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You Probably Won’t Read This. It’s About Climate Change

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Irreversible and severe damage is being inflicted on the planet from climate change. Science tells us we are responsible.

“I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today” (John Lord).

My youngest grandchild is 3 years old. In 70 years she will be my age. I often contemplate just what sort of a world the leaders of today are bequeathing the children of tomorrow. The evidence is irrefutable. The absence of political leadership in the face of a problem that might make two world wars by comparison seem superfluous, is deplorable.

So why are we not raising new generations to be better stewards of the environment and why is our government turning a blind eye to it all?

I write this not under some pretext that I am some kind of expert on the subject. On the contrary I am writing it because I am not. In fact I have no deep understanding of science at all. Ask me how the internet or even a common x-ray works and I am found wanting.  Test me on carbon dating, DNA, genetics or how the atom is split and I would fail the simplest test. But then I suppose a lot of people share my ignorance. But we can all apply the principle of common sense.

I do know that science in my lifetime has made the most staggering achievements. The only areas I can think of where science has not been embraced, recognised and enjoyed for all manner of reasons by an appreciative society are religion and climate science.

Science is constantly questioned when it conflicts with a literal view of creation and the other is climate change. Creationists generally answer that God’s creation was a divine event and is therefore outside of science. Given the state of our world religious people might well ask, “When did God die?”.

Climate deniers fall into many categories but the main protagonists seem to be from big business, media interests and the right of politics who by and large see it as a threat to capitalism and the free market system. They allow the stench of greed to invade their nostrils and to permeate their minds.

How does the layperson like me reach a view on such subjects without any formal training? It’s simple. There are many areas (medicine for example) that I don’t have a deep analytical understanding. Like many others I listen to experts, apply common sense, observation and what my life experience tells me. It is not difficult to understand a theory. Generally people assume that a theory (for example the theory of evolution) is something unproven.

In the scientific world, a theory is something that has evolved to fit known facts.

A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be dis-proven. Basically, if evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, then the hypothesis can become accepted as a good explanation of a phenomenon. One definition of a theory is to say it’s an accepted hypothesis.

Science for the most part is honest. There has at times been bad science but it is always open to counter argument, revision and constant peer examination. On the other hand simply denying climate science on the basis of faith, mysticism or political ideology is tantamount to denying rational explanation. Using common sense, I basically know that science through reasoned, judicious enquiry, evaluation and testing is the best way forward.

“The ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of scientific fact, truth and reason, never ceases to amaze me” (John Lord)

The world is changing in so many ways, not least a warming planet and all the problems it will bring forth for future generations, may very well exceed all others. In Australia the subject has gone off the boil (Pardon the pun) because of a campaign by vested interests who would place business, ideology and profit before environmental sustainability. The effectiveness of their work has been demonstrated by the public decline in interest on the subject. Tony Abbott is good at demonization and has successfully done so with Asylum Seekers and similarly with the carbon tax, arguing that if there was a cost involved he wouldn’t have a bar of it.

Quoting Malcolm Turnbull

“First, let’s get this straight. You cannot cut emissions without a cost. To replace dirty coal fired power stations with cleaner gas fired ones, or renewables like wind let alone nuclear power or even coal fired power with carbon capture and storage is all going to cost money.”

For the life of me, I cannot understand people who accept science as fact, reap the benefits and use it every day, but who somehow become brain dead when it comes to climate science.

However, lay people such as myself who believe in the existence of climate change cannot honestly claim to know the veracity of the science for ourselves but are happy to delegate this task to climate scientists. Laypeople simply do not have the knowledge to adjudicate on the issue.

Conversely, those who deny the overwhelming scientific consensus seek to justify their belief by attaching themselves to a minority of science deniers with obscure qualifications or worse, to right wing shock jocks and journalists with no scientific training what so ever. These people (like you and me) have no way of evaluating the volume of data produced by the various scientific institutions. One of the most outspoken deniers (Andrew Bolt) has, in recent times, been found guilty of deceptive lying in that he defamed some white skinned aboriginals.  One has to wonder how many he has told when writing about his favorite topic climate change.

If I do not support the 95% of scientists, every major scientific institution and the research that is constantly peer evaluated then I am obliged to accept the alternative. That is, that I should take seriously the likes of Andrew Bolt, (A journalist) Alan Jones, (I’m not sure how you would describe his contribution to society) Lord Monckton (A discredited something who was once a lobbyist for the tobacco companies), Nick Minchin and Tony Abbott. (Both politicians). In fact, Minchin is on the record as saying that climate change is a left wing conspiracy to replace communism. None of the aforementioned people has a background or expertise in climate science. Now that’s not to say that they should not have a view and that that view should not be considered as should any laypersons if they are of that ilk.

But surely, we must respect the science otherwise; you put into question all science.

We are led by a technology luddite Prime Minister who doesn’t even understand the reason for the internet or indeed its value to society. Remember he wanted to destroy it. He has no grasp at all on the subject of Climate Change and refuses to heed the mountains of evidence that is peer tested year after year. Instead he offers often contradictory glib observations about it being some sort of socialist plot. Or we have always had droughts and always will.

But worse is the deplorable lie he tells when he says he believes in climate change but only differs on the methodology in approaching the problem. So unbelieving of the science is he that he is busy undoing all research and other institutions within the framework of government. Even the science ministry itself.

His alternative is a so called direct action policy where taxpayer’s funds are given (repeat “are given”) to the polluters to clean up the mess they have created without any guarantees they will do so. And no penalty if they don’t. This method has no credence among professionals.

Indeed, Abbott has not produced one economist in support of direct action.

Treasury has qualitative evidence to suggest his plan will cost twice as much as they have committed. It is a shame, indeed sad to see shadow minister Greg Hunt who wrote his university thesis (with honours) in support of a carbon tax now trying to defend something he so obviously does not believe.

Quoting Malcolm Turnbull

‘’Second, as we are being blunt, the fact is that Tony and the people who put him in his job do not want to do anything about climate change. They do not believe in human caused global warming. As Tony observed on one occasion “climate change is crap” or if you consider his mentor, Senator Minchin, the world is not warming, its cooling and the climate change issue is part of a vast left wing conspiracy to deindustrialise the world.’’

The International Panel in its latest Climate change report singles out five key points
The world faces threat to food supply, conflicts over water rights and growing inequality. The only option is to cut emissions.

1. Food threat
Climate change is already taking a sizeable chunk out of global food supply and it is going to get worse. Increases in crop yields – which are needed to sustain a growing population – have slowed over the last 40 years. Some studies now point to dramatic declines in some crops over the next 50 years – especially wheat, and to a lesser extent corn. Rice so far is unaffected. The shortages, and the threat of food price spikes, could lead to unrest.
2. Human security
Climate change poses a threat to human security, and could lead to increased migration. Potential shortages of food and water, because of climate change, could be drivers of future conflicts. These won’t necessarily be wars between states, but conflicts between farmers and ranchers, or between cities and agriculture industry which wants water for food. On the flip side, those conflicts are going to get in the way of government’s efforts to protect people from future climate change.
3. Inequality
Some are more vulnerable than others. Poor people in poor countries – and even the poor in rich countries – are going to bear an unfair burden of climate change, the report said. Climate change is going to exacerbate existing inequalities, and it is going to make it harder for people to claw their way out of poverty.
4. No-one is safe
As temperatures rise beyond 2 degrees to 4 degrees – our current trajectory – there are limits to how far society can adapt to climate change. The only way out is to cut emissions now – and buy some time by slowing warming – and at the same time make plans for sea walls, relocations, and other measures that can keep people out of harms’ way.
5. Hard but not hopeless.

The report notes that research on the effects of climate change has doubled since the last report in 2007 – and so has understanding about what needs to be done to insulate people from more severe consequences.

American Secretary of State John Kerry had this to say after reading the report.

“Read this report and you can’t deny the reality: Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy,” Kerry said in a statement. “Let’s make our political system wake up and let’s make the world respond.”

But the question remains will we? If we accept the Australian Prime Minister’s response the answer can only be an emphatic NO.

Further reading. The effect on food supply. What they IPCC chief had to say and how deniers reacted.

108 comments

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  1. Kaye Lee

    The Senate Committee into Direct Action recently released their report. This is what they had to say about Tony’s plan.

    Recommendation 11

    6.87 The committee recommends that the Government not proceed with the Emissions Reduction Fund as it is fundamentally flawed and in doing so notes that:
    -there is insufficient funding to be able to secure enough abatement to meet Australia’s emissions targets now and into the future;
    -there is a lack of a robust safeguard mechanism with stringent baselines and penalties for exceeding baselines;
    -there is no legislated limit or ‘cap’ on Australia’s emissions in line with emissions reductions targets;
    -there is no access to international emissions credits;
    -the maximum terms of contracts for purchasing emissions reductions under the Emissions Reduction Fund need to be increased;
    -the use of international permits needs to be limited at 50%, with the maximum caps being 12.5% from Certified Emissions Reductions under the Clean Development Mechanism and 37.5% from European Union permits;
    -an increase of staffing will be required within the Department of the Environment to enable the scheme to be designed properly;
    -an increase of staffing will be required within the Clean Energy Regulator in order to administer the scheme properly; and
    -the maintenance and establishment of a range of complementary measures, including the Renewable Energy Target and fuel emissions standards are required.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Direct_Action_Plan/Report/a04

  2. Kaye Lee

    Recommendation 10

    5.129 The committee recommends that the Emissions Reduction Fund not be substituted for the carbon pricing mechanism.

  3. abbienoiraude

    You know Abbott does not read…does not read anything, don’t you?
    He will not read this wonderful piece by John Lord and he certainly won’t read the report into Direct Action either.
    If it doesn’t wear a uniform or promises him more money to do their bidding he is not interested.

  4. Gitte

    In my mind, the term ‘deniers’, with respect to climate change is too benign. Climate change is real, it’s happening and it is bad and going to get worse. That is all very scary. I really can understand how some people will be literally too frightened to accept the reality. But politicians shouldn’t be. They should listen to the science and do what is necessary to protect the countries best long term interests. Climate change information has been coming in thick and fast for the past few years at least. This government’s actions regarding science, research and carbon emissions is inexcusable.

  5. Keith

    John, the evidence is mounting up in relation to climate change; there has been much extra information since the beginning of this year. Huge slabs of ice being shorn off Greenland where it had not been expected being an example. There have been huge variations in temperature in Greenland with temperature ranging between -20 degrees Celsius and + 20 degrees Celsius being experienced completely different to the normal temperature range.
    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com.au/

    Methane levels are increasingly being voided at the extremities of our planet, methane being a very strong greenhouse gas. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=SPO&program=ccgg&type=ts

    It is a nonsense to argue that carbon dioxide has no relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide.
    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/bas_research/science_briefings/icecorebriefing.php A graph from reference: http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/journalists/resources/science/images/003.jpg

    We need to be trying to follow the recommendations of the IPCC, which takes a consensus view on what is happening and what needs done; the result being a fairly conservative view.

  6. mikestasse

    I wonder if, like Ronald Reagan, Rabbott believes that we will be soon be subjected to the rapture, and that doing anything to fix the environment is a waste of time because god will intervene in time to save us all from our own stupidity……..

  7. james horton

    How about this plot idea:
    97% of the world’s scientists conspire to contrive a global environmental crisis, but are thwarted by a plucky band of billionaires and politicians…

  8. Glenn Mortimer

    Then there’s Clive, only 3% is man made, we should tackle the remaining 97% natural emmissions?????get that down so we can carry on without having to stop what pollution is coming from industry.

  9. Kevin Adams

    With our voracious hunger for fuel to power everything we use today, climate change could be natures way of eradicating human life as we know it. The megalomaniacs ,the politicians with a Narcistic personality disorder, or any other mental disease are only destroying a few humans at a time with their petty wars etc.their hunger for wealth is only for a short time cause when your dead all you have achieved is history. And for who cares.

  10. bjkelly1958

    We have a Prime minister who is an idiot. I don’t say that as a glib insult. I would like to see him answer questions on key matters for Australia, written by a panel of people most Australians know, like Karl Kruszelnicki, Adam Spencer, Tim Flannery, Noel Whittaker, and a little more obscure, Emeritus Professor Stuart Harris, an expert of our affairs with China in particular. Just him, not Credlin in the ear or a raft of minders and staffers, just Tony on his own, so we can find out just how much our Prime Minister, our Head of State, actually knows about what is going on today.

  11. Kevin Adams

    We can grow food to make bio fuel but not to save ourselves. We can destroy the land with CSG drilling we can pollute the oceans with oil spills,plastics, chemical waste, we can dump thousands of tons of dirt to make another port to send coal overseas. Why? To make the rich richer to give each moron a pat on the back and say what a monumental achievement that was. But, who will accept the accolades for destroying the planet? None they’ll be hiding for sure. It wasn’t me sir!

  12. Graeme Rust

    An excellent piece John Lord, However abbott is brainwashed, he’s a religious fanatic, and will not see past all that was rammed into his head, he cannot or will not see past his religion being right in everything and I mean everything, how the libs ever came up with him is beyond most right thinking people, did he show them his roads scholarship for standing over women ? for punching out walls ? or for his stupidity? he’s nothing but a trained monkey, ( sorry for the insult to monkeys)

  13. FSM is coming.

    “Children are the future. Today belongs to me!”- Lindsay Naegle

  14. Stephen Tardrew

    Great article John. There is never enough truth.

    “Their view should be considered.”

    No John not if the outcome is enormous suffering. In this case it is not free speech it is a dastardly lie. Opinion should be founded upon scientific evidence and if not it should be called out and either proven true or disregarded. You cannot freely use abusive language yet abusive language does far less harm than scientific denialism. When denialism kills people and wreaks havoc on the environment it is not free speech it is an unmitigated lie. Direct action is another lie because we all know that environmental regulations have to be put in place because greedy corporations will not morally self-regulate. This type of free speech supports Justifiable immorality and murder through ignorance. The English language has been eviscerated by selfish fools and we have been told they have a right, regardless of the facts, to hold opinions that will do untold harm to others.

    We have all been held hostage to the free speech mantra while greed rules and Rome burns.

  15. mars08

    Must stop the boats because they ARE a threat to our way for life. Destruction of our environment? oh meh… er… there’s not enough proof. And it can wait…

  16. guest

    There have been several studies of what we know about the Direct Action plan. One was made by Richard Dennis and Matt Grudnoff for the Australia Institute (2011) quoted in ‘A Review of the Coalition’s “Direct Action Plan” by Tim Lubcke (2013) (see newanthropocene.wordpress.com).

    They say that DA will not achieve a 5% reduction in carbon emissions.
    Four billion dollars will not be enough.
    To do the task properly would cost many billion more and would cost each family $1300 pa (compare with Abbott’s claim to save families $550 pa by repealing the CT).
    The Coalition claims it will continue to pay compensation for the CT – while receiving no money from emitters!
    And we know the DA plan intends to use the labour of certain vulnerable groups of people, paying them half the minimum wage.

    So we wonder how DA could ramp up this administrative nightmare to achieve a greater reduction in emission, such as the 17-20% targets by 2020 of other nations around the world.

    Perhaps the Coalition sees the DA as an interim measure, enough to offer an alternative to the CT. Remember that an ETS was Coalition policy from the early 1990s until Abbott became leader. Will the Coalition in fact go back to this policy when Abbott goes (soon?) and Oz finds itself all alone in a wide, wide sea?

    It is possible. But think of the cost, not only of the DA waste, but of the politically driven delay powered by self-interest.

    As for Palmer’s 3% CO2, this is straight from Ian Plimer’s primer. Tony Eggleton, in his book on Climate Change (Cambridge UP, 2013) says of this: “The nonsense of course, is in the question. Human emissions only add about 0.7% to the atmosphere’s CO2 content. All the CO2 in the atmosphere contributes to the establishment of the basic global temperature level, keeping the planet warmer than the ice-box it would otherwise be.” (p. 172)

    Ross Garnaut tried to explain this notion of balance and the lack of balance caused by human activity, but the other side was not listening.

  17. Stephen Tardrew

    Monetarism and continual growth is the problem. Remember science is often turned towards war, in fact, without science there would be no military industrial complex. Scientist generate the achievements while governments, corporations, the financial sector and politicians turn scientific discovers towards their self-interest regardless of morally demonstrable scientifically provable consequences. It is how those scientific discoveries are turned into useful products which is the problem. Profligate waste; planned obsolescence; the failure of monetarism; exploitation of limited resources; reverting to war as a strategy for peace (pure stupidity); totally inadequate education in science, technology and ethics; while 1 billion people live on less that $1 a day and 2.7 billion on less than $2 a day.

    Meanwhile we are being taken to the brink of disaster by people who really do not know what they are talking about. Political and economic problems are engineering problems not problems of subjective personal opinion derived from magic, mythology and an imagined Arcadian past. Conservatism is falling back on a mythical past fearing a highly dynamic technological future. Meanwhile we are in big troubled desperately needing viable alternatives. Capitalism will either change and become more humane or self-destruct with horrendous consequences for many.

    Meanwhile progressive technicians are working their buts off to come up with a viable alternative. And where is media promotion in all of this. Nowhere to be seen. I won’t bother posting links as have done so before.

  18. J Marsh

    I do not have a degree in any thing but I can and do use my eyes and ears!

    When I went farming 60 years ago the land was in a different shape than it is now.
    Places that were impassable due to water logging can be driven over very safely now.

    As farmer I know that you can only have so many mouths on a paddock before it is eaten out.
    Common sense tells me the same applies to humans !

    History shows what has happened when the human animal got out of kilter with the land
    The rise and fall of earlier civilisations can be linked back to fall in fertility of the land.

    I don’t know about climate change as such, maybe we are in a long time cycle, remember the ice age in history.

    I do know there are more people on the planet now than there has been in history.
    Change I believe can be seen to really start to escalate with the industrial revolution.
    Then came world war 1 followed by world war 2 and so the change continues.
    How much longer can the planet support the growing population?

  19. cordannao

    John, thank you for another excellent article. Problem is you already have our respect and we already accept that we all have to do something about greenhouse emissions.

    On social media we come up against a brick wall because people who we follow usually agree with us and vice versa.

    How can we get through to the sceptics who choose to feather their own nests at the expense of future generations? So, so, so, very sad for my beautiful 2yr old grandchild and her children.

    We have to have better science education from a very young age, which is not happening. This used to be part of education in primary schools when I was young. We learnt about: the seasons, the climate, the importance of trees, the bad influence of pollution, just about everything you needed to know about our planet.

    Maybe I’m wrong, maybe others of my age group (60 to 70) didn’t get this type of education?

    One thing I do know is that many people in my age group seem to have a better understanding of what climate change can do and what we can do to help slow things down and hopefully one day have a healthy planet for all.

  20. cordannao

    Reblogged this on beingcoralie and commented:
    Had to capture this for reading again and again.

  21. Mike Wilkinson

    I hope I am wrong about this, but I fear I’m not. We are too late people. I’m not suggesting that we don’t try for the sake of our children, grandchildren and the generations beyond them, but the time to make a real difference passed decades ago.
    Climate has inertia, it has taken over 200 years of steadily increasing emissions to bring us to where we are now, with ice sheets melting, sea levels rising and weather patterns changing. The climate now has momentum, and like stopping a ship, throwing the engines into reverse only effects a stop gradually. We can look forward to THIS ship taking a couple of centuries at least to come to a halt.
    Good intentions are helpless against greed, and greed is what is driving climate change. Until governments have the spine to say “enough” and stand up to the fossil fuel companies, all the best intentions and good science in the world cannot prevent the “interesting times” our descendants are stuck with getting worse month by month, year by year.
    The actions taken now to mitigate climate change won’t bear fruit for several generations. That is the real reason the likes of Tony Abbott and Gina Rinehart say to hell with it… THEY will never have to deal with it.
    Pessimist? Perhaps. Realist? Definitely.

    “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”. ~ Greek Proverb

  22. Wayne Turner

    So of course the Australian public picked the worst possible lot to combat climate change (among other things…).The Liberal party full of “deniers” with slogans,and an empty unworkable Direct Action Plan (NOT just my thoughts,but a HUGE MAJORITY of EXPERTS.

  23. AsGrayAsGray

    Reblogged this on Shit's Gotta Stop and commented:
    Very apt, relevant, and true-to-title. People are ‘tired’ of climate change as a topic (poor unfortunate hard-done-by people…). And this phenomenon has allowed us to get to where we are. The mandate for Australia to take positive action and a lead role back in 2007 was a strong one, and now we have a weak mandate (if you can even call it that) to begin the unravelling all of that. Shame, Australia, shame.
    Anyone not already in agreement will likely pass on reading this, but it needs to be stated, ad infinitum, until society as a whole gets it and does something about it…
    Great piece, so I’m reblogging it, with thanks!

  24. Stephen Tardrew

    Mike Wilkinson:

    Don’t give up Mike technology is going ahead at breakneck speed. Geo-engineering is not possible yet because of the complexities of feedback mechanisms but better models in the future may help. What we don’t do now will have enormous costs in the future so why should we lay this a the feet of future generations. Total selfishness and greedy.

    Lot of suffering however when you look a the third wold today what the hell is the difference to these troglodytes. No matter what we will not only have to reduce C02 we will also have to remove it from the environment. Lots of great scientist working on these problems quietly behind the scenes. Too much talk and there may be a loss of funding. Politics is a nasty tightrope. Every month without action means more cost and worse consequences. Nevertheless I’m sure we will get there in the end.

  25. Sir ScotchMistery

    I can’t even bring myself to make a detailed response, except that it pleases me not to be a parent, since the loss of children is a hard road, and it appears to me that we are just losing the battle every day for the minds of those who we are being entrusted to care for the world, since they are too young to take part.

    What do we leave those who come after? A fairly good lesson in political point-scoring and nothing of depth.

    What a sad bunch we are as a result of not being abole to change Peta Credlin’s “mind”.

  26. Keith

    There are some very powerful interest groups who do not have the well being of people as a principle; the Abbott gang being an example. The Tobacco Industry is accepted; even though their product kills people. Executives of Tobacco Companies chose to slow down the increasing evidence that smokes kill; and so, the executives can be thought of as killers in a less polite society. Likewise, the mining industry is a powerful body which funds a number of groups which try to debunk the science in relation to anthroprogenic climate change.
    In my father’s day, matters such as asbestos, dangerous herbicides, lead in paint and petrol, thalidomide etc did much damage before the impacts were understood and changes made. Those responsible for the manufacture of the nasties fought hard for as long as they could hold out, but in the end lost.

    The politics of deadly products is with us again at present; more resources than ever before are being used to fight the work of scientists. Neocon politicians who are funded by mining companies are also trying to hold back the inevitable need to take action.

    The work of Professor Francis is suggestive that climate science deniers already have blood on their hands.
    Professor Francis has been able to pretty well show the relationship between significant weather events and jet streams in the Northern Hemisphere these have impacted on a number of communities. Very broadly, her work revolves around plotting the whereabouts of jet streams along with the position of highs and lows and assessing those plots against significant weather events.

  27. Zofia

    People have lost their connection to the natural world and their own environment. They are connected to their mobile phones, ipads, computers and plasma screens inside air-conditioned homes on blocks of land in the suburbs where every tree was knocked down and now the garden consists of a row of big ceramic pots with a plant in them. They call it progress but I call it a disconnection from and the destruction of the natural environment.
    People are moving to their own destruction with their heads down, tapping at a mobile device. They live in a reality devised for them, thinking they have freedom of choice. But the reality is programmed and selected for them. They think they are connected to so much more, it’s all there at their fingertips, but really they have lost their connection to themselves, to each other in any deep, meaningful way, and importantly, to the natural world.

  28. Kaye Lee

    I wonder how Clive intends to attack reducing natural sources of greenhouse gases – put a cork in volcanoes and animals bottoms? All creatures must hold their breath for an hour a day? Ban the decay of all organic matter? Collect all evaporation? Zer vill be no bushfires here!

    Clive, you really need to broaden your reading to include experts. Professor Plimer’s work on climate science is not his best contribution to the scientific world.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Professor Plimer was appointed by Gina Rinehart to the boards of Roy Hill Holdings and Queensland Coal Investments on January 25 2012. He is also listed as a member of Mrs Rinehart’s Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV) lobby group, which has taken strong positions on corporate taxation and climate change initiatives. He is a geologist who has served on the board of lots of mining companies…….not that that would sway his view or anything

  30. Zofia

    Did you know that the Palmer United Party has one policy statement about the environment on their website?
    One media release statement – under the heading of
    “Clive Palmer sets target of 25 per cent of vehicles running on ethanol by 2020.”

    He does show a bit of concern for the environment in his Mining policy. He wants coal companies to cover their wagons.
    One of the party’s goals is to abolish the ‘Carbon Tax’. Really says it all.

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  32. Chitra

    I’ve already advised my kids (two are adults and one teen) not to have children. I am sorry now that I had kids, their futures are going to be hell on earth along with everyone else.

  33. DC

    Chitra, I understand your fears for the future, but to say you regret having your (now adult) children is a bit harsh isn’t it? Surely they have already had a life worth living?

    When it comes to sustainable living I realise the challenges are huge and we as a human race are failing miserably at it. But while global populations are rising, they are doing so at a reducing rate and are expected to stabilise at some point this century.

    Whilst we may never achieve true sustainability and the lagging effects of our accumulated CO2 emissions cannot be avoided, we can still do so much more to change our ways and reduce our rate of environmental destruction.

    If such efforts, at a minimum delay the worst effects of climate change by a few decades, that will mean the world to each generation their after.

    Another possibility which people do not like to think of is that human populations may decline due to a breakout of antibiotic resistant disease. Although such an event would be catastrophic, it could bring the global economy back in the limits of sustainability. Unless of course the remaining population fail to learn from the past and continue to rebuild this fossil fuel dependent, “growth” dependent style economy with corporate dominance of the political process.

  34. James Acton

    You’re right, I did stop reading. I stopped reading when you said you had a grandchild. Having children is one of the most incredibly selfish acts you can do today. You are adding to an already burdened planet. And seriously, why do you want children? Lets ignore the biological imperative, because we can control that. The only reason you want kids is for your ego.

    So yeah, I stopped reading. In a few decades I’ll be dead. I don’t care. I don’t care because you aren’t willing to do anything except lecture other people. I don’t care because I don’t have kids. Whereas you are just continuing on sucking up resources well after your death. So no, I don’t care about your kids. They can suffer.

    Your children will live in the world you have made for them.

    It will take a while 100,000, maybe 250,000 years but the world will green again, this time without people.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Anyone who says having kids is about ego has obviously never had any because having children sends ego out the door. My career, my time with husband and friends, my time to pursue my interests, was all curtailed. I no longer did things for myself.

    It also gets rid of the selfishness that YOU are displaying in that long term thinking becomes a must. One of our problems is that the ratio between workers and retirees is falling. We need more young people to help pay for our aging population.

    Aside from that, my children are not part of my ego. They are developing into thoughtful, caring people who are making a positive contribution to the world and, hopefully will continue to do so for far longer than you or me. I watch the younger generation with pride in their achievements and excitement for their potential.

  36. deanyz1

    James, James, James…

    You’re right, I did stop reading. I stopped reading when you said you had a grandchild. Having children is one of the most incredibly selfish acts you can do today. You are adding to an already burdened planet.

    James, I think John Lord grew up in a different world than that of today. So did I. A world of hope and promise. I endorse Kaye Lee’s comments, I am also a grandfather of four. I also despair for their future. Your careless comment displays arrogance and ignorance. Happily, you have no progeny to be brought up by someone of your attitude.

  37. cordannao

    @Kaye Lee, I agree with you, the younger generation is our only hope. Both my children have far more values than we ever had and they make me proud to know that I’m leaving the caretaker role in their hands. My granddaughter will also grow up caring about our planet.

    James Acton, by the sound of it you are the selfish one not caring about what happens to our planet, just because you have no children. Sounds very sad to me. Hope you have caring people around you when you get old and frail because you’re going to need them more than you know.

  38. Leandra

    It’s quite simple to understand really. Conservatives aren’t really into science. They believe in a mythical being who will one day return for them and they will cease to live on earth. Therefore they do not need to look after it. Their descendants will have to live on a planet that has been ruined by their foolish forefathers.

  39. James Acton

    And you’ve all missed my point. Congratulations.

    There is no need to have children in this world. None. There are so many who need supporting homes, foster/adopt them… but noooo, you have to have your own.

    You are selfish and greedy people using your own little world views to judge others and force your views on them. And the comments about conservatives not into science… yeah, crystals, anti-vax, anti-GMO, homeopathy, etc etc – these are all hallmarks of conservatives – ROFL.

    Between conservatives who think there is nothing wrong, and lefties thinking everyone growing beans in their yard will fix things I am happy in knowing both sides are stuffing the world up as fast as possible.

    As I said, 100,000, maybe 250,000 years time it will be healed. And humans nothing more than fossils in the making.

    And then the suffering will stop.

    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/5570/20140108/animal-deaths-continue-bonbin-surabaya-indonesias-zoo-death.htm

  40. cordannao

    James, I never thought conservatives are of the hippie variety. Some things you say make sense, especially the part about adoption and foster caring.

    But… and a big but. If we want to have our children take part in the future of our world then it may be a bit hard if we don’t have any children to pass on this information.

    Adopting children is not as easy as you seem to think.

  41. Greg O

    Anyone interested in hearing some facts without indulging in personal abuse?

    – The 97% consensus (which used to be 97% of climate scientists but has morphed into 97% of all scientists) is based on two studies. One by a University of Illinois grad student who did an online survey and came up with 73 of 75 self identified climate scientists agreeing that man contributed significantly to climate change (73/75 = 97%), . The other was by John Cook analysing abstracts of scientific papers, who had to withdraw the paper after it shot down in flames for being wildly incorrect. The consensus also ignores these 31,000 scientists http://www.petitionproject.org/

    – regarding testing and retesting the hypothesis, It takes only one experiment to disprove a theory. The climate models are predicting a global disaster, but the empirical evidence disagrees. The theory of catastrophic man-made global warming has been tested from many independent angles.

    The heat is missing from oceans; it’s missing from the upper troposphere. The clouds are not behaving as predicted. The models can’t predict the short term, the regional, or the long term. They don’t predict the past. How could they predict the future?

    The models didn’t correctly predict changes in outgoing radiation, or the humidity and temperature trends of the upper troposphere. The single most important fact, dominating everything else, is that the ocean heat content has barely increased since 2003 (and quite possibly decreased) counter to the simulations. In a best case scenario, any increase reported is not enough. Models can’t predict local and regional patterns or seasonal effects, yet modelers add up all the erroneous micro-estimates and claim to produce an accurate macro global forecast. Most of the warming happened in a step change in 1977, yet CO2 has been rising annually.

    Studies involving 28 million weather balloons, thousands of satellite recordings, 3,000 ocean buoys, temperature recordings from 50 sites in the US and a 1,000 years of temperature proxies suggest that the Global Climate Models overestimate positive feedback and are based on poor assumptions. Observations suggest lower values for climate sensitivity whether we study long-term humidity, upper tropospheric temperature trends, outgoing long wave radiation, cloud cover changes, or the changes in the heat content of the vast oceans.

    The two things which make science different from religion are that nothing in science is sacred, and everything in science must ultimately fit with observations of the real world. While a theory may never be 100% proven, it can be disproven. The pieces of the climate jigsaw are coming together. The observations suggest that the warming effect of man-made emissions of CO2 has been exaggerated by a factor of 3 – 7 in computer simulations.

    That should be enough to get start a conversation. I am happy to explain the theory as well, the important parts of it are actually not that complicated. It is all about the feedback effects, the climate sensitivity.

  42. Stephen Tardrew

    GregO:

    Whadaya think we are dummies. Your scientific quals are what? You think you can surreptitiously ignore the IPCC report produced by the best climate scientist in the world. Trends appear to be underestimate. You are willing to throw our children’s future to the dustbin for simple prejudice. Have you considered if you are wrong your or dooming billions to starvation and poverty. Ever herd of erring on the side of precaution. I seem to see 1997 on the petition. And you want a reasonable debate. Forget it sunshine.

  43. Greg O

    Anyone interested in hearing some facts without indulging in personal abuse?

  44. Stephen Tardrew

    That was not abuse. Grow up and take some criticism.

  45. Greg O

    Stepehn, your link is to an article by Michael Mann, who lacks any credibility, but it is entirely based on a computer model. What is the assumption of climate sensitivity in that model?

  46. Paul Raymond Scahill

    No matter all the b/s bandied around by some of the climate change sceptics the reality of climate change is a fact. Even “Big Bwana” himself suggests that “climate change” exists. The moron that he is still believes in climate change, so what does that say for all you b/s artists who use fancy words that you think totally confuse us mere mortals. All I can say to you is why dont you twaddle your crap at another site! End of story. Oh, and whilst you are about it take that Peta Credlin with you and drop her from the Petronas Towers or some similar structure.

  47. Greg O

    Sorry for the fancy words. I’ll try and keep it simple. Here is an undisputed fact. Both sides of the debate agree on this, you can look it up in the IPCC reports. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and if we increase its concentration in the atmosphere the temperature will rise. The question is by how much? If all other factors are ignored, a doubling of CO2 from today’s concentration will increase the temperature of Earth by one degree. No-one disputes this, the IPCC and sceptical scientists agree on this. If we double it again, to 4 times today’s concentration, the temperature will increase by another one degree. If we double it again, to 8 times today’s concentration, the temperature will increase by another one degree. It is a logarithmic relationship. If we burn all of the fossil fuels in the world we are not going to increase the concentration of CO2 by 8 times what it is today, so we are not going to increase the temperature by 3 degrees unless there are other factors causing a further increase. The theory that all of the computer models are based on is that as the temperature increases, more evaporation of water will occur, and water vapour is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, so this will amplify the effect of CO2. The feedback mechanism is assumed to be positive. The problem is that there is no evidence for this feedback theory, and the observations do not support it. It only works if it is assumed all of the water becomes vapour, and none of it goes into forming clouds, many of which have a cooling effect. This is what the climate sensitivity argument is about, how much the temperature will rise for a given increase in CO2? The IPCC no longer gives an estimate for climate sensitivity, but continues to base its assertions on the computer models which assume the water vapour feedback theory is correct. The observations do not support the positive feedback of water vapour, so there is a strong chance that the increase in temperature will not be catastrophic, and may even be beneficial. So spending lots of money trying to reduce emissions may well have very little effect at all, and the precautionary principle would,actually say we are better to spend our money on adaptation to any problem that occurs.

    Cheers.

  48. DC

    Greg O. Firstly Learn to reference your claims (and not with a link to a 1997 survey of mostly retired scientists with no expertise in climatology. Oh and that “survey” was co-published by Exxon-backed George C. Marshall Institute).

  49. Greg O

    @DC and others, some light reading for you with references. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/28/more-evidence-for-a-low-climate-sensitivity/

    Here is another reference or two. Greenpeace found Exxon funded sceptics with $23million over 10 years

    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/exxon-secrets/faq/

    The US Government alone spent over 1,000 times more than that on climate change over the same period

    Climate Change Science Program, Annual Report to Congress: Our Changing Planet http://downloads.climatescience.gov/ocp/ocp2009/ocpfy2009-8.pdf
    Analytical Perspectives Budget of the US Government, Fiscal Year 2010. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/spec.pdf
    1993-2005 GAO, Federal Reports on Climate Change Funding Should be Clearer and More Complete http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05461.pdf Appendix II page 34.
    OMB, Fiscal Year 2008. Report to Congress on Federal Climate Change Expenditures, Table 8. http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/fy08_climate_change.pdf
    Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Change Programs in the FY 2009 Budget, p 1. AAAS. http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/09pch15.pdf

    And if you really want to hear it from a climate scientist, here is one https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=plr-hTRQ2_c

    Cheers.

  50. Andreas Bimba

    The reality of global warming is truly frightening and our political, corporate and media leaders that deliberately frustrate any action being taken to prevent catastrophic global warming deserve to be tried and shot as traitors or criminals of the worst kind.

    Even the IPCC’s reckless compromise of setting a 2 deg C global warming limit (twice what has been recommended by Dr James Hansen) will result after some centuries in a sea level rise of ~ 4.6m. The world is currently on target to exceed 4 deg C warming if fossil fuels are phased out relatively slowly giving a sea level rise of ~9.2m. Most cities, agriculture and most of the human population lives along the coasts. The average height above sea level of Tokyo for example is only 5m, Shanghai is 4m, Miami only 1.8m.

    The energy involved in storms and storm surges will increase enormously as global warming increases and coastal erosion will extend far inland. Many eco systems will be destroyed. Burning all current reserves of oil, coal and gas which is what the fossil fuel industry currently plans to do will most likely lead to release of much of the Arctic’s methane hydrates, the complete melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and eventual sea level rise of over 60m as well as risking possible extinction of most life on earth.

    http://www.rtcc.org/2014/03/26/long-term-sea-level-rise-will-be-much-higher-but-barely-studied-ipcc/

    http://assets.climatecentral.org/pdfs/Strauss-PNAS-2013-v2.pdf

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/climate-change/climate-scientists-ipcc-is-wrong-we-need-a-1-degree-limit-on-warming-16228387

  51. Andreas Bimba

    THE EXPECTED SEA LEVEL RISE ASSOCIATED WITH CO2 EMISSIONS

    Quote [Sea levels are expected to rise 2.3m for every 1C increase in temperature]

    Quote [Sea levels in the long term will rise by 1.3 metres above current levels as a result of warming already locked in]

    The above sea level rises will take many centuries to take effect but will probably be substantially in place within 2000 years. The current yearly CO2 emissions (this rate is still increasing rapidly) are locking in eventual sea level rises of ~32mm per year. Sea levels are currently rising at only one tenth of this figure i.e. by ~3.2mm per year as they are being delayed (but not reduced) primarily due to the ‘thermal lag’ arising from the huge amount of energy required to warm the oceans and melt the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.

    The IPCC has concluded that 2 deg C global warming above pre-industrial temperatures is the upper limit to avoid catastrophic climate change. This corresponds to a global cumulative atmospheric carbon emission budget of 1000 Gigatons of Carbon (GtC) and the world is currently at 384 GtC. James Hansen the main pioneer and most universally respected participant in the area of climate science has concluded that 1 deg C global warming should be the upper limit to avoid catastrophic climate change and this corresponds to a global cumulative atmospheric carbon emission budget of 500 GtC.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/climate-change/climate-scientists-ipcc-is-wrong-we-need-a-1-degree-limit-on-warming-16228387

    To see which areas will be inundated (does not show storm surges or erosion effects): http://flood.firetree.net/?ll=43.3251%2C-101.6015&z=13&m=7

    http://assets.climatecentral.org/pdfs/Strauss-PNAS-2013-v2.pdf

    http://www.rtcc.org/2014/03/26/long-term-sea-level-rise-will-be-much-higher-but-barely-studied-ipcc/

  52. Stephen Tardrew

    Andrea I agree with the criticism of IPCC compromise however the forces trained upon them are substantial. At least they have gotten to this stage and considering the degrees of variability in the models I feel this is the best they think they can do at the moment.

    Regardless the issue is incredibly urgent and we need to initially dramatically reduce CO2 and methane emissions (meat production) and develop technologies for scrubbing CO2 out of the atmosphere. There are some promising nano materials in the pipeline however they are in the developmental stage.

    At the moment coal mining remains the monkey in the room. The point is we must get this government past stage one recognition of the depth of the problem and it looks like only a disaster will do that.

    Human life appears to be a cheap expendable for profit corporate commodity to neoconservatives.

    And it is this blase attitude to life and suffering that so appalls me.

  53. Kaye Lee

    Greg O,

    Firstly, David Evans is an electrical engineer and a mathematician, not a climate scientist. He has also done a speaking tour with Christopher Monckton which immediately detracts from credibility. Here is an article debunking his “no smoking hot spot” article.
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/07/18/the-australians-war-on-science-16/

    And the hundreds of millions being spent on climate change denial all trail back to the fossil fuel industry nearly always with a connection to the Heartland Institute. This money is spent on propaganda for vested interests. Actual action on climate change will cost money, inaction will cost more.

    Several studies conducted independently (Oreskes 2004, Oreskes 2007, Doran and Zimmerman (2009), Anderegg et al. (2010), Cook et. al., 2013) have shown that 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing the climate to change, and that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are causing global changes to the climate. These views form the scientific consensus on climate change.

    You say “If all other factors are ignored, a doubling of CO2 from today’s concentration will increase the temperature of Earth by one degree. No-one disputes this, the IPCC and sceptical scientists agree on this”. This is simply untrue.

    Climate models have predicted the least temperature rise would be on average 1.65°C , but upper estimates vary a lot, averaging 5.2°C. Current best estimates are for a rise of around 3°C, with a likely maximum of 4.5°C.

    “there is no evidence for this feedback theory, and the observations do not support it”

    The effect of clouds in a warming world is complicated. One challenge is that clouds cause both warming and cooling. Low-level clouds tend to cool by reflecting sunlight. High-level clouds tend to warm by trapping heat.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/clouds-negative-feedback.htm

    “The heat is missing from oceans”

    As the ocean heat data only goes to 900 metre depth, Trenberth suggests that perhaps heat is being sequestered below 900 metres. There is support for this idea in a later paper von Schuckmann 2009. This paper uses Argo buoy data to calculate ocean heat down to 2000 metres depth. From 2003 to 2008, the world’s oceans have been accumulating heat at a rate of 0.77 W/m2. This higher trend for ocean heat would bring the total energy build-up more in line with satellite measurements of net energy imbalance.

    A subsequent study by Balmaseda, Trenberth, and Källén (2013) determined that over the past decade, approximately 30% of ocean warming has occurred in the deeper layers, below 700 meters. This conclusion goes a long way to resolving the ‘missing heat’ discrepancy. There is still some discrepancy remaining, which could be due to errors in the satellite measurements, the ocean heat content measurements, or both.

    I really think you need to broaden your scientific reading Greg and always check the credibility of your sources.

    Oh and that petition of 31,000 “scientists” – 0.5% of them had any background in climate science. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-grandia/the-30000-global-warming_b_243092.html

  54. Kaye Lee

    Michael, I just wrote a long response to Greg O. Did it get caught in the spam filter again?

  55. Carol Taylor

    Apologies Kaye Lee, I just found your comment in the spam filter. It would be to do with the number of links attached to the comment which the spam filter picks up on.

  56. mars08

    How do you do it, Kaye Lee…. and why?

    Propagandist like Greg O will not let themselves be swayed. You take the time to debunk his junk and the will reply with “Turtle eggs on the California coast are getting larger”… or some other bogus factoid to try and undermine the work of thousands of climate scientists.

    The people who have to be convinced at the voters. Showing Greg O that HE is off-track does nothing to sway the general public. It is just a distraction. Greg isn’t trying to win over the electorate with his propaganda… he is just trying to distract from the main game.

  57. Mike Wilkinson

    Oh how clever you are to have found the New Age Bullshit Generator. 😉

  58. Mike Wilkinson

    OOps! The comments that was in reply to have gone. Sorry.

  59. Greg O

    Thank you for your response Kaye Lee. I note you refute Dr David Evans, who has 6 university degrees including a PhD in Elec Eng from Stanford ad worked for the Australian Greenhouse Office as their main modeler of carbon in Australia’s biosphere, with a lecturer in computer science (Tim Lambert). I wonder why you think Mr Lambert has more credibility, he is not a climate scientist? However, attacking the person is not productive, it is the science that is up for debate.

    To quote you: “You say “If all other factors are ignored, a doubling of CO2 from today’s concentration will increase the temperature of Earth by one degree. No-one disputes this, the IPCC and sceptical scientists agree on this”. This is simply untrue.”

    Sorry Kaye Lee, it is absolutely true, it is a scientific fact. Here is discussion of it on a warmist site:

    “For example, we know that if the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere doubles from the pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv) to 560 ppmv, this will cause an energy imbalance by trapping more outgoing thermal radiation in the atmosphere, enough to directly warm the surface approximately 1.2°C. However, this doesn’t account for feedbacks,”

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-advanced.htm

    I think you might be confusing the theory used in the models, which includes the positive feedback effect of water vapour, with what happens without any feedback effects. I am stating the basic theory, which is agreed on by everyone who understands anything about it, that without any feedback effects the warming caused by increased CO2 is logarithmic and adds approx 1 degree for every doubling in concentration. It is only when the feedback effects are included that the temperature increases will be as you quoted. The point is that if the feedback theory is wrong or overstated, all of the models are going to produce wrong results, which is exactly what appears to be happening.

    The feedback effect (sensitivity) is the only point at issue really. It is not decided or settled in any way.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/12/ipcc-spin-translated-between-the-lines-in-their-leaked-synopsis-97-of-models-fail/

    And as for the oceans holding the missing heat (at least there is an admission that it is missing) that doesn’t stack up either http://joannenova.com.au/2013/09/ipcc-in-denial-just-so-excuses-use-mystery-ocean-heat-to-hide-their-failure/

  60. Greg O

    The IPCC is rolling out its “Fifth Assessment” horse-choker Working Group papers and slim-line Summaries for Policymakers.

    In this era where film stars with carbon footprints 100 fold those of common folk exhort us to reduce consumption levels to save the world, the fascinating question is ‘How much damage does the IPCC think a doubling of carbon dioxide levels brings and what is the cost of measures to prevent this doubling’?

    The IPCC puts the warming from the anticipated doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide at between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees (perhaps in response to 17 years of the planet refusing to warm in defiance of the climate models, the lower boundary was reduced in the present Assessment). The most respected of all climate scientists, MIT’s Richard Lindzen, estimate the maximum warming possible for human induced greenhouse gases is 1 degree.

    The IPCC lists only three post-2008 studies that attempt to estimate the net losses from global warming as a result of doing nothing.

    Of these

    (Nordhaus 2008) estimates a loss over the next 50 years of 2.5 per cent with a 3 degree warming.
    Bosello et al have a 0.5 per cent loss with a 1.9 degree warming.
    Rosen and van der Mensbrugghe have a 1.8 per cent loss for a 2.3 degree warming and a 4.6 per cent loss for a 4.9 degree warming.
    There is also a lot of guff in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment about some possible scenarios where much higher warming takes place but this is about as likely as little green men being sighted in a Mars probe.

    The hysterical Summary for Policymakers glosses over the numbers and concentrates on the scary rhetoric, an outcome that led to the resignation of Richard Tol, co-chair of a key Working Group and one of the few non-socialist economists involved in the IPCC. This was followed by the predictable green left’s spleen-venting reaction to an apostate.

    So, the angst and tens of thousands of scientists, politicians and other green warriors jetting from world city to world city to mingle, trumpet and convive is all about preventing a loss over 50 -100 years of about half to one year’s annual growth in world income levels. And the calculus of doom massively overstates the losses from warming (magnifying ocean rises, the need for new infrastructure, losses from tourism, the great rainfall shrinkage, inventing dengue fever outbreaks, new security scares, etc.) while downplaying plant and food growth from more atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    Having been forced to acknowledge that the much feared global warming has only a trivial effect on real levels of human welfare, the IPCC has to ensure that its estimates of the costs its pursuit of the New Jerusalem are not too great. Forcing a radical transformation of society by banning the use of oil and coal and demanding that we reduce energy consumption and shift to horrendously expensive renewables and mythical technology like carbon capture and storage is depicted as a cake walk, made difficult only because myopic politicians fail to recognize that industries and consumers can do without low-cost energy.

    But even in the heroic assumptions about shifting to the mythical low-cost new energy technologies and saving energy by using less of it, the researchers are unable to torture the data to reveal the same level of trivial costs of forced emission restraint as are evident in the costs of doing nothing. It turns out that the costs of policies like forcing Australia and other developed nations to reduce carbon emission to 20 per cent of current levels does not come cheap, even though the modelers gloss over the fact that the replacement for fossil fuels is horrendously expensive and would bring de-industrialisation. Economic modelers can only bend facts so far and, even with an optimistic gloss on taxes and regulations, they cannot avoid coming up with an emission suppression cost of 2.7 per cent in 2050, a cost that is amplified threefold if the carbon capture and storage does not work, nuclear is phased out and the renewables cannot take more than 20 per cent of world energy.

    Bottom line. If global warming is taking place it will not be very harmful. If it is taking place, attempts to prevent it, even if politically feasible in a multilateral world of nations with different interests, would cost more than any damage the emissions may be causing.

  61. Kaye Lee

    “The most respected of all climate scientists, MIT’s Richard Lindzen”

    ummmm, the only place that is even remotely true is the Heartland Institute. He is their pin-up boy. He recently spoke at a conference chaired by that fruitcake Lord Monckton – that alone is sufficient to make one question his credibility.

    Lindzen has asked some good questions – but he totally misrepresents the answers to those questions. He claims that the sensitivity of climate to a doubling of CO2 is less than 1°C, based on the assumption that all the observed warming is due to atmospheric greenhouse gases. This claim is wrong and it neglects other mechanisms that drive climate change.

    This idea that more CO2 will help plant growth ignores the fact that the plants would then require more water and nutrients.

    “Having been forced to acknowledge that the much feared global warming has only a trivial effect on real levels of human welfare,”

    Ok now that part is just downright bullshit. Show me where THAT happened.

    “horrendously expensive renewables and mythical technology like carbon capture and storage ”

    I think you need to do a bit more reading about renewable energy. It is getting lower all the time and the cost of extracting coal will soon outweigh its price. I would suggest you reassess your long term investment portfolio.

    “Bottom line. If global warming is taking place it will not be very harmful. If it is taking place, attempts to prevent it, even if politically feasible in a multilateral world of nations with different interests, would cost more than any damage the emissions may be causing.”

    Your bottom line is about as trustworthy, reliable, and factual as Eleventy Joe’s. Like him, you are representing vested interests. Your voice of ignorance will be condemned by future generations. I consider the actions of climate change deniers to be criminal.

  62. john921fraser

    <

    Wonderful to see "Greg O" back again.

    The Oscar Pistorius of the done and dusted climate debate.

    Standing on quicksand and saying ………. " I'm alright".

  63. Kaye Lee

    “Coal will be a predominant energy source for “decades and decades” to come, but with “drastically” reduced greenhouse emissions owing to technological advancement, the environment minister, Greg Hunt, has predicted as he responds to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/14/coal-will-be-a-main-energy-source-for-decades-and-decades-says-greg-hunt?CMP=soc_568

    I would hate to be Greg Hunt at the climate change talks in Paris in 2015. He probably won’t go just like in Warsaw.

  64. Möbius Ecko

    This idea that more CO2 will help plant growth ignores the fact that the plants would then require more water and nutrients.

    And that’s only true for some plants. Many plants, including some human staple food plants, respond to additional CO² by putting more energy into leaves or flowers and less into the fruit or protein part of the plant. Most trees are an example where increased CO² is detrimental to their natural growth.

    So like climate change itself the whole science and impact is complex, far more so than the deniers attempt to make out in their ritual denigration of it, where they demote it to black and whites to get their message to stick with an ignorant on the subject populations, of which most of us are.

  65. Möbius Ecko

    Kaye Lee they are already stating that if this government goes into those talks with their current policies and attitudes they will be a pariah there. A piece this morning stated that now Chile and Ecuador are doing more than Australia, and Australia will not be allowed to forsake its obligations without some sort of cost to Australia.

  66. Stephen Tardrew

    Carbon capture is just one of a broad axis of strategies that will be needed to compensate for C02 emissions. If any one of them has serious problems then ready to roll alternatives will be required to take up the slack. It is absolutely ridiculous to put all your eggs in one basket and assume there will not be failures. A broad strategy including driving development of renewables is absolutely necessary. These myopic dunderheads seem to thrive on irrational and illogical claims that will put us at further risk. The process will require fail safe strategies if certain process are not viable. Why the hell are you afraid of rational and reasonable planning for a holistic approach to global warming. It cannot be from any sense of rational responsibility to the future. There is no absolute guarantee that, in some cases, carbon will not escape. Myopia and obfuscation is the name of the game for deniers. Try studying systems theory and get back to me Greg O.

  67. Greg O

    Some quotes from the IPCC report:

    “An assessment of the observational evidence indicates that the AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in hydrological droughts since the 1970s are no longer supported. … we conclude there is low confidence in attributing changes in drought over global land since the mid-20th century to human influence.” Chapter 10, 2nd draft. So the extra CO2, NO reduction in water available, might possibly be beneficial to some degree?

    “With these recognized limitations, the incomplete estimates of global annual economic losses for additional temperature increases of ~2°C are between 0.2 and 2.0% of income (±1 standard deviation around the mean)” So the cost of adaptation versus attempting prevention might still be an open debate?

    “Some low-lying developing countries and small island states are expected to face very high impacts that, in some cases, could have associated damage and adaptation costs of several percentage points of GDP.” So not quite so catastrophic?

    Anyone here actually read any of the report?

    You also quote John Cook’s paper Kaye Lee supporting the 97% support claim. Here is a critique of that from a former IPCC lead writer http://richardtol.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/open-letter-to-vice-chancellor-of.html?wref=bif

  68. Möbius Ecko

    Taking out isolated quotes means nothing without the context, and that can only be done reading the entire report.

    What you are doing Greg O is finding those isolated bits that seem to confirm your point of view then putting them out there in isolation with your interpretation on them.

  69. john921fraser

    <

    Please come back Greg O.

    I love looking at a Dodo.

  70. Kaye Lee

    No I haven’t read the entire report as I am sure you haven’t either. here are a few points they did raise.

    Greenhouse gas emissions have grown more rapidly between 2000 and 2010 than in previous decades despite a recent push to limit emissions; economic and population growth are driving these increases and continue to outgrow emission savings from energy improvements.

    Scenarios to limit warming to 2ºC (3.6ºF) relative to preindustrial levels require drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century through large-scale changes in energy systems and land-use practices. The longer we delay action, the more expensive it will be.

    Measures to limit energy demand (efficiency, conservation, and behavioral changes) and renewable alternatives can reduce the risk of energy supply, improve public health and the environment by limiting pollution, induce local and sectoral employment gains, support good business practices, improve security of energy supply at the national level, and eradicate poverty. Adverse side effects, such as reduced revenue from coal and oil exporters, can be to a certain extent avoided by the development of carbon capture and storage technologies.

  71. Greg O

    “Greenhouse gas emissions have grown more rapidly between 2000 and 2010 than in previous decades despite a recent push to limit emissions; economic and population growth are driving these increases and continue to outgrow emission savings from energy improvements.” – This is a catastrophic problem ONLY if the theory is correct and the models based on that theory are correct, thus we get back to the climate sensitivity question.

    “Scenarios to limit warming to 2ºC (3.6ºF) relative to preindustrial levels require drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century through large-scale changes in energy systems and land-use practices. The longer we delay action, the more expensive it will be.” According to the computer models, thus we get back to the climate sensitivity question.

    “Measures to limit energy demand (efficiency, conservation, and behavioral changes) and renewable alternatives can reduce the risk of energy supply, improve public health and the environment by limiting pollution, induce local and sectoral employment gains, support good business practices, improve security of energy supply at the national level, and eradicate poverty. Adverse side effects, such as reduced revenue from coal and oil exporters, can be to a certain extent avoided by the development of carbon capture and storage technologies.” Actually it will affect poor Countries the most, as one of the main essentials to relieving poverty is to provide cheap sources of energy. I also like “to a certain extent”. To what extent?

  72. Stephen Tardrew

    John your quotes are a sauce of true wisdom.

  73. Kaye Lee

    The World Bank disagrees with you Greg

    “A changing climate affects the poorest people in developing countries the most. Droughts or heavy rains that lead to floods are disastrous to people with no buffers or savings. A changing climate may cause major migrations of displaced peoples which will affect all countries. We need to act now to prevent rising temperatures and sea levels and increasingly destructive natural disasters.”

    You may find this article interesting

    “Recent estimates of low climate sensitivity were flawed”

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/03/recent-estimates-of-low-climate-sensitivity-were-flawed/

    The IPCC report says

    “the investment required to reduce emissions is repaid by increased economic performance. Business as usual strategies are the least profitable; the money saved early on is dwarfed by the costs of damage and disruption done in the longer term.”

    see GDP projections of the four scenarios underlying the RCPs (van Vuuren et.al. 2011).

  74. john921fraser

    <

    @Stephen Tardrew

    Watching "Greg O" preening his feathers inspires me.

    "The Dodo's appearance in life is evidenced only by drawings, paintings and written accounts from the 17th century."

    "Greg O" and the moron Abbott can be seen daily in these "drawings, paintings and written accounts".

  75. Kaye Lee

    Another thing Greg,

    You seem to think that a 2% reduction in world GDP is no big deal. Hockey seems to think we are doomed if we don’t increase growth. Forget growth, if we don’t act on climate change there will be a $1.7 trillion decline in GDP.

  76. Greg O

    Quoting from your quote Kaye Lee:

    “Droughts or heavy rains that lead to floods are disastrous to people with no buffers or savings.”

    But the IPCC says, as I quote above “we conclude there is low confidence in attributing changes in drought over global land since the mid-20th century to human influence.” So if we are not going to cause more droughts, according to your ultimate source the IPCC, then the World Bank assessment is invalid. We are then left with making energy costs more expensive, which absolutely will hurt the poor.

  77. Greg O

    Kaye Lee, 2% reduction in GDP (which is the upper limit suggested by the IPCC, 0.2% is the lower limit) means it will take only one year of economic growth at 2% to wipe out all of the damage that CAGW can muster by the end of the century.

  78. Greg O

    Also Kaye Lee, re “Recent estimates of low climate sensitivity were flawed”, the article is based on using the computer models to prove the computer models are correct:

    “Shindell learned this by analyzing climate model simulations run in several configurations. First, the models were run using all our best estimates of historical climate forcings like CO2 and aerosol emissions. Then, they were run again with the greenhouse gases that mixed evenly throughout the atmosphere, but where aerosols and ozone were concentrated near their source. Finally, they were run with no anthropogenic emissions of any kind.”

    I find it hard to take that seriously, it is not science.

  79. john921fraser

    <

    Looks like "Greg O" has mistaken Richard Shindell for Drew Shindell.

    Playing the wrong tune there "Greg O".

  80. Kaye Lee

    In your world Greg there is absolutely no way to predict the future so you could very well be drastically wrong now couldn’t you. Are you prepared to take that risk, at odds with the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists and economists?

  81. randalstella

    Kaye Lee
    Once again I see you wasting your valuable time and abilities entering into debate with another climate denialist. Most of these bods are put up to it; recruited to spoil and divert proper debate with their pseudo-scientific bullshit. You can just ignore them. It will free you to get on with more important work, where there are real debates. There is no rational debate left on the urgency for measures to combat AGW.
    Unfortunately you dignify their arrant nonsense by replying to it. And this can only encourage them; as you see here. And it will keep happening.

  82. Greg O

    Kaye Lee, I am not in the least bit overwhelmed, and the risk of spending an enormous amount of money to achieve very little in terms of actual temperature of the planet, versus adapting to changing conditions as they occur, seems to me to be an easy choice. The rational thing to do is to adapt if these things you are concerned about do actually eventuate. If they don’t, well and good. In the meantime clean energy technologies will continue to be developed. If anyone argues that they can’t be developed without the help of government money, then that is admitting they will never be a viable alternative. If they can be a viable alternative, someone will be motivated to make money out of such a huge market and they will be developed. In the end, this is a discussion about you guys wanting to have the power to direct other people’s money to where you think is best. Why is your opinion about where best to spend money any more valid than mine or anyone else’s? It is not, there is no moral superiority involved here, it is merely a differing interpretation of the available evidence. We are both very confident our interpretation is correct. We can certainly afford to wait a few more years before deciding which direction to take, after all, the world hasn’t actually warmed for the last 17 years 🙂

  83. john921fraser

    <

    "Greg O" aka Raphus cucullatus is now going to show everyone how to adapt to CC.

    He is going to grow webbed feet so that he will have a better purchase on the quicksand he is standing on.

    This performance is unlikely to be repeated.

    Sadly "Greg O" will continue to echo through the ages just like Thales, Leucippus & Democritus.

    When they came to the conclusion that the world was flat.

    Keep the laughs coming "Greg O".

  84. Kaye Lee

    “If anyone argues that they can’t be developed without the help of government money, then that is admitting they will never be a viable alternative. ”

    The Government will spend almost $14 billion in the next four years on fossil fuel subsidies to the big mining
    corporations. Globally both direct subsidies and the loss of tax revenue from fossil fuels ate up almost $2 trillion in 2011

  85. Kaye Lee

    AUSTRALIA’S richest woman Gina Rinehart and fellow billionaire Andrew Forrest shared in more than $100,000 worth of taxpayer-funded handouts in their companies under Royalties for Regions last financial year.

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/business/royalties-for-rich-with-gina-rinehart-and-andrew-forrest-benefitting-from-taxpayer-funded-handouts/story-fnhohdoh-1226645997350

    Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV) was formed in 2010 by Rinehart and a small cadre of backers to lobby for the creation of a “special economic zone” (SEZ) in northern Australia to deliver taxation cuts, regulatory exemptions and large infrastructure projects

    https://newmatilda.com/2014/04/14/rinehart-lobbies-nt-tax-break

    What was that about help from governments?

  86. Greg O

    When you get a tax refund at the end of the financial year, is that a “subsidy” to you? We’ve had this discussion before.

  87. john921fraser

    <

    @"Greg O"

    "We’ve had this discussion before."

    And still you are as thick as pig shit.

  88. deanyz1

    I totally agree. Don’t feed the trolls. Greggy-oh seems to be off his medication. His last response,

    “We can certainly afford to wait a few more years before deciding which direction to take, after all, the world hasn’t actually warmed for the last 17 years”

    has completely destroyed any cred he may have had.

  89. Möbius Ecko

    Not only that deanyz1 he hasn’t been keeping up with the deniers rolling bullshit. It’s now 18.5 years without warming and a pretty Monkton graph to prove it, repeated across the denier sites of course, and also of course a load of proven codswallop of data manipulation.

    I’m guessing the diversion didn’t go unnoticed. Whilst mousing around in the closet Greg O totally ignored the elephant in the room that Kaye Lee posted about.

  90. Greg O

    So this really is all about redistribution? Personally I couldn’t care less about what other people earn, why should that matter to me? Or to you? It does appear that most people on this forum have a desire to tell other people how they should live their lives and how their money should be used. There is a book out at the moment about the Libertarian movement in the USA, titled “Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff”, sort of sums up a philosophy I ascribe to. Or the meme which says “Libertarians: slowly taking over the world so they can leave you alone.” So many angry people get involved in these discussions, and wind up attacking and denigrating the person, with the exception of Kaye Lee who mounts good arguments. It’s just the fallback to the “consensus” is never going to convince anyone who has read widely on climate change and looked at the evidence, it is an obvious cop out when the evidence is weak. Still, I enjoy the debate, and I am happy to ignore the sledging.

  91. Greg O

    The “subsidies” issue:

    “One of the most significant expansions of fuel excise occurred in 1957 when an excise on diesel was introduced to ensure that operators of diesel vehicles contributed to the maintenance of roads. It was at this time that the first exemption for excise was introduced, as diesel excise was only applied for on-road uses of diesel. This was because a formal policy of hypothecating excise revenue for road construction was still in place. …

    In 1957, an exemption certificate scheme was set up to provide an exemption of excise for all off-road users of diesel fuel. This continued after the 1959 end to formal hypothecation of petrol and diesel excises to road funding.

    In 1982, the Government abolished the exemption certificate scheme due to alleged abuse of the system, whereby on-road users were obtaining diesel that had been purchased duty free via the exemption certificate system.

    The Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme (DFRS) was introduced to replace this scheme. This effectively did two things:

    • all users of diesel fuel were required to purchase duty paid fuel, with eligible users then being able to claim a rebate equivalent to the excise for certain off-road usage; and

    • the rebate was limited to primary producers, miners, users of diesel for heating, lighting, hot water, air-conditioning and cooking for domestic purposes and for diesel fuel used at hospitals, nursing, and old-aged persons homes. It further restricted eligibility within these categories to only certain activities, for example, mining did not include quarrying.

    So here is the story in a nutshell. The government initially introduced an excise on diesel fuel (as a hypothecated tax) on road users to finance road maintenance. So by definition non-road users shouldn’t pay the excise. So how to ensure that road users pay the excise and non-road users don’t? Over time different approaches have been introduced to collect the excise from road users but not from non-road users. At present the excise is collected from all diesel sales and then non-road users are refunded the excise. So while it looks like a subsidy and many individuals discuss it and describe it as a subsidy it isn’t a subsidy.

    Many individual tax payers receive a refund at the end of the year having over-paid their income tax – nobody refers to that as a subsidy. So too being refunded fuel excise isn’t a subsidy. Instead of the refund being eliminated as being a subsidy, the Commonwealth should be paying interest on that money.”

  92. Möbius Ecko

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BlOQhwJCQAAbXy_.jpg

    Yet another case where Abbott is cutting spending in an area Australia is already on the bottom of the global scale in.

    The man is the most mindlessly destructive leader this country, and many others, has ever seen. A terrible leader, an constant liar and a buffoon who is being led up the garden path taking the country with him.

  93. Greg O

    Just saw this pop up about feedbacks, knew you would be interested.

    “It appears the climate models are grossly underestimating the negative feedback from latent heat transfer. For case 3 in the table above, the feedback multiplier of 1.57 / 2.70 = 0.581 implies a feedback factor for a change in evaporation of 6% / C of –0.720 C / C. This corresponds to the IPCC value for water vapor of 1.8 Wm-2 / C divided by their value of l of 3.2 to give a feedback factor of +0.562 C / C.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/15/major-errors-apparent-in-climate-model-evaporation-estimates/#more-107529

  94. john921fraser

    <

    @"Greg O"

    " It does appear that most people on this forum have a desire to tell other people how they should live"

    Prove it.

  95. john921fraser

    <

    @"Greg O"

    " and I am happy to ignore the sledging"

    Patently untrue.

  96. Möbius Ecko

    Ignore my last, wrong blog.

  97. Greg O

    Kaye Lee that skeptical science article is basically saying that among the many factors that influence climate, anthropogenic warming may have been masked over the last 15 years or so by the other factors which in total may have had a cooling effect for a period. So the fact that there has been no measurable surface warming for 15 years or so does not mean there is no anthropogenic warming. Fair summary? Perfectly plausible, I agree. Bottom line though is that it is an explanation for WHY there had been no measurable surface warming for 15 years or so. It posits the deep ocean ate my warming theory as well, but again, that is a theory to explain WHY there has been no significant measurable warning for the last 15 years or so. Even the IPCC acknowledges the pause, it is simply a fact, a very inconvenient one for the computer models that you want us to rely on.

  98. Stephen Tardrew

    Now’s the time to say goodbye;

    Now’s the time to yield a sigh;

    Now’s the time to go away;

    Until we meet again sum su…..: Oh stuff it no way.

  99. Kaye Lee

    Greg,

    What you ignore is that climate science is far more complicated than reading a thermometer on your verandah. As you can see, the current climactic cycle should be cooling – it isn’t. The Oceans are getting warmer and ocean acidification is rising. Arctic sea ice is declining at 2.6% per decade.

    Your quote from Anthony Watts site shows exactly what your game is. It makes absolutely no sense out of context and, to a layman, probably no sense even in context. If I am supposed to accept that means the American tv weatherman who is being paid by the Heartland Institute knows what he is talking about then it isn’t working.

  100. Roswell

    ‘More complicated than reading a thermometer on your verandah’.

    Loved it, Kaye Lee.

    I hope it hits home.

  101. mars08

    Kaye Lee…

    Your determination to cut through the bullshit is amazing.

    BUT… There is one thing we must remember. Although goal of your discussion is to educate and to strive for a viable environment into the future…. the Heartland Institute (and it’s propagandists) see climate change as just another battlefield in the Culture Wars.

    For them, the fate of the environment is incidental. Their goal is total domination for their IDEOLOGY.

  102. john921fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    I hope my "interruptions" help to ease your teeth grinding.

    Its what's intended, without being too much of a distraction from the "job" you take on to educate the un-educate-able.

  103. jameshorton (@jameshorton)

    I think we need to shift this debate from facts v ideology because history tells us that ideology usually wins – at least by ensuring the status quo…

    as humans we all have a tendency to interpret our world through the prism of our core beliefs – even when overwhelming evidence may seemingly be against what we believe

    and being human means knowledge doesn’t always win against ignorance either – when the tendency for those with knowledge to qualify their limits and the ignorant to overstate their knowledge…

    we need to have a different discussion about risks, consequences, action, inaction… a bit like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ

  104. mikestasse

    “It’s just too late for it,” he says. “Perhaps if we’d gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don’t have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing. I get an awful lot of people coming to me saying you can’t say that, because it gives us nothing to do. I say on the contrary, it gives us an immense amount to do. Just not the kinds of things you want to do.”

    James Lovelock: ‘enjoy life while you can: in 20 years global warming will hit the fan’

    http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2008/mar/01/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange

  105. Pingback: What Hypocrisy on Climate Change. It’s Called “Turnbull” – Written by JOHN LORD | winstonclose

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