Tony Abbott and the Roman Warm Period

Ian Musgrave has written an open letter to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, correcting him on his claim that "at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth the climate was considerably warmer than it is now".

But where did Abbott get the notion that it was considerably warmer in Roman times? Most likely from Ian Plimer, who on page 59 of Heaven and Earth writes:

The Roman Warming Period (250 BC - 450 AD)

Warming started about 250 BC and was enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans. The Romans had it easy. Although the Empire started in cool period, grapes were grown in Rome in 150 BC. By the 1st Century BC, Roman scribes record little snow and ice and that vineyards and olive groves extended northwards in Italy.[213] At he peak of the Roman warming, olive trees grew in the Rhine valley of Germany. The location of vineyards is a good climate proxy. Citrus trees and grapes were grown in England as far north as Hadrian's Wall and most of Europe enjoyed a Mediterranean climate. This suggests a very rapid warming. It was also wetter. Temperatures in the Roman Warming were 2 to 6°C warmer than today. Sea level was slightly lower than today despite the fact that times were warmer[214] suggesting that land movements associated with the collision of Africa with Europe influenced local sea level. Roman clothing also shows that it was warmer than today.

[213] Allen, H. W. 1961: The history of wine Faber & Faber, London.
[214] Lambeck, K., Anzidei, M., Antonioli, F., Benini, A. and Esposito, A. 2004: Sea level in Roman time in the Central Mediterranean and implications for recent change. Earth and Planetary Science 224: 563-575.

"2 to 6°C warmer" would certainly qualify as "considerably warmer", but as he commonly does, Plimer provides no cite to support his claims. He only has two references in the entire paragraph. One, about vineyards, doesn't support his claim that the Roman period was "2 to 6°C warmer" since there are plenty of vineyards in England today. The other, on sea levels contradicts it. If sea levels were lower in Roman times, then it was likely cooler. Plimer tries to wriggle out of this by suggesting that the difference is caused by land movement, but after adjusting for land movement, sea level was still lower. Look at the abstract:

These data provide a precise measure of local sea level of −1.35±0.07 m at 2000 years ago. Part of this change is the result of ongoing glacio-hydro isostatic adjustment of the crust subsequent to the last deglaciation. When corrected for this, using geologically constrained model predictions, the change in eustatic sea level since the Roman Period is −0.13±0.09 m.

In other words, sea level in Roman times was similar to that at the start of the 20th century, suggesting that temperatures were also similar to those at the start of the 20th century, and hence cooler than curent temperatures nad certainly not "considerably warmer".

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What is it with these guys and grapes?
Haven't they heard... grapes come in different varieties/cultivars? In Germany varieties like Riesling (that name doesn't sound very Roman) are grown, whereas in Italy Sangiovese is the most common.

Also, wineries today (and then) aren't just placed anywhere as is implied above, local climate and conditions influence location.

http://www.winepros.org/images-content/perfect.gif

The location of vineyards is a good climate proxy.

No it's not! They have vineyards in Japan and their wine is uniformly awful. Good wine is a good climate proxy - the bargain bins are littered with poor climate-variety choices.

Tim - I think you have the results of your reference backwards:

"the change in eustatic sea level since the Roman Period is â0.13±0.09 m."

I.e. sea level was slightly *higher* in the Roman Period after the adjustment. So likely temperatures were close to or a bit higher than now. Of course we've known we were in a general cooling period from the Holocene Maximum, so that's not too surprising.

And of course, Mediterranean climates are dry, not wet.

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

"the change in eustatic sea level since the Roman Period is â0.13±0.09 m."

I.e. sea level was slightly higher in the Roman Period after the adjustment.

I can see how you could read it that way, but the text of the actual paper is pretty clear:

...sea level at 2000 years ago was
1.35 +- 0.07 m (standard deviation of the mean) lower
than today...The total isostatic contribution to the change in sea
level over the past 2000 years at Torre Astura is
estimated at -1.22 +- 0.06 m at 2000 years BP for
the weighted mean earth model. When compared with
the observed value, this indicates that eustatic sea
level in Roman time was at -0.13 +- 0.09 m.

The "citrus in England" claim is a new one to me. I assume it was produced from the same source as Plimer's other uncited claims, but will now enter the denialist canon.

As Martin thinks shows.

This made me laugh:

"Roman clothing also shows that it was warmer than today."

Never mind availablity of materials, economics, fashion, or the general hardiness of the population.

Actually, I would have thought wool and animal hide were the main materials available to the Romans. Both of these are considered to be best suited to making warm clothing.

By lord_sidcup (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

"The "citrus in England" claim is a new one to me."

Sure - grapes, pineapples, oranges, lemons - is there anything the Chinese Navy wasn't shipping across the North Polar route from Britannia back then?

What is it with these guys and grapes? Haven't they heard... grapes come in different varieties/cultivars?

The medieval Vikings reported the existence of a land they called "Vinland" because of the grapes that grew there. This "Vinland" is probably what we call the island of Newfoundland (the Vikings did attempt to settle near the northern tip of this island), although it might be as far south as Nova Scotia or Maine, or it might even be Labrador. Even though this was during the Medieval Warm Period, northeastern North America is not exactly known for its warm climate. There are wineries in New England and southern Quebec, but the varietals are ones that most people would not recognize--the more usual wine grapes would not survive winter in this area.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Given the importance of wine in Roman culture and their inability to pick up a bottle from the nearest corner store, no doubt they were willing to put up with poorer quality and lower production than a modern English winery would accept.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

âBy means of glasses, hotbeds, and hotwalls, very good
grapes can be raised in Scotland, and very good wine too
can be made of them at about thirty times the expense for
which at least equally good can be brought from foreign
countries ... As long as the one country has those
advantages, and the other wants them, it will always be
more advantageous for the latter, rather to buy of the
former than to make.â
Adam Smith (1776)

So, people calling themselves "skeptics" refuse to believe multiple independent paleoclimate reconstructions published in top peer reviewed journals, yet the presence of grapes grown in regions where they are grown today is undeniable evidence that the past was warmer.

In my book, actual skeptics aren't gullible fanatics.

> Roman clothing also shows that it was warmer than today.

Clearly he hasn't heard about the socks:

>Evidence for what, by modern standards, would be considered a lack of style has been uncovered at a major archaeological dig in south London, where a foot from a bronze statue appears to be adorned with both socks and sandals.
...
>"It's embarrassing for them," said Nansi Rosenberg, senior archaeological consultant at EC Harris, which is managing the excavation.
>"I would think their excuse would be the cold. We know from the writings of Tacitus that the weather in Britain was terrible."

We can count ourselves lucky that the denialists haven't read Darwin. If they had they'd be on about the Early 19th Century Patagonian Hothouse (based on Darwin's description of the local clothing, or more precisely the lack therof). Don't anyone tell Plimer...

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

What about Plimer's proposal that local sea area was lower due to collision of Africa with Europe? The abstract of the cited paper makes it clear that isostatic rebound is the factor to be concerned about. Is Plimer's claim as ridiculous as it seems?

@19:

While I'm pretty sure that "a collision of Africa with Europe" and isostatic rebound are entirely different things, it's true that changes in land have affected relative sea levels. The point is that once you remove that factor, sea levels would have still been slightly lower in Roman times, implying that it was not in fact warmer back then.

Reading Steve L's comment more carefully, I see he's inquiring about the Africa and Europe collision claim per se, not about effects of land changes on sea level.

Yes, it strikes me as pretty ridiculous. But I'm not a geologist.

Eric Lund wrote: "The medieval Vikings reported the existence of a land they called "Vinland" because of the grapes that grew there."

Yeah, but those same medieval Vikings also called that large island with a permanent ice cap in the northwest Atlantic Greenland, too.
Cheeky buggers, they were, but shrewd real estate promoters.

Anyone who thinks Newfoundland could be 'Vinland" has never been there to see its coastal marine barrens and largely boreal forests for themselves

The Norse Vinland sagas also talk about a place with great tidal differences and landlocked lagoons where halibut could be caught in puddles on the shore as the tide retreated, which sounds an awful lot like the Bay of Fundy, suggesting New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, both of which are far more more temperate candidates for Vinland. In fact today there are several commercial vineyards in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley and in southern New Brunswick around Moncton.

By Jim Eager (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Re anthony @3

>No it's not! They have vineyards in Japan and their wine is uniformly awful. Good wine is a good climate proxy - the bargain bins are littered with poor climate-variety choices.

Indeed.
There is an assumption that the growing of vineyards in Britain by the Romans meant the wine was good.

AFAIK there is no record as to how good or bad it was.
And as you point out, you can grow vineyards in all sorts of places.

Steve Reuland @21 -- yeah, I'm specifically asking about how Plimer can use the African and European continents colliding to say something about sea level 2,000 yrs ago. It's not as though the continents just bumped into one another then (to cause a sudden subduction or something) and, to my knowledge, it's not as though they've stopped running into one another since then. Right? I'm not a geologist, but Plimer is! So either I'm lacking the relevant facts or he's incompetent even in his field of expertise.

I live in the Denver, Colorado, USA metro area, a part of Colorado that is not known for its wine (microbrews yes, wine no) or grapes. Yet I have a grape vine growing in my back yard that produced grapes last year. Were it bigger, I'm sure I could crush them, ferment them, and make terrible wine from them.

Heck, I accidentally made wine my sophomore year of college by taking a sip of Welch's grape juice and letting the now contaminated jar sit forgotten in the sun on the windowsill for a week or so. Nasty stuff, but I got a buzz off it.

So, can anyone recommend a Scottish wine made form grapes?

BTW, there is one species of hardy orange that will survive surprisingly cold climates. So the claims of citrus growing in England during Roman times does not impress me.

By Berbalang (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

J Bowers

Plimer and you agree on something:

'Sea level was slightly lower than today despite the fact that times were warmer, suggesting that land movements associated with the collision of Africa with Europe influenced local sea level.'

The Romans didn't need wine to be good. They drank it sour (effectively as vinegar) mixed with water and herbs, a mixture which they called *posca*. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posca for details. So yes, wine from Roman Britain probably was crap, but that was just fine for the Romans' purposes - they weren't trying to win prizes for quality!

El Gordo Said:'Sea level was slightly lower than today despite the fact that times were warmer, suggesting that land movements associated with the collision of Africa with Europe influenced local sea level.'

So is this evidence that you're buying into Goddard's hypothesis that higher atmospheric pressure causes warming?

And to think it's often said that contrarian mythology is a bunch of self-contradicting crap?

I seem to recall a mention in Nennius of the Orange Groves of the Picts.

Apologies for the superfluous question mark in the final sentence of my previous post.

I was somehow unconsciously thinking it with an Aussie accent whilst typing.

It was clearly too cold to grow wine grapes in Australia before 1788.

Ah ha! Thanks for the detective work Tim. I wondered where Aboot got that from, the "Roman Warm Period" is fairly obscure if you are not a climate researcher. But as I noted in my post, it's not a global phenomenon, and unlikely to be warmer than the medieval warm period, let alone warmer than now.

chek

JB and I had a discussion on another thread about sea level during the Roman Climate Optimum and Plimer may have cleared it up. Let's not split hairs over Goddard's hypothesis.

From another source the sea level fluctuated around this time, but starting about 200 AD there was a short phase of warmer conditions which lasted for a hundred years. Anecdotal evidence suggests that sea level increased and covered the floors of Roman buildings along the English coast.

We've been through this before @ Deltoid, see starting @ #11 onwards. I expect few peopel are as authoritative on wine in UK as Selley.

See also About the Book, as the second edition has more material. On our next visit back to Yorkshire, I am keen to do a wine tour and see what they actually get.

Grapes != perfect proxy for temperature, but since good wine is a high-value crop, people do create vineyards as poleward as they can, so it is a useful proxy, if handled thoughtfully.

Living not too far from Napa&Sonoma, I always thought the phrase "Canadian wine" was an oxymoron, but reasonable grapes have been marching Northward through the Lake Okangan area:

'The British Columbia wine industry was reborn in the late 1980s when many cool-climate, hybrid grape varieties were uprooted and replaced with vinifera grapes which now thrive in selected microclimates along Lakes Okanagan, Skaha and Osoyoos and as far north as just above the 50th latitude."

We ski up there ~3 weeks a year, and always sample local wines, and they're actually getting reasonable.

(But, I will admit, the most delightful wine-tasting trip I ever had was along the Swan River (near Perth) via canoe, like this. Very different from usual wine-tasting in Napa, Sonoma, or (back in AU) Hunter Valley.)

By John Mashey (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce have one thing in common. They both have Ian Plimer as their adviser on global warming and, in addition, Abbott has benefitted from the advice of Lord Monckton. At least these people take their advisors seriously.

That is more than can be said for Rudd who, judging by his refusal to put a price on carbon or take action to reduce emissions, may listen to his advisers (the Chief Scientist for Australia, CSIRO, BOM, etc) but he certainly does not take them seriously, or implement policies consistent with their views.

Agnostic - "At least these people take their advisors seriously."

I hate to say this but you actually have a point.

What is worse - a denier who is consistent or someone that accepts the science, publicly accepts the science and the importance of climate change action, gets elected on that platform and then does nothing.

Ulitmately Rudd's and Abbot's position results in exactly the same thing - no real action on climate change.

By Stephen Gloor … (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

I'm no historian but 250 AD was not the time of Jesus anyway.

>Agnostic - *"At least these people take their advisors seriously.*"

And
>*I hate to say this but you actually have a point.*

My take would be that Abbott has found the advisors that tell him what he wants to here.

Rudd finds himself in a more nuanced position (even Howard went to the 2007 election with a promise for an ETS.

Adrian Wall (love the name!) mentioned ClimateDepot's lame argument of - "Britain is too cold today for an army to invade it wearing skirts. But the Romans did exactly that"

Ha! Tell that to those kilt wearing highlanders who fought in so many of Britian's wars. Besides, didn't the nudey and blue Picts stop the rather better dressed Romans in their tracks?

By Craif Allen (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@43: From what I recall of the museum at Bennachie it went something like this:

We beat the Romans a few times and were on the receiving end of a few severe drubbings, but it was the combination of our stubborn refusal to stop fighting them and (importantly) the terrible Scottish weather that caused the Romans to give up on invading Scotland as a very bad idea.

Adrian Wall:"Britain is too cold today for an army to invade it wearing skirts. But the Romans did exactly that"

Craif Allen:"Ha! Tell that to those kilt wearing highlanders who fought in so many of Britian's wars. Besides, didn't the nudey and blue Picts stop the rather better dressed Romans in their tracks?"

Kilts are a relatively modern introduction, 16th century. And it's not like the Picts actually stopped the Romans, but it is true that traditional battle "garb" in Englaland and Eire of the time (and a long time after, for Eire) *was* a nice thick smear of woad.

I guess the idea is to fight extra-hard just to stay warm. Not a good climate-proxy, then.

By Snarki, child … (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

I grew up in central Massachusetts, west of Worcester, where Winters are quite cold - quite a bit colder than the British Isles.
There was always an abundance of concord grapes growing wild. I don't know their origin, whether native or not, but they would certainly make an okay wine.

Argghhhhhhh!!!

and most of Europe enjoyed a Mediterranean climate.

No. No. No! "Mediterranean Climate" actually means something, and it is NOT "warm". For central and northern Europe to experience a Mediterranean climate, would involve a substantial shifting of weather patterns. I'm not aware of any evidence for this. As I've told my first year students many, many times, you can't just say stuff. You have to back it up and know what your words mean. Plimer should friggin' well know this.

As for Norse Vinland, I always thought it was located at L'Anse Aux Meadows in New Foundland?

I've often wondered about vinland. Not realy about the exact location, but did the vikings find vines there (which leads to other interesting questions), or just claim they could be grown there?

@eddie and ChrisC:

The problem with "vin" is that it can mean "grape" or "meadow". While the former is more likely, what exactly did the Vikings consider a "grape"? Etymology is a tricky thing. It may well be that they considered the cranberry a "vinber". However, if Vinland included (or actually referred to) New Brunswick, there are abundant grapes (riverbank grape, frost grape, and fox grape). Butternuts were found at L'Anse Aux Meadows, and they also happen to grow in New Brunswick.

"...Mr Howard, by what we call a perforation, caused a vault or cave to be made quite through the hill, which came out again into a fine vineyard, which he planted the same year, on the south side, or slope of the hill, and which they say has produced since most excellent good wines, and a very great quantity of them." Daniel Defoe, A Tour Through England and Wales, 1724 (non-fiction travel guide).

"I at Sir W. Batten's did hear the particulars of it; and there for joy he did give the company that were there a bottle or two of his own last year's wine growing at Walthamstow, than which the whole company said they never drank better foreign wine in their lives." Samuel Pepys, The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1660-1669.

The Doomsday Book (1068) lists 55 setlements with vineyards including one at Eaton Socon in Bedfordshire (now Cambridgeshire).

Henry of Huntingdon's Historia Anglorum (1129) remarks that "Britain abounds in so many commodities, it is even fertile enough for vines ..." and William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificum Anglorum (112?) noted that wine produced in Gloucester was "abundant and of good quality."

By savemejeebus (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Ulitmately Rudd's and Abbot's position results in exactly the same thing - no real action on climate change.

That should be:

Ultimately The Greens and Abbot voted for exactly the same thing - no real action on climate change.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 15 May 2010 #permalink

Chris

"Ultimately The Greens and Abbot voted for exactly the same thing - no real action on climate change."

That's a really poorly thought through argument. Labor refused to negotiate with the Greens, why would the Greens support something they disagreed with from the start (and told Labor so) and were sidelined from any negotiations.

Chris - "Ultimately The Greens and Abbot voted for exactly the same thing - no real action on climate change."

True enough. I do agree with the next comment that the Greens did not like the ETS as it overly compensated polluters, had too low a target and locked in those pathetic targets till 2030.

However, and this is a big however, the end result of the Greens and Abbot and Rudd was like you said, no action on climate change precisely what the coal industry really wanted in the first place.

Funny thing is why does the government bend over backwards to acccomodate big coal when something like the super profit tax, that has all the miners up on their hind legs, get though without a hitch.

Why can't the government upset the coal lobby the same way with a simple carbon tax??????

By Stephen Gloor … (not verified) on 15 May 2010 #permalink

ChrisO: "The Romans didn't need wine to be good. They drank it sour (effectively as vinegar) mixed with water and herbs, a mixture which they called posca. "

Think that sounds bad? Look upgarum; they had it with everything.

Citrus in Britain?
A typo, perhaps?
I think it should be circus.

I find these arguments for warmth very uncompelling.

According to Denial Depot, a very trusted source, hippopotamuses were wading in the Thames river in great numbers, in Roman times, before Global Cooling froze them all, or something.

"Meanwhile in England beautiful hippos were swimming up and down the Thames and people were dancing and singing through vast vineyards covering the country. A large volume of wine was produced by England in this time causing a few arguments with France, although thanks to the warmth both countries often overlooked their differences."

"After years of prosperity caused by a very warm world, the climate decided to disprove manmade global warming again by cooling down on it's own. The world became grim and frostbitten."

"The Hippo population in London was eradicated and people had to resort to selling meagre goods on the frozen Thames. Millions died in such frost fairs. The cold brought plague, famine and war."

#57,Hippos were the ice-breakers of choice in the River Thames around the time of Tony Abbott,sorry Jesus Christ, but records show they were not eradicated: they won a contract to supply river ice-breaking services in Africa and moved their business there.

"Ultimately The Greens and Abbot voted for exactly the same thing - no real action on climate change."

Nathan:

That's a really poorly thought through argument.

It's not an argument, it's a statement of fact.

Stephen Gloor:

I do agree with the next comment that the Greens did not like the ETS as it overly compensated polluters,

Other Senators that the ALP needed to pass the legislation would never have agreed to an ETS that caused an instant capital loss to carbon-emitting industries. The ETS would still have motivated them to reduce their carbon emissions because they could then sell their freed-up permits. The Greens had an ideological agenda to punish carbon-emitting industries which was not necessary to reduce carbon emissions in future.

had too low a target and locked in those pathetic targets till 2030.

And what targets do they have now? There is no such thing as "locking-in" targets a long way in the future. Future governments are not bound by current legislation. BTW, 5% reduction for the whole country by 2020 means 20% reduction PER PERSON by then. Not a trivial reduction. Just asking again, what targets do they have now?

Funny thing is why does the government bend over backwards to acccomodate big coal when something like the super profit tax, that has all the miners up on their hind legs, get though without a hitch.

I didn't realize it had got through the Senate. I mustn't have been paying attention.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

The Greens had an ideological agenda to punish carbon-emitting industries which was not necessary to reduce carbon emissions in future.

Sadly, that appears to be correct.

Gaz, Chris,

That would be similar reckoning to a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. But my reckoning is that its too early to tell if the Greens made a mistake. We won't know the answer to for at least a decade.

The design of Labour/Turnbull ETS was so poor that even Garnaut said it was a line ball call on whether it was useful. And no ETS has yet to prove cost effective compared to competing abatement mechanisms. ETS have so far shown themselve to been highly rortable.

I see no way forward for incorporating carbon offsets whose rubbery accounting seem a designed to maximize both incentives and a smoke screen for corruption.

We must remember that so far there has been zero lost abatement (compared to the Rudd Turmbull ETS) and less payout (resource pumping) given to the big polluters.

We might know in a decade or two if your initial judgement bears out. But it seems to me that Rudd was only for the ETS when it meant zero net political cost to him. And that shallow commitment seemed built into the design of the ETS.

Sea level was lower during the Roman Climate Optimum, when temperatures were higher. Why is it so?

"Sea level was lower during the Roman Climate Optimum, when temperatures were higher."

All the evidence says it wasn't warmer than now globally, no matter how many times you repeat it.

By Robert Murphy (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

jakerman:

That would be similar reckoning to a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

So are you disputing that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?

The design of Labour/Turnbull ETS was so poor that even Garnaut said it was a line ball call on whether it was useful.

Garnaut proposed zero compensation that would have caused instant capital loss to the businesses affected. I know the Greens want to live in an ideal world but that is politically impossible.

And no ETS has yet to prove cost effective compared to competing abatement mechanisms

or the other way round either.

ETS have so far shown themselve to been highly rortable.

That's the scare story pushed by anti-climate scientists. The rorts have come from carbon-credit-creation schemes, not from emissions trading itself.

We must remember that so far there has been zero lost abatement (compared to the Rudd Turmbull ETS)

That's just not true (from when the scheme was due to begin operating). Carbon emitters with their permits would have been motivated to reduce their emissions if they could sell their permits for more than the cost of reducing their emissions.

and less payout (resource pumping) given to the big polluters.

Yes, it wouldn't have punished carbon emitters the way the Greens want. But the sad fact is that we don't live in an ideal world.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

el Gordo is a fâ§ckwit (look it up in the dictionary, it's not just a name). Why is it so?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

>So are you disputing that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?

Depends on the bird and what comes wrapped up with it.

>Garnaut proposed zero compensation that would have caused instant capital loss to the businesses affected. I know the Greens want to live in an ideal world but that is politically impossible.

Compensation can come in many forms, free permits to worst polluters undermines the system and entrenches the polluting technology.

>>And no ETS has yet to prove cost effective compared to competing abatement mechanisms
>or the other way round either.

Not quite, The Euro ETS has been [rorted to the extreme](http://euobserver.com/885/29132)

>ETS have so far shown themselve to been highly rortable.
>*That's the scare story pushed by anti-climate scientists.*

No [the police actually](http://euobserver.com/885/29132).

>*The rorts have come from carbon-credit-creation schemes, not from emissions trading itself.*

Explain and ETS without carbon credits and explain how your would have our credits immune from such rorts?

>We must remember that so far there has been zero lost abatement (compared to the Rudd Turmbull ETS)

>*That's just not true (from when the scheme was due to begin operating). Carbon emitters with their permits would have been motivated to reduce their emissions if they could sell their permits for more than the cost of reducing their emissions.*

That would the the carbon emitter who would have been compensated with free permits.

>and less payout (resource pumping) given to the big polluters.
>*Yes, it wouldn't have punished carbon emitters the way the Greens want. But the sad fact is that we don't live in an ideal world.*

That would be with the free permits which undermine the very incentive that was supposed to drive the change. Then they could buy (the cheapest) offsets in a dodgy rort that didn't actual cut any emissions (and their uselessness is the precise reason why they were the cheapest offsets).

What is stopping Rudd starting out with a simple carbon tax? Rudd could make it revenue neutral with a per capita dividend every quarter. Then granny could get rewarded for using less then average energy whilst the profligate get charged until they feel it.

That would drive incentive for change and establish the revenue for new efficiency and energy service industry.

Mum and Dad would start getting money back for their sensible choice of installing a solar hot water unit. And research into those smart film windows start to tickle the investors fancy.

Then take it up a notch when people are comfortable and invested in the sensible feedback mechanism that would establish.

To be politically smart Rudd could combat Abbotts's predictable stance by asking Abbott to defend the GST. He'd achieve this by offering to replace the Great Big GST with a carbon tax. (This would require curbing of the 100% dividend).

Why tax everything at the same rate when different activity has far higher destructive impact? Why tax renewables like knowledge services at the same rate as coal burning?

Dump the GST, save small business a hell load of paper work, and put a carbon tax on at the source (mine or wharf). Then ask Abbott to defend that Great big tax that is indiscriminate, unfair to sustainable elements of the economy and a burden of paper work.

The warmists would have us believe that the MWP and Roman Climate Optimum were basically a series of different localized warming events in different locations at different times.

There is very little academic work done on the RCO, so I cannot confirm or deny, but the MWP was universal yet at different times. The RCO was probably the same, which would account for the fact that sea level was lower even though temperatures were higher in some places.

Plimer also gets his history wrong:

"Warming started about 250 BC and was enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans. The Romans had it easy. Although the Empire started in cool period, grapes were grown in Rome in 150 BC."

The Empire did not start until the accession of Augustus in 27BC.

By Paul Norton (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

El Gordo said " The RCO was probably the same, which would account for the fact that sea level was lower even though temperatures were higher in some places".

Yeah, so what you do is you get your denialist buddy machine to get up off their big fat butts and go find out if that was actually the case in reality.

Asserting it by proxy is something you and your ilk have gotten away with for far too long.

In a couple of thousand years they will look back at this post modern climate optimum and be able to say with confidence that Greenland and the Arctic were slightly warmer, but it wasn't universal.

#72 "post modern climate optimum" that would be the one, I guess, Mt Gordo, that just happened inexplicably to coincide with the massive rise in CO2 belching out of power stations and car exhausts. An amazing coincidence, I mean, it's not as if there is any known link between CO2 and temperature.

Melt Water Pulse 1a was local, but it had universal effect.

jakerman@68 said:

What is stopping Rudd starting out with a simple carbon tax?

Even better is simply making fossil-fuel-derived energy costs non-tax deductible. This might be the simplest route of all to putting a price on emissions.

No new laws need to be passed by the senate or even the House of Reps for a measure like this, so tough luck Liberals. No complex accounting and compliance would be necessary so little new bureaucracy would be needed (though we might need someone with expertise to ensure that models of CO2 intensity in energy were standardised and accurate), making transaction costs nearly nothing.

It wouldn't just cover Australia's 1000 largest companies either. Every business would be in.

As compensation, the government could simply
a) set aside 80% of the revenue gained for lifting the bottom tax threshold
b) use the other 20% to give cash (quarterly and scaled from the bottom up) to people under $26,000 or so who won't get enough under a) to compensate them for price rises.

So it's revenue neutral. No GBNT arguments, as tax is the same.

You could allow those using certified low-net-carbon energy in business to claim this as a deduction based on the proportion of their energy coming from non-thermal fossil sources. You could even allow householders buying certified low carbon energy to sell these credits to companies or others via an exchange like e-bay, allowing renewables to compete in the household energy sector. You could introduce it with almost immediate effect -- say July 2011. To be consistent, you'd remove fuels subsidies in mining, forestry and agriculture.

I don't see a downside to this. The government argues that it is irrational to subsidise the consumption of fossil fuels by favourable tax treatment, and that if these costs really are essential to business, then they should be passed onto end users of the goods and services to whom we give the funds clawed back who can then decide whether they as individuals need to accept these costs or make other arrangements.

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

[ENOUGH](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…)

Sea level was lower during the Roman Climate Optimum, when temperatures were higher. Why is it so?

...[ALREADY](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…).

In a couple of thousand years they will look back at this post modern climate optimum and be able to say with confidence that Greenland and the Arctic were slightly warmer, but it wasn't universal.

Tim, can we have a "recalcitrant troll" thread to which we might banish the likes of El Fatso, Brent, Sunspot et al once they have definitively demonstrated their refractoriness to scientific fact and logic?

None of them deserve their own thread, and they are simply clogging up the rest of the threads here with their rubbish. If such a recalcitrant troll thread becomes too long and cumbersome (say, > 1000 posts), perhaps you could close it and start a new one, with a warning to any particulalry pernicious trolls that they tighten their games lest they face a complete ban from Deltoid.

This way those of us who have a modicum of interest in a focussed discussion might have our wish, and those of us who are so inclined (including myself on occasion!) might whack the moles on the corner of the lawn to which they have been restricted, without disturbing the rest of the readers.

Anything that stops the bad pennies turning up where they are not wanted must surely be a good thing.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

I second that Bernard ...

Anyone who is one of the trolls specified or who posts their claims as credible, gets the post dfleted with a standard {repost in troll thread} banished to the specified troll thread

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

+1 to that Bernard.

El Gordo et al, are really, really tedious. Vacuous. Boring. Banish them to their own thread until they prove to all and sundry that they can stay on topic for longer than the attention span of a teenager raised on MTV and High Fructose Corn Syrup.

On the matter of the ETS, I have generally tended to agree with jakerman about the dubious utility of the one proposed by the current Australian Government and by the Liberal Opposition prior to Abbott's coup. Especially, my concern was that it would be ineffective in terms of delivering discernible (to a lay populace) positive outcomes whilst causing some noticable initial 'negative' economic impacts, which might have caused future governments to hesitate strongly in considering future tightening of the parameters.

Conversely, Australia adopting an ETS would have given a strong signal to the rest of the world, especially had we taken it to Copenhagen instead of bailing out at the last minute as happened when Tony Abbott elicited his own ["et tu, Brute?"](http://www.smh.com.au/national/shock-result-as-abbott-wins-liberal-lead…) from Turnbull by the merest gasp of a margin from the Coalition.

It staggers me that Abbott puts his faith in his religious and economic ideologies ahead of rational science, and that he does so dragging a whole nation (and now possibly the world, given his actions last December) further toward irreparable long-term climate harm, and that he was able to do so on the basis of one bloody vote! And this nonsense that we couldn't "go first" was exactly that - nonsense. Someone always has to go first, and the responsibility should fall to the highest per captia polluters such as we are, else the world risks (and appears to be now locked into) a game of 'chicken' where there are no prizes for holding out the longest.

I take Chris O'Neill's point though about what is [politically possible](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…), and how the Green's approach might be idealistic, and this sets me to hours of contemplation of the best route forward. What most concerns me though is that in the end our political 'pragmatism' might be accompanied by the tune of a fiddle being played from the smouldering ruins of a climatic Rome.

I know others here have argued that carbon taxes wouldn't limit emissions in the way that an ETS supposedly would, but the more I ponder this claim the more I find it difficult to follow its logic. Ultimately, if such a tax it properly costed, shouldn't it have roughly the same impact as an ETS, without many of the intermediate steps that make an ETS vulnerable to rorting? Putting a truly reflective monetary penalty on the cost of pollution, at the source of said pollution, would seem to be a fairly straight-forward way of making the polluters pay, and if the lowest-income earners are conmpensated; well, how is this not fair for society in general?

And I agree with [Fran](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) - remove the subsidies for fossil fuel energy. Seriously... how can the parties dedicated to "small government", to "lowering taxes imposed on the public", and to "dismantling the nanny state" condone the corporate welfare which sucks staggering amounts from the averge "working family" to fatten the pockets of our wealthiest corporations?! As an example, isn't the Australian fuel subsidy to industry alone something like $2 billion per year?

Of course, this might reduce their profits a little, but if they ceased paying their executives the obscene salaries that they do, there would be rather less of a sting from the removal of such corporate tit-sucking than there might otherwise be.

For pity's sake, when is the political and the business leadership of this country going to get real? Or is it in fact just a matter of one rule for the rich and another for the average joe and jane in the 'burbs?

[There, that should stir the neo-cons and the Randians up a little...]

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

"Citrus trees and grapes were grown in England as far north as Hadrian's Wall"
I grew up near Hadrian's wall. As a schoolboy, I visited the Roman forts and camps nearby and saw the central heating systems they installed in their villas, where the hot draft from fires at one end of the building flowed through under-floor passages to keep the Romans' feet warm. (At the time, we didn't even have central heating in our home - nearly 2000 years later!). The (modern) pictures of the soldiers on the wall also had them all rugged-up because it was so cold - they certainly weren't wearing sandles and short skirts.

jakerman:

So are you disputing that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?

Depends on the bird and what comes wrapped up with it.

You're moving the goalposts.

Garnaut proposed zero compensation that would have caused instant capital loss to the businesses affected. I know the Greens want to live in an ideal world but that is politically impossible.

Compensation can come in many forms, free permits to worst polluters undermines the system and entrenches the polluting technology.

No that's not true as I pointed out above. The carbon-emitters with free permits can sell them if they reduce their carbon emissions. So they do indeed have a motive for reducing emissions.

And no ETS has yet to prove cost effective compared to competing abatement mechanisms

or the other way round either.

Not quite, The Euro ETS has been rorted to the extreme

No the police actually.

"Rorting" meaning tax evasion in this instance. Who'd have thought that people would try to evade tax. I'm sorry but the existence of tax evasion is not a great reason for giving up on a method altogether. In any case VAT on emissions permits hardly seems necessary because the permits themselves are already a form of tax.

The rorts have come from carbon-credit-creation schemes, not from emissions trading itself.

Explain and ETS without carbon credits and explain how your would have our credits immune from such rorts?

That's an argument for proper regulation of carbon-credit schemes (reforrestation etc.), not an argument against ETS.

We must remember that so far there has been zero lost abatement (compared to the Rudd Turmbull ETS)

That's just not true (from when the scheme was due to begin operating). Carbon emitters with their permits would have been motivated to reduce their emissions if they could sell their permits for more than the cost of reducing their emissions.

That would the the carbon emitter who would have been compensated with free permits.

And your point is?

Yes, it wouldn't have punished carbon emitters the way the Greens want. But the sad fact is that we don't live in an ideal world.

That would be with the free permits which undermine the very incentive that was supposed to drive the change.

No they don't undermine the incentive. They have an incentive to get their emissions down so they can sell their permits.

Then they could buy (the cheapest) offsets in a dodgy rort that didn't actual cut any emissions (and their uselessness is the precise reason why they were the cheapest offsets).

You're not getting the point. I'm talking about the incentive for them to sell permits they've already got, not buying new ones.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

In general I agree ChrisC that a properly configured ETS would be the best way to reduce emssions, especially across different jurisdictions if the architechture were right.

I disagree with "free permits" or improperly specifed REDD credits.

All permits should be auctioned. As Grattan pointed out, free permits distort the market undermining those who take action to reduce emissions and lowering the relative cost of polluting.

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

> Or is it in fact just a matter of one rule for the rich and another for the average joe and jane in the 'burbs?

The cynic in me says that's pretty much always been the case, with only minor exceptions throughout history :-(

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

Fran's points make a better step one, with carbon tax a step two.

I too wrestle with similar question as Bernard wrestles - re tax and ETS.

Chris writes:

>*You're moving the goalposts.*

Yes if you mean I'm focusing back on the ETS rather than my broad introductory meta analogy of birds.

>The carbon-emitters with free permits can sell them if they reduce their carbon emissions. So they do indeed have a motive for reducing emissions.

The problem is that the free permits shields them from costs, and the cheap offsets (including the cheapest imporper offsets) enables them to profit from their permits without changing a thing. Keep the coal trains rolling in.

>"Rorting" meaning tax evasion in this instance. Who'd have thought that people would try to evade tax. I'm sorry but the existence of tax evasion is not a great reason for giving up on a method altogether. In any case VAT on emissions permits hardly seems necessary because the permits themselves are already a form of tax.

Actually there are structural problems with the ETS's credit system that lead to [multiple and diverse examples](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Development_Mechanism#Concerns) of rorting. How do you properly measure what doesn't exist?

>[It makes it easier](http://euobserver.com/885/29132) for fraudsters because it's an intangible good. Before, goods actually had to be transported from one member state to another. You had to prove that goods were really being transported. With this, it's just the click of a mouse."

>"It's an incredibly lucrative target for criminals," he added, warning that there are other aspects of the ETS that are creaky.

>"Beyond the missing trader scam, the ETS is attractive to fraudsters because in order to trade in EUAs [European Union Allowances] you have to register your company, but there are no strong regulations or checking principles as there is in banking to prevent such activities as money laundering."

>Even if there were more stringent regulations, "How can you control this, how can you check up on someone selling an intangible credit from Belgium to Denmark to Paris even with more rules?"

I repeat how you properly measure something that doesn't exist? You are creating a massive incentive for fraud, at at the cost of both good will and the climate.

>*That's an argument for proper regulation of carbon-credit schemes (reforrestation etc.), not an argument against ETS.*

If you like' And then...

...back to the problems with carbon credit regualtion that are intrinsic to and ETS.

>>That would the the carbon emitter who would have been compensated with free permits.

>And your point is?

My point is that they are shielded from the costs that were supposed to incentively change. And they can profit from buy highly rortable credits.

>No they don't undermine the incentive. They have an incentive to get their emissions down so they can sell their permits.

In a market flooded with dodgy credits, they'll just keep BAU and use their free permits.

>You're not getting the point. I'm talking about the incentive for them to sell permits they've already got, not buying new ones.

See above.

Chris

I disagree with your thoughts about the Greens not voting for the ETS.

"Other Senators that the ALP needed to pass the legislation would never have agreed to an ETS that caused an instant capital loss to carbon-emitting industries. The ETS would still have motivated them to reduce their carbon emissions because they could then sell their freed-up permits. The Greens had an ideological agenda to punish carbon-emitting industries which was not necessary to reduce carbon emissions in future."

Labor presented their legislation, the Greens said we don't like it; Bob Brown offered numerous times to negotiate with Rudd... Rudd ignored them. If the Labor party wanted to pass this legislation they should have ATTEMPTED negotiation with the Greens. In the end the legislation served it's purpose, it was simply a wedge to bust up the Liberal Party. It was a political stunt.

Also remember, if the Labor Party had a double dissolution election (and they won) they could pass ANYTHING they like. The double sitting would avoid any Senate problems. This is what the Greens new, they new the bare minimum that would get done was the Govt's ETS. They wanted more.

The key point here is that Govt could pass anything they like after a double dissolution election. If they wanted their ETS so badly, they could have it in August no problems.

My long reply is held up in moderation (I can't recall using that many links)

But a particular comment from Bernard struck a chord:

>What most concerns me though is that in the end our political 'pragmatism' might be accompanied by the tune of a fiddle being played from the smouldering ruins of a climatic Rome.

I had a similar reflection after reading [this guy's work](http://www.skil.org/). For a six minute brief watch his video in the top LH corner. I hope he has miscalculated and I supposed we can act under that assumption and hope.

"Besides, didn't the nudey and blue Picts stop the rather
better dressed Romans in their tracks?"

Obviously, being mostly Mediterraneans, and therefore ridiculously overdressed for the sweltering climate of Northern Europe, Julius Caesar's Roman troops succumbed to heat prostration!

By tonysidaway (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

This business about the Romans growing grapes up near Hadrian's Wall is, as far as I have been able to discern, utterly unsourced. I've heard it suggested by various sceptics but never by anyone who might know, e.g. archaeologists or historians of the period. They certainly drank wine there, but most likely imported from Gaul. Indeed amphora sherds are routinely excavated at Roman sites.

Beware of claims for medieval wine making too: it was required for religious ceremonies but needn't have been any good. Claims of good quality wines being grown in Medieval Wiltshire are meaningless without any idea of what it was being compared with. Drain cleaner plonk from other parts of England is a pretty low bar by any standards. It needn't imply they were capable of making vintage Claret!

The carbon-emitters with free permits can sell them if they reduce their carbon emissions. So they do indeed have a motive for reducing emissions.

The problem is that the free permits shields them from costs,

No you're still ignoring the point. If you want to look at it this way then free permits do not shield them from the lost opportunity cost of selling those permits.

and the cheap offsets (including the cheapest imporper offsets) enables them to profit from their permits without changing a thing.

Again, I'm not talking about them buying permits, I'm talking about them selling their permits.

Keep the coal trains rolling in.

I don't know what that non-sequitur is for.

"Rorting" meaning tax evasion in this instance. Who'd have thought that people would try to evade tax. I'm sorry but the existence of tax evasion is not a great reason for giving up on a method altogether. In any case VAT on emissions permits hardly seems necessary because the permits themselves are already a form of tax.

Actually there are structural problems with the ETS's credit system that lead to multiple and diverse examples of rorting.

You're just restating the tax evasion issue. Taxation of permits is a spurious issue. The issue is tax enforcement, not structure (assuming they even need a tax on emission permits in the first place).

How do you properly measure what doesn't exist?

Money doesn't represent anything physical either but that doesn't stop it from being measurable.

"Beyond the missing trader scam, the ETS is attractive to fraudsters because in order to trade in EUAs [European Union Allowances] you have to register your company, but there are no strong regulations or checking principles as there is in banking to prevent such activities as money laundering."

So is there some law of physics preventing regulation as there is in banking?

Even if there were more stringent regulations, "How can you control this, how can you check up on someone selling an intangible credit from Belgium to Denmark to Paris even with more rules?"

Maybe the person saying that doesn't know much about what he's talking about. There is nothing new about an authority issuing credits with registered owners. Ever heard of real estate, shares?

I repeat how you properly measure something that doesn't exist?

I've already dealt with this but I'll point out here that the same fundamental issue exists with taxing emissions. Emissions have to be measured and the regulation of emission measurements has to be at least as good as the registration of emission permits.

You are creating a massive incentive for fraud, at at the cost of both good will and the climate.

Just like when emissions are measured.

No they don't undermine the incentive. They have an incentive to get their emissions down so they can sell their permits.

In a market flooded with dodgy credits,

That's a different set of goalposts. If your objection is dodgy credits then say dodgy credits in the first place.

they'll just keep BAU and use their free permits.

It's hardly likely the government will keep allowing dodgy credits to flood the country.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

As a trainee Classicist (i.e. a post graduate student in Classical History), I would like to point out to the climate scientists that you are being *doubly* fooled by the likes of Abbott, Plimer, etc.

When I hear "in the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus" I immediately question why that is not *times*, in the plural? I see no "time" when these two men could ever have met. Because there are some 77 years between the dates of their deaths (only one of which we know for sure, i.e. 15 March 44 B.C, the other belonging to the world of myth anyway). Their worlds would have been considerably different. It's like referring to the 1930s as a parallel to the modern time ... clearly not a precise comparison. Well I accept that perhaps according to Geological Time 77 years is "mere" trifle, but not to a historian, and especially not to *those particular 77 years*, which saw another great civil war (two depending how you want to measure it), many proscriptions and social upheavals, a Triumvirate, and finally the establishment of the Principate by Julius Caesar's heir, Augustus. There was a great social, political, artistic and cultural revolution during this time, cumulating in Augustus' many innovations. So *agriculture* changed? Throw another one on the bonfire, and give a royal shrug. The Roman world was never static.

Also, if you said to me or any of my colleagues, that by the 1st century B.C. "vineyards and olive groves extended northwards in Italy", I would probably take that to be saying something about the growing spread of Roman domination over the Italian peninsular in the wake of Social War which concluded in 88 B.C. This was the war in which the Italian allies of the Romans revolted and then were crushed. After which Roman control of Italy finally became undisputed. At which point I would expect to see change in the social and economic structure of Italy accelerate. The Romans conquer territory and intensified agriculture follows? That's supposed to be news?

Another critical part of this sentence is that "Roman scribes record little snow and ice". Well, the question of "which scribes" exactly? and "what do they say?" immediately comes up (i.e. not a paraphrase, but quote the Latin or Greek that they wrote and indicate the edition this quote is from). Because sometimes our actual sources for information in the Classical world are writing these facts many years - sometimes hundreds of years - after the fact. So the precise sources, and who *their* sources are, and how they came to know what they say they know, and how *we* know what they say, all these things can be critical questions in nearly all historical research in the Classical world.

But then follow this up with an item about crops in Britain, using the phrase "up to Hadrian's Wall", is to employ a glaring a-historicism of the first order. At the time of the Social War Britain was not a Roman province - neither was most of modern-day France. Julius Caesar captured Gaul in the first century B.C. and mounted two brief expeditions to Britain in successive years, 55 and 54 B.C., never establishing any permanent Roman presence there, and never left the south eastern part of that land (and never faced "Picts" in battle either). The emperor Claudius captured it in A.D. 43, probably at the invite (or with the cooperation of) of certain local elites. Hadrian built the wall in 120 A.D. So you are talking about a 150 year period during which a dominant, urbanised, civilisation conquered non-urbanised peoples and then in the wake of this agricultural practices changed? Proof of this developing agriculture in Britain at this point would generally be regarded as proof of increasing Roman influence over settlement patterns and economic activity.

Oh blimey, how confusing! Another Stu!

Hi, other Stu.

I don't usually like to comment on straight party political topics, especially when they have nothing directly to do with the subjects of threads here, but did anyone else see Q&A on the ABC last night?

Abbott's shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey had his arse whupped - I say, whupped - red-raw by Lindsay Tanner, the Finance Minister, and one of the most well-prepared and well-composed politicians I have watched in years.

Red-raw was the entrée... main was salted paper à la cut, and dessert was lemon sorbet minus the sorbet.

I never thought that I'd see the day that Hockey was left speechless, but speechless he was, and Tanner hadn't even worked up a sweat.

It was amazing television to witness, even though matters financial usually make my eyes glaze over.

I actually had a friend save it from his tuner's time buffer in order to watch it again.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

Tyro rex said: "As a trainee Classicist (i.e. a post graduate student in Classical History), I would like to point out to the climate scientists that you are being doubly fooled by the likes of Abbott, Plimer, etc."

TR, you'll find that the entire denialist canon is overwhelmingly composed of half-baked, plausible-sounding nonsense aimed at rubes and morons - without exception.

They're aiming at a mass audience, not what might be loosely termed the intelligentsia.

Bernard

The transcript will be up by by Thursday and they do vodcast it at the QANDA site

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

> I actually had a friend save it from his tuner's time buffer in order to watch it again.

I wasn't going to watch it, but given what you said I just undeleted it on my PVR.

IIRC you can also get it online at ABC's iView website.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

I really like the second graph at Nova's -- she has the Roman Warm Period ending at 100 BC followed by Dark Ages Cooling starting at 100 BC. Her source was CO2 science which misrepresents the paper as evidence for the MWP, but not even CO2 science was willing to make the argument that it was evidence for a RWP. And if you click through to CO2 science you find that CO2 science only thinks that one of the six is evidence for the RWP.

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

"Britain is too cold today for an army to invade it wearing skirts. But the Romans did exactly that."

Funny, it wasn't too cold for Jamie Stuart's kilt-wearing highlanders in 1745 and they wre coming from the north.

Re Roman wine, the Romans drank heavily watered wine in preference to water whenever possible, not because of its intoxiocating effect but because of its antibacterial effect.

British win (which was notoriously lousy) was produced in fairly large volumes up until the 16th century when it was dealt a double whammy that had nothing to do with climate.

Most British wine was produced in monasteries and used as Sacramental wine during the Catholic Mass. When Henry the Eighth disoolved the monasteries, most of the vinyards were destroyed.

At the same time, improving shipping links allowed the importation of cheap wine ("port") from Portugal.

Some essentially hobbyist grape production continued in England right up to the present day - including during the Little Ice Age.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

As for the cirus production claim: it's possible.

Even today there are small areas of western Britain - like Findhorn Bay in Scotland that get the full effect of the Gulf Stream and are substantially warmer than the rest of the island.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

Re Matt [and Tim](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…)

A sign that Nova and Idso are scaping the bottom of the barrel in their attempt to cherry pick the few sites they can find to (unscientifically) support the RWP was the inclusion of Nordt 2008 (North American Great Plains) which ends in the LIA several century ago provide no comparison to current temperatures.

Then they use Oppo et al 2009 - Makassar Strait, Indonesia- Indo-Pacific warm pool , who's abstract states:

>*Our record from the Makassar Strait, Indonesia, exhibits trends that are similar to a recent Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstruction* [ie consistent with reconstructions like Mannâs]. *Reconstructed SST was, however, within error of modern values from about AD 1000 to AD 1250, towards the end of the Medieval Warm Period.*

ie. even this cherry picking by Idso to find few locactions that show a MWP (and the RWP) do even make Abbott claim of "warmer". Are should one reconsider when even one's cherry picks still require "within error" margin comparisons.

Poor [old Loehle](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/open_thread_48.php#comment-2512…) got left out of this cherry pick. I Don't expect the [poor reconstrcution methods](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/past-reconstructi…) by Loehle, nor the lasted meme (which ditches his work) will see the end of Loehle. I'm sure his reconstruction will be revived from the trash heap and once again held aloft when the denials want to make a different arguemnt to their current claims re RWP.

"And if you click through to CO2 science you find that CO2 science only thinks that one of the six is evidence for the RWP" Tim Lamberth

Are you claiming CO2 science doesn't believe in a RWP? Clearly they do:

http://www.co2science.org/subject/r/summaries/rwpeuropemed.php

Abbott's claim would appear to rest on the existence of RWP and latter the MWP. A definitive statement for OR against would not appear supported by current evidence.

We seem to be getting dragged further and further into a logical fallacy. Whether the Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age really existed and reflected global temperature trends has little or no bearing on the question of whether our 50% increase in the natural level of CO2 is responsible for the warming we see right now.

>*Abbott's claim would appear to rest on the existence of RWP* [distiguishably higher than current global temperatures] and latter the MWP. *A definitive statement for OR against would not appear supported by current evidence.*

And the best [avaliable evidence](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/09/progress-in-mille…) does **not** support the claim made by Abbott.

It's like Abbotts says, you [can't trust him](http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hhGhPLf5vXxWHS4AQwSO…) when he opens his mouth.

A [Greens perspective](http://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/2010/05/17/the-smoking-gun-labor-alwa…) relavent to a recent [in house debate](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…):

>The governmentâs hope of clinging to any remaining climate credibility relies on pretending that it was the Greens who were intractable, not them. [...] But now, thanks to Paul Daley in the Fairfax Sundays, someone has squeaked and we have the smoking gun.

>a Labor source saying *âKevin was crystal clear from the start â the Greens couldnât be allowed any sort of ownership of the [emissions] trading scheme.â*

>This may not sound like much, but it entirely undermines the governmentâs claim to climate credibility. It was always Kevin Ruddâs political strategy to do a deal on an ETS with the opposition â whom he had consistently branded climate sceptics â so he could share any blame for higher prices with them and to shut the Greens out of any negotiations. The Greens would either have to sign up to a policy the party knew was completely unacceptable or vote against it and wear the orchestrated ALP attack.

[Why Ammedendments](http://christine-milne.greensmps.org.au/webfm_send/356)?

>the CPRS as it stands would unleash a wave of investment in coal. [...] A weak target and price signal would drive hort-sighted investment in polluting infrastructure [...] In WA, generators are considering recommissioning two old coal fired power stations to take advantage of this...

>Almost all emissions reductions under the CPRS will be bought in from overseas - a case of smoke and mirrors, with offsets hiding the reality that Australia would be continuing with its highly polluting economy.

>The government even **refuses to accept the Greens' proposal to ensure that all offsets from offshore are accredited to make sure they are 100% reliable**. There have been increasing reports of dodgy offset schemes around the world.

Jakerman

Indeed. The Govt could have any legislation they wanted if they had a double dissolution election. If they really wanted THEIR (actually it was a Labor-Liberal version)ETS they could have it in a flash (late August probably).

The reason they won't have a double dissolution election is because the Greens would have a far easier time winning Upper House seats (lower quota in a DD election). It's just politics from the Labor Party.

"TR, you'll find that the entire denialist canon is overwhelmingly composed of half-baked, plausible-sounding nonsense aimed at rubes and morons - without exception.

They're aiming at a mass audience, not what might be loosely termed the intelligentsia. "

Sorry yes I understood that, what I wasn't perhaps being clear enough in saying, is that their historical reasoning is also completely beyond acceptable. If changes in agricultural crops and methods appeared in Britain in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., well, my first impulse to assume that's the result of the presence of Roman legions and related social structures, not changes in the climate.

I guess "plausible-sounding nonsense aimed at rubes and morons" does cover it after all. ;-)

>No you're still ignoring the point. If you want to look at it this way then free permits do not shield them from the lost opportunity cost of selling those permits.

This is only a driver for change when positive alternatives are cheaper than BAU with dodgy credits. So when the cost of credits is artificially low due to dodgy credits, coal burners use their free credits to burn coal.

>Again, I'm not talking about them buying permits, I'm talking about them selling their permits.

See my point above.

>You're just restating the tax evasion issue. Taxation of permits is a spurious issue. The issue is tax enforcement, not structure (assuming they even need a tax on emission permits in the first place).

I'm point out actually there are structural problems with the ETS's credit system that lead to [multiple and diverse examples of rorting](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Development_Mechanism#Concerns). Read the examples and look into the "concerns".

>>*How do you properly measure what doesn't exist?*

>Money doesn't represent anything physical either but that doesn't stop it from being measurable.

Look how much money was created out of thin air to bail out the banks following the GFC. Do you want that with carbon credits?

Worse still, stateed intentions to emit are not auditable. Get ready for credit for fantasy claims will gain the same standing under bogus credit regiemes.

>*"Beyond the missing trader scam, the ETS is attractive to fraudsters because in order to trade in EUAs [European Union Allowances] you have to register your company, but there are no strong regulations or checking principles as there is in banking to prevent such activities as money laundering."*

>So is there some law of physics preventing regulation as there is in banking?

Huh? Are you saying banking is appropriately regulated, or that made up intensions are easier to audit than banks?

>>Even if there were more stringent regulations, "How can you control this, how can you check up on someone selling an intangible credit from Belgium to Denmark to Paris even with more rules?"

>Maybe the person saying that doesn't know much about what he's talking about. There is nothing new about an authority issuing credits with registered owners. Ever heard of real estate, shares?

Consider the GFC and creation of trillions of trillions to bailout out the banks? Or Goverment buying their own bonds? Well this will be worse as you are dealing with unaudiable claims.

>>*I repeat how you properly measure something that doesn't exist?*

>I've already dealt with this but I'll point out here that the same fundamental issue exists with taxing emissions. Emissions have to be measured and the regulation of emission measurements has to be at least as good as the registration of emission permits.

No its different to taxation. You can can at the mine gate and at the wharf. You tax something real, tangiable and aditable.

>>*You are creating a massive incentive for fraud, at at the cost of both good will and the climate.*

>Just like when emissions are measured.

Huh? see my last point, apply the tax to phyical fuel domestically and on LCA for import/export ajudgemets based on the particiapation of other nations. Far more robuts than stated intentions.

>No they don't undermine the incentive. They have an incentive to get their emissions down so they can sell their permits.

See my opening point: This is only a driver for change when positive alternatives are cheaper than BAU with dodgy credits. So when the cost of credits is artificially low due to dodgy credits, coal burners use their free credits to burn coal.

>>*In a market flooded with dodgy credits,*

>That's a different set of goalposts. If your objection is dodgy credits then say dodgy credits in the first place.

[My objection is](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) dodgy credits which are part of Labor's ETS.

>>*I see no way forward for incorporating carbon offsets whose rubbery accounting seem a designed to maximize both incentives and a smoke screen for corruption.*

.
>>*they'll just keep BAU and use their free permits.*

>It's hardly likely the government will keep allowing dodgy credits to flood the country.

That seems to be exactly what the government [indends allowing](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…). And why the Green would not support the ETS.

>*The government even refuses to accept the Greens' proposal to ensure that all offsets from offshore are accredited to make sure they are 100% reliable. There have been increasing reports of dodgy offset schemes around the world.*

107 MFS,

50%? Atmospheric CO2 has increased from 284 ppm in 1832 to 387 in 2009. That's a 36% increase. 50% would be 426 ppm, which we won't reach until around 2025.

If you take a lower "natural" figure of 275 ppm, that's still only a 41% rise and 50% would be 412, due at around 2020.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

At least there's one potentially useful thing about jnova's anti-science blog, Tim might consider introducing comment hiding based on low rating by readers.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

If they really wanted THEIR (actually it was a Labor-Liberal version)ETS they could have it in a flash (late August probably).

A flash taking 3 months. That's the quickest flash I've ever heard of.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

I find it frustrating that the state of knowledge is still so fuzzy that vague historical accounts get to substitute for hard facts....
Since Britain is full of limestone, are there no stalactite/stalagmite records that can be used as climate proxies?
What about peat bogs preserving pollen, giving a snapshot of the plant assemblage of the time? Even taking into account that climate proxies can be ambiguous, there should be enough data collected on British climate proxies to create statistically reliable reconstructions of past climate.

With better computers, climate simulations with slightly altered ocean currents and/or jet streams will also reveal which conditions that fit the proxy interpretations. Eventually, all this will converge on something approximating a reliable reconstruction of past climate (at least for Britain, and other well-researched areas).

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

Forgetting science for a moment, I lived on the site of a Roman Barracks in North Wales during the 70s. I had glass in my windows and some central heating but it was still a miserably cold place. I doubt the climate was much different in 100AD but I would be most surprized if it was colder. If it was, those Italians must have been a lot hardier than me. (My idea of a good week-end is to build an igloo and go X-C skiing).

Climate, by definition, is variable. Early cultures expanded during the warmer more favourable times and retracted in colder times. During the 1600s the population of Europe declined, wars were waged and monarchs had difficulty maintaining their nations. No-one disputes that it became colder during the 1600s and then warmed up again. The difference these days is that it has become politically expedient to say that mankind is responsible for the warming phases of the 20th C.
The arguement that CO2 is the only cause, is absurd.
There are many factors which affect climate in different parts of the globe at different times and I'm a bit tired of hearing ignorant comments which single out one factor, such as CO2 density, and exclude all the others.

By JPA Knowles (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

JPA Knowles - the straw used to construct your strawman would be better used to insulate your house.

I'm a bit tired of hearing ignorant comments which single out one factor, such as CO2 density, and exclude all the others.

Climate science says no such thing, nor do those conversant with climate science. That's the strawman. Intentional or are you just ignorant?

By dhogaza@pacifier.com (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

117 JPAK,

I'm tired of "sceptics" making ignorant comments like "I'm a bit tired of hearing ignorant comments which single out one factor, such as CO2 density, and exclude all the others." The only people I have seen saying this are "sceptics" misrepresenting climate science. As dhogaza says, this is a simple and obvious straw man.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

jakerman,

There have been increasing reports of dodgy offset schemes around the world.

Wow have you finally woken up to real life? Haven't I been telling you about this problem for some time?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

Wow Dave, I am amazed at the extent of your continued dishonesty. Did you think I wouldn't remind you [of this](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/255_members_of_the_natianal_ac…), a link back to the repeated number of times that I point out I do not like the ETS model? And a repeated number of times that I corrected your making up and misrepresenting my position on this point.

What does it tell you that you keep needing to misrepresent my positon on this point, and need to do so in a 180 degree misrepresentation? Wake up Dave. You dishonesty has damaged your cognitive functioning

How do readers rate the dishonesty in Dave Andrews contribution compared to Brent and el gordo. After engaging with the three I'd put Andrews has worse than el gordo. At least el gordo sometimes provided useful information.

I support Bernard's call to include Dave Andrew in the el gordo set. We've got better thing to discuss than correcting persistently dishonest characters who add nothing and choose to simply continue the [same blatant misrepresentations](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…).

Re our [internal ETS debate](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…), The ACF and ACTU just [published a joint study](http://www.acfonline.org.au/uploads/res/ACF_Jobs_report_190510.pdf) on the effects of "weak" versus "strong" action on carbon pricing and alinged activity.

They found "strong action" creates more innovation and more net jobs accross the board.

Of particular relevance to our debate was the point that in their study "weak action" involves an over reliance on an ETS where:

>Australia imports vast amounts of international permits to
achieve reductions in greenhouse pollution, while domestic greenhouse pollution levels remain stable.

[PS. Amoung other things this involves coal burners using their free permits to burn coal.]

They found "strong action" creates more innovation and more net jobs accross the board.

Smelting Aluminium at Portland which is hundreds of kilometres away from its brown-coal burning power station was a job creation scheme too. Look how that turned out.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

>*Smelting Aluminium at Portland which is hundreds of kilometres away from its brown-coal burning power station was a job creation scheme too. Look how that turned out.*

I don't know the details of the particular project, but I assume you make a fair point. Clive Hamilton describes how each Job in Aluminium smelting (or in at least a region/project) is subsidies to the level of $75,000 per job (by tax payers).

This relates to Fran's earlier point about the need to reducce the [billions](http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/news-and-events/media/releases/clim…) in sudidees that [promote](http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100421133110.htm) fossile [fuel use](http://www.globalsubsidies.org/files/assets/effects_ffs.pdf).

From [The Australia Istitute](https://www.tai.org.au/documents/dp_fulltext/DP44.pdf#page=37)
>In sum, the aluminium smelting industry in Australia employs 5,500 people, exports $3.9 billion worth of primary aluminium [...] and was responsible for additional greenhouse gas emissions of around 27 Mt CO2-equivalent in 1998-99 (or 5.9 per cent of total emissions)[...] every dollar of economic output generated by the aluminium smelting industry results in the emission of around five times more greenhouse gas than agriculture and around 22 times more than other manufacturing activities.

>Through the provision of cheap electricity, the industry receives a subsidy estimated to be at least $210 million each year, and probably in excess of $250 million. Each job directly generated by the industry is costing governments close to $40,000 per annum. The industry is not currently charged for its greenhouse gas pollution, but at a conservative price of $10/tonne CO2-equivalent the industry is receiving an additional annual environmental subsidy of close to $270 million, or around $50,000 per employee.

That's $40,000 plus $50,000 per year per job. Now compare this with figure 5 on [page 33](https://www.tai.org.au/documents/dp_fulltext/DP44.pdf#page=45) of the report. We are paying a massive subsidy per job, per year to be the worst CO2/Al polluters in the world. Its time to get sensible and provide these expensive subsides to jobs that are aligned with our interests and interests of our children.

Guess [which ETS](http://www.grattan.edu.au/publications/026_energy_report_22_april_2010…) included free permits for these Aluminium smelters?

>Even in terms of protecting Australian employment these are very expensive jobs, far exceeding the cost of other employment schemes. On average, free permits cost over 65,000/employee, with jobs in the aluminium industry costing 160,000/employee.

Bailing out polluters at the cost of and effective pricing mechanism, then foisting massive unnecessary cost onto the public and undermining good will. And what will it achieve? Importation of dodgy permits and BAU for coal burners.

You make an excellent point Jakerman.

If one were really desperate to protect these jobs and willing to pay subsidies on this scale, one could pay 100% of them to take yoga classes and pilates in between studying Fine Arts at university. Not only would they be healthier and doubtless able to impress their friends with their ability to discuss the post-modern world, you could have some change out of the subsidy.

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

Guess which ETS included free permits for these Aluminium smelters?

And exactly how much do they pay for their permits now? And exactly how much of rise in price of these permits will they tolerate before they start getting nasty?

By Anonymous (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink

>And exactly how much of rise in price of these permits will they tolerate before they start getting nasty?

Zero?

What are you gonno do when they get nasty? Give them what they want and and useless ETS with dodgy credits? Or stand up, put some real skin in the game and take what we need?

I'm not bending over to those with concentrated power and a self interest which is at odds with that of our climate and the lives of hundreds of millions of the most vulnerable.

122 jakerman,

DA is definitely more dishonest than EG and on the level of Brent IMO.

I think that they should all be quarantined in one thread and not given their own ego-inflating platforms. This would apply to any future examples too.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 19 May 2010 #permalink

jakerman:

Or stand up, put some real skin in the game and take what we need?

Yes, putting on the hair shirt should work real well. This is why The Greens are out of touch with reality. Just look at how the mining companies and the Liberals are reacting to a resource tax. That is nothing compared with the reaction to a straight-out carbon tax. If you think the Labor Party had trouble with an ETS, just wait till you see what happens with a plain carbon tax.

http://christine-milne.greensmps.org.au/webfm_send/356

This statement is strong on political rhetoric and assertion and very weak on evidence that imported credits must usually be dodgy.

Even in terms of protecting Australian employment these are very expensive jobs, far exceeding the cost of other employment schemes. On average, free permits cost over 65,000/employee, with jobs in the aluminium industry costing 160,000/employee.

This is a really weird statement because unless those permits are actually sold (in which case the emissions are no longer allowed to be generated by the business selling them) then the permits don't actually cost anyone anything. Permits give them the motivation to shut down the Aluminium smelting altogether if the emissions saved are high enough. In that case the government also saves on subsidies presently going to Aluminium smelting (which are pretty enormous).

By the way, exactly how much are Aluminium smelters that burn brown coal paying for their permits now? No-one ever seems to answer that question.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 19 May 2010 #permalink

>*Yes, putting on the hair shirt should work real well.*

Which hair shirt are you refereing to? I assume you mean meeting targets set by science?

My point was upping the anti rather than trying to belittle the only political party:

* standing up for science based targets; and
* calling for accredited carbon permits;
* calling for legislated floor price of $20/tonne to prevent the sytem being worse than useless.

>*The Greens are out of touch with reality. Just look at how the mining companies and the Liberals are reacting to a resource tax. That is nothing compared with the reaction to a straight-out carbon tax. If you think the Labor Party had trouble with an ETS, just wait till you see what happens with a plain carbon tax.*

Reality check Chris, you're beating up the Greens in favour of a worse than useless system based on unaccredited imported carbon credits. So in ten years time CO2 concentrations are worse, Jobs are exported, and the public are paying more for the whole useless deal. But never mind, that, at least you have appeased the those with concentrated wealth including the Murdoch press. They'll have even more concentrated power for the next round.

>*This is a really weird statement because unless those permits are actually sold (in which case the emissions are no longer allowed to be generated by the business selling them) then the permits don't actually cost anyone anything.*

Chris, the $160,000 per job per year (a claim I highlighted from the Grattin report) is only meainingless as long as the carbon credits are meaningles. And as long as credits are dodgy the coal get burned and we all wear the costs.

Part 2 to follow...

>*Permits give them the motivation to shut down the Aluminium smelting altogether if the emissions saved are high enough. In that case the government also saves on subsidies presently going to Aluminium smelting (which are pretty enormous).*

That's the other side of that card, either (A) the credits are dodgy or (B) the worst polluters getted even more of a bailout.

If the carbon credits are worthless then there is zero motivation to shut down any of the worst offenders.

But lets hope public pressure force the government to come around. Lets look at (B): say the Greens position gets public support and swings the governement around to the demand of permit import accrediation. And/or if the public support come in to back the Greens and Garnaut to convince the Governemtn to legislate a floor price on import credits (say $20/tonne). In that case then you still get Al smelters getting the combination of the permit subside plus cheap electricity vauled ($40,000 /job/year), so we keep the massivly subsidies alive with more massive subsidies!

Under the (A) your strategy of whacking the Greens we get dodgy credits and no floor price on permits, and keep subsidising Al. But under (B) we at least get either accredited imports or a floor price to pick off the dodgiest credits.

>By the way, exactly how much are Aluminium smelters that burn brown coal paying for their permits now? No-one ever seems to answer that question.

Exactly the same as under the worthless ETS with dodgy credtis.

OTOH Jakerman ...

the best solution now, which I find quite elegant is simply to make fossil fuel-derived energy non-tax deductible. No new laws needed and if someone can show that they are expending money to run a business on a clean source of energy, they get to deduct that.

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 19 May 2010 #permalink

>*the best solution now, which I find quite elegant is simply to make fossil fuel-derived energy non-tax deductible.*

No object to that as a first step. If its made to be understood by investors that this will be followed by ramping up of a clear price in the future.

Interestingly it seems that governments invariable prefer a carbon tax or a trading scheme simply because they stand to gain some income from them.

In Australia mining law stipulates that the owner of a mining or exploration lease has a finite period of time to exploit the resource. If you take out a lease on a hypothetical coal resource, and don't exploit it or at least begin work in a timely manner, you lose the right to do so and somebody else can acquire that lease.

But what if mining law was such that people could own a coal resource while in the ground, so that it is not mined? Instead of paying somebody in a foreign country to plant some trees, allow people to purchase the rights to coal in the ground so it does not end up mined, and therefore directly compete with the mining companies and industry for coal.

Competition in the ownership of coal resources should at least help drive up the price.

However, the possibilities for rorting also seem endless...

The difference these days is that it has become politically expedient to say that mankind is responsible for the warming phases of the 20th C.

If you can think of no better way to get votes than "I'll need to restrict what you can do and raise your taxes" then you are insane. That's politically expedient like cheating on your wife with another man is good PR.

The arguement (sic) that CO2 is the only cause, is absurd.

Of course it's not the only thing that has an effect on climate, but it does have and we're dramatically changing the amount of it. To ignore a 36% increase now and the knowledge that it's going to go much higher is absurd. Speaking of absurd, let us know when you've found that mystery forcing that works exactly like CO2 should (but isn't, for whatever reason).

And just for good measure...

If it was, those Italians must have been a lot hardier than me.

At that point in time and in that place, what percentage of the soldiers in the Roman army were actually Roman?

Which hair shirt are you refereing to? I assume you mean meeting targets set by science?

That's beside the point. The hair shirt approach means attempting force regardless of the consequences. As I pointed out, the resources tax gives a hint of what would happen with a straight-out carbon tax.

the only political party:

standing up for science based targets

So what target did their vote achieve?

calling for legislated floor price of $20/tonne to prevent the sytem being worse than useless

And how much does it cost to emit carbon now? (BTW, wouldn't it be terrible if it cost less than $20/tonne to reduce carbon emissions?)

calling for accredited carbon permits

And what carbon permits are needed to emit carbon now?

you're beating up the Greens in favour of a worse than useless system

That's your opinion and it's just The Greens' political rhetoric.

based on unaccredited imported carbon credits.

Yes we should just assume they'll always be dodgy. The negative approach always works doesn't it?

So in ten years time CO2 concentrations are worse,

So what is CERTAIN to happen to Australia's emissions as a consequence of The Greens' vote?

and the public are paying more for the whole useless deal.

The public won't actually pay anything for free permits unless emissions are actually reduced. Wouldn't that be terrible?

And as long as credits are dodgy

And we must assume they always are dodgy, mustn't we?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

>The hair shirt approach means attempting force regardless of the consequences.

I still don't get why you apply the hair shirt analogy is this case. It more analogous to those trying to foist on the deeply flawed CRPS with is arguably worse than useless.

>So what target did their vote achieve?

We'll see in 10 years. So far we're arguably no worse off due to deep flaws in the CPRS. We can still be better off within a decade if public pressure can force a better deal.

>And how much does it cost to emit carbon now? (BTW, wouldn't it be terrible if it cost less than $20/tonne to reduce carbon emissions?)

The same for Al-smelters and coal burners as under the Turnbull-Rudd CPRS with dodgy credit imports and free permits.

>And what carbon permits are needed to emit carbon now?

The The same for Al-smelters and coal burners as under the Turnbull-Rudd CPRS with dodgy credit imports and free permits.

Part 2 to follow

>That's your opinion and it's just The Greens' political rhetoric.

Really? Dodgy import credit plus free permits equals cheaper cost for BAU coal than high capacity change. Its more logic than you've presented.

Chris why has the government failed to support the accreditation of import credits? There a structural drivers for corruption of these credits, as well as numerous documented examples of the predictable corruption as I linked you to previously.

As I said, we'll know in a decade or so if were worse off without voting in the Rudd-Turnbull model. So far were no worse off. And the Government need to feel public pressure to legislate a meaningful, less corruptible (hence more cost effective) mechanism.

So Chris what's your approach going to be? Keep beating on those who want an mechanism that is closer to science targets and more certain to reduce emissions while costing less and hence imposing less of the majority of voters?

Or side up with the big polluters and whack the greens and tell them to weaken their demands so we can get a piece of junk that wrecks good will by being an ineffective rip off?

>Under the (A) your strategy of whacking the Greens we get [unaccredited permits] and no floor price on permits, and keep subsidising Al. But under (B) we at least get either accredited imports or a floor price to pick off the dodgiest credits.

Chris ditch A go for B. Put your energy where its deserved.

Ask why the goverment reject basic checks and balances such as either accredited import permits or at least a floor price given the evidence of (as well as predicable motive) for the corruption that occurs with an ETS.

Ask why the Govt refused to negotiate with the Greens.

Australian citizen need to drive more pressure for stronger action not more pressure for weaker action or arguably worse than useless action. Even Garnaut thought it line ball.

Who wins when the CPRS is showup as predictably will be with its lack of checks and its structural incentive for corruption? We export job via importing credits, credits that are uncredited. Credits that are often unauditable. Credits that provide massive incentive for rorting. Credits that provide massive opportunity for rorting. Credits which have been demonstrated to be rorted in a wide number of differnt ways.

Debating this with another concerned as I am with AGW, is interesting. In regard to the missing basic checks that seem obviously important for the whole integrity of and ETS, I was reminded of a quote that goes a little like this:

>Those with political power have a job when they get us to accept their wishes. But those with overhwhelming dominance can induce us to beg for even that which is against our interests.

Is it against our interest to have and ETS without these seemingly essential checks? Or is it against our interest vote down the CPRS no matter how flawed, and how costly?

Complex questions, but it seems in this case either way we're beggers to another power.

(B) the worst polluters getted even more of a bailout.

You just don't want to understand this. A new tax mainly on particular businesses will be fought tooth-and-nail by EVERYONE involved - business owners, management, employees, unions, local community, politicians, you name it. They'll adopt the position that that the country wants THEM to pay for reducing emissions that they'll argue the whole community should be responsible for etc. The fact is that it is not necessary to use this method to motivate a reduction in emissions.

By the way, exactly how much are Aluminium smelters that burn brown coal paying for their permits now? No-one ever seems to answer that question.

Exactly the same as under the worthless

In your opinion

ETS with dodgy credtis.

In your opinion.

So The Greens have achieved for certain no cost of emitting carbon AND for certain no motivation whatsoever for reducing carbon emissions. What a wonderful achievement.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

the evidence of (as well as predicable motive) for the corruption that occurs with an ETS

The only "evidence" you provided for corruption that occurs with an ETS is tax evasion (what a new and impossible to deal with phenomenom that is) of a completely unnecessary tax.

Pardon me for being totally unconvinced by your "evidence".

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

Chris writes:

>The only "evidence" you provided for corruption that occurs with an ETS is tax evasion (what a new and impossible to deal with phenomenom that is) of a completely unnecessary tax.

Two points of correction Chris, firstly what you mischaracterize as âonlyâ ETS tax evations was [described by Europe's criminal intelligence agency]( http://euobserver.com/885/29132
) this way:

>Europe's criminal intelligence agency, said that as much as 90 percent of the entire market volume on emissions exchanges was caused by fraudulent activity, undermining the very viability of the ETS just as the EU is touting a similar scheme for the rest of the world.

I.e this is core emissions trading. This up to 90% of trades. This is bad.

Secondly, you mis-remember this when you claims this is the only evidence I presented of corruption. I also [linked you to concerns](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) which included different versions of spurious credits, and in particular the example of the HFC-23 industrial gas projects. If you did as I suggested and looked into these concernes you would have been able to find [details of this rort]( http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/other_comme…).

I reinterate how do you measure what doesnât exists? Buying claimed intentions, and without a proper audit trail such credits are ripe for fraud. Its was predictable and it happened. Yet Rudd's model refused to require accredited permits to even catch the worst examples of dodgy credits.

Chris writes:

>The only "evidence" you provided for corruption that occurs with an ETS is tax evasion (what a new and impossible to deal with phenomenom that is) of a completely unnecessary tax.

Two points of correction Chris, firstly what you mischaracterize as âonlyâ ETS tax evations was [described by Europe's criminal intelligence agency]( http://euobserver.com/885/29132
) this way:

>Europe's criminal intelligence agency, said that as much as 90 percent of the entire market volume on emissions exchanges was caused by fraudulent activity, undermining the very viability of the ETS just as the EU is touting a similar scheme for the rest of the world.

I.e this is core emissions trading. This up to 90% of trades. This is bad.

Second point to follow...

Secondly Chris,

You mis-remember when you claim the above example this is the only evidence I presented of corruption. I also [linked you to concerns](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) which included different versions of spurious credits, and in particular the example of the HFC-23 industrial gas projects. If you did as I suggested and looked into these concerns you would have been able to find [details of this rort]( http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/other_comme…).

> *it was revealed that profits being made by companies involved in eradicating HFC-23 through the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) were so vast that factories were producing excess HCFC-22 just to generate CDM revenues. [â¦] HFC-23 destruction costs as little as $0.20 per CO2 equivalent tonneâ¦*

I reiterate how do you measure what doesnât exists? Buying claimed intentions, and with out a proper audit trail such credits are ripe for fruad. Its was predictable and it happened. Yet Rudd refused to require accredited permits to even catch the worst examples of dodgy credits.

Chris writes:

>So The Greens have achieved for certain no cost of emitting carbon AND for certain no motivation whatsoever for reducing carbon emissions. What a wonderful achievement.

Arguabley we are in no worse a position than with the deeply flawed CPRS which even Garnaut called line ball on its worth in its final perverted state.

Yet it is certainly too earlier to foretell the final consequence of the ALP failure to put up a workable ETS and the subsequent vote against the CPRS by the Greens. Are you going to help get a better deal or are you set on this toxic path of blaming the Greens instead of working for a meaningful deal with basic counter fruad accreditation.

(Despite my usual dyslexia I am intentionally miss-spelling fruad to get past the auto moderation).

BTW I congratulate the Rudd government on the resource rents tax. Not only is it good to increase the public share of the profits on our resources, but it also forces those with concentrated power to exercise that power more in the public eye.

How else do you increase public awareness of the extent of this undemocratic power? Self censoring, capitulating in advance or crumbling in response to their back-room threats just makes them stronger and won't expose who is wielding what power.

It could help other more important price mechanisms in the long run.

Just the greens couldn't get it though anyway. I think it was politically important for Rudd to strike a bipartisan deal, and he was not prepared to look like he was selling out for rabid greens ideology (and I say that as a greens supporter before I get accused of bagging the greens).

The CPRS was crap - lets face it. There is still a chance that the super tax will turn out ok, but only if Garnaut (7:30 report tonight) is correct in that the mining companies are wrong and it has just been poorly explained. If the mining companies are right and ALP have released their second dud policy on the back of ignoring an expert report they commissioned, then this super tax will hopefully get dumped/amended.

firstly what you mischaracterize as âonlyâ ETS tax evations was described by Europe's criminal intelligence agency this way:

Europe's criminal intelligence agency, said that as much as 90 percent of the entire market volume on emissions exchanges was caused by fraudulent activity

It's hardly a surprise that tax evasion causes a lot of activity UNTIL IT IS CAUGHT. Lots of activity doesn't necessarily mean it's motivated by anything more than tax evasion.

This up to 90% of trades. This is bad.

Your emotive language shows you've been sucked in by Green party hype.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

You mis-remember when you claim the above example this is the only evidence I presented of corruption.

I was talking about the ETS, not genuineness of credits.

I reiterate how do you measure what doesnât exists?

And I'll just repeat what I've already said and you've ignored. Money doesn't represent anything physical either but that doesn't stop it from being measurable.

So The Greens have achieved for certain no cost of emitting carbon AND for certain no motivation whatsoever for reducing carbon emissions. What a wonderful achievement.

Arguabley we are in no worse a position than with the deeply flawed CPRS

Of course you're not certain about that and your arguments are far from convincing.

which even Garnaut called line ball on its worth in its final perverted state.

Garnaut has no concern for political reality.

Are you going to help get a better deal or are you set on this toxic path of blaming the Greens instead of working for a meaningful deal with basic counter fruad accreditation.

Good luck to the Greens if they can help the ALP pass some carbon pricing mechanism after the next election. I just hope they don't place too much importance on ideological purity as they did last time.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

jakerman,

Strange you are pointing to the EC report on the fraudulent nature of ETS schemes when a few posts back you were more or less denying that they were a problem:-)

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

Dave stranage that you continue to outright lie. Seek help Dave your cognition is suffering.

Chris this interaction with you seem to be deteriorating. For example your response @152 is more about word games than addressing the evidence I was presenting of corruption.

And I'm struggling to see how you can justify writing off the point that:

>Europe's criminal intelligence agency, said that as much as 90 percent of the entire market volume on emissions exchanges was caused by fraudulent activity

Especially when this is linked a systemic problem, which has not been solved.

Then when commenting on this observation:

>This up to 90% of trades. This is bad.

Your response is "*Your emotive language shows you've been sucked in by Green party hype.*

Wow Chris, "bad" seems an appropriate discription for the corruption of up to 90% of market volume trades in the EU- ETS.

Your comparison of the carbon credits with money should bring comparisons with the GFC, derivatives and banking failure that that I compared earlier including the printing of trillions in "quantitative easing". But even worse, the examples of rorting in the ETS have less checks and are less auditable than money, and are more ripe for fruad.

The rest of your response is empty opinion in the face of the evidence I provided. You avoided addressing the bredth of evidence of rorting that were both predicatable and then occured.

You also failed to address the logic that cheap unaccredited (rort prone) import permits plus free permits to the biggest polluters combine to undermine change in the biggest polluters.

Abusing the Greens and snipeing at Garnuat don't make you right. And it certainly dosn't help your cause when you set aside and ignore evidence of fruad.

>Good luck to the Greens if they can help the ALP pass some carbon pricing mechanism after the next election. I just hope they don't place too much importance on ideological purity as they did last time.

Ideological purity = requiring basic fraud checks and a system where the worst polluters in the world such as our Al smelters are not subsidized (with both cheap electricity and permits) to shield them from change and thus support them to keep polluting at the highest rate in the world.

>Good luck to the Greens if they can help the ALP pass some carbon pricing mechanism after the next election. I just hope they don't place too much importance on ideological purity as they did last time.

Ideological purity = requiring basic fruad checks and a system where the worst polluters in the world such as our Al smelters are not subsidized (with both cheap electricity and permits) to shield them from change and thus support them to keep polluting at the highest rate in the world.

El Gordo,

Juvenal, writing during the 1st Century AD, talks about ice on the Tiber in winter.

This corresponds perfectly with Tony "I don't always tell the truth" Abbott's "Roman Warm Period".

We therefore have two problems with Abbott's nonsense:

-- This supposed "Roman warm period" was - in Rome at least - quite cold.

-- The relevance of the climate of 1stC AD Rome to the current warming climate isn't clear.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

oops, wrong thread. I think...

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

MattB said:

There is still a chance that the super tax will turn out ok, but only if Garnaut (7:30 report tonight) is correct in that the mining companies are wrong and it has just been poorly explained. If the mining companies are right and ALP have released their second dud policy on the back of ignoring an expert report they commissioned, then this super tax will hopefully get dumped/amended.

That wouldn't be right MattB. The second policy was from a ereport they commissioned and it is fundamentally a rational tax. We should reject the special pleading of the mining lobby much as we (but not the government) did over the ETS.

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

MattB [your reckoning](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) that:

>*it was politically important for Rudd to strike a bipartisan [Lib-ALP) deal, and he was not prepared to look like he was selling out for [what is caricatured as] "rabid greens ideology"

is supported by [revelations from an ALP insider](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…):

>saying âKevin was crystal clear from the start â the Greens couldnât be allowed any sort of ownership of the [emissions] trading scheme.â

So it was not about the quality, workability, nor robustness of the CPRS. Rudd was focused in positioning the ALP with the Libs and apart from the Greens.

The result being:

* an ETS that is highly susceptible to fraud (given the incentives for dodgy credits and the government's refusal to require accreditation of import credits or even a floor price on credits);

* a mechanism overly weighted to import of credits, (the cheapest being more like the useless ones);

* and hence export of potential new sustainable industry and jobs (assuming the market is not riddled with fruad);

* massive free credits to the worst polluters, shielding them from incentive to change (even if fruad does not dominate the pricing- the reason is they are doubly subsidised);

* thus unnecessarily high cost are past onto the public (that is if emission cuts are achievable in the system) given that the public cost, under a workable system, would require them covering the free permits plus the cheap electricity that double subsidises the worst industries;

* hence we for-go good sustainable jobs by over reliance on importing credits, we overcharge the public, we sustain the worst of our polluters at massive cost, at this is the good news. The bad news is that despite this the abatement could be illusory if the system corrupted by dodgy credits.

* This is all done in the hope of a weak target based on 2000 emission levels, so then hopefully in 5 or 10 years the government says to the public, how about we crank up this overcostly, poor performing, rort ridden piece of junk a bit further. What do you reckon the public response would be? A fraction more might begin to wonder if "maybe climate change isnât the worst thing"?

Alternatively we could demand the basic integrity of the system at its inception, by: accreditation of permits, or a floor price on carbon, or a cap on the ratio of import credits, or scaling back the double subsidies to the worst polluters. Yet the government appears to have refused to come around on any of these. Who has the âideological purityâ?

MattB [your reckoning](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) that:

>*it was politically important for Rudd to strike a bipartisan [Lib-ALP) deal, and he was not prepared to look like he was selling out for [what is caricatured as] "rabid greens ideology"

is supported by [revelations from an ALP insider](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…):

>saying âKevin was crystal clear from the start â the Greens couldnât be allowed any sort of ownership of the [emissions] trading scheme.â

So it was not about the quality, workability, nor robustness of the CPRS. Rudd was focused in positioning the ALP with the Libs and apart from the Greens.

The result being:

* an ETS that is highly susceptible to fruad (given the incentives for dodgy credits and the government's refusal to require accreditation of import credits or even a floor price on credits);

* a mechanism overly weighted to import of credits, (the cheapest of which are more like the useless ones);

* and hence export of new sustainable industry and jobs (assuming the market is not riddled with fruad);

* massive free credits to the worst polluters, shielding them from incentive to change (even if fruad does not dominate the pricing- the reason is they are doubly subsidised);

* thus unnecessarily high cost are past onto the public (if emission cuts are achievable in the system) given that the public cost, under a workable system, would require them covering the free permits plus the cheap brown coal fired electricity that double subsidises the worst industries;

* hence we for go good sustainable jobs by over reliance on importing credits, we overcharge the public, we sustain the worst of our polluters at massive cost, at this is the good news. The bad news is that despite this the abatement could be illusory if the system corrupted by dodgy credits.

* This is all done in the hope of a weak target based on 2000 emission levels, so then hopefully in 5 or 10 years the government says to the public, how about we crank up this overcostly, poor performing, rort ridden piece of junk a bit further. What do you reckon the response would be?

Or we could demand the basic integrity of the system at its inception, by: accreditation of permits, or a floor price on carbon, or a cap on the ratio of import credits, or scaling back the double subsidies to the worst polluters. Yet the government appears to have refused to come around on any of these. Who has the âideological purityâ?

This is all done in the hope of a weak target based on 2000 emission levels, so then hopefully in 5 or 10 years the government says to the public, how about we crank up this overcostly, poor performing, rort ridden piece of junk a bit further.

What do you reckon the public response would be? A fraction more might begin to wonder if "maybe climate change isnât the worst thing"?

jakerman:

Especially when this is linked a systemic problem, which has not been solved.

What are you talking about? THE TAX EVASION PROBLEM WAS SOLVED.

This is your problem. You won't consider the arguments at all. You just endlessly repeat the same assertions over and over again. The assertions are just Green party rhetoric. Pardon me for being completely unconvinced by substance-free rhetoric.

I have another question. Exactly what carbon price have the Greens achieved?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

>What are you talking about? THE TAX EVASION PROBLEM WAS SOLVED.

Chris, the problem is corruption, and on a superficial and specific level [read this](http://euobserver.com/885/29132):

>According to a Europol official, the scam is very far from having been shut down in other member states. Germany in particular has a "huge problem."

On a broader structural level read this:

>One Europol official, Rafael Rondelez, who was involved with the investigation said that the "missing trader" scam can happen to any good, particularly high-value items with high rates of taxation, such as carbon credits.

>What makes the ETS such a beguiling enticement for criminals, he said, is that the item being traded - a carbon credit - is intangible.

>"It makes it easier for fraudsters because it's an intangible good. Before, goods actually had to be transported from one member state to another. You had to prove that goods were really being transported. With this, it's just the click of a mouse."

>"It's an incredibly lucrative target for criminals," he added, warning that there are other aspects of the ETS that are creaky.

The problems with corruption have certainly not been solved, as also indicated with the repeating [HCF-23 problem](http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/other_comme…).

"Beyond the missing trader scam, the ETS is attractive to fraudsters because in order to trade in EUAs [European Union Allowances] you have to register your company, but there are no strong regulations or checking principles as there is in banking to prevent such activities as money laundering."

Project much? You've been relentless with your ignoring the evidence (case in point above) yet accusing others of your own folly. How many time have you played the ideology card and the political rhetoric card whistle ingoring the evidence that contradicts your own rhetoric. Case in point [your claims of ideological purity](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…).

>I have another question. Exactly what carbon price have the Greens achieved?

Here goes the tired old record with the same well answered question. Chris its a dud question because the CPRS is no where near the cuts necessary, and your preference method of yielding to the crap CPRS will predictably take us further away from where we need to be for the reasons stated [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) and [here](hhttp://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…):

>This is all done in the hope of a weak target based on 2000 emission levels, so then hopefully in 5 or 10 years the government says to the public, how about we crank up this over-costly, poor performing, rort ridden piece of junk a bit further.

>What do you reckon the public response would be? A fraction more might begin to wonder if "maybe climate change isnât the worst thing"?

Not a cleaver nor forward thinking strategy Chris to hang the ultimate outcome of the issue on the shallow short-term question that you have chosen. Lift your eyes a little further into the future.

jakerman:

What are you talking about? THE TAX EVASION PROBLEM WAS SOLVED.

Chris, the problem is corruption, and on a superficial and specific level read this:

According to a Europol official, the scam is very far from having been shut down in other member states. Germany in particular has a "huge problem."

That was last December. They are hardly likely to let tax evasion go on indefinitely. And policemen usually like to hype up the likelihood of crime. And you keep ignoring the fact that there is no need to put tax on emissions permits in the first place. Your whole attitude is totally negative and has achieved absolutely nothing but an ongoing zero carbon price (which is the same as nothing). You're just assuming that because there was a tax evasion problem that it is impossible to solve. I can only presume that your attitude is politically motivated.

there are no strong regulations or checking principles as there is in banking to prevent such activities as money laundering.

And of course, there is a law of physics that prevents setting up strong regulations or checking principles, isn't there? Sure.

You've been relentless with your ignoring the evidence

You've been relentless in ignoring my arguments beginning from here.

I have another question. Exactly what carbon price have the Greens achieved?

Here goes the tired old record with the same well answered question.

It is not the same question. Why don't you pay attention and answer it? In fact I'll give you an answer that you might like to try and we'll see how you go. How about: Exactly the same as under the worthless ETS.

You can then prove that permits under the ETS would necessarily be free.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

It's very dismaying to think a would-be Prime Minister prefers to ignore the abundant good quality scientific advice at his disposal and get his advice on this from a geologist turned mining company director who is enriching himself by telling people what they want to hear. Unlike the current Prime Minister who gives lip service to the quality scientific advice at his disposal whilst having done his best to negotiate away the woefully inadequate emissions reduction policy and blame the LibNats and Greens for his own failures!

I find it hard to blame the Greens for the complete failure of mainstream politics on this issue; it's way past time we had true bipartisan policy on climate change. Having an opposition that expects to solve this issue by the power of disbelief is bad enough but when they actually encourage and promote climate science denialism for the sake of short term votes and the short term profitabity of industries that are doing us long term harm is worse.

By regulation, punitive taxation, threats of lawsuits and prohibitive insurance costs, the fossil fuel industry has to be curtailed and they should be on notice that they don't have a long term future and will face punishment for the harm they knowingly cause. If people think we can successfully maintain the ongoing profitabity and viability of the fossil fuel industry whilst simultaneously getting substantial emissions reductions I think they're delusional. Which brings us full circle to Labor and it's faith in Carbon Capture and Storage - the 'solution' that even the fossil fuel interests don't want to invest in. And why should they when true bipartisan mainstream politics continues to fully support the ongoing expansion of fossil fuel extraction?

By Ken Fabos (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Chris

It's hardly fair to blame the Greens for the want of a carbon price when the government refused point plank to negotiate one that was meaningful.

A meaningless carbon price is the same as no carbon price at all, unless one is simply playing at semantics. Worse yet, a derisory and pork-barrelling scheme, which is what the CPRS was, invites ridicule of all its supporters. The ALP can afford to be ridiculed for being too close to the polluter-lobby, but the Greens cannot, which, matters of principle aside, was a compelling reason for them to turn their noses up.

They know that on the other side of the election, this matter will be revisited, and when that happens, they want to be in the strongest possible position to bargain. I support that.

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Chris you have claimed there that corruption has been solved by pointing to one aspect of corruption and saying that surely it must have been solved by now.

In the mean time you ignored the [broad structural problems identified](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…), and evidence of [recurring problems](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…).

Picking out one problem and saying that you hope it has now been fixed does not address the broad structural issues that are both: a) predictable based on the nature of trading ethereal derivative like products; and b) also identified in multiple form in practice; and c) recurring despite effort of correction.

Why dismiss these problems Chris? Instead of shooting the messenger I advise you would be better off supporting those who are trying to shore up the system again the predictable and experienced problems.

The goal after all is to meet scientific based targets and where not going to get their if the public lose faith in a mechanism that is corrupted, weight down with unnecessary expenses and found to have multiple problems of rorting.

>And of course, there is a law of physics that prevents setting up strong regulations or checking principles, isn't there? Sure.

Since when did the non physical (such as claimed intentions) need to obey the laws of physics? I again refer you to the derivatives trading that is an order of magnitude larger than the global GDP. I again refer you to money being created out of thin air in non-physical bubble that burst and require further "quantitative easing".

Again, why bash those who are seeking [close loopholes](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…), I urge you to instead support these effort in the interest of well functioning efficient system that will in the medium term be attractive to voters rather than turn voters off when the time comes to raise our targets to a more meaningful level.

Chris,

Your constant diatribe against the Greens is irrational, and shows you don't really understand how the Parliament works. They haven't really stopped the ALP doing anything. If the ALP were serious, they'd call a double dissolutin election and pass whatever they want - remember in a DD election both houses sit together and vote once of the Bills the ALP chooses. With the ALP's huge majority in the Lower House they could pass whatever they like.

The Greens know this, so there is no point in them siging up for the Labor-Liberal version of the ETS. That is the bare minimum that will happen. And it WILL happen. The only way it won't happen is if the Govt goes to the polls in a normal election whereupon the Greens will most likely get the balance of power after July 2011 (when the half Senate is changed).

Loabor can either have a DD and get THEIR legislation passed in August 2010, or get a Labor-Green Bill passed in August 2011.

It's Labor's choice.

>You've been relentless in ignoring my arguments beginning from here.

Chris I began answering your arguments point by point (until far later on, when as I stated: your points were becoming what I thought to be either a) word games, or b) empty opinion. If you think I have ignored a substantive point please raise it, as I re-raised points that I believed you had not addressed.

The RWP and MWP were an accepted part of consensus science prior to the hockey stick and were part of IPCC reports 1 and 2.
It was generally accepted that the current warm period was similar to those (with the holocene optimum about 2deg C warmer.
Therefore Abbots claim that it was significantly warmer than today is not supportable.

As for wine as proxy for temp, the varieties grown in burgundy/champagne are the same as was grown during the MWP, they could regularly grow table wine in champagne then, but would still struggle now except for the warmest of vintages.

Of course prior warm periods do not falsify CAGW, However the observation of declining water vapour does! Strange that declining concentration of the dominant greenhouse gas is ignored by the entire climate community

By R Mitchell (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

you have claimed there that corruption has been solved by pointing to one aspect of corruption

Don't be a hypocrite by saying I pointed to one aspect of corruption (tax evasion) when you were the one who pointed to it first.

and saying that surely it must have been solved by now.

So you think the governments involved are stupid and they let tax evasion go on indefinitely.

And you keep ignoring the fact that tax on permits is completely unnecessary anyway.

In the mean time you ignored the broad structural problems identified,

Wrong. Your "broad structural problem" is high rates of taxation on an intangible good. As I've said over and over again and you continue to ignore, intangibility does not necessarily make measurability unreliable, e.g. money, and the taxation doesn't need to exist at all. Your policeman's opinion of what constitutes a "broad structural problem" is just a policeman's opinion. I'm sorry but that simply doesn't amount to much.

and evidence of recurring problems

I haven't been able to get you to even understand why the tax evasion issue is not a genuine issue so there's probably little point in trying to get you to understand anything else. In any case your citation contradicts your opinion about carbon markets. It does not say carbon markets should be closed down just to prevent HFC-23 pollution. It says:

"While there is a need for carbon market offsets"

I'm now quite used to you not understanding the issues here. You are obviously hidebound to political ideology.

I advise you would be better off supporting those who are trying to shore up the system again the predictable and experienced problems.

The irony's incredible. You complain about a system that you say is hard to regulate, and then tell me to support those those who are trying to shore up a system. I should be telling you to support those who are trying to shore up ETS.

And of course, there is a law of physics that prevents setting up strong regulations or checking principles, isn't there? Sure.

Since when did the non physical (such as claimed intentions) need to obey the laws of physics?

You completely missed the point. There is absolutely nothing, laws of physics or otherwise, preventing setting up strong regulations or checks for ETS or credits.

I again refer you to the derivatives trading that is an order of magnitude larger than the global GDP.

What does this have to do with regulating credit measurement?

I again refer you to money being created out of thin air in non-physical bubble that burst and require further "quantitative easing".

What does this have to do with regulating credit measurement?

revelations from an ALP insider:
saying âKevin was crystal clear from the start â the Greens couldnât be allowed any sort of ownership of the [emissions] trading scheme.â
So it was not about the quality, workability, nor robustness of the CPRS. Rudd was focused in positioning the ALP with the Libs and apart from the Greens.

Maybe he's not silly. Positioning with the Greens was absolutely pointless because they couldn't win the vote. In that case he was better off having nothing to do with the Greens at all.

The result being:
an ETS that is highly susceptible to fruad

In your and the Greens opinion

and hence export of new sustainable industry and jobs

The issue should primarily be about emission reduction.

massive free credits to the worst polluters,

The politics of avoiding compensation cannot be avoided. Just on the resources tax, Abbott said he will oppose it opposition, rescind it in government, fight it all the way. This is nothing compared with an uncompensated carbon tax. You are out-of-touch with reality.

shielding them from incentive to change

In your and the Greens opinion.

under a workable system, would require them covering the free permits plus the cheap brown coal fired electricity that double subsidises the worst industries;

We haven't been able to stop the electricity subsidies in more than 25 years. If you think you can stop them at the same time as putting a new tax on them then you are crazy.

This is all done in the hope of a weak target based on 2000 emission levels,

20% per person reduction in 10 years is not a weak target.

overcostly, poor performing, rort ridden piece of junk

In your and the Greens opinion.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Chris

[ revelations from an ALP insider: saying âKevin was crystal clear from the start â the Greens couldnât be allowed any sort of ownership of the [emissions] trading scheme.â So it was not about the quality, workability, nor robustness of the CPRS. Rudd was focused in positioning the ALP with the Libs and apart from the Greens.

Maybe he's not silly. Positioning with the Greens was absolutely pointless because they couldn't win the vote. In that case he was better off having nothing to do with the Greens at all.]

Well, maybe, just maybe you'll stop with the stupid "It's the Greens fault rubbish you were spinning before. :)

Chris Iâm not going to address your word games, your claims about hypocrisy, and several other points, other than to say I believe you need re-read my last few posts as you were way off the mark.

It takes too much time set people straight on each detail that I disagree with. And I find that doing so is a discretion from the key point of getting to where we need to get. So Iâll cut down to the core issues:

>* intangibility does not necessarily make measurability unreliable, e.g. money, and the taxation doesn't need to exist at all. *

Except that ETS have demonstrated themselves has highly rortable even with current low targets. And closest thing that exists to trading claimed intentions are the derivatives type markets which have also shown to be highly rortable, with failed regulation in the finance markets, and continued bailout of bubbles. Transpose that into our ETS and it equals high risk of massive costs burden on the public and illusory abatement, which intern translates to loss of public support for abatement schemes.

BTW Chris instead of suggesting that the police investigating ETS fruad don't understand the problems which they are dealing with, stop to consider that the people looking at this might actually understand it more than you know?

And I need to reinterate, why shoot the messenger? Why not instead work to [sure up the system](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) to secure good performance and hence sustained public acceptance?

>*It does not say carbon markets should be closed down just to prevent HFC-23 pollution.*

Chris your beating up on people who wanted basic fruad protection, not shutting down carbon markets. The âideological puristsâ you seem to be arguing with are strawmen. You are actually arguing with people willing to try and make a flawed system work.

[Chris I note that via this strawman diversion youâve once again not addressed the substantive recurring issue exemplified by HCF-23.]

>*There is absolutely nothing, laws of physics or otherwise, preventing setting up strong regulations or checks for ETS or credits.*

If that is the case why are you so against those trying to implement basic protections, such as permit accreditation to catch problems (such as those exemplified by HCFC-23)?

Given the list of [predictable reasons](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) for the current CPRS to undermine public belief or taste in further cuts; and given the recurrent problems with current ETS, and given your acknowledgement of the need for "*strong regulations or checks* why do you dismiss the views of those in the business of [catching breakers of regulations](http://euobserver.com/885/29132)?

>What makes the ETS such a beguiling enticement for criminals, he said, is that the item being traded - a carbon credit - is intangible.

Why dismiss his views on this structural problem?

>"It makes it easier for fraudsters because it's an intangible good. Before, goods actually had to be transported from one member state to another. You had to prove that goods were really being transported. With this, it's just the click of a mouse."

He's looked at the problem and found this to be a relevant point.

>"It's an incredibly lucrative target for criminals," he added, warning that there are other aspects of the ETS that are creaky.

>"Beyond the missing trader scam, the ETS is attractive to fraudsters because in order to trade in EUAs [European Union Allowances] you have to register your company, but there are no strong regulations or checking principles as there is in banking to prevent such activities as money laundering."

So Banks are hard to regulate, yet the ETS has less regulation. Why not learn from someone who is looking that the vulnerability of the system? Why not use his knowledge to improve the integrity of the system?

Instead of beating on the Greens and me and others for pushing for the regulation (that you recognize as important) why not instead urge the government to adopt one of these points: accreditation of permits or a floor price on carbon? Or both?

>20% per person reduction in 10 years is not a weak target.

Agreed, but the Government's target of %5 reduction by 2020 (based on 2000 levels) is very modest indeed.

20% per person reduction in 10 years is not a weak target.

Agreed, but the Government's target of %5 reduction by 2020 (based on 2000 levels) is very modest indeed.

It's the same thing. You're ignoring population growth.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

10 years population growth is going to account for 15% of of emissions?

It that is true its an even bigger job, and its even more important for any ETS be high functioning, efficient, and appropriately regulated.

10 years population growth is going to account for 15% of of emissions?

Why don't you check with the ABS instead of remaining ignorant for a change?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Nice touch Chris, I note you declined to answer [this question](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…)?

>Instead of beating on the Greens and me and others for pushing for the regulation (that you recognize as important) why not instead urge the government to adopt one of these points: accreditation of permits or a floor price on carbon? Or both?

And the point is magnified, more population increases challenge and strain put on an ETS. Thus increasing the need to both high economic efficiency and appropriate regulation.

intangibility does not necessarily make measurability unreliable, e.g. money, and the taxation doesn't need to exist at all.

Except that ETS have demonstrated themselves has highly rortable even with current low targets.

Your "demonstration" was not much of problem at all. Countries that decided to do something got rid of the problem. If this is your best example of rorting ETS then your overall argument must be very weak.

And closest thing that exists to trading claimed intentions are the derivatives type markets

I'm tired of your bare-faced assertions. Can you leave them out please.

And I need to reinterate, why shoot the messenger?

The Greens are not just a messenger. They are partly responsible for the existing zero carbon price.

and hence sustained public acceptance

So your objective is to manipulate the public?

It does not say carbon markets should be closed down just to prevent HFC-23 pollution.

Chris your beating up on people who wanted basic fruad protection, not shutting down carbon markets.

Oh so they didn't want to shut down carbon markets, they just wanted to stop one from being set up in the first place. Oh that makes SO MUCH difference. With logic like that you'll go a long way.

You are actually arguing with people willing to try and make a flawed system work.

Yeah, they tried to make it work alright, by making sure it never came into existence at all.

[Chris I note that via this strawman diversion youâve once again not addressed the substantive recurring issue exemplified by HCF-23.]

The recurring issue, which doesn't mean our trashed-by-the-Greens-and-Tony-Abbott ETS won't work is simply that HFC-23 generation is unregulated in many countries. Tell me how your carbon tax is going to make one iota of difference to that.

If that is the case why are you so against those trying to implement basic protections

I'm not against them because they are trying to implement basic protections, I'm against their thwarting of action on this issue which is based on an overwhelmingly negative attitude.

So Banks are hard to regulate, yet the ETS has less regulation. Why not learn from someone who is looking that the vulnerability of the system? Why not use his knowledge to improve the integrity of the system?

What system? The proposed system was trashed by the Greens and Tony Abbott before it had even begun.

By the way, you have avoided comparing the carbon price we will now have with the carbon price we would have had with the ETS. I'm not surprised you want to avoid mentioning something that is embarrasing to the Greens.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Thus increasing the need to both high economic efficiency

The irony being that the person saying this prefers a system (carbon tax) with a lower economic efficiency than the alternative (ETS).

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

>Your "demonstration" was not much of problem at all. Countries that decided to do something got rid of the problem. If this is your best example of rorting ETS then your overall argument must be very weak.

You repeat the same fallacy Chris, you select the superficial and ignore the structural. [Note again you decline to address the recurring problems exemplified by HCF-23.]

>I'm tired of your bare-faced assertions. Can you leave them out please.

You your self related the intangible nature of ETS to regulating money. And my view is consistent with the those of the Europol official who liken ETS to intangible banking (except with even poorer regulation.

>*So your objective is to manipulate the public?*

My my Chris, your case must be disintegrating if you resort this this misrepresentation.

>Oh so they didn't want to shut down carbon markets, they just wanted to stop one from being set up in the first place. Oh that makes SO MUCH difference. With logic like that you'll go a long way.

Wow, you've gone all out tonight Chris. Unlike some the Greens were very supporting of the ETS in the beging and largely supporting of the Garnaut model.

Again Chris, what dose it say about your argument that you now rely of such misrepresentation?

>Tell me how your carbon tax is going to make one iota of difference to that.

Happy to debate that question, but its a distraction from this one.

>I'm not against them because they are trying to implement basic protections, I'm against their thwarting of action on this issue which is based on an overwhelmingly negative attitude.

An attitude that you imagine based on dismissing the demonstrated rorting, shooting the messenger, and shooting those who try to appropriately regulate the system to [make it workable](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) in the face of past experience, intangibly issues and recurring problems, and the obvious motives to rort.

>What system? The proposed system was trashed by the Greens and Tony Abbott before it had even begun.

A veiw you fabricate by ignoring the actual demands put by the Greens, am I debating Dave Andrews?

>By the way, you have avoided comparing the carbon price we will now have with the carbon price we would have had with the ETS. I'm not surprised you want to avoid mentioning something that is embarrasing to the Greens.

As I said I'm Happy to debate this issue but its a distraction from this one. I sense you want to change the topic.

Your "demonstration" was not much of problem at all. Countries that decided to do something got rid of the problem. If this is your best example of rorting ETS then your overall argument must be very weak.

You repeat the same fallacy Chris, you select the superficial and ignore the structural.

So your prime example was superficial. Pardon me for being underwhelmed. As I said, if this is your best example then your argument is very weak. You are obviously incapable of understanding the importance of your prime example.

[Note again you decline to address the recurring problems exemplified by HCF-23.]

I note that you fail to notice my comment on that issue so I'll write it again:

The recurring issue, which doesn't mean our trashed-by-the-Greens-and-Tony-Abbott ETS won't work is simply that HFC-23 generation is unregulated in many countries. Tell me how your carbon tax is going to make one iota of difference to that.

And closest thing that exists to trading claimed intentions are the derivatives type markets

I'm tired of your bare-faced assertions. Can you leave them out please.

You your self related the intangible nature of ETS to regulating money.

Changing the point as usual. You are quite a dishonest debater.

So your objective is to manipulate the public?

My my Chris, your case must be disintegrating if you resort this this misrepresentation.

It's just a logical conclusion from what you said. If the logical conclusion is pretty embarrassing then what you said to begin with was also.

Chris your beating up on people who wanted basic fruad protection, not shutting down carbon markets.

Oh so they didn't want to shut down carbon markets, they just wanted to stop one from being set up in the first place. Oh that makes SO MUCH difference. With logic like that you'll go a long way.

Wow, you've gone all out tonight Chris.

What a hypocrite.

Unlike some the Greens were very supporting of the ETS in the beging and largely supporting of the Garnaut model.

Who cares what they said they were in the beginning. The bottom line is they didn't want to give the ETS any chance whatsoever. Absolutely zilch. Kill it stone dead before it had any chance.

Tell me how your carbon tax is going to make one iota of difference to that.

Happy to debate that question, but its a distraction from this one.

Oh so it's OK for you to complain about me not dealing with the HCF-23 issue but then when I start doing that you say it's a distraction! What an appalling hypocrite you are.

I'm not against them because they are trying to implement basic protections, I'm against their thwarting of action on this issue which is based on an overwhelmingly negative attitude.

An attitude that you imagine based on dismissing the demonstrated rorting

I'm talking about the overwhelmingly negative attitude of the Greens. And when are you going to stop the garbage about the historical and irrelevant rorting?

What system? The proposed system was trashed by the Greens and Tony Abbott before it had even begun.

A veiw you fabricate by ignoring the actual demands put by the Greens

I can help it if I'm telling the truth and you think the truth is a "fabrication".

By the way, you continue to avoid comparing the carbon price we will now have with the carbon price we would have had with the ETS. It must be acutely embarrassing to you and the Greens to contemplate this point. The Greens have made a huge environmental mistake siding with the anti-scientists although they may get some political benefit. Their vote has achieved nothing but delay, exactly what the anti-scientists want. Even if the ETS is not certain to achieve anything, the chance of achieving something is wiser than the certainty of achieving nothing.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

>So your prime example was superficial

No Chris my [superficial example](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) was one simple example of the power of structural flaws:

>>*What are you talking about? THE TAX EVASION PROBLEM WAS SOLVED.*
>Chris, the problem is corruption, and on a superficial and specific level read this:

>*According to a Europol official, the scam is very far from having been shut down in other member states. Germany in particular has a "huge problem."*

>On a broader structural level read this:

>*One Europol official, Rafael Rondelez, who was involved with the investigation said that the "missing trader" scam can happen to any good, particularly high-value items with high rates of taxation, such as carbon credits.

>What makes the ETS such a beguiling enticement for criminals, he said, is that the item being traded - a carbon credit - is intangible.

>"It makes it easier for fraudsters because it's an intangible good. Before, goods actually had to be transported from one member state to another. You had to prove that goods were really being transported. With this, it's just the click of a mouse."

>"It's an incredibly lucrative target for criminals," he added, warning that there are other aspects of the ETS that are creaky.

Your error is to only tackle one partially solved superficial example rather than the underlying structural problems.

The rest of your points are a continuation of shark jumping that you started last night. Come back when you've got some substance. I'll re direct you [back to the point](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) that preceding your jumping of the shark. See if you can address [these points](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) civilly.

And perhaps contemplate why your responses took such an ugly turn at that point?

>Your error is to only tackle one partially solved [managed] superficial example rather than the underlying structural problems.

Chris@185 claimed:

Even if the ETS is not certain to achieve anything, the chance of achieving something is wiser than the certainty of achieving nothing.

Please justify:

a) the assertion that blocking the CPRS = certainty of achieving nothing

AND

b) the chance of achieving something (implicit: valuable) = passing the CPRS

and disprove:

c) passing the CPRS = high probability of achieving nothing in any meaningful time-frame

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink

In case not everyone has been driven away by mine and Chris's interaction, I wanted to recommend this [easy to read pdf book](http://www.dhf.uu.se/critical_currents_no7.html) with some interesting details.

I've not read it all, yet on first glance it reminded me of the superiority of the Germany's direction action approach to SO2 compared to USA's pollution trading.

Jakerman

Given the discussion above this link to an article by Johann Hari in The Nation dealing with REDD credits and the idea that something is always better than nothing" may be of interest.

By Fran Barlow (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Jakerman,

Wow, Chris O'Neill is dishonest just like me. Now Chris and I have never agreed on anything but it sure says something about your mindset if you go around accusing everyone who doesn't agree with you of being dishonest!

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

Dave my case regarding your dishonesty is greatly assisted by pointing to a sample of the the [manifold examples](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…).

Another example is you claiming that I accuse everyone who doesn't agree with me of being *dishonest*. That is so over the top and simply not supported by facts Dave. I do not see dishonesty in most disagreement I encounter. Even in the long exchange with Chris I believed he was sincere right up until he started relying on claims such as the Greens didn't want a carbon market:

>*Oh so they didn't want to shut down carbon markets, they just wanted to stop one from being set up in the first place.*

But even in that I don't see intentional dishonesty but rather a rationalization. But with you Dave I've seen so much more. Is so consistent, and so unveiled. I also wonder wonder if its not a cognitive problem that lead to your consistent misrepresentations, and [making things up](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/bad_news_sea_level_rise_may_be…).

Glad that your are at least paying attention to what I am noticing about you Dave. Now you need to internalize and deal with your approach instead of trying to project the problem to a point that is external from you actions.

Dave its [not just me who notices](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…) your approach.

It is not healthy for you to be satisfied with continuing your dishonesty Dave. Seek help I fear your cognition is suffering.

jakerman,

"Even in the long exchange with Chris I believed he was sincere right up until he started relying on claims such as the Greens didn't want a carbon market"

This sums you up exactly. Chris was 'sincere' until he said something you did not agree with. Then he became 'dishonest'.

You don't like people who have a different point of view to yourself. You cannot accept that others can have and hold valid viewpoints that are not the same as yours. You need to grow up.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

Wrong Dave, I believe Chris sincere, and his contribution was consistant with that until he said something demonstrably false. At which point I pointed out the contary evidence he was ignoring.

I don't believe Chris is dishonest, more likely the snip and paste technique in used in high volume can lead to communication error or out of context rationalisation.

On the contrary Dave your constant dishonesty [dominates your post](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/tony_abbott_and_the_roman_warm…).

Seek help Dave, life doesn't need to be this ugly for you.

BTW Dave do you deny your consistent dishonest behavior? That would be pretty hard for a well person to do with straight face given the evidence.

jakerman,

I must admit many of your posts reduce me to tears - of laughter!

Keep living in your 'own world' and ignore the real one around you.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 31 May 2010 #permalink

Poor Dave.

I just checked wikipedia for Roman Warm Period and it turns out there is no such thing. Proof again that Roman Warm Period is a denialist lie. Ahem!

Well, Murphy, I hate saying this but I was being sarcastic. I was simply trying to draw attention to the fact that although Roman Warm Period is a matter of much discussion, it still doesn't have an entry in Wikipedia. I am told there used to be a good wiki page for RWP once upon a time but the consensus keepers of the wikipedia, largely made up of CAGW cultists, wouldn't have it anymore.