Shortcut on White Paper

The quick way to see if the Australian government’s CO2 emission targets are adequate is to check the reaction from The Australian. Since The Australian believes that it’s not warming and we’re not causing it and it will not be harmful and we can’t do anything about it, they’re not going to approve of any targets that will do anything. So what’s the verdict?

the Prime Minister’s policy response to the Garnaut report is largely balanced, prudent and cautious. While honouring his promise to act on climate change, it is mindful of the need to protect jobs in challenging economic times.

Ouch. That bad.

See also John Quiggin, Mark Bahnisch, John Wilkins and the round up from dk.au.

Comments

  1. #1 Peter Johns
    December 15, 2008

    It’s the economy stupid. People don’t care about increased CO2 if they are un-employed. Upping the anti business retoric in the coming recession is just plain stupid and will lead to Aust getting closer to a 3rd world status, wait on, that is the aim of the GW industry, to pull the west down to the level of the 3rd world. It all makes sense now.

  2. #2 Lank
    December 15, 2008

    Many earth scientists believe that reducing our CO2 emissions will have no appreciable effect on the earth’s climate but will be harmful for most plant growth and reduce agricultural productivity.

    Rudd has gone too far with his new tax at a time when we should be building our economy not destroying it.

  3. #3 guthrie
    December 15, 2008

    Wow, first 2 posts are by people who lack any evidence to support their assertions. Where are they coming from?

  4. #4 MarkG
    December 15, 2008

    Lank: only the earth scientists who don’t understand physics. It’s actually a fairly small group.

  5. #5 Lank
    December 15, 2008

    MarkG “I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” quote from Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

    There are many other “earth scientists who don’t understand physics” like Prof Giaever.

  6. #6 Lank
    December 15, 2008

    MarkG – There are plenty more ….”Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

    Could this include many of the Deltoid ‘congregation’?

  7. #7 pough
    December 15, 2008

    He certainly doesn’t understand religion, though. Sounds like he’s living up to Clarke’s First Law.

  8. #8 Lank
    December 15, 2008

    MarkG – Heres a quote from a Japanese scientist which may apply to you… “CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

  9. #9 Lank
    December 15, 2008

    MarkG – I particulary like this quote from Dr Gee … “For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?” – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

    Note that there has been a trend of cooler temperatures over the last 10 years despite a small but steady increase in CO2. Does this mean CO2 emmissions are cooling the planet?

  10. #10 pough
    December 15, 2008

    Ooh, someone who believes in my favourite conspiracy theory. Thousands of nerds worldwide have banded together to stop trying to figure things out so they can perpetuate a known lie in the hopes of using environmental causes to weasel wads of grant money out of right-wing governments.

    It’s not just likely, it’s inevitable! Everyone knows you can only get grant money by making up a global catastrophe. There’s no other way! And once you get that grant money, it’s hookers and blow, my friend. Lord knows those government folks would never use the money to fund research for any private firms!

    I’ll ask this again: how can anyone with a functional brain believe that?

  11. #11 pough
    December 15, 2008

    Kunihiko doesn’t sound at all like a crank…

    Professor Kunihiko Takeda, Ph.D., is vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University and one of the world’s leading authorities on both uranium enrichment and recycling. The 65-year-old is also a bestselling author of books with titles such as “We Should Not Recycle!” “Recycled Illusions” and “Why Are Lies Accepted on Environmental Issues?” Professor Takeda should know why: Although a member of just about every prestigious academic and governmental entity, he has stayed independent and made a career out of challenging the establishment. He has never taken any garbage from anyone, not even during his 27-year tenure at Asahi Chemical Industries, where for five years he was director of the Uranium Enrichment Laboratory. He also kept his record clean as vice deputy president at the Shibaura Institute of Technology before joining Nagoya University in 2002. His fresh and original views are clear in his most recent book, “Hypocritical Ecology,” which has been flying off shelves at the speed of 100,000 a month since being published this June..

  12. #12 Lank
    December 15, 2008

    Pough – What can I say? you certainly are on the ball!

    As one who works for the US Govt Stanley B. Goldenberg said….”It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” – U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

  13. #13 Paul
    December 15, 2008

    pough:

    >Lord knows those government folks would never use the money to fund research for any private firms!

    Hmmm.

    So i guess they don’t fund private defence research. I guess all those private defence companies here in the UK that get public money must be imaginary.
    But of course if the money is spent on something that meets the approval of some, then it is OK.
    If the money produces an undesirable answer it had better be shut down, because the consequences can not be handled by some that find change difficult.

    Recently i read one poster on another site refer to ‘environmentalists’ as ‘enemies of capitalism’. The same language used by any dictator, left or right. I assume he of she were shaking his or her fists at an imaginary crowd when they were typing the comments.

  14. #14 Doug Clover
    December 15, 2008

    I did a quick search with google scholar and Scopus for J A Peden and can find nothing published by such a person on atmospheric physics or climate science in general. I did find a website where he is an editor but nothing else.

    I, therefore, conclude that he is not much of a scientist.

    Doug Clover

    PS I define a scientist as one that does research in a field of knowledge, then publishes the research in a relevant peer reviewed journal.

    And of course by relevant I don’t mean Energy and the Environment

  15. #15 Nick
    December 15, 2008

    Lank, your ability to faithfully regurgitate Marc Morano’s decontextualising is noted. Perhaps you are ready to read more widely?

  16. #16 MarkG
    December 15, 2008

    Lank: All your ‘quotes’ are opinions. Is this supposed to impress me? None of these show why CO2 does not absorb radiation at multiple wavelengths. I should add before you copy and paste some more that it doesn’t matter how many quotes your throw down, throwing down quotes does not constitute an argument.

    To a first order approximation it’s completely accurate to say that if CO2 absorbs at many, many wavelengths and re-emits that energy with the mechanisms available then it is a very important gas in the radiative balance.

    If this is not the case then most of modern physics is basically wrong.

    Now since your position therefore is that most of modern physics (and by ‘modern’ I’m talking about science since 1910 or so) you need to do a damned sight better than peppering me with quotes with uncertain pedigrees. I should add that your answer should include new spectroscopy of CO2 which shows that it does not have numerous wide absorption bands and explain why all previous CO2 spectroscopy is wrong.

  17. #17 Lank
    December 15, 2008

    *[Off topic comment deleted. If you want to discuss Inhofe’s list, I already have two posts on it. Tim]*

  18. #18 FDB
    December 15, 2008

    I couldn’t wait till the morning Oz to work out if the scheme was any good, so invented my own metric:

    In her press conference, are Heather Ridout’s eyes in their sockets, looking calmly down the camera lens, or are they popped out and dangling on her lapels by their nerves?

    I was disappointed to note the former.

  19. #19 Hot and Bothered
    December 15, 2008

    The Australian Environment Foundation (err the IPA) is not happy http://www.listentous.org.au/. Guess that means they are playing bad cop while the OZ plays good cop.

  20. #20 Warwick
    December 15, 2008

    Why are we so arrogant that we think we can and should control the climate? Why must we interfere with nature’s responses.

    What is the perfect climate?
    Who decides?
    Who controls the thermostat?

    Let nature control it, the record is pretty good so far, and let us adapt.

  21. #21 janama
    December 15, 2008
  22. #22 bi -- IJI
    December 15, 2008

    janama, how many links are you required to spam each day in order to get paid?

    Methinkss you’re not getting paid enough for this crap.

  23. #23 bi -- IJI
    December 15, 2008

    > Let nature control it,

    “Nature”? As in oil companies?

  24. #24 Ian Forrester
    December 15, 2008

    Warwick says: “Why are we so arrogant that we think we can and should control the climate?” Warwick it is people like you who are being arrogant by refusing to accept that we are changing the global climate, for the worse I might add.

    People like you who are consistently obfuscating and denying what scientists have been saying and showing for over 20 years. Does it give you a bloated sense of importance to be so arrogant and greedy that you are prepared to continue to encourage people to live beyond the natural atmospheric limits?

    You also ask: “What is the perfect climate?” The answer to that is rather simple if you only stopped to think about it. The perfect climate is the one which has prevailed during the 30,000 years or so humankind has been evolving into an agrarian race. It is not one that is going to be 2 to 6 degrees C greater than that.

    Another simple question that you ask: “Who controls the thermostat?” The answer to that question is that hopefully it is not misguided and dishonest people like you but intelligent people who have analyzed the information for themselves and have arrived at the inevitable conclusion that we must strive to keep GHG concentrations at acceptable levels so that we do not alter the climate in ways which will lead to permanent harm to our way of life.

  25. #25 Warwick
    December 15, 2008

    Let nature control it,

    “Nature”? As in oil companies?

    Good to see you are open minded about the whole issue. Open minded enough to jump on the enviro side and slam oil companies.

    Any chance of opening both eyes and making your own decisions? Of course you won’t be using a car, road, plastic or any other oil derivative in the mean time.

  26. #26 bi -- IJI
    December 15, 2008

    Warwick:

    Oh wait, so you’re being open-minded by assuming at the outset that mankind can’t do havoc to the global climate?

    And you’re being open-minded when you can’t actually prove the anthropogenic global warming theory wrong, but you have to resort to calling it “arrogant”? You can’t prove it’s wrong, but you know it’s “arrogant”?

  27. #27 z
    December 15, 2008

    Following the “Global warming has become a new religion” quote:

    “Ivar Giaever had done some “Google research” before the panel so he could also speak about 1934, 1998 as the warmest U.S. (where they have the best record) years in the 20th century, the hockey stick graph, the crucial role of the huge heat capacity of the oceans, the little ice age whose cause is unknown, and about the increase of “bulk” Greenland ice in the last century (by 2 meters at the center).”
    < http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/3784>

    well, since your average armchair genius can so easily “debunk global warming” by doing some Google research, i’m sure a Nobel prize winner can certainly do so. probably how one gets a nobel prize in the first place. if only the IPCC had access to Google!

    Giaever prefaces the remarks with “First of all, I didn’t want to be on this panel”

  28. #28 Warwick
    December 15, 2008

    Ian Forrester, you sir are a prime clown.

    You have made a complete balls up of judging my character, with your vitriolic judgement.

    You clealry have no idea about the issues and prefer an assualt on the writer. Which ever side of the argument you choose to be on, they are worse off for your presence.

    Unfortunately you seem to be on my side.

  29. #29 luminous beauty
    December 15, 2008

    Warwick,

    On one side we have every professional scientific organization in the free world arriving at a deliberate and considered conclusion based on evidence, and on the other a small band of frightened sociopaths in denial of the fact that human beings are rapidly fouling the planet upon which they depend for their existence.

    I’m sorry, but giving credence to liars is what is known as having a mind so open one’s brain is in danger of falling out.

  30. #30 z
    December 15, 2008

    “Why are we so arrogant that we think we can and should control the climate? Why must we interfere with nature’s responses.
    What is the perfect climate? Who decides? Who controls the thermostat?
    Let nature control it, the record is pretty good so far, and let us adapt.”

    holy moly.

    last of all “we” don’t adapt. “we” die. and the majority of our descendants die, earlier and less happily than they otherwise would. Repeat for several generations; if you’re lucky, there are some survivors. That’s not “we”.

    second lastly, nobody decides on a perfect climate; but we can vote on a climate which reduces the amount of “us” dying earlier, etc.(see the above.) most of us would be in favor of such.

    firstly, given that the earth has spent by far the greatest part of its history significantly hotter, wetter, and more carbn dioxidey than it is now, with nothing on the land surace that you’d recognize as an animal and very little that you’d recognize as a plant, until the carboniferous era was kind enough to bury vast quantiies of atmospheric carbon underground over a hundred million years, which we are now returning to the atmosphere over a century or so, i’m thinking that “nature’s responses” to our tampering are going to be unpleasant, and we ought to “tamper” with them by not kicking the sleeping beast.

    “Why must we interfere with nature’s responses” reminds me of the guy slated to be guillotined but the blade sticks: “oh wait a minute, i think i see your problem”

  31. #31 Warwick
    December 15, 2008

    bi – you worship scientific consensus, and yet then you fly in the face of it.

    It is the role of the theorist to prove the theory correct, not the role of the objector to prove the theory wrong.

    I don’t doubt we have influenced the climate. My question remains what do we seek to achieve? What is the perfect climate? Who decides? Who controls the thermostat?

    How do we know we have got there? To me it is about measurable accountability, not plain ideology. Yes, we want to lower emissions, but when will they affect temperature and how will we know?

  32. #32 z
    December 15, 2008

    “It is the role of the theorist to prove the theory correct”

    you know, i keep asking people to prove the theories of gravity and/or conservation of energy correct, but nobody ever does! more conspiracy?

  33. #33 z
    December 15, 2008

    OK, substantive question for a change, requesting decently scientific answer:

    re:
    “To a first order approximation it’s completely accurate to say that if CO2 absorbs at many, many wavelengths and re-emits that energy with the mechanisms available then it is a very important gas in the radiative balance.
    If this is not the case then most of modern physics is basically wrong.”

    OK, so N2 and O2 don’t have dipole moment and therefore do not absorb IR; also they don’t radiate IR; so far I’m pretty sure I’m right, right?

    but then if you have an isolated large ball of mixed N2 and/or O2 floating in space without contact (therefore no conductance) without any CO2, methane, H2O, etc., how does it radiate heat out? it does, doesn’t it? entropy and all that? I’ve pored over the web via google and not found an explanation. or at least any explanation at a level such that i could recognize it as such.

    help! thanks!

  34. #34 Warwick
    December 15, 2008

    z – we adapt every day.

    If it cold i wear more clothes and use a heater, if it is hot I wear less and use a fan. I expect to do that for around 85 years and then I’ll die.

    And I don’t see spending billions of dollars is going to change that.

    I agree it is an issue that needs addressing. What I want to know is how will we know we have addressed it?

    I don’t agree that we will be hotter and under water in a decade – no scientist does, but the propsals to deal with ths issue assume that we will be the same people in 100 years as we are now. We aren’t the same as we were 100 years ago, yet we are trying to use today’s solutions to solve tomorrow’s problems.

  35. #35 Warwick
    December 15, 2008

    “I keep asking people to prove the theories of gravity”

    z – throw your pen in the air and see what happens. wow, maybe there is something to that theory of gravity.

    Pump Co2 into the air and see if the temperature changes – Houston we have a problem!

    Secondary problem, you are so determined to assassinate me, you haven’t considered what my underlying opinion is.

    My house probably has a greater commitment to the environment than most people, I agree this is an issue, I am keen for a solution, I am asking how will we measure if this is the correct approach and when and at what cost?

    But slay me if it helps deal with your dragons.

  36. #36 bi -- IJI
    December 15, 2008

    Warwick:

    > I don’t doubt we have influenced the climate.

    You just said it’s “arrogant” to think that humans can influence the global climate. So which is it?

    > you haven’t considered what my underlying opinion is.

    I don’t think you have one. You’re just throwing out talking points, even mutually contradictory ones, to dispute anthropogenic global warming.

  37. #37 Chris O'Neill
    December 16, 2008

    “For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?”

    I expect we’ll have to keep putting up with crap like this until after about June next year when the regression of HadCrut3 starting in (blatantly cherry-picked) February 1998 to then will probably become positive.

    Of course, the denialists will still be cherry-picking the last remaining temperature derivations that suit their advocacy after then.

  38. #38 Tim Lambert
    December 16, 2008

    To understand why the Australian Environment Foundation is opposed you have to know that it’s a front for logging companies, not coal miners. So the ETS is a sweet sweet deal for the coal miners but there isn’t that much for loggers.

  39. #39 Warwick
    December 16, 2008

    bi…think it through.

    I don’t doubt we have influenced (ie nudged) the climate through laying roads, clearing land etc. I concur there is a correlation between tempertaure and Co2, although the strength of the relationship seems to vary. I don’t see a causal link between the first and second (or the second and first).

    I think it is arrogant to think that we are superior enough to bend the climate to our demands. So I suggest we learn to adapt to it, to move with it, as nature does.

    Regardless of it being natural or anthropogenic, as the climate changes, so should we.

  40. #40 sod
    December 16, 2008

    I concur there is a correlation between tempertaure and Co2, although the strength of the relationship seems to vary. I don’t see a causal link between the first and second (or the second and first).

    this can be easily tested. take a bottle of soda and heat it. enjoy the sparkling, when you drink it afterwards!

    I think it is arrogant to think that we are superior enough to bend the climate to our demands.

    currently we DO bend the climate. just not to our demand, but into some random directions. the idea is, to stop doing that!

    seriously Tim, what secret code words did you use, to pull all those lunatics out of the woods?

  41. #41 Michael
    December 16, 2008

    “z – throw your pen in the air and see what happens. wow, maybe there is something to that theory of gravity.” – Warwick

    Gravity is just a theory.

    I’ll believe in gravity when I can see it.

  42. #42 sod
    December 16, 2008

    Regardless of it being natural or anthropogenic, as the climate changes, so should we.

    so tell me Warwick, what (percentage) part of your income have you given last year, to help those adapt, who are not as well of, as we are?

  43. #43 Warwick
    December 16, 2008

    so tell me Warwick, what (percentage) part of your income have you given last year, to help those adapt, who are not as well of, as we are?

    I would estimate it at about 5-8%. And you?

  44. #44 Michael
    December 16, 2008

    I think it is arrogant to think that we are superior enough to bend the climate to our demands. So I suggest we learn to adapt to it, to move with it, as nature does.
    Regardless of it being natural or anthropogenic, as the climate changes, so should we.
    ” – Warwick

    Remember kiddies, it’s OK to set the house on fire, but you’re an arrogant meddler in the natural order should you try to put it out.

  45. #45 ChrisC
    December 16, 2008

    Warrick,

    I’m going to go out n a limb here and assume that you are sincere.

    “Why are we so arrogant that we think we can and should control the climate? Why must we interfere with nature’s responses.”

    Two things here. One, you are right, there is no “idea” climate. However, we live in a period of time when the climate has been remarkably stable, and human society has adapted to it. Temperature increases in the last 4-5 decades have been (by geological standards) extremely rapid. Changing the temperature changes the climate. It changes rainfall patterns, the frequency of droughts, heat waves and so on.

    This has happened multiple times in the geologic past. The Mayan civilization in central America collapsed, in part, due to an extend period of drought (partially brought on by regional deforestation… see Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” for a really good account). It is not just that changes are occurring, it is that they are occurring faster than we can adapt. It is not so easy to shift agricultural regions further north/south.

    Secondly, no one, (with the exception of people who make stupid arguments for geoengineering solutions to climate change), say we are “controlling” or “harnessing” nature. The experiment we are undertaking on planet Earth, but dumping huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, are uncontrolled. If basic radiative physics are to be believed, a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will result in between 2 and 4.5 degrees of warming across the globe. We are not doing this for some purpose.

    The planet will do what it will do. With a greater than 95% confidence, we’re sure that what it has DONE in the past is raise it’s average temperature due to the CO2 we’ve dumped into the atmosphere. Pretty much all the predictions are for this to keep happening, and that the changes (on the whole) will not be good for us, or many of the other critters we share the planet with.

    Hope that clears up some misconceptions. I recommend reading Real Climate and Open Mind if you are interested in some of the specifics.

  46. #46 Bernard J.
    December 16, 2008

    Why are we so arrogant that we think we can and should control the climate?

    You know, I remember a decade or two ago when the same was said about the oceans’ fisheries: statements along the lines of “what makes humans think that they could ever deplete such vast resources?” At the time I was an undergrad, but even then I argued with my economist friends that even the largest fisheries could be destroyed by overfishing.

    I was mocked.

    Trouble is I, or more specifically the scientists whom I used as the sources for my references, were right.

    It’s really just a matter of counting fingers and toes – ALL of the fingers and toes…

    Why must we interfere with nature’s responses.

    The point is that we already have interfered with nature’s responses, and the idea is to mitigate that interference as best as we are able.

    Let nature control it, the record is pretty good so far, and let us adapt.

    Yeah, ya see, the problem here is that nature’s idea of ‘control’ might not be what you expect it to be. Natural equilibria are rather more complex than a naked ape, with a kilo and a half of brain, can elucidate a priori with sufficient success. The history of human civilisations having their collective arses kicked illustrates this quite well.

    The ‘record’ that you refer to is a bit like the weather, where what happened yesterday is fairly likely to happen tomorrow, but a week after or a month after is harder to compare with yesterday or today. “So far” is not nearly sufficient evidence upon which to base a survival strategy.

    Another thing you seem to be oblivious to is the resilience in the ecosystems being impacted. The biosphere is remarkably resilient, but such resilience is not infinite, and human actions are on a trajectories that are largely predicated upon essentially infinite resilience.

    That is not going to fly forever.

    I would venture to suggest that the prime clown here is NOT Ian Forrester, who did in fact address your points well, but that the bozo with the big shoes is you.

    It is the role of the theorist to prove the theory correct, not the role of the objector to prove the theory wrong.

    Cripes, this ignorance of the scientific process seems to be contagious. It was only two days ago that I had to educate janama about the same misunderstanding on Deltoid here. Read it Warwick, and you’ll have taken one small step to learning about high school-level science.

    z – we adapt every day.

    You’re determined to hold onto this strategy, aren’t you?

    Adaptation is constrained by the limits of the system in which the adapting organism lives, and by the physiology of the organism itself. If you doubt this ask any medical scientists about the impact of innumerable environmental and lifestyle factors upon the human body. Said bodies have some capacity for dealing with unfavourable pressures, and energy-intensive technologies and push the envelopes further out, but there are always limits.

    Except perhpas in the eyes of the more na├»ve Cornucopians…

    And aside from the constraints upon adaptation, it is important to realise that it is a post hoc strategy, and as such does not remove the initial stressor. And if that stressor is dynamic, as the progress of AGW is, then adaptation is a strategy akin to taking an axe to the brooms of the sorcerer’s apprentice.

    Regardless of it being natural or anthropogenic, as the climate changes, so should we.

    Out of morbid curiosity, how much climate change do you imagine that humanity could ‘adapt’ to, without doing something about it? Note: to answer this question properly you will need to integrate the response of the entire biosphere (upon which humanity is irrevocably dependent) into your reasoning.

    Oh, and you might need to explain how we would respond once our adaptation ‘envelope’ is exceeded. Especially if we haven’t put any mitigation in train prior to reaching that threshold.

    References would be nice. In fact, some basic science from you would be a nice change, too.

  47. #47 clarencegirl
    December 16, 2008

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry as the winged monkeys take flight against any and all climate change modelling, prediction or evidence.
    Bet none of them live in a wide estuary surrounded on all four sides by large tidal bodies of water.
    Yep – didn’t think so!

  48. #48 Bernard J.
    December 16, 2008

    I must say I was impressed with the waltz of the bullshits that Chris C and Bernard J performed.

    If you disagree with anything that I said janama, and you have solid material to refute me, put it up.

    Otherwise, resist the temptation to demonstrate such revealing displacement behaviour.

  49. #49 Paul
    December 16, 2008

    Warwick said:

    >Why are we so arrogant that we think we can and should control the climate? Why must we interfere with nature’s responses.

    Erm. why are we so arrogant that we believe we have no impact?
    Your view is somewhat arrogant because you imply we can do what we like and have no influence. That epitomises the concept of arrogance.

  50. #50 sod
    December 16, 2008

    I would estimate it at about 5-8%. And you?

    i am curious. what climate related program did you support? building dams in Bangladesh?

    i doubt that i donate 5% of my income. and surely not to climate change related projects (i doubt that you do either.)

    my biggest contribution to this is spare time, and i give a lot of it, eve if we don t count correcting nonsense spread by denialists like you….

  51. #51 Paul
    December 16, 2008

    >I think it is arrogant to think that we are superior enough to bend the climate to our demands. So I suggest we learn to adapt to it, to move with it, as nature does.

    No, no, no.
    That isn’t what the issue is about.
    What is happening is that humans are becoming a bigger influencing factor on the environment and climate.
    The aim is to develop a minimum or neutral human impact and to keep our influence in check, so that what you are left with is the uncontrollable natural inputs. This gives us and other species space to survive. If a catastrophic natural event occurred then our fate is out of our hands and that is how it should be.

    IMO it isn’t about controlling the weather or eliminating catastrophic natural events.
    We have a duty to minimise are own impact, to ourselves and to the other species on the planet. It is about doing our best to survive on a long term scale (many thousands of years).

    >Regardless of it being natural or anthropogenic, as the climate changes, so should we.

    You can not compare the two or say it all is the same thing. That brushes over the important facts about humanities impacts on the limited space and resources we have. Anthropogenic influences demand that we are responsible and that we have a duty to do something.

  52. #52 bi -- IJI
    December 16, 2008

    Well, apparently it is not arrogant to change the climate in random, uncontrolled, and disastrous ways.

    However, it is arrogant to try to stop changing the climate in random, uncontrolled, and disastrous ways. It is arrogant, presumptuous, and Marxist to attempt to stop doing something.

  53. #53 Dave
    December 16, 2008

    Look, the deniers here have changed my mind. To this end, I would like to send the following petition, and I’m seeking support from lark and the others on this board to add their names to it:

    To:
    The Arctic Ice,
    North Pole,
    Planet Earth

    Please stop melting at once. Deniers have discovered that global warming is a conspiracy thought up by ‘The Scientists’ to get funding, and chattering class socialists. Your continued, deliberate self melting is a trick to convince us global warming is happening. Stop it now.

    Guys, do I have your support to add your names to the Petition?!

  54. #54 pough
    December 16, 2008

    I call Poe on Warwick. Moronic points held together by overblown drama-queen rhetoric… gotta be a satire.

  55. #55 Arthur Smith
    December 16, 2008

    I don’t think anybody responded to ‘z’ #33 here yet.

    If you really have a ball of matter that doesn’t couple to radiation, just hanging out there in space with no other energy or matter exchanges with anything else, then it will just sit there minding its own business forever. It is by definition one of those thermodynamically isolated systems, and will indeed evolve to a state of maximum entropy given the fixed total internal energy it has – a perfect thermal equilibrium state, uncoupled to the rest of the universe, maintaining a steady equilibrium temperature.

    Of course, in reality, a big ball of N2 and O2 will have some interactions with the outside world, just at a much lower level – there will be some trace absorptivity and emissivity in the infrared thanks to collision-induced distortions of the molecules, or thanks to rare ionization events, or other unusual states. If the ball is large enough, it’ll still absorb everything it receives, but even if it doesn’t it will still eventually reach radiative equilibrium with the neighboring universe, including whatever nearby star may be shining on it, so it’ll be in a roughly constant-temperature steady state, rather than the full thermodynamic equilibrium state of true isolation.

  56. #56 Dano
    December 16, 2008

    Sign me up Dave. I’ll make up some title to put after my name. Did I mention I was an IPCC reviewer and I have a cute little Nobel lapel pin?

    Best,

    D

  57. #57 bi -- IJI
    December 16, 2008

    Dave:

    Won’t work. The Arctic ice is just being arrogant — for thinking it can defeat the One True Philosophy of the Free Market. How dare Mother Nature interfere with Freedom!

  58. #58 Boris
    December 16, 2008

    I was an IPCC reviewer

    What? You are not an EXPERT IPCC reviewer? I hear Dr. Ball is running a seminar on resume padding if you want to further your miserable education.

  59. #59 Paul
    December 16, 2008

    bi — IJI said:

    >It is arrogant, presumptuous, and Marxist to attempt to stop doing something.

    You need to explain why stopping doing something is Marxist??
    If someone stopped doing something that damaged their environment 1000 years ago, did they consider themselves to be Marxist?

    Are you suggesting that history books should be re-written to only view things from the perspective of modern political/economic thinking?

    That is the ultimate result of such a limited and inflexible political view. It would also imply that politics/economics can’t change and that no matter what new ideas came along, they would always be classed as Marxist or Capitalist etc.

    If you can not synthesise new ideas and new values etc. and assign new names to them, then you will fail, because humanity will leave you behind.

  60. #60 guthrie
    December 16, 2008

    Paul, Bi is taking the mickey out of the deniers. His (her?) posts should be parsed carefully with a sense of humour (although you might not find them so funny) switched on.

  61. #61 DavidONE
    December 16, 2008

    @Bernard J.,

    Your patience is admirable. The most I can muster today for the mini-mob of Deniers is “you’re a bunch of fucking eejits”.

    clarencegirl:

    > Bet none of them [Deniers] live in a wide estuary surrounded on all four sides by large tidal bodies of water.

    Yup. Of the 6.7 billion of us on this planet, a very large percentage are clustered along coastlines that will be swamped by modest sea rises. Hundreds of millions more eke out survival in areas of marginal rain fall and water supply with little or no latitude for reduction in those supplies.

    The Deniers are exclusively made up of those who assume clean water will always flow out of the tap in their sumptuous home, cheap, plastic-wrapped food will always be overflowing on the shelves of their local mega-mart and their 10mpg SUV will always be filled up for a reasonable price at the local fossil fuel emporium.

    Some people are in for a very disagreeable encounter with Mr. Rude Awakening.

  62. #62 Dano
    December 16, 2008

    Boris, I forgot to mention I invented The Inter…er…Climate Science, by being the first published professor from Narnia. You can read all about it in my self-published papers on my blog, just below the chart that shows the latest climate fluctuation is caused by cute puppies and anti-market regulations.

    Best,

    D

  63. #63 Gaz
    December 16, 2008

    Forget anthropogenic global warming!! Now we have the new, improved, anthropogenic climate nudging!!

    >”I don’t doubt we have influenced (ie nudged) the climate through laying roads, clearing land etc.” (Warwick #39 December 16, 2008 1:36 AM)

    Down with AGW!! Long live ACN!!

    Down with alarmists! Down with deniers!! There is a Third Way – The Nudging Way!! We are the Nudgers!! Come join us!

    No more emissions trading schemes for us! No, we propose an EHS – Emmissions Hinting Scheme! Our target for atmospheric CO2 concentration will not be 450ppm but “a reasonable amount, let’s not think about it right now. What’s on TV?”.

  64. #64 Michael
    December 16, 2008

    ….and I have a cute little Nobel lapel pin?” – Dano

    Liar!

    That’s mine.

  65. #65 z
    December 16, 2008

    Arthur Smith :

    Thanks. i guess one must be wary of extending “every day common sense gained from experience” to idealized extreme hyp[othetical situations.

  66. #66 bi -- IJI
    December 16, 2008

    > Our target for atmospheric CO2 concentration will not be 450ppm but “a reasonable amount, let’s not think about it right now. What’s on TV?”.

    No! No! No! The very idea of a “target” is Communist. We should harness the forces of Freedom to get the right climate. Maybe we can dump boatloads of cash onto the Arctic ice, and the Arctic ice will be incentivized to grow back by just the right amount. Freedom!

    If that doesn’t work, then the Arctic ice is giving aid and comfort to terrorists, and needs to be locked up in Guantanamo.

  67. #67 PeterM
    December 17, 2008

    Note Emma Tom’s piece in The Australian last Thursday, as the most sensible article re action on climate change that I have seen in a long time, particularly in The Australian.

    Peter

  68. #68 Bernard J.
    December 17, 2008

    Goodbye Great Barrier Reef.

    Goodbye Koorong and most of the Murray-Darling.

    Goodbye mountain pygmy possums, and similar alpine marsupials.

    Goodbye mountain-top nothofagus associations, and other alpine plant communities.

    Goodbye >20 species of alpine and restricted-distribution reptiles.

    Goodbye >30 species of native anurans.

    Goodbye >50 (or more?) species of native avians.

    Goodbye countless other species of freshwater fish, invertebrates, restricted-range plant species.

    Goodbye large areas of currently viable agricultural land.

    Goodbye water security.

    Goodbye any credibility Australia might have salvaged to set an example for the rest of the world.

    Goodbye human foresight, and goodbye future generations’ rights to the half-decent world we have decided to continue shitting in.

    Hello exponential growth – of our future political, economic, and ecological problems.

  69. #69 Barton Paul Levenson
    December 18, 2008

    Lank posts:

    MarkG – Heres a quote from a Japanese scientist which may apply to you… “CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

    Bakayaro.

  70. #70 Barton Paul Levenson
    December 18, 2008

    z posts:

    but then if you have an isolated large ball of mixed N2 and/or O2 floating in space without contact (therefore no conductance) without any CO2, methane, H2O, etc., how does it radiate heat out? it does, doesn’t it? entropy and all that? I’ve pored over the web via google and not found an explanation. or at least any explanation at a level such that i could recognize it as such.

    Since it wouldn’t absorb sunlight, it would be cold and wouldn’t have any heat to radiate. If it started out warm, it would lose heat very, very slowly due to the very slight greenhouse properties of N2 and O2. Otherwise it would pretty much stay warm.

  71. #71 Barton Paul Levenson
    December 18, 2008

    Warwick posts:

    I think it is arrogant to think that we are superior enough to bend the climate to our demands.

    Who the hell cares if it’s arrogant or humble? How about worrying whether it’s true or false?

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