Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

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safe
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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

There is nothing natural about the current state of the forests in the American west. While beetle kills and fires are both part of the environment, there is no precedent for the extent of this forest die-off nor for the destructiveness of modern fires.

No precedent in human times...

The native Americans had a tradition of "intentional burning" of the forests. They were in effect the original people to manage the lands. When they saw a forest (like most are now) with a lot of dead wood in it they realized it was time for a burn.

When the Europeans came to America they saw these incredibly well managed forests and thought:

"Wow, this is the way it should be."

...but they were WRONG !!! The original logic was that "Fire Suppression" was the goal of land management. Now they are thinking more of preventive burns when possible. I'm from California originally and we had just as many bad fires as Colorado. (and for the same reasons)

-------------------------

The reason I know so much about this topic is my older brother used to work in the lumber industry and I also wrote a term paper for a college class a long time ago so I dug into the research. I was probably 20 years ahead of the public awareness about it.

Most modern thinkers of the forests see that the "problem" is that people have not recognized the need for burning and thinning of the forests.

Again the "mistake" is in an ASSUMPTION that the forests are static... much like the assumption that the climate is static... so bad thinking seems to show up in more than one place.

Burning the forests was natures and native Americans way to keep them healthy. We will probably need to return to that some day some how, but with so many people building houses now in areas that need to be cleared by fires it's very hard to do it as a practical measure.

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Summary:

When you practice "Fire Suppression" as a tactic to manage the forests you end up with a catastrophy after about 100 years because too much dead wood builds up. Well meaning people who sincerely believed they were "doing good" were actually setting things up for disaster.

You might try educating yourself a little about "Fire Suppression" and it's negative consequences:

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

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Sometimes, events occur that are sufficiently thought provoking to revisit old threads.

The Royal Society, not known for it's climate change scepticism, has recently clarified it's previously alarmist position by admitting that there is no real scientific method of accurately assessing the outcome of global Warming/Climate Change. The RS does not retreat from it's conviction that man made emissions are a major contributing factor, but admits that the current scientific data has so many variables and as yet unknown factors to confidently predict any outcomes without indulging in speculation.

This makes political and economic policy very difficult. Sceptics, such as Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser, in his article "Naming CO2 a “dangerous pollutant” is voodoo science", (Canada Free Press 10 Sept 2010)stridently claims that increased CO2 could actually be beneficial to the planet!

Of equal concern is the vast number of Educational Institutions, both accredited and obscure that are offering degrees, diploma's etc in "climate Change Science'. The advertisements for these courses contribute heavily to the publication costs of GW/CC journals. Vested interest in the science of climate change is growing so intense it's impossible for policy makers to ascertain the extent of the problem, when such an vast industry has developed to study solutions based on the more extreme predictions. These extreme predictions have becoming accepted as fact, not simply speculative predictions.

Many governments across the planet find themselves in the position of the Australian Government. The Australian Government recently appointed an 'Independant Panel of Experts' to devise policy options to meet the challenge of climate change.

Such a panel may have been useful had it included a broad range of truly independant experts.

Sadly, political considerations took priority. The centre-left Labour Party Government refused to appoint anyone to this panel who was not approved by the governments "Green Party' minority coalition partner.

The rusult was the "Independentindependentresult Panel" not only contains no sceptics of any shade, but also excludes any "IndependentIndependent expert" who disagrees with the concept of an emissions trading scheme. Thus the panel is tainted from it's inception, and no matter how valuable, or valid the findings, it will be opposed by the centre-right opposition and in the very real possibility of the opposition deposing the government will claim a mandate to appoint it's own equally tainted panel!

The politicisation of the scientific debate has completely overwhelmed policy makers, driving politicians into entrenched extreme positions. The Australian government holds office on a wafer thin majority, totally dependant to the Australian Green Party for it's existence. The Greens have within their ranks a very significant number of disaffected members of the old Socialist/Left parties. It's the infusion of failed leftist economic and social propaganda into environmental issues, that has derailed the merits of the scientific conclusions.

This is a growing global backlash to the extremist green politics and cry-wolf tactic of the extreme environmentalist movement.

Until, the science can be separated from the propaganda, commentators like Safe will abound with greater influence.

Don't believe me? Look at the number of VOTING creationists in the USA!

marcopolo

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Sometimes, events occur that are sufficiently thought provoking to revisit old threads.

The Royal Society, not known for it's climate change scepticism, has recently clarified it's previously alarmist position by admitting that there is no real scientific method of accurately assessing the outcome of global Warming/Climate Change. The RS does not retreat from it's conviction that man made emissions are a major contributing factor, but admits that the current scientific data has so many variables and as yet unknown factors to confidently predict any outcomes without indulging in speculation.

This makes political and economic policy very difficult. Sceptics, such as Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser, in his article "Naming CO2 a “dangerous pollutant” is voodoo science", (Canada Free Press 10 Sept 2010)stridently claims that increased CO2 could actually be beneficial to the planet!

Can you source where the Royal Society says "admits that the current scientific data has so many variables and as yet unknown factors to confidently predict any outcomes without indulging in speculation"
They have too many Weblinks. Was it in a Paper Mail Journal?

I'm sure all the Royalistas will be in dismay .... How will they chart a 10 year course for the QE2 and decide where to dock, maybe it's better they don't.
I wonder if there are some Noah's out there building boats who forgot what a rainbow meant.
The transitions are in oscillations. Sorry had to add some stupid light hearted lowest common denominating sarcasm.

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

//www.clker.com/cliparts/e/d/4/c/1206558009510562571johnny_automatic_on_a_swing.svg.med.png)

I go back to the Tree Swing Analogy.

Probably the first thing that everyone needs to come up to speed on is the idea that the Climate is a Cycle in the first place. Just getting the scientific literacy up to that point would be a good first step in broadening understanding.

Later we get to the idea of someone using the tree swing and being confronted with a strong wind. If that wind is 25 mph it will upset the cycle, but not by much. However, if the person tries to use the swing in a hurricane with 250 mph winds then the cycle will be disrupted.

Ultimately the uncertainty is "how much wind" we are likely to get. The burden of proof that a hurricane is coming is on the side of those trying to press for Global Warming validation.

If I actually saw strong scientific evidence that the cycle can be broken easily I'd switch (back) to Global Warming. After all, most everyone believed in Global Warming back in about 2005.

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Can you source where the Royal Society says "admits that the current scientific data has so many variables and as yet unknown factors to confidently predict any outcomes without indulging in speculation"
They have too many Weblinks. Was it in a Paper Mail Journal?

I was quoting from an article in 'The Australian' newspaper, titled "Climate committee 'agenda' is setting the tax level" published on the 8th of October.

Dr Kaiser in the Canadian Free Press states; "For example, on September 30, 2010, the Royal Society of Britain, reacting to public complaints by 43 of their senior members (then termed “rebels” by some media) earlier that year, revised their guide “Climate change: a summary of the science”. One of the critical complaints had been the suppression of debate. The new guide states “Climate change has been and continues to be the subject of intensive scientific research and public debate.”

Similarly, in November 2009, 159 senior members of the American Physical Society urged the society’s board to “revise its current [2007] policy on climate change, so as to more accurately represent the current state of the science”. Specifically, they proposed the inclusion of the following text:

Studies of a variety of natural processes, including ocean cycles and solar variability, indicate that they can account for variations in the Earth’s climate on the time scale of decades and centuries. Current climate models appear insufficiently reliable to properly account for natural and anthropogenic contributions to past climate change, much less project future climate.

In response, in April 2010, the society’s board added lengthy comments and additional details “for clarification” to their policy statement."

marcopolo

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

What To Watch For

The Climate Cycle has always melted the poles and changed the ocean levels... we know and expect a repeat performance of this as it seems to already be happening.

The "debate" is on what effect the ocean currents have on the weather.

...seems to me the data we NEED before we make any policy decisions is whether we see the expected weather pattern shifts that come with currents that have halted.

So as I see it the process "should" be:

Step One: Wait for the ocean currents to halt. (should not be more than 10-50 years at the present rate)

Step Two: When the ocean currents have stopped flowing you then measure the change in temperature in the polar regions and the equator.

------------------------

Conclusion One: If cooling is not happening as expected then a radical reduction of CO2 by a variety of means can be required of everyone.

Conclusion Two: If the Climate Cycle appears to be functioning within normal parameters then basically do nothing special about it and treat it like we do the seasons. Winter (Ice Age) is coming.

...when we talk about CO2 it's something that is a slow process ("CO2 Lag" seems to have been averaging 30,000 years in previous cycles) so there is no hurry in making this decision as the "tipping point" has already been passed. We can't "undo" the "tipping point" now anyway, so trying to would be a waste of effort.

I think we can "trust in the Climate Cycle" until data suggests something unusual is happening.

We should stop using terms like:

Global Warming
Climate Change

...because they give a distorted perspective on the process and focus on the term:

Climate Cycle

...since it reflects the pattern more accurately.

Finally, we would need to be ready to act if data showed real deviation from normal. (if Global Warming really were to happen in a straight line we would need to react to it)

---------------------

The best reason for electric vehicles is because they can be fun and they can operate without a gas station. Just the idea of apartment dwellers being able to have an electric bike that they can store in their tiny apartment space "should" be enough to make this a fun hobby.

Making this a "hobby" is a healthier perspective on things.

Electric should be fun. (not some ugly political mess)

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life'

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100058265/us-physics-professor-global-warming-is-the-greatest-and-most-success...

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

--------------------------

...okay, the race is one, let's see who can "character assassinate" this one. Come on, you know you want to try at least. ;)

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.

You're kidding, right? This is a physicist who is either so bad at math that he doesn't know what a 'trillion' is, or a published author who literally doesn't know what the word 'literally' means, or a government policy adviser who has no concept on how big the economy is. He somehow believes that 97% of publishing scientists in another field, a field that he is not an expert in, are either incompetent or corrupt. And he somehow read the so-called climate-gate emails and believed that there was clear evidence of fraud? Wow. I don't need to attack his character, you just did it for us. Thanks for playing.

Look, if Mr Lewis thinks there is a scientific fraud going on, then he is morally obligated to attack that fraud with a paper in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Scientific debate does not happen via press release. If he can't publish data to support his claims, then he either isn't much of a scientist, or he's just blowing hot air.

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safe
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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

You're kidding, right? This is a physicist who is either so bad at math that he doesn't know what a 'trillion' is, or a published author who literally doesn't know what the word 'literally' means, or a government policy adviser who has no concept on how big the economy is...

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara

So just think... those poor students at UC Santa Barbara are being taught that a "trillion" is something other than what it is.

Amazing... (sarcasm)

----------------------------

As I've said before, it's theoretically possible that "straight line global warming" could happen, but from the historical perspective it's "more probable" that we are experincing Climate Change as part of the Climate Cycle. It is like the seasons, there is an Ice Age portion that transitions to a warming period that has a climax where the ice caps melt, the ocean currents halt and we start into a pattern where the equator gets really hot, but the poles start to again cool. (lack of ocean currents cools the poles)

...the question is whether mans input into the "cycle" will alter the natural pattern.

Until we see data that significantly deviates from the Climate Cycle pattern we need to be careful about jumping to false conclusions.

Global Warming "seems" to be a scam that uses a shallow understanding and distortion of the Climate Cycle so that it has a political and economic influence.

That's all it is right now... what can best be called a "scam" based on lacking data...

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

You're kidding, right? This is a physicist who is either so bad at math that he doesn't know what a 'trillion' is, or a published author who literally doesn't know what the word 'literally' means, or a government policy adviser who has no concept on how big the economy is. He somehow believes that 97% of publishing scientists in another field, a field that he is not an expert in are either incompetent or corrupt. And he somehow read the so-called climate-gate emails and believed that there was clear evidence of fraud? Wow. I don't need to attack his character, you just did it for us. Thanks for playing.

Look, if Mr Lewis thinks there is a scientific fraud going on, then he is morally obligated to attack that fraud with a paper in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Scientific debate does not happen via press release If he can't publish data to support his claims, then he either isn't much of a scientist, or he's just blowing hot air

Now it's not often that I find merit in posts by Safe!

However Mike, look at your almost programed GW/CC response to the contribution of PROFESSOR Lewis.

Your first response, without any evidence, is to launch an aggressive sneering attack on the Professor as a charlatan, morally akin to a holocaust denier. Secondly, you trundle out the CC/GW true believers response that Professor Lewis is not qualified as a 'Climate Change' scientist. (this qualification appears to be only available to those who agree with you, and your merry band in the Church of GW/CC believers) Thirdly, you can't even bring yourself to accredit the man with his correct tile, demoting him to Mr Lewis, thereby implying that he's some sort of impostor, about to be unfrocked at any moment.

Pretty fair amount of spin in a response from someone who claims to base his assertions on open-minded scientific reasoning, eh?!

Now, I am not arguing that Prof. Lewis is right or wrong, nor that the title of Professor carries any omnipotence of righteousness. But behaviour like this leads to serious doubt as to how you arrive at your figure of 97%. If all the opponents are disqualified before the poll, this is the sort of manufactured result expected. If you shout this figure long enough, and loud enough, it becomes accepted fact! This is then used very effectively to silence critics and dissent from anyone not inside the climate change industry.

These are tactics commonly employed by fanatics, and fanatical propagandists.

Why Prof. Lewis chooses to present his opinions in the manner he does, is his business. The concept that only material published in peer reviewed publications is valid, would seem curious when according to you, 97% of his peers are opposed to his views. Perhaps the Professor feels that he would not receive a fair hearing.

In fact this entire figure of 97% is absurd. I question the ability to compile such a figure accurately! Sadly, this is typical of much of the early GW/CC dogma. Too much of the early evidence was accepted as fact and became the basis of erroneous research.

Recently, a study was announced and greeted with wide spread acceptance by both the scientific and general community that 'cancer is created by modern mans economic practises'. This amazing revelation attracted enormous acceptance and vast funding, was based on research conducted on ancient cadavers up to 3000 years old. These studies found considerably less evidence of cancer in pre-civilised man.

The Study found little criticism from its publication in peer reviewed journals, and the those that raised scepticism were silenced in exactly the same methods as GW/CC sceptics are silenced. Only in the lay media did this ridiculous theory receive resistance. The response to such scepticism has been met by the hatred and derision of the same green left, back to mother earth, anti-capitalist, anti-human fanatics who make up the majority of the GW/CC most vocal supporters.

In fact the cancer research basic premise was so deeply flawed, as to be absurd, has not prevented it being widely accepted, since it validates existing theories, some truths, half truths and most importantly, long held philosophies.

Issues such as modern population movements, were lumped in with tobacco and man-made radio-activity, pollution etc... all to prove a theory that can be so easily debunked by the fact that one of the ancient frozen Mammoths was found to be suffering from an early form of cancerous growth.

Nevertheless, until the debate in the general media gave courage to peer critisism, this "study" was on its way to being accepted as an established fact.

Vested interests? Well, they exist both for and against. As to trillions of dollars being spent on the climate change industry? Well, I would like to see MikeB's evidence that this is either inaccurate, or how he comes to doubt such a figure? (assuming that MikeB agrees with the popular definition of a Trillion as 1000 Billion).

97% ? ... This is not an accurate, factual statistic, just spin and propaganda!

marcopolo

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

97% ? ... This is not an accurate, factual statistic, just spin and propaganda!

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0122-climate.html

A new poll among 3,146 earth scientists found that 90 percent believe global warming is real, while 82 percent agree that human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures.

The survey, conducted among researchers listed in the American Geological Institute's Directory of Geoscience Departments*, "found that climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role". The biggest doubters were petroleum geologists (47 percent) and meteorologists (64 percent). A recent poll suggests that 58 percent of Americans believe that human activity contributes to climate change.

I'm sure the poll isn't perfectly accurate, but it's far better than some blowhard claiming it's entirely a hoax with absolutely no evidence to back up his claims. With 3k respondents, the margin of error isn't particularly large. The (unmeasurable) absolute number can't be much less than 90% or so, but it could also be higher than 97%. Still, Prof. Lewis is effectively claiming that every one of those 90+% is either incompetent or corrupt, which is a mighty strong claim to make without a shred of evidence. I find it far more likely that he's simply assuming the science is flawed because he doesn't like the conclusion, but is unable to identify any actual scientific errors himself.

Do you want me to pull up the study of published papers in scientific journals too, the one that shows not a single published paper in the survey that disputed the mainstream understanding of global warming? Let me repeat that: within the survey sample, not one paper was found that took the contrary position. For people who understand how science works, the survey of published papers is utterly devastating to the denial position, but usually the survey of scientist opinion carries more weight in these conversations.

There is no scientific debate on the existence of humans influence on global climate. None. The debate is entirely within the public sphere and is driven mostly by the actual trillion dollar economy, the fossil fuel energy interests.

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MikeB
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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

97% ? ... This is not an accurate, factual statistic, just spin and propaganda!

Marco, if you don't like that number, provide an alternate study that shows otherwise. This is a put-up-or-shut-up challenge.

Here, let me offer a second data point to work with, a study in the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists):
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.full.pdf+html

Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions. Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.

Here's a study of publications, not survey responses. Looks like I now have justification to start saying 98% instead of the 97% that you object to. :)

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Thanks again, Mike, well said. I don't know how you manage to keep your cool!

I personally could not give a toss if it's 50% or 99% of the scientists agreeing with the global warming/climate chance/climate destabilisation problem or whatever the latest name for it may be. The problem has been obvious to me and many others for a long time - but it is just one of several problems caused by homo sapiens' mindless treatment of our environment - the planet we live on and depend upon.

I guess that makes me one of those radical greenies that Marcopolo seems to hate so much.

It does not surprise me that there are fanatics with idiotic claims on both sides of the fence. That is to be expected. The world is unfortunately full of idiots. The existence of idiots supporting one side or the other is not a valid argument for or against anything. They just exist. Nothing much we can do about that.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

MikeB,

The 'study' or poll, you quote is neither new nor credible. You may feel that a Link to "Mongobay" may add to the creditability ,but this poll has been around a long time.

Polls, are the most easily manipulated 'research' imaginable. Especially, ones like this. this poll claims to have contacted in excess of 10,000 "climate changes scientists" .

The first problem is, less than a third even replied. This puts the whole poll methodology in doubt. Such a survey can be distorted either intentionally or quite unintentionally very easily. For instance what exactly constitutes a climate scientist, currently and actively involved in climate change scientific research.

Do this mean that every person working as part of a study team, gets counted, regardless of qualifications? Actually,that's exactly how the authors of the poll acquired the results.

Such sceptics as Prof Lewis were discounted as not being 'climatologists'. Prof Lewis is a physicist, Professor Ian Plimier a Geologist, Prof Alan Sandmeyer a Oceanographer, Professor Bob Cater is paleontologist, stratigraphy, marine geologist and environmental scientist, and only describes himself as a 'climate agnostic', still does not qualify to be included in such surveys.

On the other hand, Dr Nicolas Stern, is included. This is a bit odd, since Dr Stern is an economist, and his Doctorate is in Philosophy! He is also a leftist politician and highly paid government consultant on climate change. (A true believer).

I have some small acquaintance with Lord Stern, who once described me as a Taiwanese Apologist! (I would have felt the blond hair and blue eyes would have corrected his grammar, but ah well..)

It is my contention that polls can be easily manipulated to created a distorted result. This particular poll is an excellent example of distortion.

I note that you shy away from substantiating to ridicule of the size of money spent on the climate change industry. is this because you know that Prof Lewis's description of a Trillion dollar industry is accurate?

marcopolo

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

I note that you shy away from substantiating to ridicule of the size of money spent on the climate change industry. is this because you know that Prof Lewis's description of a Trillion dollar industry is accurate?

No, I skipped it because it was blatantly laughable.

The problem is that you're mixing up the idea of 'industry' and 'research'. Prof Lewis is claiming, as have others, that the science is essentially fabricated by greedy scientists who want more money. In order to look at that claim, you have to look at how much money is actually flowing to the scientists, not to all areas of industry that might conceivably be connected to climate change. And that number is measured in the tens of millions worldwide, at best. That number gets bigger when you add in the cost of things like launching earth-observing satellites, but that money goes to rocket scientists and engineers, not climate scientists.

Most climate scientists are either university professors, grad students working for university professors, or employees of government agencies like NASA or NOAA. Petroleum geologists are mostly employed by the petroleum industry and are very well paid, climate science has virtually no direct commercial applications so they almost never find commercial employment. In either case (university or government), climatologists don't make huge amounts of money. More specifically, a climate scientist who happens to be studying hurricane prediction, as an example, makes more or less the same money as a climate scientist studying paleoclimate. There's virtually no financial advantage to working on the so-called 'sexy' topic of the day.

I suppose a clever climate scientist might get rich by fabricating data and then investing in stock for a solar cell or biofuel company, but they really don't have much money to invest in stocks. You'd probably have a better argument about a Chemist working for a biofuel company, or a Physicist working for a solar cell company, but neither of those is in a good position to fabricate climate data and influence the market. Or maybe the accusation is of simple bribery, that the green energy industry is simply bribing every scientist on the planet to give favorable findings. Odd how government scientists in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Venezuela, all countries who's economy depends heavily on oil, are part of this global conspiracy. That seems rather hard to explain, there.

Even more importantly, a scientist who is found guilty of scientific misconduct, such as fabricating data in exchange for bribes, suffers a massive credibility loss and embarrassment. They may never publish again, and at least for university professors, not publishing means the loss of their job. ("Publish or Perish", anyone?) At worst, a government employee accepting a bribe or committing fraud goes directly to jail. At best, a discredited researcher might find even lower income teaching science at the high-school level. Is being part of a massive scientific hoax really worth that type of consequences?

Imagine, for a moment, the following scenario: a low-level scientist is employed by NOAA, and becomes aware of scientific fraud involving global warming evidence. He keeps quiet, to avoid rocking the boat, in fear of not getting his next promotion and the associated $135/month raise. Alternately, he thinks about the situation and comes up with a plan: he takes all the evidence of fraud and stores it in a safe-deposit box somewhere. He then walks into the lobby of Exxon or BP and tells them that he'd like a fee of $100 million to permanently destroy the global warming hoax by publishing his data. He releases his data and gets a massive check by the end of the day. Two years later, this low-level scientist has retired to a restored castle in the South of France, won the Nobel Prize, and been knighted by the Queen of England. Plausible? No, clearly not. Evil lawyers from the oil company would argue that the original agreement was invalid, so the oil companies would keep their millions.

Scientists don't fear controversy, they live for it. They dream of rocking the boat, fantasize about overturning the established wisdom. Careers are built upon publishing radical papers, and million dollar prizes are awarded for such behavior. The idea that there's a bunch of climate scientists keeping quiet about the 'truth' of global warming is simply absurd. Laughable on it's face. Ridiculous. Even this posting is devoting far too much time to such a silly idea.

::

You're quick to dismiss the accuracy of the survey of scientists, but the study in PNAS used a completely different methodology and reached almost precisely the same result, 97-98%. There's no possibility of a response bias in a survey of published papers, but they reached the same number. And the Naomi Oreskes study found a perfect 100% agreement of the basics among published papers in her survey, but the margin of error is big enough that 97% is still a plausible result. That's 3 studies all giving values in the same range on my side, and not a single study offered by you saying otherwise. You may not like the results, but you still haven't produced an alternative study that comes up with anything approaching a different number. Show me a survey that gives a result like 60%, and I'll take your objections seriously. Otherwise, you're blowing hot air.

::

And as for qualifications, lets use a lawyer metaphore: we've got an accusation of OB/GYN malpractice before the court, and the prosecution is trying to call a Dentist to the stand as an expert witness. Sure, it's vaguely possible that he's got some credible testimony to add to the case, but I'd hardly call him an expert. More importantly, the defense has a parade of over a thousand doctors, who all have OB/GYN practices of their own, and they all are in agreement. Who's likely to have the stronger case?

::

As I've said before, the biggest problem the climate denial movement has is the lack of a single credible story. They make tons of wild accusations, but have no clear explanation for why exactly the mainstream understanding is wrong. They can't deny basic thermodynamics, they can't claim that certain gasses don't have greenhouse properties, and they can't claim that humans aren't changing the atmospheric concentration of such gasses. The core truth of climate change is virtually bulletproof. So the deniers have to make vague accusations and subtle innuendo about some nefarious activity or poor science. But they absolutely refuse to publish a clear paper explaining what's wrong. They can't even agree on where the problem is, some claim the planet is actually cooling (ha!), some claim that natural forces are entirely to blame (but can't put a number to the forces involved), others claim that it can't possibly get much hotter than it is now (but offer little more than wishful thinking as an explanatory mechanism). The only clear agreement among the deniers is that they don't like the conclusion, so the science must somehow be wrong.

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Fake Hysteria

This notion of "climate denial" is itself insulting.

What we are talking about here is the DIFFERENCE between the establishment (Climate Cycle) verses the concept that the status quo will be overturned. If the status quo retains it's integrity then the poles will continue to melt, the oceans get less salty and the polar oceans will cool causing the overall earth to begin it's temperature decline into another ice age. (which will take 80,000 years)

The Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is on the people who predict deviation from the status quo. Those that suggest "Straight Line Warming" must present evidence that goes beyond a reasonable doubt that it is the only outcome that can happen.

The use of the term "Climate Denial" automatically makes me suspect that the person is biased. It's an intentional insult and implies "I know better than you" without having any facts to back it up. It's hard to take people seriously if they use language that is clearly manufactured for a political agenda. It just smells bad if you know what I mean.

The strength of proof (at present) goes to the Climate Cycle holding it's pattern steady and repeating. Until data comes in that deviates from the status quo it's hard to believe that things are significantly outside of predicted parameters. (there is just no solid data yet suggesting otherwise)

------------------------

As I've said before...

The thing we need to do is wait for the oceans to stop circulating. Since this is normal and expected at this point in the Climate Cycle we could then measure the change in ocean temperature and see if cooling is happening on schedule. If the oceans stop and things do NOT cool then we get worried. It should not be more than 10-50 years before the oceans stop circulating, so that's a realistic time to wait. (and CO2 totals will not be that much different by then, so it's not a big difference as far as CO2 levels)

Without this data point we should not waste any effort on this concept and just assume the status quo is repeating as always.

This is a simple decision to make and the wisest given what we know:

Do Nothing Until The Oceans Stop

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

No, I skipped it because it was blatantly laughable.

Your lengthy discourse can be summed as follows, scientists are all low paid, high-minded individuals, whose only desire is to enrich mankind, they are all devoid of ego, and other unpleasant personality traits, incorruptible and noble of motive! Or does that only apply to the new designation of 'climatologists'?

How different from those low base members of the human species, 'evil lawyers', industrialists, engineers, corrupt scientific imposter's (defined by anyone who is not a climatologist or a fellow traveller).

Good grief, you sound like an old East European scientific apologist for a communist regime, preparing for a show trial!

First of all, I understand why you always narrow definitions to distort others definitions in your favour, it's far more convenient to change the question than provide an answer! Professor Lewis was describing the entire GW/CC 'Climatologist driven' industry.

He was not, as you are well aware, describing the resource sector, nor was he simply referring to a handful of university tenured scientists. he was describing the phenomenon which has become the GW/CC movement/industry with all it vested interests.

If you are honest,you must admit that in comparing the amount of resources available to the GW/CC and the sceptics, the CC/GW side has a vast advantage. Resource companies contribute to both sides, and may assist sceptic lobbyists. But, this is minuscule to the resources of the GW/CC, who have actual government departments and cabinet ministers with huge ministries, and enormous budgets dedicated to climate change implementation! Even whole Political parties, dedicated solely to GW/CC support!

The CC/GW has reached the stage of a major political movement. Do you really think all that belief, is not funded? Do you imagine that all that vested interest is open minded and encourages dissent?

What is a Climatologist? How do we define this expert witness? You analogy is disingenuous! Why is Dr Stern, better qualified than Professor Lewis? If I write 20 articles to fellow traveller journals, reviewed by 20 of my like minded fellow travellers, who quote my work to substantiate their own, do I qualify as a 'climatologist'?

As I say, for all anyone knows the CC/GW scientists may be completely correct. In fact, as a personal opinion, I would say that is very likely.

But, to simply dismiss opponents, especially by employing the tactics of spin, contributes little to credibility.

You're quick to dismiss the accuracy of the survey of scientists, but the study in PNAS used a completely different methodology and reached almost precisely the same result, 97-98%. There's no possibility of a response bias in a survey of published papers,

Good grief! Are you a Knave or just naive?

The first thing you should look at is the definition of published papers. Then you should examine the definition of who published the papers. On questioning,PNAS refused to count papers published by Professor Ian Pilmer, they also include work by Prof Carter as supportive when it could be equally argued was not supportive. Terms such as likelihood,very probable, and substantial, in scientific discussion papers, have a very different meaning than the general public would expect. A 'substantial percentage' in a court proceedings would be in the vicinity of 40% +, in a science journal it could mean as low as 5%. In this way, a researcher could misinterpret (unintentionally) the thrust of a paper.

And the Naomi Oreskes study found a perfect 100% agreement of the basics among published papers in her survey, but the margin of error is big enough that 97% is still a plausible result. That's 3 studies all giving values in the same range on my side.

Again, the real problem of Naomi Oreskes, (who describes herself as a Social Historian, and an 'early activist on GW) is that she has a very narrow definition of what she considers consensus. She uses terms like "climate change denial mafia". This would seem to call into question her objectivity.

My questioning is not of the actual validity of the science, but poorly defined 'experts' such as Naomi Oreskes, publishing surveys of extremely dubious merit, to support a preconceived concept, would seem to be unhelpful.

I would not accept a survey into the opinions of working conditions of 10,000 refuse collectors based on only the responses of 3000, who constituted only the unionised membership!

Professor Lewis is entitled to his viewpoint. It displays a real insecurity on the part of his detractors if you must employ the sort of tactics utilised in your post.

I repeat, like Prof. Carter, I am an agnostic on the science of GW/CC. This is because I lack the scientific background to effectively debate the merits. If I was asked to bet on the validity of the basic premise, I would favour the CC/GW scientific argument.

However, this does not mean I should not speak out on issues which I understand only too well. I understand how a movement gather its adherents, and 'surveys' can be manipulated, often unintentionally, by otherwise honest people. Opponents silenced, peer pressure applied to produce results consistent with the 'cause'.the urge to be a team player is very strong. Who wants to be denounced as a Denier and Vilified as occurred to Prof Plimer? (mind you, he appears to revel in the controversy).

We should remember how such 'completely independent' organisations such as the World Peace Council, for years espouse noble ideals and attracted support from a consensus of reputable, well meaning people and organisations, until it was revealed as really just a espionage front for the old USSR and KGB.

Propaganda, is just propaganda. Just because it supports your viewpoint doesn't change the fact that it is propaganda.

The best propaganda is a 'Study' or 'poll'! Endlessly cited, and never examined to closely.

The GW/CC 'movement' has become a huge vested interest industry. Not as you would have it, a few noble scientists beavering selflessly away for the benefit of the planet.

marcopolo

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Wait For The Data

There is something we can ALL AGREE ON which is that when the oceans stop circulation there will be data that can decide which way the temperature trends will go in.

If we can all just wait for that critical piece of information we can then make an intelligent decision about a course of action.

Since the CO2 is a lagging influence / indicator of the Climate Cycle (a fact) if we need to tweek the CO2 levels we can do that just as easily later as now. The "triggering" mechanism of polar ice melt is a normal part of the Climate Cycle, so the myth that we can prevent the trigger needs to be wiped clean from our minds. (that idea was just completely false)

We can all agree in probably 10-50 years if action is needed...

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Yes, I can agree that there will be useful data on how much climate change we can expect by the time ocean circulation stops. However I don't believe we can afford to wait that long. It is currently expected to be quite some time before this happens - 10s of years - indeed, ideally it won't happen at all (in the next few hundred years at least), because if it did it would be very serious. So suggesting that we wait until it does happen before even deciding what to do/whether to do anything is not a useful position. We need to make decisions right now (some time ago in fact would have been much better) and will have to go on the best info that is available to us.

So the summary of your post is that we can agree on something largely irrelevant from the (probably) distant future.

Wookey
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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

20,000 Year CO2 Lag

You might be new to the discussion as it's gone on for a long time now, but previously I talked about how in all the previous cycles of the Climate Cycle the CO2 has actually been a lagging indicator both on the upside and the downside of temperature.

So if it takes 20,000 years for CO2 to trail and finally catch up with temperature changes then I just don't see how one can justify a sense of urgency in the here and now.

Whatever choice we might need to make is entirely dependant on a condition where the oceans have already stopped circulating and yet the oceans do not cool sufficiently because of CO2 overwhelming the cycle.

The "bottom line" (a tired phrase) is that we can guess at what will happen when the inevitable polar ice melts and the ocean currents stop, but the only solid facts to draw upon are history.

And don't forget that history says the cycle has never been broken before.

People arguing for "Straight Line Global Warming" are arguing a position that has no historical precedent in the last several million years.

The only time when CO2 "overwhelmed" the climate was back so far in earths history that we don't even know if the continents were in the same place. Without the continents positioned to create ocean currents correctly the data becomes useless. Also, they were talking about 7000 ppm of CO2 back then and not the 400 ppm we are dealing with today. (so it was orders of magnitude different)

Waiting 10-50 years should not effect the outcome all that much as CO2 effects things slowly.

---------------------

Also, the human based evidence of political corruption that drove the CO2 movement as a concept tends to weigh heavily against the idea as being innocent. There are too many people behind the idea of controlling industry through Cap and Trade laws to not suspect foul play.

As the saying goes:

"Follow the Money".

(some people are hoping to profit and gain power through this stuff)

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

People arguing for "Straight Line Global Warming" are arguing a position that has no historical precedent in the last several million years.

Er, duh, ever think that there is also no historic precedent for industrialised man?

Also, the human based evidence of political corruption that drove the CO2 movement as a concept tends to weigh heavily against the idea as being innocent. There are too many people behind the idea of controlling industry through Cap and Trade laws to not suspect foul play. As the saying goes:"Follow the Money".
(some people are hoping to profit and gain power through this stuff)

Sigh, either the Science of Climate Change is correct, or it's not!

The vested interest argument is valid only as far as promoting an evenly balanced debate. If the CC argument is valid, then the next step is to rapidly produce the best, and most effective, method of either preventing the most contributing detrimental factor, or if that is proven to be beyond our capacity, implement measures to ensure civilisation continues to survive in a changed environment.

As far as the oceans ceasing to circulate, this is a very far fetched scenario, the circulation of the oceans is governed by more factors than simple increases of CO2.

marcopolo

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Er, duh, ever think that there is also no historic precedent for industrialised man?

In the past volcanic activity produced similiar levels of CO2. In fact, in the early earth there was a lot more CO2 than today because it used to be up in the 7000 ppm range. The last few Climate Cycles has seen CO2 oscillate between a low of about 150 ppm to a high of about 400 ppm.

The Status Quo

What is the Status Quo for the Climate Cycle? By that I mean what can we expect to be "normal" activity?

Let's list the normal things that happen:

---> At the peak of the cycle the polar ice always melts... every time like clockwork.

---> Ocean levels rise and fall during the Climate Cycle so that at the bottom (Ice Age) we see the lowest ocean levels and at the peak (Melting) we see the highest levels... again this occurs like clockwork.

---> CO2 always lags temperature. There are no cases where CO2 drives the temperature ahead of the natural cycle. (which makes us realize that CO2 is more likely a lagging indicator of climate)

---> Ocean currents are effected by saltiness and as the oceans become less salty they circulate less. After the polar ice melts it's understood that the oceans stop circulation and this alters the weather patterns.

----------------------

These are all things that are part of the "Status Quo" and should not be used as alarmist propaganda.

To this date there is no data that suggests that the Status Quo will no repeat again. (despite many peoples efforts to create an artificial crisis)

These are just the facts of the matter and it's hard to see someone arguing the other side once they become educated on the facts. (and the "whole truth" not just a limited subset that serves a need)

The Status Quo will win out in the end...

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

\
Climate change scepticism is growing in confidence, and converts....

Even in Australia, where only eight months ago the Prime Minister, enjoyed enormous support as a leading Global Warming activist, was suddenly abandoned by his party. In the resulting election, climate change activist government lost it's majority, and by a narrow majority people voted for an opposition led by a leading sceptic.

I'm scanning through this debate but I couldn't let this pass even though it's a month late..

Yes, the Prime Minister did enjoy enormous support, and that support was lost. It was lost when he backed down from implementing a promised carbon price and trading scheme. Around the same time, bowing to pressure from the mining industry, he also abandoned taxes that would have changed the current position where the Australian public gives mining companies the minerals that we all own virtually for free in exchange for job creation in the mining sector. Due to the two turn arounds on green policy his approval rating fell to the floor. The party rolled him and replace him with Gillard who instantly re introduced a (somewhat watered down) tax on mining and put carbon trading back on the table. There was an instant huge turn around in the polls. The conservative Opposition went from dead certain winners to (contrary to marcopolo's implication) narrow loosers.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/party-warns-pm-no-more-u-turns/story-e6frgczf-1225864764169

"Newspoll had Labor on a primary vote of only 35 per cent...Labor's plunge followed a series of policy reversals and broken promises, including the decision to shelve a plan for a carbon emissions trading scheme after Mr Rudd had spent two years describing climate change as the most-pressing moral challenge facing his generation."

Marcopolo has presented the facts, but done so in a way that is exactly opposite to how I would interpret them. I strongly disagree with his conclusions.

It should also be noted that the Green party had record levels of support and the current labour governement only has government because it has formed a coalition with the Green party. Had the green votes gone to the Labour party it would have easily formed government in it's own right.

Cheers Jason =:)

Jason
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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Marcopolo has presented the facts, but done so in a way that is exactly opposite to how I would interpret them. I strongly disagree with his conclusions.It should also be noted that the Green party had record levels of support and the current labour government only has government because it has formed a coalition with the Green party. Had the green votes gone to the Labour party it would have easily formed government in it's own right.Cheers Jason =:)

Well, of course any interpretation of political facts is always determined by the loyalties of the interpreter!

In this context I was trying to objectively observe the decrease of voter support for environmental activism in the face of economic reality, as perceived by Joe Public. The average voter may espouse idealism as long as he doesn't believe that it will adversely effect his personal living standard, but once he realises that sacrifices have to be made, and those sacrifices have to be made by him, his support rapidly evaporates! Suddenly, more sceptical arguments gain credence!

The Australian example is valid. Supporters, like Jason, of the Labour/Green alliance, ignore the fact that the electorate did not give a victory/mandate to either party. The truth is that a previously popular PM, leading a government with a strong majority, in its first term, lost so much electoral credibility over a mere eighteen months period that the ruling party was forced to depose its leader, drop or curtail activist environmental policies, struggle to retain office on a handful of votes from the treachery of 2 independent members of parliament, elected by otherwise conservative electorates, whose voters had no intention of supporting labour had they been consulted.

The conservative opposition, led by an unpopular, leading environmental sceptic politician, achieved an amazing electoral result. Australians are, by and large, centrist voters. No first term government has been defeated in modern times.

Had the conservatives fielded a more centrist, more popular leader, the electoral swing against Labour/Green would have been devastating.

The Green party polled very well in that election, not so much because of its environment platform, but because labour voters wanted to register a protest vote against labour. The greens were seen as a Leftist alternative.

Since then, the Labour/Green alliance has struggled in the polls, suffering from trying to appease the various factions and personalities of a government increasingly at odds with the ambitions of the electorate.

But my comments were not just directed at Australia, the same political phenomenon is evident throughout the western world as the tide of environmental evangelism begins to ebb.

Hopefully, a less idealistic, but more practical, era of environmental policies will emerge that can gain wide spread support and improve the health and well-being of our planet.

marcopolo

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Well, of course any interpretation of political facts is always determined by the loyalties of the interpreter!

So it would appear...

In this context I was trying to objectively observe the decrease of voter support for environmental activism in the face of economic reality, as perceived by Joe Public. The average voter may espouse idealism as long as he doesn't believe that it will adversely effect his personal living standard, but once he realises that sacrifices have to be made, and those sacrifices have to be made by him, his support rapidly evaporates! Suddenly, more sceptical arguments gain credence!

If you were trying to be objective then I think you've failed in what you were trying to do. Like your “Joe Public” who evaluates credibility based on self interest, truth bends to fit what you'd like it to be. Sure there's plenty of evidence of the power of wishful thinking making people take crazy decisions. I wouldn't disagree that such a phenomenon exists. I disagree that it was in action in Australia at the time Rudd lost the PM role

The Australian example is valid. Supporters, like Jason, of the Labour/Green alliance, ignore the fact that the electorate did not give a victory/mandate to either party.

I didn't ignore it. That was the basis of my position. A government won power on a strongly green platform, by such a huge landslide that even the conservative leader's seat went to the Labour party then when in power reversed that position. Their popularity fell to completely un-electable levels. Just 35% of the primary vote. Just a short time before the election they backflipped to a moderately strong green position and as a result snatched a very slim victory from completely certain defeat. Before they rolled Rudd and changed back to a green position it looked like a total landslide for the conservative party. As you rightly pointed out goverments always win their first election. Despite that by reversing their green policy they very, very nearly lost.

The truth is that a previously popular PM, leading a government with a strong majority, in its first term, lost so much electoral credibility over a mere eighteen months period that the ruling party was forced to depose its leader, drop or curtail activist environmental policies, struggle to retain office on a handful of votes from the treachery of 2 independent members of parliament, elected by otherwise conservative electorates, whose voters had no intention of supporting labour had they been consulted.

If you read what you have written you will see that you have lost any form of objectivity in this discussion. Yes they were forced to depose their leader and return to the green policies that had got them elected in the first place. “treachery of 2 independent” Hello... They're *independent*. Just who were they committing treason against? I live in Port Macquarie. I helped to elect one of those independent members. He loathes the conservative party and has stated that publicly. I gather the other independent who supported labour/green is in a similar position.

The conservative opposition, led by an unpopular, leading environmental sceptic politician, achieved an amazing electoral result. Australians are, by and large, centrist voters. No first term government has been defeated in modern times.

And had they not backed down on carbon trading and mining tax they wouldn't have even come close to being defeated. It was an amazing result. From being ahead by 65% in the polls they fell to a hung parliament in just a few weeks.

Had the conservatives fielded a more centrist, more popular leader, the electoral swing against Labour/Green would have been devastating.

The Green party polled very well in that election, not so much because of its environment platform, but because labour voters wanted to register a protest vote against labour. The greens were seen as a Leftist alternative.

Since then, the Labour/Green alliance has struggled in the polls, suffering from trying to appease the various factions and personalities of a government increasingly at odds with the ambitions of the electorate.

But my comments were not just directed at Australia, the same political phenomenon is evident throughout the western world as the tide of environmental evangelism begins to ebb.

Hopefully, a less idealistic, but more practical, era of environmental policies will emerge that can gain wide spread support and improve the health and well-being of our planet.

Well I have to agree with your closing statement. It would be nice if practical environmental policies would emerge.

However I remain convinced that you've presented facts very selectively in order to present a false image that the Australian public was strongly dissatisfied with Labour government due to overly strong green policy when the truth is the exact opposite. They were strongly dissatisfied with the Labour government due to it having weakened the strong green policy on which it was elected.

Cheers Jason =:)

Jason
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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

The truth is that a previously popular PM, leading a government with a strong majority, in its first term, lost so much electoral credibility over a mere eighteen months period that the ruling party was forced to depose its leader, drop or curtail activist environmental policies, struggle to retain office on a handful of votes from the treachery of 2 independent members of parliament, elected by otherwise conservative electorates, whose voters had no intention of supporting labour had they been consulted.

I know I'm replying twice to the same thing, but I re-read it and couldn't let it lie. You say “the truth is”, but what you say next is not the truth. Mistake or lie I don't know and can't speculate. Everything you've said is correct, but you've muddled up the order of events to present it in the exact opposite meaning.

It should read:

The truth is a previously popular PM leading a government with a strong majority, in it's first term, dropped or curtailed it's activist environmental policies and then lost so much electroral credibility over a mere eighteen months that it was forced to deposed its leader, reinstate some of its environmental policies and struggled to retain office and did so only after receiving support from the Green party and two independents.

Cheers Jason =:)

Jason
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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

//www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/jco/lowres/jcon1357l.jpg)

Going Green is Dead in America

At least as far as the socialist concept of controlling everything through the government. This most recent election pretty much devastated any thought of a full fledged takeover of business by government as it's now impossible for Obama to do anything without the Republican / Tea Party dominated House going along.

-----------------------

Science aside (and I honestly think that the Climate Cycle is the true science and not Straight Line Warming) the politics of the age means that from America's perspective Going Green is dead.

I don't see any chance for a reversal as by 2012 it's likely that things swing even further away from Obama. (unless he does a Clinton and reverses himself to become popular)

Obama is lower than dirt to most Americans these days and all his ideas are rejected.

------------------------------

To be optimistic however... free enterprises that choose the practical aspects of alternative energies and efficiencies are going to prosper as anything that proves itself in the real world to be of value will succeed. But this is much higher bar than socialism which is willing to fund just about anything.

------------------------------

Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve is doing a "Weimar Republic" and printing money like crazy. ($600B) This will weaken the dollar and make oil more expensive.

Oil goes up.... alternatives look better...

In a way this is better because people may now choose alternatives as a way to evade the weakening dollar. I would not be surprised if we see very high priced gasoline in a few years.

A weakening dollar is like a hidden tax, oil goes up because it's a commodity and it's all because of an inflating money supply. The money (unfortunately) will not stay in America because we have zero interest rates, so the money the Fed pumps will dissapear which will force them to do more and more and more until we become Weimar Germany.

The only exit from this downward spiral is to make America more attractive to money so that people WANT to invest here. In order for that to happen America needs to:

Reduce it's debt

Keep taxes low to encourage investment

(practically) This means reduce spending.

The three biggest areas to cut spending are Social Security, Medicare and Defense. Most of the other stuff will not make a dent in the problem.

---------------------------

Without a willingness to reduce spending and get debt under control the whole situation will spiral downward as it presently is doing.

Weimar Germany actually "felt" good during the beginning but eventually when you monetize the debt things go bad.

//www.ronpaul.com/images/weimar-germany-inflation-money-stove.jpg)

We have a long way to get to this point however... it's not too late to fix the problem of debt if we make the changes needed soon... Obama has been making things worse rather than better and Americans seem to understand the situation rationally which is why the voting went as it did. Americans have turned the page on socialism for now.

Oh, and as for the image of the woman burning Weimar money that's what you call "Alternative Energy" when people get desperate. (a little joke)

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Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

I know I'm replying twice to the same thing, but I re-read it and couldn't let it lie. You say “the truth is”, but what you say next is not the truth. Mistake or lie I don't know and can't speculate. Everything you've said is correct, but you've muddled up the order of events to present it in the exact opposite meaning.

It should read:

The truth is a previously popular PM leading a government with a strong majority, in it's first term, dropped or curtailed it's activist environmental policies and then lost so much electoral credibility over a mere eighteen months that it was forced to deposed its leader, reinstate some of its environmental policies and struggled to retain office and did so only after receiving support from the Green party and two independents.

Cheers Jason =:)

Hmmmm....This is really not an appropriate forum to analysis the Australian election in depth, since the majority of readers have only a vague idea of the issues in Australia.

However, it's fair that I should be required to explain my use of the term treachery.

To those unfamiliar with Australian politics, Australia has two conservative parties. The large centre-right Liberal party, and its smaller co-coalition partner the rural based National party. The three "independent MP"s were dissidents from the National party, who for largely personality reasons stood as independents. All three are elected from extremely conservative voting electorates, and have always had a voting record of support for conservative government legislation. Very few of the electors who supported these independents, would have done so if they believed that a vote for them would be a vote to Labour!

The fact that two of these individuals elected to enjoy a moment of power as king-makers, is a matter for their electorates. However, it's significant that one of these is retiring, and the other is now disgruntled that he did not receive ether a ministry, or the speakers position in the new government. But as I say, these are matters for the voters in their electorates.

The strength of the green vote in Australia, can't be tested on the basis of one election. When you factor out the 'green' protest vote against the centre-left Labour party, you are left with a very small minority of 'green' voters. It's only the complicated Australian preferential voting system that allows relatively small parties any voice at all. In a 'first past the post' system, the Greens would be insignificant.

I am not being biased or partisan, just stating the facts.

Unfortunately, idealism aside, the harsh political reality is that the voters love the morality of environmentalism, but are very unwilling to personally pay for significant environmental change!

The majority of 'Green' advocates are perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be 'socialists' willing to pay with taxpayers money for idealistic, impractical, crank concepts with government money extorted form the hardworking taxpayers by a bunch of people who have no money themselves, but are very good at dipping their thieving paws into the pockets of those who have achieved modest success by hard work and prudence.

The conservative view of environmentalism, as exposed by people like Safe, has some merit.

Environmentalists have driven away many people who support the moral concepts of environmentalism, by extravagant, alarmist claims and impractical, fanatical, restrictive lifestyle demands. These actions coupled with vast expenditure on failed overly ambitious projects, little understood or wanted, by the average punter, has led to a voter backlash.

Jason's' analysis that a government who lost its majority to an opposition led by an enviro-sceptic, is a ringing endorsement for its green policies, beggars belief! Equally ignored is the fact that the Australian government lags even further behind in the polls today.

What to do?

It has always been a major flaw of 'green' politics to rely too heavily on idealism, end of the world alarmist, and moral finger pointing. After an initial impact, such support always fades back to a small band of fanatical, navel gazing, self destructive activists.

To engender lasting support for any political economic movement, leaders must appeal to the self-interest of the electorate. This can't be achieved by dire warnings of climate change that doesn't seem to occur. Puritans capture the public imagination every now and then, but support always evaporates with the lack of arrival of Armageddon on time!

Lasting support must come from the ability of new green technology to expand the conventional economy, give greater lifestyle choice, increase income and investment opportunities, and provide all this without disrupting lifestyles or frightening the horses!

Sex always sells, denial only sells in fads!

marcopolo

gasdive
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Joined: Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 22:43
Points: 90
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Hmmmm....This is really not an appropriate forum to analysis the Australian election in depth, since the majority of readers have only a vague idea of the issues in Australia.

That's why I pulled you up on it. You were twisting the timing of events to support your point of view and few here would have realised it.

However, it's fair that I should be required to explain my use of the term treachery.

To those unfamiliar with Australian politics, Australia has two conservative parties. The large centre-right Liberal party, and its smaller co-coalition partner the rural based National party. The three "independent MP"s were dissidents from the National party, who for largely personality reasons stood as independents. All three are elected from extremely conservative voting electorates, and have always had a voting record of support for conservative government legislation. Very few of the electors who supported these independents, would have done so if they believed that a vote for them would be a vote to Labour!

Well I can only speak for Port Macquarie and my local member. He's a well known guy around here and his platform has always been human rights and support for rural living. It's well known here that he doesn't get on with the National party. There has been much pressure for him to assign preferences but he's refused to do so. When the results were in and it was clear that the independents would hold the balance of power I was completely sure that Rob would give his support to Labour. The only electors who would have imagined that he wouldn't would be the ones who had no idea what Rob Oakeshott stands for (which is of course the vast majority of Australians such as MarcoPolo who *don't* live in Port Macquarie). They may have felt betrayed, but informed electors in Port did not. It's known here that he joined the Nationals as a young man simply because that was the local party in the country (the nationals were called the "country party" and were/are a rural based super conservative far right wing party). He found and stated publicly that his views were opposed to those of the party. He describes himself as economically conservative and socially progressive.

The fact that two of these individuals elected to enjoy a moment of power as king-makers, is a matter for their electorates. However, it's significant that one of these is retiring, and the other is now disgruntled that he did not receive ether a ministry, or the speakers position in the new government. But as I say, these are matters for the voters in their electorates.

The strength of the green vote in Australia, can't be tested on the basis of one election.

However you can test the public's interest in green issues based on one election?

When you factor out the 'green' protest vote against the centre-left Labour party, you are left with a very small minority of 'green' voters. It's only the complicated Australian preferential voting system that allows relatively small parties any voice at all. In a 'first past the post' system, the Greens would be insignificant.

I am not being biased or partisan, just stating the facts.

well, mis-stating the facts actually...

Unfortunately, idealism aside, the harsh political reality is that the voters love the morality of environmentalism, but are very unwilling to personally pay for significant environmental change!

The majority of 'Green' advocates are perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be 'socialists' willing to pay with taxpayers money for idealistic, impractical, crank concepts with government money extorted form the hardworking taxpayers by a bunch of people who have no money themselves, but are very good at dipping their thieving paws into the pockets of those who have achieved modest success by hard work and prudence.

The conservative view of environmentalism, as exposed by people like Safe, has some merit.

Environmentalists have driven away many people who support the moral concepts of environmentalism, by extravagant, alarmist claims and impractical, fanatical, restrictive lifestyle demands. These actions coupled with vast expenditure on failed overly ambitious projects, little understood or wanted, by the average punter, has led to a voter backlash.

Jason's' analysis that a government who lost its majority to an opposition led by an enviro-sceptic, is a ringing endorsement for its green policies, beggars belief! Equally ignored is the fact that the Australian government lags even further behind in the polls today.

I don't know what else to make of it. Labour has been in the wilderness for years, then comes up with a plan for a new tax on Carbon, campains based on introducing a new tax and wins by a landslide. Then they abandon the new tax and their approval rating falls to like 35% (unelectable). Then just a few weeks out from the election they roll their leader (which was unpopular) and bring in a new environmental tax on mining (which the mining industry spent millions telling people that everyone in Australia would lose their job if it comes in). Despite the mining industry's saturation ad campain against the governement they do manage to snatch victory by the slimmest of margins. To sum up. Strong Green Policy > win by landslide, No Green Policy > unelectable pols, Weak Green Policy > just barely scrapes back into power. How else could you see that other than the voters giving a strong mandate to strong green policy?

What to do?

It has always been a major flaw of 'green' politics to rely too heavily on idealism, end of the world alarmist, and moral finger pointing. After an initial impact, such support always fades back to a small band of fanatical, navel gazing, self destructive activists.

To engender lasting support for any political economic movement, leaders must appeal to the self-interest of the electorate. This can't be achieved by dire warnings of climate change that doesn't seem to occur. Puritans capture the public imagination every now and then, but support always evaporates with the lack of arrival of Armageddon on time!

Lasting support must come from the ability of new green technology to expand the conventional economy, give greater lifestyle choice, increase income and investment opportunities, and provide all this without disrupting lifestyles or frightening the horses!

Sex always sells, denial only sells in fads!

Well I agree with that completely. If we can come up with policy that promotes jobs, investment and standard of living by living in a greener way then it should have legs as a public policy. You wouldn't happen to have that policy hidden away somewhere would you?

Cheers Jason =:)

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

marcopolo
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: Sunday, May 10, 2009 - 04:33
Points: 837
Re: Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the Transition towns movement

Well I can only speak for Port Macquarie and my local member. He's a well known guy around here and his platform has always been human rights and support for rural living. It's well known here that he doesn't get on with the National party. There has been much pressure for him to assign preferences but he's refused to do so. When the results were in and it was clear that the independents would hold the balance of power I was completely sure that Rob would give his support to Labour. The only electors who would have imagined that he wouldn't would be the ones who had no idea what Rob Oakeshott stands for (which is of course the vast majority of Australians such as MarcoPolo who *don't* live in Port Macquarie). They may have felt betrayed, but informed electors in Port did not. It's known here that he joined the Nationals as a young man simply because that was the local party in the country (the nationals were called the "country party" and were/are a rural based super conservative far right wing party). He found and stated publicly that his views were opposed to those of the party. He describes himself as economically conservative and socially progressive.

Oh dear, Jason, the facts may not suit you, and you may not agree with my interpretation of the facts, but this does not mean I am twisting, distorting or being disingenuous. My interpretation may differ from yours, but unless you can illustrate where I have either cited material incorrectly or misquoted someone, we simply see things from different perspectives. The facts remain the same, to imply some sort of more sinister dishonest agenda is quite wrong.

It's obvious from your post that you hold fairly passionate and (at a guess) are green/left supporter. That's ok, and your posts provide an interesting contrast, but all points of view have a portion of merit. The test of Rob Oakshot will be in the next election. If he is re-elected,his actions will have been vindicated by his electors.

I don't know what else to make of it. Labour has been in the wilderness for years, then comes up with a plan for a new tax on Carbon, campaigns based on introducing a new tax and wins by a landslide. Then they abandon the new tax and their approval rating falls to like 35% (unelectable). Then just a few weeks out from the election they roll their leader (which was unpopular) and bring in a new environmental tax on mining (which the mining industry spent millions telling people that everyone in Australia would lose their job if it comes in). Despite the mining industry's saturation ad campaign against the government they do manage to snatch victory by the slimmest of margins. To sum up. Strong Green Policy > win by landslide, No Green Policy > unelectable pols, Weak Green Policy > just barely scrapes back into power. How else could you see that other than the voters giving a strong mandate to strong green policy?

Jason, what you seem to fail to grasp is that the electorate is not made up of Labour/Green voters alone! The conservative vote also increased dramatically! The enthusiasm for a very expensive new tax, had finally worn off, and the electorate changed it's mind against those who advocated a carbon tax system. The opposition to such schemes is growing significantly, world wide. In my opinion, the era of such schemes is over, as economic conditions dampen the enthusiasm for such schemes.

How you can interpret a minority government that hangs on by a handful of votes against an overtly climate sceptical opponent (who actually polled more votes), a "strong mandate to strong green policy" is baffling. Surely even the most one-eyed green supporter must be able to concede that at least half the nation rejected green policies of any strength?

The voters may be wrong, deluded, or even just plain pig-headedly selfish, but because you don't approve of the poll result doesn't mean I am mis-stating the facts. The facts may be unpleasant, but they are the facts.

(Incidentally, it's really quite wrong to describe the National party as 'super conservative far right wing'. In a world context, they are simply a conservative party, slightly to the right of the centre-right Liberal Party.)

Well I agree with that completely. If we can come up with policy that promotes jobs, investment and standard of living by living in a greener way then it should have legs as a public policy. You wouldn't happen to have that policy hidden away somewhere would you?

Ah Ha! I thought you'd never ask!

Well, for a start I would enforce the safely speed laws by requiring all automotive manufactures to limit motor vehicles to a maximum speed of 130 klm. This would dramatically affect the way the automotive buyer determines his purchase. This would remove one of the greatest disadvantages of EV against ICE marketing.

I would also authorise the Australian Federal Government to underwrite a $350 Billion, 50 year,negotiable/user/bearer Bond scheme to pay for environmental infrastructure including capturing the vast annual run of Rainfall in Northern Australia and divert this resource south to the Darling Murry River complex. Such a project would allow the creation of a forest larger than most European nations. Other major infrastructure projects of environmental significance would also be funded from the proceeds of these 'Enviro-Bonds'.

Australia is probably the only nation capable of utilising such a radical method of implementing vast new envirotech infrastructure, without any cost to the Australian tax-payer. So much better, IMHO, than endless new taxes.

The only politician who has shown any interest in such a project is Joe Hockey. It's my belief that if the conservatives been led by Joe Hockey in the last election, Australia's PM would not be a redhead with a shrill voice, but by a guy who looks a bit like what you get if you shave a Bear!

I apologise to those readers who have little interest in Aussie politics (and that includes most Aussies) for my digression.

marcopolo

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