O’Sullivan on climate change

February 7th, 2007 at 10:05 am by David Farrar

Fran O’Sullivan takes a measured look at the 4th IPCC report.

As I have done, she laments the tendency of some NZ greenies to label sceptics as deniers,

What the true believers are trying to do is put anybody who expresses some scepticism over man’s contribution to the global warming phenomena on the same level as Holocaust deniers.

They are painted as dangerous nutters who must be put down in case they infect the rest of us with the notion that man might not be the main culprit in global warming but that other influences such as sunspots might also be part of the mix, and that a doomsday outcome which wipes man off the planet is by no means inevitable.

So looking at the UN report, what has been little reported is how much back pedalling there is from earlier reports:

Rising sea levels are a case in point. In the 2001 report, the UN’s best high-end estimate for the rise in sea levels by 2100 was 90cm. But the best estimate in the upcoming report is said to be 43cm.

The 2001 report is also said to have over-estimated the human influence on climate change by a third.

There is a case to be made for action to both lower greenhouse emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change, but these should be based on solid analysis of costs and benefits not scaremongering over the end of the world.

No tag for this post.

134 Responses to “O’Sullivan on climate change”

  1. Sonic () says:

    ” she laments the tendency of some NZ greenies to label sceptics as deniers,”

    Does she mention the tendency of many deniers to label their opponents liars, communists and conspirators?

    Though not.

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  2. gd () says:

    She is correct Some of us who are not deniers but very wary of the motives of the Greens and others enthusiactically promoting climate change as mankinds fault. We see an agenda to raise more taxes and gain more control over the indiviual citizen in the name of protecting the planet.

    We see a means to an end. Thus the Godwins approach to shut down any attempt to debate the matter.If you are 100% with them then you are the enemy. The irony is that they accuse Dubya of the same appraoch viz a viz terrorism But then they are expert at calling the pot black.

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  3. Sonic () says:

    ” We see an agenda to raise more taxes and gain more control over the indiviual citizen in the name of protecting the planet.”

    See what I mean!

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  4. BillBass () says:

    No?

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  5. Tiger Coxhead () says:

    “What the true believers are trying to do is put anybody who expresses some scepticism over man’s contribution to the global warming phenomena on the same level as Holocaust deniers.”

    Well, no. I think one should substitute “Holocaust deniers” here for “creation scientists”. There are people out there who believe everything was designed by God, but just because such a views exists, it does not mean that it is as scientifically valid as more likely explanations – i.e. evolution – of how ‘things get made’.

    The default mode of any scientist, or any thinking person in general, should be healthy scepticism, but in the face of masses of evidence judged by a scientific community that has reached an overwhelming consensus over “man’s contribution to the global warming” it is more healthy to be sceptical about critics of global warming theories than supporters.

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  6. Redbaiter () says:

    God Bless Fran, a diamond in a tray of marbles..

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  7. gd () says:

    So sonic Why then is ever silver bullet to fix climate change accompanied by proposals for a new tax then? The scientists promoting climate change are rubbing their hands with glee. All that new funding for “research”.The cardy wearers in the government departments are also rubbing their hands. More “policy advisers” More reports to write. More conferences in exotic locations to attend. Lovely Jubbly. And all funded by guess who.

    Thats why some of us are very sceptical at the real motives of this.We see is as a new way to raise more tax and minimise any protest

    After all How selfish are we not to cough up the new taxes when their sole purpose is to save the planet for our grandchildren.

    Geez Some people are so easily conned by the snake oil salesmen that pass for politicans these days.

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  8. Sonic () says:

    Yes that’s right gd, it is one vast conspiracy invoving every serious climate scientist in the world just to put a 1c tax on carbon. How clever of you to see through our evil scheme.

    Looks like me, Goldfinger, Blofeld and the rest of SPECTER will have to come up with some new plan. Curses, foiled again.

    etc etc etc.

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  9. pdm () says:

    Sonic – why do you and your `friends’ not understand that `climate change’ or more accurately `Global Warming’ is 99.99% NATURE AT WORK as has been the case since earth was created

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  10. pdm () says:

    Sonic – why do you and your `friends’ not understand that `climate change’ or more accurately `Global Warming’ is 99.99% NATURE AT WORK as has been the case since earth was created

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  11. AGJ () says:

    Global Warming Denier and Proud of It!

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  12. Tiger Coxhead () says:

    “The scientists promoting climate change are rubbing their hands with glee. All that new funding for “research”.The cardy wearers in the government departments are also rubbing their hands. More “policy advisers” More reports to write. More conferences in exotic locations to attend. Lovely Jubbly. And all funded by guess who.”

    Oh gosh. By that reasoning we should not believe anything any scientist – or any consensus of scientific opinion, for that matter – says. I should therefore not brush my teeth, put on sunscreen, take medicine when I am sick nor believe the earth revolves around the sun.

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  13. Sonic () says:

    How much did you get paid by THEM to write that comment Tiger?

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  14. Tiger Coxhead () says:

    They give me sexual favours.

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  15. Falafulu Fisi () says:

    Sonic said…
    Does she mention the tendency of many deniers to label their opponents liars, communists and conspirators?

    Sonic, I am a skeptic and I have never called anyone a liar. Name calling is irrelevant to me as it does not make an argument less inferior or more superior than others you’re trying to debate with.

    Also, I don’t buy in to this thing as a left-wing or right-wing conspiracy which is frequently brought up in debates here at DPF. I think that it is irrelevant at all to the issue of climate change. This issue concerns us all, whether someone is left-wing, right-wing, north-wing, south-wing, etc, .There is no such thing as left-wing science or right-wing science at all, “Science is just basically Science” , period. There is no “Left-wing Newton Second Laws of Motion” or “Right-wing Newton Second Laws of Motion”, it is just one version and that is “Newton Second Laws of Motion”.

    My main issue with climate science is the mathematical modeling part of it, since I make my living doing similar thing but in different domains, however it is exactly the same mathematics I use in my day-to-day work that are adopted in climate modeling. It means, same math but different domains, so I do have a deep understanding of mathematical models that climate scientist are talking about.

    Climate scientists are not lying or fabricate their research, however there is something wrong when they use a wrong mathematical technique or perhaps made out that their model is the ultimate representation of physical realities, which in fact it is only partial or incomplete. Prof. Michael Mann, was not lying about his hockey-stick publication, it was just that he used an algorithm that he miss-understood. This is very common and it is not rare at all, just that Mann had been demonized, by some and calling his work a deliberate fraud which it wasn’t. He was demonized only because, IPCC 2001 chose to trump up his paper as a solid science.

    Both sides of the debate have valid points in the explanations of the Physics and that is good. As far as I have seen in digging deep to many peer review papers in climate modeling, I am not entirely convinced yet, however my view could change when more complex math & physics had shown otherwise that it is true in the sense that the model is generalize. I haven’t seen any climate model that generalizes yet. There are lots of models that work in this narrow domain but do not work in the wider domain.

    As far as I see, the summary of the 4th IPCC report, there were some good points pointed out there and to be brief, that ‘non-linear coupling systems’ is not yet been improved and I suspect that Dr.Rossow (2001 IPCC reviewer) from NASA is writing this IPCC chapter, because he is an expert in applying non-linear feedback control theory to climate systems. He pointed out that Linear Control Theory, of which Prof. James Hansen of NASA model was based cannot be applied to climate feedback systems modeling because of non-linear couplings are too many and also there are many unknowns. In my interpretation of English language, it means that Hansen’s Linear Control Model must be dismissed.

    Another interesting point to mention is that the
    Navier-Stokes Equations
    described in the Herald , this morning perspective article have not yet been fully incorporated into any of the climate models described in the IPCC. This is interesting, because I had argued before that causation (cause-and-effect) must take precedence in climate modeling rather than adopting blind statistical inferences, because it does not reflect physics. Navier-Stokes is the corner stone model that governs the physics of fluid flow (Fluid Dynamics).

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  16. gd () says:

    Tiger Coxhead “sigh” So you believe everything anyone tells you without questioning their motives. My My What a trusting person you are.I prefer to follow the money That usually tells me what the real agenda is. But of course as an crusty old auditor Ive seen and heard enough tall stories in my time and learnt to always ask the third question. In a time long after we have all shuffled off this mortal coil our successors will look back and shake their heads at how easily we conned ourselves into believing the high priests and delivered up our sacrifices of taxes at their alters.

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  17. Anon () says:

    She’s obviously a denier. Gas her.

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  18. Sonic () says:

    Intersting post Falafulu, I’m not expert enough to follow totally what you are saying but food for thought.

    I was careful to say “the tendency of many” not all.

    GD is a good example, if an idea comes from outside his political zone it must be wrong, he needs no evidence or proof.

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  19. kiwi_donkey () says:

    The consensus of scientists has previously been

    – Heavier than air flight is impossible
    – A steamship couldn’t carry enough coal to cross the Atlantic
    – People with fevers should be bled
    – There is no risk from dioxin contimination in New Plymouth
    – British beef is healthy

    Did you know, some scientists thought there was a risk that the first atomic bomb could cause a change in quantum state that would cascade through the Universe – incidentally wiping out ALL life. But the consensus was, what the hell, that seems unlikely. Let’s just do it.

    I also note that whenever New Scientist mentions climate change, they always seem to say – “The time for debate is over, the consensus is clear, the doubters should be quiet”. But they never actually report the other side of the debate..

    As a species, we seem to desparately need an apocalytic threat to cling to. Millenium bug? Nope. SARS? Drat. Bird Flu? Maybe! Asteroid collision? Nuclear War? Ice age? Malthusian population meltdown. No, no and no. Thank God for Global Warming.

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  20. Sonic () says:

    Thats right Kiwi-donkey, every scientist in the world has always been wrong about everything, nothing they have said has ever been right.

    Imagine if it was not so, we might have machines that could connect us to others, allowing light speed communications between individuals. It could even be used for political debates where people like yourself could talk nonsense.

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  21. Tiger Coxhead () says:

    This is the common twaddle that usually turns up in debates on scientific consensus. “Science has been wrong before, thus any scientific consensus about global warming is highly likely to be wrong”. We all might as well stop arguing, as nothing at all about anything can be scientifically determined one way or the other if this is your position. Maybe the sun does rotate the earth after all. As to your specific cases:

    “- Heavier than air flight is impossible
    – A steamship couldn’t carry enough coal to cross the Atlantic”

    Was there ever a consensus on these two? How do you know? Surely no one back then did any meta-analytical studies.

    “- There is no risk from dioxin contimination in New Plymouth
    – British beef is healthy”

    Did these two cases ever represent a scientific consensus of the top scientists in the world in the relevant fields? I doubt many environmental chemists ever heard of the plant at Paritutu. Not so with global warming. As for the “British beef is healthy” claim, I didn’t hear that from any impartial scientest. (I actually believe, by the way, that statistically, British beef IS pretty safe. I mean how many people have died from BSE in the UK? Proportionately fewer than those who died carrying out other normal daily activities, like driving, one would imagine.)

    And you actually seem to contradict your position here:

    “Did you know, some scientists thought there was a risk that the first atomic bomb could cause a change in quantum state that would cascade through the Universe – incidentally wiping out ALL life. But the consensus was, what the hell, that seems unlikely. Let’s just do it.”

    So the prevailing scientific consensus (based on sound theoretical reasoning, no doubt) was that an atomic bomb would not wipe out all life as we know it. They tried it, and it didn’t. Point proven. I’m sure they wouldn’t have tried it if the opposing theories (that it would wipe out all life) stood up to rational critique.

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  22. Peter S () says:

    The scientific community has indeed been wrong about many things in the past.

    There is nothing wrong with challenging the mantra of the moment. At worst it challeges a person to come back with a more convincing argument/presentation of their assumptions.

    It also does well to remember that the MSM are lousy at reporting science. The problem is two fold. Firstly scientists tend to assume that the reporter won’t understand what they are saying, so they give a really dumbed down version. Secondly, the reporter usually manages to mangle what the scientist told them.

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  23. Clem Powell () says:

    In the 2001 report, the UN’s best high-end estimate for the rise in sea levels by 2100 was 90cm. But the best estimate in the upcoming report is said to be 43cm.

    So, Fran’s comparing the high end estimate of one report with the mid estimate of a different report (incidently, she got this wrong too), and finding that they don’t match.

    And people wonder why global warming sceptics are looked down on.

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  24. gd () says:

    I repeat Im not a denier of climate change (but yet to be 100% convinced thats its all our problem and or we have the solution) but I am suspicious that the matter may be used for others agendas.It was just a little too pat that the pollies especially on the Left immediately started to link taxes and the control of indiviuals freedom and movement to the solution.

    Some appear to want to rush in with “solutions” that involve raising taxes to “fund” these ‘solutions” and as a tax minimalist this always gets me thinking whether the taxes raised will be used to “fund” the “solution” or just disappear into the great big bribery slush fund that all pollies suck from

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  25. Captain Crab () says:

    Sure, Copernicus was a flat earth denier and heretic. Look how that ended.
    Sonic: EVERY scientist does not agree.If you arent a scientist yourself, how can you tell who actually is right? And dont give me bullshit about how these ones are allighed to oil compnaies etc and smear them that way. When Chris de Freitas tells me its real I will believe you.Falafulu’s post is interesting to me as it is the modelling I have a problem with, not the science.
    I still think its solar activity causing El Nino and not AGW. But that said, I do believe that man pollutes and that alone is reason enough for progress to be made.It staggers me that AGW proponents dont take that stance. Instead, if you disagree you get abused. Perhaps if the response was, “fine, agree to differ but lets all work together to reduce mans pollution”, you might actually achieve consensus.
    But no, we are deniers and we will all be taxed. This failure to take the consensus approach just confirms my suspicion its the left using it as an excuse to attack capitalism-again.
    Yawn.

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  26. Sonic () says:

    So what would your plan be gd, wait and see?

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  27. Sonic () says:

    Captain Crab, you could have edited that whole post down to

    “Global warning is a leftist conspiracy to destroy capitalism”

    Brevity is the soul of wit mate.

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  28. mikeymike () says:

    interesting…

    o’sullivan is right and she’s wrong:

    right! …with the part dpf chose not to highlight:

    “…regulate to ensure industry reduces pollution for broader environmental reasons such as cleaner air, water and soil, and the rest of us will be responsible for using energy efficiently for conservation purposes.

    It shouldn’t take the threat of climate change to get these aims on the policy agenda. They stand in their own right.”

    exactly as i was saying yesterday in dpf’s 1st post on ipcc ar4.

    o’sullivan is wrong! (or hihgly selective) in what she’s construed from other sources. she’s also lacking an understanding of the basis for this and the 2001 rpt:

    biz. as usual will see sea level rise 26-59cm. she’s used an average of the two and compared it to 90cm from 2001. the science is tighter in this report. 90cm was derived using a looser range because the science was looser. it seems some scientists actually turned up for work between 2000-6.

    o’sullivan taking nz as an eg. of global temp. and using (suppposed and localised i assume) sea temp. cooling is an indicator of trend is another lack of understanding.

    on balance o’sullivan is lookign in the right direction:

    “by waving the global warming stick an element of scare-mongering creeps into decision making”

    …and rushes into blog comments. humans have enhanced the natural greenhouse effect to a confidence of more than 90%. and we’ve done it by degrading the natural carrying capacity of the planet. something ought to be done.

    if it be a carbon tax (tax shifting – not extra tax gd) it will have a positive impact on our conception of burning fossil fuels. the source which, according to a thousand or so scientists, just happens to be the key reason why we are where we are.

    dunno about you, but when i’m at the beach i often like to fish. when i’m tramping i like to drink from a stream. when jogging in winter a clean lung full feels better than a smoggy one. as i said the other day, argue agw as much as you like, but take a look outside once in a while…

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  29. Captain Crab () says:

    And if shit was wit you would be constipated! Leave poor Oscar Wilde alone, but it would be amusing to hear what he would say about this.
    You have to admit it sonic, computer modelling doesnt mean it will happen.
    Interesting you dont seem to be keen on debating how to acheive consensus on this.

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  30. Peter S () says:

    Sonic,

    Captain Crab makes a good point. To be a sceptic of AGW does not equate to being pro pollution and anti environment.

    Also, being anti extra taxation does not mean that a person is against doing something about pollution & over use of resources either.

    Instead of a stick, sometimes a carrot is a far better encouragement. Tax breaks for positive initiative. Making recycling easier. Just two examples.

    When I lived on the North Shore the council started providing each household with a 240l blue recycling bin, collected each fortnight. Recycling became not only easy, but benefical, because it meant that the normal rubbish filled up more slowly. In contrast, where I live now has a central recycling point. Recycling is a hassle & a lot of extra work. Big surprise, most people don’t bother.

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  31. Sonic () says:

    Captain, the overwhelmkng evidence is that a) Climate change is real, b) Human activity is one of the reasons for it.

    People mess around on the edges, try to nitpick and find inconsistancies, however to me their arguments remind me a lot of the “saddam has WMD” tosh we heard in the build-up to the Iraq war. Lots of bluster, lots of heated rhetoric, but nothing substantial.

    You also find that many of the spokespeople for the “sceptics” are either unqualified or turn out to be in the pocket of the oil industry. If there was a large body of reputable scientists with a consistant position I’d listen. However all we get is “there is no global warming, well ok there is but it is not serious, well ok it is but it is the sun, well ok it is C02 but there is nothing we can do”

    Of course evidence could arrive tomorrow proving that it is not the billions of tons of CO2 we are pumping into the atmosphere that is causing climate change. However until then I am in favour of the precautionary principle. The balance of probabilities is that Climate change is real and we have to do something about it.

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  32. kiwi_donkey () says:

    Hmmn. Maybe I’d better spell it out.

    Science is uncertain. When somebody says stop-the-debate-we-know-the-answer it is no longer science. It’s vested interest and politics.

    And Tiger, meta-analysis is an analytical technique like any other. It doesn’t reveal the truth, but allows the scientist to combine data with their own assumptions (including methodological assumptions) to reach a conclusion. The data are never value-free. That’s the point, really.

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  33. mikeymike () says:

    bingo! peter s…

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  34. pdm () says:

    One other greath myth from scientists.

    In about 1949 (I think) they stated that the entire world would only need about 5 or 6 computers.

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  35. Sonic () says:

    “Science is uncertain”

    Why not jump out of a 10th floor window?

    After all gravity is only a theory after all.

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  36. kiwi_donkey () says:

    Sonic: Scientific uncertainty does not equal scientific nihilism. Got it?

    Thought not.

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  37. side show bob () says:

    Many on this forum are nothing more then zealots that spend most of their lives waiting for it all to end. For fucks sake I’m with mikeymike, take a look outside once in a while.

    AGW is the biggest con of the century, 20 years ago we were all going to freeze to death.

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  38. Sonic () says:

    “Scientific uncertainty does not equal scientific nihilism”

    Unless of course it is about climate change in which case you start wittering on about steamships and heavier and air flight.

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  39. Sonic () says:

    You do have to question the logic of the sceptics though, their argument seems to go.

    ‘A scientist was wrong about something once, therefore all scientists are wrong about everything’

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  40. Andrew Davies () says:

    Sonic
    Are you saying people used to jump off tall buildings before science discovered gravity?

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  41. Adolf Fiinkensein () says:

    Hey sonic, did you see the irrefutabley reliable report over the week-end that the pack ice between the Arctic and Iceland is growing thicker than ever? Apparently Iceland is preparing to be over-run by the 25,000 or so polar bears (only 5,000 a few years ago) which are running around like the boll weevil’ ‘alookin’ for a hoooooome!”

    You gorebull warmers are modern day practitioners of witchcraft and the sooner you are all burnt at the stake the better. Of course I’d start the fire with organically grown non tranny fat vegie oil. Mustn’t burn fossil fuels, must we.

    Ever generous and merciful I’d give you an opportunity to recant your heresy at the last moment, in return for which you’d be allowed to reside for the rest of your life in a utopian ecologically sustainable community with no electricity about 1,500 kilometres due east of Archangel. You’ll soon get used to the taste of seal and whale meat and the smell of burning blubber. But hell, you’ll be sustainable.

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  42. cubit9f () says:

    Sonic,

    In the past some scientists were right and some were wrong. We need to be able to determine (by rigourous review) which one are likely to be right and those that might just be wrong. What we must not do is try and determine the answer by unswervingly following our own political agendas.

    As such no doubt Jeanette Fitzsimmon is now only riding a bike and has the electricity supply cut off from all places she lives in.

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  43. kiwi_donkey () says:

    Sonic: I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m a sceptic, but the way the arguments are presented make me very nervous. They have the form of a dodgy attempt to ride roughshod over debate to pursue a particular belief system. That is never good.

    But leaving that aside, what can we do? Well this is where I gasp at the hypocrisy and incompetence of our politicians.

    – We could have had project Aqua, giving heaps of efficient hydro power. Insted, the water has gone to irrigation, producing *more* emissions through cow farts, as well as increasing the need for new coal and gas fired power plants instead. Thank you Jeanette Fitzsimmons and Labour.

    – And what about Project West Wind – consents were applied for in June 2005. I think it is still in the environment court, more than a year after the consent was granted. No, there is no problem with the Resource Management Act.

    Some constructive ideas: Why don’t we have tax breaks on hybrid cars? Why don’t we put marginal hill country back into native bush? Why don’t we have fibre-optic loops in our suburbs so we can work/play at home more? Why don’t we have walking buses organised for primary schools?

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  44. Sonic () says:

    “Hey sonic, did you see the irrefutabley reliable report over the week-end that the pack ice between the Arctic and Iceland is growing thicker than ever”

    No, weirdly enough you seem to have forgotten to link to it, which is odd.

    Care to give us a link Mr F, or was it the voices that told you about it?

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  45. Peter S () says:

    I for one am a sceptic for the following reason.

    The earth has been through a number of cooling/warming cycles. This can be seen by the evidence of “ice ages” such as repeated glacial activity in areas that are far closer to the equator than ice reaches now.

    There is no qustion that a large body of ice has disappeared since the last ice age. There has been an unsteady loss of ice (as evidenced by mini advances of glaciers, followed by retreat), but, like waves coming in on a receeding tide, the general trend has been one of warming.

    As anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of physics can tell you, as ice melts the rate of ice loss increases as the surface area to volume ratio increases. Another effect of ice melt is a cooling of the air temperature as energy from the air is used in the melting process.

    What happens when the ice volume reaches a critical point is that the ice loss as a percentage of remaining volume suddenly begins to increase, and the air temperature begins to rise suddenly as the total amount of ice melting decreases.

    It is, in effect a phase of accelerated global warming, but part of a completely natural process.

    All of the above does not mean that humans are not accelerating the process, but it does mean that anything we do to reduce human impact is only a means of slowing the inevitable, not of stopping or reversing it.

    It also suggests that either the general scientific community, or the reporting of their findings are being less than honest and up front with the general public. I would suggest that this is because the mantra “we are causing global warming” is a lot easier to sell (and for the public to buy) than the statement “we are accelerating global warming.”

    I have yet to see calculations that clearly take the natural effects I have described into account fully.

    It also begs the question of what is the best response the situation. Whilst helping the King in his efforts to hold back the tide may be the most ethical, using the same resources to move him and his throne up above the high water mark might be the most pragmatic.

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  46. David C () says:

    I asked this question yesterday and noone answered me, can I have a break down on your positions, do you actually believe there is zero issue at the moment with climate change and that we should just keep on being as we are with no effort?

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  47. kiwi_donkey () says:

    David C, here is my position

    The Earth is warming, and humans are partly the cause, although the extent of that is unclear. However, in general we should all be environmentalists – that’s just common sense, once you take externalities into account.

    But climate variation is part of the geological history of the planet. It’s not a problem for the planet, it’s only a problem for us. We can try to minimise it, or we can adapt, or both. As a species, our survival is enhanced by adaptability. Our adpatability is enhanced by innovation and technological ability.

    We have gained survival advantage through technology for about a million years now. If we try to reverse that by living like forest apes, something else will come along and wipe us out.

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  48. Peter S () says:

    David C,

    I am sceptical that humans are having anything like the effect, quantity wise on global warming that has been attributed to us.

    However, zero issue is a different matter. I am in favour of reducing the negative impact we have on the environment, but that is more from a common sense and good management view point.

    My opinion is that the best way of getting people to look after the environment is by making it the easiest and most beneficial option, rather than by punishing us for not doing the right thing.

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  49. the Swift man () says:

    ‘We have gained survival advantage through technology for about a million years now. If we try to reverse that by living like forest apes, something else will come along and wipe us out.’
    Posted by kiwi_donkey

    A particularly good observation.

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  50. Sonic () says:

    I don’t think anyone is arguing against technology here, just that we look to tweak our present society to make it more sustainable.

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  51. gd () says:

    Sonic The old saying “fools rush in” comes to mind when I hear the scientists and the pollies and their new found ‘solutions”. I prefer we do some more research and take a calm and reasoned approach.As one who has worked in the motor industry I know there are ways to improve emmissions without following the pollies ‘solution’ of banning those of us who like motoring from owning a car and forcing us to ride ‘their’ public transport whilst we watch them being driven around in their gas guzzling limos(when are the dumb pollies going to get their arses out of those horrible big Aussie build shit carts).
    Rome wasnt built in a day and cutting off our nose to spite our face are two more old sayings that come to mind.
    Whilst the Greens may well like to see NZ as a poor impoverished country where the citizerns produce zero emmissions and work the fields with horse and cart in the time honoured manner some of us would like to see out our dotage in a little more civilised way all be it ensuring a future for our children and grand children etc etc.

    So sonic suggest we not panic and go up the mountain shouting the end is nigh the end is nigh just yet old bean.

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  52. Hoolian () says:

    I’m definitely a skeptic on Climate Change.

    What Side Show Bob says is right. There is always a fear exacerbated by lobby groups who use social fears to hide their real agenda. There is a distinct taste behind climate change that allows the extraordinary theory that humans are overpopulating the planet. And that is total bullshit.

    If the world is going to burn up, I say let it. Better to spend $1 trillion dollars on fixing world poverty or eliminating third world debt then to waste it on a ‘fear’ of climate change. Most people do not recognize climate change as something that is happening RIGHT NOW. As with most global fears, it’s a hazard, or a risk but not actually happening. There is evidence and studies but usually done by people who have invested interest in the results and all studies I’ve seen have been countered with others which find the opposite.

    Climate change advocates hate debate and its true that anyone who resists the idea is deemed mental and selfish. Really, one could argue that it is the other way around.

    Typically it’s only the decadent west who cares about climate change, only because it’s the only other thing we have to worry about. We don’t care if children die in poverty every day or if there are people freezing to death because they cannot afford basic shelter. Oh no, rich white people only care for bloody climate change.

    Any Third World nation who signs the Kyoto Protocol is seriously demented. It is not up for affluent white people to decide on the productivity of other nations. We’ve had out industrialization era, let them have theirs.

    Besides, we need climate change. Our summers suck.

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  53. Sonic () says:

    Firstly I’m not saying the end of the world is nigh, I’m saying that the scientific consesus is that there is a problem here and we need to have a serious discussion on what to do about it.

    I think the word denial is quite right in this instance, not in tthe case of holocaust denial, but more like alcoholic’s in denial.

    The first step is to admit you have a problem, so far most of you have not reached that stage, not for any thought out reason but, it seems, just out if ideological blindness.

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  54. mikeymike () says:

    gd

    the yours is the premise of o’sullivans. she’s berating msm sensationalism. you and i and probably most others on this comments area know more about agw than the average punter.

    msm reports “the end is nigh”. they do it to get the attention of those with less knowledge because shock/horror sells. we (incl. you) with slightly more knowledge know that this is far from a situation of “fools rush in”.

    agw theory has been about since the 50’s. the rio summit in ’92 was a synthesis of research that had gotten pretty detailed during the 80’s. fridays report from the ipcc was for the purpose of giving policy makers the lowdown of 60 or so years of research. why? so they don’t rushing in – so they can look past msm “the end is nigh” reports.

    pricing emissions (we’re all intelligent here, lets admit that emissions are not good) is one potential solution. it just happens to fit with our economic system.

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  55. baxter () says:

    The summary of the report that is being debated until the actual report is released several months hence was apparently prepared by un-named Politicians not by scientists…The first actions our Politicians should take before imposing charges is to set examples. For instance the first think Klark did after pontificating that N>Z> would be the first country in the world to be carbon neutral was to take off for a holiday in Finland or Sweden putting an unnecessary seven tonnes of Carbon into the air..As someone has pointed out the scientific conscensus in the 1970s was that an Ice Age was approaching.

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  56. kiwi_donkey () says:

    Sonic, Labour and the Greens are the ones in denial! They have completely failed to do anything effective about this problem, despite being the best position to do so (see my post above regarding the renewable energy projects).

    So we get lots of spin and no effective action. I’d like to see some genuine leadership for a change. Preferably not involving another 400 civil servants shuffling paper.

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  57. Sonic () says:

    “have completely failed to do anything effective about this problem”

    The problem that you do not think exists?

    I agree we need to do something about it, and as this is a multi-generational project we need to start moving towards a national consensus about it. The problem is that we are still arguing at the level “I was cold last night therefore there is no such thing as global warming” instead of accepting that there almost certainly is and doing something about it.

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  58. George Darroch () says:

    The Summary for Policy Makers was written and edited by scientists Baxter. Burn.

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  59. George Darroch () says:

    From RealClimate

    “The process of finalising the SPM (which is well described here and here) is something that can seem a little odd. Government representatives from all participating nations take the draft summary (as written by the lead authors of the individual chapters) and discuss whether the text truly reflects the underlying science in the main report. The key here is to note that what the lead authors originally came up with is not necessarily the clearest or least ambiguous language, and so the governments (for whom the report is being written) are perfectly entitled to insist that the language be modified so that the conclusions are correctly understood by them and the scientists. It is also key to note that the scientists have to be happy that the final language that is agreed conforms with the underlying science in the technical chapters. The advantage of this process is that everyone involved is absolutely clear what is meant by each sentence. Recall after the National Academies report on surface temperature reconstructions there was much discussion about the definition of ‘plausible’. That kind of thing shouldn’t happen with AR4.”

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  60. kiwi_donkey () says:

    Sonic: Skim reading lets you down again, eh?

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  61. George Darroch () says:

    I’ve just read her column. FFS… did she even read the SPM? Or just take Auer and the WSJ’s word for what it says. It isn’t a very fjcking complicated document!

    That she can get something as clearly defined as sea level rise wrong is disturbing. I wait for the paper to print a retraction. The range for the TAR is 0.1-0.9 over various emmissions scenarios. The range for AR4 is 0.18-0.59 over a range of emmissions scenarios, to 2099. Significantly, the range in each of those scenarios is around 20cm… Obviously scientists can’t predict human behaviour, and uncertainties remain over the impact of feedbacks involving every ecosystem on earth. (the feedbacks only point in one direction however)

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  62. George Darroch () says:

    Donkey, the Greens are in no position to do anything about climate change. They are outside Government remember? They’re politely ignored on a constant basis.

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  63. kiwi_donkey () says:

    George: While you are generally correct, Jeanette Fitzsimons campaigned against Project Aqua, and specifically took credit for stopping it.

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  64. mikeymike () says:

    Hoolian:
    “There is a distinct taste behind climate change that allows the extraordinary theory that humans are overpopulating the planet. And that is total bullshit.”
    *
    How so? According to who?

    “Any Third World nation who signs the Kyoto Protocol is seriously demented. It is not up for affluent white people to decide on the productivity of other nations. We’ve had out industrialization era, let them have theirs.”
    *
    Since when are productivity and agw mutually dependant. You’ve skipped a few lessons.

    “Besides, we need climate change. Our summers suck.”
    *
    …hang on, are you 12?

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  65. Andy () says:

    Sonic: Co2 is hevier than o2, that explains smog!

    how does somthing heavier than oxygen get to the upper atmosphere?

    just checkin?

    NIWA has a polution monitoring station in newmarket, 10m away from kyber pass, at a set of traffic lights at a hill start! This road is a heavy public transport corridor. Bet the particulate level goes up in tandem with traffic levels, and sounds alarming! Temperature has been measured in the same places for 100 years, same spot more tar seal= warmer average temps over time. Cities are on average 1’c warmer than they were 20 years ago befor intensification and the 24 hour society!

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  66. mikeymike () says:

    addressed by ipcc andy. that was potentially an issue in the 2001 report. sources of temp readings are now far and wide.
    as you were…

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  67. Hoolian () says:

    Woah! Hold the forces, its mikeymike with his incredible lack of anything remotely intelligent and his quirky shoppingfix attitude to boot.

    1 – Basic philosophy of the Green movement is that the earth was perfect until humans came along. Climate change is all about human impact on the environment, and if the Greenies had it, we would not be taxed to the high heavens, we just wouldn’t be here. But hey its not an ideal world. And overpopulation is crap as well, but I’m not going to go into that, unless you want me to.

    2 – I didn’t say that productivity and agw were mutually dependant. While I assure you I haven’t skipped any lessons, can I get the same from you that you won’t go picking things out of your arse and pretending as if it was a quote from me. Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear – 1 reason, in fact THE reason, the US didn’t sign the KP was because it hampers industrialization. Industrialization is bad for the environ but good for the economy. So if one signs the KP, they are potentially crippling their economy. Why would anyone sign the KP – to combat climate change. Its not that difficult to understand.

    3 – And dude, loosen up. The summer warming up thing was actually a joke. But the trend has shown that in the Northern Hemisphere, the summers are getting shorter and colder. So hence, the name change from Global Warming to Climate Change. It’s like the eternal threat of AIDS, Terrorism or poor Asian immigrants – people are controlled by fear.

    And you’re just stupid.

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  68. andy () says:

    Mikeymike:

    trying to make a point! too many variables in Aucland let alone localised climates around the world.

    That tells me that climate change has been measured by changing goal posts, so there is no ‘slam’ and not to much ‘dunk’?

    What impact did Krakatoa have on climate change? Must have been some cause it put a couple of years worth of toxic gases into the atmosphere, was this in the model?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krakatoa#Global_Climate

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  69. michael wood () says:

    David, this is weak.

    You start off by endorsing Fran’s statement that the “other influences such as sunspots might also be part of the mix”.

    You conclude by saying that our actions should be “based on solid analysis of costs and benefits”. With you on the solid analysis.

    But, sorry, where is the solid scientific analysis supporting the O’Sullivan sunspot theory?

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  70. michael wood () says:

    David, this is weak.

    You start off by endorsing Fran’s statement that the “other influences such as sunspots might also be part of the mix”.

    You conclude by saying that our actions should be “based on solid analysis of costs and benefits”. With you on the solid analysis.

    But, sorry, where is the solid scientific analysis supporting the O’Sullivan sunspot theory?

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  71. Peter S () says:

    Michael,

    The theory that sunspots are related to climate change has been around since the 1700’s.

    I can’t remember offhand exactly who it was that proposed the theory, but someone made the observation that a cold period correlated to an increase in sun spot activity.

    The particular cold spell included one incident where there was a public party on the frozen river Thames, including the roasting of a whole Ox! It also coincided with a run of white Christmases, which is why the Christmas card showing snow scenes with horse & carriage & caroll singers has been so popular over the years in the UK.

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  72. George Darroch () says:

    Andy, how does dust get into the air? You might want to think before opening your mouth…

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  73. michael wood () says:

    David, this is weak.

    You start off by endorsing Fran’s statement that the “other influences such as sunspots might also be part of the mix”.

    You conclude by saying that our actions should be “based on solid analysis of costs and benefits”. With you on the solid analysis.

    But, sorry, where is the solid scientific analysis supporting the O’Sullivan sunspot theory?

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  74. Fred () says:

    Yep, NZ matters……..

    Unless you consider that a complete shutdown of the entire NZ economy, all electric generation, all industry, all candles in high country huts will not have any/zero/zilch effect on the world’s total atmospheric carbon production.

    China does the entire NZ economy carbon emissions every 28 days.

    Wank on comrades.

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  75. Fred () says:

    errr… it gets worse , that’s the increase in the Chinese emisssions.

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  76. Flashman () says:

    Wow!

    A total of no less than 16 sonics for today starting just before 12.

    Approximately two an hour until mid afternoon when an absolute frenzy began at 3pm – a total of five in the next hour; three in the hour after that; and two *after* 5pm.

    Sonic finally stopped at 5:16pm. Logically we can conclude that:
    [a] He does not have a demanding job.
    [b] He is either a languid operator or his supervisor was out for the afternoon.
    [c] He spent 46 minutes on a public service internet connection after official knocking off time at Wellington’s Ministry of Funny Walks. [That's a public servant going the extra mile.]
    [d] It took him five minutes to walk to his train station.
    [e] His train departed at 5:30.
    [f] Nothing more will be heard from Sonic until approximately 09:30am tomorrow.
    [g] Right now he’s still thinking about what an exciting day he had on kiwiblog

    Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite Sonic. Keep those tax dollars working hard for us.

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  77. sonic () says:

    “how does somthing heavier than oxygen get to the upper atmosphere”

    God the stupid, it burns.

    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2006/thermosphere.shtml

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  78. michael wood () says:

    Thanks Peter.

    I’ll look forward to thousands of pieces of peer reviewed scietific research showing this link to back up Fran and some guy from the 1700s.

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  79. sonic () says:

    Flashman is a little obsessed, I’m flattered with all the attention but, you don’t really sound like my type.

    Flashman is just a little bit too willing to jump to conclusions it seems, and, as we all know, that make an ass out of you and, oh hold on, just makes an ass out of you.

    Don’t let the fact you have made a fool of yourself (again) keep you from having a good nights kip though.

    xxx (in a purely platonic way of course)

    S

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  80. mikeymike () says:

    “The little wascal has spiwit.
    Has what, sir?
    Spiwit.
    Yes. He did, sir.
    No, no. Spiwit, siw. Um, bwavado. A touch of dewwing-do.”

    i like your style hoolian. and yes it was clear your “we need climate change” call was a gag. almost as facetious as “are you 12?”. maybe we’d beter hug and start over.

    i actually agree with your 2 and 3 above. industrialisation and fear. but you’re not telling the full story to your 2nd point. you have an exceptionally negative view of the solution options.

    this ipcc rpt suggests that policy makers facilitate change to biz. as usual. so that “industrialisation” is not as depletive as it has been. yeah, technology. yeah, price on carbon. in short a fundamental change to your old buddy “industrialisation”.

    the 3rd world argument isn’t a flash one anyhow, none of these nations had an opt in for kyoto.

    your 1st point:
    “if the Greenies had it, we would not be taxed to the high heavens, we just wouldn’t be here”
    mine isn’t necessarily a green philosophy. sure i voted for them last election, but the solution options are on most political tables now (grazing with dunne, peters, or hyde is not an option). this is not a left/right issue. get over it and get on with it.

    “overpopulation is crap as well, but I’m not going to go into that, unless you want me to”
    i did ask you to. but if you insist…

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  81. Peter S () says:

    michael,

    My memory was a bit flawed- the guy was Edward Walter Maunder. He lived from the late 1800’s to 1928, but studied the 1645-1715 mini Ice Age, the Maunder Minimum, when a period of almost no sunspot activity was recorded.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.W._Maunder
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_Minimum

    The case for a link between sunspots and weather is one that has been neither proved nor disproved. It was the trendy weather theory before CFCs for global cooling and CO2/CH4 for global warming.

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  82. Vitalis () says:

    Here is a list of global warming sceptics (scientists only) I extracted from my favourite science magazine:

    1 Competitive Enterprise Institute (Washington DC)

    A free-market lobby organisation that employs six experts on climate change. Two are lawyers, one an economist, one a political scientist, one a graduate in business studies and one a mathematician. They include economist Myron Ebell, most famous in the UK for a tirade on BBC radio in November 2004 in which he accused the UK government’s chief scientist David King of “knowing nothing about climate science”. The institute receives funding from ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company and an outspoken corporate opponent of mainstream climate science.

    2 American Enterprise Institute (Washington DC)

    Another free market think tank. The five experts it sent to the most recent negotiations on the Kyoto protocol, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December, included just one natural scientist – a chemist. Receives money from ExxonMobil.

    3 George C. Marshall Institute (Washington DC)

    A think tank that has been promoting scepticism on climate change since 1989. It is a leading proponent of the argument that climate science is highly uncertain. Receives money from ExxonMobil.

    4 International Policy Network (London)

    Free-market think tank which in November 2004 said global warming was a “myth”, and described David King as “an embarrassment”. Receives money from ExxonMobil.

    5 The scientists

    There are a few authoritative climate scientists in the sceptic camp. The most notable are Patrick Michaels from the University of Virginia, who is also the chief environmental commentator at the Cato Institute in Washington DC (see 1), and meteorologist Richard Lindzen from MIT. Most others are either retired, outside mainstream academia or tied to the fossil fuel industry. In the UK, three of the most prominent are Philip Stott, a retired biogeographer, former TV botanist David Bellamy, and Martin Keeley, a palaeogeologist. Keeley argues on a BBC website that “global warming is a scam, perpetrated by scientists with vested interests”. He is an oil exploration consultant.

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  83. Vitalis () says:

    Here is a list of global warming sceptics (scientists only) I extracted from my favourite science magazine:

    1 Competitive Enterprise Institute (Washington DC)

    A free-market lobby organisation that employs six experts on climate change. Two are lawyers, one an economist, one a political scientist, one a graduate in business studies and one a mathematician. They include economist Myron Ebell, most famous in the UK for a tirade on BBC radio in November 2004 in which he accused the UK government’s chief scientist David King of “knowing nothing about climate science”. The institute receives funding from ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company and an outspoken corporate opponent of mainstream climate science.

    2 American Enterprise Institute (Washington DC)

    Another free market think tank. The five experts it sent to the most recent negotiations on the Kyoto protocol, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December, included just one natural scientist – a chemist. Receives money from ExxonMobil.

    3 George C. Marshall Institute (Washington DC)

    A think tank that has been promoting scepticism on climate change since 1989. It is a leading proponent of the argument that climate science is highly uncertain. Receives money from ExxonMobil.

    4 International Policy Network (London)

    Free-market think tank which in November 2004 said global warming was a “myth”, and described David King as “an embarrassment”. Receives money from ExxonMobil.

    5 The scientists

    There are a few authoritative climate scientists in the sceptic camp. The most notable are Patrick Michaels from the University of Virginia, who is also the chief environmental commentator at the Cato Institute in Washington DC (see 1), and meteorologist Richard Lindzen from MIT. Most others are either retired, outside mainstream academia or tied to the fossil fuel industry. In the UK, three of the most prominent are Philip Stott, a retired biogeographer, former TV botanist David Bellamy, and Martin Keeley, a palaeogeologist. Keeley argues on a BBC website that “global warming is a scam, perpetrated by scientists with vested interests”. He is an oil exploration consultant.

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  84. Paul Marsden () says:

    AGW is the biggest con of the century, 20 years ago we were all going to freeze to death.

    Posted by side show bob | February 7, 2007 3:53 PM

    Posted on February 7, 2007 15:53

    Maybe so. But the biggest, global con in the last 20 years is ISO 9000. The biggest load of steaming excrement you’ve ever heard! As ISO 9000 had nothing whatsoever to do with producing a quality product, the Kyoto protocol will have nothing whatsoever do do with reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

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  85. Vitalis () says:

    Sadly enough, most of the research (not all) that we’re being exposed to is just another marketing tool or strategy.
    Most of the research seems to be manipulated in one way or another. Cochrane collaboration (gold standard in medical research reviews) concludes that you should never trust pharmaceuticals
    Is the global warming man made? You have to form your own oppinion.
    I believe there is a very good chance it coud be.

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  86. kisekiman () says:

    Whether you’re a denier or a believer or someone in between, the news published in today’s Financial Times asserts that in the last year, China added 101 Gigawatts of extra generating capacity. 90% of it is coal. That additional capacity is around double California’s total output. NZ is pissing into a gale force wind thinking it is going to make any frigging difference whatsoever to the “problem” but hey tax us into oblivion so that we might go bankrupt with a guilt free conscience.

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  87. kisekiman () says:

    Whether you’re a denier or a believer or someone in between, the news published in today’s Financial Times asserts that in the last year, China added 101 Gigawatts of extra generating capacity. 90% of it is coal. That additional capacity is around double California’s total output. NZ is pissing into a gale force wind thinking it is going to make any frigging difference whatsoever to the “problem” but hey tax us into oblivion so that we might go bankrupt with a guilt free conscience.

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  88. mikeymike () says:

    kisekiman:
    TAX SHIFTING!

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  89. archeropterix () says:

    I’m a skeptic too. I don’t think it’s likely that all this scientific information in favour of AGW could be one big elaborate ruse. I don’t believe it’s likely scientists are out there melting glaciers and fabricating evidence of rising temperatures.

    I agree that tax penalties are not the answer. It’s pretty clear this government aren’t picking up the ball on sustainable initiatives in regards to transport in particular. The draft corridor plan allocated a measley 6% of $1.6 billion funding to public transport and related initiatives!

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  90. Pita () says:

    Could Sonic be DPF in drag?

    Create a premise and then expose its weakness by arguing against it?

    Arcane, but possible. It’s almost a symbiotic relationship one cannot live without the other.

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  91. Flashman () says:

    Sonic: 17 posts in a day to kiwiblog counts as evidence of obsession – even by public service standards.

    Don’t forget your sudoku puzzle book and snacky bars – another big day at work today.

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  92. Sonic () says:

    “evidence of obsession”

    You mean like counting all my posts and trying to track my movements?

    If the hat fits Mr F it is time to wear it, you crazy little cyberstalker you.

    xx

    S

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  93. Owen McShane () says:

    1. It is interesting to compare the essay by Fran and the response on this blog with original essay and responses in the Guardian.
    Go to:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/12/nclim12.xml
    2. Sea levels. There are two documents out there – the SPM which has been published without embargo. It has been written by a group of policy advisers mostly employed by their governments or by the UN. The Only New Zealander involved was David Wratt who is adviser to the government on climat change (and to the Royal Society) as as a chief scientist for NIWA activtely promotes NIWA’s commercial services on dealing with climate change to Local bodies round the country.
    None of our local peer reviewers were involved.
    3. Then there is the draft of the scientists’ report which will not be published until May. The IPCC explains that this is to make sure the report is consistent with the Policy Makers’ Summary. You might like to read that again.
    4. The apparent conflicts about sea level arise from the two reports. The draft science report is much more positive about reduced sea level rising. The SPM report fudges things much more.
    5. Solar efffects. This theory, or group of theories, is gaining ground by the day. One of the key modellers for the IPCC has agreed that it “would be a good idea” to include solar activity in the models. The models don’t at present. The models also do not include clouds because we don ‘t know how to. We should not be surprised if CO2 comes out of these models as the major driver of climate change. The other two major contenders are not allowed to because they are not there. (Crude summary but close enough)
    6. Some see vast conspiracies on both sides. We don’t need to any more than you need to attribute the rise of Christianity in Rome to a vast conspiracy. What is going on is more like the spread of a meme or memes.
    7 But people pursue their self interest. (Coase theory) and this includes even civil servants bless their hearts.
    Many years ago, before I had formed any opinions on climate change, I met an old architectural colleague at a RMA conference. We were chatting and I asked him what he was doing. He explained he was working in one of the building research institutes studying how to design houses to cope with global warming. I asked him what he was concluding (given that I was, and am, designing houses for Northland. He went through the list and I said “But that’s just good design – what has it got to do with global warmin?” He answered that if he had not linked it to global warming he would not have got the Science funding because that is one of the policy priorities.
    We both accepted the argument. It is just sensible behaviour if you depend on govt funding. (Which is why my Centre policy is never to apply for govt funding – it does tend to skew outcomes.)
    But multiply that a few thousand times and think about it.

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  94. RedRag () says:

    Owen,

    Very cool…now if you are so very right, and clearly you are absolutely sure you are, why are you posting to this rabble of bigots? Surely someone of your vast knowledge and superior reasoning power, would be keen to win the argument with real climate scientists in a proper forum somewhere.

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  95. Andrew Davies () says:

    RedRag
    It could just as easily be asked what you are doing here if this site consists of a “rabble of bigots”.
    Or is it you need to use such language to help yourself feel slightly more superior and give yourself a self esteem fix?

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  96. RedRag () says:

    It’s Owen who presents himself as an expert in the topic. Me? I’m just another klutz like the rest of us.

    This is a political forum and because the Greens/left have been proven so conclusively correct about AGW (only ONE of the major impacts humanity is having upon the planet), the right is mounting a belated denial/damage control operation to mitigate the embarrasment. That what is really happening here.

    But for God’s sake, lets not pretend for an instant that we are actually debating the science here.

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  97. Linda Wright () says:

    Further to Owen’s post,atmospheric water in vapour and droplet form (clouds) forms 90% of ‘greenhouse’ gases. If water in the atmosphere and solar energy are not counted then I would guess the things they are measuring are of such a minor proportion as to hardy count for anything.

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  98. Sonic () says:

    Sorry Linda, another common myth

    Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas, but its concentrations are closely related to global temperatures and are relatively constant.

    Good NS Q+A here

    http://www.newscientist.com/popuparticle.ns?id=in23#faq2

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  99. RedRag () says:

    I’m sorry Linda, but Owens’s contention that the “models don’t include clouds” (and by implication water vapour) can be dispelled with about 5 secs googling.

    Or:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=142

    Climate science is one of the most complex, messy and difficult things science has ever tackled. It makes quantum mechanics seems a trivial and orderly problem by comparison. Now I am prepared to bet anything you like, that not one of you would dream of quibbling about quantum mechanics with a real physicist who had spent a lifetime of work and publishing in the field. Such an expert would likely:

    1. Make a polite and very simplified reply in the hope you might go away chastened.

    OR

    2. Have much better things to do with their time than encourage and endless stream of crank emails in their inbox.

    The problem is that everyone who can look out a window and sees the weather imagines they are therefore qualified to make absolute judgement about ‘climate science’ ….when in fact they know absolutely nothing about it. And of course in such a state of mind they are also prone to uncritically believing everything any they read, especially if it includes a lot of jargony words and plausible sounding science ideas they they “sort of ” understand.

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  100. Owen McShane () says:

    Dear Red Rag,
    From the mild mannered Bull.
    I do not follow.
    As far as I can tell none of the points I raised had anything to do with climate science and need to be debated with climate scientists. Most of them are responses to arguments from others posting on this blog.
    Anyone can test my claim about the SPM and the actual report.
    Many climate scientists (from both sides of the debate) are concerned about the suggestion that the science reports will be modified to be consistent with the Summary for Pollicy Makers. Wouldn’t you be if you were one of them?
    Please let me know which topic is so arcane that it is beyond me or anyone else to follow – although I must concede that you clearly have difficulty following any line of argument – so I don’t mind if you exclude yourself from the test.

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  101. Owen McShane () says:

    Linda

    Your observation about clouds is probably correct but I should have made it clear that I was talking about the effect of clouds (the fluffy white things) as opposed to water vapour.
    CLouds have an effect as reflectors of solar radiation (cooling) and as a blanket (clear nights are colder than cloudy ones.)

    It is this effect of clouds which is not built into the models.

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  102. RedRag () says:

    Many climate scientists (from both sides of the debate) are concerned about the suggestion that the science reports will be modified to be consistent with the Summary for Pollicy Makers. Wouldn’t you be if you were one of them?

    So you are stating categorically that the all scientists concerned will flat out lie and fake their results in order to conform to the politics of the SPM?

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  103. gd () says:

    When we start to get a consensus from the so called experts then we can begin to determine the right and I do emphasis right course of action. At present theres too much static on the line to get all excited.

    Owen confirms my suspicions that any scientist wanting to get research funding will be pissing in the wind if they intend to argue against the government of the day(whoever they are).

    And with this lot of Socialists well we have seen enough examples of Helen and her comrades reaction to anyone who disagrees with the party line.

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  104. Falafulu Fisi () says:

    RedRag said…
    It makes quantum mechanics seems a trivial and orderly problem by comparison. Now I am prepared to bet anything you like, that not one of you would dream of quibbling about quantum mechanics with a real physicist who had spent a lifetime of work and publishing in the field.

    Have you studied the subject? I have. I was perhaps one of the last people to conduct nuclear physics experiment (supervisor, Prof. Alan Polleti) in Proton Scattering at the University of Auckland former Nuclear Accelerator AURA-2 in the mid-1990s, before it was demolished to makeway for the current computer science building. There were only 2 at the time in the country, one at Auckland and one at CRI(Crown Research Institute). This is why I have no difficulties in reading about climate mathematical modeling. Quantum Mechanics (QM) is bloody more complex than climate science at present.

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  105. insider () says:

    FF with Qm, do we really understand it or are we still trying to understand some significant areas? Is light a wave or a particle? How does gravity work? What is dark matter?

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  106. Linda Wright () says:

    WOW, Insider, you don’t ask much from blog comments, do you?

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  107. RedRag () says:

    Actually I worked for Allen Polleti for 5 years in the early 80’s …so maybe I am not so easily swayed by your name dropping as you hoped. Your statement that QM is more complex than climate science is laughable bollocks. Really you have just revealed how LITTLE you actually understand about what a vast, complex and messy system the planet’s climate is….and it unmasks you as the posturing fake you really are.

    The proof of this is simple. QM was largely solved as a problem about 80-100 years ago using pencil, chalk and brainpower. The fundamentals of the topic are expressed in a set of elegant equations, and the experiments are all highly repeatable to exquistite degrees of precision. Upon it we have built a massive electronics technology that works with fabulous speeds, power and reliability….we understand QM and it works.

    By contrast climate science involves a huge range of phenomona physical, chemical and biological…many of them interacting in poorly defined non-linear fashions. The data is of hugely variable quality and over a decade in which huge amounts of computing power and very clever modern mathematics that has been brought to bear on the problem, it has yet to resolve to first principles, and likely never will.

    Imagine if when you did your proton scattering work with Alan, you had to do the experiement under the following condtions:

    1. The theory you had to use was still the subject of considerable debate….not nicely settled for 80 years or so.

    2. You had to predict the outcome of that single experiment to better than 99% certainty.

    3. You had to do the whole thing with just pencil and paper…no fair using an acelerator.

    4. You could ONLY scatter ONE proton…..on paper.

    Yet unlike real protons which you could scatter by the uncountable billions to your hearts content….there is only one planet and only one shot at attempting to predict our impact on our planet’s future climate correctly. Yet for all your undoubted talent, you are merely using it to sit on the sidelines and raise quibbles.

    Oh and ps, your MUST READ document from the Fraser Institute has been shredded here:

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/IndependentSummary.pdf

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  108. insider () says:

    Lind a

    Ha! FF was probably the wrong person to ask as well as his posts are often long and complex. Perhaps a yes/no could suffice.

    The question comes from the comment that was made that climate science makes QM look trivial. I thought that while we know a lot about QM we also don’t know some significant things, and that while we might be able to see the effect of certain phenomena we don’t fully understand their cause. Hence the quest for the unified theory.

    So if climate science is more complex surely our understanding by inference is even more uncertain, in which case how good/reliable are the predictions CS is turning out.

    At least with QM there is a greater predictability of cause and effect, which is one of the huge areas of uncertainty in CS, and you can do lab experiments.

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  109. Greg Spark () says:

    Sonic’s like one of those candles you can’t blow out. Someone puts up a point against his cherished belief and he has to pop right back and shoot it down.

    He’s gotta have the last say least someone may be left with the impression he may be wrong.

    His assertion that there are no credible scientists who question “The Word” and any who do are in the pay of the oil giants or worse is laughable and strikes to the heart of his credibility.

    There’s nothing new in this whole thread although Owen’s post is refreshing.

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  110. Sonic () says:

    “He’s gotta have the last say least someone may be left with the impression he may be wrong.”

    Subtle, if I don’t respond I’ve proved you right and if I do I’ve proved you right…

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  111. insider () says:

    Funny thing is Greg, a number of credible scientists who model and support AGW are, by the definitions used by The Guardian, Sonic, Vitalis et al, also in the pay of oil companies? Go figure.

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  112. Owen McShane () says:

    Oregon State has figured out how to develop a consensus.
    Hope this works in blog text.

    Global warming debate spurs Ore. title tiff

    06:51 AM PST on Wednesday, February 7, 2007

    By VINCE PATTON, KGW Staff

    In the face of evidence agreed upon by hundreds of climate scientists, George Taylor holds firm. He does not believe human activities are the main cause of global climate change.

    Taylor also holds a unique title: State Climatologist.

    Hundreds of scientists last Friday issued the strongest warning yet on
    global warming saying humans are “very likely” the cause.

    “Most of the climate changes we have seen up until now have been a result of natural variations,” Taylor asserts.

    Taylor has held the title of “state climatologist” since 1991 when the
    legislature created a state climate office at OSU The university created the job title, not the state.

    His opinions conflict not only with many other scientists, but with the
    state of Oregon’s policies.

    So the governor wants to take that title from Taylor and make it a position that he would appoint.

    In an exclusive interview with KGW-TV, Governor Ted Kulongoski confirmed he wants to take that title from Taylor. The governor said Taylor’s contradictions interfere with the state’s stated goals to reduce greenhouse gases, the accepted cause of global warming in the eyes of a vast majority of scientists.

    “He is Oregon State University’s climatologist. He is not the state of
    Oregon’s climatologist,” Kulongoski said.

    Taylor declined to comment on the proposal other than to say he was a “bit shocked” by the news. He recently engaged in a debate at O.M.S.I. and repeated his doubts about accepted science.

    In an interview he told KGW, “There are a lot of people saying the bulk of the warming of the last 50 years is due to human activities and I don’t believe that’s true.” He believes natural cycles explain most of the changes the earth has seen.

    A bill will be introduced in Salem soon on the matter.

    Sen. Brad Avakian, (D) Washington County, is sponsoring the bill. He said global warming is so important to state policy it’s important to have a climatologist as a consultant to the governor. He denied this is targeted personally at Taylor. “Absolutely not,” Avakian said, “I’ve never met Mr. Taylor and if he’s got opinions I hope he comes to the hearing and testifies.”

    Kulongoski said the state needs a consistent message on reducing greenhouse gases to combat climate change.

    The Governor says, “I just think there has to be somebody that says, ‘this is the state position on this.'”

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  113. Captain Crab () says:

    Its very hard for Environmental Scientists to NOT work for oil (and mining) companies since those are the companies which do most of the exploration and hence need impact reports. My brother (BSc Hons,Masters in Forestry and a PHD) worked in Canada for a consultancy worked for many yet he is as green as you get.
    He has to eat just like the rest of us!
    I think Insider is right, you cant smear them just because of that.

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  114. Sonic () says:

    “Its very hard for Environmental Scientists to NOT work for oil”

    You don’t get any of them in universities then?

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  115. Captain Crab () says:

    Not the ones with initiative.

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  116. Greg Spark () says:

    Sonic said:

    “”He’s gotta have the last say least someone may be left with the impression he may be wrong.”

    Subtle, if I don’t respond I’ve proved you right and if I do I’ve proved you right…”

    The prosecution rests.

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  117. Sonic () says:

    Yes a killer point Greggy, right on topic too.

    You must be so proud.

    Got anything relevent to add?

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  118. Greg Spark () says:

    Nope, you’ve said it all mate. :)

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  119. kiwi_donkey () says:

    I like the Sonic/DPF alter ego theory. They certainly feed off each other, and I notice that when Sonic posts a lot, DPF doesn’t, and vice versa.

    Can we find a way to test this theory?

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  120. Captain Crab () says:

    “got anything relevant to add?”
    sonic, since when have you ever added anything relevant. Still answering questions with questions and posing no debate at all. just trolling.

    kw-rumour has it sonic works for Fujitsu in welly

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  121. Sonic () says:

    Egad! he has the right country, only a matter of time now!

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  122. Falafulu Fisi () says:

    RedRag said…
    Really you have just revealed how LITTLE you actually understand about what a vast, complex and messy system the planet’s climate is…

    Of course I understand little. You & me are not climate scientists and you know that but I have only started to read a lot about climate modeling over some months now just to be well informed about the subject. RedRag, now tell me, if you said that I understand little, then it implies that you know much more than me so how much you do know about what the vast, complex and messy system the planet’s climate is… ? What is it that you know in climate mathematical modeling that perhaps is superior to what I already understand? We had debated over climate feed-back systems in another thread and now you’re trying to dismiss the point that Owen stated which said that currently, The models do not include clouds because we don ‘t know how to. Owen meant exactly (non-linear coupled cloud feedback systems) what had been published in this paper. The link that you showed from RealClimate is not about non-linear multi-coupled cloud feedback systems and you should know that.

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  123. insider () says:

    Crab/Sonic

    My comment was more that The Guardian of the world believe anyone taking money from big oil is tainted – in which case many significant academics are also tainted because oilcos fund research programmes of all sorts all around the world including on climate change. THe Guardians of the world are willingto use a heavy brush to tar opinions they don’t agree with but don’t equally apply that brush to the conclusions of others they are in favour of.

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  124. sonic () says:

    “The Guardian of the world”

    Insider, I think you have come up with the ultimate conspiracy theory there.

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  125. insider () says:

    Sonic

    Speaking of conspiracy theories, Labour Central operatives aren’t usually active this late. What are you doing still posting? Filling in time between TRade Me views? ;-)

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  126. insider () says:

    good one liner btw

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  127. Flashman () says:

    Ol Sonic has borrowed a wireless laptop from the Ministry on some pretext or other. Free internet blagged off the video shop downstairs – and now he’s away laughing.

    24/7 and wired – that’s our modern dedicted public servant.

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  128. John () says:

    When it comes to judging climate change and its causes go back to first principles for some insight.

    How good are scientists at predicting the weather, today, tomorrow, next week, next month?

    If we can’t accurately predict precipitation in a months time, Why put much weight on what are essentially ultra long term weather predictions.

    When I think about AGM I think about a classic line from John Clarke in “The Games” – “We don’t know but we currently think so”.

    kiwi_donkey is right, the success of the human race is built on our capacity to adapt and survive.

    I’d rather let the market create adaptive technologies than pay billions to bureaucratic governments in a pitiful attempt to stop a run away train. Without Chine and India it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world do.

    We might end up losing Holland and Belgium, but we’ll gain millions of hectares of permafrosted Siberia, which will likely be very rich farmland. I’d swap a few million dutchies for millions of hectares or arable land anyday, but I would miss Belgian chocolate.

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  129. Vitalis () says:

    John said:
    “How good are scientists at predicting the weather, today, tomorrow, next week, next month?”

    NZ scientists are not so good at predicting weather for tomorrow. Chinese in Beijing are much better at it I’m afraid. They make very accurate predictions every day.

    Do you know why? Because the weather is a lot more predictable in Beijing.

    If you only believe what you see and you don’t see very far… what do we call you?

    Hardly anyone doubts the climate change in Europe. Are they more open-minded? Maybe not. It is so obvious in Europe(from everyday weather), that hardly anyone doubts it there.

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  130. Falafulu Fisi () says:

    Vitalis said…
    A free-market lobby organisation that employs six experts on climate change. …one an economist, … and one a mathematician. They include economist Myron Ebell…

    It is irrelevant whether you’re a mathematician, economist, climate scientist, physicist, etc, they all speak the same language and that is numerical computing aka Scientific Computing. This means that their understanding of mathematical modeling is similar. Give a modeling equation in Physics to an economist and he/she would be able to comprehend the derivation with less problem , likewise presenting a Quantum Physics mathematical modeling problem to a mathematician , he/she would also find no problem in following the derivation. Remember that climate science is heavily mathematical modeling and that is why anyone who speaks differential calculus or linear algebra language have a legitimate right to participate in the scientific debate, because the issue with global warming is largely claimed by computer mathematical model.

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  131. Vitalis () says:

    F F, please don’t take my words out of the context.
    Maybe economist and mathematitian are ok to be in an expert team of climate change. But what are two lawyers, political scientist and a graduate of business studies are doing in the same team?
    And… don’t you think that receiving funds from ExxonMobil (largest oil company) and speaking on climate change is somewhat of a conflict of interest?

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