 Renewable Energy Policy Project report found that wind and solar photovoltaic investments lead to at least 40% more jobs per dollar than coal.

    It’s a complicated comparison, because renewable energy sources tend to be more expensive than fossil fuel energy. Thus hypothetically, the extra money invested in renewable energy could have been spent elsewhere to create new jobs in a different sector of the economy. However, fossil fuel energy is also artificially cheap because its price does not account for various external costs like climate change and impacts on public health. When accounting for all factors, it’s likely that renewable energy results in more jobs per dollar invested than fossil fuels.”

  23. Kaye Lee

    Tony Abbott is under pressure to rush through the biggest coal mining expansion in Australian history, with Queensland Premier Campbell Newman telling the prime minister-elect to ”get out of the way” in the Galilee Basin.

    In his first phone call with the Queensland Premier since winning the election, Mr Abbott asked his conservative counterpart what his priorities were for Queensland.

    ”[Mr Abbott] … asked me what the blockers were for my government and I said without any hesitation the need to see the massive Galilee Basin coal projects approved as soon as possible,” Mr Newman told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

    The Galilee Basin, which sits about 400 kilometres inland from the Great Barrier Reef, houses potential coalmines that would dwarf anything ever developed in Australia.

    Within this region, the federal government had delayed approval for the construction of the world’s biggest coal port in Queensland until after the federal election.

    Most mines in the basin are owned by two Indian companies, Adani and GVK, though magnates Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart also have significant interests.

    Mr Palmer is confronting a conflict of interest, given his Palmer United Party is likely to control four seats in the Senate and will potentially negotiate legislation that could benefit the magnate’s assets in the Galilee Basin.

    Mr Abbott says one of the main priorities of his government is to ”cut green tape”, which would involve setting up a ”one-stop shop” for environmental approvals and handing decisions to the states.

    Mr Butler pointed to the potentially catastrophic impacts of dredging for the expanded coal-loading terminal at Abbot Point, about 25 kilometres north of Bowen on the Queensland coast. The planned port expansion would mean 3 million tonnes of mud would be dredged and dumped in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

    The development is seen as a keystone to allowing a massive expansion of coal exports from the Galilee Basin, which would lead to more than 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gases being released, seriously damaging efforts to tackle climate change.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/get-out-of-our-way-on-huge-mines-abbott-told-20130911-2tks7.html#ixzz2he8BlIzX

  24. hilderombout

    Reading your article and the responses with Interest, Michael and also Kaye Lee’s, i can feel myself getting more and more depressed about what is awaiting us from this government’s plans for our future. The sheer idiocracy of not listening to the experts on climate change is breathtaking, but all our talking will be of no avail. If no action is taken, and when we move back to the dark ages, then what??? But i do not want to go down this slippery slope. If our government does not listen then i have to start by changing my own behaviour and so become a catalyst for those around me. I live in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria close to Yallourn Power station and i live the devastation of our environment daily. So my anger with this raping of our natural resources will be transformed in living as sustainable as i can. I bought solar panels for my next rented house, I installed a water tank, grow as much of my own food as i can (being vegetarian makes that easier i am sure), and save every drop of water i can – even though we have lots of rain (rinsing dishes with saved water before washing, as does washing potatoes in it saves clean water) and there are many other ways of saving the environment that we can all do without it costing us one cent. It just increases our awareness of how much power we each of us really have. It might only be a drop in the ocean but as i keep reminding myself, the ocean came into being with the first drop. It seems to me that only if we are doing what we are saying ourselves will change around us inevitably occur. Once we have made changes in our behaviour ourselves, only then can we fight corporations and government bodies. Anyway, this is just my opinion.

  25. Jan Dobson

    “Anyone who has read Andrew Bolt, The Australian, or listened to any shock jocks such as Alan Jones” Sad isn’t it that one of our country’s eminent newspapers has now a reputation so poor that we barely rate it above Jones and Bolt.

    I’m extremely wary of conspiracy theories and claims of biased journalism, but the ‘balanced reporting’ policy of the ABC has also contributed to the election of what is in practice, if not in declaration, a climate denial government.

    In jest I once said of the Sunday after the election, if the Abbott LNP was victorious I would stay in bed with the covers over my head. Not so funny now, when I want to cover my eyes and ears on a daily basis. And if Malcolm Turnbull will brush off a petition which received over 200,000 within a few days regarding the NBN, I’m not sure how much success any attempts to alter the LNP mindset will be. Scary, indeed.

  26. Anomander

    Absolutely right Mikisdad. It seems we have a society more interested in voyeuristic trivialities, like the details of some minor celebrity’s life or the troubles of some grossly overpaid an overindulged footballer, to the detriment of the things that are important – the big things that affect us all, like climate change.

    News reporting nowadays is merely a tool of distraction employed as a means to divert the attention of the masses onto items of insignificance, to prevent them worrying about the way they rich are plundering our resources or eating away at our hard-fought rights and entitlements.

    It’s all about me, me ME! What can I get? Why is someone else getting something I don’t get? Rampant individualistic consumerism at it’s worst.

    As a strategy it is the classic – divide and conquer. Make people think of themselves as solely important – to the detriment of society as a whole, and it leave the evil forces free to do whatever they wish because we have whole sections of society without the capacity to look beyond their own tiny, insignificant bubble – incapable of seeing the bigger picture. Frightening to say the least.

  27. Dan Pangburn

    The time-integral of sunspot numbers (with appropriate proxy factor) calculates the average global temperature trend since 1610. An overlay of average global temperature measurements shows the OSCILLATIONS above and below the trend that are the net effect of ocean cycles. http://conenssti.blogspot.com/ . Rational carbon dioxide change has no significant influence.

  28. Kaye Lee

    The report of the IPCC’s Working Group II, to be released in Yokohama, Japan, next March, also singles out the NSW and Queensland governments for revoking or downgrading planning rules which would help communities adapt to changing conditions and prevent damage to infrastructure.

    It warned global temperatures were on track to rise between 2C and 4C by 2100 without action to reduce greenhouse emissions.

    Warming above 2C is considered dangerous, while 4C is considered catastrophic.

    The section on Australasia, co-authored by 45 scientists from Australia, NZ and the US, is more than 100 pages long and reveals what impacts these changes are expected to have on economies, industries, human health and ecosystems.

    “Projected increases in heatwaves will increase both heat-related deaths and hospitalisations, especially in the elderly, compounded by population growth and aging,” the report states.

    “A substantial increase in heat-related death was estimated for Sydney … without adaptation annual heat-related deaths per 100,000 people were projected to increase nearly threefold from 2.5 in 1961-1990 to 7.4 in 2070-2099.

    “The number of hot days when physical labour in the sun becomes dangerous is also projected to increase substantially in Australia by 2070, leading to economic costs from lost productivity, increased hospitalisation and occasional deaths.”

    For the first time, damage to infrastructure has also been assessed, with the report finding that a sea level rise of 1.1m would affect over $226 billion of assets in Australia, including up to 274,000 residential and 8000 commercial buildings.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/intergovernmental-panel-on-climate-change-draft-report-warns-australia-will-be-a-hot-spot-as-world-gets-warmer/story-fni0cx12-1226739257734

  29. Möbius Ecko

    If you don’t know him Kaye Lee Dan Pangborn is a serial denier who has been well and truly discredited but continues to attempt to peddle the same old discredited and bunkum theory.

    Open letter to Dan Pangburn, et al. Re: “Historical Data on Global Warming…”
    The global heat engine: climate change as humanities crucible
    American Meteorological Society Issues Updated Statement On Climate Change

    One of a couple that pull Pangburn’s nonsense apart:
    AGW Mistake Disclosed by Dan Pangburn – an unauthorized guest post

    Yet despite being repeatedly discredited, whenever a climate change topic is posted somewhere you sometimes will find Pangburn posting the same crap theory, especially if it’s in a non-scientific blog and he believes he can pull the wool over their eyes. He must have online search criteria setup to flag when climate topics are raised.

    Best ignored methinks.

  30. Kaye Lee

    152. There is no denying there’s a strong link between solar activity and climate – both with the short term (eg – the 11 year cycle) and long term (eg – decadal changes in solar activity). In fact, the close correlation between sun and temperature is what tells us the sun can’t be causing recent global warming as solar activity has been steady since the 50’s

  31. Kaye Lee

    30. An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence.

    Energy arrives from the sun in the form of visible light and ultraviolet radiation. The Earth then emits some of this energy as infrared radiation. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere ‘capture’ some of this heat, then re-emit it in all directions – including back to the Earth’s surface.

    Scientists have measured the influence of CO2 on both incoming solar energy and outgoing long-wave radiation. Less longwave radiation is escaping to space at the specific wavelengths of greenhouse gases. Increased longwave radiation is measured at the surface of the Earth at the same wavelengths.

  32. Kaye Lee

    One of the things that amuses me ME is that every theory the deniers put up has been discredited. That one page from Skeptical Science answers every tired old argument they trot out.

  33. Kaye Lee

    Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. However global temperatures have been increasing. Since the sun and climate are going in opposite directions scientists conclude the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.

    The only way to blame the sun for the current rise in temperatures is by cherry picking the data. This is done by showing only past periods when sun and climate move together and ignoring the last few decades when the two are moving in opposite direction.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

  34. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    Just listening to Greg Hunt being interviewed by Lyndal Curtis. He is saying that they got a clear mandate to get rid of the carbon tax & that Labor must learn the lessons that they learned in 2007 and its all absolute rubbish. He is blaming the ALP for now not allowing them to scrap the ‘tax’. He states that they will not back down on their decision to ‘axe the tax’. When challenged he said that electricity prices will come down if they are successful. Yeah, right. Which one of the power providers are going to reduce their current income & does that then mean that the money that we have all been paid to help compensate for the price increases are going to be taken back from us. God, they need a brain transplant. No one in their right business mind will go down that path. (I’m ranting, I know, I know).
    So folks, what we need is for Labor to get out & make sure that everyone of us gets to sign another petition that is properly worded to ensure that for one, we certainly did not give the LNP a mandate to scrap the carbon pricing & secondly that we all be given the proper facts of the devastation that will prevail the whole world, not just this country if we do not support & do everything we can to reduce carbon emissions.
    I certainly want to be a part of the solution.
    By the way, perhaps a double dissolution before the middle of next year is what is really needed. What is the view of the rest of the readers?

  35. diannaart

    Michael

    I checked out the CSIRO link and was very glad to return and read your excellent rendering of the CSIRO report.

    We need people, such as yourself, to do the interpreting…. did hear of an independent agency recently set up at after the Abbottoir finished work on anything remotely sciencey.. what was it called? The Climate Council? What is it doing? OK, I admit to not frequenting the MSM, but thought I’d at least hear something similar to Michael’s excellent work on the ABC…

    …better not hold my breath…

  36. Adam Smith

    Michael Taylor thanks for your article, it again emphasises how Australians must change the way they think. And that is the point, because, as I returned to Australia earlier this year, talking with different people, I’ve formed the view that its increasingly clear that the challenges we face in solving the climate crisis stems from the way we think about it, both individually and collectively. So why is it that Australians are failing to confront this unprecedented mortal threat as they elect a political party into government that drops science from its governing portfolio? What is it about the way we process information and make choices that add to and promote global procrastination? Why was the Rudd Government unsuccessful in Copenhagen and why did Mr Abbott defeat Mr Turnbull by one vote on this issue? Why is it that the MSM can so easily lie about the science and turn global warming into the greatest economic market failure in world history?

  37. juliefarthing

    Why should Phony Rabbit care about climate change, he doesn’t care about humanity either, so if we wipe out the environment then we will all die .. oh wait, do I hear the sound of Phony Rabbit crying over lost voters?

  38. Veloaficionado

    I’ve read this – it took lots of pauses, sometimes of days, to absorb what he has to say. I believe that he is in the vein of E.F. Schumacher, but has developed these ideas even further. However, to ‘de-growth’ the economy would require the current oligarchs to give up their power, which I don’t see happening without a fight. And whilst thier puppet mouthpieces are shrieking invective at the Left and the Greens, it’s an uphill battle: it’s like a bad Punch and Judy show, but one that seems to keep their readership/viewership enthralled “… where politics mix with bingo and tits in a money and numbers game” as Billy Bragg once said.

    Too scary, too threatening: turn back to MasterChef or The Biggest Loser. That will fill your empty head, and stop all those painful thought things exercising your brain. Much much easier to pay off the mortgage and go to the footy than redesign society for equality, true sustainability and justice.

  39. Adam Smith

    Peter Mauger, thank you for mentioning Charles Eisenstein, he is indeed a great enlightened contributor to the issues concerning the survival of Planet Earth. The invention of modern computers, integrated circuits, and the internet during this first half of the 21st century sets the stage for a profound transformation in the role played by information technology in virtually every aspect of our human civilisation. This information revolution and the continuing rapid development of increasingly powerful information technologies have created new possibilities and new tools for solving the climate crisis. Our ability as human beings to use information in order to make sophisticated mental models of the world around us has always been there, in various forms, as indicated in Charles Eisenstein’s writings. This has been the great difference that has distinguished us from all other living creatures. Now that we are faced with the unprecedented challenge of rapidly improving our understanding of the earth’s ecological system and our place in it, it has come to pass that Australian science, like the CSIRO etc are at the forefront of utilising the fullest and most creative use of information technology thus far achieved by mankind. A greta film to watch on this subject is called “EARTH FROM SPACE”, you can access it on YOU TUBE.

  40. Peter Mauger

    The comments here are always informative and well thought out. Really appreciating The AIMN right now. To the above commenters who are beginning to despair about the greedy nature of our society right now, please, please take the time to read ‘Sacred Economics’ by Charles Eisenstein. I’d been trying to find some way to combat what I was seeing in our culture and nation for 3-4 years and then two weeks ago started reading Charles’ book. It completely unravelled some key basic assumptions I’d been making and has opened my eyes to a future that fills me with hope.

    The book is available at http://sacred-economics.com/read-online/ and is available as ‘pay what you can’ (which can be nothing).

    Would love to hear some of the AIMN regulars’ thoughts on Charles’ ideas!

  41. Marion Ivanic

    I agree with everything you say but some of the people I have spoken to say to me that anything we did would only make an infinitesimal amount of difference – I think that begs an answer and its not an answer I could give them ? They say that the carbon that one volcano gives out would also overtake anything we could do and I am not scientifically informed enough to debate with them- perhaps that another question you could answer.

  42. Michael Taylor

    Marion, I think those people might have heard that from Alan Jones. It was something he babbled on about some time ago. His claim was shot down on an episode of Media Watch.

  43. Dan Pangburn

    Which has more credibility, a theory or calculations using measured data?

    The growing measured separation between the rising CO2 and not-rising average global temperature since 2001 is shown at http://endofgw.blogspot.com/ .

    Paraphrasing Richard Feynman: Regardless of how many experts believe it or how many organizations concur, if it doesn’t agree with measurements, it’s wrong.

  44. Veloaficionado

    Dan is the denialist equivalent of cardboard vehicles left in the desert to confuse advancing troops. He may even be a robot troll. Come on Dan, what’s your favourite colour? Forest fire red? Oil slick grey? Mustard gas green?

  45. Bob Evans

    Bob I refer you to arguments 37, 96 and 160 in the previous link.

    Kaylee, I 100% agree with those statements. However, I’m not going to delude myself that truth and facts lost out to propaganda, selfishness, materialism and hysteria and denialists won this last election. It appears we will just have to wear them down.

  46. Bob Evans

    Dan is a mechanical engineer who has been “researching the global warming issue for months”.

    Yes, Ive seen him on many climate science blogs. He is resoundingly flogged by every non denier blog he visits, by scientists who don’t practice science from the armchair. Pretty much search any pro climate science blog and you will see him there getting his arse served to him on a plate.

    In his mind, he is right up there. An unrecognized great.

  47. Kaye Lee

    Dan Pangburn you are either ignorant or trying to be deliberately misleading. Why would you choose a 10 year data base when we have figures for hundreds of years? Why would you ignore the fact that this has been the hottest decade on record? Globally, the hottest 12-month period ever recorded was from June 2009 to May 2010. Why would you ignore the fact that the oceans are warming? Why would you ignore the data measuring radiation in and out?

    Cherry picking data is an old trick Dan and your sort of misinformation borders on the criminal.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Dan is a mechanical engineer who has been “researching the global warming issue for months”. I think I’ll stick with what the EXPERTS say thanks Dan. I would suggest they have access to far better information and have far greater expertise in interpreting the data than a mechanical engineer who started his denial hobby a few months ago.

  49. Kaye Lee

    Each year of the 21st century has ranked among the 14 hottest since record keeping began in 1880.

    “One more year of numbers isn’t in itself significant,” Nasa climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said. “What matters is this decade is warmer than the last decade, and that decade was warmer than the decade before. The planet is warming. The reason it’s warming is because we are pumping increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

    With 36 years of above-average temperatures, nobody born since 1976 has lived through a colder than average year.

    The Arctic experienced record low sea ice throughout the year, with sea ice cover dropping to 1.32m square miles, the lowest value ever recorded, in September 2012.

  50. Shit's Gotta Stop

    Such a shame that we still need to be educating on the basics. But so important to keep repeating. The forces of denial are not going away any time soon; unless a real, widespread, high-impact climate emergency takes place somewhere…
    Deniers are either stupid, delusional, or liars with a real or imagined conflict of interest.
    Pardon the plug, but I’ve recently assessed the evils of climate change denial at http://shitsgottastop.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/delusional-denial/

  51. Shit's Gotta Stop

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    For anyone who read my recent post ‘Delusional Denial’ , and still has issues with principles of basic science; a tidy summary of key elements of Human-Induced Climate Change. Reblogged from theaimn.com, with thanks.

  52. rednightingale

    Veloaficionado, the beauty of Charles’ writings to me is that he shares a vision that specifically doesn’t require the ‘toppling’ of oligarchs. Certainly their standing and power will diminish over time, but not through destruction like most previous revolutions in modern history. Sacred Economics begins with individuals giving freely to their immediate communities and rebuilding that which the ‘Growth Economy’ paradigm has taken away, sense of community and gratitude. Gradually people across the region will decrease their reliance on money to survive and the ‘economy’ will shrink breaking the ‘money=principal+interest’ equation. And it is at THAT point that the higher level concepts like resource based currency, negative interest, etc will become viable. The oligarchs’ mouthpieces can scream all they like but they’ll never overpower a conversation between neighbours who give freely to each other and are grateful.

  53. mikisdad

    Rednightingale – I so hope that you are right.

  54. Dan Pangburn

    Apparently there are still people that are so technologically incompetent that they cannot grasp an objective simple calculation using all available data back to 1610, or the objective simple calculation using temperature measurements since before 1900 that demonstrates that rational CO2 change has no significant effect on average global temperature.

  55. Möbius Ecko

    How about you argue that with the scientists Dan instead of attempting to peddle your discredited crap in non-scientific fora as you now do.

    Personally I would put my confidence in those who have pulled apart the significant flaws in your proposition than in you, and I would certainly put credited climate scientists works way above your amateurish attempt.

    Better still go flog it at the rabid right wing sites. Their low intelligence in these matters and mindless unquestioning belief in what they are told is fact suits your nonsense to a tee. You will find a home there and be welcomed and we can get on with debating what’s wrong with the obfuscation and deceits against the AGW science.

  56. Bob Evans

    @Dan

    Apparently there are still people that are so technologically incompetent

    Apparently, you haven’t realised that most of the blogs you post on have handed you your arse on a plate.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/12/global-warming-skeptics-score/comment-page-1/
    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/dan-pangburn/
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?p=1&t=649&&a=15http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/open-letter-to-dan-pangburn-et-al-re.html

    But don’t worry. Other armchair experts and right wing deniers believe you. Even if they don’t know why.

    And the question stands which is asked of most deniers. Why don’t you publish a paper Dan? It seems you believe you can defeat the IPCC alone. So do it. You will be famous and all the talk of CO2 mitigation will disappear over night.

    *crickets*………………………………………………………………………………

  57. Bob Evans

    Hmmm, somehow wordpress merged a couple of my links by the looks of it.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Dan your assertion that climate change can be explained by an “objective simple calculation” shows who is the “technologically incompetent” one. I would love to see the simple equation which takes into account CO2 in the atmosphere, ocean warming and acidification, polar ice masses, radiation at specified wavelengths, the frequency of extreme weather events, rising sea levels and the myriad of other elements involved in climate science.

    We know CO2 absorbs and re-emits longwave radiation (Tyndall). The theory of greenhouse gases predicts that if we increase the proportion of greenhouse gases, more warming will occur (Arrhenius).

    Scientists have measured the influence of CO2 on both incoming solar energy and outgoing long-wave radiation. Less longwave radiation is escaping to space at the specific wavelengths of greenhouse gases. Increased longwave radiation is measured at the surface of the Earth at the same wavelengths.

    The Pacific Ocean has likely played a significant role in the slowed global surface warming over the past 15 years by transferring more heat to the deep oceans, but that change appears to be a temporary one. When the Pacific Ocean enters its next warm cycle, we’re likely to see a rapid warming of global surface temperatures. If we continue to use the temporary slowed surface warming as an excuse to delay climate action, we’ll regret that decision when the surface warming kicks in with a vengeance.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/sep/03/global-warming-pacific-ocean-puzzle-piece

  59. diannaart

    Just waiting for Dan to claim he is the Einstein or Galileo of the 21st C – that’s the way these arguments usually go. “All the climate scientists are wrong, only people outside the science, know what is really going on” or some such nonsense. All backed up with – well not a single credible scientific peer reviewed paper or organisation. Not one.

    Happy to be proven wrong, Dan, happy to know we can go on polluting atmosphere, waterways, oceans, dig up all remaining fossil fuels and expect no consequences whatsoever.

    Business as usual, eh, Dan?

  60. doctorrob54

    What can I add that has not been said,thanks all and no Sandra I do not think you are ranting at all,all you write is true,as for a DD I wish abbott would bring it on.
    As for having intelligent discussions with deniers like Dan P,forget it,he is a total waste of time and waste of energy.

  61. Dan Pangburn

    Kaye – That simple equation is at http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html . This is not a theory. It is a calculation. It calculates the average global temperatures with 90% accuracy when explicitly considering only natural ocean oscillations and the time-integral of sunspots. Explicitly including CO2 change made no significant difference. Everything else, including the substantial temperature measurement artifacts discussed at http://globaltem.blogspot.com/, all those things you mentioned, and even all things that you didn’t think of, must find room in the unexplained 10%.

    Absorbing and emitting electromagnetic radiation (EMR) does not, in itself, warm the air. Only that part (approximately 11.6%) of the absorbed EMR that is thermalized warms the air. A discussion of thermalization is included at http://consensusmistakes.blogspot.com/

    That ‘added heat going into the ocean’ story is an example of the technologically incompetent (which includes nearly all politicians) being deceived by the AGW promoters. A simple calculation, using the 10^23 J of energy that have been claimed to be gained by the top 2 km of the oceans in the last decade amounts to a temperature increase of only 0.034 K which is way less than the measurement accuracy of the true average temperature change of that volume of water.

  62. Möbius Ecko

    Sorry Dan but your “simple” equation has been pulled apart and discredited, so please stop trying to flog it here to non-scientists and climate specialists just because you have failed to sell it on science fora.

  63. Möbius Ecko

    For those who want to see just one discrediting of Dan’s “simple” equation.

    A whole post dedicated to just him and his equation: Dan Pangburn

  64. Möbius Ecko

    More refutation of Pangburn’s nonsense. Read the comments and in the link for my previous comment.

    HFCs and climate change

    More discrediting around it you search deeply enough. Sometimes you have to read the myriad of comments to see the breakdown of where Pangburn stuffs up.

  65. Kaye Lee

    Dan Pangburn I too have seen your assertions completely discredited on many sites by actual climate scientists (as opposed to mechanical engineers). You enjoy using the “baffle them with bullshit” approach. You can’t just make up constants to try to make your equations fit. If you feel your work holds merit I would question why you have never published a peer-reviewed paper. I can only assume that you prefer to bamboozle laymen with crap than to subject your theories to scientific scrutiny.

    How about answering the fact that over the last 35 years the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. However global temperatures have been increasing. Since the sun and climate are going in opposite directions scientists conclude the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.

    The only way to blame the sun for the current rise in temperatures is by cherry picking the data. This is done by showing only past periods when sun and climate move together and ignoring the last few decades when the two are moving in opposite direction.

    Regarding the warming and acidification of our oceans I wonder what your response is to the latest IPSO report. (actually no I don’t. You will no doubt ignore their scientific results too).

    Results from the latest International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO)/IUCN review of science on anthropogenic stressors on the ocean go beyond the conclusion reached last week by the UN climate change panel the IPCC that the ocean is absorbing much of the warming and unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide and warn that the cumulative impact of this with other ocean stressors is far graver than previous estimates.

    Decreasing oxygen levels in the ocean caused by climate change and nitrogen runoff, combined with other chemical pollution and rampant overfishing are undermining the ability of the ocean to withstand these so-called ‘carbon perturbations’, meaning its role as Earth’s ‘buffer’ is seriously compromised.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Ocean-In-Critical-State-from-Cumulative-Impacts_IPSO.html

  66. Michael Taylor

    Möbius, thank you for that link to Dan’s site. I was interested in perusing his comment’s policy. It appears he disallows a certain behaviour on his own blog which is very similar to the behaviour he exhibits on other sites.

  67. Kaye Lee

    Head of exposure at Lloyd’s says ignoring IPCC report is not an option, calling on all regions to think about developing resilience.

    Insurance company Munich Re AG say natural disasters cost insurers $65 billion in 2012. A spokesman told RTCC the company was investing heavily in efforts to develop a better understanding of global risks.

    “We adopt a multidisciplinary approach, using and combining the pertinent experience and expertise of our scientists, specialist underwriters, lawyers, economists, sociologists and actuaries as appropriate for the risk situation,” he said.

    This warning from Lloyd’s is the latest in the series of comments from business leaders over the impacts warming could have on industry and global supply chains.

    On Monday Virgin chief Richard Branson called for “climate deniers to be called out”, calling for greater focus on the development of clean fuels.

    Yesterday, Emma Cox from consultancy PwC said the financial industry needs to realise that climate change “is not just an environmental issue.”

    “This is no longer just a debate about climate change. It’s one of securing recovery and sustaining growth for UK plc,” she said.

    And last week the heads of the World Bank, IMF and OCED all called for governments to develop more effective low carbon pathways.

    “There is only one way forward: governments need to put together the optimal policy mix to eliminate emissions from fossil fuels in the second half of the century,” said the OECD’s Angel Gurria. “Cherry-picking a few easy measures will not do the trick.”

    http://www.rtcc.org/2013/10/16/lloyds-insurers-mock-climate-sceptics-over-global-cooling/#sthash.paFI2fs8.dpuf

  68. Dan Pangburn

    I welcome anyone who is technologically competent to challenge my work. Click on ‘no comments’ in any of my blogs to comment.

    Most climate scientists have been schooled in meteorology. Meteorology is a study of weather, that is, how energy moves around the planet. It has very little to do with what is happening with average global temperature which is a conservation of energy problem for the planet as a single entity. It is a trivially simple problem for most engineers.

    CO2 increase from 1800 to 2001 was 89.5 ppmv (parts per million by volume). The atmospheric carbon dioxide level in August had increased since 2001 by 25.69 ppmv (an amount equal to 28.7% of the increase that took place from 1800 to 2001) (1800, 281.6 ppmv; 2001, 371.13 ppmv; August, 2013, 396.82 ppmv).

    The average (5 reporting agencies) global temperature trend since 2001 is flat. Figure 1 in http://endofgw.blogspot.com/ is through April but the average through August is not significantly different.

    I wonder how much wider the separation between the rising CO2 level and not-rising average global temperature will need to get for some people to recognize that the AGW theory was a mistake and that their lack of broad scientific knowledge has made them gullible.

  69. mikisdad

    Dan, how right you are. It is true that, as in the example you give of “climate scientists”, most professionals have knowledge and expertise relatively narrowly focused on their area of speciality. On the basis of your writings that appears to be true of you, too. You are (by your own claims) an engineer. They are meterologists or climate scientists or physicists or philosophers or whatever.

    What is the result of this narrow specialisation? It’s purpose, of course, is to allow more in-depth study of the particular field or a narrower aspect of it and it usually does that quite well. Unfortunately, a corollary of such specialisation is often a failure to appreciate the wider context; implications for other fields of conclusions made in the specialisation; and a failure to see or understand relationships that may impact on those conclusions. A further and even less fortunate result of specialisation is often the arrogance and closed-minded attitudes of some of those specialists – the “god” mentality of some surgeons being an example of this.

    I am neither an engineer, nor a meteorologist, nor a “climate scientist”. I also don’t believe that it is correct to mount an argument for or against climate change and personally wish that people would stop using the term, particularly those who advocate action to prevent Global Warming – which is what this issue is really about. It makes no sense to argue for or against the reality of climate change. We all agree that the climate changes – we witness it each day. It is unfortunate that those, such as yourself, who argue that Global Warming is not occurring or that it is not because of human activity, have managed to have an inappropriate label used even by those who don’t share your view but sadly, appropriate use of language is accompanying the general dumbing down of society.

    Your supercilious tone is as bad as the facile character assassinations that you suffer from others – neither are helpful.

    I don’t pretend to understand your equations and terminology and don’t have the capacity to judge their veracity or otherwise. What I do know is that over my 66 years I have observed much and over the last decade have experienced more drastic climatic extremes and a definite perception that each summer is hotter than the last and some parts of spring, autumn and winter often seem to now include mini summers. Now that may just be my perception and is what I might believe were it not for the sheer weight of general scientific opinion that supports the proposition that Global Warming is happening; will continue to happen; and will have dire consequences for us if we don’t take steps to alleviate its effects.

    Clearly, you believe something different – as is your right – and I will accept that you have, in your mind, a good reason for that belief, i.e. your faith in your knowledge of engineering. However, I would ask just one question of you:

    If you are right and I am and wrong; if Global Warming is not reality and is not happening and is no danger to the Earth – what possible reason could you have for opposing the implementation of measures to deal with its consequences? At worst, if you are right, the measures will prove to have been unnecessary – but they will have introduced a wealth of ancillary benefits that will make the world a better place anyway.

    If, however, you are wrong, and I and those like me, who believe that Global Warming is a reality, are right and we have done nothing … ?

    Surely, whether your side of the issue or mine proves to be correct with the certainty that time will prove, it is better to be safe than sorry. Surely, instead of this debate, it would be more useful if both sides came together and all shared their expertise in devising measures and actions that can minimise potential ill effects to the world and, at the same time, produce worthwhile advances even if no such ill effects occur.

  70. Veloaficionado

    “Click on ‘no comments’ in any of my blogs to comment.”

    And with that, Dan disappeared in his own version of a puff of logic.

    Nobody has commented on any of your blogs yet, Dan, because a) not many people can be bothered to try to understand what you are attempting to prove, and b) those that have bothered, think that what you are saying, and the ridiculous logic and mathematics you are using to attempt to justify it, is 3/5 horseshit and 2/5 braggadocio.

    I know that everyone’s got to earn a crust, but when the money from the Koch brothers stops coming in, can you just do us all a favour and go and volunteer at a soup kitchen, or to paint public picnic shelters or something, just to use your time in a more effective manner? Otherwise, to avoid us the embarrassment of seeing you tie yourself in knots in your increasingly brittle teleological rhetoric?

    No-one here agrees with you. I don’t think anyone should bother arguing with you – the argument’s long ago been won by the other side, many times over, except in the heads of fossil-fuel boosters and apologists. But shriek a bit louder, and maybe you’ll delay the inevitable a few stock market points higher and months longer. Because that’s the only reason why you’d be saying what you’re saying – apart from an “I’m right, can’t change my mind now, I’d lose face” neurosis.

  71. Dan Pangburn

    Miki – Humanity has already wasted hundreds of billions (with a B) of dollars in failed attempts using super computers to demonstrate that added atmospheric CO2 is a primary cause of global warming and in misguided activities to try to do something about it. The war on coal raises the cost of energy and is a drag on prosperity. That hurts everyone.

    What you personally experience is your local weather. It may well have been getting warmer where you are. I don’t pretend to know much about weather. To put things in context, the entire US is less than 2% of the surface of the planet. I only look at the average temperature for the entire planet and it has been flat (actually slightly cooling) for more than a decade.

    I got interested in the Global Warming issue about 7 years ago because of conflicting perceptions of others and the perception that it was probably CO2. My first paper, made public March 15, 2008, demonstrated that CO2 was not the culprit. (Google my name and Middlebury to see the paper). So if it isn’t CO2, what is it? Continued research resulted in the discovery that the time-integral of sunspot numbers with appropriate proxy factor and reduced by energy leaving the planet matched reported average global temperatures. You can see my first paper made public on this by Googling “Corroboration of natural climate change” and looking at the pdf with that title. It’s dated 3/18/10. This has all been refined in the blogs linked in my above posts which work as far back as 1610.

    As to what humanity is to do when fossil fuels run out, my answer is at the July 29, 2009 10:34 AM post at https://www.sindark.com/2009/07/28/hfcs-and-climate-change/ . But I won’t live long enough for that to be my problem.

  72. Möbius Ecko

    mikisdad if for no other reason this justifies the aim in reducing the use of fossil fuels.

    The U.S. And The World Are Actually Making Big Strides In Energy Efficiency

    It in no way mitigates the real science behind global warming, but it is the start of a good outcome because of that science.

    I will take up your statement on specialisation, and though you don’t fully generalise it comes across as nearly all specialisations being closed shops. I could quote many exceptions, some in the field I work in (non-scientific), another being climate science. I have read many articles and papers, most beyond my comprehension, and I have read the IPCC reports several times and the references, inputs and acknowledgements to other contributing sciences and fields, even from the lay community, are evident.

    In another example of where isolated specialising is a plus in climate science is where three separate and disparate scientific expeditions go out each year studying different parts of the globe and different geographical regions, for for up to three months at a time. They have been doing this for many decades now, each studying and tabling reports and papers on their findings in their own specialities.

    Each tracks the changes they observe and feeds this into their growing empirical data and each on their own gives a picture on the changing climate and warming globe, but when the three a compared to each other and the data cross referenced a far more complete and telling picture is revealed.

    So I guess in summary my point is that not specialities are isolationist and there are specialities where isolationism is a positive.

  73. Kaye Lee

    Does anyone else find it incongruous that an American mechanical engineer who has never produced a peer-reviewed paper, and who tells us that “I don’t pretend to know much about weather”, should presume to dictate to us his views on what he considers “a trivially simple problem”? He says that a “lack of broad scientific knowledge has made them gullible”. Not gullible enough to believe your tripe Dan! You continually cherry pick data. You seem to feel examining 10 years of data gives a better picture than looking at hundreds or thousands of years. You ignore many aspects that don’t fit your “simple equation”. You don’t seem to care that while the sun has been cooling the temperature has been rising. You completely ignore the fact that the oceans have been warming. Every one of your arguments has been refuted by scientists with far greater experience and expertise than you. You keep providing links to articles written by YOU as supposed verification for YOUR view. To put it simply Dan, you don’t have a clue and your vain attempts to sound scientific just make you look silly. You are committing a crime against humanity and should be vilified for it rather than given any credence whatsoever.

  74. Kaye Lee

    Dan Pangburn: “Since 2000, atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased 18.4% of the increase from 1800 to 2000. According to the average of the five reporting agencies, the trend of average global temperatures since 1998 shows no increase and from 2002 through 2008 the trend shows a DECREASE of 1.8°C/century. This SEPARATION (there have been many others) corroborates the lack of connection between atmospheric carbon dioxide increase and average global temperature. With no connection between CO2 and temperature there is no connection between CO2 and climate change. As the atmospheric carbon dioxide level continues to increase and the average global temperature doesn’t it is becoming more and more apparent that many Climate Scientists have made an egregious mistake and a whole lot of people have been misled.”

    Well let’s have a look at the way you work shall we? In 2009 you wrote the above paragraph.
    You conveniently choose 1998, one of the hottest years on record, as the year to start your temperature measurements choosing to look at less than 10 years data starting with an extreme as your base. 2005 was another hot one but 2013 could well beat it. You continually ignore the fact that the oceans have been warming for decades – it isn’t all about land temps. You then jump to “no connection” – a quantum leap perhaps?

    Australia has had it’s hottest 12 month period ever. The hottest 10 years on record are all in the last 15 years. Records keep getting broken.

    • Australia’s warmest month on record (January)
    • Australia’s warmest September on record
    • Australia’s largest positive monthly anomaly on record (September)
    • Australia’s warmest summer on record (December 2012 to February 2013)
    • Australia’s warmest January to September period on record
    • Australia’s warmest 12-month period on record (broken twice, for the periods ending August and September)
    • Indeed, Australia’s warmest period on record for all periods 1 to 18 months long ending September 2013

    https://na.unep.net/geas/getUNEPPageWithArticleIDScript.php?article_id=53

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jan/16/2012-10-warmest-years-on-record

  75. Peter Mauger

    Hi Dan, you seem to be following this thread fairly closely so I’d love your feedback. Like you, my only formal qualifications in this debate are that I have studied Engineering at university (my particular focus was Software Engineering). I have also been following the climate change debate, probably since Kyoto, although I don’t devote my life to it’s proof/discrediting. I’m also keenly involved in the Engineering community in Australia so have a good feel for all of the disciplines of Engineering. If Engineering can be boiled down to a single purpose, across all disciplines, it is the mitigation of risk in our society. Running projects on time and to budget are great skills to have too but Engineering’s raison de etre is risk mitigation. Civil Engineers build bridges capable of sustaining 2 or 3 times their expected maximum loading because they are keenly aware that the catastrophic failure of the bridge will incur massive cost and potential loss of life. Mechanical Engineers design components to withstand forces far exceeding their expected load so that, for example, you don’t have an engine disintegrate at high revs due to overloading of the cam shaft.

    Ok, so I want to now couch this delightful argument you’ve been having across the internet in slightly simplified, and yet highly persuasive, risk management principles.

    We have a scenario where ‘climate change’ (anthropomorphic global warming or AGW in the context of this argument) either exists or it doesn’t (there is 100% certainty that one of those statements is true). You, ‘Dan the Man’ are arguing that it doesn’t exist (with apparent 100% certainty from what I’ve seen online) against a significant body of scientists who argue that it does exist (with less than 100% certainty, because anyone who claims 100% certainty of ANYTHING should be carefully scrutinised). You, and those scientists, are “wasting hundreds of billions of dollars (with a B)” on this argument. What is the point?

    Well the point is that it can be useful to inform our ACTIONS (or risk management plan) going forward. There are two (polar) sets of actions as part of this debate. We (humanity) ACT to try and prevent/mitigate the effects of AGW, and do so with a commitment to achieve the change required. Or we DON’T ACT, or otherwise pay ‘lip service’ to achieving change.

    So in terms of risk management planning we have 4 possible combinations of risk+action. The four options are: AGW doesn’t exist and we ACT; AGW doesn’t exist and we DON’T ACT; AGW exists and we ACT; AGW exists and we DON’T ACT.

    Risk Action | ACT | DON’T ACT
    ———————————————————————————————–
    No AGW | Cost + Bad Outcome | No Cost + Good Outcome
    ———————————————————————————————–
    AGW | Cost + Good Outcome | No Cost + Bad Outcome

    So there is debate as to what probability there is that AGW exists. We argue the debate with models that APPROXIMATE the physics of the situation. The thing with physics is that, at least at this time and within this part of space (a debate for another time), it is constant. We CANNOT change physics (with current technology), we can only attempt to explain what is happening. Humanity can have no actual effect on whether we are in the top row (No AGW) or the bottom row (AGW) in the above table.

    So that leaves us with two actual scenarios. Either we change the way we live in this world, or we keep going the way we are.

    In the first instance (action) if there is no AGW then the problem exists that we may lose a (potentially significant) portion of our economies to the activities (or ceasing of problem activities). If AGW does exist in the scenario then we have done the right thing. The cost will be the same as if there is no AGW but we might just save our ONLY biosphere.

    In the second instance (no action) if there is no AGW then we have got it right and everything carries on as usual. If there IS AGW then we may lose a (potentially significant) portion of OUR ONLY BIOSPHERE. Not only will it be harder to produce food and obtain drinking water, but catastrophic storms will seriously challenge our abilities to create effective shelter. Oh, and our ‘economies’ will probably tank as we struggle for the survival of our species.

    So a negative outcome for both courses of action… Let’s just look a little bit closer at those outcomes. Take your negative outcome first (being serious damage to our economies, something I hope you’ll agree we’re quite capable of without even trying to deal with AGW). Let me take it to its ABSOLUTE EXTREME. All of the money in the world evaporates in an instant! Money is completely gone what are we going to do!?!?!?! I’m actually quite certain that there are some strategies we can come up with that deal with this situation. You, know like growing our own food instead of paying someone else for it. Telling anyone who says ‘I own this land’ to shove it up their arse because we’re going to build our shelter on it anyway.

    Now let’s take the other possible negative outcome. Droughts and fire wipe out significant tracts of arable land, significantly hampering anyone’s ability to produce enough food. Rises in sea level send large portions of coastal land (where a majority of the world’s population currently take shelter). Wars break out over the land that is left. I could go on but can’t be bothered really. Basically there is nothing we can do in this circumstance except suffer the consequences and hope that life on this planet can continue (it almost hasn’t a couple of times in the past).

    So Dan, risk management 101 (hmmm probably 201, I think risk man was a bit beyond first year). Someone presents you with a plausible, possible risk that will result in the catastrophic failure of the system you are tasked with managing (biosphere, nuclear reactor, car engine, etc). Your alternatives in dealing with the threat are: put in place precautions that may reduce the efficiency of the system but will either prevent or at least contain the catastrophe; or tell the (thousands of scientists) that they’ve got it wrong and your simple calculations show that the system is totally fine. Oh and BTW there are clear arguments that the costs of implementing AGW mitigating strategies (in particular clean energy) will actually improve the efficiency of the system, not hamper it.

    Which one do you choose Dan? Well?!

  76. Möbius Ecko

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ

    There are other videos ridiculing this by applying nonsense scenarios. They miss the point and don’t invalidate this argument at all.

  77. Peter Mauger

    Yeah but Dan pushes the ‘likelihood’ line ALL the way to the bottom so he wins 😉

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