NZ Green Party
Climate change – two dirty little words nobody wants to mention

pic of front page of the SST

The End of Farming As We Know It

On Friday Green Party climate spokesperson Kennedy Graham wrote about the droughts hurting our farmers and the connection with climate change so it was interesting  at the weekend to see the Sunday Star Times front page story about the drought.

Cool, I thought, now we finally get to have a conversation about climate change and doing our fair share.

Hard hitting story; “the end of farming as we know it” the “drought gripping North Island is the most severe in history”.

Yet… climate scientists Jim Salinger and James Renwick are quoted but not once in the piece are the words climate change used together.

There’s no conversation about the need for New Zealand to do its fair share nor international action urgently needed to head off disaster.

Solutions proposed included building more dams. Not less intensive dairying.

The country needs to start preparing for climate change, the effects are hitting now and we’re not ready because this National Government has its head in the sand.

There’s going to be plenty of that around at this rate.

96 thoughts on “Climate change – two dirty little words nobody wants to mention

  1. Yes. However, pick from any one of the typical replies when trying to have the climate change discussion:

    * It’s not anthropogenic
    * You have to choose between the economy and the climate, and I choose a job
    * It’s a waste of time if other countries don’t do something as well. No point in hobbling our economy if the US and China won’t respond to climate change
    * I don’t care

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  2. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  3. Bill English has been on the news all day saying farmers need to prepare for more droughts in the future because of climate change.

    And Frog says “The country needs to start preparing for climate change, the effects are hitting now and we’re not ready because this National Government has its head in the sand.”

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

  4. Actually, Bill English didn’t say that, photonz1. He said that farmers will have to adapt if the predictions of more droughts prove accurate. Check out the TVNZ breakfast show.

    Of course, even if National eventually accept climate change, they won’t be talking about behavioural change for our society, they’ll be talking about better technology and solutions (like more drought resistant grasses) rather than altering our living and food arrangements drastically. Meaningful change is not on the agenda. That applies to most politicians, it has to be said.

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  5. Tony says “Meaningful change is not on the agenda. ”

    Perhaps more appropriately called meaningLESS change, if China, India, South America etc don’t do anything.

    Putting all our efforts and finances into stopping climate change could ultimately be completely futile. And may put us in a much worse position than those countries who simply adapt.

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  6. @Arana

    Any given weather event is proof of nothing. Weather, over time and over geographical locations is called climate. And the trends across weather events are becoming more extreme (Hots are hotter. Colds are colder. Wets are wetter. Dries are drier).

    And the reason you don’t hear “global warming” any more is, the term used has changed to suit the changing science on the matter.

    What events would cause me to change my mind on climate change? When the people responsible for understanding this, climate scientists, change theirs. What would change yours?

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  7. As Peter stated, the US and China are much bigger players in this. The problem is that the issue has been politicized so much in the US that “climate change” and “global warming” comes with a stigma. If Americans were to take a step back and recognize the issue from a non-political stance, I feel that more of the country would be on board for taking a hard look at the climate trends and be willing to make changes.

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  8. Tony says “Actually, Bill English didn’t say that, photonz1. He said that farmers will have to adapt if the predictions of more droughts prove accurate.”

    Of course he said “if”. It would be silly to say anything else when you’re talking about a prediction – not a concrete guarantee.

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  9. photonz1, please describe “simply adapt”. Why would being more pro-active put us in a worse position, long term?

    Meaningful change is change where, as a minimum, there are policies in place to guarantee a quick decline in carbon emissions, rather than hoping for that change. Of course, without other countries acting in the same way, it would still spell climate catastrophe, but then we get that anyway, even if we don’t take meaningful action, so it can’t really do any more harm in the long term and might actually set an example. We often hear of a desire for New Zealand to take the lead in some area; this is an area which is critical for our well being, so it seems good to me. It is only if you really think that climate won’t change as rapidly (due to human activity) as increasing numbers of climate scientists say it will, surely, that you would countenance a “not me first” approach.

    More frequent droughts is just one aspect of the changing climate, increased flooding is another. Adapting to all the changes that climate change will bring will be a multi-decadal undertaking but I don’t expect anything other than talk about “tweaking” things year on year and occasional reactive changes being forced on farmers and governments.

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  10. More frequent droughts is just one aspect of the changing climate, increased flooding is another.

    So if we see fewer of such events, will you conclude global warming is not occurring?

    You can’t have it both ways. So choose.

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  11. photonz1,

    Yes, English said “if”. You said, “Bill English has been on the news all day saying farmers need to prepare for more droughts in the future because of climate change.” He didn’t say that. He was very cagey. It is only “if” we get more frequent droughts that any preparations need to be done (actually, he didn’t even use the word “prepare”; he said “adapt”). The wording implies reactive change, not proactive change. But don’t expect the “news” to give you accurate reporting.

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  12. Arana,

    Eh? Of course, if the data shows climate change not to be occurring, then I’d accept it isn’t. That goes without saying. I’m not sure what the point of your comment is.

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  13. As someone who is involved with Dairy farming I feel that those farmers who understand the connection of their actions and the inevitable consequences, are already responding by farming more naturally and less intensively. However, a big number are relative novices or poisoned by their own toxic processes and can’t comprehend farming as a natural process. Probably over the last 15 years those who could see what was happening wouldn’t commit to huge bank loans that often ask you to overstock. Thus we have a lot of giant farms from amalgamations or those novices that accept what farm consultants are saying. Banks need to face up as do farmers to the fact that if theses patterns continue, then farms are totally overvalued on present land,air, and water use patterns. This would allow better mixed farm practices to start correcting the problems as others got involved, with more available land.

    A link well worth checking and supporting which generally covers the first steps to doing something long term and covering the main issues facing us. Maybe the Greens could put this out on their networks. http://wiseresponse.org.nz/

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  14. Climate always changes. There is nothing we can do about natural climate change. All we can do is adapt.

    I’m not sure why the AGW movement conflates AGW with climate change.

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  15. Of course the drought is having one benefit – it is hammering the farting beasties that contribute to the GHGs that cause Climate Change or weird weather.

    It also hammers the townies who insist on driving around (or sitting in a grid lock) in a tonne of metal that also contributes to NZ’s massive per capita GHG bootprint.

    It is great that we are feeling the effects now while we as a civilisation(?) can do something about it.

    Roll on a carbon tax!

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  16. Arana, if you’re not clear on the links between AGW and climate change, I suggest you read up on the latest climate science. It’s too big a subject to get you up to speed here.

    By the way, what we are concerned with at the moment are the current way climate is changing and the current causes or influences on that change. It doesn’t really help to point out the obvious that climate always changes and no-one studying the issue is in any doubts about that.

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  17. Arana, if you’re not clear on the links between AGW and climate change

    Why say “climate change” when you really mean “anthropological global warming”?

    The natural state of climate is changeable. If man never existed, there would still be climate change. The droughts in New Zealand are no more a result of mans influence (c02 output) than the lack of them last year.

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  18. But hey, it doesn’t do your alarmism any good to be honest about linking any extreme weather events, does it?

    That’s what I’m talking about. The alarmists try to claim any weather event is the result of AGW, even when they predicted it 100% wrong!

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  19. Arana,

    I’m not sure why you replied without reading my post but that’s up to you. Hopefully, you’ll read this.

    You appeared to be unsure why anthropogenic global warming (AGW) was mixed up with climate change. I merely pointed out that there is a lot of science which links the two, if you care to study some of it. I also pointed out that it is the current climate change which concerns us, and whether we can influence that change. The science says we have influenced it and can influence it (though much is already baked in). The science can be quite an eye opener – take a look (I was a vehement AGW denier until I started looking at the science, so I speak from experience).

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  20. What farmers would be advised to do (especially north of the Bombays) is to change from rye grasses to more hardy types like Kikuyu.

    http://www.dairyexporter.co.nz/article/35974.html

    A diversification into hardier breed of dairy cattle such as Friesian/Sahiwai crosses.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Friesian_Sahiwal

    These changes will mean a loss of production but the industry can cope or it may not survive as we know it presently.

    Possibly these sort of changes are what Bill English had in mind?

    Changes the Greens would welcome?

    I notice locally the domestication to dairy of Riverine Buffalo

    http://clevedonbuffalo.co.nz/content/about-us.

    Another option if droughts and lack of fine rye grass production is a problem.

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  21. Weather events are proof of….what exactly?

    Weather events are a predicted result Arana, and science isn’t about proof but evidence, as I think you know.

    So much evidence has accumulated regarding climate change that there aren’t any credible scientists who deny it is happening and there are only a couple who will claim it is not a severe problem.

    What combination of weather non-events – say for the next two years

    No. WAY too short a period. The evidence we have is accumulated over centuries to many millions of years, and that last little bit is too small to prove or disprove anything.

    The things that could break the theory… aren’t happening. The things that break the denialist’s claims.. are.

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  22. So if we see fewer of such events, will you conclude global warming is not occurring?

    You can’t have it both ways. So choose.

    No Arana… drought frequency is a secondary result. The warming is measured and measurable and there is no difficulty seeing it. Globally we do currently EXPECT to see more droughts, floods, heat waves and similar difficulties for farmers.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/07/30/1205276109.full.pdf+html

    We’ve loaded the dice. We will crap out more often. Good luck.

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  23. No. WAY too short a period. The evidence we have is accumulated over centuries to many millions of years, and that last little bit is too small to prove or disprove anything.

    Finally.

    So the drought signifies precisely nothing.

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  24. The science can be quite an eye opener – take a look

    I’m well aware of the science and the propaganda that surrounds it, thanks. The AGW movement, embarrassed by record snow falls, now likes to pretend *any* severe weather event is the result of AGW. Too hot? AGW. Too cold? AGW. Mild? AGW. Wet? AGW. Dry? AGW. Foggy? AGW. Drizzle? AGW.

    Which is why I asked what you think the counter factual would be? No drought for x years? Increased rainfall for x years? Decreased rainfall for x years? Hotter? Colder? What?

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  25. “more hardy types like Kikuyu”.

    Northland farmers are a bit ahead of you already, Gerrit.

    It is only the introduction of more hardy grasses, like Kikuyu that that allowed pastoral farming in Northland in the first place.

    Unfortunately, now that better hybrids are available, managing Kikuyu is becoming a problem. The bloody stuff keeps coming back.

    High producing dairy cows are fed on a lot more than just grass, despite our grass fed cattle myth.

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  26. I would prefer to use the term ‘Global Warming’ rather than ‘Climate Change’. What is really happening is global warming partly (and a big part)caused by human activity of burning fossil fuel. So let’s not soften our position on that, let’s call a spade a spade!

    For the past couple months farmers in various parts of Canterbury have been conducting burn offs. Some districts have banned this due to fire risks. But the areas that have been allowing burn offs are covering the whole of the Canterbury with a thick fog of smoke that is quite unpleasant and even obscuring the sun where otherwise there would be a blue sunny day.

    I would like to know if the scientists could measure the weight of carbon that is being released into the atmosphere as compared to domestic wood burners. This practice needs to be challenged because I doubt as to whether this practice is very effective. Farmers claim that burn offs kill bugs and bacteria and put pot ash and carbon back into the soil.
    But they could be taking more nutrients out of the soil than they are putting in, where as if they ploughed the stubble back in a composting of the soil would take place. The toxic bugs and germs? I would think that toxic weeds like hemlock and belladonna could deal to them. Research could be done in this area to look at the whole ecosystem and see if these ‘weeds’are noxious for a very good reason.

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  27. We may not be entirely sure of how the climate will change with AGW.
    The last example of such fast change was millions of years ago. But you can be sure that as the atmosphere heats up, increasing the energy in the system, weather events will become more intense, as we are seeing.

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  28. Arana,

    What propaganda are you referring to? There is a lot of scientific evidence for AGW induced climate change so, if you are aware of the science, I’m surprised you still question it. I’m not familiar with the propaganda; there might well be some but I can’t say I come across it.

    Each of the last three decades has been the warmest on record. The incidence of extreme weather is increasing, the attribution for extreme weather (i.e. that it is most likely caused by AGW) is starting to gain some momentum. As BJ implied, it would take many years (but probably 15-30 years) of decreased weather extremes for that to be significant in the data. I don’t think we can wait that long but I suppose if the oceans started cooling and sea levels started dropping over a few years, that would probably cause a rethink. Are you keeping your fingers crossed that it will all go away?

    However, it seems you might also be pinning your “hopes” on climate always changing. Unfortunately, that position doesn’t stop the climate changing and so you’ll have to respond to the change, anyway. Whose opinion will you cherish on how the current climate change will go (given that you don’t appear to believe anything that climate scientists say on the matter)?

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  29. BJ says “No more excuses. I am dead sick of them. We have a responsibility to take, and it is OURS to take, not dependent on someone else.”

    If we put all our efforts and resources into stopping climate change, but everyone else puts their efforts into adapting to it – we’re stuffed.

    We’ll have used up all our spare resources, made absolutely no difference, and be decades behind the rest of the world.

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  30. I don’t think you need worry, photonz1; virtually the whole of the rest of the world, and ourselves will do nothing serious, neither to adapt to climate change nor to lessen its severity (it can’t be stopped). It would be nice to think we could lead in both but that is wishful thinking.

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  31. Spam…

    We can have a drought now and still have “increased rain” in the form of flood later. It varies from region to region. There isn’t any clear “there will be more rain” prediction in it. It does however, say this:

    Under the “low-medium” scenario, by the 2080s severe droughts (defined for the study as the current one-in-twenty year drought) are projected to occur at least twice as often as currently in the following areas: inland and northern parts of Otago; eastern parts of Canterbury and Marlborough; parts of Hawkes Bay; parts of the Bay of Plenty; and parts of Northland. Under the “medium-high” scenario severe droughts are projected to occur more than four times as often by the 2080s in the following regions: eastern parts of North Otago, Canterbury and Marlborough; much or the Wairarapa, Bay of Plenty and Coromandel; most of Gisborne; much of Northland.

    It is a detailed projection, but the certainties are low as ANY regional projection from the models is much more uncertain the global results.

    Which means it could as easily be worse than that as better. You want to do the risk analysis?? We could wind up barely able to feed ourselves, much less export food. Adapt to that Bill English.

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  32. It is a detailed projection, but the certainties are low as ANY regional projection from the models is much more uncertain the global results.

    Exactly my point. It is uncertain. Yet alarmists (and you are one of the more alarming alarmists) link any extreme (and even the -not-so-extreme extreme) weather event as “proof” of CAGW (or at least use it as a lever to pull to support our ideology).

    Using this drought as proof of needing to do something’ about CAGW. Is not supported by evidence, nor by science with any degree of robustness.

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  33. Finally.

    So the drought signifies precisely nothing.

    Sorry Arana, but you are still wrong. It is an event that matches a predicted result. It COULD be entirely natural, but if you take the trouble to read and understand Hansen’s paper you will understand that the chances of that are smaller than you’d like. More to the point however, is the fact that the climate change we are getting is NOT natural. Natural would be a gradual decline in temperatures leading back down to the next glaciation.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

    oops

    Instead what we have is a rate of increase that is roughly 10 times any natural rate of increase we can find in the fossil records, coupled with a rate of increase in the CO2 levels that is 50 times any natural rate of increase found. We have released enough CO2 in the past 150 years to replace all that natural processes have sequestered in the past 3 million… casual maths tells me we re-released it 20,000 times as fast as it gets sequestered. Natural?

    We, being incredibly stupid, have just bitch-slapped Mother Nature. She isn’t a forgiving sort.

    We are already at levels not seen in 3 million or more years and heading for levels that set the climate back 30 million or more.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Carbon-Dioxide-the-Dominant-Control-on-Global-Temperature-and-Sea-Level-Over-the-Last-40-Million-Years.html

    Any suggestion that what is happening is just natural variation is not lightly discarded by the science, it is rejected away with great force.

    There is a silver lining? Yeah… there will never be another glaciation. Not for at least a couple of million years… if ever.

    The downside is that our kids will live in a world that we wouldn’t recognize, and their kids, if they survive, will be hard pressed to remember a time when the planet wasn’t doing its best to kill them.

    Its all just natural variation….. Yeah Right.

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  34. Using this drought as proof of needing to do something’ about CAGW. Is not supported by evidence, nor by science with any degree of robustness.

    Spam… You can’t actually point to where I did that. I know because I didn’t do it. YOU are making up another straw man. Which is of course, your only hope of arguing here.

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  35. Which is why I asked what you think the counter factual would be? No drought for x years? Increased rainfall for x years? Decreased rainfall for x years? Hotter? Colder? What?

    To see the trend line of figure 5 flatten as the CO2 increases would be one way.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022/pdf/1748-9326_6_4_044022.pdf

    Several people have done similar exercises.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=u_0JZRIHFtk

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  36. Tony says “I don’t think you need worry, photonz1″

    I’m not worried. I live in a cold place at 115m above sea level.

    If the peak oil theorists are correct, in a few years we’ll have massive decline in carbon output anyway. That will lead to new technologies.

    We’ll have no problem adapting, if that’s what we put our efforts into. Drought tolerant plants have already been designed.

    And it’s not as if it isn’t something that hasn’t been done before. Half of Dunedin city centre is built where there used to the harbour. Christchurch is where a swamp used to be.

    155 Ha of Wellington is built where there used to be harbour (equivalent to over 300 football fields – and all done by hand before there were bulldozers)

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  37. We’ll have used up all our spare resources, made absolutely no difference, and be decades behind the rest of the world.

    In that case we are ALL stuffed anyway, because the result if nobody changes is pretty much end-of-civilization and that’s it.

    The fact is however, that China HAS decided to act, something that was always inevitable. Other nations will as well, many already have.

    There are holdouts still, the USA and Canada most notably, with a strong possibility that Oz will wind up backsliding as the neanderthals may take over there.

    Not to worry. Mother Nature, whom we bitch-slapped in a previous episode here, is opening up a can of whup-ass that will convince everyone.

    As for “adaptation” – we have mentioned here, in previous arguments, the need to build infrastructure higher up in the hills. The need to work on energy independence. You KNOW we have Photonz, but we aren’t doing those things either. We actually have to do both.. and can accomplish a lot of both with additional emphasis on renewable energy sources.

    …and yes, that means that any actual hydropower dam that gets proposed MAY see me fighting my fellow Greens over their objections. The catch is that it has to generate power, not just provide water for more intensive farming.

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  38. BJ – the proposed and consented new generation for NZ is enough to last several decades of growth.

    Except in recent years demand has not been growing at all. The financial crisis, along with lightbulbs that are 5 times more efficient, heat pumps that are 4 times ore efficient than bar heaters, more insulation, double glazing, etc – has meant our electricity consumption is static.

    Heatpumps for water heating is going to be the next big thing for power saving. Inverter technology is now very cheap so it’s much more viable for people to start to generate their own electricity.

    Personally I don’t see the need for more hydro, at least not for many decades (and why would you build hydro if we’re going to forever be in drought?)

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  39. i agree climate is changing and global warming is increasing it is effecting everything , for framing to survival of normal person ….
    it is too hot in India before summers …. we can feel the change , we don’t have any other option other then to adapt it

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  40. Photonz

    1. Coal is verboten fuel. The worst of the worst (with the possible exception of leaky gas pipes). The actual cost of burning it is more than anyone can afford.

    2. Gas is better than coal or oil but has to have much better containment, no fugitive emissions, to stay better. Expensive to do that, and the price of Gas is bound to rise as it replaces coal and diesel and oil. Even without a CO2 tax it IS going to rise. It should face the same CO2 tax as Coal however, as CO2 does the same thing to us no matter its source.

    3. We can’t afford to stay “in the financial crisis”, as we HAVE to be able to build things we need here – this is part of the “adaptive” part of what we need to do. (More below)

    4. As petrol becomes more expensive as it certainly will, people will turn to various forms of electrically powered transport. Demand will rise on the transport side. Domestic consumption IS as you observe, static. ( A heat-pump water heater is currently some 4 times as expensive as regular. I doubt that relationship will change to being anything less than double. The complexity is brutal. It also has to be larger, as the stored water temp is generally lower )

    5. Drought is seasonal and regional. If you know you’ll have ‘em you know you want to save as much water from when it DOES rain as you can, and you do NOT want flooding… the other valid reason to build dams.

    6. Efficiency is a matter of diminishing returns. We’ve already pulled off a lot of the low-hanging fruit. There’s still some more in it, as we’ve still got a lot of uninsulated houses and single pane windows out there. We’re getting more people though. We have to slow THAT right down right now.

    7. The true wealth of a nation is measurable as “work done” , and in its access to sustainable energy there is “work” that can be done. We have a lot of that available per capita, I thought you wanted to be a wealthy nation? Here’s your chance to do it Green. Make the electricity here sustainable and free of ongoing fuel expenses. Green products produced with sustainable energy, are (I think) going to be popular at some point in the future, sometime between the time when people realize it is all too damned real and the time when they start dying of that reality.

    ==============================================

    Expansion on “adaptation”:

    The question is how bad it can get. The answer, given the numbers of people and the prospects for resource wars and social upheaval is I think, pretty bad. As in there may not be organized countries called Indonesia or Thailand… and the fab plants, chipsets and disk drives we buy at Dick Smith and PBTech – disappear…

    Are we prepared for a world where we CANNOT buy stuff from overseas? I don’t mean we should try to be an isolated economy now, that’s stupid, but tech research centers, probably associated with our Universities, capable of building one-offs or small batches of things we should never produce if we can buy them and possibly in concert with Australia. If the day ever comes when you can’t get an ARM chip from a fab someplace North of here.. or a pharmaceutical. Organizing that level of preparation isn’t all to be done in a day and won’t be perfect.

    Nor is it nearly as expensive as setting up full on production facilities OR not having the capability if it turns out we actually need it.

    ===================================================

    Expansion on “Can’t Afford to Stay in Financial Crisis”
    I know you and I have disagreed on this but I am quite sure we have to have a functional internal economy if we are to be able to endure and survive problems with our primary export (as in drought and flood cutting our production AND as in a lack of paying customers and shipping). We cannot build “everything” here… but we cannot simply buy everything we need. We need to have New Zealanders employed producing things New Zealanders use to the extent we can effectively do that. That extent is NOT based on how much profit in distorted dollars we can make selling those things abroad… or how much a competing foreign made item might be.

    Really cheap electricity, renewably sourced, is important to being able to build stuff here. Most things we use, most of our automation, relies on electricity. Moreover, as the price goes up with CO2 penalties.

    The world WILL put a price on burning Carbon when that lady we mistakenly assaulted turns on us and proves the line from “Ain’t Misbehavin”

    “When Momma ain’t happy ain’t NOBODY happy”

    So I disagree with you (and with many of my fellow Greens). We will need every erg of hydro we can muster. Ever KwH of wind. Every BTU of geothermal. All of it.

    Which is why ( on that other thread ) we maintain that the price being obtained for the sale of Mighty River is far too low… let’s not argue that here too. I know you think it is a fair price. Agree to disagree on that in this thread.

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  41. I forgot about the tires. DO consider the source of the “rubber” and the manner in which they are disposed. Not at all renewable or biodegradeable or environmentally friendly things.

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  42. Sorry Arana, but you are still wrong.

    Sorry BJ, but you are still wrong.

    And now you’re branching off into temperatures to try and cover your tracks.

    We had a drought in 1992. We’re having a drought now. If this is a sign of AGW, then *name your counter-factual*.

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  43. photonz1 – it doesn’t really matter how much proposed and consented new renewable generation there is, if they are not actually going to built it any time soon. With the policies that the NACTs have put in place, the power companies are happy to go on burning gas and even some coal, and other coal and gas users are also happily continuing.

    We need to do more than just use renewables for our new electricity generation. We need to reduce our generation from coal and gas and replace it with renewables, and we need to cut back on the use of coal and gas for domestic, commercial and industrial heating and replace that with renewable resources or with electricity generated from renewable resources. We need to find ways of meeting the North Island’s winter peak electricity demand from mainly renewables even when the wind isn’t blowing on a cold, still night.

    It won’t be easy, but right now, I see little evidence that the electricity companies are even trying.

    Trevor.

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  44. It’s called climate change because weather patterns will shift as ice sheets are replaced by open waters and temperature patterns change, and as the atmosphere carries more water. Many areas will heat up, but with the changing wind and ocean current patterns, some areas will receive more winds and currents from polar regions and will be colder. Rain fall will in general increase, due to faster evaporation, but the higher temperatures will increase the amount of rain needed to keep crops thriving, and as weather patterns change, many areas will have less rain. When it does rain, it may rain more than it does now, leading to increased flooding.

    The warming implied by AGW may well be the least of the problems that AGW will cause us.

    Unfortunately such generalisations are about as far as we can predict. It is much harder to predict just which areas will have more rain and which areas less, or which areas will be hotter and which cooler. (I’d say that it is reasonably certain that central Australia will be hotter though.)

    What is fairly predictable is that for many people, life as they know it will change, and for most of those people, it won’t be a change for the better.

    Trevor.

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  45. Anthropological Climate Change deniers are like Christian fundamentalists. You can provide them with all the scientific evidence in the world and they will still tell you the earth is only 6000 years old because the Bible says it is (which it doesn’t).

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  46. BJ says “A heat-pump water heater is currently some 4 times as expensive as regular. I doubt that relationship will change to being anything less than double”

    You need to look at BOTH cost AND savings. The heat pump I bought recently is 100 times dearer than a bar heater.

    But I still bought it and it will still save me money.

    The point being new technology isn’t making incremental changes on energy efficiency – it’s making giant leaps. We’ve got efficiency increases of 500% with light bulbs, 400% with heat pumps, and 200-400% with fridges. With dramatic changes in power use for lighting, heating, and refrigeration, water heating will be next.

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  47. I heard the other day that the drought in the US is about two years old now, and still going. Our drought is totally unprecendented, and many recent rain events have very often been much more intense than previously. Remember the devastating floods of the Manawatu, not once, but twice? The Earth, or Gaia Being has its counterpart in human behaviour, where, when the essential elements of life are imcrementally denied it it starts acting more and more irrationally and extreme. I’ve heard that this drought, and similar, could be a first manifestation of the slowing of the ocean conveyor belt.

    On the west coast of the South Island, a lot of forest damage was done when we got a massive easterly wind in 2008; subsequent very intense rainfall events and now the drought, are producing huge scars in these places where the forest was initially blown over. Worryingly, the initial windlblow has not had a chance in 5 years to recuperate, but rather subsequent extremem weather events have magnified the initial destruction.

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  48. So Arana, you do acknowledge that, by burning vast amounts of fossil fuels, we humans are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere at a greater rate than the natural rate?
    Actions always give rise to reactions.
    What do you think might be the reaction of the earth’s systems to this new level of CO2?

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  49. Another David, again, if the drought now is a sign of AGW, then please provide your counter factual.

    All I’m asking.

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  50. So Arana, you do acknowledge that, by burning vast amounts of fossil fuels, we humans are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere at a greater rate than the natural rate?

    Most c02 is natural. The jury is still out on how much man-made c02 affects the climate.

    What do you think might be the reaction of the earth’s systems to this new level of CO2?

    A lot of people are having a jolly guess about how much affect a tiny percentage of gas has on climate. It appears to range from “oh my good we’re doomed I tells yah!” (BJ, Frog, alarmist scientists, most Green supporters) to “SFA”.

    The current evidence suggests to me it’s closer to SFA than the doom scenario, but it’s right to keep asking questions.

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  51. Trevor says “it doesn’t really matter how much proposed and consented new renewable generation there is, if they are not actually going to built it any time soon.”

    They’re not building it because we don’t need more power right now.

    If you want to replace Huntly with renewables, first you’ll have to convince people to pay much higher power bills for duplicated and redundant generation.

    Good luck with that…

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  52. Mok.monster says “Our drought is totally unprecendented”

    Except for one 60 years ago, and another 70 years ago (what caused those ones?). One farmer said 2008 was worse for him.

    “totally unprecedented”? No.

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  53. We need to change our behaviour, drastically. We don’t need to use as much energy as we do now. We don’t need to remove habitat the way we are now. It won’t happen voluntarily, that much is certain. What a stupid species we are but that is what we are. Some people just don’t see the damage we’re doing to our own habitat. Some people see the damage but want to stop the damage caused by civilisation without ending civilisation. Neither position is tenable, ultimately.

    By the way, Wayne, farming is not a natural process (in the commonly understood meaning of “natural”) but we can provide our food in a much more natural way (generally called permaculture).

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  54. We need to change our behaviour, drastically.

    Don’t fly, drive or reproduce. Yes, you.

    We don’t need to use as much energy as we do now. We don’t need to remove habitat the way we are now

    If people had that attitude 100 years ago, you wouldn’t be here.

    We can and will use a lot more energy. It is the root of prosperity. If we can, we’ll use non-polluting forms of energy as it’s generally agreed that pollution, in all its forms, isn’t a great idea.

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  55. I feel that in this discusion we have been seperating adaption and proaction as we see the need to change or not. However, the changes that have probably caused the problem are only recent, several hundred years of technology based on intensive fossil fuel use. In agriculture this change is more recent, and a lot of the old methods are still around and understood, and research is showing many of them as superior in various ways. Modern farming could be seen as a bad experiment that has caused an unsustainable level of other human activity. As Peak Oil bites in we need to change anyway and modern farming is so oil intensive. Putting materials back in the soil instead of burning them decreases atmospheric emmissions that plants have to convert, instead microbes break material down and these decaying microbes improve plant feeding. A complete cycle that improves moisture retention, nutrient availabilty, and some research shows the carbon storage, if done globally would have a huge impact on atmospheric emmission.Instead we are maintaining land use intensity and relying on fossil fuels. eg. Carting feeds around to high numbers of stock in tractors and trucks, or as with palm kerneal in ships.We might employ more people in a more healthy rural environment if the trends cnanged. Cuba has well documented changes needed for less fuel usage and they are still socially cohesive, officially have better child and adult health, and are now showing Latin America.
    The answers are simpler than it looks, the only problem we have is the expectation we have developed of living in urban environments and transporting food, instead of eating fresh. Town planning needs to start reversing these trends.

    One aspect not being discussed much is the need of human/animal imunity to have an alkiline environment. All the emmissions of CO2, and all the other oxides, when mixed with atmospheric moisture, or streams and seas, create acids. These also release more heavy metals in soils and ground water. Thus our increases in respitory problems, cancers, etc. The effects on human behaviour are also docuymented as social disorder increases. See “The Ion Effect” – Fred Soyka. All this talk of plannibg for increases in population, ie houses, roads is short term in the present scenario.

    I think we need to make major changes in how we distribute resources so we can focus on the social upheavel we are also creating.

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  56. Arana,

    Don’t fly, drive or reproduce. Yes, you.

    Indeed, and we need to create the conditions that make that possible. In the meantime, I’ve already cut down on those, a lot.

    If people had that attitude 100 years ago, you wouldn’t be here.

    Probably true but completely meaningless, since I am here now.

    We can and will use a lot more energy. It is the root of prosperity. If we can, we’ll use non-polluting forms of energy as it’s generally agreed that pollution, in all its forms, isn’t a great idea.

    It’s unlikely that we’ll use a lot more energy. The windfall of fossil fuels is nearing its end, so far as increases are concerned, and nothing else has shown to substitute effectively for those energy sources. Prosperity doesn’t equate to contentment, as much research has shown (beyond a certain level) so why that remains your priority is not clear, unless you also hold beliefs in that area. If we CAN use non-polluting forms of energy? Not doing so is clearly unsustainable, so you had better hope we DO use non-polluting forms of energy. You may be surprised at how that limits us (unless you limit the definition of “polluting”).

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  57. Arana my “friend”… I already named a counterfactual. You missed it?

    Climate change is about warming. Drought is a regional phenomenon and not a reliable output of any climate model. The warming is expected to suppress rainfall while the CO2 increases and increase it when we finally stop (having destroyed our civilization, killed each other off and reverted to wandering tribes of savages).

    The models say to expect more drought and flood, more extremes, but the THEORY only says that the TEMPERATURE trend will continue to push upwards as long as we continue to put CO2 in the air. The rest relies on the models and predictive power is smaller.

    Accept the distinction and move on. One can’t “prove” anything out of secondary regional effects and nobody has attempted to do so – Droughts are only weak evidence and expected consequences… and we had one in 2007 as I recall…

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0908/S00195.htm

    Did you leave out any others?

    Australia has one now. The US has been looking to possibly shut down the Mississippi for navigation due to low water levels.

    I am wondering what it is you actually want at this point. I’ve told you what would constitute a falsification. I’ve explained the difference between drought and temperature with respect to the theory. Better to move on mate.

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  58. Photonz, I went with the heat pumps. The house as bought had no actual heating system except for bar heaters so that was a no-brainer. It already had a water heater and doubled up insulation so it is fairly tight… I am working on the windows now. Budget would not stretch the extra $4500, not for any savings… you know about budgets. House prices in this country are stupid. I got a “good” deal and it still sucks.

    Maybe someday… what I really need here is a way of collecting heat during the day and releasing it at night… and vice-versa.

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  59. The point being new technology isn’t making incremental changes on energy efficiency – it’s making giant leaps. We’ve got efficiency increases of 500% with light bulbs, 400% with heat pumps, and 200-400% with fridges.

    Doesn’t follow though… You make a light bulb that uses 15 watts instead of 100 and it is good for your household but to get the next 5 watts you’re going to have to work much much harder. Same deal heat pumps (which are same as fridges). The “Energy Star” business has been great for efficiency, but it really is only a drop in the proverbial.

    Try to work out the energy required to run our civilization and the energy generated by each means available and then the need to shut down the coal and oil and then gas burning processes including electrical substitutions for as much of the fossil-fueled transport as we can devise.

    I haven’t done it recently, but we can only get so far with increased efficiency. We can get a bit closer with a build up of renewable energy resources, this is NZ and we are very wealthy per capita in that form. Which is why I am so resolved that this is an important thing to do. Yet all of it together is not enough… so our behaviour will be modified as well.

    Whether we wish it or not. We can do it ourselves with some control over the process or we can wait until our society is whupped.

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  60. Most c02 is natural. The jury is still out on how much man-made c02 affects the climate.

    Arana – confusing the total CO2 in the CO2 cycle with the increasing fraction of the gas in the that we have put there by digging or pumping Carbon from the ground and burning it, is not a very accurate argument to use.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions-intermediate.htm

    There is no jury that is out except in the world of Watts, Plimer, JoNova and Goddard, none of whom have the slightest desire or ability to help you to actually understand what is happening.

    Every major scientific organization on the planet and something like 93% of all climate scientists will tell you in no uncertain terms that if the effects are not that bad, then they’re going to be worse. You are whistling past the graveyard mate.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/11/4133.full.pdf+html

    http://climatechange.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/Turn_Down_the_heat_Why_a_4_degree_centrigrade_warmer_world_must_be_avoided.pdf

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  61. Actually I am wondering if you are paying any attention at all to the links I’ve provided. The trend in figure 5 which I pointed out as the thing which would have to change to “falsify” the theory, is the “tell” that gives you a clear picture of the effects of OUR CO2. The natural CO2, is what we had at 290 ppm… the difference is our doing. There are several paleo signals that tell us the same thing in a different way.

    This is natural? Really? You can say that with a straight face?

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

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  62. With efficiencies, don’t forget the rebound effect. Today, many houses have many more lights so that, even with CFLs, the initial cost is much higher than with one incandescent per room and much of the light ends up in the roof space. It’s crazy.

    If the efficiencies actually provide monetary savings, those will be spent elsewhere (or on more of the same), resulting in much less energy savings.

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  63. I’ve concluded you people are absolutely, stark raving bonkers :)

    What attracts you to dread and doom with such conviction?

    If you want to live like scared cavemen, go for it. I’ll be celebrating prosperity and plenty.

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  64. Heatpumps for water heating is going to be the next big thing for power saving.

    Yes, but only if you’re mad, currently.

    I’ve spreadsheeted this to death using real numbers.

    The most cost effective way of heating water is still a storage tank with night rate electricity. Were I to swap my existing tank for a $5000 heat pump, it would take 28 years to get the payback [note 5 years finance using personal loan]. That is then using daytime electricity for water heating. Use nightime, cheap electricity and the payback goes up to 30 years. Paradoxical and crazy? No, but with the increased efficiancy of heating the daily costs for the extra meter outweigh the per unit savings.

    Switching to gas instant heating: Payback 28 years. LPG is just too damned expensive per KW of heat.

    The only improvement one can make to a off-peak heated system is the addtion of a water heat recovery system, like the GFX system, which has a payback of about six years, assuming the 30% model works as avertised. The payback gets worse as the percentage goes up, to 12 years with 75% recovery.

    So it is possible for me to use much less energy (a third, give or take) to heat my water, but it simply isn’t cost effective to do so with the current electricity pricing structure.

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  65. BJ says “Maybe someday… what I really need here is a way of collecting heat during the day and releasing it at night… and vice-versa.”

    I always thought it would be a good idea to have high volume solar water heating, then use the hot/warm water to extract warm air at night.

    It should be possible to get much more warm air out of hot water (which is high mass), than out of close to freezing air.

    Similarly using the high mass earth under your house (which is about 14 degrees) should be a much more efficient way to get warm air than trying to extract it from freezing air. It’s just a matter of when the cost of the systems drops to make it more feasible.

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  66. dbuckley says “Yes, but only if you’re mad, currently.”

    Depends on your situation. If you have four people showering each day, and a heat pump shower averages 35c and normal heating averages 65c for the same shower, that’s a saving of $438 per year.

    Much more if you have a teenage daughter.

    So you’d pay back in just over ten years – even less if you buy a $4000 system.

    I know what you mean though – I looked at solar heating and the time to pay back was 12-20 years (I live in the south).

    I would get a better return buying shares and putting the dividend towards the power bill. Then at the end I still have my shares to sell as well.

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  67. That’s really the extent of the denialist argument Arana. We must be stark raving bonkers. There isn’t any science involved here, it is a belief… yours.

    I don’t “believe” in Climate Change, I believe that science and engineering are what made our prosperity possible, that science and engineering have given us all the efficiencies and conveniences we now possess. Of all the tools we have at our disposal to cope with the world as it is, and tell us what is real and what is not, science has been the one that has trumped all the others.

    Photonz reckons that science and engineering can give us an escape from the trap we’re in. I am an Engineer, and I am not at all sanguine about the prospects, but I sort of understand optimism… even if I don’t practice it… a professional habit.

    So I look at the science and it tells me that we cannot burn more carbon without severe consequences and I believe it. You look at it, give me a series of non-factual arguments and then tell me I am bonkers for believing it.

    So who should I believe – Religion, Superstition and People PAID to lie to me by the folks who make their money digging stuff out of the ground?

    or

    People who are apolitical as cats and about as easily organized, who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of knowledge and have a robust method of eventually winnowing out the truth.

    ?

    Decisions decisions… :-)

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  68. “If you want to replace Huntly with renewables, first you’ll have to convince people to pay much higher power bills for duplicated and redundant generation.”

    More scare tactics from photonz1 (10:53am).

    Geothermal generation is comparable in price to other generation and has an availability rivaling that of gas-fired generation, and therefore needs no extra “duplicated and redundant generation”.

    Wind generation has never been about meeting peak demand. It has always been used to reduce fuel or hydro water usage, and we already have the hydro stations for our primary generation.

    Run-of-river hydro stations usually generate even at times of low river flow, just not usually at 100% capacity. Providing you don’t expect them to generate at 100% capacity, they need no extra redundant generation either.

    Trevor

    PS: Even gas-fired generation needs some back-up. Remember the recent gas pipeline leak that took about a week to fix and constrained gas supplies to the upper half of the North Island including Huntly?

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  69. I still like hydrokinetics for Cook Strait… and at the tip of the South Island too, but all our really hefty renewable supplies like that are well south of Auckland. Unless one imagines a solar installation up north (and being a northern hemisphere native that just sounds… unnatural :-) ) Which means that our power consuming INDUSTRY needs to be well south as well.

    Most people want to go where there are enough other people to actually have some sort of culture though… and where they can get their international flights. There’s a feedback loop. When Katy Perry comes to NZ she’s going to play Auckland… not Dunedin. This paragraph describes another problem, not a solution…

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  70. BJ – there was a serious suggestion that the next fibre-optic cable should be run to Invercargill rather than north of Auckland. Invercargill could then become a site for international server farms for web sites, cloud storage and the like, taking advantage of our low cost, reliable electricity supply. This would also provide backup for our internal communication circuits.

    Trevor.

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  71. Maybe we need to look a little further at the “market” and how the real costs in the common estate (clean air,water) are not being paid. I think the way the ETS is being played with shows the same level of human responsibility as being prosperous, when it is being done at the cost of future generations. Is it any better than leaving children to fend for themselves while we indulge ourselves in our pleasures. It maybe helps the children grow up faster but it has to be in balance. The question is where is the balance? I don’t think it is balanced when we expect to continue producing copious CO2 when mounting evidence says what we have already is damaging us. No better than a drug addict looking after his children by sending them to the park at night.
    If this sort of response is coming from the technology for prosperity then maybe there are fatal flaws to human consciousness coming from the use of some of it. “The Ion Effect” by Fred Soyka gives some clues to how acidity we are creating is doing this. The conclusion I come to is we need to find ways of doing things that increase the anion count and we can find ways then to enjoy life without consuming. Planting an organic garden or trees are a starting point.

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  72. So Arana thinks we are all “stark, raving bonkers” if we believe that AGW is a reality and requires action. Presumably he thinks the same of all the major science Institutes of the world, of the authors of countless books asserting the reality, the IPCC authors, all the national leaders who have been gathering in conferences about climate change for the past 20 yrs., the World Bank, the IEA…..the list goes on. There are a lot of crazy people out there!

    I’m reminded of Yale University’s Cultural Cognition Project, which a few years ago researched the issue of people believing or not in human-induced climate change. According to their psychological research one’s reactions either way will have little to do with the strength of the arguments or the calibre of the science. Rather it will have everything to do with whether it gels with or offends one’s deep-seated views about morality and how the world ought to work.

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  73. Trevor – I heard about that and I do wish we’d make a serious effort to get that cable laid down, and get google interested in putting a farm on it in Invercargill. It is something we can do.

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  74. In response to Wayne, yes, schemes like ETS are a con, on two major grounds. Firstly they legitimise emissions, which if you are looking to reduce emissions is a daft thing to do. Secondly, there is no exchange for CO2 for money.

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  75. The wet getting wetter, and the dry drier is no doubt a difficult concept for many to grasp. I hope the following helps readers here.

    As the atmosphere warms the capacity of the atmosphere to hold and redistribute water vapour increases at a rate greater than the warming. This is the Classius-Clapeyron relation. What it means is that there is a larger variance between areas where moisture is converged by weather systems and where it diverges. So if you were to imagine a thoroughly hypothetical scenario where exactly the same weather event were to happen in a cool climate and a warmer one, the warmer one would experience heavier rainfall (moisture convergence) and more intense drought (moisture divergence).

    Because over 80% of rainfall happens over the oceans, and because global rainfall records aren’t that robust, this trend only shows up in the extremes of global rainfall observations. Another good indicator that this intensification of the global water cycle is underway are the observations of salinity in the oceans. In regions where rainfall has increased ocean salinity has decreased, and where evaporation has increased, salinity has decreased. See Durack (2012).

    So what’s likely to happen in New Zealand? Drought will grow more intense and devastating when it appears, and rainfall is going to fall in more intense downpours (more damaging floods). This will be most apparent during the tropical Pacific ocean phenomena La Nina & El Nino. In New Zealand, La Nina are likely to be wetter than before, and El Nino drier.

    Climate models tend to underestimate the rate of this intensification of the global water cycle (when compared to actual observations), so they are probably projecting a better than best case scenario.

    Skepticalscience.com will have some posts explaining all this in the next couple of months.

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  76. Trevor says “More scare tactics from photonz1 (10:53am). ”

    No – just reality. There is a big cost to owning Huntly, and even if you duplicate it’s capacity with renewables, it still has to be paid for.

    It’s a bit like having a Hummer for the occasional trip, and also running a Prius – the cost is going to be substantially more than just running a Prius alone.

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  77. Send that government to me, I’ll teach it a good lesson how to pay heed to innocent farmers suffering much from climate change or global warming – however you like to entitle it with.

    I wonder why it doesn’t arrange any proper irrigation for farmers in dry seasons! What is a government for?

    Ripon, from Bangladesh, Asia#

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  78. What this will cost us in the long run… the cities of Auckland and Wellington, most of our farmland….

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/03/13/global_warming_new_study_shows_warming_is_faster_than_it_has_been_in_11.html

    … and Huntly is not going to be all that habitable as the waters rise.

    For now it can burn biomass – wood pellets and that is not wonderfully efficient at getting the heat up. It HAS to go. There isn’t any future in which Huntly should continue to operate or (it is likely) will even be able to do so. The generator sets might be moved somewhere north and used for solar powered steam generation… saving some of the cost of that plant… but the burning of coal has to stop.

    Other technologies we have to have a rudimentary capability to do (so we can bootstrap if we have to) are bearing and turbine manufacture. Steam pistons are not very efficient.

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  79. Yale University’s Cultural Cognition Project

    I’m sure that is possible, however you must also accept it’s possible that it affects you, too. And the scientists you agree with.

    I’m sure you’ll dismiss it. I’m sure you THINK you’re responding in a pure, scientific, analytical manner.

    But are you, really?

    Because, it seems to me, many people who into environmentalism appear to have an entrenched moral viewpoint. Nature = good, human development = bad.

    How much of your own decision making is based on a deep seated morality and view of how the world should work?

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  80. Arana:
    Of course you’re right! How could I not bring my deeply conditioned way of seeing the world to any issue?! And there is no doubt that “environmentalism” (or “worship of nature”) has become a new kind of religion to many people. Partly, I think, that is a reaction to the way we humans have seen ourselves as ‘supra-natural’ and have used and abused ‘nature’ for so long, rather than seeing ourselves as intrinsically part it. All of which is an interesting aspect of this blog topic. But it doesn’t deny, in my view, the fact that the overwhelming weight of evidence now supports AGW. Call me and others like me “stark raving bonkers” if you must, but I don’t think that you can dismiss all the scientists who now support AGW as simply having an “entrenched moral viewpoint – nature = good, human development = bad”.

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  81. Of course you’re right! How could I not bring my deeply conditioned way of seeing the world to any issue?!

    Indeed, but I was merely pointing out your criticism of me cuts both ways. I think you’re right, but you’re right about all of us.

    I think many will listen to any science that feeds their entrenched moral view. In many instances, the scientists themselves are vulnerable, too, because this area is difficult to prove using scientific method. There are many unknowns.

    For the record, I think we’re likely having an effect, but the jury remains out on how much effect we’re having. If that effect is insignificant, then it’s nothing worth worrying about.

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  82. For the record, I think we’re likely having an effect, but the jury remains out on how much effect we’re having.

    I don’t buy this line of reasoning.

    If isotopic measurement proves that the type of carbon being released is fossilised and that the attributable atmospheric proportion (PPM) greatly outstrips ‘natural’ carbon, then the human generated CO2 increase is not “likely”, it’s factual.

    If oceanic acidity is rising due to supersaturation in seawater of the same fossilised CO2 (again proven), then this is not a belief, it’s a fact.

    Given that CO2 is accepted as a greenhouse gas with all that that entails – even by those who are skeptical of AGW – it’s QED that human generated by-production of CO2 is leading to an increase in greenhouse gas levels.

    The immediate effects are clear – higher and growing CO2 PPM in the atmosphere and the water.

    The inference of both these factors is also clear – warmer atmospheric temperatures and higher water acidity.

    The “how much” is subjective and essentially academic.

    A precautionary principle would advise us that it’s better to stick with the ‘known’ elements within a system we don’t fully understand (i.e. attempt to stabilise, base-lined on historic, human friendly conditions) than to blunder into the unknown, assuming everything will be alright.

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  83. Great summary Gregor. It then leaves the question of responsibility as a society, eg. the precautionary principle, and in times of shortages, do we curtail societies luxuries such as air travel, so that others can produce their needs, as a “market” approach allows excesses to continue. A better example is the present need to cut water usage in many communities. If someone is growing food as they have lost their job then this is a priority over many other usages but we put late bans on when swimming pools, ornamental gardens, and the like have helped use the reserves. This is why society has to face up and look at the facts and probabilities, or do we just let the gardener and his kids stalve if the trends continue? A sure recipe for social conflict if growth and prosperity is the only criteria for decisons.

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  84. it’s QED that human generated by-production of CO2 is leading to an increase in greenhouse gas levels.

    But does that mean anything? If it doesn’t cause a marked increase in temperature, then why worry about it?

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  85. I guess you stopped reading after that paragraph, Arana.

    Your question is answered if you choose to read on.

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  86. The immediate effects are clear – higher and growing CO2 PPM in the atmosphere and the water.The inference of both these factors is also clear – warmer atmospheric temperatures and higher water acidity

    Big deal. If temperature increases an insignificant amount, who cares?

    The temperature rise is a guess.

    Meanwhile, it’s proposed we engage in massive economic cost “correcting” this – which may not need correcting (within natural tolerances) and may not achieve anything positive at all. Those economic costs will cost lives i.e. the cure may be worse than the (imagined) disease.

    I won’t worry about it. If some people get off on doing so, it’s their life.

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  87. Big deal. If temperature increases an insignificant amount, who cares? The temperature rise is a guess.

    You’re right.

    Theories based on empirical knowledge and inference are all quesswork and can therefore be discounted out of hand if they don’t fit your worldview.

    Fucking scientists – what do they know.

    Meanwhile, it’s proposed we engage in massive economic cost “correcting” this – which may not need correcting (within natural tolerances) and may not achieve anything positive at all. Those economic costs will cost lives i.e. the cure may be worse than the (imagined) disease.

    Jesus, where to start on this shambolic, muddle-headed tripe.
    No one is talking about correcting; the language is about stabilising.
    Some of the finest minds in the world have set 350ppm as a sensible measure – they didn’t just put it out of their arses.
    Not sure where you are getting “natural tolerances” from either. Natural for dinosaurs maybe but not humans.
    “Those economic costs will cost lives…” Really? Who’s and why?
    Forcing a reduction in CO2 emmissions will be “worse” that not reducing them? Really?

    I won’t worry about it.

    Fair enough.

    I would hazard a guess however that you’ll be at the front of the line bleating for a handout when your house is underwater and you can’t afford food (certainly inferring from your previous position on education where you feel the state is obliged to produce you the perfect worker at a cost you want to pay).

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  88. Arana,

    The temperature rise is a guess.

    Yes, but an educated guess following decades of research. What is your guess based on? Seems like it’s based on hoping the research is wrong.

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  89. Scott Tinker interview by Kim Hill (national radio) this morning.
    A very interesting discussion.
    Everyone on this thread should listen to it.

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  90. I would like to see the Green Party web site include a lot of the information that BJ and others have dug up. The current page http://www.greens.org.nz/climatechange is buried in Other Issues and doesn’t have anything dealing with the arguments put forward by the climate change deniers (e.g. ACT, United Future?) or the lukewarmers (National?).

    The section titled “Recent News About Climate Change” doesn’t really give any actual news about climate change, just Green Party press releases. Yet we have recently seen record breaking temperatures on several continents – if that isn’t climate change news, what is?

    The argument that needs to get across to voters goes something like:
    - CO2 levels are increasing (see evidence)
    - they are increasing because of us (CO2 isotope evidence, details of how much fossil carbon is being burned vs the CO2 increase)
    - the CO2 is causing warming (see explanation of GHG effect, satellite measurements)
    - we are seeing this warming (see air and sea temperature records, Arctic ice melting)
    - this warming is predicted to be harmful (forecasts of droughts, floods, storms, sea level rise, etc)
    - we are seeing signs of that harm (sea level rise measurements, drought, flood and storm records and reports),…

    JMHO

    Trevor.

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