What politicians dare not say. (Except the Greens)

In the usual sequence of events, what was once Green heresy is now at least being openly discussed in the mainstream media. This month´s New Scientist has a series of articles about the limits to growth and our politician´s and economist´s obsession with growth – and how it is killing us and the planet that supports us. Where have I heard this before? Tim Jackson, professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey and adviser to the UK Treasury writes:

any alternative to growth remains unthinkable, even 40 years after the American ecologists Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren made some blindingly obvious points about the arithmetic of relentless consumption.

The Ehrlich equation, I = PAT, says simply that the impact (I) of human activity on the planet is the product of three factors: the size of the population (P), its level of affluence (A) expressed as income per person, and a technology factor (T), which is a measure of the impact on the planet associated with each dollar we spend.

Take climate change, for example. The global population is just under 7 billion and the average level of affluence is around $8000 per person. The T factor is just over 0.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per thousand dollars of GDP – in other words, every $1000 worth of goods and services produced using today’s technology releases 0.5 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. So today’s global CO2 emissions work out at 7 billion × 8 × 0.5 = 28 billion tonnes per year.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that to stabilise greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere at a reasonably safe 450 parts per million, we need to reduce annual global CO2 emissions to less than 5 billion tonnes by 2050. With a global population of 9 billion thought inevitable by the middle of this century, that works out at an average carbon footprint of less than 0.6 tonnes per person – considerably lower than in India today. The conventional view is that we will achieve this by increasing energy efficiency and developing green technology without economic growth taking a serious hit. Can this really work?

With today’s global income, achieving the necessary carbon footprint would mean getting the T factor for CO2 down to 0.1 tonnes of CO2 per thousand US dollars – a fivefold improvement. While that is no walk in the park, it is probably doable with state-of-the-art technology and a robust policy commitment. There is one big thing missing from this picture, however: economic growth. Factor it in, and the idea that technological ingenuity can save us from climate disaster looks an awful lot more challenging.

¨Growth¨ 1750 to 2000 Click to enlarge

136 Comments Posted

  1. This from Philip Stott, Professor Emeritus of Biogeography at the University of London:

    “[T]he biggest problem [with sustainable development] arises when authoritarian environmentalists hijack the phrase.”

    He adds:

    “Then, sustainable development becomes either no growth at all or limited growth of a type approved by an elite few – wind farms, yes: nuclear power no; organics, yes: GM no. This is why, so often, environmental organisations try to portray business as the arch-enemy of sustainable development. Like biodiversity, another key word from Rio, sustainability is thrown into the argument to block development and growth, to conjure up a return to an imagined, usually rural, Utopia.”

    And lastly:

    “[Sustainability] is easily employed to soften the fact of change and, in doing so, it undermines human dynamism and adaptability.”

    In a nutshell, Stott’s argument is that sustainability is an unrealistic attempt to seek equilibrium in a chaotic world.

    Mind you, Stott considers himself “left of centre”.

    (Source: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Philip_Stott)

    This is what environmentalists dare not say. Except the likes of ACT and those who dare to question the hegemony of the mainstream environmentalist elite.

  2. This is from
    Paul Ehrlich: 7 Steps Toward a Sustainable Society – #1

    A central problem of the human predicament discussed in The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment is that we’re small-group animals trying to live in ever more gigantic groups – and not doing very well at it. If catastrophe can be avoided, we’re stuck with gigantic groups for a century or more, and very large groups “forever.” It therefore behooves humanity to start asking itself how to maintain the small group coherence and interests that make people comfortable while greatly damping down intergroup competition and substantially enhancing the intergroup cooperation desperately needed to solve the human predicament.

    Can human cultural evolution be directed away from its current trajectory toward disaster and diverted toward creating a prosperous and equitable long-term future for society? The answer is, “yes, it could” if the small-group animal “family” attitudes can be properly channeled. The basic requirements would be quite simple – a set of overlapping and intertwined ethical-environmental steps toward sustainability such as suggested below and over the next few weeks here at the “Eco-Compass” blog. Whether such steps will be taken is, of course, an entirely different question. But here’s the first of the steps we should take:

    One: Put births on a par with deaths.

    Human beings have always fought against early death from accident, hunger and sickness, and in the past century or so have employed improved sanitation and the use of pesticides and antibiotics to good effect in raising life-expectancy. But given the horrendous potential consequences of the explosion of human numbers following reduction of the death rate, we must pay equivalent attention to reducing the birthrate as well. As been done in many family planning programs, the happy family should be promoted as one that limits its numbers. But the change should be in the motivation. Traditionally the small family was supposed to supply a higher standard of living – including more stuff for each individual. The new approach could be to promote it as a multigenerational unit that in each generation limits its size in order to maximize the chances of each following generations retaining a happy, sustainable life style.

    To move in that direction, humanity must rapidly expand programs to educate and give job opportunities to women, make effective contraception universally available, and develop public support of population policies. The goal must be to halt population increase as soon as humanely possible, and then start reducing human numbers until births and deaths balance at population size that can be maintained without irreparable damage to our life-support systems.

    http://www.islandpress.org/bookstore/details.php?isbn=9781597260961

  3. Samiam

    Asserting that I would continue to tax the same way as we do, I would prefer not to have a “flat” tax. The progressive tax means that I pay the same rate for the first 30K? and 60K? (I am not sure where the brackets are just now) as the guy with the biggest income.

    If there were a 4th bracket, I’d be paying the same as he does on everything up to 100K

    The key consideration here is that the effect of taking away a buck from someone who has 30K and someone who has 300K is a very different thing. That’s one of the issues with it. Adam Smith, the father of modern capitalism, provided for a progressive system as well.

    OTOH, taxing pollution appeals to me.

    respectfully
    BJ

  4. Hmmm….

    The only evidence we have that we aren’t accurate is that computer modeling done twenty years ago doesn’t agree with current temperatures exactly. This isn’t “hopelessly wrong” so much as hopelessly (and shamelessly) unscientific. Both the IPCC and Hansen have been refining and revisiting their work and are doing quite nicely thanks. Projections (which argue from a set of events that must also be true) and predictions which require that we be correct about the surrounding circumstances, are two different things. IPCC and Hansen provide projections, not predictions and were working with machines that were not as capable as your workstation is.

    Hansen did quite well with what he had in 1988 and he has not left the field, but has refined and improved his work since.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/

    McIntyre dismisses Gavn Schmidt, but does not refute nor answer his points,

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2006/09/well-lookee-that.html

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2006/04/rtfr-i-rather-strange-push-back-has.html

    nor is he any more accurate when discussing sea ice.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2008/08/water-water-everywhere-and-all-bergs.html

    McIntyre is not a scientist, he is a statistician. He’s fairly good at holding people’s feet to the fire but he is not producing science. Like most critics, he can’t produce what he is commenting on. His problem is that he doesn’t do much more than stir up the savages.

    I can only repeat: You are arguing against yourself when you say just how much CO2 has increased. The lack of any measurable climate response is evidence against your alarmism.

    Wat… its clear that you are trying now. You are however, still misreading stuff.

    First of all, tell me where all the CO2 is coming FROM…. where would that be? Us. This CO2 isn’t coming from the warming of the ocean. That’s simply risible.

    Second. Examine what other influences there are on the temperature record. Are we getting more solar insolation ? Hmmm… nope, no trends here… though we CAN see why we might expect it to be a lot cooler than it actually is, given that nothing is holding the temperature higher.

    http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/open?pubNo=lrsp-2007-2&page=articlesu6.html

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

    Now the FIRST guy I showed you, remember? The Quaker? He did a nice composite stat to give relative contributions. You are so intent on rejecting everything that isn’t 100% proved that you may have missed what he was doing. It’s good work.

    With the solar cycle doing its darnedest to depress temperatures, the best we can do is flat. What happens in the next cycle? IMHO you’re riding for a fall, In another 8-10 years the truth will be even more obvious and you haven’t begun to address the risk management. If we work on CO2 reduction and we are wrong, we lose opportunity costs and people at the margins find it hard to stay alive because of diverted resources.

    If on the other hand, we fail to work on it and YOU are wrong, we’ve probably written off human civilization and half the human population. Not to mention the animals and plants.

    Then there is also the other niggling detail about CO2 which I pointed out and which you have completely ignored. Ocean acidification. The link is up there…. I won’t repeat it.

    At least you DID answer with what you thought was evidence that CO2 was insignificant. It wasn’t actually. You provided instead, evidence that a 20 year old computer modeling exercise wasn’t a perfectly accurate projection. That was NOT what is required. Showing that CO2 is insignificant would require something more telling than McIntyres repertoire of whines. It would take a lot of serious problems in the MODIS model, the solar influx, the radiative models and the satellite data. There is too much redundancy showing up in this work for it to be easily dismissed as coincidence. That’s the problem with McIntyre. Step back and examine what he would like to have you believe. In terms of coincidence. Possible? Yes, but not plausible.

    You won’t get “proof” until after the fact. Then it could well be too late for the species. Actually in science, there is no such thing as scientific proof that such-and-such is true. There’s the theory and there’s the experiments to test it. AGW theory has had a lot of testing.

    respectfully
    BJ

  5. Wat Dabney,

    Your claim that “that there is no identifiable change in the climate’s behaviour – either rates of change or the recent peak temperature compared to the MWP.” is pure bullshit.

    There is a lot of evidence that the climate has changed since the MWP (and especially in the last 100 years), and not only temperature has changed. Have you read about declining rainfall in SW Australia, to name just one of dozens of signals that the climate is changing?

    Another question: what qualifications (formal or otherwise) do you have in climate science, or any related science? I know for a fact that some of the posters on this blog _are_ qualified in climate science or very closely related disciplines. I would be inclined to put more weight on what they say than someone who is not qualified in the field.

  6. BOCC,

    You’re absolutely right, I misread it.

    However, you’re still absolutely wrong to claim that a temperature difference averaged over 5000 years tells us anything about what happened on the decadal and century timescales throughout that period, and those are the timescales we’re talking about here. Comparing the two is simply insane.

    So I repeat, there is absolutely nothing unusual about climate change over the last 100 years or so. Neither the rate of change nor the peak temperature some ten years ago are in any way remarkable. It was only the entirely fraudulent Hockeystick which got people thinking otherwise.

    The Co2science site continues to collate the output from a large number of scientific studies from around the world which have demonstrated that the MWP was warmer than today and global in extent:

    http://www.co2science.org/data/timemap/mwpmap.html

    bjchip

    – “If you haven’t worked out that the debt based fractional-reserve system requires continual “growth” just to break even then I’ve given you too much credit.”

    I’ll forgive the awful pun if you explain just why you think this is so.

    As for AGW, the point (again) about the historical climate/CO2 correlation is that it has been widely used to suggest that it proves just how potent the gas is, when in fact the truth is wildly different. Sure there’s some feedback, but then there’s also feedback with water vapour. However, I’d point out that there was no runaway feedback loop; no tipping point. The evidence, then, is that the feedback is negative and that climate sensitivity is low.

    – “Who made predictions about this year’s temperatures? Wasn’t any scientific group I know of. Might have been some amateur making an extrapolation based on ignorance but the science doesn’t predict stuff on that short a scale.”

    Hansen 1988?:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2602

    Or how ’bout the IPCC predictions:

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/001317verification_of_1990.html

    They were hopelessly wrong, and it is no coincidence I fancy that they were wrong on the up side. The point here is that if their predictions had been accurate then we would have some reason to believe them when they claim they understand the climate, have modelled it accurately, and so are in a position to say that there is something a bit weird going on.
    As it is, they have been proved completely wrong so their pronouncements that they know what the weather “should” be doing can be dismissed out of hand.

    – “That works out to 59 times faster than CO2 has ever increased, including in the transition out of the glacial stage”

    And?

    I can only repeat: You are arguing against yourself when you say just how much CO2 has increased. The lack of any measurable climate response is evidence against your alarmism.

    – “I’m going to ask you what your EVIDENCE is that CO2 is insignificant.”

    I think we’ve just answered that: On the one hand you keep going on about how much more CO2 there is, but on the other you have to face the fact that there is no identifiable change in the climate’s behaviour – either rates of change or the recent peak temperature compared to the MWP. And now we’ve had a decade of cooling. So all the evidence is that you are talking out of your hat.
    And let’s not forget, increases in atmospheric CO2 levels have a rapidly diminishing ability to influence the climate because of the nature of the “greenhouse” effect. The effect of increased CO2 on the atmosphere so far is too small to detect, yet CO2 has already had the greatest bang per buck it’s ever going to have.

  7. I think milton freedmans model of negitive income tax is quite promissing, though there are some ovious flaws that i would change. he proposed a flat tax as part of that model. ironicly too a 50% tax rate, though i think that was just to keep the math simple.

  8. It’s just that sustainability requires us to not consume more than we produce and that growth must eventually end in tears.
    Public servants are a classic case of consuming more than they produce and they do tend to grow and grow. We must be ever vigilant that the public service is as lean and mean as possible. Layer upon layer of management are currently employed in a massive ‘cover your arse’ exercise. ‘As long as somebody else is to blame when something goes wrong then I’ve done my job properly’ is a culture that needs a scythe through it.

  9. I don’t know. What we have proposed is to shift tax from income to waste, which would affect the amount of tax everyone pays.

  10. “NZ needs to get ready for another period of Rogernomics where we slash the size of government.” We must be vigilant”
    Valis, in a society such as ours what proportion of us do you think should be tax payers vs tax receivers?

  11. BJ “fair” isn’t an objective measure. It means different things to different people.

    Also, you don’t pay tax at 39% over your whole income, and everyone pays personal income tax on the same tax scale (excluding WFF etc for the moment).

  12. “Lets talk about people being “duped” shall we?”

    I guarantee none of our MPs has been muzzled. We’re also not trying to make our party look like someone else’s. And we don’t have a problem with people knowing what our goals are, hence the very complete information on our website.

    “Care to name three COSTED Green party policies?”

    Costed to what degree? I can say that our transport policy and tax policy for instance, are funded from existing budgets based on reprioritisation. We cannot fully cost all our policies with the resources we have. That is not hidden. But a party needs policy across the board. No one has claimed it would all be implemented at once. The extent to which it is implemented depends on what is doable at any point in time. If we could only do 10% of what we want due to the financial crisis say, then that is still better than going in the opposite direction.

  13. OK.. one more.

    The GINI index measures inequality. It isn’t useful to have zero inequality. It isn’t useful to have massive inequality.

    you want everyone to be equal

    Not at all. I set a couple of goals to work towards and recognize that the work will never end… Those goals are that every child born gets an equal chance, a competitive education, decent health and dental care…. what kids need. The second goal is that people who work hard get rewarded for hard work and pay a fair share of taxes – including me, and people who stick their hands in my pocket so they can have a second yacht to water ski behind, get them broken off at the wrist – including you.

    I am not sure what YOU want… but characterizing my position as you did is not excusable. Now I really must go.

    BJ

  14. look BJ i know you are a socialist and you want everyone to be equal, I’m sorry to inform you that its never going to happen, you live in a utopian dream land BJ.

  15. Valis I’m not talking about the public debt, i’m talking about all that private debt, you know the mortgage, credit cards etc all used to buy cars, homes, tvs, computers etc over the last 8 years.

  16. Funny thing Turnip, when I WAS a single person and it wasn’t all that long ago, I paid through the nose and still had a lot left over. Even so I resented seeing people in suits with even larger incomes paying a lower rate. I didn’t resent the family subsidy.

    There are no social arrangements I am aware of except the fantasy world of some libertarians, where parents take this burden on by themselves.

    There are systems that are “more fair” and the measure of them is the resulting GINI index of the country. NZ should try to keep from doing what the USA is doing in this regard.

    I’ll remind you again, how to determine if a country is fair to all its citizens.
    Consider that you are ABOUT to be born. You are offered a choice of countries but NOT a choice of parents within those countries. Where would you rather take the risk of starting out poor? First choice is not the USA mate… it doesn’t even make second or third.

    BJ

  17. Valis

    Lets talk about people being “duped” shall we?

    Care to name three COSTED Green party policies?

    Pot, Kettle, Black.

  18. “Well Valis, Frog and the Rest of NZ maybe if you hadn’t borrowed so much from overseas then you wouldn’t be facing these problems.

    Why do I get the feeling that you guys aren’t going to take your medicine.”

    It is our policy not to borrow so much. Key will do so to fund his tax cuts.

    “Be as vigilant as you like Valis, however if the majority say that is what they want [b*llsh*t removed] then that is what we are going to get.”

    Its not what the majority want. If they vote for the Nats its because Key has been successful at duping people into thinking he’s Helen lite. Look at how he scrambles everytime any other Nat opens their mouth.

  19. Valis

    “Yes, the disaster capitalists will be looking to sieze the moment again, once they’ve picked themselves up off the floor. The rest of society will likely still be down and not expecting the next attack. We must be vigilant.”

    Be as vigilant as you like Valis, however if the majority say that is what they want (I do realise that the wishes of the majority being adhered to is not a concept with which the Greens are familiar) then that is what we are going to get.

    Real democracy ….how refreshing!

  20. Well Valis, Frog and the Rest of NZ maybe if you hadn’t borrowed so much from overseas then you wouldn’t be facing these problems.

    Why do I get the feeling that you guys aren’t going to take your medicine.

  21. and a single person making lots of money and paying lots of tax at the 39% who doesn’t have any children resents you BJ for collecting WFF so I don’t see any point in your post. You will never get a fair taxation system in a democratic system, so just make sure you are in the majority and the tax policy should favour you.

    Time to get you really mad now BJ the company my wife and I own here in the US last year we paid about 8% corporate tax on the profits.
    Most corporation’s here in the US don’t pay any corporate tax. NZ should be trying to do something similar.

  22. Indeed Valis. I believe that Naomi Klein labeled this the ¨shock doctrine¨, where incoming governments and the populace are presented with crisis after crisis requiring dramatic ´reform´ of institutions that simply transfer wealth to the wealthiest. Standby for more of that!

  23. “NZ needs to get ready for another period of Rogernomics where we slash the size of government.”

    Yes, the disaster capitalists will be looking to sieze the moment again, once they’ve picked themselves up off the floor. The rest of society will likely still be down and not expecting the next attack. We must be vigilant.

  24. “That’s just religion; the “core principles” (except ecological wisdom) are a blunt instrument enabling a wide range of interpretations.”

    While you are right that more than one conclusion can be reached in some circumstances, it is not at all correct to paint this as a smorgasbord. Those four principles, plus the preamble are a very legitimate statement of what the Greens are about and provide a great framework for decision making. You’d find if you worked with them that they are much more constraining than you think. At the same time, real world issues are complex and a set of principles so prescriptive as to predetermine an outcome would not be helpful either. That’s why they’re called “principles”.

    “Example of social justice v’s ecological wisdom :”

    I don’t see how this pits sj against ew.

  25. Don’t worry WFF along with many of those other benefits will all need to go in the next couple of years. NZ needs to get ready for another period of Rogernomics where we slash the size of government.

  26. As a WFF person paying a sh!tload of tax at the highest possible rate, subsidizing businesses and family trusts of every description and therefore prevented from owning a house to live in, I find that I actually resent the inference Chaston makes. No … as long as I am paying 39% and a business is paying 30% , and a family trust with investments 33%, I have absolutely NO sympathy for this sort of nonsense. The fact that my income is taxed more heavily Mr R!ch Pr!cks investment, because I am EARNING my money is one of the things that tells us just how badly the “wealth party” has already distorted the system.

    BJ

  27. JH

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but every one of those 635000 working for families folks is PAYING tax. Counting them as “beneficiaries” to make some sort of point is about workers is misleading. They do pay less and those who aren’t getting WFF pay more, but the raw numbers don’t show so precisely what Chaston seems to want to say.

    BJ

  28. Example of social justice v’s ecological wisdom :

    “Estimates by interest.co.nz show that more than 1.4 million adults are now on various means-tested benefits. As at September 30, 2008, this is made up of:

    – unemployment benefit ……………… 23,273
    – domestic purposes benefit ………… 98,473
    – sickness benefit ………………………. 48,208
    – invalids benefit ………………………… 83,618
    – other adult benefits ………………….. 16,036
    – working-for-families benefits …….. 635,000 E
    – national superannuation +65 ……… 539,100

    A small number of adults may be on multiple benefits. Overall, this now means there are less than 1.5 workers for each adult beneficiary. This has fallen from 2.1 workers per adult beneficiary nine years ago.

    http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2008/10/25/benefit-claims-rising/

  29. I haven’t read Six Degrees but will try to find time to, it’s reviewed at RC here
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/11/six-degrees/

    I don’t think there’s much point in looking past 2100, I think we’ve either sorted out the major challenges ahead of us before 2100 or they’ve sorted us out.

    The biggest challenges I’ve recognised hit us before 2050, if we get through them with a wealthy civilisation and a declining population – through declining birth rate – that should put us in a better position to then address longer term problems.

    The people of 1808 weren’t in a position to address the issues we face today.

  30. eredwen Says:
    October 26th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    “However, the Greens work from core principles and thus remain unashamedly consistent.”

    That’s just religion; the “core principles” (except ecological wisdom) are a blunt instrument enabling a wide range of interpretations.

  31. I predict John Keys call to grow the economy will include a “gang busters immigration scheme”

    1. Property investors [Hollow men] fund National and they have empty subdivisions and land banks around our cities to fill.

    2. The excuse will be “needed skills” but not trumpeted will be anyone with enough money.

    3. Anyone who can’t afford a house will be told it is because they lack appropriate skills and/or productivity to earn enough .

    Was just watching an item on TV Ones “Mornings” program re our “desperate?” skill shortage:Why =Loosing workers to Australia and Babyboomers retiring.
    The required skills are (example) Health care and (building boom) electricians.
    Why choose NZ= lifestyle and cost of living in UK, [so lifestyle is compensation…. but look at our tourist towns etc and see what has happened to life$tyle.
    Chch is #1.

  32. Yah it IS late…

    In other words, if 2100 sees 2 meters of increase, 2130 will have 3 and 2200 will have 5-7…

  33. The answer, since anthropogenic CO2 is a completely insignificant greenhouse gas in the scheme of things, is that the effect will be so small as to be irrelevant.

    This talking point, like the others, is well worn out and since it is late I am going to do something lazy.

    I’m going to ask you what your EVIDENCE is that CO2 is insignificant. I think I know how you will answer, but I want you to put your cards on the table so everyone can see that this bald assertion, like all the others you are promoting here is also false and I can falsify it in detail.

    I personally would like to get some rest.

    For those of you who think that this is not potentially catastrophic, may I recommend the book

    Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
    by Mark Lynas

    While the author may regard climate changes as being caused by the same things I (and the IPCC) regard as causeing it, that is not the thrust of the book. It is instead a bit of climate-porn that addresses the possible consequences of each additional degree of temperature we let ourselves in for.

    I’d recommend getting it from a library. I own it but I don’t regard it as good enough to be a keeper. It does however, give a lot of information about what to expect if we happen to do the nothing that some here have advocated, about this problem.

    As for 2 meters. I expect between 1.4 and 2 meters based on what I know. That isn’t THAT far off from the IPCC prediction. I expect to see movement in the WAIS and GIS pushing the envelope. What I suspect nobody has bothered to remember is that –

    A. Most of the increase comes at the end of the century
    B. It doesn’t stop rising just because the end of the century is reached.

    In other words, if 2100 sees 2 meters of increase, 2300 will have 3 and 2400 will have 5-7…

    It is not a good idea to let this get started. It is an even worse idea to ignore it.

    respectfully
    BJ

  34. The Easter Islanders smashed their Moai when their gods did not save them from the catastrophes of resource depletion and overpopulation. The right wingers seem to be turning feral as their ideology of unfettered capitalism is shown to be nothing but a sham.

    Cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

  35. Wat

    Temperature rate of change and CO2 rate of change are both quite bizarre in terms of the paleoclimate. Temperature is going up quickly as well, but is not monotonic and is, as noted above, the result of many more inputs than just CO2. Over the past 100 years however, we are seeing exactly what Bucolic Old Sir Henry explained to you. I posted one of those links specifically because of the CO2.

    In the core, the fastest increase seen was of the order of 30 parts per million (ppm) by volume over a period of roughly 1,000 years.

    “The last 30 ppm of increase has occurred in just 17 years. We really are in the situation where we don’t have an analogue in our records,”

    That works out to 59 times faster than CO2 has ever increased, including in the transition out of the glacial stage. Five Thousand Nine Hundred Percent!!!

    (Records of the last 800,000 years. )

    Its all normal. – Riiiiggghht.

    BJ

  36. Wat

    Persistent in your misunderstanding of what I am writing you are. I don’t regard all debt as bad. Hardly. Why I am trying to educate people from the right hand side of the fence about the basic failings of what passes for capitalism in the OECD (hint, I think von Mises was on to something) , is a bit beyond me. I didn’t equate “all” capitalism with the crapitalizm of the current owners of the system. You don’t want me to understand but I do very well. None of what has happened surprised me. I predicted this denouement years ago. Even here on this blog. If you haven’t worked out that the debt based fractional-reserve system requires continual “growth” just to break even then I’ve given you too much credit.
    ——————–
    Wat

    There’s a good 30 year lag between increased CO2 in the atmosphere and the stable final temperature reached as a result. It’s a dynamic system. It has more inputs than CO2. The CO2 is both forcing and feedback. Clearly you are NOT understanding much of the actual science linked in up there.

    The CO2 isn’t like a switch that goes on and off. The CO2 right now drives the temperature we will see 25-30 years from now, and the CO2 during the recession of the 70’s drives our temperature now. You remember the 70’s, OPEC embargo, gas lines. tiny cars back in the states?

    Your claim that “the dog didn’t bark” simply does not hold up. YOU may think so but my reading of graphs, data and charts causes me to reckon that you have not bothered to actually read much of it. Could you tell me what you ARE reading? Whatever it is, the folks who are feeding you this line are lying to you.

    It is wrong to say the temperature rose and hundreds of years later the CO2 went up as a result. The temperature rose some, the CO2 came out and the temperature continued to rise for another 4000 years. Remember what I said about timescales? The argument being used by you is simply dead wrong.

    http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/CaillonTermIII.pdf

    ” This sequence of events is still in full agreement with the idea that CO2 plays, through its greenhouse effect, a key role in amplifying the initial orbital forcing. First, the 800-year time lag is short in comparison with the total duration of the temperature and CO2 increases ( 5000 years). Second, the CO2 increase clearly precedes the Northern Hemi-sphere deglaciation (Fig. 3).”

    Now we can go into more detail about this. I have heard the same wrong arguments offered hundreds if not thousands of times.

    Then the next one… if the climate were fully understood then those scary predictions about future temperatures that were made a few years ago would have been highly accurate

    Who made predictions about this year’s temperatures? Wasn’t any scientific group I know of. Might have been some amateur making an extrapolation based on ignorance but the science doesn’t predict stuff on that short a scale. You have AGAIN introduced a false premise. Still, it is a common argument and deserves some treatment. Shall we put it this way instead?

    If we can’t predict the temperatures next year, how can we predict what will happen in a century?

    However, we CAN predict that it will be warmer this summer than it was 6 months ago in the dead of winter and we CAN predict that it will be warmer at the top of the North Island than in Invercargill… so we can actually predict climate pretty well….provided we pay attention to timescales. Pesky things those are. CO2 has a good 30 year lag before the effects really kick in… the forcing is small on a yearly basis, but the low due to the Solar minimum isn’t quite as low, and the next high is a bit higher and after about 30 years of that the signal is really nice and clear.

    At which point, just as I have been saying to folks on the financial boards – “I told you so”, I will be (if I am still around) experiencing the mixed pleasure of having been right about what is wrong, again.

    In so many words, everything you just told the board is wrong.

    Nor were the arguments new, no surprises.

    Sorry.

    respectfully
    BJ

  37. >>A joke? You deny advocating a higher death rate, but then point to Voluntary Human Extinction as a possible solution?

    No. I am merely saying that that is the view of some. I tend to favour the ‘sustainability’ alternative based on a no growth economics that is underpinned by environmental considerations.

  38. A joke? You deny advocating a higher death rate, but then point to Voluntary Human Extinction as a possible solution?

  39. Andrew Says: Thinking about your comment from various angles, yep, higher death rate’s what you’re suggesting

    No, not really. I believe that there are other solutions: I hope that the Demographic Transition Model, the basis of the contention that ‘greater wealth and education lowers birth rates’, is appropriate to New Zealand. (Unfortunately, recent statistics indicate that our birthrate may again be rising. Also remember that the Model only concerns itself with natural population growth; it does not take account of migration.)
    Is ‘wealth’ per se a necessary condition to bring about lower birth rates? Could a ‘sustainable lifestyle’ as proffered by the Greens be a possible (alternative) driver?
    There are of course – apart from an increased death rate – other solutions. Indeed it seems that the male fertility rate has inexplicably declined dramatically over the past few decades. Others have found their own contribution by adhering to the tenets of http://www.vhemt.org/

  40. samiam et al:

    This “main criticism” of the “insistence of the Green party to pursue social issues alongside of, and often ahead, of the far more pressing issues of environment”, “thus alienating a large number of voters”…
    has been repeated and repeated in recent times, presumably by “Right of Centre” thinkers.

    However, the Greens work from core principles and thus remain unashamedly consistent.

    To see this from a Green perspective, one small example:

    On a finite Planet (or part thereof) the “resources”, by definition, are finite.

    These finite resources must be shared by the various life forms that live on this finite Planet, (including self named “Homo sapiens”).

    Homo sapiens has survived in numbers greater than the “carrying capacity” of local areas by cooperating with other members of their own species.

    Now the population of our species has increased towards “carrying capacity” of the entire Planet, this cooperation has become more urgent.

    Call it “socialism” or “fairness” or “survival tactics” … it just depends on one’s point of view.

    One thing is for sure … we as a species cannot continue with our current behaviour without serious repercussions.

  41. Thanks for that, kahikatea. I feel suitably admonished :). You must admit though, there is a lot of AGW (and Peak Oil) stuff. I’m not blaming frog – it is just that they are constantly raised on many threads, regardless of the thread’s topic! But point taken.. you were in the business of trying to save the planet long before AGW became a household name 🙂

  42. “any unchecked growth is irresponsible.” Since when? we’ve had growth throughout the 20th century, was that irresponsible? What do you mean by “unchecked” who’s job is it to “check” growth? How?

    “solutions to AGW and Peak Oil, such as the development of ‘clean’ nuclear energy, would not by themselves solve the rampart growth problem. Indeed they could well exacerbate it.”

    So your solution would be…? Perhaps lifting the death rate? That is actually what you seem to be saying, greater wealth and education lowers birth rates – at least that’s the evidence in front of us, higher death rate are indicative of greater poverty.

    Thinking about your comment from various angles, yep, higher death rate’s what you’re suggesting.

  43. Andrew, that’s an argument for you and me to have in another place, perhaps. Your position is certainly defensible – I just think the balance of evidence is that the direct impacts of climate change are a huge challenge. They add to the problems of resource depletion, development and population – and may even preempt them…

    The key to all this is that we need to find a way to improve the lot of humanity without consuming ever more of the world’s resources. Quality, not quantity, in other words. Something that NZ does quite well at the moment.

  44. kjuv Says:
    October 26th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    > Sometimes, reading these posts I get the impression that the sine qua non of Green Party (non-social) policies (for example, the environmental policy) is all about dealing with AGW!

    – Our water policy is about preventing the unsustainable use and pollution of fresh water resources.

    – Our agriculture policy devotes a fair amount of space to reducing use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. If our only concern were AGW, we would be calling for a massive nationwide rollout of nitrification inhibitors, but we’re not, because we’re not actually in favour of covering a large percentage of New Zealand’s productive farmland with newly systhesized chemicals that may have wide-ranging effects that we’re not aware of yet. And then there’s our opposition to genetically engineered crops, which has nothing to do with AGW at all.

    – Our energy policy has a lot about reducing electricity consumption, not just replacing the 35% of our electiricity generation that is fossil-fuel powered with non-fossil-fuel powered generation, and it prohibits the use of nuclear power even though nuclear power has advantages from a purely climate-related viewpoint.

    – Our oceans policy has very little to do with climate change – it is about protecting marine ecosystems and fisheries from collapse due mostly to overfishing.

    – Our conservation policy is about native species and pest species, and most of it is not about the effect of climate change on these species.

    – I think our waste policy has a fair amount about global warming-related issues, but it also has stuff about toxic waste and non-renewable resources other than fossil fuels.

    – I doubt our toxics policy has anything about global warming in it at all, though I can’t be bothered checking cos it’s very detailed.

  45. Andrew W Says: Few seriously claim that AGW will lead to anywhere as many extinctions as Man has caused over the last century through other means.

    Sometimes, reading these posts I get the impression that the sine qua non of Green Party (non-social) policies (for example, the environmental policy) is all about dealing with AGW! Now, correct me if I am sadly mistaken, but the Green Party would be no less relevant even if AGW was a figment of Al Gore’s imagination.
    Isn’t it the unchecked growth in the use of non renewable resources that the Green movement has an issue with? Actually, I think that most environmentalists would like to go further and claim that any unchecked growth is irresponsible. Certainly, inconvenient truths such as Peak oil and AGW MAY be the result of our sins of over-consumption but that is beside the point and can only be used as circumstantial evidence for the Green thesis. Consequently, solutions to AGW and Peak Oil, such as the development of ‘clean’ nuclear energy, would not by themselves solve the rampart growth problem. Indeed they could well exacerbate it.

  46. And yet Gareth, although I’ve argued against claims of catastrophe no ones come up with a convincing argument for AGW leading to such, latest estimates on sea level rise suggest rises of more than two metres this century are all but impossible, and such a worst case scenario needs to be kept in perspective, and also, while predictions of more variable weather may be correct that also needs to be put in context.
    Few seriously claim that AGW will lead to anywhere as many extinctions as Man has caused over the last century through other means.

    Compare the impact of AGW with that of population growth, oil depletion, the declining ground water levels (that so many in the world rely on for growing crops), and China soon challenging the US as the #1 global power.

    I don’t dismiss AGW as a threat (nasty surprises are possible, eg. a big CH4 release from ocean floors and/or permafrost, unforseen impacts from an ice free arctic), and I agree we should still work towards reducing GHG emissions, but the article by Tim Jackson that this post is based on makes it clear that real reductions of the order that it’s claimed are necessary will be all but impossible.

    Perhaps they can be made with advances in technology and by not closing out other options, but if you look at Green policy their opposition to nuclear, and their support of the RMA makes it clear that closing other options is something they, at least, don’t seem to have a problem with.

  47. Completely innumerate?

    5C in 5,000 years = 1C per 1,000 years = 0.1C per 100 years, or 0.01C per decade. Current rate = 0.2C per decade = 20 times faster.

    Today’s temps are not comparable with the MWP, they’re warmer.

    You are both rude and wrong.

  48. BOCC

    – “The fastest change in global temperature of the last 10 million years (at least) is the warming out of successive ice ages. This is – roughly 5C in 5,000 years. The current rate of warming (about 0.2C per decade) is 20 times faster.”

    Not. Even. Wrong.

    Firstly, you are clearly completely innumerate. Check your maths.

    Secondly, we are talking about entirely different time scales. If we allow that the temperature did indeed change by 5C over a 5000 year period, that tells us absolutely nothing about the continuous changes that went on throughout that period – the ups and downs, the abrupt reversals etc.
    Your statement is the equivalent of me saying that since today’s temperatures are comparable with those of the Medieval Warm Period, therefore the climate has not changed at all throughout that time.

    – “Why is it so hard to accept that CO2 can be both a feedback and a forcing? ”

    It’s not hard at all. I’m just pointing out that the usual assertion pertaining to the well known historical correlation is completely backwards and is therefore not the evidence many people think. I’d also add that there was obviously no runaway feedback loop on those occasions – so let’s hear no more scaremongering about tipping points.

    – “Deny a problem exists, deny its potential for harm, and then paint action as evil. ”

    That’s exactly right. If I’m correct then it would be worse than criminal to prioritise your climate change fears over today’s global poverty.

  49. Toad

    You are not entitled to call Lockwood Smith a racist, nothing he said were HIS words.

    If you were being consistent you would have to day that John Harawhira is a racist of the worst kind……however I have a feeling that is a bit un PC for you however true it may be.

  50. BB said: …should this nation be stupid enough to vote Labour/Green/Winston back in…

    My hope is that we really can do it without Winston. He is the ultimate self-promoter and has no commitment to political princilpes whatever.

    I’m entitled to label Lockwood Smith as a racist, because I have been consistent in that regard, whatever party politicians come from. But Winston has just tried this trick himself re Lockwood, despite him having done far worse in playing the race card than the hapless and and Jurassic Lockwood who I think was really just too dumb to appreciate the significance of what he was saying.

    So I am hoping for the numbers to form a Green-Labour-Maori government, but not one with Winston along for the ride to stuff things up, as he has for every Government he has ever been part of.

  51. “The weight of evidence is that recent temperature increases are exceptional compared to historical increases.”

    bjchip, is that your understanding also? Or has Andrew got it wrong?

    If I may answer for bj: Andrew is exactly right. The fastest change in global temperature of the last 10 million years (at least) is the warming out of successive ice ages. This is – roughly 5C in 5,000 years. The current rate of warming (about 0.2C per decade) is 20 times faster.

    Re CO2 and deglaciation: why is it so hard to accept that CO2 can be both a feedback and a forcing? The initial kick for warming is the orbital change (Milankovitch cycle). This releases CO2 from the oceans – and then there’s a positive feedback, until the ice age ice sheets are gone, the orbital insolation reduces, and then there’s a slow decline into another ice age.

    The difference now is obvious. We’re already in an interglacial, and we’ve boosted CO2 levels by a third. It would take a miracle for the planet not to warm.

    But until then to prioritise it over global poverty is perhaps the biggest evil in the entire history of the world.

    This is possibly the stupidest comment I’ve seen on frogblog. Deny a problem exists, deny its potential for harm, and then paint action as evil. Ideological blinkers must be powerful things…

  52. nommopilot,

    You’ll actually find it was bjchip who put forward the evidence in this case. I simply pointed out the only conclusions which are logically supportable.

    Andrew W,

    “The weight of evidence is that recent temperature increases are exceptional compared to historical increases.”

    bjchip, is that your understanding also? Or has Andrew got it wrong?

    – “The correlation between higher CO2 levels and higher temperatures is overwhelming”

    Indeed it is. But it is well established that it was the climate change which drove the change in CO2 levels and not vice versa. The reason for this is that warm water holds less CO2 than cold, so a warming climate inevitably resulted in the oceans releasing CO2 into the atmosphere; and a cooling climate did the reverse of course.

    – “We don’t know all the factors about any science, we know enough about the climate to say that increasing GHG concentrations will increase global temperature.”

    But the question is by how much. The answer, since anthropogenic CO2 is a completely insignificant greenhouse gas in the scheme of things, is that the effect will be so small as to be irrelevant. Maybe when global poverty is just a memory it will be appropriate to address this issue. But until then to prioritise it over global poverty is perhaps the biggest evil in the entire history of the world.

  53. Great to see big bro is back with his usual bile and lies. You should deal with your own integrity issues before accusing others.

  54. “Maybe Valis, but National could be made to move that way by a green party holding the balance of power with green policies that make economic and environmental sense. Energy efficiency is a classic example. I don’t think it’s a fantasy at all, at least it wasn’t before your ‘go labour’ call.”

    If we could go either way, I have no doubt that we’d get a better deal with Labour. Despite their record in a lot of areas, they have a better understanding of environmental issues than the Nats and wouldn’t be straining against every fibre of their bodies to implement positive environmental policy.

    The only real chance of us needing to consider the Nats is if only they can govern and only with the Greens. Is that likely?

    One possibility for cooperation is where the Nats can form a govt without the Greens, but wish to work with us on environmental issues. This would be much like what we’ve done with Labour in the past and we are open to that. I don’t think it likely, but it is at least possible as the Nats might want us in the tent on the environment rather than slamming their cred at every opportunity. I think it would amount to nothing substantial and only be green washing for them, but that’s just my opinion.

  55. Nomo

    It seems that the gutless green slime have a thing about free speech.

    I suppose they are just getting used to the idea of what they can and will do to those who appose them should this nation be stupid enough to vote Labour/Green/Winston back in for anther term.

    BTW, how do you think the (self appointed title of the) party with integrity will look sitting around the cabinet table with Winston?

  56. wat dabney, why don’t you try getting your facts from scientific sources rather that political blogs?

    The weight of evidence is that recent temperature increases are exceptional compared to historical increases.

    The correlation between higher CO2 levels and higher temperatures is overwhelming, what denialists seem unable to comprehend is that while the initial driver in the Earth’s transition between glacial and inter-glacial periods is not CO2, but rather it’s almost certainly the Milankovich cycles, CO2 is the only explaination that fits that anyone’s come up with as to what causes the huge rise in temperature during these transition periods.

    We don’t know all the factors about any science, we know enough about the climate to say that increasing GHG concentrations will increase global temperature.

    Now to argue the opposite perspective, there’s no evidence that the increase in temperature we will see over this century will have “catastrophic” results, so personally I still rate AGW at about #5 in terms of threats to civilisation.

  57. wat, writing longer posts and repeating the made-up science of the GWS over and over does not make you less wrong. the stuff you talk about has been repeatedly and resoundingly refuted on other threads.

    your trolling just wastes the time of people who actually know what they are talking about (bjchip, BOSH etc) to constantly debunk your rubbish. put it away. go and have a private email conversation with Owen McShane about how much more you know than the IPCC.

  58. Valis

    “Social justice goals” (hard left socialism) are all the Greens have.

    I also liked this bit “National and start listening to what they’ve actually been saying, minus the lies of course.”
    You are more than happy to go into formal coalition with the biggest pack of liars this country has ever had as a govt yet you still over look your own endless lies and half truths.

  59. Maybe Valis, but National could be made to move that way by a green party holding the balance of power with green policies that make economic and environmental sense. Energy efficiency is a classic example. I don’t think it’s a fantasy at all, at least it wasn’t before your ‘go labour’ call.

  60. Even if we ejected all our social justice goals, we would still have had to state a preference for Labour. People need to get over this fantasy that environmental progress can be made with National and start listening to what they’ve actually been saying, minus the lies of course.

  61. bjchip,

    You’ll have to move beyond your belief that debt is axiomatically evil if you are ever going to understand anything about economics. However, since you also seem to equate capitalism with crony capitalism, I don’t think you really do want to understand.
    You also seem confused enough to try bashing capitalism because unsound money has distorted the market and led to misallocation of resources. The problem here is with the money – a responsibility arrogated by the state to itself – and not with capitalism. (And that’s ignoring the current meltdown which was caused by quasi-state entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being used by gerrymandering politicians as the vehicles to issue hundreds of billions of dollars of uneconomic housing loans.)

    As for the climate…

    – “The last 100 years ARE more significant”

    Well they are, but only because of what they don’t show. They don’t show the climate doing anything different to the last few thousand years. They are the dog that didn’t bark. They are therefore evidence that CO2 is not the significant climate driver you think it is.

    wrt the bbc link…

    Carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years, the latest study of ice drilled out of Antarctica confirms.

    Maybe so, but temperatures are normal. So, again, the only logical conclusion is that this is evidence of CO2 not being significant.

    Ice cores reveal the Earth’s natural climate rhythm over the last 800,000 years. When carbon dioxide changed there was always an accompanying climate change. Over the last 200 years human activity has increased carbon dioxide to well outside the natural range

    The error in the first sentence should be known by everyone now. Al Gore reported this correlation backwards: It is climate change which resulted in varying levels of atmospheric CO2 and not vice versa. As for the second sentence, well, I hate to repeat myself yet again, but the point being made is that CO2 levels are wildly high, yet we don’t see any warming outside the normal range (and, of course, have had nearly ten years of cooling now.)
    So what is the only logical conclusion? That’s right: CO2 cannot be the climate driver you people claim.

    – “we can look at the data and say with some assurance that there’s nothing else happening NOW to drive the climate over the period in which we (among other things) burned half the oil and a fair chunk of the coal and gas, that have been laid down over the past 100 million years… in the past 100 years.”

    Well we might be able to say that, if we understood all the factors which influence the climate. But of course we don’t. We’re nowhere near that level of understanding.
    Put another way, if the climate were fully understood then those scary predictions about future temperatures that were made a few years ago would have been highly accurate.
    As it turned out, they were hopelessly wrong. So let’s not imagine that anyone is in a position to claim there is something wrong with the climate. They are not.

  62. I know there are a lot, if not most, voters out there who only vote with their own back pocket in mind. But surely there are sufficient intelligent voters on both the left and the right that can cope with facts/forecasts/policies that aren’t sugar coated?
    My, and many others, main criticism is the insistence of the Green party to pursue social issues alongside of, and often ahead, of the far more pressing issues of environment, thus alienating a large number of voters.
    I have been asking the customers in my business who they are leaning toward over the last few days. Green strategists would weep if they knew how many have stated they would vote Green if only they stuck to green issues and had not prematurely ejaculated towards Helen.

  63. Owen McShane Says:
    October 26th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    >> For example, if you plotted CO2 concentrations in atmosphere as ppm against a zero horizontal base the slope would be barely detectible.
    Obviously the population base is not zero and indeed none of the base lines are identified as a quantum.

    The baseline for the population one IS zero. The only ones that don’t have a baseline of zero are CO2 concentration and temperature, which appear to have arbitrary baselines.

  64. I think the graph is more an illustration of a convergence of factors than a statistical analysis. plotting these things on a graph together rightly shows the impact of the increased consumption inherent in the modern global economy. it is not a basis for policy (which would be made using far more in-depth statistical analysis), but a useful visual representation of the consequences of human politico-technological development (ps. just an excuse to say politico-technological).

    “Doesn’t paper consumption reflect increased literacy?”

    most of the places I have worked have printed vast swathes of A4 paper with meaningless rubbish (aka. reports, memos, directives,…) which are read at most once and then destroyed or archived. newspapers are likewise short-lived. neither ever contributed to my desire or ability to read. connecting paper consumption with literacy would be an example of a junk statistic.

  65. Why chose northern hemisphere surface temperatures when we know they are skewed by the heat island effect.

    We?

    Ah yes, this is Owen McShane, who is on the Policy Advisory Board of the International Climate Science Coalition.

    Fortunately, “we” know all about the heat-island effect, and it’s long since been accounted for.

    Meanwhile, if you want a graph with proper axes, as opposed to a graph designed to illustrate a feature, you could have clicked on a few links at New Scientist and got this, which conveys exactly the same message in black and white, and is fully referenced.

    But I dare say that’s all “junk statistics”.

  66. Umm, if you want to be credible you must be careful about plotting different trends for different items against a single vertical axis on which the base is clearly not zero.
    For example, if you plotted CO2 concentrations in atmosphere as ppm against a zero horizontal base the slope would be barely detectible.
    Obviously the population base is not zero and indeed none of the base lines are identified as a quantum.
    This is one of the classic devices of fraudsters so you really should not be keeping such company.
    The whole chart is designed to mislead. What an earth is “Foreign investment”.
    How has ozone depletion been measured. Why chose northern hemisphere surface temperatures when we know they are skewed by the heat island effect.
    Doesn’t paper consumption reflect increased literacy? Is that a bad think.
    Sorry – junk statistics lead to junk policy.

  67. And in a convergence of climate and ‘growth’, comes:

    Far from being a costly policy initiative that must be postponed for better times, major reports out of Florida and California are suggesting that climate action is potentially a vital component of economic recovery.

    In Florida, Governor Charlie Crist’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change has estimated that the state can achieve $28 billion in net economic savings between now and 2025, while reducing carbon emissions 64% from business-as-usual projections.

    In California, a study by David Roland-Holst from the University of California at Berkeley projected that the state could meet Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aggressive CO2 emission reduction targets while increasing the Gross State Product (GSP) by about $76 billion, increasing real household incomes by up to $48 billion and creating as many as 403,000 new efficiency and climate action driven jobs.

    http://tinyurl.com/6kgbny

    However, it may be possible that growth would be higher *without* emissions reduction targets..? 😕

  68. Samiam says: These issues strike at the core of the difference between environmentalism and the Greens.

    I tend to agree with you, Samiam; certainly the old Values Party (and earlier Greens?) advocated, for example, zero population growth. However, Valis makes a strong point that ‘deep’ green thinking could well be political suicide. I think that, rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater, the Greens have wisely opted at this stage for a more socially palatable approach. Let’s be fair, on the local political scene the Greens are far closer to your brand of environmentalism than any other political party.
    Perhaps what the party needs are more of your ilk to act as a kind of ‘environmental conscience’.

  69. that’s true bj, but anytime he shows up on any thread it’s all “by the way let’s talk about cannabis”. i’m totally all for decriminalisation but like you, I think pushing this too much will be at the expense of votes and action on more pressing issues. pot’s time will come…

  70. I’ll probably “waste” an electorate vote on a Legalise Canabis party candidate (in a safe Labour seat so that vote is probably wasted anyway) and party vote Green.

    Trevor.

  71. Hmmm… Wouldn’t call it a threadjacking. We really aren’t talking about Cannabis laws and that is something that isn’t being talked about by the major parties and we at least discuss it internally… I mean look at the name of the thread. He has a point that it COULD have been talking about Cannabis law and it wasn’t.

    OTOH Weedeater… it is simply dumb to waste a vote. If Greens have a block that allows it partial control of the government, the discussions and visibility of our other issues (and your primary issue) will get a lot more press. We could make headway on things we can’t touch now. You can help or you can be part of the landscape. If you try to do something you know can’t work, you’ve failed twice. Failed at doing what you tried and failed to try something that you might have done. I don’t take that philosophical train.

    respectfully
    BJ

  72. “I don’t think you’re cause is a joke, weed, I even tend to agree. But its hard to take you seriously when you say things like that. Opens you up to jokes about doing to many drugs I would think…”

    not to mention threadjacking every thread you go near.

  73. “just keep burying your head in the sand, Frog and expect to get your ass kicked…”

    I don’t think you’re cause is a joke, weed, I even tend to agree. But its hard to take you seriously when you say things like that. Opens you up to jokes about doing to many drugs I would think…

  74. I suspect rather, that the vast majority of readers have not clicked on that graphic to enlarge it and see how the the walls of the funnel are closing in.

    Like cattle being herded into the killing chute… that’s the species.

    BTW, I did answer you Wat… the post just got freed from the blog filters. Too long, too many links…. whatever. I worked pretty hard to make sure that AGW answers you were looking for were provided.

    respectfully
    BJ

  75. p.s. just spotted another hot pot thread on Trademe: and cannabis isnt an election issue for the Greens. just keep burying your head in the sand, Frog and expect to get your ass kicked…

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Messages.aspx?id=29684258&p=12&c=1

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Messages.aspx?id=30856219&topic=5&L=1&C=1

    says someone: smokers and enthusiasts ARE being jailed for growing their own and maybe sharing some with their mates (and in a free society, covering costs here and there is only fair). Very prejudicial policy needs to be restrained. Yes im voting for Legalise Cannabis party. Greens are useless.

  76. “These issues strike at the core of the difference between environmentalism and the Greens.
    Just look at the 12 criteria you ‘assessed’ Labour/National on before choosing (surprise, surprise) Labour. They reflected a complete denial of the urgency of the environmental cause, as others have said, they represent a classic case of ” re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”

    Samiam, many of us agree conceptually, but what to do politically? Some folks say the urgency means we shouldn’t be unwilling to support a Nat govt, despite that doing so would do nothing for the environment. What you suggest is a programme for permanently sitting on the cross benches or being out of Parliament altogether. Voters get turned off being told the sky is falling, even when its true. We’ve tried to walk a fine line, trying not to sugar coat the reality, but trying also not to so frighten everyone that they just ignore us as end-of-the-world crazies, which, if you read this blog, we’ve not been entirely successful at doing.

  77. sustainable future anyone?

    TRADE AND TOURISM Legalisation would bring thousands more tourists to our great country every year bringing their millions of much needed dollars for spending. Legalisation will also open whole new avenues for self-suffiency, importing and exporting forming and bonding new relationships with countries trading things such as clothes, bio fuels, paper products, fibre boards, car panel, oils, seeds, clones etc.

  78. social justice and the good on the nz community just aint to be found on the green pages NOT EVEN ON RADAR. check out this extract from ALCP westee candidate speil: nice one, Jeff Lye. Keep it real

    LAW AND ORDER
    Law and order will become more sustainable as trust and social behaviour are restored back into our communities by way of neighbours becoming more neighbourly and not being paranoid about the couple of plants that they or their neighbours may have growing in their back yard. By taking control of the cannabis industry off the drug dealers and gangs making them less powerful and thus relinquishing the need for tinny houses in every second street with which most 12 to 18yr olds know exactly what’s going on and can easily obtain for themselves by themselves on the way to school meaning either they are getting stoned at school or before. Legalisation will then free up the police, courts and justice systems to deal with the more severe and deserving crimes and criminals.

  79. “You’re like little Al Gores: You want to tell us what to do, but you’re not prepared to do it yourselves.

    Why don’t you stop with the sanctimonious lecturing and start setting an example of exactly the lifestyle you would force on everyone else?”

    Wat, attacking the integrity of the messenger is a pretty standard way to avoid one’s own responsibilities. I’ve been happy to see it hasn’t been raised up until now, but I guess such things are only a matter of time.

    There are heaps of greens who do exactly as you admonish. Of course, they usually get branded as weirdos, which doesn’t encourage others to emulate them.

    But the main thing is to realise that Kermit was right, it isn’t easy being green when the world is organised to be wasteful. A main motivation of those of us who are politically green is to make it progressively easier for us all to do the planet less harm. For instance, so long as it is so much easier to hop in the car than take the bus, people will do so, and this includes some greens. We’re busy people too, coping with all the pressures of modern life that you are. Once a reasonable alternative exists, like a bus service that runs frequently and is cheap, then people discover it is easier to be greener.

    The real question for us all, Wat, is not just what will you do in your personal life to be green, but what will you do in your political life to make being green possible? We know markets are too short term thinking to be strategic. Collective as well as individual action is needed.

  80. What the politicians dare not say INCLUDING the Greens is what this post should read.
    These issues strike at the core of the difference between environmentalism and the Greens.
    Just look at the 12 criteria you ‘assessed’ Labour/National on before choosing (surprise, surprise) Labour. They reflected a complete denial of the urgency of the environmental cause, as others have said, they represent a classic case of ” re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”
    Look at the fuss over the Greens supposed ‘One child policy’ and the Greens gutless response that they love kids and we should all be paid to have more. Whereas the response should be ‘two kids per couple’ and stand proud on that.
    Immigration.. We love all the lovely hard done by refugees… which instead should be ‘Zero Population Growth, our future depends on it’
    GW Denier: What planet are you on? Ours unfortunately. Mate it actually doesn’t matter if anthropogenic global warming is true or not, look at any graph of human growth/consumption they are all pointing to disaster. Lets assume global warming isn’t the stumbling block, fine, but history has shown that any excess is eventually cut down to size by something, do you know what? I sure as heck don’t.
    Funny but in a strange sort of way I tend to agree with some of the anti kyoto/ETS folk, that (carbon) is such a big nut to crack maybe we kiwis should proceed with caution. (I wish we could make more difference). But there are so many other nuts to crack that we can make huge differences right here at home. Water quality, over-fishing, marine reserves, blah, blah, blah, instead you waste your/our time on more-pay-for-paraplegic-lesbian-solo-fathers.
    That set of graphs shows how out of touch even the Greens are, shame really, you could do sooo much better.

  81. IMHO part of the problem is that “growth” and “standard of living” are taken to be synonymous. If “growth” includes improvements in quality as well as quantity, then the differences aren’t too important, but just equating “standard of living” and “quantity” puts the emphasis in entirely the wrong areas.

    An example is the humble light bulb. Providing more standard incandescent bulbs with a low efficientcy and a life of 1000-1500 hours does little to improve standard of living. CFLs are an improvement with around 5 times the efficiency and a life around 5000 hours, but use some toxic materials – in very low volumes. LED lighting has a higher efficiency still, doesn’t use toxic materials, and has a life of around 50,000 hours. If you include the cost of labour to replace the failed bulbs, LED lighting works out cheaper over its lifespan. However that long lifespan means the payback period makes LED lighting more expensive for applications with low usage rates, such as domestic lighting, in which the LED lighting may last longer than the building. Commercial operations that require lighting (or think they do) for 16-24 hours a day, 6-7 days per week will experience a much shorter payback period which makes the LED lighting economical, although often the “bean counters” will rule out investments with payback periods of 2-5 years as not being profitable enough. Unfortunately more often than not, such investments are ruled out because only the more obvious factors are taken into account – such as up-front costs – and less obvious factors ignored – such as the labour cost of replacing failed bulbs.

    Along a similar line, increases in power production are seen as growth. Improvements in efficiency which can lead to more benefits and the same improvements in available power are not seen as growth.

    Trevor

  82. ‘What politicians dare not say. (Except the Greens) -‘

    groan, was anyone else thinking what i was thinking?? …(hint: relates to social justice ommission from NZ parliament, and CONE of silence and the big elephant in the room, quick everyone hold your noses and pretend cannabis is not a GREEN issue)

    p.s. frog – did you expel me from Facebook ‘fans of frog blog’? if so i think that was pretty rude.

  83. kevyn,

    – “But recent temperature trends are actually entirely remarkable. ”

    I’m not aware of any evidence that this is the case. Can you provide some?

    The temperature changes all the time, often abruptly. What evidence is there that recent changes have been anything but more of the same?

    – “It is the much faster rate of temperature increase that is (or should be) at the heart of AGW concerns.”

    Given that the predictions offered by the AGW “scientists” have turned out to have been wholly inaccurate and alarmist, why should their pronouncements concerning rates of temperature change can have the slightest credibility?

  84. Samiuela,

    Be mindful that roof paint is specifically formulatted (or used to be) not to include harmful chemicals that may compromise any drinking water collected from that roof.

    I dont know if anyone makes a specific white roof paint. While an exterior white cladding acrylic is more than adequate (if not superior to) as a roof paint just ask to make sure it is suitable for collecting rain water on.

  85. Wat

    I strongly suspect that my ecological footprint is no greater than yours (if for no other reason than I’m too poor to afford much).
    So I believe that all you greenies here are lecturing us normal people about the evils of wanting a decent living standard, whilst at the same time enjoying all the fruits of same.

    You are missing my point. I said that the economics of debt-based crony capitalism require growth at any cost. That we are ALL trapped. How your consumption compares to mine is irrelevant. Though I do reckon I do pretty well except for the fact that I can’t afford a house and so can’t FIX the house I live in… the point is that all of us have to work with the economy the bankers and their wealth party, have provided.

    That economy is based on debt. Not saved money invested wisely… but debt based capital invested in anything that might yield any return over any period of time. It is mal-investment run wild because the only way to not collapse this economy is to keep growing, and the only way to keep growing is to issue even more debt based money. That it WILL collapse is as inevitable as sunrise, and that is what we are getting now.

    http://mises.org/story/2901

    That just relates to the economic stupidity.

    The limits to growth that we are also hitting are here:
    http://www.paulchefurka.ca/WEAP2/WEAP2.html

    Back to the climate now…

    How long ago was the industrial revolution and the improvements in medicine that allowed global population to spike upwards? The last 100 years ARE more significant, but I wasn’t really choosing, just using the it as a literary device. If want longer timeframes we can certainly provide but be wary of being sucked in by the differences in timescale and the lack of prehistoric thermometers. This is easy to mistake… and it does make a difference. For instance, climate after the land bridge formed between North and South America is vastly different from that before it.

    The broad brush over the life of the planet:
    http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/data.html

    A more manageable (and relevant) chunk of time.
    http://www.brighton73.freeserve.co.uk/gw/paleo/paleoclimate.htm#100,000years

    Note the comment on the rate of change here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5314592.stm

    If you want to go for the official view for the last 2000 years
    http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11676

    A summary of the high points:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/06/national-academies-synthesis-report/

    I have scratched the surface here, and there’s a LOT more data available for oceans and ice-caps and satellites and almost every way we’ve found to measure shows us a portent of upcoming trouble.

    Unfortunately for the denial industry, the MWP doesn’t “prove” anything even if it was as warm, which is dubious but possible.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/medieval.html

    The deal is, and this is VERY VERY IMPORTANT.

    Climate science does not attribute all climate effects to CO2.

    ( I know this comes as a shock to some on the far right, and is flatly disbelieved by some in the libertarian-denialist-fantasy-blogosphere but it is true. Climatologists and climate models all reckon that there is more to this than just CO2. What they have been saying is that THIS time the CO2 is in the driver’s seat. )

    What has been happening in the last 100 or so years is actually QUITE important because we have been measuring stuff a lot better since the mid 1800’s than we did before 1600, and that means we can look at the data and say with some assurance that there’s nothing else happening NOW to drive the climate over the period in which we (among other things) burned half the oil and a fair chunk of the coal and gas, that have been laid down over the past 100 million years… in the past 100 years. It would take an incredible amount of good luck for that to NOT have an effect on climate. Apparently we’re not that lucky.

    Nor is that the only problem with our CO2 (from my old mates)
    http://globalclimatechange.jpl.nasa.gov/news/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=26

    It is more complicated than the right-wing blogs are willing to admit, and they have ideological reasons to resist the science. Un-necessarily I might add. If the argument is about big government vs small government that’s fine and we Greens have a principle of appropriate decision making and we can talk about that. Libertarians often see AGW as an excuse for bigger government. It isn’t, certainly at least not to the degree feared, and even if it were it is no excuse for dissing the science. Scientists aren’t taking sides here, they’re pointing at a looming catastrophe and telling us with remarkable unanimity that we should be paying more attention.

    All Greens ask is that a price be put on the use of the commons so that the economic tools we are all familiar with have a signal that tells the invisible hand that this has a cost as well.

    This is not something you can learn in a day. I worked with some of those guys at JPL. I know how hard they work to squeeze useful information out of raw data. I know how hard they work to be sure that they get the truth. For some of them I also know their politics and religious views. If there’s a conspiracy to get bigger government, they weren’t included.

    The very idea that they could have a conspiracy of that sort is actually funny.

    respectfully
    BJ

  86. Kevin et al.,

    Here is a link to an article about painting roofs and roads white:

    http://www.physorg.com/news140875649.html

    It is not a solution to AGW, but will buy some time (the article states 10 years once the increased albedo and reduced air conditioning usage are taken into account).

    Actually, painting your roof white will save in a third way; white paint is usually cheaper than coloured paint.

    Is there anyone reading this blog who will consider painting their roof white next time? If I had a house, I would.

  87. Outinfront says: The reality is that if we simply allow the natural decline in the birth rate already underway to happen, our population will fall over time without having to do anything at all.

    Presumably this ‘natural decline’ is based on the rather shaky ‘Demograghic Transition Model’ (DTM) that is reputed to apply to countries experiencing increase in wealth and does not account for any impact of migration.
    john-ston’s post sheds further doubt on the relevance of DTM to New Zealand.

  88. Even given the more optimistic hopes about new green technologies, I don’t see how we can keep CO2 or CO2e below 450 ppm in 2050.

    CO2 isn’t a pollutant like phosphate isn’t a pollutant. Too much of it in the wrong place and it’s a pollutant.

  89. Kevyn,

    An example of the heat reflective index of lighter coloured pavement is the Newmarket viaduct.

    When built and covered with black tarseal it started to crack due to thermal expansion of the concrete box sections where the top expanded more then the bottom.

    Solution? Simply replace the black bitumen with white. The used white stone chips originally but now a grey coloured ready mix. Next time one drives over the Newmarket viaduct have a look at the practical application of what Kevyn points out.

  90. Frog, Researchers studying the heat island effect have stumbled upon an economical solution to AGW and peak oil may force the world to adopt it. What they have found is that the use of bitumen for waterproofing has three contributions to AGW.

    First is in the energy needed to install and maintain bitumen seals. This is the one area where they haven’t found a solution.

    The second is that the huge amount of urban surface area covered by bitumen dramaticly reduces solar reflectance and increases solar absorption. This can be solved by using a cold-rolled cement binder instead of hot-rolled bitumen binder for carparks and roads. Bitumen roofs can be painted white. Changing the colour of this much land area from black to grey will have a surprisingly large impact on the greenhouse effect. You will have to google urban heat island project, or similar, to find the actual numbers for reflectance, absorption and land area to see how surprisingly big the effect is.

    The third effect is possibly the most important. The summer heat island effect adds hugely to the energy required for building and vehicle airconditioning, close to ten times more than the heat island effect reduces winter heating energy demands. In addition to painting roofs white and, ideally this should be the reflective paint used for roadmarking, the bitumen used to seal flat roofed buildings could actually be covered with external insulation before being painted thus redusing both heating and cooling loads in those buildings. Alternatively the roofs could be covered with pv panels which would convert the sunlight in a much more useful way, multiplying the benefits.

    California has already mandated the use of reflective flat roofs not because they want simulated the effects of arctic ice but simply because of the proven reducions in air conditioning loads in building with reflective rooves.

    When peak oil makes bitumen more expensive than cement then urban roads, carparks and footpaths can all be progressively resealed with cement at no real economic cost and with no need for regulation and, most importantly, only a small number of decision makers need to be convinced if you don’t want to wait for peakoil to do the convincing.

    This is the sort of radical, unappreciated solution to the emerging interlinked environmental and economic crisis. In much the same way that electric lighting unexpectedly unleashed the full power of public transport 130 years ago.

    Note that this solution wasn’t the result of thinking about how to reduce carbon emissions or what fuel will replace oil although it started by looking in that direction. It was the result of thinking about one of the other components of the greenhouse effect and some of the bizarre solutions put forward in that area till the penny dropped that the potential impact of reduced solar reflectance from melting the icecaps could be deliberately reversed in a practical, inexpensive way. Since this slows the melting of the ice caps and thus the loss of reflectance it actually raises the point at which atmospheric CO2 concentrations become catastrophic, ie it’s reversing one of the climate feedback loops.

  91. wat, You are right that peak temps during the MWP are comparable with the current period. But recent temperature trends are actually entirely remarkable. It is the much faster rate of temperature increase that is (or should be) at the heart of AGW concerns.

    It is possible to go back up to 3,000 years but the accuracy declines dramaticly when Roman and Greek historians become the main source of info. Tree rings are really only good for 1,000 to 1,500 years back in time since not many trees survive sufficiently intact beyond that period and ice cores seem to be a bit too squashed to reveal much detail of annual or decadal climate fluctuations and seem to be at their most revealing going back many thousands of years. So that does mean there is a big knowledge blank in which proof or disproof of AGW might exist. In the meantime the balance of scientific evidence does lean rather heavily in favour of the AGW explanation of the observed climatic effects.

  92. I feel sad that politics has impinged upon climate science. Of course it is natural (and right) that climate change would become a political issue, given that it affects society so much.

    The problem is that people who disagree with the political actions being proposed to tackle climate change also attack the science. Whilst the likes of Dabney et al. might have valid political views, their understanding of the science is abysmal. If people could just separate the politics from the science, we might have a lot more constructive discussion here.

  93. Personally, I don’t give a shit what my CO2 footprint is, It is just a socilalist inspired con by the communists, aka as the GREEN movement. If I want to drive 15km to get a bottle of wine I will do that as I still have my freedoms. This of course will be limited under a Labour/Green led government. Guilt for the evnvironment will be paramount. Having a company car with free fuel helps make it easier as well:) My boss doesn’t mind me doing this either.

    Green taxes such as the Emissions Taxation Scam (ETS) are just a crock to start taking away freedoms of the masses, you do it slowly and the people won’t recognise it happening until it is too late. The car is the greatest freedom provider ever invented, that is why the Greens loathe personal transport so much. Can you tell me how public transport adds to one’s freedom? Of course not, it reduces one’s freedom.

    The Greens/Labour just preach and hope people do not study policies and implications they cause to get elected. (Who wants to vote for more control in reality). Janette and the hariy faced partner can have their 6 litre per minute showers if they wish, good on them for that, but I like to have mt 15 litre per minute shower to get rid of the soap scum on the body and feel the massaging power of jets hit my body. That is freedom of choice. I pay more for the water & gas to heat the water, but that is my choice.

    Back to the GW scam. I repeat the earth has cooled over the past 7 years, even though CO2 has increased 3-4%. This cooling has taken a stepwise fall in the past 18 months as well. Shoot me down, all you like, but that is fact and it is more than weather. The law of common sense tells me this. It seems the norther autunm is also started quite cool as well.

  94. “NZ’s population in only growing due to immigration. This is true of many developed countries. UN-backed policies in Latin America to alleviate poverty and give women control of their fertility have seen a population explosion there flatten out and in some countries actually head toward a natural population reduction over time.”

    Out in Front, according to today’s Herald, the number of children per woman is now 2.2, above the 2.1 replacement, and so we are growing naturally again.

    The problem is that European nations, Australia and even us down here are now becoming paranoid about our low birth rates and are subsidising the procreation of children. We shouldn’t be doing this, and therefore should consider getting rid of programmes such as Working for Families, et al, which encourage this.

  95. bjchip,

    I strongly suspect that my ecological footprint is no greater than yours (if for no other reason than I’m too poor to afford much).
    So I believe that all you greenies here are lecturing us normal people about the evils of wanting a decent living standard, whilst at the same time enjoying all the fruits of same.

    You’re like little Al Gores: You want to tell us what to do, but you’re not prepared to do it yourselves.

    Why don’t you stop with the sanctimonious lecturing and start setting an example of exactly the lifestyle you would force on everyone else? Of course, you’d have to forego any claim on other people’s evil wealth when you do that. If you find that, say, the poor’s higher rate of child mortality is not quite so romantic outside of a Dickensian novel, well, you’ve made your bed…

    – “are the past 10 years more important than the last hundred…”

    And are the last hundred more important than the last thousand?

    You are doing exactly the same thing you decry – cherry picking the data.

    Why not post a chart going back a few more hundred years? Wouldn’t that be even more authoritative? The problem then, of course, is that you would have to depict the Medieval Warm Period when temperatures were higher than today and everyone could see that, actually, recent temperature trends are entirely unremarkable: We could all see that the emperor has no clothes.

  96. “Let us learn the lessons and take the opportunity of the coincidence of the crisis and the deepening awareness of the great danger of unmanaged climate change: now is the time to lay the foundations for a world of low-carbon growth.”

    Sounds like Jeanette on the campaign trail, though she would add: Party Vote Green!

  97. Thanks for the link, bjchip. People like Denier just don’t seem to understand the concept of volatility around an upwards trend, be it the temperature of the Earth or the price of oil.

  98. And this, by Nicholas Stern. Recession is the time to build a low-carbon future with the investment vital for economy and planet.

    “There are two crucial lessons we must learn from the financial turbulence the world has been facing. First, this crisis has been 20 years in the making and shows very clearly that the longer risk is ignored the bigger will be the consequences; second, we shall face an extended period of recession in the rich countries and low growth for the world as a whole. Let us learn the lessons and take the opportunity of the coincidence of the crisis and the deepening awareness of the great danger of unmanaged climate change: now is the time to lay the foundations for a world of low-carbon growth.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/23/commentanddebate-energy-environment-climate-change

  99. “I know the Greens want our GDP to drop and pay the Russians as we do it so we can please the great god Gaia.”

    Better Gaia than the great false God, GDP. That one number includes growth in so many bad things as well as good, that it is hard to even say if it going up is good or not. You wouldn’t know if the good outnumbered the bad, but we worship nonetheless. What is wrong with setting up genuine progress indicators and measuring these? That would give a sense of the growth in both the good and the bad. Is it that you’re happy with your false God and don’t really want the truth?

    And why do you think the Russians will get the money for any carbon credits NZ buys anyway? Russian hot air AAUs were prohibited in the ETS, so they are no more and perhaps less likely than others to be selling us credits for our emissions growth.

  100. OK, that one didn’t – here’s what I wanted to say

    Here’s another example of Green ideas going mainstream.

    “The United Nations today [Wednesday 22 Oct] called for a refocusing of the world’s economy towards investments in clean technologies and natural infrastructures such as forests in a Green New Deal that could revive the stumbling global economy, combat climate change, and cut poverty.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/oct/22/climate-change-renewable-energy

  101. Wat, Denier.. I don’t know how you would manage to get through the day without releasing that venomous ignorance. Apparently we provide a service for you somehow, but there’s a price for being here. You will hear truth. Like it, don’t like it, we will tell you how something wrong has crept into your head.

    Denier… are the past 10 years more important than the last hundred, when measuring consequences of our success in overpopulating the earth? When you look at a graph, which I am sure I’ve presented to you before, do you only see the right hand edge of the chart? Well, I know you don’t trust NASA to do science so here’s a good pious churchgoer… who happens to be a world class analyst.

    http://tqe.quaker.org/2007/TQE158-EN-GlobalWarming.html

    Wat – we are ALL doing something wrong, because that’s the way the bankers and the wealth party like it. “No matter who you vote for, the government always gets in” – anon. We keep electing the wealth party which would be our first wrong thing. Their purpose is to get more of the pie at all costs. They believe that the pie can be made bigger at no cost. We disagree, but they still run every country in the OECD.

    Getting to the top half of the OECD is a pretty stupid goal. .. Like racing with a bunch of meth addicts. Yup, they are faster than you. Yup, they will burn out and burn up and crash. They just did. If you want to compete with them you can only do so by taking the same drug. If you want an economy that works, you have to do something else, but if you do that they’ll destroy you.

    We are all trapped in a higher than desired consumption lifestyle because we all live in the same flow-through houses and we all have difficulty finding work that matches our abilities and needs. So we do what we get paid to do. Only a very few of us have the ability to get all the way off the grid.

    We live in an economy – and that dictates the limits we face.
    The economy lives in an ecology – and the ecology dictates the limits.

    Greens want to change the paradigm of debt based economic systems. It is largely the debt based system that fuels growth insanity. It looks good at first because growth does happen but only at ever increasing debt loads. The banks LOVE it. The wealthy rip off everyone else with it. Most people don’t have a clue that it is wrong.

    Growth is not a good thing anymore.

    BJ

  102. Ah, yes. I remember the days when I worried about whether something was ´hip´ or not. Now I worry about a hip replacement …. Baby boomers. Who knew?

  103. Population is going to be THE issue in the years ahead. So far, it has been incredibly different to have a rational discussion with most people about it. They tend to equate population awareness to advocay of genicode or jack-boot birth control.

    The reality is that if we simply allow the natural decline in the birth rate already underway to happen, our population will fall over time without having to do anything at all.

    NZ’s population in only growing due to immigration. This is true of many developed countries. UN-backed policies in Latin America to alleviate poverty and give women control of their fertility have seen a population explosion there flatten out and in some countries actually head toward a natural population reduction over time.

    Not surprisingly, most women don’t enjoy child birth and are happy to have smaller families and enjoy higher living standards if they know their children will survive.

    That’s the reality. It’s a shame so many have so little time for verifiable reality.

  104. >>You are right GW Denier, CO2 is not a pollutant.

    Yes. Is it now generally accepted that the pollutants played a part in the ‘Global Dimming’ which tended to mask the full effects of the emissions of the alleged global warming gases?

  105. carbon dioxide helps plants grow. so does manure. But too much CO2 causes other problems, just like too much manure does.

  106. You are right GW Denier, CO2 is not a pollutant. We never said it was. But too much of even a good thing can tip the balance of the atmosphere too swiftly for even little old humans to adjust. That is the risk we face, whether the temperature goes up or down in your narrow little sample period.

  107. dbuckley says: The reality is that there is no alternative to the current economic model, valuing growth above all other things.

    Are you sure about that? What about the various strains of eco-economics in which the environment is said to underpin most (if not all) of the classical economic concepts? For example, Herman Daly’s ‘Steady State Economics’? In a nutshell ‘Ecological economics distinguishes itself from neoclassical economics primarily by its assertion that the economy is embedded within an environmental system’. (Source ‘Wikipedia’).

    So is eco-economics a credible alternative? Are its claims as being surportive of a sustainable environment justifiable? Indeed, can eco-economics provide a fully-fledged model that would guide us to achieving a sustainable (no-growth?) economy?
    Questions, questions……..

  108. CO2 is not a pollutant, it is a food source.
    Also, the world has been cooling for the last 7 years now according to GISTEMP, from Jin Hansen’s employer, NASA. So the CO2 link to GW is getting less tenable every month as the palanet cools.

    I know the Greens want our GDP to drop and pay the Russians as we do it so we can please the great god Gaia.

  109. wat dabney Says:
    October 25th, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    > I’m pretty sure my consumption and CO2 emission level are no higher than the average Green’s.

    I have no idea if that’s true, but just supposing it is…

    > So I can’t be doing anything wrong.

    That doesn’t follow. The average Green’s CO2 emission level is too high, and most of us know that. your contribuytion to CO2 emissions in determined by the needs you have, by the choices you make, and by the economy in which you have to meet those needs, which places limits on what choices you can make.

  110. “I’m pretty sure my consumption and CO2 emission level are no higher than the average Green’s. So I can’t be doing anything wrong.
    And I very much doubt the average Kiwi’s consumption and CO2 emissions are any higher than the average Green’s, so the average Kiwi can’t be doing anything wrong.”

    I’m pretty sure I can fly and I’m pretty sure the average kiwi sheep is made of candy floss… even if you’re statements weren’t just made-up rubbish they wouldn’t really mean anything

  111. Can someone give an indication of the scale on the y axis of the graph. You are not comparing apples with apples and how do we know that the data hasn’t been stretched to make it all look the same. I would be interested to see the data on an individual graph each.

  112. I’m pretty sure my consumption and CO2 emission level are no higher than the average Green’s. So I can’t be doing anything wrong.
    And I very much doubt the average Kiwi’s consumption and CO2 emissions are any higher than the average Green’s, so the average Kiwi can’t be doing anything wrong.

    So where is the problem?

    Or are you telling us to do as you say and not as you do?

  113. dbuckley says: “The reality is that there is no alternative to the current economic model, valuing growth above all other things.”

    Of course there are alternatives.

    Even within the current model, we can still choose whether to go flat out for maximum growth by cutting taxes and having “user pays” for everything. Or we can choose the gentler way of accepting less growth in order to maintain essential social services, and to build the infrastructure needed for a resource-poor future. The first of option may result in “business as usual” in the short term, but the crash will be all the more painful when the whole economic system fails.

  114. The reality is that there is no alternative to the current economic model, valuing growth above all other things.

    Bad things will eventually happen because of this, but there is no avoiding this, the way of the world is simply too entrenched.

Comments are closed.