Russel Norman
Climate change, hottest years, floods and coal

So it turns out that 2010 was the hottest year on record, equal with 2005.

The year 2010 has tied 2005 as the Earth’s warmest on record, according to an assessment by U.S. government scientists.

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the combined global land and ocean annual surface temperature for 2010 was 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit (0.62 degrees Centigrade) above the 20th-century average

It was the 34th consecutive year that the global temperature was above last century’s average. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record occurred in the past decade. The exception was 1998, the third-warmest

And the flood in Queensland is the kind of extreme weather event that we can expect more of with climate change.

Dr Roger Stone, from the University of Southern Queensland…

He says the extremes being encountered in Australia this week fit climate change models, but it is too early to prove a direct link to changing weather patterns.

“It certainly fits the climate change models but I have to add the proviso that it’s very difficult – even with extreme conditions like this – to always attribute it to climate change, but it does fit the climate change models,” he said.

The evidence of climate change is compelling, and the costs of more extreme weather events are starkly revealed in Qld. No one extreme weather event can be said to be caused by climate change, but these kind of extreme weather events will happen more frequently because of climate change.

And yet we still have governments, like the current and previous NZ governments, that won’t take serious action to cut emissions.

It is also noteworthy that Queensland is one of the biggest coal exporters in the world and so is making a significant contribution to climate change. I hope that, once the cleanup is underway and people have a chance to recover from the impact, the 2011 flood leads to a debate in Queensland about whether they want to continue to be such a big contributor to climate change given that climate change makes such extreme weather events more likely. And a debate as to the wisdom of building more single story houses on the flood plain.

Love to all my family and friends over there. – ’74 didn’t take out Brissie and neither will ’11!

153 thoughts on “Climate change, hottest years, floods and coal

  1. No matter how economically and socially debilitating these extreme weather events get, “well, you can’t point to a single weather event as evidence of climate change” is going to be the next skeptic argument of choice to delay any action on climate change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9 (0)

  2. Did someone forget about the unusually cold weather that the United States and Great Britain experienced in December?

    With respect of Queensland, I suspect that the debate will focus as to where the next Wivenhoe should be – that dam did a very good job in making something that could have been so much worse much less so.

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  3. “Did someone forget about the unusually cold weather that the United States and Great Britain experienced in December?”

    What’s your point?

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  4. Or the thousands who died in the Russian Heat Wave?

    Years are still 365 days long and climate is still trends that can be seen over 15 or more years.

    Most places have 4 seasons. Might be unusually named… (LA has Riot/Earthquake/Drought/Gang-war) but Winter and Summer alternate.

    Expectations of increasing variability as more energy is stuck in the climate system seem reasonable to me. Most climate scientists expect it… but…

    …noplace can a specific prediction be made. Not yet. It will get warmer. The local effects are TBD.

    BJ

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  5. Ironically, wealth from the coal industry will be instrumental in the cleanup and building of pole houses.

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  6. This is from Kiwipolitico.

    There is one point, however, that I don’t think has been made strongly enough: and that’s that events such as these are a consequence of climate change. While it is fashionable for climate change deniers to mock those pointing to the increasing frequency and severity of snowstorms, cold snaps, hurricanes and torrential rainfall events as evidence for ‘global warming’; implying that climate science proponents try to take everything as evidence of ‘global warming’, the fact is that the term ‘global warming’ was retired and replaced with ‘climate change’ because the thesis isn’t just that the planet will get warmer.

    That’s part of it, but the events — snowfall and what not — being pointed to are not climate; they are weather. The relationship between climate and weather is a lot like the relationship between mathematics and arithmetic — indistinguishable if you don’t understand them, but fundamentally of a different order. Weather, like arithmetic, is by and large small, trivial, unarguable stuff — stuff which is more or less self-evident. It rained this much last week; 2+2=4 — whereas climate, and mathematics, are bigger, more open-ended and by definition less quantifiable. Mistaking ‘weather’ for ‘climate’ is an immensely useful rhetorical device, and one which I believe has not been sufficiently well guarded-against by those whose task it is to argue the climate change case. But even though it may not have been made clear to the degree necessary for broad public and political comprehension, this distinction is well understood by those working in the field and anyone who cares to acquaint themselves even scarcely with the material. And fundamentally the take-away is this: climate change caused by the increased quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, to the extent that it takes place, will have unpredictable flow-on effects such as increased frequency and severity of severe weather events, and not just heat waves and droughts such as ‘warming’ would suggest.

    The XKCD comic above (of which some years ago, my wife bought me the t-shirt) shows the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation spectrum. This has nothing much to do with climate change, but it is a famous proof of the scientific method: a near-perfect agreement between theory and actuality which is pretty fundamental to our understanding of a bunch of stuff. Science’s only defence; the only thing which gives it any importance or makes it any use at all, is that it works. When properly applied, it predicts actual events. The Queensland floods, as well as other such events, are happening as predicted, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either ignorant, or having you on, or both. In Andrew Bolt‘s case, it’s both. Queenslanders — and others similarly impacted by such events — need neither.

    http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2011/01/the-big-wet/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7 (-5)

  7. Oh great! So the mining industry is going to build flooded Australia pole houses to live in eh! Thus allowing them to continue to mine and inevitably cause more flooding and other devastation to the environment. What a load of rubbish Glen. Some peoples lives have been ruined and the day the mining companies come to the rescue is a day hell has frozen over.

    Frankly, I can’t believe there are still Climate Change deniers around being that the Scientific fraternity unanimously states that Climate Change is man made and have done for a long time now. From the look of the arguments here, there’s a lot of head in the sand and clutching at straws going on. What planet are the naysayer’s living on again?

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  8. They build the pole houses because they cannot get insurance for flood damage.

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  9. Oh I see what you did there, you throw in “don’t know the cause, but I know what I want it to be” with “The evidence of climate change is compelling, and the costs of more extreme weather events are starkly revealed in Qld”, then added “it’s their own fault” with:

    “It is also noteworthy that Queensland is one of the biggest coal exporters in the world and so is making a significant contribution to climate change.”

    the some patronising “love” for them.

    Nothing like making some political capital whilst people are still missing, grieving and trying to rebuild their lives.

    My point is not about the climate change debate at all, but how absolutely disgusting it is to play politics in the midst of a tragedy like this. Not unlike how some in the US have decided to milk the Tucson shooting to do just that.

    Could you show less bad taste?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 12 (+3)

  10. It is true that you cannot say that any single extreme weather event is caused by climate change – extreme weather events have taken place for many years. But it is a contributing factor in the SEVERITY of the weather event, as well as the frequency of such events, be they storms and floods, or fire.

    Such events WILL become more frequent and more severe as climate change becomes worse and we are alredy seeing this in current events. From the fires in Victoria in 2009 to the floods of 2011 from northern Queensland to Tasmania, they are all influenced by the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the sea temperature.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7 (0)

  11. Here’s a thought.

    The Green Party of Australia probably has similar views, but it has chosen to use this tragedy to support a relief fund for the victims. It hasn’t used an occasion of death, destruction of homes and livelihoods and trauma to engage in mean-spirited finger-pointing.

    It is one thing to engage in the “climate change to blame for floods” argument, quite another to say “oh but Queensland exports lots of coal, which contributes to climate change so you really ought to think about it” on the very day that the tragedy hits its peak.

    Imagine if you are someone who has lost family or has missing family because of this. Yep nothing like some politicking during a tragedy to make you feel like rubbish.

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  12. Could you show less bad taste?

    Russel is from Brisbane, still has family there, and I think his comments are very tame and well considered given the situation and that they will be read mainly by those interested in NZ politics. What would be disgusting is if people avoided talking about climate change and the coal industry as the tragedies mount.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7 (+4)

  13. Sorry, but this “green” thinking has caused nothing but damage in Queensland as an Australian writer points out HERE. The same area was flooded in 1974 and there was ample time to build dams to prevent another catastrophe – as these weather patterns happen in 30 year bouts. Yes, nothing to do so-called “climate change” but a natural predicted pattern.

    Why weren’t the dams built? Because greenies like Tim Flannery convinced the Govt that because of “climate change” there would be no floods. So instead urged the Govt to build useless desalination plants (which are now being mothballed) instead of dams.

    Also, the Queensland town of Gympie would have been spared had a planned dam been built there; and why wasn’t it? Because of a greenie Federal Environment Minister worried about endangering the Mary River Cod fish. Really? Worried about a fish over the lives of humans?

    The Greens have a lot to answer for: the result of their policies is loss of human life and destruction.

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  14. It would be absolutely disgusting if we did not discus the causes of such disasters. Especially considering that people are losing their lives and there is such widespread devastation. It would be disrespectful of the dead to not try and make people aware of the causes. In doing so hopefully rectify some of mankind’s adverse affects on Nature. Or should we allow such causative practices to continue unabated? I don’t think so.

    Being that the Greens policy would help rectify such situations, political viewpoints concerning these matters are vastly important. Without a political will to change the causative effects, nothing will change at all. We will inevitably have more death and destruction.

    You must live on that other planet Libertyscott. The one where everything is just hunky dory, little elves dance around a fire and fairies fly around the moon. You know the one, where man is king, the good guy and never does anything wrong. What a wonderful world huh!

    In all reality having respect for the dead is important, but discussing the reason/cause for those deaths is not disrespectful. It shows concern and is appropriate. The day we stop talking about such events because they have enough impact to kill people, is a day we may as well roll over and die ourselves.

    Clearly you cannot argue against the science so you’re trying the emotional angle. I find it seriously insulting that you’ve attempted to denigrate people because they show concern for mans impact on the environment. It’s patronizing and childish to stoop so low as to try and repress a discussion by such means. A discussion that is ultimately important and concerns the entire human races existence on the planet.

    Could you show less bad taste? Perhaps that is a question you should ask yourself Libertyscott.

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  15. It is worth noting that during the unusually cold spells in the last Northern winter, some Northern areas had unusually hot weather. What happened was a shift in wind patterns so some Northern areas received more warm air from further South, while the headline making areas caught winds from further North. Both effects may therefore be due to climate change, as one of the predicted impacts of climate change is a change to wind patterns.

    It is typical of climate change deniers to look for and point out any instances of falling temperatures and to sieze them as evidence that climate change isn’t happening, while ignoring all the rising temperatures and other effects.

    Trevor.

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  16. Imagine if you are someone who has lost family or has missing family because of this.

    If someone in my family died because of a drunk driver, I would want that drunk driver found and prosecuted and stopped from driving.

    If someone in my family died from flooding caused by climate change, I would want the causes found and climate changed stopped from driving the planet to hell.

    Perhaps keep those thoughts of yours to yourself Libertyscott.

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  17. Todd, you’ll run out of straw with your strawmen.

    1. Who is saying not to discuss it? The point is NOW. The Australian Green Party’s press release is to support the relief fund, the NZ one is to say “well you’re to blame for it yourselves”. Nice to be told by foreigners that you’ve effectively caused your own family to be killed when you are desperate as it is. It is timing, and when it has all settled down and some normality is back, you can discuss whatever you like, regardless of whether I agree or not. It wont be bad taste then.

    2. The link being made is tenuous at best. You can make a case for it, but that is really about it. There may be a link, but that’s not cause. Are you seriously saying if Queensland had given up coal mining years ago the floods wouldn’t have happened? Of course not. It is snake oil.

    3. There is no evidence to say the Greens policy would rectify anything since by no means would you be controlling emissions from the likes of China, India, Brazil etc. In fact you want NZ to “lead the way” in sacrificing wealth and individual freedom as a moral example. It isn’t about results, it is about an ethical stand that you believe in with the hope others will all follow.

    4. The entire human race is not facing armageddon, as much as you want to peddle it. It faces multiple challenges, multiple demands on the resources available to 6 billion (and growing) people. There are multiple views on the science, but also the economics of intervention on climate change. The alternative scenario may be just to adapt and take steps to reduce emissions consistent with economic efficiency, more definable environmental risks (e.g. poisons) and use wealth creation and technology to progress. That’s a debate worth having.

    5. Now you’re equating a cause-effect which has a legal proof (drink-driving causing accident) that can be proven beyond reasonable doubt to linking coal mining in Queensland with a flood that wouldn’t even begin to meet any reasonable legal standard. It’s gross hyperbole to make that claim. I understand why it is made, but it’s fiction to imply that if there were no Queensland coal mines, the floods wouldn’t happen.

    By the way, it remains grotesque to use language (deniers) to equate those with a different view from you on climate change as holocaust deniers. I’m not even a sceptic, I just have a different view on the appropriate response. However, this is just a classic example of using hate speech to slander your opponents rather than playing the ball.

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  18. Queensland Population:

    Population 1971 – 1,851,485
    Population 1981 – 2,345,208
    Population 2010 – 4,516,361

    So there’s another reason why the floods were so devastating and it has to do with population and where people build houses. Hint, new houses get built in flat places near towns, and cities. Towns and cities are commonly found along rivers.

    Delingpole is of course, no scientist, he is a writer/journalist and biased when it comes to climate. So when he writes one has to read his scrie precisely. Bolt is even worse, a radio talk show host. Idiots both.

    Climate change is in their view, wrong because –

    …someone blocked a dam to preserve some fish.

    …some local prediction of the effects of warming was incorrect.

    …some politician put a desalinization plant somewhere politically convenient rather than where it was needed.

    Well… maybe it IS needed but just not this instant:

    http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/queenslanddroughtmonitor/queenslanddroughtreport/2009/Jan.pdf

    http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/queenslanddroughtmonitor/queenslanddroughtreport/2008/Feb.pdf

    http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/queenslanddroughtmonitor/queenslanddroughtreport/2007/Jun2.pdf

    http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/queenslanddroughtmonitor/queenslanddroughtreport/2006/Aug1.pdf

    OK… this is the logic of deniers around the world, no surprise that it appears here. Delingpole and Bolt are consistent in their errors.

    For instance, Flannery discussed the need for desalinization for South Australia, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Don’t see any record of him talking about Brisbane. Might have, but I don’t see it. He DID talk about it generally.

    http://www.watercorporation.com.au/D/desalination.cfm

    Yeah… 17% of Perth’s water. Bolt may regard it as useless, but that simply tells us that he is playing stupid radio-head-ratings-games.

    http://www.ourwater.vic.gov.au/programs/desalination

    Melbourne’s is built with the understanding that it is for “times of drought” which aren’t far from the minds of most Australians. Those as have minds actually remember that they have been in drought conditions for a fair few years…

    Adelaide – (the capital of the “driest state in the driest continent on earth”) didn’t get its plant. Queensland (the fastest growing state) did… and it was barely brought on line and made operational before the rains returned – so now it is useless? Not likely. It is appropriate to mothball it for a time, but it will see use as the cycle continues.

    Because it will continue, though it will ratchet to more extreme conditions.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200611/s1783187.htm

    That’s one of the little things that Bolt forgets and ignores when he starts shooting off his mouth. He talks but he only does so in order to mislead people. Delingpole isn’t anywhere near Australia and knows only what he hears… from Bolt.

    Politicians will, as a rule, build desalinization plants to prepare for drought when there is drought, and dams to prevent floods when there is rain. Their memories are not all that good either. So we’re going to see another dam or two built when this is all over, then the drought will kick in again and a dam will be scrapped and then we’ll get the desal plant brought back on line and it will work until the next floods.

    However, there are other truth’s here.

    One is that when we take a position reflexively (without thought) as when we attempt to prevent dams from being built in order to preserve this or that bit of pristine environment, we are doing more than simply preserving the pristine environment.

    The human species is successful as a whole, because it controls and selects its environment. It is successful because it builds fires for warmth, puts on clothing, builds fences to keep out the wild beasts, and buildings to protect things from rain and wind… and dams to provide power and protection from floods.

    Now the position of maintaining a pristine environment is not right or wrong by this, but its consequences cannot be ignored, and one of those consequences is that the human population cannot continue to grow.

    Which is true whether or not we like it or deal with it appropriately in the bedroom.

    Which is also, notably, Green policy, but not part of the national or international real-world fact base. We are expected to have another 3 billion neighbors on this planet before population “stabilizes”…

    …but the real reason it is going to stabilize is that the death rate is going to be a lot higher.

    We know about that, and it is with deceptive tranquility called “population overshoot”.

    Which is a LOT related to people building houses on floodplains…

    …particularly when there is no sign of rain

    …but not so much related to Global Warming.

    So the next time we think about building a thing… ANY damned thing at all… here or anywhere else…

    We have to think about it with the long-term perspectives. Climate will change and we aren’t stopping it, so the one absolutely expectable thing is that our islands will become over the next century or so:

    a. Warmer (globally)
    b. Wetter (globally)
    c. Submerged (along the coastline)

    Specifically predicting global warming to bring a drier Wairarapa is as sensible as specifically predicting a drier Brisbane. The models do not do accurate details (yet). However building roads and infrastructure less than 20 meters above mean high water gets a failing grade and building within meters of a streambed is riskier than it might appear just this minute (however dry it is today).

    THAT has to be part of our policy too. The government actions, building “stuff”, have to take into account the development of some minimal infrastructure that is far enough above sea-level and on solid enough ground, to deal with typhoon spawned deluge and sea level rise that is measured in meters.

    …because the sea will rise, and where we put roads and rail determines much of where people live and build houses and shops, which determines how much of what our children have will be lost to the sea over time. Cities and towns built along the roman roads still remain.

    The things that are certainties in Global Warming are the warming, the moisture in the air and the ocean rising. The things we can’t know well are the local weather results.

    respectfully
    BJ

    ( Why 20 meters ? Because to get more sea level rise than that Antarctica has to melt which is a far longer and slower process than glaciers sliding into the ocean – there will be more time to deal with it ).

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  19. The idea that these floods are a cyclical event that occur every 30 years is what is going to prevent dams being built before the next floods. More likely that they will occur more often in future – inter-spiced with longer droughts. Meaning they will need both desalination plants and dams – the confluence a cost of climate change.

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  20. The drought has continued into 2010 for Adelaide, where rainfall for the first two months of the year has been only half the average for that period.

    Rainy days in Adelaide yielded no more than 5mm at a time and 15mm in total.
    The last time the city had more than 10mm in one day was in late November.
    Fortunately, the outlook for autumn looks a little bit better.

    The Bureau of Meteorology yesterday released its three monthly rainfall outlook and for South Australia, the chances of above-average rainfall for March to May are 45-65 per cent. The highest chance for above-average autumn falls in a region to the north of Spencer Gulf. Adelaide is looking at 55-60 per cent.

    Like I said… Adelaide didn’t get the desal plant, Queensland did. Politics as usual.

    The problem here is that on a global level coal should stay in-the-ground!!!

    The Carbon Capture and Storage makes coal much less efficient than solar power or wind in terms of EROEI ( without it it is merely “less” efficient) and the carbon intensity of burning the stuff varies but is far higher than burning any of the other fuels we use.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/electricity/page/co2_report/co2report.html#electric

    “Leave the coal in the ground” has nothing DIRECTLY to do with Queensland flooding but it is immensely important to the long term prospects for Brisbane, Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland, New York City, Miami, Charleston, San Diego… and dozens of places I have not mentioned. 2 years ago we were at 385 ppm CO2 , we’ve topped 390 now.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/06/dr-james-hansen/

    Notice in the linked department of energy page, how much power the USA is CURRENTLY getting from coal and the cost of that in terms of CO2 impact.

    We are not in such condition, we have much more hydro, and burn less coal but our goal and we should work at this pretty hard, is to burn none at all.

    A coal free society.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  21. The idea that these floods are a cyclical event that occur every 30 years is what is going to prevent dams being built before the next floods.

    SPC, a dam was built in response to the 1974 flood – it is called the Wivenhoe Dam, and it probably saved thousands of homes as a large volume of the water was kept in Lake Wivenhoe instead of flowing down the Brisbane River and causing massive destruction.

    However, I do agree that it is a little rich to blame the Brisbane Flood on Global Warming given that Brisbane has a long history of floods with major floods in 1844, 1893 and 1974 as well as minor floods in 1841, 1845, 1864, 1887, 1889, 1890, 1898, 1908, 1931, 1955 and 1968 (with probably some more since then – the data I am drawing from dates to just after the 1974 flood).

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  22. Goddard – one of the most ignorable idiots in the blogosphere – is not exactly the sort of person I would call on for anything. The repetitive assertions that there aren’t any thermometers there… are astoundingly stupid attacks on well documented and extremely robust science.

    Believing Goddard is an act of faith worthy of someone who also might believe in the charity of the Koch brothers, or the honesty of the CEI.

    Probable that neither of these are familiar to our visitor, but I am sure he can google them.

    As for Goddard, the procedure he is calling into question in his blog spew is this –

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1987/1987_Hansen_Lebedeff.pdf

    …and if he CAN find fault with it he is welcome to do so, but in over 2 decades nobody has. The fact that every bit of the atmosphere is connected to every other bit makes it really really hard for discontinuities to turn up, like the ones that he is HYPOTHESIZING to exist. Basically he is saying that the temperature suddenly reverses trend in areas that are sparsely covered in order to even make it possible for Hansen to have errors.

    This of course, also implies that the Sea ice is complicit in this plot for world domination when it decides to melt.

    Forgive me, but “useful idiots” like Goddard are not exactly a reliable source, and if you want to understand why they are not reliable you have to examine the positions of the other folks I mentioned above, and the positions of the people behind the WSJ editorials, the people who already have all the money and power NOW and who are determined to keep it all.

    Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Competitive_Enterprise_Institute
    http://www.desmogblog.com/koch-industries-extensive-funding-climate-denial-industry-unmasked

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/12/07/case-studies/

    Goddard is, to these people, a “useful idiot”.

    BJ

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  23. All the “hottest years on record” are measured the same way, and the ENSO events are not removed from that sort of record keeping. The trend is upward and remains upward, and this is the hottest decade, as last decade WAS the hottest decade until this one… the inexorable increase will eventually grind even the most stubborn ideological objection into dust.

    This will unfortunately, take far too long.

    BJ

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  24. Global Warming and Climate Change is a religion and nothing more.

    Take believers in it and they will quote scripture to support it. Look into the sripture for global warming and climate change and it is no better than scripture for other religions.

    The Green party wants NZ to cut its CO2 emissions to 1990 levels. Okay, fine. Clean and green sounds good. But how? Do we kill off NZ’s dairy industry – that would about meet the requirements but it would also mean NZ couldn’t afford to buy a glass of water let alone our welfare system, making us poorer than 3rd world countries. We could stop all welfare support and with the reduction in welfare spending this would reduce consumption and NZ’s CO2 emissions but not as low as 1990 levels. That would cut off most green voters so they wont do that. Just how are the greens going to achieve the cutting of CO2 levels to 1990 levels? We listen to their silence in how we will achieve these CO2 reductions, which is just as loud as the ‘scientific proof’ of man made global warming. Either way green policies if implemented can’t finance welfare and are likely to kill more people than Hitler and Stalin together.

    Greens dont even know the first thing about science, yet use the word with religious fevour. You can’t prove anything with science. How science works is you make a theory which best fits data and it stands till its disproven. The green ‘way’ is use 40-90% conjecture and then you reject every opposing theory as the anti-christ. As soon as greens start rejecting all theories for not agreeing with them they cease to be about science but a religion. Take the most accurate modeling of the earths temperature today and it has over a 40% fudge factor of ‘we dont understand’ but any theories to pin some of this guesstimate down are rejected by greens on principle as not supporting their religion.

    I dislike any extreme religion – including green policies.

    The volume of water initially suggest either a man-made dam burst or a natural dam formed and then burst. 8 mtr high wave is a large body of water being released and the dead/missing are mostly from that 8 mtr wall of water. Brisbane flooded, but while water rose it was not an 8 mtr wall of water and hence more population density and lower toll. In NZ we had our own enviromentalists wouldn’t let us release the natural dam from Ruepahu – result a huge release of water/mud/rock when the dam finally broke which could have been avoided easily with a controlled release. That relase was predicted to have up to 15 mtrs in height destroying everything in its path. It does sound similar to the 8 mtr wall of water.

    The temperature during what is known as the ‘Golden Age’ were much warmer than today and lasted that way for a few hundred years. It was refered to a golden age as food was abundant and easy to grow. Today greens spout that warm = death yet historically warmer temperatures have been the opposite.

    In the scale of earth, the earth will survive. Its past has had much higher temperatures and much lower tempetures. Typically earth spends more time as an ice ball than a tropical paridise, and the life sustainability of it depends more on warmer temperatures than cooler.

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  25. I really do love the way “Liberty”Scott tries to shut down debate. Keep on writing LS I think you demonstrate nicely the kind of freedom that the far right believes in, and it ain’t freedom of speech!

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  26. “…I dislike any extreme religion – including green policies. ..”

    how about ‘extreme’ blue-policies..there..blueshirt…?

    voted act last time..?

    pissed at how they have wimped out..?

    am i getting close…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  27. ‘liberty scott’ is an ironic/opposite nom de blog…

    ..a bit like calling a skinny guy ‘fats’…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  28. Oh dear blueshirt, where do we begin?
    Your first paragraph is directly rebutted by your last, but i guess you mean attributing that change to human induced factors is some kind or religion.
    Do you believe in cause and effect? I think it’s not too much to ask to realise that pulling multi-millions of years of fossil carbon out of the ground and dumping it into the atmosphere must have some effect. If you don’t then i’m afraid you are the one with irrational beliefs. The question is, what effect?
    Do I know if we are to blame? No I don’t, but the possibility is surely enough to give pause for thought?
    You seem to think doing something about that possibility as wholly negative. I beg to differ. A large amount of our discharge is due to wasteful inefficiency. Addressing that is a HUGE opportunity.
    The problem with people like you is that you believe Humans are above nature and that the economy takes precedence over the environment. Bad misjudgment.
    Hey how about having a look at this…
    http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse
    You might find it rather informative.

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  29. Lets see how many problems you have there Blueshirt.

    Just for fun.

    Climate Change is a religion and nothing more.

    false: …and in more than one way. Good start.
    a. Climate CHANGE is a fact. Nobody claims it isn’t happening.
    b. Anthropogenic causation of the changes is a scientific theory.
    ( Scientific theories are falsifiable, religions are not. )

    Do we kill off NZ’s dairy industry

    We never proposed this – it is your idea, as are each of the unacceptable alternatives your faulty imagination attributes to us. I suggest that you examine our policy and plan to meet it, as the only reason you can hoave reckoned us silent has to do with your fingers being stuck firmly in your ears.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/climate-change-policy-kicking-carbon-habit

    Of course it may also have to do with the mass media of this country keeping us under a cone-of-silence, but you reached this blog and the Dom Post and the Herald can’t touch my answers here.

    Greens dont even know the first thing about science.

    That assertion would have to be supported by some evidence.

    The green ‘way’ is use 40-90% conjecture and then you reject every opposing theory as the anti-christ.

    Can you show me an example of this, on this blog, on our website or in our literature? ANYWHERE? Since I know we do not do this I do honestly defy you.

    Take the most accurate modeling of the earths temperature today and it has over a 40% fudge factor of ‘we dont understand’ but any theories to pin some of this guesstimate down are rejected by greens on principle as not supporting their religion.

    The temperature of the EARTH is not “modeled” it is measured. It is input data. Future temperatures are modeled.

    Maybe you could provide a link to the person who is providing you with this error? Where is the fudge factor in the satellite data provided by Dr Spencer, which matches the trends in the GISS data set which matches the trends in the CRU. ???

    The volume of water initially suggest either a man-made dam burst or a natural dam formed

    Perhaps… we weren’t there, you weren’t there, this isn’t relevant to AGW, GW or Greens. Brisbane is downstream of a new dam which is controlling the flooding somewhat.

    In NZ we had our own enviromentalists wouldn’t let us release the natural dam from Ruepahu

    Fascinating… but not factual. At least not with respect to this party. One would have to discuss it with Carter who was the environment minister at the time.

    The temperature during what is known as the ‘Golden Age’ were much warmer than today and lasted that way for a few hundred years.

    At the holocene optimum ? Much longer than a few hundred years. Some other time? OK… pick one.

    Here are a few graphics:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png

    Nor was that warm period global.

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

    This guy is comprehensive. Lots of different time scales.
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/temperature/

    The last few decades:
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Dec_102.gif

    Not that there were a whole lot of PEOPLE 4000 years ago anyway and they thought the earth was flat at the time.

    So “plenty of food” has nothing like the same meaning as it would have to have today… in other words, was that “plenty of food” feeding 6 billion humans?

    No… not anything like.

    Is the current temperature as warm as it is going to get given the current CO2 levels and rates of increase?

    No… the proposition is extremely doubtful. CO2 IS a Greenhouse gas. That’s simple physics and the “Greenhouse effect” exists as an observable fact as well. Not easy to fool the black body radiation equations.

    historically warmer temperatures have been the opposite.

    Lets ask ourselves HOW MUCH warmer and where we’re all living… SHALL we? See, you’re only looking back a few thousand years at temperatures that are at best a degree or two more than what we have now. We already have enough CO2 to make it stabilize at MORE than 2 degrees warmer than it is now… and our best efforts are unlikely to keep it less than 3 degrees warmer… for the next thousand years… at least.

    Which means that we’re going to see the sea level rise 20 meters in that time, maybe more. Which is no big deal if the total population is a billion but it is a VERY big deal when we are skirting the thin edge of starvation for half 6 billion or so who live here now. The food distribution and population distribution is no longer flexible.

    And to see temperatures stable at more than 3 degrees warmer one would have to look back more than 3 MILLION years… not a few thousand.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  30. Liberty Scott

    Who is saying not to discuss it?

    You’re implying that it’s bad taste to suggest that climate change has caused the devastation in Australia and we should wait to discuss such circumstances. ie “don’t discuss it”. I’m bemused as to why I have to explain this, are you schizophrenic? If you’re not one of those people jumping up and down saying it’s inappropriate to try and find the cause, then what are ya?

    You can discuss whatever you like, regardless of whether I agree or not. It wont be bad taste then.

    I know I can discuss anything I like whenever I like (within reason). Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I don’t need your permission to do so, so get off your high horse.

    It’s not bad taste to discuss the cause of such extreme weather while it occurs. Just like the Pike River tragedy, the families affected are seeking answers, the flood victim’s will as well. At the moment they are too busy dealing with the tragedy.

    Are you seriously saying if Queensland had given up coal mining years ago the floods wouldn’t have happened?

    You really are a tool sometimes Libertyscott. What I am saying is that worldwide Climate Change is creating these storms and extreme changes in whether. There is nothing tenuous about this “idea” being that the majority of scientist and categorical evidence agrees with me. Or should I say that I agree with it.

    In fact you want NZ to “lead the way” in sacrificing wealth and individual freedom as a moral example.

    Being fiscally and environmentally responsible, are not dissimilar. You clearly have a misconception about a Green economy. Being Green and utilizing environmentally friendly technology has actually been shown to increase wealth and prosperity. It is another largely untapped source of financial development. If you factor in the cost of not being Green, then the financial cost is something I don’t want to put a figure on.

    However, this is just a classic example of using hate speech to slander your opponents rather than playing the ball.

    Oh diddums! Strike three your out!

    It’s not just the rising temperature we need to be concerned with; it’s the fluctuations of weather that could potentially change our entire globe. The extremes of weather are a new phenomenon that we’re seeing across the entire globe. To rule out such events as the flooding we are seeing (not only in Australia) being a causative effect of climate change is a foolish thing indeed. The fact that existing cyclical events will continue to happen but be exacerbated by climate change should not be lost on your comprehension of what climate change is.

    BJ

    The inexorable increase will eventually grind even the most stubborn ideological objection into dust.

    I have to emphatically agree with you for once BJ.

    If you think that global annihilation is not on the cards, then you are more naive than I first thought Libertyscott. I know; it is not a nice thought and could occur in my lifetime, but if you are not enlightened to the potential consequences of not taking climate change seriously. Don’t be complaining when Rome burns and catches your ass on fire.

    Blueshirt

    That is the biggest load of rubbish I have ever read.

    You can’t prove anything with science.

    What era are you from? If you have not been educated I can understand such a comment. But in all honesty, you seem to be a dunce who has had the religious bejeebers beaten out of your brains; that has learnt to type.

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  31. He’s here. We shake him up, shape him up, re-educate him… maybe he’ll understand if he looks at the economy-environment connection?

    It tends to shock the righties right out of their self-righteous shorts.

    Greens believing that fractional-reserve is evil and that the money should be backed by something besides debt… it just doesn’t match their preconceptions.

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  32. The volume of water initially suggest either a man-made dam burst or a natural dam formed and then burst.

    Blueshirt, Toowoomba is built inside the crater of an old volcano. When it starts raining very heavily, there is only one way for the water to get out and that is Murphys Creek. From there it is a rapid rush down the Great Dividing Range into the Lockyer Valley some 400m lower than Toowoomba.

    What I am saying is that worldwide Climate Change is creating these storms and extreme changes in whether.

    What I find somewhat amusing is that everyone jumps up and down and blames weather events such as storms and flooding on Global Warming, but the minute you point out that there was snow in Los Angeles, they suddenly change tune.

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  33. Russel: Nice bit of name calling there, has that served you well in influencing people over the years? My view is simply that the debate can be had, but to tell Queenslanders that they are essentially to blame the same day people are finding corpses is bad taste. The Green Party of Australia gets this, why can’t you? It’s a bit like telling the family of a criminal killed in a police chase that it was “his own fault” on the day he died. Something you’d find loathsome otherwise. However, keep labelling me far-right, that’s how to win an argument isn’t it? Though it is strange how someone from a party that advocates a substantially bigger state can possibly think someone libertarian has anything in common with totalitarians. Finally, you said that Queensland coal exports are making a “significant contribution” to climate change. Given Australia produces 6.7% of the world’s coal, this is a significant exaggeration once you consider all greenhouse gases, coal as a share of this, then Queensland’s share of Australia’s. Now China’s coal is another story.

    Todd: Try telling the family of someone who died of lung cancer that it was the smoker’s fault on the day of the funeral, then you might understand my gut reaction. Playing the man not the ball isn’t a sign of strength or intellectual grunt. Schizophrenic is a term of abuse for you, nice. You should bring that up at your next Green Party meeting and see how that goes down (or it is ok to abuse people you disagree with).

    Beyond that, this post links coal mining in Queensland to Queensland floods. Even if you believe this link, what about the demand for the coal? The bare simple approach like “stop mining coal in Queensland” will do nothing, but put the price up for coal and see it being mind moreso elsewhere, and still floods come. There is no shortage of extractable coal on the planet, so you might want to address demand rather than supply if that’s your concern.

    Where is this financially self-sustainable Green economy that has increased wealth and prosperity, since you claim it has been proven? I’m genuinely intrigued if it doesn’t involve initiating force.

    I’m not ruling out a climate change-flood causative effect, it is the opposite burden of proof. You can’t rule out a whole host of causes. However, do more than a “could be a link” and you’re onto something. Yet that is all you have for now.

    You seriously believe in global annihilation? People have argued this for much of the 20th century, with people who think we are doomed either by a new ice age, global warming, destruction of the ozone layer, overpopulation, disease and pestilence, the alignment of the planets or whatever. There is always an element of truth, but some people jump on this as an excuse to implement their way of thinking, always by force, on everyone else to prevent catastrophe.

    I know because I used to believe in it myself for some years.

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  34. Turns out that Queensland “office of climate change” made the connection before the fact, which is something…

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/queensland-floods-are-consistent-with-climate-change-predictions/

    One cannot however, alter just one country’s economy at this point. This is “economic suicide” as is often pointed out, and the reason it is gets back, again, to the issue of fractional-reserve debt-based fiat currencies.

    That has to change before we can even reach the environmental factors, and interestingly enough (to me) that actually CAN change. It is disruptive, and there will be a lot of changes if we did it, but we would NOT be economically destroyed in the process and the result would (likely) be the complete destruction of the Vampire Squid et.al. as the example we set there CAN be followed as it is a path that leads out of the economic morass. The Global economic morass.

    BJ

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  35. Libertyscott

    The problem, at the moment is that environmentally friendly technology, is being repressed by the “vampire squad”. It’s got nothing to do with forcing people to be Green minded; it’s about giving people a choice. When people have a choice, they will do the right thing. At the moment there is little choice and we are forced to tow the oil and coal industries line. Clean industries are a huge bonus for the economy, how can you not think that?

    6.7% of the worlds coal is a huge amount. We need to address the supply as well as the demand. To say that this is a significant contributor to climate change is not an exaggeration. To try and dismiss a contributing factor because of its percentage value is incorrect. Using this type of thinking, one could systematically ignore the individual factors that add to the problem. It’s certainly not the way the scientists investigate the overall effects of pollution on the climate. I happen to agree with their findings.

    I am not going to tell any Australian that it’s their fault people have died because they have coalmines. That’s an insensitive and preposterous argument that has been your brainchild alone. I doubt that any families affected by a death from the floods would have any issue with me saying that such storms and flooding can be attributed to climate change. Playing the “immoral” card to try and repress this discussion is more telling about your concerns for those families.

    I know because I used to believe in it myself for some years.

    The evidence has only been getting stronger in favour of manmade pollution causing climate change. It’s now so vast that it’s undeniable; that’s if you’re a sane and well-read person. What on earth changed your mind, did you get a job pumping gas?

    If you have an issue with me diagnosing your mental condition, then perhaps you should stop writing such inconsistent posts. I do not attend Green Party meetings so will not be raising my concerns about your schizophrenic tendencies there. Personally I think that most deniers either have a vested interest in continuing the status quo or have a mental problem. It is not rude of me to hazard a guess at your particular issues. Perhaps the condition is exacerbated by the thought that mankind could be causing its own extinction. Whatever the reasons, if it’s too hot in the kitchen…

    John ston

    What I find somewhat amusing is that everyone jumps up and down and blames weather events such as storms and flooding on Global Warming, but the minute you point out that there was snow in Los Angeles, they suddenly change tune.

    You might be aware that the term has been relabelled to climate change. There are very good reasons for this. Please explain your argument further as I see no problem with attributing colder events to manmade climate change. The complexities of nature are vast but we’re talking about some fundamental scientific principles here. They’re as simple as the notes I keep playing. I’m reading from a piece, written by a consensus of respected scientists. Perhaps the climate change deniers are tone deaf and can’t read at all.

    ~

    The environmental/political issue is very problematic. In general the politicians have little concern for the future and more for their re-election and how big the bribes will be from polluting industries. They grandstand on misconceptions; “a Green economy is less profitable than the current model”. Even if this was the case (which it is not) shouldn’t the fact that the current system is unsustainable be the defining measure for decision making?

    http://www.starhq.com/news/html/news/AP/articles.asp?day=Sunday&article=e2445bc-us-globalwarming-r.html

    Some people got fed up with the political complacency shown by their representatives. Interestingly the article mislabels it global warming as well. It appears that many in the Court system don’t recognize climate change either:

    http://shopfloor.org/2011/01/u-s-supreme-court-will-not-hear-bogus-global-warming-case/17268

    When will the change be made? It will be less problematic to implement the change as soon as possible. The cost of not implementing a Green change is not just financial. The consequences of doing nothing like what we are seeing now are catastrophic. At what point do we say it’s time to be real about this: in one year, in five or perhaps ten? Maybe we as a species will decide to make the change when it is too late. Maybe it’s already too late now.

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  36. Just remember that the claimed “measured” warming of the last century is within the margin of error because of difficulties in measuring temperatures accurately anywhere – but particularly for the whole globe..

    In particular the claimed measurements that are used to say 2010 was the warmest year since whenever assume that we can measure changes in global temperature to one hundredth of a degree. See Russell Normans post which quotes the report as saying:

    “Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the combined global land and ocean annual surface temperature for 2010 was 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit (0.62 degrees Centigrade) above the 20th-century average.”

    Think about the level of precision and note that such reports never report the margin of error. Even our TV pollsters obey this basic rule of comparative statistics.

    You cannot measure the difference in temperature between two rooms in your house to one hundredth of a degree.

    This observation has nothing to do with climate science or the arguments about anthropogenic global warming. It is comment on comparative measurements and the margins of error which apply to any such claimed measurements, in any real world environment.

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  37. You might be aware that the term has been relabelled to climate change. There are very good reasons for this.

    Such as the scientific community could not make their minds up? Don’t forget that in the 1970s, Global Cooling was the thing that was going to destroy the world.

    Please explain your argument further as I see no problem with attributing colder events to manmade climate change.

    My argument is pretty well explained. Whenever a major weather event, such as the various heat waves, the various hurricanes and the various floods occur, everyone is keen to blame it on global warming. As soon as someone points out that it snowed somewhere where it shouldn’t, such as Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, Los Angeles and even a place on the Arabian Peninsula, then suddenly everyone jumps up and down and says those are weather events and you cannot disprove global warming by them.

    As I see it, there is a very strong inconsistency – but then again, the world was supposed to end through global cooling, global warming, climate change.

    They’re as simple as the notes I keep playing. I’m reading from a piece, written by a consensus of respected scientists.

    So what if there is a consensus of respected scientists? There once was a time where a consensus of respected scientists believed in Piltdown Man and Brontosaurus, even though both of them were frauds. There once was a time when a consensus of respected scientists believed in eugenics, although these days it isn’t that popular.

    Of course, there is one big issue that no-one has brought up and it would be interesting to see what the response is. According to the theory, carbon emissions cause global warming. That carbon comes from items such as coal and oil. That coal and oil was once living plantlife, so therefore, at one point, all the carbon that exists was somehow in the atmosphere and yet we had no major problems…

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  38. I’ll leave it to bj to explain, once again, why just about everything you wrote is rubbish, as it has ALL been covered before and bj can probably just cut and paste. I’ll just point out that the people on this blog at least, talk about a warmer climate causing the weather to be more volatile, leading to more extreme weather events of all kinds including blizzards, floods and drought, so you are wrong there too.

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  39. john-stone

    It’s one thing to say a few scientists have been wrong in the past, it’s another thing entirely to try and say the majority of scientists are wrong now about climate change. There is no context or similarity that I can see. Perhaps an attempt at a joke, pretty pathetic really. Trapped carbon that has taken millions of years to become coal and oil is not OK to dig up and burn because it was once on the surface. You’re obviously delusional!

    Let’s follow the deniers train of thought… there’s no point in cutting emissions because no other country is going to, the changes in weather are normal like me and my arse is not on fire, climate change is a myth to sell books and movies and all the scientists are wrong and I am right co’s I like to pump gas.

    For crying out loud!

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  40. Such as the scientific community could not make their minds up? Don’t forget that in the 1970s, Global Cooling was the thing that was going to destroy the world.

    I am being polite by only calling this assertion rubbish John-ston. It is rubbish.

    A survey of peer reviewed scientific papers from 1965 to 1979 show that few papers predicted global cooling (7 in total). Significantly more papers (42 in total) predicted global warming (Peterson 2008). The large majority of climate research in the 1970s predicted the Earth would warm as a consequence of CO2. Rather than 1970s scientists predicting cooling, the opposite is the case.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s-intermediate.htm

    Astonishingly the science did what science is designed to do… it compared those hypotheses given the knowledge available and rejected the one that was not predicting the trends correctly. The media circus notwithstanding.

    The media continues to mislead the public to this day. Now of course, it has help.

    …but this issue need not appear in any further arguments of yours ;-)

    respectfully
    BJ

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  41. Whenever a major weather event, such as the various heat waves, the various hurricanes and the various floods occur, everyone is keen to blame it on global warming. As soon as someone points out that it snowed somewhere where it shouldn’t, such as Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, Los Angeles and even a place on the Arabian Peninsula, then suddenly everyone jumps up and down and says those are weather events

    You have a partial point in this. The number of things attributed to global warming makes an amusing and dismaying list.

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

    People being astonishingly gullible, not only do people believe the claims but people also believe that real scientists working in the field, are making such scientific claims.

    This error does not actually appear in the science. Never in the peer-reviews and even the privately held and stated opinions of scientists tend to be hedged more thoroughly than anything the press actually prints.

    In the case of the Queensland floods there is the Queensland Office of Climate Change that predicted the events becoming more intense BEFORE the event.

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/queensland-floods-are-consistent-with-climate-change-predictions/

    Check page 3

    Future impacts of climate change on Australia are
    likely to include:
    • projected increases in average surface temperature of
    0.6–1.5 °C by 2030 and 2.2–5.0 °C by 2070

    • decreased average annual rainfall over much of Australia
    more intense rainfall on days with heavy rainfall over many areas
    • an increase in the proportion of severe tropical cyclones,
    with a possible decrease in the total number of cyclones

    • more frequent heatwaves
    • more frequent droughts.

    These findings (Australian Academy of Sciences
    2010) indicate stronger than expected and sooner
    than expected climate changes.

    (bolding mine)

    Nor would any set of climate effects (weather) prove or disprove warming. AGW theory tells you that the TREND in temperatures will be upwards at a rate that is not even apparent over less than a 15 year time span and which can’t IMO be accurately determined over less than 30 years. The noise overwhelms the signal.

    Global warming would be in serious difficulty if a 20 year stretch of time where apparent that held a zero or negative trend. That is the proof-disproof of the theory. Everything else one hears is a result of modeling and extrapolating the conditions that the increased warmth will trigger. Some of those conditions are feedbacks, which makes the modeling even more fraught with difficulty, but none of them are actually useful evidence of AGW, nor are they proofs of it or against it.

    At best the Queensland prediction can be taken as an indication that CSIRO is pretty good at what it does. Not evidence of warming. The warming is there with or without the flooding. The flooding may be in small part a consequence of the warming, but is far more a simple matter of the drought-flood cycle that is well established for Queensland monsoons.

    The prediction being there however, weakens (IMO) the argument that it is being used improperly. That is certainly not the case in the scientific community.

    The media will of course, paint whatever picture it cares to paint.

    Thing to watch for is who is saying what and what their EXACT quotes are, not the things people (and the media which IMO is not made up of actual humans) say they said. The armchair non-scientists are almost certain to leave things out or simply get them wrong, and then claim that their opinions are as good as those of people who have been studying the field for decades. The wisdom of this attitude would be ____________ ? You can fill in that blank as you wish. :-)

    I have a fair amount of respect for anyone who shows up here and asks though. It takes no small amount of intelligence and self-confidence to contemplate challenges to one’s own ideas about things.

    Feel free to take the piss out of anyone who says that X weather event proves or disproves global warming. The only thing that proves it or disproves it is the temperature trend over long periods of time.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  42. Well whatever the reason stated Queensland needs dams – dams both work to assist flood prevention and they also allow water storage to assist in times of drought.

    And Owen 0.6 degrees is the amount above the rising average across the 20th C. Would it be an increase of a degree from the beginning of the 20thC, or more? You could say its a small amount but we don’t measure temperature in high numbers do we. Is the average New Zealand temperature across day and night and across the seasons as high as 10 degrees (and that figure would make it 6% on top of the rising average across the 20thC, it might be 10% since 1900).

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  43. Blueshirt, you’ve confused methane with C02, but yes they are both greenhouse gases. Your confusing the scientists behind global warming/climate change with the politics of Green parties is harder to explain. No the science is not a religion, though all party platforms have something in common with religion.

    Liberty Scott, you’ve misread what I wrote, there is a tradition of forecasting the one in so many year floods – it occurs everwhere as a planning device. The size of the largest flood of the past usually indicative. However past events do not predict the future under global warming/climate change.

    Sure Greens of the 1970′s – where the earliest science simply concluded global warming would occur, may have concluded there would be more droughts. Thus questioned the need for dams. But now the science has moved on to awareness about climate change. It’s more likely there will both more droughts and more floods and the floods may be more severe than before.

    As to the amount of coal consumed in Australia – it would be above the world average. They would probably be above the world average in CO2 released in power generation. Thus they contibute more than their share to global warming/climate change. The only effective response is at the global level.

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  44. Of course, there is one big issue that no-one has brought up and it would be interesting to see what the response is. According to the theory, carbon emissions cause global warming. That carbon comes from items such as coal and oil. That coal and oil was once living plantlife, so therefore, at one point, all the carbon that exists was somehow in the atmosphere and yet we had no major problems…

    We ? We’re now discussing many millions of years ago. We didn’t exist.

    At that scale, among other issues, the sun was significantly less bright.
    One has to factor in too, that the climate WAS warmer then… no ice at the poles at all.

    The problem for us is that what we are doing to the CO2 in the atmosphere is a step-function input to a complex system. We are hitting it with an almighty big hammer and the climate system can ring. We don’t KNOW for certain what will happen because as far as we know, such a release of CO2 has never happened so quickly. (This is as much a measure of ignorance as of history because we don’t have all THAT much to go on.). This is why Hansen is concerned… this is why the coal should stay IN the ground (it is the dirtiest of all the fossil fuels). May even be why Gerrit decided to go sailing.

    Given the additional output of the Sun, the suddenness of the release and our lack of knowledge about how the system can go out of control, we have to exercise caution and we are not doing so.

    The release of the CO2 is a massive experiment. It is being performed without controls of any kind… those of us who profit from it are unwilling to stop and we don’t have another planet where it is not being done. That unwillingness is more than simple greed however, it is extreme and it is a deep seated systemic issue.

    The EXTREME unwillingness to consider self-control is rooted in the bank’s control of the creation of money and the subsequent requirement for perpetual growth. That situation exists atop our unconstrained population growth and leaves us with the perception (accurate) that changing our environmental footprint by limiting OUR energy use constitutes a form of economic suicide as we everyone else will eat our lunch.

    Which is why I am concentrating on the evil that is fractional-reserve banking even ahead of our environmental footprint these days. We can’t touch the environment altering the economic system….without first breaking the power of the banks, the CEI and the Koch brothers.

    However, your original point was simply answered. We had no problems then because we were not. There weren’t even 6 of us to feed, much less 6 billion, and there were other differences, more geothermal activity (shorter lived fissionables in the core) and less solar input.

    The potential for killing off more than half the species and losing human knowledge and civilization in the bargain, is bad enough. The potential for pushing the environment out of its stable “zone” where it self corrects into some other condition… I think that is less likely but also a possible outcome.

    Phil et.al. have taken to calling me “Buzz Lightyear” because I insist that achieving CATS and learning to live and work in space is the most certain way to save ourselves. I like it, and I am considering altering my Avatar.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  45. Owen

    Measuring the trend is much different from measuring the absolute temperature.

    Don’t confuse the issue that way.

    BJ

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  46. bjchip, part of the problem is that we are relying on limited data to suggest what might happen and what the impacts might be of carbon emissions and global warming (if indeed it is happening). We have a situation where most climatic records from prior to the 20th Century are either based on some ice core samples taken from localised areas (i.e. Greenland and the Antarctic), some sporadic temperature records that did exist and some very strong guesswork.

    We don’t know exactly what the temperatures were like during the Mediaeval Warm Period; we can guess based on those limited ice core samples, but as the scientific community always insist, you cannot rely on local events to determine global climate. We don’t know whether there were other ancient warm periods during human history.

    Then of course we don’t even know what climate was like further back, and the impacts of it. All we know is that at some point, all the carbon was in the air or in live plants and animals and things were not particularly hellish. It is even quite possible that higher levels of Carbon Dioxide allowed plant life to grow to even larger proportions – we simply do not know that.

    One has to factor in too, that the climate WAS warmer then… no ice at the poles at all.

    And yet we were not in some Venus like conditions. Some years ago, the fear seemed to be that if we carried on with our current trajectory we would end up like Venus with temperatures of hundreds of degrees Celsius.

    I don’t know, john-ston, do tell us.

    It snows when the temperature is low.

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  47. bjchip, part of the problem is that we are relying on limited data to suggest what might happen and what the impacts might be of carbon emissions and global warming (if indeed it is happening).

    Mate, you’ve been hanging out here for a few years now? Long enough to know that all your arguments today have been refuted many times over. Again, a cut and paste job for bj, who long ago challenged deniers to at least come up with a new argument to keep it getting boring for the rest of us.

    It snows when the temperature is low.

    Watch the video posted above – here’s the link again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-F8EO3qOVk – and then let us know if there’s anything you still don’t understand about the difference between climate and weather.

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  48. Mate, you’ve been hanging out here for a few years now? Long enough to know that all your arguments today have been refuted many times over. Again, a cut and paste job for bj, who long ago challenged deniers to at least come up with a new argument to keep it getting boring for the rest of us.

    Mate, human history alone dates to thousands of years and we are relying on temperature data that can only reliably go back a hundred years to jump up and down and say that a temperature increase of x degrees Celsius will wreak havoc and destruction. We cannot with precision say what global temperatures were like during the Mediaeval Warm Period, and neither can we say with precision what global temperatures were like during other potential warm periods in ancient history, or indeed what global temperatures were like during cooler periods in ancient history.

    Then outside that, we have to consider pre-human history – what were the temperatures like, and what sort of impact did it have?

    and then let us know if there’s anything you still don’t understand about the difference between climate and weather.

    Valis, climate is merely weather many times over during a longer period. If it is cold today, then that is no more evidence for global cooling suggesting that global warming is happening because it was warm today. If there are dozens of snow events in a large variety of places where it simply shouldn’t happen, and then you turn around and suggest that temperatures globally are increasing, then something is wrong.

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  49. Mate, human history alone dates to thousands of years and we are relying on temperature data that can only reliably go back a hundred years to jump up and down and say that a temperature increase of x degrees Celsius will wreak havoc and destruction.

    Why do you think our temp data is so poor? Links please.

    Valis, climate is merely weather many times over during a longer period. If it is cold today, then that is no more evidence for global cooling suggesting that global warming is happening because it was warm today.

    No argument there, as I said earlier.

    If there are dozens of snow events in a large variety of places where it simply shouldn’t happen, and then you turn around and suggest that temperatures globally are increasing, then something is wrong.

    But no one has suggested this, as it isn’t the whole story. The concept you’re missing is that of an “average”. As the video says, climate is a long term trend averaged over many years. I also mentioned volatility earlier. That’s when wider swings in specific weather events occur, like more cold and more hot weather. So then, a bunch of cold weather events can be offset by a bunch of hot weather events – see how that works? In fact, the hot events are more than offsetting the cold, which is why our average (there’s that word again) temperature is increasing.

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  50. john-ston

    we are relying on temperature data that can only reliably go back a hundred years to jump up and down and say that a temperature increase of x degrees Celsius will wreak havoc and destruction.

    What the hell do you call all the flooding around the world at the moment then? We’re already seeing some of the causative effects. Wake up man!

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  51. johnston – do you know what climate change is? What you wrote shows no indication that you do.

    “If there are dozens of snow events in a large variety of places where it simply shouldn’t happen, and then you turn around and suggest that temperatures globally are increasing, then something is wrong.”

    Some predictions of the (global) climate change resulting from global warming are that some areas will get colder. There is the possibility of an impact on ocean currents and prevailing wind direction etc that will result in this for some areas.

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  52. What the hell do you call all the flooding around the world at the moment then? We’re already seeing some of the causative effects. Wake up man!

    None of this is unprecedented at all.
    The world has a great deal more people now than it did 100 years ago, natural disasters will appear to be getting worse due to the fact that more people are experiencing them.

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  53. we are relying on limited data to suggest what might happen and what the impacts might be of carbon emissions

    No…. we are relying on the physics of black-body radiation and laboratory experiments that prove the effects of CO2 and Methane and Water Vapor in making the planet warmer. We know the greenhouse effect exists because there is in fact, life on this planet. Without the effect the planet would be too cold. We know that the water vapor feedback is positive because of the temperature we currently enjoy.

    Next up is the assertion that the warmer conditions are better for growth.

    We know this is true up to a point. We also know, that the regions where food can be grown will move around significantly in a stable warmer climate. We know we are barely feeding the 6 billion people we already have and any dislocation/relocation of farmland is going to have supply consequences well past “this is damned inconvenient”. People will die of starvation in the best case of even 2 degrees of warming as the farming activity shifts to new locations (Northern Canada and Siberia?).

    However, remember my comment about the climate system “ringing”? That means it could be a thousand years or more before the system stabilizes enough to know where crops CAN be grown, with potential for extreme weather wiping out much of the organized agricultural base our civilization relies on. We aren’t going to see any crops out of Queensland this year. Too right we don’t know what will happen. Asserting that it will be bad is the conservative approach.

    Then too, there is the suddenness of the CO2 release. 50 times faster than any known or suspected change in this forcing. What can happen? You are correct to identify the unknown as part of this answer, but to “boldly go where no man has gone before” in terms of changing the climate of the only planet we know we can live on is, to put it charitably, completely fucking insane. A risk that is being forced on ALL of us by a relatively small number of us.

    It is even quite possible that higher levels of Carbon Dioxide allowed plant life to grow to even larger proportions – we simply do not know that.

    You repeat the assertion that all the Carbon we release now was part of the carbon cycle back in prehistoric times, hundreds of millions of years ago. Mostly true.

    We know that the plant life then was fairly extravagant. We know the continents weren’t blocking water flowing between North and South America. We know the the solar output was significantly less.

    Suddenly moving ONE of these variables back to a previous condition when the seas were higher and there was no ice at the poles is what you are arguing in support of here… Is it actually a good idea to do this given all that we do NOT know?

    And yet we were not in some Venus like conditions.

    Less solar input… more gradual approach.

    The models for impulse-response can carry the climate out of the stable range. Move an egg 10 cm with a hammer… slowly ? sure. Now do it all at once very fast… messy? Quite possibly… and even if you manage not to break the egg, the egg moves a lot further than the 10 cm…. unless you stop the hammer well short of that point. The CO2 is the hammer here, the climate of the planet is the egg.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Does-high-CO2-in-past-contradict-CO2-warming.html

    respectfully
    BJ

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  54. If there are dozens of snow events in a large variety of places where it simply shouldn’t happen, and then you turn around and suggest that temperatures globally are increasing, then something is wrong.

    No… Snow happens when it is cold enough and there is enough moisture in the air. There are parts of Antarctica where it does-not-snow. Moisture being part of the requirements and moisture being most definitively NOT present.

    Once you start causing greater climate variability, which is one of the FIRST symptoms expected, changes in rainfall being another early indication, you can easily have snow where you don’t expect it.

    Nor are we “suggesting” that the temperatures are increasing. That’s measurable data and it shows up in every data set. Ground, Ocean and Satellite. Nobody serious disputes it, the facts don’t support any dispute.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  55. Shunda

    The CO2 levels are unprecedented. The temperature trend remains, and is as predicted by the theory. Anticipated effects of temperature changes are occurring (would be more convincing if non-scientists hadn’t jumped in with all their other predictions). The science is sound.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  56. climate is merely weather many times over during a longer period…. If there are dozens of snow events in a large variety of places where it simply shouldn’t happen

    Snow in Atlanta for instance, or Saudi Arabia? Both places have been known to have snow historically. Saudi Arabia is between 23 and 30 degrees North Latitude, Atlanta is a bit more, maybe 34 degrees. Snow is a seasonal possibility.

    There is however, no chance of it in places on the equator at sea level. Notice how I have to qualify this statement? There are more variables involved than the climate itself.

    The events you speak of are balanced by other events.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10912658

    The head of the state weather service, Alexander Frolov, said on Monday that the heatwave of 2010 was the worst in 1,000 years of recorded Russian history.

    “It’s an absolutely unique phenomenon – nothing like it can be seen in the archives,” he was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

    The Global trend is measured, as I pointed out. The events largely cancel out… but tend to follow the trend in ratcheting towards higher temperatures.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  57. Shunda

    Natural disasters will appear to be getting worse due to the fact that more people are experiencing them.

    Disasters of this kind appear to be getting worse because they are getting worse. There is clear evidence that things are getting worse and quickly in a run away effect. If that is the extent of your argument, I assert that you have categorically lost the debate.

    ~

    I believe it was my assertion that it could be too late and we have irrevocably destroyed the environment to such an extent that all life on Earth could cease to exist. However this possibility does not mean we should just give up and not try to change the polluting system. Even if we do not succeed and Earth turns into hell, at least we would have tried. That’s more than what can be said for the powers that be.

    BJ

    Remember my comment about the climate system “ringing”?

    Perhaps ringing is not the best term to use. The fact that saturation point is probably well below even the best indications of what we could achieve in reduction, and adding a small amount to that saturation increases adverse effects should not be lost on us. The item we are affecting is huge; for it to be showing such effects from our stupidity in such a short amount of time, will mean those effects will remain long after we stop polluting. Although that will probably only happen when we have wiped ourselves out.

    A risk that is being forced on ALL of us by a relatively small number of us.

    That is the crux of the matter. It’s a small amount of evil and/or clinically insane people that are putting profits before the people and sacrificing our children’s future. They are supported by a bunch of stupid people who don’t realise the seriousness of the situation, exemplified by people like john-ston and shunda here. Their arguments can be described as weak at best.

    It’s a no brainer that we have to change the whole system that we’ve based our entire civilisation on. The consequences of keeping the status quo just so that a few assholes can continue to make a profit are very dire indeed. If the system does not change willingly and in a timely fashion, we need to change that system ourselves. This starts on an individual basis but must eventually become unified within an organization that can resolve the complacency shown by our current leaders.

    The CO2 is the hammer here, the climate of the planet is the egg.

    I was thinking that the deniers are the eggs! Omelet anyone?

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  58. Disasters of this kind appear to be getting worse because they are getting worse. There is clear evidence that things are getting worse and quickly in a run away effect. If that is the extent of your argument, I assert that you have categorically lost the debate.

    Regardless of AGW my logic is sound, you only display an attitude that causes reasonable people to doubt your cause.
    If people are now living in a flood plain that was forest 100 years ago, it stands to reason that at some point they will get flooded: more people = more disasters.

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  59. Shunda

    The Queensland prediction, asserted on page 3 of their publication, is that intense rain events will become more intense.

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/queensland-floods-are-consistent-with-climate-change-predictions/

    This appears to be the case. Rain guages would have to be positioned directly under the deluges to be really sure of the rates.

    Actually knowing that this is an effect that IS attributable to AGW requires a lot more statistics to accumulate… but we do have to admit that it continues to look like a duck and quack like a duck here.

    We’re entering an unknown state in the climate of the planet… and it takes decades to understand a climate trend, so a lot of people who are arguing now will not live to see their ideas proven or disproved, it is a long, diffuse and all too large system that we are changing.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  60. Actually knowing that this is an effect that IS attributable to AGW requires a lot more statistics to accumulate…

    That is what I am suggesting, simply pointing to a flood and saying SEE!!! is not sensible.

    The river through my town appears to flood more than it used to, but then again, over the past 100 years most of the valley has been cleared of forest, drained, and turned into dairy farms.
    This all has an affect on run off and peak flood volumes.

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  61. You only display an attitude that causes reasonable people to doubt your cause.

    I see no evidence that my argument backed by the scientific fraternity is unreasonable Shunda. Personally I think that your weak argument effectively typifies climate change deniers lack of common sense. If you actually based your assumptions on evidence, reason and logic, we would not be having this argument. I’m interested to know why your cognitive process discounts these requirements? They are ultimately needed for a constructive debate to occur.

    This all has an affect on run off and peak flood volumes.

    Yes! Deforestation is a distinguishing factor in flooding events. However the evidence points to climate change causing increased precipitation, as the scientifically significant defining factor. Saying that one contributing factor negates the other is incorrect. They both add to flooding and other climate change scenarios.

    It’s a god damn duck already!

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  62. Given Shunda can offer nothing to back up his thesis that AGW isn’t real, the only conclusion left to reach is that he simply doesn’t want it to be a duck and so has his fingers in his ears. I completely understand not wanting to have this problem, but he’s displaying the exact sort of human behaviour discussed above that will contribute to our doom.

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  63. Although I don’t like to sound like a doomster; the worn out term “The end is nigh” springs to mind, your only redemption or salvation is in making a stand against climate change. Whether this takes the form of recycling, changing what you buy, vote, eat, throw away and replace is something that a developed and intelligent society should be able to achieve without having to force the issue.

    The intelligence of those able to effect change is in question and has been for a long time now. If they’re not willing to implement change, they must be removed from power. In my opinion such action should happen immediately and without compromise… They’ve been aware of the evidence for some time now and are still sitting on their hands and effectively doing nothing. It’s not the people but the rulers that need the will power to effect change. The question is: will Green technology be implemented before it’s too late? I am optimistic that it will, the consequences of not doing so are too horrendous to comprehend.

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  64. Interesting situation if, in a democracy, the majority of the people (who are either ill informed, well informed or just dont care) decide that Climate Change is of no concern to them and vote to do nothing regarding implementing preventative action.

    Should a minority then implement dictorial powers such as

    The intelligence of those able to effect change is in question and has been for a long time now. In my opinion such action should happen immediately and without compromise…

    Sounds like a very dictorial and uncompromising communist or fascist attitude.

    Looking forward to the revolution. Can it wait till after summer please, much fish to catch, waves to ride and oceans to swim in.

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  65. I completely understand not wanting to have this problem, but he’s displaying the exact sort of human behaviour discussed above that will contribute to our doom.

    No I am not actually, I am DOING WHAT I CAN, not pursuing some narcissistic belief that the world needs saving and I’m the one to do it.
    I am completely open to the suggestion that humans are stuffing the climate, we have stuffed almost everything else after all, what I am not interested in is weak ideological experimental left wing crap being tacked on to the cause.
    Everything that happened at Copenhagen has proven my logic on this issue is sound, what a blaardee joke it was.
    As I learn more about this issue it becomes abundantly clear that there are people seeking to use this issue for less than environmental concerns, I think these people are every bit as bad and worse than the worst polluters on the planet.
    I think action needs to be taken on AGW even if it isn’t absolutely proven, we have clearly increased CO2 and the possibility is serious enough.
    I can’t stand this crap about having to accept the official ‘greenie’ line on climate change to be a “real” environmentalist, it is not logical, it is exclusive, AND IT IS PART OF THE PROBLEM.

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  66. Shunda

    The evidence that humans are stuffing the climate is the warming that continues apace, not the floods which are cyclical and may be worse and more frequent than they were but which, if they were to become indicative, could only become so after additional decades of data collection.

    However, the evidence that we are stuffing the climate is in the warming and the warming IS continuing.

    What happened at Copenhagen was environmental activism running into economic reality. The economic reality being that every nation on the planet is now using bankers rules and fractional reserve currency backed by debt. With Interest. Requiring exponential growth forever just to APPEAR to be stable.

    So nobody can move, and that’s the way the bankers like things.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  67. That is what I am suggesting, simply pointing to a flood and saying SEE!!! is not sensible.

    And indeed for that matter, in the case of Brisbane, we only have two hundred years of data to go from. We don’t know what the flooding of the Brisbane River was like prior to 1824, and so we cannot say with certainty whether there is more flooding now than in historic times, or whether there is less flooding.

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  68. BJ, in all honesty, can we really change things without another tragic world war, or a catastrophic food and resource problem?
    That is why I am talking about life boats, perhaps we are approaching a time in human history where population and resource availability are rapidly heading towards a negative conclusion.
    Maybe things are in play that simply can not be stopped, maybe the best we can do for our species is create the opportunity for ‘those that care’ to survive.
    I hope I am wrong.

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  69. SPC and Bchip

    “Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the combined global land and ocean annual surface temperature for 2010 was 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit (0.62 degrees Centigrade) above the 20th-century average.”

    Trend lines are established by the data sets and if the temperature measurements have large margins of error then so do the trend lines.

    SPC changes the quote from referring to 0.62 degrees (which is a claim to one hundredth of a degree) to 0.6 degrees which is a claim to one tenth of a degree.

    The data errors are major. For example through most of the last century “average” daily temps were gathered from “mini max” thermometers and by dividing the difference between the minimum and maximum temp by two which does not give a “average” at all. Modern temperatures are collected electronically every hour or so and hence a true average can be calculated.

    As regards the unprecedented flooding in Queensland these graphs and comment would appear to put things in perspective.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/14/bogus-claims-on-australia-and-brazilian-floods-from-abc-and-dr-richard-somerville/#more-31662

    Ignore the political rant and focus on Oz government Charts of floods in Brisbane and elsewhere in Australia dating back to 1840.

    Sorry about abrupt tone but the fingers of my right hand are still partially paralysed. But use helps rejoin the nerve connections.

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  70. I hardly think that comparing the gravity of the situation to your fishing escapades is helpful Gerrit! It does typify the self-centred attitude that we often come across. There’s nothing fascist or communist about wanting to protect our environment so that life can continue on this planet. It’s called being an environmentalist. Try not to get the terminology confused old man.

    You presume that it’s a minority because of the way people vote, when the variance of voting is based on many factors. You cannot align people who vote for National for instance as not wanting to do anything about climate change. Anybody who’s sane and well informed of the details would want to instigate a change so that Green technology is made available. I do concede that many National voters are crazy, but that’s not the point.

    It’s the reality of the situation that we’re interested in, not just what a few people incorrectly perceive. If people are ill informed, that needs to change. If people do not change when they’re informed, then yes! Forced change must be undertaken, that’s where I think we are at now with the World’s Governments; the stakes are too high to conform to any preconceived ideological views. You seem to be a bit bitter still concerning some of my descriptive terminology of your ideas Gerrit! Please, get over yourself.

    The fact that the World needs saving, is not a narcissistic idea and if you are not willing to make a change as an individual, you’re being a defeatist Shunda. Personally, I’m not even aware of what the Greens policy concerning climate change is; I have formulated my opinion from other sources of information. I strongly resent any implication that a group consensus should not be believed because it is such. It’s not about radicalism; it’s about realism. Time to get real or die.

    The deniers seem to try and extort any angle to try and undermine the environmental movement that wishes to alleviate the effects of climate change. What the idiots need to understand is that we’re all on the same side. One day they will wake up to this fact.

    We can say with certainty that there is more flooding in certain areas now than in historic times. It is proven through accurate measurement. If two hundred years (or 40’000 years in Aboriginal knowledge) in the case of Brislantis is not enough time for you to conclusively say that there is increasing precipitation there, then how much bloody time do you need?

    We cannot ignore a factor such as rainfall in the climate change equation BJ. Relying on just the distorted warming figure that does not take into account Natures attempt at stabilization through other extreme weather patterns would be a foolish and non-scientific to say the least.

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  71. BJ, in all honesty, can we really change things without another tragic world war, or a catastrophic food and resource problem?

    This is what we’ll have if we keep on our current course.

    No I am not actually, I am DOING WHAT I CAN, not pursuing some narcissistic belief that the world needs saving and I’m the one to do it.

    You are doing some good things and some very bad things. You’re certainly not voting like you care.

    I am completely open to the suggestion that humans are stuffing the climate, we have stuffed almost everything else after all, what I am not interested in is weak ideological experimental left wing crap being tacked on to the cause.

    Suppose you can’t get one without the other? Just let the worst happen then?

    perhaps we are approaching a time in human history where population and resource availability are rapidly heading towards a negative conclusion

    Can you set up your lifeboats without some extreme kind of resource redistribution? Why not do it now while there’s a chance to preserve some of our way of life for more people?

    Everything that happened at Copenhagen has proven my logic on this issue is sound, what a blaardee joke it was.

    Bullshit. It wasn’t left-wing games that sank COP15, it was right-wing games!

    As I learn more about this issue it becomes abundantly clear that there are people seeking to use this issue for less than environmental concerns, I think these people are every bit as bad and worse than the worst polluters on the planet.

    Just another excuse. Even if true (I won’t ask, I know you don’t do evidence), it is irrelevant to the conversation we’ve been having. The problem exists whether or not some want to use it for their own ends.

    I think action needs to be taken on AGW even if it isn’t absolutely proven, we have clearly increased CO2 and the possibility is serious enough.

    Hallelujah! That’s some progress at last.

    I can’t stand this crap about having to accept the official ‘greenie’ line on climate change to be a “real” environmentalist, it is not logical, it is exclusive, AND IT IS PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    More excuses. No one here has said anything like that, just pulled you up for being a denialist (have you really recanted?) and making assertions with no evidence.

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  72. Shunda barunda

    Can we really change things without another tragic world war, or a catastrophic food and resource problem?

    First you question if an alternative environmental option even exists and then you try and say that implementing Green technology is unsustainable and will cause WW3. Do I really have to tell you how wrong you are?

    Life boats for ‘those that care’. Don’t make me laugh! Escapism for the wealthy you mean.

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  73. If people do not change when they’re informed, then yes! Forced change must be undertaken,

    So when is the revolution to re-educate the masses?

    Will any little red books be issued?

    No, I guess they will be Green little books and we must bow down before the mighty Todd, The enforcer of change!!

    Modelled on Stalin or Mao or Hitler even?

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  74. Shunda

    Maybe things are in play that simply can not be stopped, maybe the best we can do for our species is create the opportunity for ‘those that care’ to survive.

    I hope I am wrong.

    One has to observe that I am HERE, not back in the USA. So I am not actually betting on a glove-save at the buzzer. I am betting on human stupidity. This seems a pretty safe bet given our history. I can hope but I don’t base my plans on “hope”.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  75. Ha! You can bow down if you wish Gerrit! I will just laugh.

    I’m unsure when the “revolution” will happen, all I know is that it should. Printing literature has in part been superseded by the internet. I don’t think you can attribute it a colour.

    Equating a Green revolution with any type of forced idealism is not going to be necessary for the masses. The masses might need to enforce their views on their supposed representatives, however you’ve skipped one of the processes that should take place: If people do not change when they’re informed and given a choice, should not be overlooked. It is the process to give people a choice that needs undertaking. Do you really think people will not make the right decision if they have an opportunity to do so? Basing such processes on the realities of our condition is not just hopeful, it is an actuality that humans will decide to survive. We will follow our inbuilt survival response, in part it is responsible for the current predicament.

    Stalin, Mao or Hitler, more like Gandhi, Jesus or the Dalai Lama… That’s if you must associate my beliefs with any meme. Is that your answer Gerrit, when you have no real argument to add to the debate; a good dose of ridicule is in order? Slightly below your capabilities don’t you think?

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  76. Owen

    Despite the error bars in the different measurements of temperature, they ALL show the same trends, and given that whatever their systemic error it is going to be consistent, the long term analysis of those trends is NOT subject to the error bars that you are ascribing to the temperatures themselves.

    Trend lines are established by the data sets and if the temperature measurements have large margins of error then so do the trend lines.

    This is actually true of any data set beset with noise over many many measurements.

    If you take a single measurement, say it is a distance, and you have a random error introduced so that each measurement may be off by 50% of the value. Say the value is 40 furlongs plus or minus 20. 40 measurements of that 40 furlongs will get you an average that is actually quite close. The errors being random, will cancel out. This is one of the principles behind repeating measurements until the value stabilizes. Which is something we are doing.

    Nor is a systematic error going to affect a measurement of trend. This is why the measurements are taken as they are and the trends are the important product of those measurements.

    …and I am almost certain that you know this Owen.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  77. a combination of people joining the dots…

    ..and demanding politicians do what needs to be done..

    ..is what will bring major change…

    ..the current craven deference to the needs of special-interest groups will be overcome…

    ..for those who doubt such major changes can come to pass peacefullly should cast their minds back to six months before the collapse of the soviet union…

    …and how they would have been looked at as certifiable loons…

    …had they made that call.

    the unthinkable can and does happen…

    ..remember…

    ..one of the few constants is change…

    …as a second example as to what can be done with universal will…

    …consider how a devastated europe was rebuilt after ww2…

    ..i linked to a story the other day…

    …that ten years ago the prospect of wd have had you laughed out of the room…

    ..it was a slideshow of all the new electric-cars at the detroit motor show…

    …and then you put the electrioc..together with the rash of small/uber-cheap..(a few grand) cars being built in india etc…

    …and the gamechanger there will be the uber-cheap small (sun-powered) electric car..

    …(for a few grand…quite possibly needing govt subsidies at first..)

    and people will walk away from the idea of petrol/diesel…bio or not…

    ..free running costs will win the day…

    …and in so many parts of the world…so many people are striving for the next big thing..in most fields of endeavour…

    …(or maybe i’m just having a sagittarius flashback…?

    …i used to be a free-spirit/fun-loving/optimistic sag…

    ..bt now i’m an ophiuchus….didn’t ya know…?

    ..and i am having difficulties with/adjusting to the sign-transition..

    ..my sagittarian side wants to party like it’s 2009…

    ..and my ophiuchus sez..’i’m watching you..put down that joint…!’

    it’s all very confusing..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2011/whoari-used-to-be-a-fun-loving-sagittariannow-im-an-ophiuchuswhat-does-it-all-meaniim-astrologically-confuseddislocatedi-am/

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  78. The short answer Shunda, no one cannot be an “environmentalist” if not sufficiently concerned about the impact of global warming to propose that we release less CO2 etc etc.

    One could note here that there are recreational groups for those concerned about their waterway or their national park for walks/tramping/hunting who oppose Kyoto action because of the adverse impact on their one generation lifestyles – they place their lifesyle/standard of living (which for them includes including fishing and hunting) before the greater environment that they do not gain direct use of, or benefit from – but on which their grandchildren and other species in their habitat will depend.

    Similarly ask Mr Nick Smith whether he’s suffienctly concerned about clean waterways to advocate regulating dairy farming – is Mr Smith an environmentalist, if he does not? Or is like some of those at Copenhagen puting an economic agenda of some against the well-being of the rest of us.

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  79. Just for a bit of an aside here, a couple of items which might be of interest. The first site (http://www.nearmap.com/?ll=-27.522887,152.957668&z=13&t=k&nmd=20110113) is aerial footage of where it flooded in Brisbane with the recent flood. The second site (http://www.brisbanebusinessfinance.com/images/1974_Flood_map.pdf) shows using the red line where the flood peaked in 1974. It also shows what floods of various heights could mean for Brisbane.

    It is interesting to note that in 1974, the flood waters were lapping at the buffers of South Brisbane Station. The most recent flood did not even reach the Stanley Street entrance of that station.

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  80. mcshane..!…you old paid-for denialist you…!

    ..you just got b.j’d..!

    ..you deserve nothing less..

    ..you old dissembler of false/denialist bullshit…

    …eh..?

    (you don’t mind if i kick you while you’re down/still reeeling..eh..?…)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  81. Todd, as to the necessity of action being taken, essentially the problem is one of commonality. This is a global problem, requiring a global policy. Ironically Kyoto, in identifying a moral imperative for the first world nations to act alone initially, has divided the world. This problem was unresolved at Copenhagen and better dealt with at Cancun. But remains an obstacle.

    The real “economic accounting” dilemma is that Kyoto was formulated on a production basis and not a consumption basis. So first world nations were offloading industrial production to the developing world and then consuming at the same level as before. Given developing nations such as China rely on coal for their power this has increased CO2 release while
    first world nations point to their decline in CO2 emissions in their own local production. Things get worse as a result, yet first world nations claim to be doing their bit. It’s shonky.

    If first world nations were responsible for the emissions behind their
    consumption they would place carbon tariffs on their imports and local production. Then the market could operate properly and developing nations exporting to the first world would improve their carbon use efficiency (or use alternative energy etc).

    What the world’s people need is a global policy of this sort, their governments could see it was fair for all involved and thus have no nationalist objection. Thus their is a means to meet demand for some action. But their needs to be education about this means (or somthing of this sort) as much as more education about global warming itself. Once its no longer too hard, there being a way to do something at a global level which might work, then something can happen.

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  82. Guys

    John-ston, and Gerrit, and Owen, and Shunda do have at least one quite reasonable point here. I have mentioned it myself in not so many words.

    I am going to be more explicit.

    The proof of global warming is the warming. That’s the trend of rising temperature and its correlation with CO2. Strong correlation. The theory demands that the temperature of the planet will rise as a complex function of the CO2 in the atmosphere (complex because there are feedbacks and there are other forcings and noise in the system). It is rising to match the theory.

    Ascribing this or that flooding, or intense rainfall, or drought to AGW is a mistake. Attributing partial observed intensity of such events to AGW is at best a hypothesis that has insufficient data to determine one way or another. This is despite the predictions of the Queensland mob

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/queensland-floods-are-consistent-with-climate-change-predictions/

    Top of page 3.

    Which being predictions issued before the event, at least have some limited degree of credibility. We’d need I suspect, some 60 years or more of accurate and standardized rainfall, flood and drought measurements to use this data to say that the null hypothesis (that AGW has not affected intensities) is true or false. Not really convenient.

    As a result I am NOT going to argue in support of the notion that the floods demonstrate anything with respect to AGW. Not scientifically.

    We have AGW, we have a massive problem, we have many reasonable people being quite unreasonable about changing their ways, and there is clearly a problem with the workings of representative democracies where the franchise is vested in uneducated and easily swayed masses. The Roman bread&circus distractions and Oprah and “Reality TV” are all of a piece.

    Which gives a dictatorship of almost any description a big advantage in dealing with problems of this nature… provided the dictator is more intelligent than the collected legislature or congress.

    Philosophically, Even a Stalin who changed the rules so that climate change was beaten would be more acceptable to me than allowing climate change to win because we cannot bear to give up any of our freedoms… because we can eventually regain freedom, but if we lose the planet itself there is no exercising any freedom.

    I don’t think we need to do that. I think we need to change our monetary system so that exponential growth is not a sacrament of economics. I further expect that such a change would be relatively simple to sell. Far simpler than explaining that we have to give up our big cars because they emit too much CO2… yet in the end the EFFECT will be to encourage us, through the resulting pricing changes, to give up driving so much because imported energy costs are too high… and to encourage us to produce our own simple electric vehicles and mass transit and natural-gas conversions and other means of functioning without the imported oil and gas… and to produce our own wind-turbines and install them… etc.

    All that stuff comes OUT of changing the monetary system, divorcing ourselves from the big foreign banks and bankers, and making our own economy something we ourselves control.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  83. bjchip

    If you assumption is correct than why are so many early data sets and the consequence timeline subject to “Corrections” in an attempt to standardise them all.
    Stations have been moved, stations sited on open rural land are now in paring lots, methods of collecting sea temperatures have changed and course we do not even have a random distribution of stations, especially at sea.

    Do you really believe that we can measure global temps to within a degree, let alone to two decimal places?

    I am equally sure you know we cannot, for data collected over the last 100 years. The Soviet Union closed 9,000 stations after the collapse of Communism. How does one correct for that sudden change in distribution?

    Rest assured, I will not blame you for having Phil U on your side. With friends like him who needs enemies?e

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  84. John-ston between 1974 and now they built the Wivenhoe (sp?) dam and this was explicitly to mitigate flooding there. Brisbane is not a comparable between the two events as a result.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  85. Floods will have more impact when there are more people living in more areas. We will be aware of more floods because we have a global media that transfers stories between nations around the increasingly connected (socially/trade/politics) world. Then there is the issue of habitats being changed to make them more or less liable to floods (flood risk management improvements).

    However the basic story of global warming is that one resulting climate change is said to be more precipitation (rainfall). Whether that means rain more often or heavier rain than normal is where theory awaits the data to confirm it.

    john-ston notes the 1974 floods were worse (for some) – is this because precipitation was less or not? If not, then changes made since 1974 reduced the risk of a more extreme flood for Brisbane. If so, will people presume that this is the one in 30 year flood (la Nina cycle?) and presume there will be no recurrence anytime soon unless global warming changes the historic pattern to date.

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  86. Owen

    Do you really believe that we can measure global temps to within a degree, let alone to two decimal places?

    Given that the different methods of measurement have all given us similar trends, I don’t believe I care if one of them is calling the absolute temperature a degree different from all the others.

    That isn’t the case either of course.

    See, the point here is that the trends don’t care what the absolute measurements are and NEVER have cared.

    The satellite measurements, when finally available, chimed in to validate the surface measurements and ARGOS gives us damned good ocean coverage for the first time in history.

    We’re doing just fine on the measurement front and the notions that Watt et.al. present that somehow the surface temperature measurements are corrupted and fraudulent and don’t match the real world are belied and refuted by their excellent correlation over decades with satellites, with each other and with sites that are not at all related to parking lots. It’s been studied, and examined and tossed in the junk pile because it IS NOT TRUE.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/surface-temperature-measurements-advanced.htm

    In other words, you are barking up a forest of wrong trees and if you are following the lead of Watt you have chosen someone far less capable than yourself as your model.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  87. ah mcshane…as you are/have been a paid pimp for the warmers/denialists/special-interest groups etc etc…

    …who really gives a flying fuck what you think…?

    ..about anything…?

    you have all the credibility of a hanover-pimp…

    ..let you lie to me once…bad you..

    ..let you lie to me twice…?…bad me…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  88. Owen when I used the figure .6 instead of .62 degrees I did so as a lay person using the information provided by the science (statistical collection necessarily calculates things in detail). My point was as to the increase in the rising average – actually hid the greater increase from 1900 to 2010 which must be above 1 degree.

    Given that the average temperature of the planet across seasons and say and night cannot be that large a number – an increase of one whole degree is quite a lot. It’s not a surprise if that were to impact on climate systems.

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  89. BJ,

    provided the dictator is more intelligent than the collected legislature or congress.

    Fly in the ointment. I cant think of any dictator that worked for the common good of the people, Fiji is pretty close example of dictatorship that is working towards a common good, but places like Venezuela while pretending to be a “Green” revolution are nothing more than tyrant dictatorships.

    Todd,

    If people do not change when they’re informed and given a choice, should not be overlooked. It is the process to give people a choice that needs undertaking.

    Keep up sunshine, the argument is if they are not listening and acting upon the climate change message.

    Your option was to force them to understand. Repeating your quote

    Forced change must be undertaken,

    Like “re-education” camps I suppose?

    You would need to be like Stalin. Good stuff you.

    Chairman Todd

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  90. Gerrit are you trying to imply that any government acting to regulate the economy to deliver lower CO2 emissions would be a dictatorship …

    PS The elected president of Venezuala does not lead a Green Party, but he does win elections with a majority of the vote and still has majority popular support after some years in office.

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  91. SPC,

    No, if you read all the comments you will see that it is possible in a democracy for ill informed, well informed or people whom just dont care, to vote for no changes in their society that will mitigate climate change.

    So while Rome burns as it were, the people are voting not to do anything about it.

    Todd then said that we should be educating people that change was required and if they did not act to be educated and make the “right” choices, he recommended that forced change be undertaken.

    That can only be done in a dictatorship not a democracy.

    The Greens and the climate change scientist have done a good job documenting the climate change but have done a very poor job selling and marketing the message to the people.

    They sold fear (think about the self promo film of Al Gore) not features and benefits.

    With global cooling, in the 1970′s, glbal warming in 1990′s, now climate change, a dicreditted hockey stick graph, leaked emails that threw doubts not on the science but how scientist manipulated the data, and you now have a very skeptical voting public that is being forced to swallow a dead rat in the name of an ETS.

    An ETS that benefits no one (or changes any climate) but the financial institutions that BJ so rightly rallies against.

    The chances of the public democratically voting for a change to Green sustainability has taken a huge nosedive.

    If you think Venezuela is currently a democracy then continue to think that and you are no doubt a follower of this train of thought

    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/38720

    While I follow this view more

    http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/522

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  92. “…leaked emails that threw doubts not on the science but how scientist manipulated the data, ..”

    now..now..gerritt..now you know that is a great big whopper…

    ..that lie was shown to be so by numerous inquiries..

    ..(if you doubt me i can provide links to findings..etc..)

    ..but you already knew that..eh..?

    …despite the evidence…just keep on repeating the lies…

    ..eh..?

    (did you go to the mcshane how-to-be-a-denialist workshop…?..

    ..’cos that is his modus operandi…)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  93. Gerrit, Venezuala is a democracy, not the dictatorship you called it. As for calling it a “Green” dictatorship what was that about? A lie associated with a slur on the Green political brand.

    As to whether the people would support policies to mitigate CO2 release, consider the Kyoto programmes of many countries where energy production has been made more Green and the campaigns for energy efficiency – often bi-partisan. Here both Labour and National had ETS legislation. However as with all national legislation there is a local economic disquiet about costs placing them at a competitive disadvantage. The major problem is getting to policies that would a difference at the global level.

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  94. SPC,

    Believe what you will about Venezuela, I will believe what I will.

    You actually hit the nail on the head with this.

    However as with all national legislation there is a local economic disquiet about costs placing them at a competitive disadvantage

    That economic disquite will be exploited in a democracy by political parties and it is not inconceivable that both National and labour will drop the ETS if the feedback from the people indicates they, the people, think it is a crock of the proverbial.

    That was my point about democracy overiding any proposed societal changes to control climate change.

    You are agreeing with my sentiment again with this

    The major problem is getting to policies that would a difference at the global level.

    (word “make” missing there?)

    Within a democratic world of individual sovereign states that is a real, and I would suggest insurmountable, problem.

    Only overcome by a a single dictorial world government.

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  95. With global cooling, in the 1970’s, glbal warming in 1990’s, now climate change, a dicreditted hockey stick graph, leaked emails that threw doubts not on the science but how scientist manipulated the data, and you now have a very skeptical voting public that is being forced to swallow a dead rat in the name of an ETS.

    In short –

    Untrue – Global Cooling was not accepted scientific theory, it was media accepted.

    Irrelevant – Global-Warming becoming Climate Change reflects the fact that its effects are not limited to temperature. More accurate terminology.

    Untrue – The “hockey-stick” remains despite the abuse heaped on Mann, his initial errors and corrections, and the Wegman plagiarism and errors. It shows up in the data, not just his data, and in the statistical treatment of the data, and it isn’t going away. The only thing that has happened is that the handle is a bit fuzzier.

    Untrue – the leaked e-mails did not in any way show scientists “manipulating” data. There is no evidence whatsoever of this there or elsewhere.

    True – The public IS skeptical and the ETS is a dead-rat in its current form. Subsidizing the polluting industries wasn’t at all the point of having the ETS and that modification of it by National made it a guaranteed failure… as it leaves industry with zero incentive to clean up its act.

    In this respect you are correct. This is the PERCEPTION left by the lying pr!cks who have been bought and paid for to spread uncertainty. Which isn’t exactly my least polite assessment of CEI, the Koch Brothers, the Heartland Institute or any of the “useful idiots” following them.

    Which means that your point about the difficulty of implementing any sort of environmental plans is quite valid. Globally and locally, the environment is not as popular as having jobs.

    Only overcome by a a single dictorial world government.

    No… as pointed out repeatedly – by changing the economic rules so that the people who are currently running governments around the world are kicked out on their collective butts. Those rules are vulnerable. There is a lot of popular resentment of the bailouts and there is a real opportunity for change.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  96. John-ston

    1974… didn’t the industrial revolution start in the 1800’s? Svante Arrhenius theorized climate change in 1896 was due to mankind’s CO2 emissions, some 78 years before the flood you mention. Trying to disprove the cause of one event because of another is an incorrect assumption in this case.

    SPC

    Whether that means rain more often or heavier rain than normal is where theory awaits the data to confirm it.

    The Labour government a few years ago spent thousands on a study that found raindrops were actually bigger in the Waitakeries and that it did not rain more, it was just heavier rain. I thought this was a waste of money at the time.

    I also don’t think that tariffs will resolve the issue if they’re not backed up by capital investment in sustainable technologies. The political will-power to implement change is the key.

    Gerrit!

    Are people really voting to let Rome burn, you can’t honestly believe that can you?

    Only overcome by a single dictorial world government.

    The change starts with you Gerrit! When you decide to buy an energy efficient device and recycle and perhaps not fly to Tahiti for a holiday every year etc. We don’t need a dictatorship; we need education, development and implementation of clean alternatives and the will-power of Governments to help make them available to the public. A New World Order and dictatorship will do nothing to correct climate change.

    Like “re-education” camps I suppose?

    Surely you jest? Jumping to the conclusion that “force” within this scenario and my meaning would involve such despicable repression as we have seen in the past, is ludicrous! I don’t think that such action is OK even with our existence at stake.

    We’re currently forced to utilize unclean energy and technology that damages the environment. Removing those items and replacing it with clean energy and sustainable technology is “forcing” people to accept the change. That is my definition between choice and force within this debate. Forcing the Government to do the right thing however is another question with a completely different answer.

    Clearly your accusations that I am a fascist or communist because I want the status quo to end and capitalisms stranglehold through coal and oil to change is rather pathetic, even for you Captain Capitalism!

    That can only be done in a dictatorship not a democracy.

    Your statement implies that we have a dictatorship at the moment, being that people do not actually have much of a choice. Thinking that the implementation of Green technology needs to coincide with repression to make the population accept that technology, shows little understanding of the fact that Green technology is better on many counts; it is more sustainable, needs less maintenance, costs less to build, impliment and is more functional from a consumer point of view.

    A very poor job selling and marketing the message to the people.

    I think it’s more a case of dirty industry paid lackeys, who have done a good job of disinformation and manipulation. They have a huge powerful system behind them that employs the media, paid scientists, politicians and propaganda campaigns to support the dirty and unsustainable system. This process has been in effect for a long time and has repressed many inventions and developments that could result in freedom from the restrictive system. It perceives Green tech as less profitable, which is of course totally unfounded.

    Just like most of it’s infrastructure processes and time release theology, it is based totally on financial concerns. However once climate change starts to bite, there will be less profit, so change is inevitable even from a capitalist “profit before people” perspective. I just hope we will be around to see it.

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  97. BJ

    The reasons I bought up the various “stages” (for want of a better word) that the general public have been led astray by dubious claims from either the media, scientist, or the Al Gore self grandisation film, was to get to the point you agree to.

    Perception of what is fact and what is fiction can undermine any incentive for climate change in a democratic society.

    Should keep the conspiracy theorists awake at night!

    And yes, the people claiming back the control over their financial tansaction will create better democracies.

    I know you have battled the Green machine to take that issue seriously and create policies to enable maoney valuations based on energy (I think).

    Yes there is a huge amount of resentment for the bank bailouts that can be “milked” by political parties. Bit none seem to be interested, not even the Greens.

    Crunch time will come for New Zealand and the environmant when the yearly tax revenue is smaller then our repayment costs on all the borrowing the state is carrying out.

    Without a sustainable economy there will be no enviromental concerns about climate change, we wont be able to afford any.

    So will Russel Norman ever have a post on the monetary reform policy of the Green party?

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  98. Do you really think people will not make the right decision if they have an opportunity to do so?

    Todd, are you a 12 year old boy?
    Your idealism seems to indicate youthful ignorance.

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  99. Shunda, have you had your brain removed? Perhaps a prerequisite of being a climate change denier. I merely have an understanding of my fellow man, if there is a choice; people will make the right one. People will chose to survive. Your stupidity is typified by a pathetic attempt at an insult… Besides, the youth are not as ignorant as you seem to believe.

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  100. Todd, first world nations applying carbon tariffs would make a difference because those producing their goods using clean tech would have a competitive advantage.

    Gerrit, you perhaps missed the nuances in what I wrote so I will clarify. The existence of ETS legislation is because there was sufficient public support for this. I mentioned the economic disquiet from local business sectors and could have mentioned public disquiet at costs then being placed on them (by National) and reduced on producers. But on balance neither business or the general public opposes action provided it seems fair to each nation as part of global co-operation.

    The major problem is getting to policies that would make a difference at the global level.

    And no I do not see any great problem for the Kyoto nations to develop this agreement to one where domestic consumption is measured rather than domestic production and where as a consequence carbon tariffs were placed on imports. Such a tariff would encorage producers in the global market to use green tech. This would seem the fairest path so inevitably this is where things will move.

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  101. The problem I have with tariffs and the ETS is that they are being utilized by capitalism to undermine the progression into clean tech through revenue gathering that does in general do nothing to reduce emission levels. The system openly represses clean tech so the scenario you propose is not in effect. None of this revenue gathering is used as capital investment in alternatives as far as I know. It just displaces the problem, as you’ve already highlighted SPC. The initial concept is valid, but the dynamic has been somewhat usurped. From what I have seen, the administration and cost dispersal is currently unfair. When trying to change a huge monster, we can expect a few defeats… We cannot however allow them to become the norm.

    I suggest you donate your brain in that jar to science Shunda, if they will have it.

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  102. So will Russel Norman ever have a post on the monetary reform policy of the Green party?

    He may, but as a party there is a process to get to a formal policy… and the party, not the leadership, has to accept the policy. Which has to be put into the system a certain way and which is difficult in an election year.

    BJ

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  103. Yes Gerrit, I rather thought you were listing perceptions rather than things you personally had a belief in… we’ve been around these issues long enough that I am pretty sure I understand you when you go subtle like that.

    respectfully
    BJ

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  104. Todd we don’t currently have import tariffs based on carbon content of the produced goods. If we did, I am fairly sure that competitors in the marketplace would switch to clean tech for the advantage on price.

    As for how the carbon tariff money was used by national (Kyoto) governments – maybe they keep half for local revenues and offer the other half to an international fund for clean tech to the third world …

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  105. Manufacturers would perhaps switch to clean tech to increase profit margins, if they were allowed to. And that is a big if. It’s not just an imposed financial incentive that will create a choice for the consumer, it is the fact that clean tech is ultimately more efficient and sustainable, and not just within a false marketing campaign. It’s the perception of companies that time release and planned obsolescence is not as profitable as true sustainable development and environmentally friendly components that we need to move towards. However I do not believe that a financial answer will be effective in creating the true change that is required. The dynamic within our financial structure is too corrupt to ever allow this to happen.

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  106. I wouldn’t suggest putting your brain back in your head Shunda, it’s swollen and will not fit.

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  107. SPC,

    But on balance neither business or the general public opposes action provided it seems fair to each nation as part of global co-operation.

    That is right up there with Todd’s juvenile assurtions that people will “do the right thing” if presented with the facts according to Lod.

    Will an ETS, any carbon taxing or trading schem prevent another flood in Australia?

    When you ask people that and get them to vote if they think an ETS sucking money out their pockets to be sent to some Russian forest owner (who may have or may not have a forest to act as a carbon sink) through an Al Gore led organistion that clips 30% of the transaction as a fee will have

    1- any effect on the climate and prevent flooding in Australia in 30 years time?

    2- remove the perception in the people that this is a huge con job led by people looking at trading anything to fleece dollars out their, the peoples, pockets?

    The Greens would strategically do well at the ballot to publicise this ETS con job, offer better alternatives and gain more than 5% of the vote.

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  108. Thing is that a tax here alone would help but little. Nor would an ETS.

    We already have warming enough to do far more damage “baked in”.

    Since even a short (in terms of expectable results) study shows the variability to be getting larger sufficiently to be measured, with a temperature delta of less than 0.5 degrees, we have to expect to see a lot more variability as we continue the inexorable march upwards… until the temperature peaks (at +3 degrees if we are very, very lucky).

    http://www.spaceweather.ac.cn/publication/jgrs/2006/Geophysical_Research_Letters/mar/2005GL025393.pdf

    Which means, because the drought-flood cycle is toxic to the farming community, that we are going to want more water storage and flood control capability just to feed ourselves. What was 100 year flooding will happen every 10 years, and what is now 1000 year flooding will occur at least once in each persons lifetime…. and starvation will be the constant threat it once was for us.

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  109. John-ston between 1974 and now they built the Wivenhoe (sp?) dam and this was explicitly to mitigate flooding there. Brisbane is not a comparable between the two events as a result.

    I am aware of that – I only posted those links for the sake of general interest and not to make an argument. I then provided a visual comparison for those who might know the Brisbane area. BTW, you did have the spelling of the Wivenhoe Dam correct.

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  110. trolling..?..there..?…again…?..shunda..?

    about to rush off to kiwiblog to boast about yr troll-deeds…?

    how you have wasted/distracted so much time/energy here…?

    ..mmm..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  111. Gerrit!

    That is right up there with Todd’s juvenile assurtions that people will “do the right thing” if presented with the facts according to Lod.

    That’s not the whole equation Captain Capitalism. My assertion is that if people have a choice and are informed about the right choice to make and understand the consequences of making the wrong choice, they will make the right choice every time.

    I of course preclude insane people such as National voters from that equation, but the principle remains. People will act to secure their existence, it is just a matter of if they’re allowed to and when that will happen.

    Although the financial incentive to cleaner energy/practices has been usurped somewhat and will in actuality do little to change global emission rates, the theory is sound that businesses and Governments need some sort of financial reward for being Green. Just as the land owner in Russia who decides to plant trees instead of building a dairy farm or mining his land should be rewarded because he is contributing to lessening the effects of climate change.

    However small your perception of such is Gerrit, there is no denying that mankind has caused the problem and can in fact fix the problem as well. How much time and money it takes is another question, but just because a few people are thieves, does not preclude the fact that we must attempt to find a financial solution to the problem, no matter how unlikely that might be.

    Petty! hm yes… Apology accepted Shunda, oh no don’t, yuck! Please don’t keep eating your own brain. It’s disgusting! I have now found your new Monika Shunda; Zombie Troll. Fitting, unlike your brain :) Now the scientist will have to dissect you again just to get a sample.

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  112. Todd,

    I of course preclude insane people such as National voters from that equation, but the principle remains.

    Thanks for backing me up yet again that under democracy there will be no automatic response such as

    My assertion is that if people have a choice and are informed about the right choice to make and understand the consequences of making the wrong choice, they will make the right choice every time.

    For while the insane National voters keep voting in a National goverment(and consequently keep voting out a Green/labour government), no change is going to occur.

    So how will you convert the insane voters to the alternative way?

    You suggested force before, are you now changing your mind?

    Mankind has caused the problem, no argument, will mankind fix the problem, that is the real question on which I have serious doubts.

    Reason is that the offered answers sound like and are perceived as rorts, con jobs and money grabing activities without any semblance of having measureable climate change outcomes.

    The rorts starts with Al Gore and his money men clipping the ticket for 30%, continues with not having auditting systems in place to check that the Russian forest owner is actually the right owner, has trees planted and is not milling the trees anytime at all, and the rort is backed by the bankers andd financial “wizz kids” seeing a trilion dollar carbon trading scheme to make 30% profit on.

    So while BJ and others in the quite rightful quest to keep pushing the science is settled angle, the Greens really need to get serious on how to implement measurable KPI’s that indicate any climate change is being bought under control by the schemes, to combat climate change, are undertaken.

    For without that, not only will the insane National voters never buy into the climate change meme, the chances of Labour/Green voters continiuing to believe in it diminshes with time.

    That is why it is so important to have measureable outcomes from climate change initiatives in a democracy. The people need to be along for the ride. Not driven by fear but by a desire to make changes.

    Those changes need to have a measurable outcome otherwise the skeptics will take over the henhouse.

    Have a look how financial institutions rort a system by looking at the current gold price and rort to sell more and more “paper gold”.

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/has-gold-become-a-new-reserve-currency

    I read somewhere that all the “paper gold” purchased and traded is backed up by only 3% of physical gold (cant find the link now) and is due for a huge fallout similar to the “paper currencies” we trade with now.

    Carbon trading will go the same way. The “paper carbon” will not be backed up by anything and as such carbon trading (even taxation unless it is retained in New Zealand and actually spent on carbon reduction programmes like tidal electricity generation, etc.) is doomed to fail in preventing climate change.

    That is where the voting public has a right to be skeptic and in a democracy it is more then likely to stop actual carbon reduction schemes being voted for.

    But the Greens have the opportunity to take the alternative tangent and gain the insane and skeptic voters by thought out workable and costed policies.

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  113. Gerrit!

    You seem to be fixated on the issue of my meaning in using the word force.

    You suggested force before, are you now changing your mind?

    I have already explained what I meant by force within the consumer world. I have explained what I mean by force in the political world as well. I have not changed my mind concerning my meaning although it would seem you believe your application of other meanings such as repression and fascism are valid; they are not. But I think you already knew that.

    Reason is that the offered answers sound like and are perceived as rorts, con jobs and money grabing activities without any semblance of having measureable climate change outcomes.

    Yes! The nature of the capitalist system is that it will attempt to commercialise everything, climate change not precluded. The fact that some people will rort the system does not mean everybody will. So until you can prove that it is categorically not working, it is better than nothing.

    Have a look how financial institutions rort a system by looking at the current gold price and rort to sell more and more “paper gold”.

    I’m well aware of schemes like Gold Corp etc Gerrit! Applying one rort to try and justify your accusations that another exists is banal.

    It’s as silly as saying we have to see results from our climate change initiatives or people wont believe climate change exists. They’re separate, it is incorrect for you to draw conclusions in such a manner.

    But the Greens have the opportunity to take the alternative tangent and gain the insane and skeptic voters by thought out workable and costed policies.

    Just as National also has this ability. I think that the Right in general will not preclude measures to reduce emissions, they will just try to capitalise on it more. This will make people resentful but not more sceptical that climate change exists.

    Now where is that Zombie to eat Captain Capitalism’s brain as well?

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  114. So while BJ and others in the quite rightful quest to keep pushing the science is settled angle, the Greens really need to get serious on how to implement measurable KPI’s that indicate any climate change is being bought under control by the schemes, to combat climate change, are undertaken.

    Your advice is misdirected, as we have always been serious about these things, including putting the ‘cap’ back into cap and trade. National and Labour are the problem parties in this regard, not our policies. The Labour ETS we voted for at least disallowed Russian hot air, though they would not introduce a cap. The Nats have turned it almost into another growth scheme. You will always have some profit taking where a market is involved, but that wasn’t our preference either. All of our ideas got sunk until that was the only option left for a price on carbon any other party would discuss.

    For without that, not only will the insane National voters never buy into the climate change meme, the chances of Labour/Green voters continiuing to believe in it diminshes with time.

    This makes no sense as National, with Act, are the least likely to support real emissions reductions. They are the biggest part of the problem.

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  115. Valis,

    This makes no sense as National, with Act, are the least likely to support real emissions reductions.

    So what do you think will influence the National voter to see the light and vote for a party that supports real emmisions reductions.

    To juvenily call of labelling them “insane” is not going to swing their votes.

    Would a better explained reason with measureable outcomes versus societal inputs swing that vote?

    So come on the Greens, market and sell the policies that will swing the insane voter towards a saner solution.

    How long have the Greens been in parliament, 12 years? Has the ongoing method of Green policy of addressing issues without monetary reform and a sound sustainable expenditure budget gained significant (over 20%) of voters interest?

    Surely time has come for the Greens to take on board the gist of BJ’s monetary reforms, create policy that will see the seemless intergration of those reform to fund and enable the carbon emmision reduction in New Zealand throught the mechanism of that monetary change.

    Until then the Greens will always be at the mercy of the Labour party to get crumbs from the table and never have any decent carbon reduction policy.

    Not to mention social policy reform.

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  116. So what do you think will influence the National voter to see the light and vote for a party that supports real emmisions reductions.

    Perhaps water lapping at their doors would help. I am not at all optimistic that such people will get it before it is anything like too late. By the time they do, they will just as likely use their knowledge to change National Party policy as vote Green.

    To juvenily call of labelling them “insane” is not going to swing their votes.

    That wasn’t me. I described their situation on Saturday in the general thread this way: “It’s not ok, but it is human nature to ignore problems for longer than possible, carpe diem, seek short-term gain for likely long-term pain, etc. Any excuse not to act is seized by the majority. The evidence of the effects of climate change will have to be much more obvious before the needed changes will be demanded by the people.” I think this fits most Nat voters perfectly.

    Would a better explained reason with measureable outcomes versus societal inputs swing that vote?

    So come on the Greens, market and sell the policies that will swing the insane voter towards a saner solution.

    Few people are swayed by facts and figures like you, Gerrit, so no, not really. There’s been heaps written on it, particularly about the Democrats, who keep thinking if people just know the facts, the logic of change will overpower them. The truth is, it doesn’t and people are much more likely to just reject facts that don’t fit with their world view. That’s part of our nature as well.

    How long have the Greens been in parliament, 12 years? Has the ongoing method of Green policy of addressing issues without monetary reform and a sound sustainable expenditure budget gained significant (over 20%) of voters interest?

    No, nor is your suggestion the silver bullet that would achieve it.

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  117. Gerrit

    You earlier agreed that the problem was that some nations (within Kyoto) would feel disadvantaged by acting alone – certainly some of their producers would. This is overcome by finding a policy to apply at the global level.

    So why then focus debate back on the inadequacies of local measures such as ETS?

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  118. My point is that to deal with CO2 emissions we need a global policy.

    Whereas if Greens take your advice and merely challenge local policy inadequacy, then they become “not enough to make a difference critics” added to business critics saying “it’s harmful to the economy and jobs for what the Greens say is little good”. That results in merely helping the ACT right end the ETS. Greens are about transformational change so the need is to focus on proposing policy that would make a difference – and that has to be policy for New Zealand to advocate at global talks.

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  119. Valis,

    The juvenile comment regarding the sanity of National voters was in answer to Todd. Along the lines that if in a democracy the majority of voters are insane how would he enligten them without the use of force. Either physical, but I think Todd was more inclined towards re-education. Interesting conundrum.

    SPC,

    You earlier agreed that the problem was that some nations (within Kyoto) would feel disadvantaged by acting alone….

    Dont think that was me but I stand to be corrected – can you point me to a time when I said that?

    The chances of gardening a global policy is a fraction above zero. All we can do is our own backyard and hope that the rest of the world will follow.

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  120. Gerrit, read your post of 9.47pm last night in response to mine of 9.26pm.

    Is this consistent with what you wrote last night?

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  121. Gerrit!

    Again you fudge and misconceive my meaning. Forced to purchase clean tech because there is no alternative. Comprehend yet?

    You educate people without the use of force by first having a will to do so. You then gather correct information to present and convey it in a way that people will understand. I disagree with you in that much of this has not occurred already and there are in fact many well educated people on the matter. I would determine that this is the majority of the public and many do in fact change their habits appropriately.

    It’s only those that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo that are preventing the ball from properly rolling.

    My observation that people who vote for a party that will apparently do less to combat climate change are in fact crazy is not juvenile. What else can you conclude when people risk humanities existence for the sake of a few self interests?

    If we cannot prevent this complete looming catastrophe, then we probably deserve what we get. Thankfully all that money that corrupt business has, isn’t going to save any of their arses, yours included Captain Capitalism.

    The thing we can all understand is that more can be done. We will not see any effect from changing our actions for a long time but that does not discount that we must, in every way possible and regardless of cost. After all, money wont mean a thing at Worlds end.

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  122. Heres an idea, how about a worldwide initiative to scale down populations in a controlled fashion ?, the problem we have on earth is to many people to live in balance with nature, we can drive our cars and power our technology we just need less people doing it.

    Carbon credits dont address the root cause.

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  123. Well as an MR2 owner myself – I might say I’ve addressed the root causes by being turned away by every woman between Otaki and Manawatu.
    No population increase round here – what’s more, as a Vital Vegan, I been killin orf more meateaters than bowel cancer.
    Couldn’t agree more – ban the breeders eh? … eh?
    If we can’t get this planet’s population down to say……300 people; well we are obviously r not serious and aren’t putting our (collective) shoulders to the boulder.

    Anyway; what about that fractional reserve banking system….eh?….eh?

    Am I wrong again or does this refer to good old fashioned usury?
    Even Jesus (the ‘j’ man) got pissed with them fellers hey?
    All that peace and joy – show him a petty banker and he LOSES IT!!!
    Sho’ Nuff.

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  124. ETS is insane. It’s a complete crock. Kyoto likewise. A plain ‘ol carbon tax thanks.
    We must NOT pay any $$$ overseas to any kyoto fund.
    All the money must be kept onshore and spent on energy efficiency, tree planting etc. That surely is the only way to get public buy in to make any real changes or for our nation to have any hope of substantial reductions.
    I don’t think that the average ‘insane’ national voter has any faith in carbon trading/kyoto either.

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  125. Fractional mreserve is not ursury and ursury is not fractional reserve …

    Fractional reserve is about the increase in “money supply/lending/debt” created by private lending agencies within reserve bank constraint.

    Social Credit say all this increase should belong to the state to allocate, others say the existence of such increase enables economic growth and they don’t think the growth is sustainable etc etc.

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  126. samiam, the optimum global design requires Kyoto nations to adopt a carbon tariff on imported goods (and domestic production). Thus their economies, including imports have an incentive to move to Green tech – developing nations seeking to remain competitive in supplying Kyoto nations would need to move to less carbon use in their production.

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  127. The world Meteorological Organization gives us 2010 in a statistical dead-heat for the hottest ever… a slight edge in absolute temperature over its rival.

    Then Hansen releases a new paper on us

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf

    We conclude that Earth in the warmest interglacial periods was less than 1°C warmer than in the Holocene and that goals of limiting human-made warming to 2°C and CO2 to 450 ppm are prescriptions for disaster.

    …and yet the fools still argue that we can continue with BAU.

    BJ

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  128. Well they should know – they are likely to be responsible for an unfair part of that rise!

    Of course they are not admitting that the rise will cause any problems :(

    Trevor.

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  129. One has to expect that this is an example of the results of the continued change, but one can never attribute the weather events that have hammered Queensland to a single cause.

    However, these are expectable effects of warming climate, and not the only ones. The issue for the world is that there IS a long term trend for changing climate, and we have over 6 billion people – with no food margin to compensate for the destruction of major crops. When the climate changes the areas where those crops are viable will change as well… and the if nothing else transitional conditions will leave shortfalls.

    Better armed than fed, many starvation related deaths will be from other causes.

    …and the bankers who destroy wealth and futures get pay rises and maintain their fraudulent fractional reserve farce to support their corruption, and no restrictions on growth are possible… because THAT is what fractional-reserve demands. Unending growth.

    I seek intelligent life elsewhere… I see none here.

    BJ

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