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Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement
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The first cars (like the porsche here) were electric because in the beginning gasoline was not economical. (not available really)
The problems in Australia and in America relating to politics are mirroring the economic realities we are all in post-credit bubble crash.
The ONLY way electric vehicles will become successful is for them to be practical relative to gasoline.
In America this problem "might" be solved by a weakened dollar which will drive up oil import prices making electric appear economical. But in Australia (who are in better shape as far as having low debt) there is no devaluation to drive prices higher, so there is no driving force in Australia now.
Socialism was a potential answer because it determines policy without any attempt to connect with reality, but that randomness has it's own downsides. (people eventually get tired of misguided governments)
Socialism without murder is hard. All the strongest socialist, communist and fascist regimes required extensive use of murder to keep their policies going. In America I do not see Obama sending out hit squads to force "Going Green" onto the people. And as the politics go now that's the only way Obama could achieve it.
The only game is to become pragmatic and win the economic battle where electric vehicles are actually practical.
Despite being in the UK, I find this little diversion into Australian politics very interesting as I was there for the month they were arguing the cap&trade bill and when Rudd got kicked out in dramatic style. I followed it avidly on the radio as we drove about. To me it seemed remarkable that even a promise of a 5% carbon reduction (i.e. bugger all) was stiffly resisted, required much compromise to nearly get through (the female minister speaking on that bill seemed to me to be doing a briliant job under very difficult conditions BTW) and resulted in the supportive PM getting the boot and some lunatic skeptic getting the opposition leadership. It was an exciting month in politics, but I didn't come away with the impression that Australia was a thoroughly green-thinking country - quite the opposite. Listening to politicians rather than real people perhaps gives a rather skewed impression of course.
BTW one thing you should be proud of is that there was an enormous amount of actually anwering the question going on in the parliamentary debates. In the UK a political artform has been made of never answering the question in a useful way, and I kept being amazed to hear the minister actually try to give a sensible answer (to what were often very unhelpful questions).
Australia now has worse per-capita emissions than the US, which is something to be pretty embarassed about, as well as an enormous solar and wind resource and a low enough population that it could reaslistically think about becoming pretty-much carbon-neutral (unlike most countries which have no chance at all of doing so), and yet it seems much more worried about preserving the ability to burn and export stupendous amounts of very dirty brown coal. That's a very sad state of affairs, which I really hope someone can change over the next few years.
Sakura s50 (Efun A)
This is exactly the sort of observation that breeds opposition from critics like SAFE.
Wookey, your observation of the Australian environmental debate sounds like that of a die-hard football supporter cheering for his team! By lacking objectivity, you also lack understanding.
The often repeated Green-left mantra that Australia "has worse per-capita emissions than the US", is an excellent example of disinformation. 10 year old, 'Sound Bite' comments like this are easily repeated, readily accepted (with much sanctimonious head-nodding), but little thought is given as to how such a 'fact' is derived!
The figure is of course totally inaccurate. The formula used to derive the result was so absurdly crafted to ensure the pre-determined result, and would not be credible to any objective scrutiny.
But hey, that doesn't matter, if you are not seeking objectivity, and you can always trot this cliché out to substantiate equally tenuous propaganda!
Of course Australia is not your concept of a 'Green' nation! I suspect that no country could achieve the sort of impractical objectives that you seek. The Leader of the Opposition may not agree with your version of the political debate, but he is neither a 'lunatic' (well no more so than any other politician) nor a radical fool.
The political reality is, he attracted a huge increase for his party and roughly 50% of the voters supported him. Whatever your view on the correctness of the voters choice, this is a political fact that must be considered. Pretending that this simply didn't happen, or was due to some other mysterious reason, will not change the reality that a huge section of the populace have lost faith with the politics of climate change and it's advocates, while probably still accepting the broad scientific principles.
The 'female minister', you refer to is probably Senator Penny Wong. M/s Wong was, at that time, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. M/s Wong is now the Finance Minister. She is a very articulate, experienced and talented politician.
The Ministry for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency is an enormous government department. The department has been lavishly funded by the Labour Government, and is dedicated to pursue climate change objectives.
Unfortunately, the Ministry for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has overseen a vast dissipation of public funds with no discernible positive results. The taxpayers have become appalled at the number of disastrously wasteful failures resulting in widespread corruption and in several avoidable deaths. The only thing the Ministry for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency seems to have achieved, (apart from the production of a vast array of glossy 'reports', expensively printed and not terribly environmental) is a employment for a huge number of bureaucrats, and left/green academics. The department doesn't even pretend to be objective, and has drawn criticism from all sides of the Climate change debate for it's lack of objectivity. It's also not very environmental, despite being based in Canberra, elected to choose 6 cylinder ICE vehicles rather than the Australian made Blade Electron EV, supported by the local power utility Actew/AGL. Curious?
Nevertheless, the Ministry for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency employs (at public expense) an impressive PR machine to disseminate propaganda. This is unfortunate as public resources, if properly utilised, could prove valuable.
Observers of the climate change debate, like SAFE, may be a bit short on scientific knowledge, but he represents a growing concern by Joe Public that his income and lifestyle are being effected by people committed to a policies based not achievable science, but the arrogant pseudo-science politics of the green/ left.
For environmental investment, this presents a real problem. Investment needs real long term objectives with an acceptable rate of return for risk. Each impractical demand, each failed 'green' ideologically driven project, drives away investment.
Of course, this doesn't affect Green-Left thinking, as the adherents to that particular political philosophy have little interest in achieving a realistic change, they are still committed to the failed Utopian dream of socialism. This type of thinking requires no realistic economics as someone else will always foot the bill for absurd ideologically driven projects.
The tide of 'Green' politics is reaching it's zenith, but what has been achieved? Very little of any practical value, and at vast cost to the unfortunate taxpayer! Kyoto, Copenhagen,etc .. like the EU parliament are just endless talk-fests that no-one actually expects to accomplish anything of lasting value, but are simply political posturing exercises, at public expense.
In the meantime realistic, practical objectives that could make a difference, are ignored in favour of Utopian solutions to a problem that if you listen to SAFE, may not exist, or alternatively in Mike B's opinion are beyond our capacity to resolve in time.
We Must Define Stupidity
Let's clearly define concepts that if left unchallenged serve as a pool of stupidity that we have to work with:
Stupid Thought One:
The climate had always been a constant until mankind released CO2 and caused straight line global warming to occur just recently.
Stupid Thought Two:
The climate will always remain the same as all this talk of Climate Change is a vaste left wing conspiracy.
(there could be more...)
On the other (better informed) side we have the term Climate Cycle that is fully aware that the climate warms and cools in a regular pattern over 100,000 years and it's hard to know where the normal pattern ends and the supposed divergence caused by man begins.
Even in the most recent issue of Scientific American they had an article about the inability to accurately predict the influence of excess CO2 on the Climate Cycle. (the computer models are inconclusive)
The "smart" people recognize that we are dealing with more unknowns than knowns. The "stupid" people tend to have a rigid point of view and tend to be more simplistic in their analysis.
I choose the side of "smart" people and allow for unknowns.
(science is not supposed to be dogmatic)
As I've said before, we will KNOW for a fact which way things will go once the ice melts and the ocean currents stop circulation. This should likely happen within 50 years or so which means we can have conclusive facts in a relatively short time. We can then react as needed based on real science and not just theory.
"CO2 Lag" has always been a big part in the Climate Cycle so we know from history that if we do need to reduce CO2 forcefully that things will adjust back to standard parameters eventually.
We can wait without fear... then act as needed. (if needed)
Safe, if you add two of your comments together:
You get that we know something will happen, we have no idea what, but we know we don't need to be afraid of it. When that something happens that we don't fully understand, we know that we will be able to deal with that unknown thing. To me that doesn't make any sense at all.
The sun has never been putting out as much energy as it is right now. There hasn't been such a sudden rise in CO2 since Siberia melted. Who's to say where the positive feedback of heating will end? Some computer models predict a change to a new attractor where rather than the temperature cycling as it does now around a comfortable temperature it may cycle around something completely different.
Cheers Jason =:)
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/
The only people making this claim are the lying bastards who don't understand the actual science, or those who know the facts are plainly against them. This is a straw-man, a lie, a fabrication of the deniers. By repeating it over and over again, you demonstrate perfectly how dishonest you are willing to be in this debate.
If you want to attack a straw-man, go ahead. It just makes you look like an idiot. Please, be my guest. Keep this up, and I don't have to post a single thing in response and I'll still win the debate.
Thanks for keeping up the dishonest anti-science side of the debate.
My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.
The "CO2 Lag" occurs in every past cycle. This means that CO2 tends to still remain high for a long time even though the "other" influences drag the temperature downwards very quickly.
Honestly we don't know for sure...
There is a strong argument that says that since "CO2 Lag" is a factor in previous cycles that it will occur again, but maybe this time the lag is longer and maybe the temperature decline is weaker. In a perverse scenario the man made CO2 adds just enough to the many influences to soften the cooling and produce a perfectly flat climate for a while.
With short term weather forecasting they have been able to revise their computer models to predict daily variations because they've had a lot of practice with many days, weeks and years to tweek the models.
However, with this grand "Climate Cycle" we only have historical records (hidden in ice samples, etc) to try to guess how things will behave. Our computer models today are inevitably going to have flaws because we just have no data that deals with this exact circumstance. Probably the closest data would be to go back and find some big volcano that occurred that released a lot of CO2 and then be able to analyze how much of an effect there was.
Also, the grand long Climate Cycle (100,000 years) hasn't even been active for that long. About a million years ago the cycle was running along at 42,000 years. (I forget the exact length)
The day that the ocean currents stop circulating and we see NO EFFECT towards a cooling trend is the time we become worried.
My "guess" is we have indeed made a small change in the trajectory of the natural Climate Cycle, but that it is not going to be a huge difference. CO2 will lag as before, but it will take longer and the temperature reductions will be muted. But again... that's just a "guess" based on certain assumptions.
I used to do computer programming, so I know that just because a computer is used to simulate something it doesn't give it any better chance of being right than otherwise.
"Garbage in, Garbage out" is the old saying.
Reacting forcefully now when the data is inconclusive seems wrong to me. I'd rather just wait and see and then adapt when and if needed.
Poor old Safe! Why such vehemence? Not understanding something(or more correctly, not agreeing with you) may make him misguided, even ignorant, but a lying bastard ?? In fact, Safe doesn't even appear to be even advocating the proposition! But you leap to the attack, like a puritan seeing a suspected backslider who may be having naughty thoughts!
Mike, is that really what its all about, "you winning"!
Win what exactly?
It's this sort of abusive, fanatical language, that expands the numbers of climate sceptics! Joe Public listens to the shrill, hectoring, intolerant, voices of the self appointed guardians of the Church of Climate Science, and turns away. Joe Public may not understand the science, but in increasing numbers, he no longer likes or trusts the messengers! Joe Public suspects the climate change advocates agenda is about the well being of Joe Public. If it was, why would people who believe what they say is irrefutable correct, and inevitable, get so vicious and fanatical?
Without enlisting the support of Joe Public, it's impossible to effect any meaningful change or reform.
This is not so hard to understand, as the more extreme environmentalists, would much rather remain a small group of the smugly sanctimonious, holding self-righteous meetings and conferences to tell each other how clever and special they are in contrast to the common herd.
Hell, that's not environmentalism, that's just a cult! Safe's anti-socialist diatribes, reflect a genuine fear in a significant section of the community that the extreme green/ left having failed to win support from the broader community, may attempt to use force to compel adherence to a scientific concept , which for some has clearly become an issue of moral faith.
This paranoia ignores the truth that the Green/Left so absorbed by internecine affairs to be incapable of organising anything so dangerous!
But still, history has thrown up far less likely fanatics who have added to the long toll of human misery.
Mike, no one questions your sincerity, or for that matter the depth of your knowledge, but ol' Safe is entitled to his eccentric viewpoint without being called a "lying bastard".
You would be surprised at how shallow the public knowledge of the science actually is. I'm sure that of the mainstream public NEITHER the political left or the political right have a firm grasp of the cyclical nature of the Climate Cycle.
Education will help these "stupid" people out of their constant climate perspective. Both those that fear sudden man made global warming coming from a constant expectation as a base and those that expect a base climate to last forever are wrong.
Ultimately the discussion needs to be about the DEVIATION that we expect from normal Climate Cycles. Without the underlying comprehension of the cyclical nature of the climate we can't even begin the discussion.
Cycles exist... we can add subtle influences to the cycle... but we are uncertain how accurately we can predict reactions based on those subtle influences.
There are a lot of "stupid" people that think the climate is never supposed to change.
SAFE where are you reading or hearing this, maybe I'm not seeing the reports that claim the "The climate had always been a constant"
Again SAFE where are you reading this? Lets discuss the actual propaganda source.
I can see how you might theorise that we are at the high of a warming spike after an ice age at the end of 100,000 year cooling.
This graph show very dramatic spikes, many of them less than 2000 years of slope that would have a dramatic effect on our current population and diverse lifestyles.
But I don't think this Macro view predicting a risky future justifies ignoring the changes that are occurring over the last 300 year period, considering changes we have seen and are modelled as possibilities for the next 50 to 200 years.
Are you considering the near future to be way out of our control and not worth the effort or changes that a many in climate science are suggesting.
So I'm wondering are you disputing people who claim that the homo-sapien species is about to be wiped of the Earth, if we don't dramatically decrease our CO2 contribution.
Or is the claim that, not the complete species, but 30% to 60% of people will need to move and try to live on a much smaller foot print due to ocean level rise and effects of storms and flooding, not acceptable to your analysis.
If you want to start with "Let's clearly define concepts that if left unchallenged serve as a pool of stupidity that we have to work with:"
I think this is a good place to start. Maybe theirs nothing to worry about at all.
Yeah fifty years is not far off. But the issues that are are underlying the theories and analysis of measurements are further increasing.
COOL IT (the movie)
I realized that no matter what I found over the next year, it was worth taking on this project to see if perhaps I could create a film that would help push through the polarizing logjam that had become the never-ending (and extremely expensive) climate debate towards real and practical solutions. I also realized that though I am a liberal democrat and Bjorn told me that day in the diner he is left of left, this shouldn't be about politics, and it was really important that we elevate this pressing matter out of that contentious realm. We all breathe the same air, and we all need to unite to focus on the right priorities at this crucial tipping point. I had a new goal. I wanted to make a film that would replace fear with hope and stagnation with definitive progress. Fear is a topic that Bjorn discusses at length in his books – fear, he says, blocks clear-eyed thinking and causes people to reach for the most immediate, frequently incorrect solutions.
I told Bjorn I would make the film, but only if we could leave audiences with a sense of specifically what can be done. I asked him to spend the next year vetting all of the best solutions for the problems we face and then to make a budget. We know the European Union is currently moving toward spending about $250 billion per year to curb their carbon footprint, so we used that same $250 billion as our budget, and highlighted alternative ways to spend that money based on Bjorn's cost/benefit analysis. This device allows us, the audience, to be armed with solid ideas of how we raise the money and how we spend the money to save our planet and its inhabitants.
Normally one thinks that debate about climate theory is an "anti-big government" political movement much like the Tea Party. But this movie is coming from the ideas of the far left.
His debate appears to be about just how practical our choices are and whether spending billions and billions on a climate theory that isn't certain is a good investment.
I have not seen the movie.
The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty cited Bjørn Lomborg's paper _The Skeptical Environmentalist_ for:
1. Fabrication of data;
2. Selective discarding of unwanted results (selective citation);
3. Deliberately misleading use of statistical methods;
4. Distorted interpretation of conclusions;
6. Deliberate misinterpretation of others' results.
This guy is not a scientist let alone climate scientist. If he wants to use his business expertise to make arguments about how resources should be spent given the reality of global climate change, fine. But when he takes a positions about global climate change itself that are in opposition to the current consensus he is out of his field and being quite irresponsible.
Also attacking _An Inconvenient Truth_ is a waste of time. Gore isn't a scientist either. He made mistakes and some of them were significant. So what? If you want to have a responsible discussion about climate change address your points to the primary sources not a popular movie.
"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"
Ok, I don't think much of old Bjorn either, however, just to set the record straight;
In February 2003, Lomborg filed a complaint with the Ministry, and in December 2003, the Ministry found that the DCSD's handling of the investigation in the case had been improper, and remitted it for re-examination. In March 2004, the DCSD stated that since its finding had been to acquit Lomborg of the charges of scientific dishonesty (although they had criticised his biased selection of data), there was no basis to re-open the investigation, and dismissed the case.
Now, lets have a look at who exactly are the members of this impressive sounding government committee. The Minister, Helge Mølsted Sander, (a former journalist) was the chairman. This is the same Helge Sander who during his time as Minister of Science, presided over the implementation a policy called 'from thought to invoice' in Danish Universities. Under this policy, Sander removed faculty and scientific personnel from the decision process and placed institutional power with an external board with a majority of members appointed by the ministry.
Very keen on appointing his friends and supporters to boards and committees, was Helge! Understandably, the committee who judged the publication ' The Skeptical Environmentalist', consisted not only of persons selected to agree with the GW/CC side of the debate, but the very same committee was actively lobbying to attract the "Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change', to be held in Denmark!
How annoying for an aspiring politician like Helge Mølsted Sander, who desperately needed a successfully distraction like an International 'Green' Conference, to re-establish some liberal PR, and along comes some annoying twat like Bjørn Lomborg, embarrassing everyone, and jeopardising Denmark's chance obtaining this 'major event'? Better sic the 'Thought Police' on that bloody pest!
The other issue that may have rankled the author of 'The Skeptical Environmentalist' was presence on committee of no less than 4 'climate scientists' attacked in the same publication!
None of this alters if the contents of the book are valid or invalid, but says a lot about the fairness of Danish, (and other) 'Governmental Committees and procedures' when judging academic, or publishing practise's!.
Far, far, far left?
I would characterize myself as a Tea Party American that believes in the original vision of limited government (which did not enable debt creation)... so all these squabbles between left wingers is somewhat fascinating to me because it's so distant from my own views.
The very fact that the left, far left and far, far left are all fighting each other now makes for good entertainment.
What was the old saying.... a circular firing squad?
...just nice to see others taking a bullet once and a while. (LOL)
Indeed there was quite the little drama on that committee, wasn't here? :-) But putting aside the personalities and political agendas the book really is unsubstantiated crap when it talks about science. This is why it was published as a book and not a series of articles in peer-reviewed journals. At least in a book store the manager can decide whether to put it on the fiction or non-fiction shelf.
What I find sad is when people quote Bjorn and Gore to support a position. In my school any paper that cited a secondary source would have been instantly failed. This policy was in effect because writing papers this way is intellectually sloppy. More and more, however, I see this being done when people go out to the world to find information that supports a pre-chosen point of view. When the primary sources disagree with this point of view these people turn to secondary sources. Then again it is much easier to make a movie about a Gore or a Bjorn because you have known central character. A movie that stuck to actual science wouldn't sell nearly as many tickets. This is why I love Peter Hadfield's videos so much. Chalk full of primary sources. You can do this sort of thing when you're not trying to sell tickets or a book. I have spent about 40 hours just in followup reading so far and I'm not close to done yet.
"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"
What needs to happen is for something like NOVA to present the Climate Cycle as the history has given us and then go through the various computer simulations that project deviations from the cycle. That way people can come to realize that there are multiple outcomes possible.
AC - DC
It's a little like trying to have a conversation with someone about electricity and the people you are talking with can only comprehend DC current. One side says it's a all about positive DC current and the other says it's about negative DC current. The correct answer is that the climate is more like AC current and oscillates between warming and cooling. (positive and negative DC equivalent)
The effect of modifying a parameter (like CO2 levels) is going to introduce "static" into the AC current cycles and if extreme enough would "force" an all positive DC current effect. (assuming full blown straight line warming actually happened) But due to the nature of oscillating current a constant influence that is insufficient to "force" to DC will eventually collapse back down the other side of the cycle. (cooling... next Ice Age)
The debate really needs to be about how much we are altering the AC cycle verses any straight line thinking where theories run off into infinity.
While the political left is experiencing it's internal meltdown the backdrop of oil prices (in America) has gotten more positive for electric vehicles. This is primarily an American issue as we are devaluing our currency. (much to the disgust of G20 members)
Maybe in the end the decision point for mass conversion to electric vehicles will be driven by economic factors more than ideology?
This is in a way better because the pocketbook is non-political... we all want and seek the best opportunities and the lowest prices.
Oil goes up... electric looks better. (simple)
Note: It was high gasoline prices that got me into electric bikes in the first place NOT ideological discussions !!!
I'd be glad if the whole climate discussion just died and went away so we can get back to the practical side.
The climate deniers are constantly spreading lies and disinformation about the actual state of climate science. Their objections are designed to confuse the uninformed reader, not enlighten them. Straw-man arguments are typical, as are red herrings. Here's another perfect example of such a dishonest tactic:
Safe is trying to make you think that the "CO2 Lag" is an issue. He wants you to believe that climate science doesn't understand it, or can't account for it, or that it shows CO2 isn't a problem. Of course, he's not being honest, because the actual CO2 lag is simple, well understood, entirely uncontroversial, and even serves to strengthen the basic understanding of global warming. There's no THERE there. It's a distraction at best, and a deception at worst.
The basic issue is that we have a good record of CO2 concentrations and antarctic temperatures from ice cores, spanning back well over half a million years. During that period, we can observe the repeated coming and going of ice ages. The 'Lag' itself is the observation that CO2 concentrations start to rise about 800 years after global temperatures start to rise, at the end of a period of strong glaciation. (Safe keeps quoting a 20,000 year lag, but that's utterly wrong)
But this is entirely explained once you understand the idea of a feedback. In this case, rising CO2 concentrations are not what ended the ice age, they didn't provide the kick to the climate to start warming. However, whatever that initial kick was, the CO2 concentrations amplified the initial warming effect, adding additional warming after the first kick got things moving. (And we have a very good idea what the kick is too: it's periodic changes in the Earth's orbit called Milankovitch cycles.)
How does that work? Simply: warming oceans can't hold as much dissolved CO2, so they release the gas into the atmosphere as they warm. Once in the atmosphere, there's no possible way, other than a repealing of thermodynamics, that the CO2 could fail to cause additional warming. Additional warming causes CO2 concentrations to rise further, causing additional warming. The lag itself is also easy to understand, since oceans have quite a bit of thermal inertia, and much of the dissolved CO2 is held in deep waters.
But look at the numbers for a moment: it typically takes about 5000 years to warm out of a ice age, and the lag for CO2 is only around 800 years (or maybe less). That means that something other than CO2 is responsible for the first 1/6th of the warming, but it's absolutely certain that CO2 was actively warming things up for the remaining 5/6ths of that period. And based on current models, about half the total warming during each 5,000 year interglacial was caused by increasing greenhouse gasses. There's also a significant feedback effect from the ice itself, since white ice reflects more heat away from the planet than dark ground or ocean, which provides much of the remaining warming. The initial kick itself could be quite small, and everything after the first few hundred years was the amplification caused by feedbacks.
What does that say about things today? Well, we don't have to wait 800 years for CO2 concentrations to start rising, since we're directly pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. There's absolutely no question that concentrations of CO2 have risen from around 275ppm pre-industral to 387ppm today, and they continue to rise by about 2-3ppm per year. And there's absolutely no question that our industrial activity is what tipped the balance on the carbon cycle to cause those concentrations to rise. So CO2 has a dual role today, it functions as both an initial forcing as well as a feedback. So the effect of CO2 is doubled: it starts the warming process moving, and then amplifies the effect by pulling additional CO2 out of the oceans. The fact that CO2 wasn't acting as an initial forcing in the distant past is utterly irrelevant to the situation today, but it's history as a feedback is a clear demonstration of it's greenhouse effect.
But we still have the problem of other feedbacks. We've increased the concentration of CO2 far higher than we ever see at the end of an ice age, and in far less time. (It's never been over 290ppm for the last 650,000 years, until now) The oceans are therefore warming far faster than you usually see at the end of an ice age. Sometime soon, additional feedbacks are going to kick in, and they'll be much stronger than you normally see at the end of an ice age. The arctic ice pack is rapidly disappearing, the permafrost is melting (which releases methane). The oceans have lots of thermal inertia, but we can measure how much heat they are absorbing right now and its huge. Instead of a typical 2C rise in temp taking 5000 years, we're expecting that same amount of warming to hit before the end of this century. If we continue on our current path, increasing CO2 concentrations at the same rate as today, the projections are actually in the range of 4-5C or higher, again by the end of this century.
So, when Safe claims that 'some people' think that climate is constant, or that CO2 is the only factor, he's clearly not referring to the people who are actually studying climate, since our understanding clearly incorporates multiple forces acting on the global system causing multiple changes over time. He's attacking a straw man, not a legitimate understanding of the science. It looks to me like a blatantly dishonest tactic, designed to deceive rather than to enlighten.
And just to address another of safe's misrepresentations of the actual science: we aren't in a heating phase of the long term cycle, at least not according to actual scientists who publish on the topic. The warming trend caused by the last Milankovitch cycle ended about 6,000 years ago, and now we've got another 23,000 years of cooling ahead of us (unless we disrupt the natural cycle ourselves). (Imbrie & Imbrie,1980 source)
My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.
Yeah, as I said, I am not much of a fan of Bjorn either. I put him in the same category as Gore, both are not really scientists, but create propaganda vehicles to influence a non-scientific audience to a support a preconceived position.
Peter Hadfield is a very accomplished author, his website is not only informative, but very entertaining.
However, Peter Hadfield is rare tolerant voice among the Climate Change fanatics!
When MikeB attempts to perpetrate the myth that the climate change side of the debate is a poorly funded, noble group of enlightened scientists, selflessly struggling for the betterment of mankind against the vast forces of the evil resource sector, he does the climate change cause a great disservice with such disingenuous nonsense.
We have only to look at the vast array of propaganda generated by the climate change movement to realise that the sceptics are the lonely bunch of critics in the wilderness, poorly funded and ostracised as 'deniers'.
The very emotive term 'denier' is deliberately, and unfairly, used by climate change advocates, to draw a moral comparison to such authors as David Irving and the Holocaust deniers.
Tactics, such as mass rallies, organised by teachers, of school children "concerned for the planet' protesting against sceptics, is a most unedifying sight. University student unions, demanding the cancellation of lectures, speeches and employment of academics who challenge aspects of climate change, is not only alarming but very disappointing.
Governments who perceive an electoral advantage in popular climate change policies, organise carefully selected 'independent' panels and committees to prepare studies and reports, 'peer reviewed' by fellow travellers, which become in the popular 'consensus' sources of 'primary proof'. These 'studies', are then cited by the next round of 'scientific studies', which builds on the first premise, and so on, until the authenticity of original 'studies' are accepted beyond question.
Tactics such as the praise in 'Treehugger' for an IT program to defeat sceptics by " Every five minutes, AI_AGW searches Twitter for tweets that feature common, debunked arguments against man-made climate change. It then responds with its own Tweet, countering the faulty argument in question, and providing a link to published information from groups like NASA that backs up its case.
When someone recently tweeted that "First the Earth goes through #GlobalWarming and #GlobalCooling. Its a natural climatic cycle and contributes to natural selection." Leck's chatbot responded "Ancient natural cycles r irrelevant 4 attributing recent global warming 2 humans" and referenced a detailed discussion of the differences between current global warming and natural heat variations.
Technology Review calls it "a pro-active search engine: it answers twitter users who aren't even aware of their own ignorance."
Technology Review, comment is indicative of the arrogant attitude toward sceptics.
Such intolerance, automatically inspires a desire for these smug bastards to be wrong! The vilification of David Irving, while to a certain extent justified, has created a new awareness of the equally appalling behaviour of Secretary of the Treasury, Morganthau and his treasonous assistant.It has also created a whole new awareness of the morality of Israel's policy to ward it's occupied territories.
Intolerance breeds Intolerance.
While I don't agree with Safe's scientific analysis, and only some of his social and economic theorising, I have to admire the way he plugs along with his viewpoint, in a relatively calm and entertaining manner, outlasting critics who call him a 'lying bastard' and 'dishonest', but are unable to substantiate such abusive allegations.
The Safe's of this world are to be encouraged! They are like the speakers at Hyde park corner or the old fashioned street preachers, sadly disappearing in an era of political correctness.
It's the Safe's of this world who very occasionally get it right and point out that the Emperor really doesn't have any clothes!
P/s While I was writing this post MikeB's post arrived.
What is it Mike?
Are you so paranoid, or so fanatical with belief in the 'Church of Climate Change' , that you have to vilify poor old Safe?
Do you really believe that Safe is actually the anti-Christ? Is Safe the leader of a vast conspiracy designed to bring down climate change science and establish a new world order where a belief in climate change science would be punished by being forced to watch old Carpenter video's?
Forgive my paraphrasing, but surely Safe is entitled to be wrong, mistaken or even, foolish! How does that make him a dishonest, lying bastard?
What on earth does Safe gain by 'confusing the uninformed reader' ?
Indeed. You give a good summary. Maybe you will succeed where others have tried and failed before.
There is a Hadfield video that talks to exactly the same point: Isn't global warming natural?
"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"
The cooling phase is just beginning to exert it's influence.
Let me add that you FORGOT a very important element in the Climate Cycle which is that as the polar ice melts in each cycle it reduces the saltiness of the oceans and slows circulation. Once you factor in the ocean currents it alters the dynamics because the polar regions now get colder again. (because less warm water flows out of the equator) This tends to produce longer lasting snow which reflects more and cools the poles. We do not yet have good data on this and will not until it actually happens. (ocean currents slowing)
So what I'm saying is that all these many factors contribute to an enormously complex system.
You can't just isolate CO2 and think that it will produce a linear result.
We just don't know the effects of ocean circulation yet.
Before you wander off into some off topic rant, please focus directly on the question asked:
"What about the ocean currents?"
...then we can have a real debate and not something shallow.
Are you really asking that? Elections.
Half of the incoming Republicans to the House are climate deniers, as is every single Senator. The likelihood of federal action to reduce the impact of climate change in the next 2 years is now virtually nil. The chance of meaningful action in the next 10 years is severely reduced. Why? Because ignorant voters are misinformed, and are voting based on the lies and distortions that are constantly repeated by conservative media outlets.
The fundamental truth revealed by the most recent US elections is that an outright lie, repeated often enough and loudly enough, eventually becomes believed by a significant fraction of the voting population. And when corporations are allowed unlimited cash expenditures to influence said elections, the companies with the most money, such as the Oil and Coal companies, are the ones that get their message out best. The Koch brothers, both billionaires from their oil business, spent heavily in the most recent elections, and conservative groups in general outspent liberal ones by something like a 7:1 ratio. Even in the state of California, where there is a large population that is both wealthy and environmentally conscious, the spending by Oil companies beat the local environmentalists by 2:1.
And frankly, I'm tired of the liars winning. Does it piss me off? Absolutely.
We're losing ground. George W Bush and John McCain both admitted that climate change was a real problem and that action needed to be taken, just 2 years ago. Now the dominant conservative position is that climate change doesn't even exist, and if it did, it's not a problem worth taking action for.
Given the potential damage, both in economic terms and in raw human suffering, I find this to be intolerable. We are going to destroy the economy of this country as the result of lies and ignorance, and billions of people around the world will suffer far greater hardship and loss. And it's entirely unnecessary, since we know what's coming, and exactly how to prevent it. The only reason we fail is due to the success of safe's tactics, tirelessly repeating the same nonsense over and over and over.
Imagine for a moment, that every doctor on the planet knew how to cure cancer, but no patient would take the medicine because everyone was afraid it would cause their brains to explode. And why do they believe such nonsense? Because some drug company had started a massive propaganda blitz to spread such fear. Sure, it's a contrived example, but if it was true, wouldn't you be outraged?
You obviously don't think the science is anywhere near as certain as it is. But your objections are entirely based on our own bias, your own speculation, your conjecture. You can't accept that 97-98% of all publishing climate scientists agree about the basic problem, but you are completely unable to offer a factual objection. You pound the table and object loudly, creating doubt, but you can't offer a single fact in your defense, a single study or poll or survey that indicates anything other than near total agreement by exactly the people who understand the issues best.
But what if I'm right, and the science was essentially settled 20 years ago? What if our lack of action is entirely due to deliberate misinformation? Would you still consider safe's actions to be heroic? What if billions of people were going to suffer and die due to famine, disease, and warfare, and it was all the result of dishonest debates such as this one? Wouldn't you be pissed too?
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Good grief you're inconsistent, or just completely clueless. You've been insisting for pages that the current warming was part of the natural climate cycle. Now you're agreeing with me that we've actually been cooling for 6,000 years, and that the recent warming is entirely outside of the natural cycle? Or do you have no idea what you're agreeing to?
And please don't tell me what I've forgotten. You're entirely wrong. I know all about potential salinity effects on ocean currents, and I dismiss it because it's entirely irrelevant to the warming we're looking at today. We might affect the ocean currents by the end of the century, but by then we've already created extreme warming. But the currents haven't changed noticeably over the last century, and the temperature is skyrocketing. You're fixated on a red herring, either deliberately or due to a lack of understanding.
My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.
Wow! maybe I misjudged Safe? He really is the head of a secret billionaires think tank? Is he running for congress?
Perhaps we should have him confined in Guantanamo Bay until he recants?
Calm down! He's just a guy, albeit a little eccentric, writing on a forum. You are displaying a ridiculous amount of vitriol to kill what amounts to little more than a simple guy who disagrees with your point of view.
Well now, how on earth can a person claiming to possess a scientific, analytical mind, rant on with such vague unsubstantiated rubbish? How do you assess expenditure? The environmental lobby is far richer and better funded than any oil company. Hell, in most countries they even have environment ministers! Ever heard of the 'Green" parties in Europe and elsewhere?
In my previous post, I quoted the widely reported 'concerned school kids' this event attracted a vast amount of very emotive publicity. Far more than even the richest oil company could spend, on advertising.
Passion is all very well, but when you come on like a witch burning puritan on steroids, it just serves to alienate the undecided.
Perhaps it's because Joe Public doesn't like the hectoring tone and abusive rants! Could it be that the song is being lost by the singer?
Not really,no! I would figure that it's every individuals choice. It don't smoke, but I don't want it made illegal for others. I am happy with fluoride in the water, but respect the right of those who filter it out if they choose to be so eccentric. I served in the military, but I can understand those who are conscience objectors.
I have no problem with peaceful dissent.
Wow! Such arrogance! Actually, my objections are not based so much on your scientific viewpoint but on the way you say it. You arrogantly assume that because I plead for civility and temperance in your treatment of SAFE that I agree with his viewpoint!
If you had bothered to actually read what I wrote, you would discover that I am observing attitudes not science.
I always find you interesting when you stick to science based materials, as for the bombast, well Australians have a saying I'm fond of, 'you're a little full of yourself'
Now don't be offended, but as I say misguided passion can be a little off-putting!
Not really no, firstly although I don't find Safe's actions 'heroic', I am far more frightened of the curtailment of any citizens right to speak freely without being abused, than I am of climate change!
Fanaticism, breeds famine, disease and warfare, far more surely than any change in our climate. More misery has been wrought on the human race true intolerant believers "saving the people' than any climate change.
I disagree with every single thing you said, but I've said that before.
Lets just take this one sentence as an example of the sort of stuff that gets spouted by people who get on and talk this sort of stuff.
You've compared the environmental lobby (and it appears to me you include all bureaux of meteorology, green parties and all the departments for the environment of every government throughout the world) to just one oil company.
More honest would have been to compare the size of the environmental lobby to the whole oil/coal/gas/automotive lobby, so lets do that.
Here's a list of companies and their revenue, admittedly sourced from Wikipediea but there are references for each entry.
In Billions of USD
Royal Dutch Shell 278.1
Saudi Aramco 233.3
Toyota Motors 202.8
Total S. A. 189.1
Volkswagon Group 151.5
Ford Motor Company 118.3
Daimler AG 113.6
Berkshire Hathaway 112.4
Siemens AG 112.2
Glencore International 106.8
General Motors 104.5
Koch Industries 100
Hitachi Ltd 96.3
Electricite de France 95.5
Nissan Motors 80.4
At this point I got bored. I would imagine that there are hundreds more that only make a few Billion dollars a year.
Still it adds up to a revenue of Four and a Half TRILLION dollars every year at the point I got bored with adding them up. Let's say at least five (but more likely over six) trillion dollars a year.
That's what is at stake. This is your poor little under funded lobby group that is being beat on by the big bad nasty environmental lobby? Seriously?
Even the most rabid holders of your viewpoint (rather wildly I think) estimate that 50 billion has been given to the “lobby groups” over a period of 10 years. (they also estimate that the whole pro fossil fuel lobby industry is only 18 million dollars...) Putting aside for a moment just who those “lobby groups” might be, how does that compare with a revenue of 50 Trillion dollars over the same period
The oil/gas/automotive industry is at *least* 1000 times bigger than the environmental lobby even using the most conservative estimate of the size of the oil/gas/automotive industry and the wildest most outrageous estimate of the size of the environmental lobby.
So that's just one of your sentences. It's taken me two pages to refute one absurd sentence. For the rest I'll summarise: I'm sorry, but you're completely wrong.
Cheers Jason =:)
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Thanks gasdive for that bit of number crunching.
To paraphrase gasdive, that's rubbish. Complete hogwash. How do you assess expenditure? In the case of the California elections and Prop 23, you count TV ads and multiply by the cost of airtime. You then add a little bit for organizational expenses and such. Or, sometimes the groups just tell you how much money they raised. The oil companies didn't disclose, but they spent about $70 million on air time. The environmental groups did disclose, and they raised less than half that amount.
When it comes to actual lobbying in the US government, all lobbyist have to be registered and their spending disclosed, as a matter of law. I showed you the study before, but it was very clear that the side of the oil companies spent 13 times as much as the side of the environmental groups. Oh, the poor little financially disadvantaged oil companies, only outspending the other side by a single order of magnitude. :(
How you can imagine that oil companies aren't rich is simply beyond me. The Koch brothers are personally worth 22 Billion dollars, each. Big oil companies typically report profits in the 10 to 20 Billion dollar range, per quarter. And you are trying to compare them to wind and solar companies that desperately need a tax incentive just to break even.
Again Marco, you make a lot of noise, and do a really great job of pounding on the table. But you don't offer any facts. Good grief man, you're a lawyer. I don't care about your opening statement, sit down and present some evidence. Stop complaining about attitudes and start worrying about facts.
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No, thats an incorrect reading of my comment. I do not include bureaux of meteorology, nor do I mean only one oil company! Of course I include 'green parties', all their publications, websites and general activities. I also include the vast budgets of specialised government ministries for 'Climate Change', and other vested interests dedicated to to furthering the Climate Change movement.
You have a weird idea of honesty! Do you imagine that the total revenue even of an oil company is spent of climate change lobbying? Actually, only a tiny fraction of the total revenue is spent on PR, corporate relations, industry lobbying etc. (in fact considerable sums are spent funding alternate energy, scientific research, funding for universities and sizable donations to environmental groups.)
I note you list the total revenue of Berkshire Hathaway , an insurance group with some investment in gas utilities, but also a vast range of investments including encyclopedias, medical research, EV joint ventures and Solar Panel production and research!
You also include Ford,Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and Nissan, without excluding the significant investment each of these companies have in the development of EV production.
No it's not! your analysis is absurd ! The revenues you cite are not funds available for anti-green lobbying.
I hope you bring better 'scientific' thinking and analysis to Climate Change science.
Oddly enough, the principal expenditure of a car maker or Oil company is used producing its products! Lobbying is a very small fraction of total expenditure! (Still, very significant sums are spent by corporations on advertising and PR, including lobbying).
Where the environmental, Green Political, Governmental 'climate change' movement has the advantage, is that all the revenue, and in fact all, activity is dedicated to the advancement of Climate Change acceptance.
Now even to you, the above must make some sense?
It's hard to put a price on the PR/Publicity value of a bunch school kids campaigning for climate change. Since this image gained impressive prominence in the media around the world and enjoyed the added credibility of being a news story, it's hard to assess the true value.
But in a war of propaganda, such stories are priceless, correctly manipulated they have created an air of morality for the 'climate change' advocates.
Sometimes, like all debates it helps to think on both sides of any issue. This helps you to understand the merits in every argument rather then just seek vindication for a preconceived idea.
Jason, in reality, it would be very difficult to assess the commercial value of the environmental lobby. For instance, the non climate change activities would have to be deducted, and what value can be attributed to volunteers, etc ?
Even major Hollywood movies like 'Avatar' etc, are part of the Climate Change lobby, (when was the last time you saw a movies where the boss of an oil company was the moral hero) ? Should we add in the total revenue of these movies?
The study of 'influence management' is complex(but interesting) hardly an exact science, and open to continual debate and assessment, but real and essential nonetheless to human civilisation!
Do you have a link to details of their objections to The Skeptical Environmentalist. I have that book, and found it a fascinting read. It shows every sign of being rigorous and well-thought through, and it makes a change to read something fundamentally optiistic rather than pessimistic. Everything is referenced. He promised to publish later corections on a website. For a while I was an admirer of Mr Lomborg for that fine piece of work, but have since become rather more skeptical as it becomes clear that he is pretty much a lone voice. I would very much like to read detailed criticism of the book to see what exactly is wrong with it - I didn't see much wrong when I read it (but did of course take the published data as true).
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I've read some and I'll try to find it again. (I generally try to spend most of my time these days trying to understand the real science and less reading debunkings of popular authors and crackpots.) As I remember the major criticisms were cherry picking and lack of expertise. Cherry picking is going out the real science, but only picking a few studies that confirm your pre-selected point of view rather than diligently trying to figure out what the broad consensus is. Drug companies are notorious for this. They'll fund twenty studies of a new drug and pick and publish the only two that show it is safe and effective. Would you take that drug? The lack of expertise is what usually happens when someone who is not a scientist tries to read primary research. Bjorn misunderstands some basic terms and mischaracterizes conclusions.
I give Bjorn some props for running the website, but do you think there is any chance he is going to say "Oops. My thesis was wrong. Ignore my book." You may think this is snarky, but it isn't. In a real experiment the conclusion may or may not agree with the hypothesis. You can learn either way. I heard an interview with a physicist talking about the LHC. He was asked, "What if you don't find the Higgs boson?" He answered "That means we have a fundamental misunderstanding of particle physics... and that would be COOL!"
The problem is with topics as complex and as interdisciplinary as climate change is it easy to write a book that will convince a layman like myself to almost any point of view. A climate scientist will laugh at it, but they aren't the target audience. This is why committees like the IPCC are so important. They aren't perfect by a long stretch, but their goal is to determine and publish the best conclusions we have without having to pander to politicians, movie-goers, or book-buyers.
"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"
It's taking pages to refute each sentence of what you're saying and I just don't have the energy. Normally people say things like "if you would just read what I wrote"... Instead I'm going to ask you to just read what you've written.
To which I posted a crunch of the actual numbers rather than the hype, to which you responded with post 147
Lets just put those two statements together again, lest my separating them with references cause confusion:
You've made the point that fossil fuel based business have more things to spend their money on than just lobbying. That's correct, but so do the organisations that you lump together as the “green lobby”. The green parties do very little to zero "lobbying". They're not taking out advertising to make the government change their policy, they advertise to get people to vote for them. In fact if the government of the day takes on green policy “green” parties will cease to exist. The ministries for climate change don't lobby anyone. They do things like oversee development applications from business, administer National Parks, allocate water, control forestry industry. You said
But then we go to the source (how irritating to go to the actual source and find out the real situation!). We find out that the Bureau of Meteorology (at least in Australia) does indeed fall within the Sustainability, Environment ministry.
I'm sorry Marcopolo, but every sentence you've written collapses under any scrutiny. (even your own as it happens...)
Cheers Jason =:)
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