A Few Things Ill Considered

YouTube: Is Global Warming True?

I think this YouTube video gets an A+ for content as it presents a great lineup of the compelling reasons we can be very confident that the case for anthropogenic global warming is solid.


But on style it does lack a little, oh well. If you want style, Lord Monckton is your man!

This video might be good to pass along as an intorduction/overview to any friends you might have who are not already well versed in the science of this issue.

Comments

  1. #1 Sam K.
    August 5, 2010

    This is certainly a great set of reasons and summary of the body of evidence for being confident that global warming is happening. With regards to being anthropogenic, the emissions, CO2, and temperature chart is shown, which clearly shows correlation. The narrator asks the question “Does the chart show cause and effect?” followed by [paraphrasing] “to claim that it does not requires us to have an alternative explanation.” This puzzles me. The chart doesn’t show cause and effect. The chart shows what it shows; it doesn’t depend on what explanation I have come up with.

    Given the evidence, anthropogenic causes are the best explanations we have, but the chart certainly doesn’t show any evidence of anything beyond correlation. The only other evidence related to causes presented is the greater warming of nights vs. days, which, lacking any mention of expected delay between heating and atmospheric temperature doesn’t really say much. http://scienceblogs.com/builtonfacts/2009/10/deep_physics.php comes to mind.

    Why can’t videos like this be honest and just say “it’s the best explanation we have” and “reducing greenhouse gas concentrations is a prudent response to the evidence”?

  2. #2 adelady
    August 5, 2010

    Weeell. They could go into all the guff about measuring isotopes, but I think they’ve done a nice job.

    Choosing facts, charts and graphs that are readily understandable despite being a bit intimidating for many people is a finely balanced process. This is a good to very good effort. The more people put together these sorts of things, the more likely it is that more simple, striking and persuasive presentations will get into the general media. And especially into schools.

  3. #3 Sam K.
    August 5, 2010

    @2: I’m not talking about about the CO2 chart; I’m content with their explanation of it being CO2 due to the carbon emissions. I’m talking about the CO2 -> temperature link. They describe the greenhouse effect in theory, then say “the greenhouse effect is a fact of physics, but has it caused detectable global warming?” They show greenhouse gas increase. they show temperature increase. where’s evidence of cause beyond the mention of greenhouse effect theory?

    Based on this level of CO2 change, how much does “physics” predict the temperature should change? It doesn’t, at least not directly. Isolating a cause is what’s important here, not to mention scale, especially given the yearly variance. I believe that climatologists have done a good job of this, but none of this evidence is mentioned.

    You can’t just say “In absence of other effects, *some* change in A causes *some* change in B, i.e. the dB/dA > 0. Here’s evidence of change A at scale X. Here’s evidence of change in B at scale Y. Therefore, change in A at scale X caused the change in B at scale Y”

    It sounds like your saying that since this video is targeted at layman with not too much knowledge of the science, it’s OK to make basic inference mistakes, or the way I see it, to take advantage of the average viewer’s basic human “correlation implies causation” bias.

    The best way to properly report/talk about science is to set good examples. This is a good example of data gathering, but not a good example of how science teases apart cause and correlation, which is very much at the heart of the debate about global warming.

  4. #4 michael
    August 5, 2010

    I agree Sam K!
    I agree with you when you ask why they can’t just say “it’s the best evidence we have.”
    I know that warming is happening. I know that warming is real.
    But I STILL, STILL, STILL don’t get it!
    Even IF the evidence is that the increase in CO2 is causing warming, and even IF that CO2 is caused by humankind, where is the evidence that that is a bad thing?

    The video shows that ice is diminishing in various places.
    The video shows that warming is real.
    My understanding is that LIFE flourishes in warm conditions and suffers under cold conditions.
    I believe that, seeing as how the Earth has (apparently) experienced vast fluctuations in CO2 concentrations and temperature in geological history and LIFE has (apparently) flourished in warm times and suffered in cold times, that warming is a GOOD thing.
    Can this be SO wrong?
    Hasn’t there been a “waxing and waning” of life?

    I know that for some, the “emergency” and “fear” come from the belief that the warming will not stop. That the warming has NEVER occurred so quickly, and that the Earth will continue to warm as more CO2 is “pumped” out and there will be a “runaway greenhouse effect” such as that which is the situation on the planet Venus.
    But I also believe that there is evidence that shows we are NOT on the planet Venus.
    Our atmosphere is a little bit different.
    We have land and sea and sky that Venus does not AND, we are just a little bit further away from the sun!

    I am not a scholar.
    I am a simpleton.
    I know I need to read a Science Paper as well as a Science Book!
    But I say again… I DON’T GET IT!
    (Mandas, I really need to read that book you recomended a few months ago. I mean the one that “converted” you.)

  5. #5 co2hound
    August 5, 2010

    Michael maybe this will help you get it and appreciate how very dangerous the present situation is for humanity.

    All this info below is right out of peer reviewed published science papers.

    Global Warming has caused the ocean surface waters to warm which makes them less dense. They don’t mix as well with the lower, cooler layers. So what? Well it just so happens that little plants grouped together with the name Phytoplankton are the base of the oceanic food chain. That is, everything: eats Phytoplankton, or eats something that eats Phytoplankton, or…. well you get the picture. If Phytoplankton are reduced in numbers then everything else in the food chain above them must be reduced in numbers by starvation.

    We have lost 40% of our Phytoplankton since 1950 and currently the loss is 1% a year (source Nature). Seems the food they eat is located in the lower cool areas of the oceans but that food is not being delivered in great enough quantities to support a healthy biomass of Phytoplankton near the surface.

    So what happens now? We have enough CO2 in the atmosphere to easily heat the planet another degree C even if we stop emitting CO2 completely right now. We are at about 0.7 degrees C over baseline and it is creating a loss of 1% a year in Phytoplankton. At 1.7 degrees C over baseline we will be killing Phytoplankton at 2 or even 3% or maybe more a year.

    So why am I concerned about these little plants you need a microscope to see?

    Without them the oceans will die … or more correctly the oceans will be inhabited with life we can’t use as a food source and which may even be toxic to us. And further, the oceans may give off gases that are toxic to us.

    In short, if they go …. we go.

    So there it is, a clear and present danger sneaking up on us.

  6. #6 Marco
    August 5, 2010

    Michael, your understanding simply is wrong. I can’t say it nicer. Life does not favor a temperature. Temperatures govern which life is favored. Cold temperatures are bad for some species, while hot temperatures are bad for other species. Now, life can sometimes adapt to changing temperatures through evolution. But evolutionary changes are likely too slow for many species to adapt to the expected rate of temperature change (regardless of its direction!). Also, of the last 4 extinction events, 3 have been linked to ‘rapidly’ increasing temperatures.

    Earth will survive, and so will life. Heck, so will humankind, most likely. Really no issue there. The problem is that life *as we know it* will change, and we have absolutely no evidence that it will be for the better. co2hound gave one example of how life may well change with warming oceans. Maybe you yourself hardly eat food from the sea, but there are whole communities that essentially live on that. Many animals depend on foodstuff from the sea. They will have to adapt (can they?), or perish. Which affects animals higher up the foodchain. Which will affect their other prey in unknown ways. Which also affects the plants which are eaten by that prey. And-so-on-and-so-forth. People seem to be completely oblivious how much life is interconnected.

  7. #7 GFW
    August 5, 2010

    Marco, that’s a very nice (and correct!) turn of phrase: “Life does not favor a temperature. Temperatures govern which life is favored.”

    To expand on Marco’s point in further response to Michael, while some life may eventually thrive in this warmer world we are creating (as evidenced by archeology) the transition is very likely to involve a reduction in life (as also evidenced by archeology – mass extinctions around times when the temperature changed rapidly) and a serious disruption to human society.

  8. #8 GFW
    August 5, 2010

    Oh, btw Michael, no one serious believes “that the warming will not stop”. What we believe is that with a Charney sensitivity of about 3C, temperatures will rise more than 3C under any emission scenario currently considered politically feasible, and that 6C is easily possible if people decide to go whole-hog on fossil fuels. There is a book called “6 Degrees” which outlines the changes we expect for each degree of a 6C increase. Some of the effects at the low numbers (1C, 2C) are arguably positive, others are clearly undesirable. At 6C though … it’s an epic disaster for most of the human population. I should look up what the sea level rise/time is supposed to look like at 4C.

  9. #9 Chris S.
    August 5, 2010

    I think the word we’re missing here is STABILITY. Life (in the main) prefers a stable environment. (See for example tropical rainforest).

  10. #10 mandas
    August 5, 2010

    Michael

    A couple of things – it wasn’t just a single book that convinced me. At the time of my ‘conversion’, which was a gradual proces and not an epiphany, I was working for a ‘think tank’ on national security issues. As part of my job I had to look at potential threats to security so I did a LOT of reading. And while I has doubts at first about climate change, the more I read the more it became clear to me that there was no doubt – climate change was (is) occuring and we are to blame. So that’s really the only thing I can suggest – keep reading and questioning. You can read bloggers if you want – but question everything they say and try to find the source of any discussion.

    Regarding the points you raised at post #4, I now work in wildlife research, which includes ecosystems and the environment. And that has shown me conclusively that we have to stop thinking about climate change purely from the direct impact on humans. Climate change – rising temperatures, rising sea levels, more extreme weather events, etc – will have little DIRECT effects on humans. It is the effects on the ecosystem that we rely on that will be the most concerning. I even tend to believe that if it was only climate change by itself that we had to worry about, it would be only a relatively moderate cause for concern. But of course, humans are making so many other changes to the ecosystem that when you add them all together, we are getting to a situation which is extremely worrying.

    In 1999 there were 6 billion people in the world. There are nearly 7 billion now, and predicted to be around 9 billion by 2050. That’s a 50% increase in just 50 years. We are causing severe degradation right now to the ecosystem that supports us (decreasing soil fertility due to monculture farming, depleted fish stocks, declining biodiversity, etc), imagine what it would be like when there are 50% more people to feed and house. Habitat destruction is causing an extinction which rivals the mass extinctions of the past, and trophic collapse is imminent in so many parts of the world. Throw in climate change, and we are in a real world of hurt. The ocean, soils and air which supports us will be severely degraded, and will be unlikely to support us at our current levels of consumption.

    We know the burning of fossil fuels is a problem now, think what it will be like if we raise the living standards of everyone to the level of the west (which is an admiral goal), and they use energy at the same level that we do. The USA per capita energy consumption is 10 times that of China. If everyone lived like Americans, we would increase the world’s energy consumption by 6-8 times what it is now, even without a population increase. Increase the population by 50%, and we are talking about a 10-12 times increase in energy usage. In other words, to REDUCE CO2 emissions, which everyone with any credibility suggest we must do, we are going to have to reduce our current western energy consumption by some 80-90%, just to stay at the current total emission levels.

    Some parts of the world will become virtually uninhabitable, due to depleted resources and extreme population densities (not to mention rising sea levels). Americans (and Australians) complain about a few thousand refugees coming across the border or arriving by boat each year. Imagine what it is going to be like when 100s of millions of people attempt to migrate to better locations. We go to war now to secure vital strategic resources such as oil. Think about the conflicts that might arise because of further reductions in oil, or because of water shortages, or because Governments start using force to stop refugee flows.

    You might think that I am a merchant of doom, and I sound like the nutjob standing on a street corner with an ‘End of World is Nigh’ sign. But all of the things I have read all point to the same inescapable conclusion. We are trashing the world we live in, and we need to start to do something about it.

  11. #11 crakar24
    August 5, 2010

    Post 2,

    “The more people put together these sorts of things, the more likely it is that more simple, striking and persuasive presentations will get into the general media. And especially into schools.”

    Ah indoctrination that will solve all our problems.

    Post 4

    “That the warming has NEVER occurred so quickly, and that the Earth will continue to warm as more CO2 is “pumped” out and there will be a “runaway greenhouse effect” such as that which is the situation on the planet ”

    Micheal the current warming is as fast as it was from 1860 to 1880 and from 1910 to 1940 we also know that the CET data set shows the planet warmed by over 3 degrees in 4 decades back in the 1700’s. None of the 3 warming periods mentioned could have been caused by CO2.

    Post 5,

    Co2hound i dont want to dispute your study but how many years have Phytoplankton been around? 1 million, 5 million a gazzillion or a brazillion years? What happened to the Phytoplankton when CO2 levels reached 8000ppm in the past? Did they all die? I look forward to reading your answer.

    Mandas post 10

    I hear what you are saying but what is the solution? Do we introduce mandatory sterilisation to keep the population at a more viable level? If so who decides who gets the chop?

    Developed nations fertility rates have flat lined whilst developing nation are rooting like rabbits so do we deny the third world countries access to the luxuries of life that we take for granted in an effort to “kill them off”.

    The worlds population has been steadily growing since the black plague in 1400, no doubt something like this will happen again. We do not know what the population will be in 2050 but we can guess.

  12. #12 mandas
    August 5, 2010

    crakar

    It has become a catchcry of western civilisation that we need to keep growing the economy etc. But it is rapidly reaching the point that an expanding economy and all its inherent traits (such as demand for more energy, more resources, more land, etc) will no longer be sustainable, and will actually become destructive. We need to rethink the whole concept behind what we view as desirable.

    I know that sounds like I should be living on a commune in Nimbin and dancing with the fairies at the bottom of the garden (and you might be right), but it doesn’t take too much logical thinking to realise that we live in a finite world with finite resources and a finite carrying capacity, and if you keep on expanding you will eventually reach the limit of that sustainability. The only real argument is when will we reach that limit (I think we are pretty damn close if not past it), and will we have the brains to slow down and stop when we do. Or will ‘nature’ step in in the manner you have suggested and visit a pandemic on us, or will we wipe out half the world’s population in a war. Neither of these options are particularly attractive, but they would be consistent with the standard population growth models which are valid for EVERY species on the planet.

    From some of the discussion I read here and elsewhere, it would appear that many people seem to think that the good times will go on forever and there is nothing to worry about (or they don’t care about the future). I don’t agree, but unfortunately, I don’t have the solution.

  13. #13 Chris S.
    August 5, 2010

    Crakar: “Co2hound i dont want to dispute your study but how many years have Phytoplankton been around? 1 million, 5 million a gazzillion or a brazillion years?”

    Which species?

    “What happened to the Phytoplankton when CO2 levels reached 8000ppm in the past? Did they all die? I look forward to reading your answer.

    The Toarcian oceanic anoxic event (∼183 Myr ago) represents a global perturbation marked by increasing organic carbon burial and a general decrease in calcium carbonate production likely triggered by elevated carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere…The Pliensbachian/Toarcian boundary is characterized by an abrupt decrease in abundance of Schizosphaerella punctulata, the most important lithogenic contributor to (hemi) pelagic carbonates in the Early Jurassic…The Toarcian episode reveals that high CO2 levels and increasing primary productivity probably triggered a shift in abundance from highly calcified nannoliths such as S. punctulata and M. jansae to small-sized r-selected coccoliths that overall record a biocalcification crisis at the onset and during the Toarcian episode.

    From: Early Jurassic schizosphaerellid crisis in Cantabria, Spain: Implications for calcification rates and phytoplankton evolution across the Toarcian oceanic anoxic event.
    Tremolada, Van de Schootbrugge & Erba (2005) PALEOCEANOGRAPHY, VOL. 20.

  14. #14 adelady
    August 6, 2010

    crakar, I know you said your son was 15 so you must know something about at least one school, but I’ve spent the last ten years of my life trying to din basic reading and comprehension (including science and maths comprehension) into many primary and secondary students. This presentation has the benefit of being absolutely clear.

    Have you had a look at the waffle that passes for science texts here? If you ever need a downer because you fear being too cheerful, try and work your way through what laughingly passes for science curriculum guidance for SA schools for the last 10-15 years.

    Anything this clear and amenable to step by step analysis and criticism is a huge step in a better direction.

  15. #15 Turboblocke
    August 6, 2010

    Crakar at #11: how does CET data show global warming in the 1700s?

  16. #16 Mal Adapted
    August 6, 2010

    Michael @4:

    …where is the evidence that that is a bad thing?

    The evidence (with links to primary literature) is here.

  17. #17 Matt Bennett
    August 7, 2010

    Hi Michael,

    Here is that book I think you were talking about, it was perhaps I, not Mandas , that you were thinking of…? At any rate though this is no longer available as a free online draft, if you can get a hold of it once it’s published (perhaps in a uni library?) I was strongly recommending you read through the first chapter as a wonderful synopsis of how and why we understand what we do re AGW. It also gives a very effective sense of just how long we’ve known about CO2’s likely effects and how alarming the confirmation and implications really are for humanity. Good luck.

    http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Planetary-Climate-Raymond-Pierrehumbert/dp/0521865565/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281174704&sr=8-1

    Matt

  18. #18 Matt Bennett
    August 7, 2010

    Hi Michael,

    http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Planetary-Climate-Raymond-Pierrehumbert/dp/0521865565/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281174704&sr=8-1

    First chapter – brilliant synopsis of how and why we understand what we do and just how long we’ve known about CO2’s likely effects. It perhaps gives you the greater detail you need… Good luck.

    Matt

  19. #19 Matt Bennett
    August 7, 2010

    Sorry re the double-post, thought I’d lost the first into cyberspace.

    Crack, what have you got to say re the multitude of other lines of evidence outlined in this video, ignoring the graph?

  20. #20 Gaston
    August 7, 2010

    Hi Michael, I’m not a scholar either but let me just leave a short comment: our atmosphere is not like Venus atmosphere… YET. I recommend you to search for the “boiling frog” experiment. My personal opinion is that, unfortunately, we are just getting out of time to “jump”.

  21. #22 Jack Savage
    August 8, 2010

    What a bunch of jessies you are! Someone publishes ONE paper in Nature making the quite extraordinary claim that we have lost 40% of the oceans major “foodstuff” since the 50’s and you all believe it and take it as gospel at once…because it feeds the “the-sky-is-falling” instinct in you. You want to believe it. You hug it to yourselves.
    If I were to point you to a peer reviewed paper that suggested man made global warming was a crock ( and there are plenty of them ) you would find a thousand reasons to discard the findings.
    A thought. Would not the loss of 40% of a major food source not have some sort of knock on effect on the rest of ocean life? Yet nothing seems to be happening much to the rest of sealife except the damage we are doing to it by overfishing, pollution etc…. far more damaging (and more easily dealt with!) than the increase or decrease by a degree or two in sea temperatures.
    I would hate to live in your frightened world.

  22. #23 adelady
    August 8, 2010

    Jack “You want to believe it. You hug it to yourselves.”

    No, Jack. Even the atheists among us sometimes pray that there is something, *anything*, that’ll let us dodge these bullets.

    As Australians, we pride ourselves on being able to tough it out with droughts, floods and fires. Hah, watch out the rest of the world we sometimes say. Well, Russia, Pakistan, China and North Korea are all facing disaster at the moment. Many other countries are dealing with high temperatures (and excessive low temperatures in S America).

    Anyone who does the Nobel winning work to show that this is just an aberration rather than a portent of things to come will be greeted with huge smiles and tremendous acclaim. I keep wishing and hoping, but I’ve not won any other lottery yet.

  23. #24 mandas
    August 8, 2010

    Jack

    “…… Would not the loss of 40% of a major food source not have some sort of knock on effect on the rest of ocean life? Yet nothing seems to be happening much to the rest of sealife except the damage we are doing to it by overfishing, pollution etc…. far more damaging (and more easily dealt with!) than the increase or decrease by a degree or two in sea temperatures.
    I would hate to live in your frightened world….”

    A few things about this statement.

    There has been a huge loss decline in fish stocks etc since the 1950s, and there is no-one in the world with the slightest level of credibility who would argue otherwise. Are you one of those people?

    Of course there has been a ‘knock on effect’ – in fact there have been lots of them. Or have you not done any reading at all on the subject, preferring just to comment from a position of ignorance?

    Yes, pollution and over-fishing are far more of a threat than climate change at the moment. But why add to those problems? And are you seriously suggesting they are (relatively) easy problems to deal with? We are doing a pretty crap job of it right now. How about you try and stop tuna fishing; or shark fishing; or cod fishing; or herring fishing; or….. or….

    And finally I hate to break this to you, but you and I DO live in the same world.

  24. #25 crakar24
    August 8, 2010

    Turbo Block post 15

    This link will take you to a pic that shows the warming i am talking about, now of course some will say “ah but thats just a local warming” and so will end the debate.

    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/CET1659-2003.gif

    Adelaide Lady post 14,

    You are right i have had the displeasure of dealing with a few schools, the point i tried to make was that school age children should be taught to use their own common sense when dealing with issues. To put it another way telling them about ocean currents, El Ninos/La Ninas etc is called teaching. Telling them about how bad cli…sorry AGW is and how naughty they are if they use an Incandescent light globe is indoctrination.

    Matt in 19,

    I have not looked at the video yet because the gubbermint will not let me look a such things during work time(in fact i am suprised this site is not blocked) and i do not have much time after work to surf the net….sorry.

    Chris S in responding on behalf of CO2hound post 13,

    I will let Jack respond (post 22) on my behalf.

  25. #26 Jack Savage
    August 9, 2010

    Mandas:

    “There has been a huge loss decline in fish stocks etc since the 1950s, and there is no-one in the world with the slightest level of credibility who would argue otherwise. Are you one of those people?”
    Please let me make my own argument. Did you overlook the words “overfishing” and “pollution” in my post or did you just choose to ignore them?
    What I have missed over the years is the headline : “Mystery of the Missing Sea Life”, Perhaps you can point me to the papers that you have obviously been reading that address a mysterious (i.e. not accounted for by pollution, overfishing etc) disappearance of sea life which can now (at last) be attributed to the 40% decline of plankton never before observed.
    I continue to maintain that pollution and overfishing are a greater (and much more manifestly real!) threat to our oceans than your catastrophic prognostications, and a lot easier to fix, what with them actually happening and the other being a future-possible boogerman.
    “Are you seriously suggesting they are (relatively) easy problems to deal with?” Er…yes, I am,relatively. And it is important to address them as soon as possible, or there will not be anything much left for your (somewhere-always-in-the-near-future-but-never-quite-here-yet )catastrophe to affect.

  26. #27 Chris S.
    August 9, 2010

    crakar: The graph you link to in post 25 is missing the error bars, why do you think this is?

    As to letting Jack respond – that response doesn’t really touch on what my post said. Jack evidently thinks that current efforts to counter pollution & over-fishing are working, I’d challenge him to prove it but I don’t think I’ll bother.

  27. #28 Jack Savage
    August 9, 2010

    “Jack evidently thinks that current efforts to counter pollution & over-fishing are working”

    What on earth makes you say that? What is it about you guys? Why do you decide what my thinking is without reference to what I actually say? Is it because it is easier to counter the arguments you invent than the ones I put forward?

    If you want me away from this site, just say so…. rather than posting boorish and inaccurate nonsense.

  28. #29 skip
    August 9, 2010

    If I were to point you to a peer reviewed paper that suggested man made global warming was a crock (and there are plenty of them) you would find a thousand reasons to discard the findings.–Jack

    First reference three of the papers among this “plenty”; I’ll decide for myself how many reasons, if any, there are for rejection. And are these papers you’ve *read*, or heard about?

    I ask, Jack, because in my experience on this forum and elsewhere some disputants have a tendency to cite things they have not read . . .

  29. #30 mandas
    August 9, 2010

    Jack

    I don’t wish to sound like I am being personal here, but are you biploar or something? You keep making contradictory statements, such as these:

    Chris said this: “…..”Jack evidently thinks that current efforts to counter pollution & over-fishing are working…”
    And Jack responsed with this: “…What on earth makes you say that? What is it about you guys?…”

    Well Jack, this statement at post 26 sorta makes us say that: “….”Are you seriously suggesting they are (relatively) easy problems to deal with?” Er…yes, I am,relatively….”

    Perhaps you can see our confusion there. Then there is this statement at post 26 as well: “….Please let me make my own argument. Did you overlook the words “overfishing” and “pollution” in my post or did you just choose to ignore them?….”, in response to my post #24. Interestingly, in post #24, I said this: “….Yes, pollution and over-fishing are far more of a threat than climate change at the moment….”

    So you always arc up when someone agrees with you Jack? Or did you just do what you accuse me of; ‘choose to ignore (what I said)’?

    And also on post 26, you said this: “…Perhaps you can point me to the papers that you have obviously been reading that address a mysterious (i.e. not accounted for by pollution, overfishing etc) disappearance of sea life which can now (at last) be attributed to the 40% decline of plankton never before observed….”

    I’m confused. You referred to a paper in 22 that supposedly pointed to a 40% decline in marine food supplies since the 1950s, and called us all ‘Jessies’ for supposedly uncritically accepting it. Yet the only reference to this paper is in CO2hounds post #5, and no-one else has discussed it (he didn’t provide a link, so I have not even looked for it). And to be frank, I would have doubts about a paper that attributed a supposed decline in phyloplankton (not food supplies as you have inferred) solely to climate change. I would suggest that other factors are likely to have played a significant part – you know, factors such as pollution, habitat destruction and changes caused by overfishing.

    Let me make this crystal clear Jack, so you are in no doubt about my position (although I thought I was pretty damn clear at posts 10, 12 and 24.

    Habitat destruction and over-exploitation of resources are probably the greatest threat to biodiversity and the long term sustainability of human society facing us at the moment. This will get worse as the human population increases by a further 50% in the 50 years from 2000 – 2050. The impacts of climate change have been only minor to date, but when you add in a huge increase in the demand for energy from a modernising third world and the expanding population, the problem will continue to grow. Add in abitat destruction and resource over-exploitation, and we are in real trouble.

    We need to start to do something about all these issues now – not some time in the distant future when our politicians wake up and stop pandering to vested interests. We have proved almost completely incapable of slowing things like over-fishing. Indeed efforts to protect some iconic species that have important cultural and nutritional value (such as the blue-finned tuna) result in political bickering, and the minor conservation efforts are proving woefully inadequate. We need to do better – much better – and efforts to fix these problems are being stalled because of short-sighted people with vested interests and members of the flat earth society refuse to accept there is a problem.

    I hope that was clear for you Jack.

  30. #31 adelady
    August 9, 2010

    mandas “The impacts of climate change have been only minor to date,”

    Night time warming decreasing rice yields by 10-20% over the last 25 years. A different kind of green revolution?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10918591

  31. #32 crakar24
    August 9, 2010

    Post 27

    Missing error bars!!!! i dont know why they are “missing” however i am extremely interested in your explanation as to why they are missing and the ramifications this has.

    I thought Jacks response was quite apt for the situation, you welcome with open arms any study that supports your belief but greet any paper which shows you to be wrong with gnarling and gnashing of teeth.

  32. #33 mandas
    August 9, 2010

    Thanks for that link Adelady – I will try and track down the source paper and have a read. I should have said ‘the impacts of climate change have been only RELATIVELY minor (by comparison to habitat destruction and resource over-exploitation).’

    And I tracked down the paper from Nature re phytoplankton. Here is the citation: Boyce D.G,,Lewis M.R. & Worm B., 2010, Global phytoplankton decline over the past century, Nature, Vol 466, pp 591–596, doi:10.1038/nature09268.

    Here is the conclusion with references removed for clarity(Chl = total chlorophyll pigment concentration – a measure of phyloplankton biomass):

    “Our analysis suggests that global Chl concentration has declined since the beginning of oceanographic measurements in the late 1800s. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that these changes are generally related to climatic and oceanographic variability and particularly to increasing SST over the past century. The negative effects of SST on Chl trends are particularly pronounced in tropical and subtropical oceans, where increasing stratification limits nutrient supply. Regional climate variability can induce variation around these long-term trends, and coastal processes such as land runoff may modify Chl trends in nearshore waters. The long-term global declines observed here are, however, unequivocal. These results provide a larger context for recently observed declines in remotely sensed Chl, and are consistent with the hypothesis that increasing ocean warming is contributing to a restructuring of marine ecosystems, with implications for biogeochemical cycling, fishery yields and ocean circulation. Such consequences provide incentive for an enhanced in situ and space-borne observational basis to reduce uncertainties in future projections….”

    You may draw your own conclusions (but read the paper first!!).

  33. #34 crakar24
    August 9, 2010

    Adelady,

    Thanks for the link to the study it is very informative however this statement does concern me “The mechanism involved is not clear but may involve rice plants having to respire more during warm nights, so expending more energy, without being able to photosynthesise”.

    But i am sure it has passed through the rigours of peer review, you know like as described here:

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/agu_censorship.pdf

  34. #35 mandas
    August 9, 2010

    crakar

    hahahahahaha – SPPI – hilarious! You’re a funny guy!

  35. #36 crakar24
    August 9, 2010

    Mandas,

    I think i may have solved your problem. Lets think about this for a moment, as CO2 increases the signs of AGW will continue to present ever faster and stronger. Signs already being seen are floods in Pakistan, China, India and Canada. Droughts in Russia (plus fires), the Amazon and of course in Africa. Here in Australia we have had floods and droughts at the same time!!!

    We are seeing bitterly cold winters in the Nth Hemisphere and now in the STh Hemi as Sth America is freezing even in the Amazon.

    We know the oceans are heating up and turning acidic which now shows the signs of this by destroying plankton (food chain and all that) and to top it off we have now learnt that rice cannot grow very well anymore. Whats next wheat?, corn? who knows what the omni potent force of CO2 will deliver us.

    My point is this “Four horsemen of the apocolypse” scenario can only mean one thing to the useless eaters of this world…….DEATH, which is a good thing. You see as more useless eaters die from drought, floods, heat, cold, infections and starvation they will require less energy this coupled with the fact that they are no longer exhaling means we will have a massive reduction in carbon pollution.

    Think of it as negative feed back, so once all the useless eaters are gone the rest of us can restore the environment to its former glory and then live a utopian life modelled on scenes from Avatar.

    The only question you must ask yourself Mandas is are you a useless eater or one of the utopian few left behind to rebuild?

  36. #37 mandas
    August 9, 2010

    crakar

    Not sure how you have solved my problem – but then, climate change is not so much a problem for me, as for my (and your) children. I have had one child, so overpopulation is not my fault. And I am into my fifties, so its not like I am going to be around for all that much longer (although my grandmother did live to 102, and my parents are both 80 and healthy).

    And not sure why you include yourself in the ‘rest of us’ who are going to survive crakar. But if all this comes to pass, will you finally admit you were wrong? (I somehow doubt it).

  37. #38 crakar24
    August 9, 2010

    Mandas,

    You have been saying recently that we do not have the resources to support the people of this planet and that you have no answer to how we stop destroying the environment etc.

    I was just offering you a solution or my perception of how things will play out, also sorry if i misrepresented myself as i do not beleive i will be one of the utopians, you can tell who the utopians are, they are the ones who will profit most as the useless eaters die.

    By the way re post 35 did you actually read the article or did your preconceived ideas of reality kick in and stop you?

  38. #39 mandas
    August 9, 2010

    crakar

    Nope – preconceived ideas of reality got me. I am trying a new approach. Every time you link to a website which is so out of touch with reality as the SPPI, I will just laugh at you.

  39. #40 crakar24
    August 9, 2010

    Mandas,

    That is a very good approach, this way you can avoid being exposed to anything that may shake your beliefs. You can cacoon yourself in your own little world, you can isolate your mind from any other objective thought whilst still maintaining a subjective view. This approach even has a name it is commonly known as “I reject your reality and substitute it with my own” syndrome.

  40. #41 mandas
    August 9, 2010

    crakar

    All good – except your assertion that SPPI is in someway objective. We all know it isn’t. But keep thinking that way!

  41. #42 crakar24
    August 9, 2010

    Well Mandas if you never read the article you would never know what was written therefore my conclusions about you in post 40 stand.

  42. #43 Marco
    August 9, 2010

    Crakar24, of course McLean et al did not get their reply published. You simply are not allowed to repeat your assertions in the original article, when the comment on your article has shown you wrong in making those assertions. That’s unscientific. And non-science is not to be published in scientific journals. If this is censorship, so be it.

  43. #44 crakar24
    August 9, 2010

    Well, credit where credit is due Marco at least you read the article.

    I suppose it comes down to what you consider to be valid criticism, Mclean et al argued that their methods in question were used to establish the lag between SOI and temp trends and not to manipulate the actual data.

    Do you believe the methods used by certain individuals does not constitute censorship? It would appear to me the journal did not abide by its own rules does this not constitute censorship?

  44. #45 Jack Savage
    August 10, 2010

    At the risk of going round in circles….
    “Chris said this: “…..”Jack evidently thinks that current efforts to counter pollution & over-fishing are working…”
    And Jack responsed with this: “…What on earth makes you say that? What is it about you guys?…”

    Well Jack, this statement at post 26 sorta makes us say that: “….”Are you seriously suggesting they are (relatively) easy problems to deal with?” Er…yes, I am,relatively….”

    They are relatively easy to deal with.Stop putting crap into the sea and stop taking too many fish out of it. I did not say (nor do I think) that current efforts are working. Can you see the difference?

    “There has been a huge loss decline in fish stocks etc since the 1950s, and there is no-one in the world with the slightest level of credibility who would argue otherwise. Are you one of those people?”
    Please let me make my own argument. Did you overlook the words “overfishing” and “pollution” in my post or did you just choose to ignore them?

    My point is not that YOU are aware or unaware of overfishing and pollution. My point is that I AM AWARE of them and their effects on fish stocks. Thus asking me if I am one of the people who would argue that there has been no decline in fish stocks is completely redundant,not to say fatuous. Do you see the difference?

    Let me make MYSELF clear. I think that respectable and essential environmental concerns have been sidelined by the vexing Man made climate change meme and that this is a disaster.
    I reserve my final judgement on man-made climate change but at present I believe we affect the climate but not much,not dangerously and certainly not catastrophically. As a consequence I resent the billions presently being (in my opinion ) wasted on researching it and “combatting” it and the ludicrous blind alleys the politicians and carbon traders of this world are leading us down. Meanwhile real damage happens in plain sight.
    Thus my frustration with well meaning people who concentrate for the most part on a scenario which ( I think) will not come to pass at the expense of clear and present problems.
    Hence (sigh!) my original post poking fun at whoever it was who , on the perusal of one scientific paper, stated as a stone cold fact that 40% of plankton etc.. and was getting all of a panic about it.

    What my beef all boils down to is priorities.

  45. #46 Chris S.
    August 10, 2010

    Jack, apologies for misrepresenting your views. Now can you apologise for misrepresenting the science on the other hand?
    Or would you like to show where “respectable and essential environmental concerns have been sidelined by the vexing Man made climate change meme” ’cause where I’m sitting the two very much go hand in hand. In fact many concerns (at least in the agricultural disciplines I work in) have been sidelined due to the vexing global food security in an unsafe world meme…

  46. #47 Chris S.
    August 10, 2010

    Crakar: Can we be clear where your beef is? Are you upset that:
    i) a clear piece of tripe was published in the first place (if you remove the long-term trend there’s no long term trend)
    ii) that such tripe was exposed as such in the Foster et al. comment?
    iii) that Maclean et al. were not allowed to avoid the substansive issues in their response and just restate their claims?

    Let’s be clear here, if a comment is made on a paper the response must deal with said comment. It’s not like the blogosphere where any awkward questions can be avoided (how are you getting on sourcing those IPCC claims?) you do actually have to respond to critiscism or your response won’t be published. Simples. Or can you, crakar, demonstrate where MacLean et al. deal with the Foster et al. critiscisms?

    For interest, here’s one of the comment’s authors responses to the SPPI piece: http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2010/03/denial-isnt-just-river-in-egypt-it-runs.html

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2010/03/mcleans-whine-part-2.html

  47. #48 Marco
    August 10, 2010

    Crakar24: as Chris S. said. But more importantly, read James Annan’s two pieces.

    There are no rules that say the AGU journals HAVE to publish a reply to a comment. The rules are that those replies have to be reviewed along with the comment. If you cannot even acknowledge the criticism, set up strawmen, and even get perilously close to outright lying in your reply, you’ll get a “reject” from the reviewer(s) of said reply. Which apparently is followed by loads of whining if you are called John McLean…

  48. #49 Jack Savage
    August 10, 2010

    If I have misrepresented anything I apologise unreservedly.

    Having people attack or try to ridicule me for things I have not said or do not think is frustrating and wastes their time and mine.

    You have asked me a tricky one to “show” how climate change has usurped environmentalism. It is an impression I have received from reading about the environment for the last 35 years.
    As a (probably very silly ) illustration, however, I Googled “overfishing” and got 657,000 results whereas “climate change” produced a staggering 73,000,000 results.
    Hardly an argument I know, but nevertheless… You tell me what sort of evidence would convince you that my impression was the case and I will look into it. How about if I researched how much US Government money had been spent researching climate change as opposed to overfishing? The amount of column inches devoted to each topic in the newspapers or websites of Environmental Organisations?

    “In fact many concerns (at least in the agricultural disciplines I work in) have been sidelined due to the vexing global food security in an unsafe world meme…”

    I promise you I am not being deliberately obtuse but I am not sure what point you are trying to make there.

  49. #50 Jack Savage
    August 10, 2010

    If I have misrepresented anything I apologise unreservedly. Having people attack or try to ridicule me for things I have not said or do not think is frustrating and wastes their time and mine.

    You have asked me a tricky one when you ask me to “show” how climate change has usurped environmentalism. It is an impression I have received from reading about the environment for the last 35 years.
    As a (probably very silly ) illustration, however, I Googled “overfishing” and got 657,000 results whereas “climate change” produced a staggering 73,000,000 results.
    Hardly an argument I know, but nevertheless… You tell me what sort evidence would convince you that my impression was the case and I will look into it. How about if I researched how much US Government money had been spent researching climate change as opposed to overfishing? The amount of column inches devoted to each topic on the websites of Environmental Organisations?

    “In fact many concerns (at least in the agricultural disciplines I work in) have been sidelined due to the vexing global food security in an unsafe world meme…”

    I promise you I am not being deliberately obtuse but I am not sure what point you are trying to make there.

  50. #51 Jack Savage
    August 10, 2010

    Sorry about the double post. Modern technology baffles old buffer who still thinks electric power tools are cutting edge science and cool beyond words.

  51. #52 Chris S.
    August 10, 2010

    Jack.

    We can all make statements based on ‘impressions’, all I’m asking is some sort of evidence of your claims, whether it be through evidence of reduced spending on environmental projects explicitly due to funds being diverted to climate change or specific case studies that show this, however you want to do it you need to do more than just make the statement.

    In my experience (and, though not as long as 35 years it is extensive) most measures to combat climate change (e.g. cut down less old-growth forest) or to mitigate against the effects (e.g. develop regions of salt marsh on coastal areas to act as a buffer against SLR and storm surges) go hand-in-hand with other environmental concerns. Perhaps, coming at this from the scientific side of the debate, I am missing certain issues, if so then let’s talk through them – give me some examples.

    My secondary point (food security) is that (again looking at this from an agricultural scientist position) many ‘environmental’ measures such as agri-environment schemes, reducing herb- and pesticides etc. have been sidelined in the name of productivity. Policy-makers (in Europe at least, and I think in the US too) in recent years have been pushing towards reducing imports in the name of food security, citing increasing threats to global security (terrorism, unstable Middle East, potentially hositle China and India etc.) and thus many schemes that aim to improve the environment have been axed as they reduce agricultural capacity. In my view it is this push towards productivity and growth that is a greater threat to ‘the environment’ than any climate change legislation, actual or potential.

  52. #53 mandas
    August 10, 2010

    Jack

    It looks as though we agree on many things – but not all. Habitat destruction and over-exploitation of resources are (in my opinion and apparently in yours as well) the most pressing environmental concerns facing us at the moment. I cannot agree with yout view that they are easy to deal with (“just stop doing it!”). If it were that easy, we would do it, but the reasons we are not doing it is exactly the same reason we are not doing anything about climate change. Because there are too many people with vested interests who are opposed to us putting the brakes on their profitss, and there are too many people who simply deny that there is a problem. These people put pressure on politicians, and they are too short sighted to see that short term greed and political expediency is causing long term problems from which it gets ever more difficult to recover, the longer we delay action. As I have said before, its like getting fat. It may not be much of a problem if you are a few kilos overweight, but the longer you eat excessively, the more weight you put on, the worse your health gets and the harder it is to lose the excess. But if you take action now – the prevention of the problem costs a lot less and is a lot easier to implement than a later cure. Why wait until climate change is a catastrophe? Wouldn’t it be better to avoid that occuring?

    These things are not mutually exclusive. As Chris has suggested, the solutions to one problem can often lead to improvements in the other. If we reduce habitat destruction, we reduce CO2 emmissions from logging etc, and we improve CO2 sequestration in the forests. If we reduce the pollution we put in the ocean, we improve the habitat for fish stocks to recover. Reduce CO2 emissions, and we reduce ocean acidification and the decline in phytoplankton, and improve fish stocks.

    I tend to think that all these things are pretty damn obvious – but apparently not so.

  53. #54 Jack Savage
    August 10, 2010

    Chris S.

    My “claim” as you call it, should you care to re-read my post, was “I think that respectable and essential environmental concerns have been sidelined by the vexing Man made climate change meme and that this is a disaster.”
    I am afraid I can give you no evidence of this “claim” other than to repeat that I really do think it. That is why, when I say something that I cannot immediately back up with some kind of evidence, I am careful to say “I think” or “I believe”
    We can indeed all make statements based on our impressions, and I just did.
    Having said that….I have spent half an hour on the internet trying to get a handle on just how much has been spent by the US Government ALONE in connection with global warming/climate change. It is not an easy figure to pin down. It would seem the only research I can find is on a “denialist” site. (Sigh) I appreciate it is unlikely to carry much weight here, but there is a 20 year referenced table purporting to show dramatically increasing (134 million in 1989 to over 7 Billion in 2009 ) expenditure of $79 billion in total.
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/07/massive-climate-funding-exposed/
    I have tried to find if anyone has had a go at debunking/disputing these figures,but with no success.Perhaps they were not regarded by anyone as controversial.
    If you believe other environmental spending has kept pace with this, then fine. I will accept it as YOUR “impression”. Ideally, produce your own table to support it.
    Sorry I could not whip up a peer-reviewed doctoral thesis.

    On your second point……how very interesting. And on the face of it, rather alarming. I have a deep distrust of agri-business although I appreciate it has brought us cheap food but I always thought it was at considerable cost to the environment. When you talk of “schemes” being sidelined do you mean cutting research or the wholesale cancelling of full-scale real world measures due to be carried out? Are there any websites where this is discussed/set out?
    I would be surprised if GB had reduced its food imports over the last few years. It is getting hard (and ridiculously expensive) to buy food grown or raised locally.
    We seem (here in Kent) to be either playing at farming, growing a few apples and fewer hops or claiming set-aside.

  54. #55 mandas
    August 10, 2010

    Jack

    Re the point about the ‘massive climate funding exposed’ link to Joanne Nova. Although Jo Nova has zero credibility on any climate issue, I have no real reason to doubt this number. Except the sensationalist headline is completely at odds with the content of the article. My reaction is not ‘shock, horror – look how much we are spending’. Rather, it is, ‘Is that all? Why aren’t we doing more?’.

    $79 billion over 20 years is a drop in the bucket, given that it includes:

    “…The US government has provided over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, foreign aid, and tax breaks…”

    To put that into perspective, the US has given $72 billion over the last 7 years into subsidies to the fossil fuel industries, while in the same period the renewables industries received only $29 billion – of which $17 billion was for ethanol funding.

    So – $79 billion to mitigate climate change? That’s an appallingly low number!

  55. #56 skip
    August 10, 2010

    I am afraid I can give you no evidence of this “claim” other than to repeat that I really do think it.

    I’m struggling with how to even respond to this.

    What I might do is try this exact wording when next I submit an article for peer review, if anyone challenges my data and/or conclusions. (Have I been wasting my efforts all this time?)

  56. #57 Chris S.
    August 11, 2010

    Jack:
    Oh well, if you can’t think of any examples I guess there’s no way to continue that conversation.

    As to the agri-environment, most of what I know is through conversations with colleagues and collaborators at DEFRA, Natural England, IAH etc. but for a quick precis:

    Set aside:
    Set aside in the UK was instituted as part of the EU Common Agricultural Policy in 1992. In 1993 farmers were required to set-aside 15% of their land, this dropped to 10% in 2000. At it’s peak (2001) set-aside constituted around 800,000 hectares and drew £180 million in subsidies. In 2007 rising grain prices led the EU to decide the set-aside rate for 2008 would be zero. There has been no set aside in the UK since then.

    (Not sure how your comment that Kent farmers are claiming set-aside can be true in this context?)

    Agri-environment schemes:
    The good news: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding/aesiereport.aspx
    ca. £400 million is paid per year for agri-environment schemes in the UK alone, these cover 66% of agricultural land. Different schemes have differing benefits to the natural environment from zero to a great deal – there is (or was) ongoing research into the benefits. This stream of research funding was drying up rapidly even before the financial crisis (numerous researchers pers. comm.).

    The bad news:
    http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/latest-news/defra-cuts-are-tip-of-the-iceberg/32185.article (for example, I could give you more stories but I am aware of the link limit & want to avoid ending up in the spam filter).
    DEFRA have already had their budget slashed by more than 5% and that £162 million cut is likely to deepen in the near future. (“the clear message from the coalition Government this week was that these ‘efficiency savings’ are merely the prelude to more sweeping cuts from 2011 onwards”). This is bound to impact on agri-environment schemes as well as non-scheme conservation efforts and research. Everyone in the sector is awaiting the autumn spending review with some dread. There is already a recruitment freeze at several research centres and managers have been told to await mid-September, when the new redundancy payment caps come into force, before laying off staff.

    For further discussion of some of these issues I recommend you check out the Farming And Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), Wildlife & Countryside Link, Natural England and DEFRA websites as well as numerous charity bodies (e.g. RSPB, Buglife, Bat Conservation Trust etc. etc.)

  57. #58 coby
    August 11, 2010

    re JoAnne Nova’s funding figures:

    I have not look at this link in detail (there is limited time and tremendous amounts of stuff to read out there, I do tend to prune out people like her based on past experiences of credibility issues) but I have seen numbers like this before and they typically do things like include the entire budget for NASA and things like that. It is probably not a trivial exercise to determine what is specifically climate change related and what is not and would require a lot of judgment calls.

    For example, I would wager a great deal that she includes all the funding for hurricane prediction at NOAA. But without AGW, we would still be trying to predict storm paths and seasonal hurricane trends, right?

    Society funds things it is worried about, but is it really credible that climate scientists, as a global community, has, over several decades, produced textbooks worth of fake science just so they can keep funding relatively modest lifestyles? I can easily see one researcher, or one small team getting away with something like that for a small number of years but this denialist meme is really out there even compared to your average conspiracy theory.

  58. #59 crakar24
    August 11, 2010

    In response to Mclean et al,

    On what basis do you consider this to a “piece of tripe”, is this your own personal view based on years of study in this field or are you simply parroting the teams view?

    My beef as you call it is not with what the study says but how the peer review process was once again manipulated by certain individuals to get a result favourable to them.

    In fact i suggest we throw the peer review process out the window and now simply submit all papers through Jones, Trenberth, AKA “The Team”. This will save a considerable amount of time and money for all concerned.

  59. #60 Marco
    August 11, 2010

    Coby (and Jack Savage): it’s easy to get to large numbers, when you include any and all satellites used to monitor what’s going on on planet earth, and those that study the sun. Climate research benefits from the data those satellites provide, but most of them were not put in orbit because of climate science. There will be similar issues in many other areas, where funding was used for something that can be linked, some way or the other, to climate science.

    Crakar24: subversion of the scientific process would have been to publish McLean et al’s reply. Science takes a step back when authors are allowed to make false claims and not rebut the comment they supposedly are replying to. Any honest person should be lauding the refusal to publish McLean et al’s reply. Any scientist should be saddened at the failure of McLean et al to see how and where they erred.

  60. #61 skip
    August 12, 2010

    is this your own personal view based on years of study in this field or are you simply parroting the teams view?

    He he.

    What was your cut-and-paste of Monckton’s blunder on CO2 residence time? Independent thought?

    Really therein lies your trouble, Crakar. Once you’ve gone off and cited things you haven’t read as authorities and plagiarized “contrarian” literature that is demonstrably wrong, you lose the moral high ground on accusing people of mindlessly accepting something based on preference.

    That being said, I neither accept nor reject McClean et al for the simple reason that I, like you, don’t fully understand it.

    What I *would* accept would be a reversal of the scientific consensus on the causes of global warming.

  61. #62 Jack Savage
    August 12, 2010

    So much to say, but so little time…

    I shall limit myself to these comments:

    Skip.

    “I am afraid I can give you no evidence of this “claim” other than to repeat that I really do think it.

    I’m struggling with how to even respond to this.”

    That is because you struggle to understand the difference between my saying that I “think” (I have formed an impression)that something is happening and a “claim” or statement that I know something to be true as a fact. I “think” you might have difficulties understanding plain English, but I would not claim it was an undisputed fact just because I have formed an impression. That is why I can offer no “evidence”. The only evidence that anyone has formed an impression is that the impression is formed.

    mandas

    You ignore the fact that my thinking was related to the relative spending on climate change as opposed to other environmental issues. You compare the £79 billion to something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and then says that this is “putting it in perpective.” It is “a” perspective, but absolutely nothing to do with the subject under discussion.
    Do you think that spending on research etc relating overfishing and pollution has kept a similar pace to the spend on climate change? Yes or no?

    Chris S

    “Oh well, if you can’t think of any examples I guess there’s no way to continue that conversation.”

    I did bring up the $79 billion and the enormous increases year on year and invited you to say that you thought spending on other environmental issues had kept pace. Your reply?

    Set-aside, schmet-aside. It is now the single Farm Payment or some such subsidy. My point was only that not much real farming goes on in Kent. Is that disputed ?

    DEFRA? Do not get me started!
    http://burningourmoney.blogspot.com/2006/04/whitehalls-worst-department.html
    If a 5% cut in their £6 billion per year budget is all that is happening at the moment I will not lose too much sleep about that. Nor will anyone else much, unless they work there. Ooops. Do you work there?

    Coby.

    I would get creamed here if I say things like you do! A minute of research revealed that NASA’s Budget for 2008 ALONE was $17.3 billion. Jonova’s Climate Change table shows $6 billion for that year. NOAA’s budget for 2008 was about $4bn. You would lose your wager.
    “It is probably not a trivial exercise to determine what is specifically climate change related and what is not and would require a lot of judgment calls.” No shit, Sherlock. Is that the same as me saying it is a hard figure to pin down?
    Jonova has worked long and hard to do so and her figures do not seem to be disputed….except by people who have “formed impressions”. You then wander off on a digression. My point was that I think that spending on ( and by implication concern with) climate change has increased far more in the past couple of decades than concern with real,damaging and immediate environmental problems. Do you agree or not?
    I think I will also take your view and “prune out” people I believe have credibility issues. That sounds like a fancy way of saying I do not listen to anyone who does not agree with me.

  62. #63 Chris S.
    August 12, 2010

    “I did bring up the $79 billion and the enormous increases year on year and invited you to say that you thought spending on other environmental issues had kept pace. Your reply? ”

    Now, are we going to get into the issue of not reading other people’s posts again? I asked for examples of your claim that “respectable and essential environmental concerns have been sidelined by the vexing Man made climate change meme”. You’ve provided one side of the equation but not the other. I will note that on the UK alone £400 million is (currently) spent on agri-environment schemes which is a small part of the full spending on environmental issues in the UK. I won’t touch on the specioussness of the Jo Nova claims as others here are covering that.

    “Set-aside, schmet-aside. It is now the single Farm Payment or some such subsidy. My point was only that not much real farming goes on in Kent. Is that disputed ?”

    Again argument without evidence, it shouldn’t be too hard to provide some links for this case study should it? I’m not going to do your homework for you. Once again though, there is no set aside in Kent or anywhere else in the UK.

    “If a 5% cut in their £6 billion per year budget is all that is happening at the moment I will not lose too much sleep about that. Nor will anyone else much, unless they work there.”

    So, lets get this straight; you are bemoaning the loss of environmental funding and yet are lauding cuts to the one government body that directly funds environment & conservation issues? Wow.

    And no I don’t work for DEFRA, I’ve had a few drips of money from them for work in the past but most of my funding comes from BBSRC and levy boards. The likes of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Natural England on the other hand…

  63. #64 Chris S.
    August 12, 2010

    “On what basis do you consider this to a “piece of tripe”, is this your own personal view based on years of study in this field”

    On the basis I have a passing understanding of basic statistics. I’ve also read (and (mostly) understood) the paper, the comment and the response – have you?

    I note you’ve sidestepped my question: “Or can you, crakar, demonstrate where MacLean et al. deal with the Foster et al. critiscisms?”

    I won’t hold my breath. But I am away for a few days so you’ve got time to work it out…

  64. #65 Marco
    August 12, 2010

    Jack, do you really want us to spend much time on Jo Nova? Because then you will not get your wish. She’s not worth it.

    NOAA’s funding is a good example of conflating climate science with everything related to studying the earth.

    What does NOAA do?
    “From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product.”
    http://www.noaa.gov/about-noaa.html

    Notice that climate monitoring is just one of many aspects? Even if there was no climate change, billions would be used just on monitoring the weather and the oceans, because they are vital for the economy.

    Regarding NASA: in 2010 its earth science section will get a total of 1.4 billion. This is the section that includes, but is not limited to, climate change. Compare that to Jo Nova’s 6 billion.

  65. #66 Jack Savage
    August 14, 2010

    @ everyone

    Well, there is a thing.

    Here was me thinking I had formed an impression that more “workaday” environmentalism has been shunted on to the back burner and I tried to show you, in some small way, why I had formed that opinion. Apparently,however, according to you lot, I had not.
    It is extraordinary how you all could know what opinion I had formed better than I could myself. I am in the presence of great minds.

    You never really understand what I am saying do you? Once again from Chris S I hear I have made a “claim”. I voiced an opinion. I told you why I had formed that opinion.

    You all delight in obfuscation. Fine. As a debating technique, it can be quite effective in an appeal to the audience. But here there is no wider audience. It is just us.

    Chris S
    Marco
    Mandas
    Dappledwater
    Skip
    Crakar
    adelady (new?)

    and a few other drive-by types.

    I was finding this an interesting site for a while, if occasionally a bit too obsessed with “deniers” but I am now starting to see it is a bit of a club, with a small, and strange cast of commentators. Curious, but less and less relevant. It is as though, once Newton had produced his world shaking theory of gravity, there was a small group of people obsessed with trying to discredit anyone who denied it, rather than furthering his work. For people who are so sure you are right, you certainly loathe and fear those who suggest you might be wrong. It is unattractive.

    I think I will leave you all to it for the present,but you will all be pleased to know I have not given up on you. I will be coming back here to look for a follow up to Coby’s post about sea ice once the annual minimum has been reached. I want to see if, in the event no new minimum (in the last 30 years ) has been reached, whether he is still calling Steve Goddard a hypocrite and/or a liar.

    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2010/06/arctic_sea_ice_headed_for_a_ne.php#more

    ( Coby. Do delete this if you find it too off topic! I shall not be in the slightest bit upset as a consequence. I just had to get it off my chest and thought it may just be on interest on some level or other. Climate science is a funny closed world and it might be of interest to you all to hear the impression of a passing stranger.
    N.B. Impression, NOT claim!)

    Bis bald!

  66. #67 mandas
    August 14, 2010

    Jack

    You may not read this, but I can not let you go get away with some of those claims.

    Firstly, as I have stated quite clearly to you and to others here and on other threads, I agree with you that issues such as habitat destruction and pollution are probably much more of a threat right now than climate change. However, that is not the point.

    The point that I think you are trying to make is that climate change is hogging all the limelight, and these other issues which you (and I) think are more pressing problems have been pushed to the back and do not receive the resources and attention they deserve, because climate change is getting all the attention and funding. Is that right?

    Well, its okay to form that view, if it is based on evidence rather than just a ‘feeling’. I guess its okay to form any view you want – but your view should be based on evidence, and if you are shown evidence that your view is wrong, you should accept it. Does that seem reasonable to you?

    And that is the point that I have been attempting to discuss with you. You were critical of a paper on a decrease in phytoplankton, and were critical of us for supposedly accepting it without question. Well, did you actually read the paper? If not, on what basis were you critical of it? And you may have also noted that no-one else even discussed it, until I dug it up in response to your name-calling (Jessies). And you also note that I expressed doubts that the findings of the paper were solely due to climate change, and that pollution etc may have also played a part. But I (and you) have no basis on which to be critical of the findings of a reduction in phytoplankton, because neither of us has either done or read any research which disagrees with those findings. So once again, on what basis can you possibly criticise something you have not read, and for which you have no contradictory evidence?

    You also have produced no evidence to show that climate change is absorbing resources that would be better directed to other environmental issues. Your one piece of evidence re the $79 billion is meaningless. It just shows what one country is supposedly spending, not that those resources have been taken away from other spending. And in any case, a I categorically demonstrated, $79 billion is a pittance, not a ‘shock, horror’ amount of money.

    You have stated that you have been expressing an opinion. Fine. But what I and others have been suggesting to you, and which I will say once again, is to do a little more reading on the subject and do some research before forming to much of an opinion on the issue. You may well find your opinion is ill-founded (sort of like your opinion on the phytoplankton paper – you should read it before criticising it). However, if your reading does confirm your view, you will be in a stronger position to argue its case.

    Why would you think any of that is unreasonable?

  67. #68 mandas
    August 14, 2010

    Oh – and for those of you who are curious, here are a few snippets of information from the NOAA 2009 Budget:

    Fisheries Service Operating Budget:
    ESA/Protected Resources – $173.9m
    Fisheries Management – $360.8m
    Habitat Conservation and Protection – $53.7m
    Law Enforcement – $90.1m
    Other (aquaculture, Antarctic Research, Co-operative Research) – $75.5m

    Total for the NOAA Fisheries Service – $754.0m
    Total for NOAA Ocean and Coastal Planning 2010 – $580.6m

    Total NOAA Allocation for Climate Research 2010 – $464.9m

    Is THAT a better example to put it into perspective for you Jack?

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